"There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living."
Nelson Mandela 1918-2013, President of South Africa, Revolutionary, and Philanthropist
"Set your sights high, the higher the better. Expect the most wonderful things to happen, not in the future but right now. Realize that nothing is too good. Allow absolutely nothing to hamper you or hold you up in any way."
"Extend to each person, no matter how trivial the contact, all the care and kindness and understanding and love that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again."
"I believe that in our constant search for security we can never gain any peace of mind until we are secure in our own soul."
Margaret Chase Smith 1897-1995, Politician
Well January is just about over and how are those resolutions coming along? Rockin' the house? Or falling off the resolution wagon already? Make 2014 your best most organized year yet with your personal month-by-month decluttering guide. Join me, along with with Vicky & Jen for our new episode of "The Big O" where we discuss the overwhelm many people feel when de-cluttering and we'll help you create solutions that will lead to clarity in most any area of your life. Also, a very special guest you might know from television joins in to talk about the emotional part of the de-cluttering process, how she lost it all in Hurricane Katrina and what it meant to part with her family belongings.
Swamped with paper? Backpacks and homework taking over the house? Can't find your stuff? You aren't alone. Put in those earbuds and come listen to the newest episode of The Big O with me and your fun and fabulous hosts Vicky and Jen as we discuss how you and your family can stay organized all year long using just a handful of simple new habits and routines.
"Don't take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering."
"You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you."
Sarah Ban Breathnack
Have you ever asked your mechanic which model car to buy or checked with your computer guru before downloading antivirus software? It just makes sense right? When you want good advice, you ask the professionals you know and trust what THEY use or recommend. Today I'll share with you my favorite tech-based life simplifiers.
Manilla (Web and Mobile)
Manage all your bills, magazine subscriptions, household accounts and even your favorite coupon accounts online with one simple user name and password. Manilla will also remind you when bills are due, so you can avoid wasting money on late fees and penalties, plus keep your credit score in tip-top shape.
Carbonite.com, Mozy or CrashPlan (Web and Mobile)
Nothing makes you sleep better at night than knowing your data is backed up automatically. You just install one of these backup solutions on your Mac or PC, tell it which folders to back up and anytime something is added to a folder or changed within a folder, it gets backed up. A cloud backup system single-handedly saved my bacon when my four-month old laptop crashed in 2010. Whew.
Evernote (Web and Mobile)
This is my mental notebook! At first, it’s difficult to realize how much you can do with Evernote. Save web pages, links, images, create voice notes, snap photos from your webcam, upload images of receipts, business cards and more. Evernote also features seamless sync functions so your notes are always up to date on all your devices.
Mail 2 Web (Web and Mobile)
I love this one because even though I don’t use a web-based email client as a rule, I can still check my domain server email from any computer that isn’t mine, whether I’m at a hotel business center, a friend’s house or an Internet café. Mail2Web lets you sign into your own domain as long as you know your password. You can view, respond and delete from the free web interface as well. (The mobile app is $4.95 per month) Mail2Web offers real-time push email to all your devices, plus you can consolidate multiple email addresses into a single address too.
Send Out Cards (Web only)
When I first learned about SendOutCards.com I liked it so much I became a distributor. Whether you choose a distributorship or you’re a retail customer, Send Out Cards simplifies (and encourages) card sending. It’s ironic that technology killed the handwritten card and yet technology is bringing it back. Send Out Cards is an cloud-based, hard copy greeting card service that allows you to create a font out of your own handwriting, and send actual greeting and post cards directly from your computer to anyone in your SOC database. You can even create greeting cards from your own photographs. With Send Out Cards, I find that I send way more personalized cards in my own handwriting than ever before.
CouponMom.com (Web only)
I admit it, I’m not a big coupon shopper. But I LOVE getting a great deal, which makes CouponMom the perfect site for me. Sign up for free and when you log in, choose to view your grocery deals by state, then choose your store. You’ll get a list of everything that happens to be on sale at the moment, regardless of whether you have a coupon. That’s my favorite way to use the site, because it allows me check the box next to each item I want then print my list. I love logging into CouponMom.com just before I head to the store because I can plan my entire shopping trip around only items that are on sale right now. Unless I desperately need a specific item TODAY, I never pay retail and if I do happen to have a coupon for an item that’s on sale, I just consider that extra bonus savings.
Dropbox (Web and Mobile)
Dropbox makes it possible to easily and quickly view and transfer files between your own machines and devices, as well as with others who have access to your Dropbox folders. Just come back from a great vacation with friends? Forget emailing a hundred photos! Just set up a shared Dropbox folder and give your friends access to it. Then upload your photos, send them a link and they can go there and grab whatever photos they choose.
Remember The Milk (Web and Mobile)
There are a zillion task list apps in the naked city and I’ve tried a few of them. Although I reserve the right to change my mind, so far, Remember The Milk is working well for me. Its interface is simple, intuitive, and lets me create custom lists and view my lists in various ways. I can see each list by name, or I can filter by due date, tags, or even by location according to what errand destinations I might be near at the moment. The free account limits the number of times you can sync your lists, while RTM Pro ($25 per year) gives you automatic sync.
