How Many Ways Can You Use a Large Utility Tote?

Have you ever thought about it?  Do you think totes are just for the grocery store?  Or maybe you think beach bag? Or purse (okay maybe not a large utility tote)?  The truth is totes come in every shape and size, right?  If we stop to the grocery store, how many times have you forgotten the bags at home or maybe they are still in the trunk of the car…. admit it, I’m not alone, right? Yes, this “Bag Lady” does occasionally forget to take her totes with her….. SHHH!!!  It will be our little secret.

Let’s talk about Thirty One’s Large Utility Tote for a minute…. Did you know it has been the TOP SELLER (usually the #1 spot) since it was first introduced?  You may ask why?  It is just a tote… but not just any tote.  No, it doesn’t have magical powers…..

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The top use is for grocery shopping….I have a simple system to ensure the totes are in the care when I head to the store. Once I unpack the totes, I set them by the door so they are in plain sight when I go out to the car the next time.  They are always put in the truck of the CRV.  So, how do I remember to take them with me?  On the days I am grocery shopping, I put my purse in the trunk.  Yup, I can’t go shopping without my purse, so when I open the trunk to get my purse, I pick up my totes.    Sometimes I will place them on the seat next to me.  I don’t know about you but I need to have things written on a list OR right in front of me in order to remember them.
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Add a Double Chill Thermal to your large utility tote and you have the perfect way to keep your frozen foods solid during the hot summer months.  Okay, so most of us are battling the frigid cold right now but summer is just around the corner. This set of two water-resistant Leak Lock® thermal inserts lets you pack ice without worry, and side handles make these soft-sided cooler bags easy to carry.  Great for grocery shopping, a day at the beach or a picnic.
Everyone is into decluttering these days…. why not use a large utility tote it to keep your closet in order.  Can you imagine how many blankets you could fit in one if you used the Tidying Up method of folding???  It even collapses for easy storage!  AND it can be personalized!  Shoes all over the floor?  Why not try dividing a tote with bottle dividers from the liquor store?
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Have kids in sports?  Admit it, their equipment is ALL over the trunk of the car.  There is always something that goes missing – a glove, a sock, a shirt – why not make it easy by putting a tote in the trunk JUST for sporting equipment or after school activities.  How about tailgating at all of the games/ practices this spring?   Picture-201.png    Know someone getting married?  The large utility tote is a great wedding gift…

Did I mention the BEST part of the large utility tote in February????  It is on SALE!!!  Who doesn’t love a sale right?

Why not grab TWO and split the cost with your bestie!

So many uses for just one bag… which one is calling you?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Don’t just declutter – DE-OWN

I didn’t write this article but I had to share it with you. It is that good, and puts many things in perspective.  Thank you One Busy Mom of Three for this post.

Owning less is far more beneficial than organizing more.” – Joshua Becker

We are a culture drowning in our possessions. We take in more and more (holiday, birthdays, sales, needs), but rarely find opportunity to discard of it. As a result, our homes fill up with more and more stuff. And because we believe the best solution is to find organizational tools to manage all of it, we seek out bigger containers or more efficient organizational tips and tricks. But simply organizing our stuff (without removing it) is always only a temporary solution. By definition, organizing possessions is an action that must be repeated over and over and over again.

At its heart, organizing is simply rearranging. And though we may find storage solutions today, we are quickly forced to find new ones as early as tomorrow. Additionally, organizing our stuff (without removing it) has some other major shortcomings that are rarely considered:

