Home Office Organization

Our topic at this month’s Jersey Shore Direct Sellers Networking Group was follow-up.  I LOVE my follow-up system but none of it works if my office is a hot mess!  About once a month, I need to take time to completely organize my office AGAIN!

Wouldn’t it be nice to walk into your home office and be able to find exactly what you need, right away? Imagine the time I would save (and you).  One less “project” so you could spend time with your family, friends and actually working in your business, and not on it.

With a little time and the right organizing tools, you can make it happen!  You can transform your home office from a HOT MESS to an efficient, well-functioning space which will help you to achieve your biggest business goals.  Redoing your entire office can be a HUGE undertaking, so unless you have a full weekend to devote to it, why not focus on one area at a time.

Pick one thing which needs attention.  Let’s think about what would work for your follow-up system.  Do you have a filing cabinet?  Or do you just use the drawers of your desk? Or do you just shuffle piles of papers on your desk?

Clear out and organize your papers

A great first step is to clear out all the papers in your office, whether they’re stacked on your desk or spilling from your filing cabinet. Take this chance to scrub the cleared-off areas, too, so you’ll have a perfectly clean space to work with.

Then use the rule of threes to organize to sort your stacks: one pile to toss or shred, one to file and one that needs action.  When I am working I use the principal of never touching a paper more than once!  Yes, it can be done.

A couple of Fold N’ Files in a color which complements your home décor work well to store the important documents you need to keep accessible.  I have several of them.  I love the fact they fit in my zip top organizing tote so when I need to travel, I can take files with me without having to pull them out.

Use creative storage solutions to better utilize space.  Often, a home office is part of a shared space, which means getting creative with your storage.

Portable storage like the new-for-spring Your Way Display Bin not only gives you a handy place to store loose odds and ends like staplers, calculators and pens, but it also lets you combine (and carry) multiple solutions to best fit your needs: Think Double Duty Caddies for paperwork, Mini Storage Bins for crafts or a Mini Catch-All Bin for gift-wrapping supplies. The result? A clean, uncluttered home office with more desk space where you need it.

Incorporate a larger tote or storage container to help you stay organized

Since it’s inevitable that certain items will make it into your office that don’t belong there, keep a portable tote or storage container under your desk to toss them into. A Catch-All Bin, Your Way Rectangle or Your Way Rectangle Basket all work well for catching your miscellaneous bits and pieces. Don’t forget to color-coordinate for added appeal!

Once a day or once a week, take the container with you through the house to return your stray items to where they belong.

An organized home office doesn’t have to be just a dream. Once you’ve transformed your space, share your pictures with us! We love seeing newly organized spaces which make great use of our fun and functional Thirty-One Gifts products. Additional tips can be found on Thirty One’s blog

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Easy Decorating Hacks

I dream of uncluttered shelves, do you?  Yes, I may be the proverbial bag lady but organizing my own home is a challenge mainly because I have “a gatherer (aka hubby)”.  He likes to pile things.  Don’t get me wrong, I used to be a piler BUT since I have trouble processing things, piles don’t work anymore.

Do your bookshelves look just like the stacks at the local library? Home libraries have much more leeway to turn away from the uniform and instead make a bookshelf more colorful, more fun and more YOU! A few decorating tips can take this utilitarian piece of furniture beyond the basics to become a bastion of your favorite books…and more.

Highlight your hobbies

Books may be windows to your soul, but your hobbies and interests say a lot about you, too. Combine them both on your bookshelves! Strategically place collections of your favorite items beside and in front of your books. Turn stacks of books into stands for small objects that you adore. Make every bookshelf represent the things that you and your family care about most.

Go beyond alphabetical

If your books are arranged from Austen to Zafón, you aren’t alone. But look past strict alphabetization (and the Dewey Decimal system!)  Instead group your books in a pleasing way to the eye – by size or by color. Mix things up by lining some books horizontally, stacking others vertically or even turning them spines-in! Don’t worry: We won’t tell your librarian!