ZipList (Web and Mobile)
This handy app for grocery shopping is great for keeping a running grocery list that’s always with you. It’s pretty robust, allowing you to input cost data but my favorite feature is the ease and the recipes feature. You can search for a recipe while you’re at the store and it will automatically add the ingredients to your list! ZipList makes it quick and easy to “jot” something when you’re on the go or anytime you think of it, plus it’s all in one place, sorted by category. No more tracking thirteen sticky notes around to find your complete shopping list. Another great feature of ZipList is the ability to create separate lists for your favorite stores. For example, you can keep a list for Lowe’s, Trader Joe’s, Office Max, and any other places you frequent and only view products you need from a particular store.
What are your favorite cloud-based and mobile apps that keep you organized?
"When you attain the control of the internal direction of your attention, you will no longer stand in shallow water but will launch out into the deep of life."
Neville Goddard 1905-1972,
Writer and Lecturer
What better things to be excited about in life than great food and gratitude? Without both, we would surely perish in a sea of misery (and hunger, no doubt!) One of the most beautiful qualities to cultivate in yourself is gratitude. A grateful heart invites positive energy and paves the way for good things to enter and transform a life.
Today I hope your heart is grateful and tomorrow remember that every day can be a day of thanksgiving, turkey or not. :o)
Have a blessed and wondeful holiday!
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
Christmas Boy and I just came back from a Wine, Dine & Music Cruise and boy did we have fun! We sailed with rock and roll music legends for a week and enjoyed their performances nearly every day, ate delicious food and met some terrific new friends! That wasn't the only great stuff about our cruise, though. Turns out, Internet access is c-r-a-z-y expensive on a ship, so we did what any frugal and sensible couple would do.
Whaaaaat? Since when do we unplug on vacation? I know, I know, I'm the queen of staying connected. Heck, I've never even used an auto-responder, that's how connected I am when I'm away. Being forced to disconnect was slightly disconcerting at first but after a couple days I got used to it and actually found it liberating! I was, like it or not, forced to be in the moment with the people around us, rather than focusing on those who weren't there. (Ahem, like my Facebook and Twitter contacts)
Really and truly taking your mind off your work is one of the best ways to boost your productivity because it reinvigorates the other parts of your brain and heart that get neglected when you work all the time. Unplugging from technology and immersing yourself in something else -- anything else -- is a great way to let your mind rest, recoup and recharge. I find that when I do unplug for a little while I have more energy and am re-energized about my work when I come back to it, which helps my attitude and improves my results.
So the next time you're feeling stuck and unproductive, take a break!
"We all possess more power and greater possibilities than
we realize, and visualizing is one of the greatest of
Have you ever wished there were a magic potion that would repair all the small annoying breakages in your life? iPhone cord coming apart? Teapot handle cracked? Dishwasher spikes rusting? Washing machine knob broken?
Or maybe you've had an idea to improve or alter an item you own but weren't sure how to do it? I bet most of us have and until now it was difficult.
Thanks to an ingenius (and persistent) woman in the UK, you can now fix or improve almost anything you own with an amazing product that starts out like modeling clay and finishes like rubber. It has insualting properties so it's heat, cold, and electricity resistant. It's pliable yet strong. It's permanent but can still be removed. It comes in several colors and you can mix the colors to create new colors! I think it's something that everyone should have hanging around in the fridge.
It's SUGRU. I just used the white Sugru to repair a bracket inside my kitchen drawer and I'm thinking of all sorts of other ways to use it. I think my next project will be to make a heat-resistant handle for my slow cooker lid!
Sugru makes life simpler and better by allowing you to alter or repair items rather than throwing the away.
In the fifteen years I've been an organizing professional, I've come to learn that organizing and productivity is a huuuuuge topic, encompassing many areas of life you might not even realize. Being organized is about making time for and living your priorities.
To reflect that attitude, I'm moving away from focusing solely on the most obvious aspects of organization such as time management and clutter. I'm moving toward sharing information and ideas about almost anything that makes life not only simpler and more organized, but BETTER.
Going forward you'll see posts about simple food, simple ideas for entertaining, decorating, fixing things, and any other cool thing that I feel makes life simpler or better.
I'm excited for this evolution in my content and I hope you are too!
Are you a gambler? Do the words “double or nothing” strike fear in your heart or get it racing with excitement? If you tend to think in extremes (all or nothing, black or white, this or that) you might also struggle with getting organized because you might be under the impression that you have to start and finish a project all at once.
Your all or nothing perception may skew your relationship with time to the point that you put off tasks until later because you imagine you don't have time to do them now. If that sounds like you, I have some news you'll be happy to hear.
It's a lie.
You don't have to tackle every organizing project all at once. It’s possible to do large projects in stages without it being chaotic in the middle. Whether it’s a one-time event like cleaning out the garage or recurring tasks like housekeeping or laundry, the key to getting things done is breaking large tasks and projects down into easy-to-tackle micro-tasks.
Instead of dreading organizing your entire office, try only cleaning out one desk drawer and stop. Instead of cleaning your whole house, nibble at it every few days. Getting into the habit of doing micro-tasks has two benefits:
There are lots of “life maintenance” micro-tasks around your home and office that require just a tiny chunk of time to complete. Here are ten 5-minute ideas to get you started:
If you leave large or recurring tasks until you have enough time to complete them start to finish, they'll likely never get done. Nibbling away at a project in small manageable pieces is a good way to start your momentum. Also, start doing the micro-tasks you can do NOW in the moment so you won’t have to do them later. Now that you know the benefit of micro-tasking, which ones will you tackle this weekend?