  1. It doesn’t benefit anyone else. The possessions we rarely use sit on shelves in our basements, attics, and garages… even while some of our closest friends desperately need them.
  2. It doesn’t solve our debt problems. It never addresses the underlying issue that we just buy too much stuff. In fact, many times, the act of rearranging our stuff even costs us more as we purchase containers, storage units, or larger homes to house it.
  3. It doesn’t turn back our desire for more. The simple act of organizing our things into boxes, plastic bins, or extra closets doesn’t turn back our desire to purchase more things. The culture-driven inclination to find happiness in our possessions is rarely thwarted in any way through the process.
  4. It doesn’t force us to evaluate our lives. While rearranging our stuff may cause us to look at each of our possessions, it does not force us to evaluate them—especially if we are just putting them in boxes and closing the lids. On the other hand, removing possessions from our home forces questions of passion, values, and what’s truly most important to us.
  5. It accomplishes little in paving the way for other changes.Organizing may provide a temporary lift to our attitude. It clears a room and subsequently clears our mind, but rarely paves the way for healthy, major lifestyle changes. Our house is too small, our income is too little, and we still can’t find enough time in the day. We may have rearranged our stuff… but not our lives.

On the other hand, the act of removing possessions from our home accomplishes many of those purposes. It is not a temporary solution that must be repeated. It is an action of permanence—once an item has been removed, it is removed completely. Whether we re-sell our possessions, donate them to charity, or give them to a friend, they are immediately put to use by those who need them.

Removing possessions begins to turn back our desire for more as we find freedom, happiness, and abundance in owning less. And removing ourselves from the all-consuming desire to own more creates opportunity for significant life change to take place.

As you seek to get your home (and life) organized, challenge yourself to remove the unneeded things in your home. Rid yourself of the extra weight in a permanent manner. Carry a trash bag from room-to-room. See how big of a donation pile you can make. Or help eliminate debt by selling them. It doesn’t matter so much how you remove them, as long as you do. For it is far better to de-own than declutter.

I would love to hear your thoughts.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

When Discontentment Comes Knocking at Your Door

“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” Hebrews 13:5 (ESV)

The movers were arriving in less than 10 days, and I still had so much to pack.

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Shipping boxes, wrapping paper and rolls of tape were everywhere. Every room in our house begged for attention, and I didn’t know which direction to go first.

Downsizing wasn’t fun, but it was necessary. With a squeezing economy and company cutbacks, our family made the difficult decision to sell our home and minimize our debt.

Deep inside I knew it was the right choice, but the process was hard. And although I tried to put on a happy face, my heart was aching.

I dragged myself from room to room, pouting every step of the way. I stared at the massive amount of accumulated stuff, and it totally overwhelmed me. Clothes, furniture, linens, accessories … and enough kitchen appliances to open a community diner.

Bulging closets and overflowing dresser drawers reminded me of past shopping sprees where I’d picked up many of the items. And now I was blaming the early-bird door busters and all those neon clearance stickers that lured me in the first place.

I had prided myself on all the money I saved buying everything on sale. Who was I kidding?

The truth was our checking account balance was shrinking, yet I wanted to buy new things. All the while, insisting these were purchases we needed.

But now, all those bargains had to be boxed up, moved and put into storage. My “treasures” had become burdens. As I looked around at all the clutter, I wondered if it was really my heart, not my home, that needed to be de‑cluttered.

It was time to make some major adjustments in my thought life and begin living out today’s verse in Hebrews 13:5, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have.”

God spoke to me that day with gentle conviction. It was time to stop making excuses for buying so much and be content with less. A lot less. Kneeling in my storage room, I prayed and asked God to forgive me and help me change. Not just for a season, but as a new way of living.

When the movers arrived, everything was boxed and ready to go. Instead of heading to a storage facility, we delivered most of those boxes to a local children’s home in desperate need of household items and clothing.

It felt freeing to give away more and keep less. To experience the Giver instead of holding on to the material gifts. To trust God’s provision and stop worrying about having enough. To simply be content.

Maybe sometimes you struggle with contentment, too. Do you ever find yourself buying something you really don’t need? I know … it was probably on sale, right?

The cure to discontentment is not found in acquiring more things. It’s found in experiencing more of God’s presence. Remember what He promises in today’s key verse, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

Perhaps God is asking you to keep less and give away more. To be content with what you already have and not feel the urge to buy more.