Leave empty space, too!

Even if you have enough books to fill the Grand Canyon (I know we do in our house), squeezing them all onto your bookcase may not be the way to go. Leave some space and give your books room to breathe. Empty space on your shelves can not only give your bookcase a clean look, but it can even make a small room appear larger. (Best yet, this may be the perfect excuse to get a new bookcase!)

Forget the books

Believe it or not, books aren’t even a requirement on every shelf. Instead of banishing photos and artwork to the top of a bookshelf alone, try surrounding the books you love with the people you love! Set framed photos, pieces of art, houseplants and even layer empty frames to add personality and show off the items you love.

Hide the clutter

Bookshelves are very practical places to hold important papers and other items to be kept close at hand. But who wants to see a bunch of folders lining a bookcase? Use baskets to hide the mess within, and containers to keep files handy while portraying a much more pleasing facade.

Choose a Fold N’ File in one of your favorite Thirty-One prints to line up on your shelves, or a Close to Home Décor Box or Close to Home Caddy to add a natural wood accent to your bookcase.

Look at what’s behind

Pay attention not only to what’s on your shelves, but what’s behind them, too! Hanging wallpaper or painting the space behind your bookcase is a great way to add some zing and draw eyes to the shelves. Unsure about which color to choose? Start by looking at the hues that already fill your room on items like chairs and pillows.

How have you made your bookshelves uniquely your own? Do any Thirty-One products line your bookcase? What are your favorite items on your shelves? Share your thoughts with us….
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

How to Transform Under Your Sink?

I never thought under my sink needed a makeover… I mean who sees it but the two of us, right?  Then hubby installed a water filter system and I had to clean out underneath for him to install it.  UGH!!!!  Of course doing this triggered all kinds of thoughts on how I wanted to revamp the entire kitchen.  Funny how a simple task can get you thinking in the BIG picture, right?

But let’s start with revamping your sub-sink storage in a single afternoon so it’s as fresh as the cleaning supplies you keep there.

Step #1 – Clear the cupboard

I was amazed at the things under the kitchen sink!  So let’s start with a clean slate.

Empty your under-the-sink cupboard and place everything on a nearby counter. Yes, we mean everything! Throw out the empty bottles. Get rid of the supplies you never really use.  You know the one everyone said was so good but it doesn’t touch the dirt in your kitchen.  Now decide the best storage solutions for your space.

Step #2 – Gather supplies together

Separate the rest of the supplies into groups based on how or where you use them. For example, a Your Way Rectangle or two can hold everything you need to wash the dishes. Use a Your Way Rectangle Basket with a liner to contain polishes, detergents and other bottles. Turn a Zip-Top Organizing Utility Tote into a mobile cleaning station with rubber gloves, multi-surface cleaners and a duster.  You can personalize them to keep your supplies neatly labeled and simple to find.  You’ve the “I can’t find it so I can’t do it” excuse, right?  No more excuses for anyone to shrug off cleaning duty!  Guess it means me too!  LOL.

Step #3 – Use empty space

If you are anything like me, you have a handful of supplies items which don’t quite fit into any category – or maybe they are used so much they defy categorization. A few tools and a few minutes can give you easy access to these items whenever you need them.

Add a tension rod to hang spray bottles so they’re always a cinch to reach. Fasten hangers inside the doors to store scrubbers, dusters, towels and other frequently-used supplies.

Cleaning up is far less of a chore when your tools are organized and easy to find. A fresh new look under the sink may be all you need to spark your own cleaning expedition!

Check out this makeover video:

Need help?  How about snapping a picture of your problem area, send it to me and I will help you get organized?  Live close enough and I will be happy to come to you with tips and tricks (not only Thirty One solutions) to help you get organized.

Let’s start today to tackle your “get organized” New Year’s Resolution…..

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Do You Have an Elephant in the Room?

