Friday, 26 December 2008

Organize what's Important for a great 2009

A good friend of mine gave me the best book for Christmas and it's really got me thinking about what goals I would like to achieve for my family and business in 2009. The book is called 'Eat, Pray and Love' by Elizabeth Gilbert.

I am usually pretty relaxed about New Year's resolutions, so that I can enjoy the school holidays with the kids and family friends etc, without placing restrictions on myself left, right and centre. This will not change, although after reading the book, I will have 'family cohesiveness and personal balance' on my mind in a more relaxed but conscientious way during this time. If you have read the book, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it and what you 'got' from it. If you haven't read Eat Pray Love then I highly recommend you buy or borrow it and have a read.

For my tips on How to Set your New Year's Resolutions and Goals in general, go to our Organize Your Life website.

Claire McFee
Organize Your Life Author

Organize to say "Grace" - especially at Christmas Time

Well the first Christmas Lunch I hosted this year was a great success. I took my own advice and took a relaxed approach to the Christmas preparations. In fact during the day as I was coordinating efforts in the kitchen I said "Isn't this meant to be stressful!?" To which, we all laughed because it was the opposite. We were all really relaxed, doing our bit to pull it all together. Great to know I can do it without my foodie mum or sisters.

Now onto Organizing your self and your mind sufficiently enough to give thanks for what you are eating and lucky enough to have in front of you with relative ease and affordability. Julie (my business partner) and I were talking about this the other day. I was saying it's a shame with the decrease in people practicing religion so too has the practice of saying 'Grace', even though the two don't have to go hand in hand. Jules told me that her hubby and 4 kids say 'Grace' whenever they eat together which is most nights, even though they aren't Church goers. I had been thinking about wanting to do the same thing, namely to teach the children about the concept of gratitude and to instill the ritual of eating together as they grow up.

My mother and father in law are Church goers and although we have never said 'Grace' when we eat together, I thought it would be nice to ask Bill to say 'Grace' before Christmas lunch. He was really chuffed that I'd asked and he did it really well. As mentioned, this thought had only recently occurred to me and I think this was because of my organized, but relaxed approach to hosting Christmas this year. I am scheduling in reflection time which I think is a brilliant way to to stay still for long enough to organize your thoughts to think of these sorts of things. I wish I'd started earlier, but better late than never!

I hope your Christmas was all you hoped for and more.

If you would like to read more about how to Organize stress free Christmas you may like to read my article "5 Tips on How to Enjoy Christmas more by Simplifying & Re-organizing it!"

5 Tips on How to Enjoy Christmas more by Simplifying & Re-organizing it!

Too many people I know, and probably many of you as well, do too much leading up to Christmas, and especially on the actual day. That's not what Christmas is supposed to be about. So begin by re-organizing your expectations of what Christmas is supposed to be like and start to make a few changes this year and a few more the next and so on, and see if you can do something to change that!

1. Think about sharing the Christmas food preparation each year


For those of you who spread around the location of your Christmas celebration, so that the person who has it a particular year doesn't dread their turn!! Organize everyone to each take a couple of dishes each to ease the burden.

2. Think about the actual food that you prepare for the day


Is it really necessary to have the whole kit and caboodle with all the trimmings!? Especially considering that the tradition of a hot meal comes from the English, whose Christmas day is during winter. Doesn't make sense for those of us having a summer Christmas does it!!

3. Be Realistic


We're not suggesting you ditch the whole Christmas lunch that everyone is used to, just make a few small changes to the meal selection. Some alternatives could be pre-bought cold turkey and/or seafood to cook on the BBQ.

4. Expect a little opposition ....

To read more go to "5 Tips on How to Enjoy Christmas more by Simplifying & Re-organizing it!"

Claire McFee
Organize Your Life Author

Sunday, 21 December 2008

My Lap Top just blew up!!!!!

My Lap Top just blew up as a result of a faulty power point. Doh! It's a lesson to back up my cpmuter more regualrly that's for sure. As annoying as it is, I must say I was really proud of myself for how calmly I handled the situation. I was working on the Organize Your Life website with Julie when it happened (Deb is away in Tasmania visiting family) but we managed to continue working all the same. After all life goes on!

It made me think about how being organized doesn't prevent life 'coming at you' ready or not - although it can certainly help prevent a lot of problems that dis-organziation can result in. Annoying occurances, problems and challenges of all kinds are something we need to accept and be open to. Life goes on regardless, so you may as well stay in the game as a willing participant, not resisting it with a 'Why me' mentality.