Friend, don’t fall for the lies I did. Trust God will provide what you need when you need it. If you have extra items, consider giving them away to someone else and experience the weightless freedom of being content with less.

Thank you LEAH DIPASCAL for today’s message.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Monkeys Gone Wild

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Does Spring and warmer weather bring thoughts of cleaning out?  You know “de-cluttering” all of that stuff that had been gathering over the winter.  Our garage is my “clutter spot”.  I can’t wait to get in there and clean out the mess.

Many would say that a cluttered space = a cluttered mind.  I would have to agree because when my office is a HOT mess – I can’t work or even think about what needs to be done.

I love this visual:

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Buddhists often refer to an overly-busy mind as the Monkey Mind.  Our thoughts become like monkeys gone wild – running amok, swinging wildly from here to there, with the occasional temper tantrum, and pout.  Why or how do we let this craziness happen?  Here are some reasons that we get “monkey mind”:

  • Unconscious procrastination (something we need to do but don’t want to)
  • Feeling uncomfortable, frustrated, or angry about a situation or project
  • Feeling overwhelmed (tons to do and simply doesn’t know where – or even how – to start)
  • Habit (it’s a coping mechanism)
  • The thing is, though, he recognizes that mental clutter leads him down this rabbit hole of stress and torment and away from focus, calm, and productivity.

Do you recognize when the monkeys have taken over and you are feel like you are in a rabbit hole of stress and torment?

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So, how do we de-clutter our mind? Here are some tips:

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A great list of ideas but if you are like me the biggest obstacle is to “LET IT GO”.  Yes, I am sitting here humming the song to myself.  The key is that we need to de-clutter our minds more often.  As we approach the weekend with an endless list of chores, errands, incomplete work, or kids activities – take a moment to de-clutter.  Make a list of all that needs to be done.  Prioritize that list.  Novel concept – ASK for help (that is part of letting go).  Then be kind to yourself.  I mean what is the worst that could happen if something on the list doesn’t get done – BE HONEST!

Deep breathing, yoga, long walks, running, swimming, or even meditation are magnificent ways to de-clutter your noggin’.  This is also a great way to be kind to yourself.  You will be surprised at how much focus and energy you have when you take some time to gain perspective an de-clutter.

So, who is ready to de-clutter their mind before the weekend?  Share with us how you de-clutter or de-stress.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Organized Diva or Hot Mess?

Over the last few weeks, I have been working on a business plan where the FIRST question that they asked is “What are you selling?”.  For those of us in direct sales, that seems like a no-brainer, right?  We give the pat answer of what our company sells and if people have heard of the company, they have an already pre-conceived notion about your products. 

What if you were to change that up slightly?  Here is my answer to that same question:

I CELEBRATE, ENCOURAGE & REWARD hard-working women with simple solutions to life’s organizational challenges while offering them an opportunity to reach for their dreams personally or financially.


Now, I have changed the perception from “just purses” to something that may be a little bit more appealing to everyone.  
So, in an effort to provide simple solutions – here is my first “organizational tip” – 10 minutes a day to DE-CLUTTER.
   
I know you are wondering what 10 minutes a day can do, right?  Pick a spot that needs to be organized – a drawer, a closet, a corner of the room – I will talk about the desk in your office tomorrow.  Clean out the junk drawer in the kitchen – it is amazing how completing one small project can give you a sense of accomplishment AND feeling of knowing where things are when you need them.  You can read more about the Declutter Challenge on The Peacefulmom.com.  She writes about saving money, getting organized and enjoying life.  
 What about the linen closet?  I know, the door is closed and no one sees it, right?  Wouldn’t it be nice if you could open the door and find ANYTHING you wanted?  Better yet, wouldn’t it be nice if the kids or hubby opened the doors and didn’t yell for you because THEY couldn’t find something?  
What is your vision of organized in your home?  Let me help you with that vision so that you are not a HOT MESS but the envy of friends and family who want to be organized – like you!
I would love to have you share YOUR organizational tips.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!