Hello, world.  Have you ever had the feeling something was following you?  You knoooow something’s there but you were just too afraid to look.  So you ignore it, hoping it would eventually go away… but it doesn’t.  Suddenly, “something” grabs you at your feet!  You jump back in shock, only to slam right into it.  So then, you do what most people would do… RUN!  Or you attempt to run, when only after a few steps, you slip on to the floor, and fall directly into the “thing”.  Finally, you make it to the door.  By now, you’re thinking you at least owe it to yourself to see what it was; this persistent, consuming “thing” determined to drag you down.  So you slooowly turn around… and stare it head on.  Did someone break in?.. Is it an animal?… a ghost or a MONSTER?!  When all of a sudden you realize… it’s just those overstuffed binders on the floor you’ve been “meaning” to organize, the books and customer invoices stacked on the desk, and the world of products from your inventory toppling over the shelves.  Yep, the so-called “Thing” pursuing you is called Clutter… and the truly scary conclusion is, it ain’t goin’ anywhere until you make it.

I saw this in a blog post some time ago and I giggle every time I read it.  As a home-based business owner, the “Thing” called clutter is a common issue.  Being a home-based business owner for many years, I have had the elephant in the room.  Yes, I do help others get organized but not always the best at taking my own advice!

Do we invite clutter in?  Nope!  Do we like to deal with it? Nope!  It just sort of happens.

I was always one for piles – organized piles.  Then when I started working from home full time, I found it wasn’t so easy to get organized.  I struggled with systems. We know we should take time to get organized, but the truth is we either (1) don’t know where to start, (2) adopt the “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” mentality (try to work with it as it is), or (3) RUN from it (avoid it all together).

No matter what, clutter has to eventually be cleared up or it will only get worse and you will be buried under a mass of paper being totally unproductive.  It’s not going anywhere and the biggest hit where it REALLY hurts is…..yep, your profits.  It is so much easier when you tackle it right away because it is easier, less overwhelming and can be a stress-free process.  Otherwise, you not only work harder, you start the day off cranky and frustrated because, “seriously, I can’t find the file!” or you have orders for a product you didn’t realize was out of stock… ouch$$$!  Need more motivation?

The major benefits of putting in the time and effort to get any home-based business space in order:

  1. It promotes efficiency… you can locate your items much quicker because you know exactly where everything is when you need it, which saves you time.  Once organized, it may take a moment to think about where you put it but once you keep putting something back in the same place, it will become a habit!
  2. It increases productivity… an organized workspace helps you accomplish more throughout your workday.  When a system of order is in place, you are more driven and focused on the success of your business; NOT on the added stress of a cluttered space.
  3. It saves you profits… Organization = Great inventory management!  You avoid product loss due to expiration, misplacement, or damage.
  4. It creates an atmosphere which leads to business success!.. when you’ve create an environment which stimulates our brain, you think and feel better which translates into your work.  The passion for your business is reignited!  It also inspires you to want to become organized in other areas of your life.  Imagine that!!!

Helping people get organized is part of the butterfly effect of my vision – to bring a smile to the face of those who are struggling.  When people think of someone struggling, they think of major things like chronic illness, the loss of someone, addiction, etc.  BUT the struggle could be the desire to grow your business.  I’m in the business of helping people.

I LOVE working with home based business owners. Let me help you transform spaces which are a “hot mess” to what seems like a completely different room.   Every time you enter your office space, you’ll instantly become charged about your business day.   I can share with you how I got organized and STAY organized (90% of the time).  But it is your BUSINESS (or your home)!  We need to make it work for YOU.

I want you to feel excited and inspired every day when you enter your work space.  It shouldn’t bring feelings of stress or a “business-as-usual” mentality.  As a home-based business owner, you have the power to change your work environment into something to fuel your success.   It starts by getting organized – office supplies, product inventory, packaging/shipping supplies, photo/video equipment… EVERYTHING needed to run our businesses from home, in a neat and orderly system which fits your unique, individual needs…wheeew!  As a home-based business owner, you can create a positive, inspiring environment to keep you pumped about fulfilling your goals – no matter how big or small the space may be.