I can't believe I didn't even swear when it blew up, even though I lost some information/work that hadn't been backed up. The pervading thought in my head was "What's the point in getting angry." It's better to laugh in situations like that to help diffuse the situation and prevent going into stressed out mode.

Additionally, even in cases like this there's always positives to come from anything negative that happens. There's no growth without challenges in our lives and it's how we respond to things that counts. Imagine if I had ranted and raved and my kids had seen me react like that. Would they then not do the same thing when in a similar. Of course they would. So there's one plus right there.

As Julie said it may take a while to be able to clearly see any other positives with this particular problem, but I bet there are some and as soon as they are evident to me I'll let you know!

If you need some tips on how to organize your life then go to our website for a choice of over 100 Organizing articles.

Claire McFee
Author Organize Your Life

Christmas - Christ_Mas

Neil and the kids and I attended our local Carols By Candlelight last night, at the Church where we happened to get married in,11 years earlier on that actual day. A thoughtful friend had a quiet word to the MC, who to our surprise asked for 'Claire and Neil to raise their hands' - to then get a few hundred people to wish us a Happy Anniversary. It was such a lovely thing to do and made it an even more memorable Christmas Carol experience.

There was of course lots of Christmas Carol singing - which I really enjoy. There was a great Jazz band who sang funky versions of traditional Christmas songs and they talked about something very important I think. That is, we sometimes get wound up in the receiving side of Christmas and forget why Christmas even exists - the celebration of the birth of Jesus. I don't come from a religious background but I do appreciate that something bigger than us exists and give thanks to a higher power for all that we have. Christmas is a great reminder to discuss this topic and to show love and appreciation of others no matter what your religious beliefs are - and of course to focus on 'Giving' rather than receiving. You'll be amazed at what you get back when you do.

Merry Christmas!!!

Claire McFee
Organize Your Life Author
For more organizing articles go to our Organize Your Life Website.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Organize Time to Meditate for a StressFree Christmas

I recently completed a Mindfulness Meditation Based Program, which coming from someone who always thought Meditation 'Wasn't for me', because I thought my mind goes way to quickly and I couldn't possibly slow it down to do it" etc, etc:- I must say I truly believe it can be for anyone, now that I 'get' what it's about. I have written some Meditation articles on the Topic to give you some tips on how to Meditate, which will come out in the New Year.

In the meantime I thought it was interesting to note when attending a local Women's Meditating Group last week for the first time, that upon a discussion about Christmas none of us were 'Stressed' about it, even though most of us were hosting it. We attributed this in large part to our Meditation Practices and how it helps put things into perspective, such that you know Christmas is but one day in our yearly lives that comes and goes like any other and it's there to enjoy, not stress over.

So to all those out there worrying and stressing about Christmas preparations and expectations - let it go and enjoy it. Like anything - it takes a bit of Organization to factor in some Meditation - even if it is only a few minutes here and there but it's worth it. Merry Christmas!

For more Articles about organization and a stress free Christmas go to our Organize Your Life website, such as....

"5 Tips On How To Enjoy Christmas More By
Simplifying it!"

Too many people I know, and probably many of you as well, do too much
leading up to Christmas, and especially on the actual day. That's not what
Christmas is supposed to be about, so start to make a few changes this year
and a few more the next year and so on, and see if you can do something to
change that!



Claire McFee
Author Organize Your Life

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

You Sexy Mother

'You Sexy Mother' is the new book by Author Jodi Hedley-Ward which has been featured on Ch9's A Current Affair twice recently, and deservedly so. Jodi has hit the 'Nail' on the proverbial 'Head' covering topics relevant to all mothers who at some stage or other struggle to maintain a sense of 'Self' after having children. There's lots of practical info about how to - as I've always put it "Factor yourself into the equation."

For more info go to the You Sexy Mother Website.

For more tips on how to create more time in your day so you can have more me time you might like to read this article.

Claire McFee
Organize Your Life Author

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Make Up your Mind Day Dec 31st 2008

There are some interesting 'DAY's' out there and this would have to be one of them. There are many of a simialar vein relating to Organizing Your Life and making the most of your potential.

This particular day and the date it is on is about Making Your Mind up about issues that you may have been procrastination about all year and for your own good should Make your mind up about before starting a New Year. So go on start the year with a clean slate and leave any baggage behind. What are you going to finally make a decison about and move forward?