It’s time to address the elephant in the room!  Face it head on and be determined to overcome the problem which isn’t going anywhere

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Do You Struggle with Confidence?

Are you a people pleaser?  If so, you may struggle with confidence.  Why do I say that?  Well, as people pleasers, our world can be crushed when some says “they are disappointed in us” or they get upset with us.  Our confidence is shaken and the inner gremlins begin to bounce around in our head.

As we start a new year, it is time to work towards a new you.  One who is confident and believes you are good enough.  My goal in life has always been to bring a smile to the face of others.  Somewhere along the way, the people pleaser side took over and I lost myself.

Last year, I caught glimpses of how talented I was yet there was something deep inside me which believed I wasn’t good enough.  On the days I feel confident, I know I am good at running my businesses and the joy shines out for all to see.  On the days those inner gremlins are chipping away at my confidence, I sit in wonder and doubt about everything I have done in my life or am planning on doing.  Those days can be crippling.

I’m sure I am not alone.  Many of us have been taught to “fake it until we make it”.  For some it works – they can mask their lack of confidence closing the door on those inner gremlins.  There are others (like me) who wear their emotions on their sleeve.  How many times have you been told “get over it”, “pull yourself together”, or the one which makes me the craziest “you should be over this already”.

Sometimes it is more complicated.  Sometimes, it is tough to get over the self-limiting beliefs which have haunted us for years.  We can overcome them with compassion, and patience.

#1 Get to the heart of it

Your struggle with confidence exists for a reason. Maybe someone told you once you weren’t good enough. Maybe you weren’t nurtured growing up. Maybe you were crushed too many times.  Painful, horrible, heartbreaking things can happen in our lives. Some big, some small, which all affect how we feel about ourselves.  Diving deep into these experiences and our stories can help us connect the dots to see where we are now.

#2 But don’t live there

We get stuck!   Once we own the things which shaped and affected our confidence, it’s easy to feel defeated, overwhelmed, and even a little angry.  But we can’t stay in there because we can’t thrive if we do.  It’s our job to move forward, rewriting the stories we’ve told ourselves.  We need to grow confidence in our skills and in ourselves moving forward every day.  The most important part is  letting go of the things which don’t serve us along the way.

#3 Surround yourself with the right things

Everything we surround ourselves with shapes our perspective and experience – it all matters.  We need to surround ourselves with people who believe in us, who inspire us, and who cheer us on every step of the way.  Look for ways to push yourself to be the very best version of you.  STOMP out those inner gremlins which make you feel small or overwhelmed. It is important to nurture your mind and your body. Fill your days with the things which bring you joy, inspires you to take action, and supports you to show up with a whole heart to your work and your life.

#4 Focus on you, not your fears

Fear can be healthy and it is an unavoidable part of living life. But when we devote our time and energy to honing, growing, and nurturing ourselves, we can grow confident in our creative work and life.  The more we show ourselves what we’re capable of, the more we build grow and the more confident we become.  Don’t let self-doubt and fear distract you from becoming the crazy-awesome creative person you’re meant to be.

#5 You’re the one who your lack of confidence hurts the most

OUCH!  This is and was the toughest realization for me.  If I give into my fears, if I let my self-doubt take the wheel, the person who suffers the most is me.  Believe me is won’t be easy – facing ourselves, our biggest fears, and our toughest experiences.  By believing we are capable of more, and we are worthy of running in the direction of a life which feels true to us takes a whole lot of courage.  Becoming confident takes time.  We need to show up every day, even when this inner gremlins in our head are telling us we should quit.  We need to push through the crap so we can get to the good stuff.

The truth is: it’s always, always, worth it.  When we believe in ourselves, once we bear witness to our gifts, strengths, and creativity, we can start to do incredible work in the world and  build a life which is impactful, fulfilling, and sustainable.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!