Accidently Organised

Wendy Davie - New Zealand's Organizing Guru has written a fabulous book called "Accidentally Organised." It's a great read for those of us who aren't born Organized and need a little permission to get real and do the best we can with what we've got and enjoy life at the saame time. Here's a Review I wrote for the book.

"Accidentally Organised is the most 'real' advice about Organising I have read. Most of us can't maintain the 'perfect' looking house 24/7. Wendy lets you know that it's OK not to strive for this impossible goal, giving you permission to 'have a life,' while giving you countless and importantly easy organisational actions and solutions for your everyday life." Claire McFee Organize Your Life

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Organizing Christmas Lunch - recipe ideas

Unlike my sisters and Mum - I am not a 'Foodie' by any stretch of the imagination. Don't get me wrong I love food, just not spending hours making things from scratch. I would love your recipes for some easy, yummy Salads as I am hosting Christmas this year on my own for my husbands family. A weblink to some good recipes would be great. Look forward to your feedback.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

You Tube footage of Professional Organizer in action

Having recently referred you to the website about an Organizing TV show Called Neat TV, I thought you may like to actually see some footage of Professional Organizers in action. There is lots you can view on You Tube. Here is a link I found simply typing in Professional Organizer Demo. Check it out at -http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=professional+organizer+demos&search_type=&aq=f

Organizing TV show called NEAT TV

I just heard about a Canadian TV show called 'Neat' hosted by Hellen Buttigeig, who is a Professional Organizer and Coach http://www.neattv.com/home.html

For those of you who haven't heard about Professional Organizers - they come into your home to help your re-organize and de-clutter your home. If in need of one you can go to http://www.napo.org/ or http://www.aapo.org.au/ to find one in your area.

The Neat TV Website has the best array of before and after organizing photos I have seen, so if you love a good home make-over like I do then go have a look.

If you need some more home, life, money or organizing inspiration check out all the organizational articles at our website.

Claire McFee
Organize Your Life Author

International Buy Nothing Day

A Great International Organizing related 'DAY' is coming up on Sat 29th Nov called BUY NOTHING DAY to help people think about their usual, often excessive consumption of goods and 'stuff'. What a great idea!

There are lots of groups world wide getting together to promote it. To see what's going on in your area check out the official Website www.buynothingday.co.uk/

If you need to do some major organizing and de-cluttering at your house then you may like to read this Home Organizing Article below.


Six Good Reasons to Get on Top of Your Home Affairs

by Claire McFee Author of Organize Your Life

There are many reasons why it is a good idea to be better organized. Do not confuse being organized with being a perfectionist though, as most of us fit somewhere between perfectionism and total chaos!! The differences between us all have a lot to do with our personality types. This can be helpful when trying to understand our own behaviour, and the way we approach being organized. If you accept the fact that we are all very different, it helps to be more realistic with what we are capable of achieving and can help us not to be so hard on ourselves when we don't live up to our own expectations, or the expectations of others. Having said that, no matter what personality type we fit into, we are all vulnerable to problems if we let clutter get the better of us. It's good to be aware that there are some important life areas that can be negatively affected so that we can take control and do something about it. These include:

1. Health Problems

Living in chaos can be really stressful and all manner of medical problems can arise as a result. Whether it is annoying headaches or the beginnings of cancer, this reason alone is enough to stop making excuses!!

2. Weight Problems

Many of us fall into the trap of eating when things get on top of us. The concern is that if you never get around to controlling your clutter rather than it controlling you, then the overeating cycle may become a very serious issue.

3. Relationship Problems

When we are surrounded by stuff and can't sit down and look around even one room and see nice clear spaces with no junk, a feeling of unease can stay with us without even realising it. Our interactions with people can therefore be affected by this negative energy, within us and our homes. Get rid of the clutter and re-energise yourself and your home and get rid of all the draining forces within. You will be amazed by your attitude change and therefore the way you relate to others, particularly your partner and your children.

4. Wasting Time

Life is too short to constantly feel bogged down by clutter. If you live in chaos, then chances are you waste a lot of time searching for things (or the rest of your household does, even if you see it as organized chaos). Imagine how much more time you could have for yourself, or to spend on quality family time if you saved 5 mins here and 10 mins there on a regular basis. This really can equate to hours, believe me!

5. Poor Finances

If you are disorganized on the home-front, you are almost definitely disorganized when it comes to handling your money. Most of us put off working out our ins and outs every month or so, but having no system when it comes to a savings plan and debt repayment scheme means trouble with a capital T. Also, try to set a good example for your children by showing them how to look after their money wisely.

6. Depression

Depression can be caused by a number of different issues in your life, and not feeling in control is often one of them. The state of our household often directly relates to the state of our mind, so if your home is drowning in paperwork, half broken toys and clothes that no-one wears anymore, then your mind is more likely to feel overwhelmed as well. Depression can be debilitating, so be aware of it and do everything you can to prevent it, before it happens.

Claire McFee
Organize Your Life Author

Monday, 17 November 2008

Julie's Pole Dancing Birthday Surprise

Julie (my business partner) has a birthday coming up soon, and her gorgoues daughter Haley Organized a Surprise Get together for her last Saturday night - of all places at a (Learn H0w to) Pole Dance establishment. We had no idea what to expect having never taken a class before. Thoughts of a seedy, dark, sex focused place came to mind but we were all pleasantly surprized to find a light filled, airy, clean, fun filled environment to have a joint lesson in some pole dancing moves. It's more about excercise than sexing things up for your love life and was an absolute hoot. It was a credit to Haley for Organizing such a great night that will be remembered forever.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Organize Your Life to be Featured in New Organizational book

I had a call out of the blue a little while back from a published Author who is writing a book on....you guess it Organization. I will let you know Who, What and Where down the track. We had a great chat about all things Organizational, including the Psychology of Organizing and how different Organization is to all of us depending on your personality types. There are of course a lot of similarities but definitely lots of differences too. That's why it's important for you to find systems that work for you, which may mean one bit from one system and another from a different one. What ever works! What do you do that works well when it comes to your organization skills? Just remember to stick to only a few systems or you'll end up in one big dis-organized mess.

Julie, Deb and I have a book or two 'in us' for the future, but due to current demand for our new Interactive Organizer it may be a little while before we get a chance to put pen to paper! All in good time.

For more life Organizing tips and hints got to our website.

Claire McFee
Organize Your Life Author

Friday, 31 October 2008

Organize Your Life Pendant Gift

The new Organize Your Life Team had a photo session at Julie's place the other day for some upcoming publicity in the Herald Sun, which was a bit of fun. Julie's Mum, Dad and Sister happened to be there later on and Julie's Dad Gary surprised us with a beautiful present to celebrate the successful launch of Organize Your Life.

He hand made us each a beautiful gold pendant in the shaped of our cubed logo complete with an engraved lady and our tag line. We were all so touched - Jules to tears. What a gorgeous gesture!! It all made us feel doubley blessed to be working together at Organize Your Life, as our whole families become closer and are as excited as we are about helping people get organized.

To read articles about Organizing your life, organizing your home, organizing your money and organizing your family click here. We have over 100 organizing articles on the new site for you to choose from in your own time.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

An Organized break from the kids - Bliss

My husband Neil and I just had a four day 'sexy weekend' in Sydney - (I don't like the term 'dirty weekend' - sounds.... well dirty!) Anyway we had the best time relaxing and doing what couples do when there's no kids interupting you!

The trip was relatively easy to Organize. My mum - god love her - looked after the kids - so we could enjoy our break knowing everything was under control at home.

Not having to organizing what to cook when you go away, is one of the best parts of a break forn the kids I think. We went to some great restaurants - some 'cheap eats' and others quite classy. The food was divine!! We had the best position to 'people watch' at one restaraunt, where all sorts of interesting people were walking past including X- Prime Minister Paul Keating and X-Olympian Debbie Flintoff King. I had heaps of ideas for future Organizing articles during the trip - the creativity really flows when you don't have the usualy worries to think about and a zillion and one things to organize!

If in need of a but of help to spice up your sex life then you might like to read this article.

Organize Your Sex Life…..Yes you heard me right!
by Claire McFee www.organizeyourlife.com.au

Bit personal for some of you I know, and if that’s the case for you stop reading now. But perhaps think for a moment - if it is too personal, even in the privacy of your own home – maybe there are some issues that need addressing? I must admit I’ve had fun writing this article - the first one I’ve written on this topic of SEX. Generally you only need to organize your sex life if you don't have much of one, which we have all experienced at one stage or another….. for way longer than many of us would care to admit, but hey, that’s life. With the ridiculously long working hours most of have and if children are added to the mix it’s not really any surprise is it?!!

Sometimes you need to take matters into your own hands – literally – as well as figuratively (sorry couldn’t resist) - and do something about it. So onto some solutions for these sex, (or lack of sex) issues :-

Book it in
If you are out of the habit to a large degree some of the best advice on the topic I read once said something like “You need to sometimes have sex when you aren’t really in the mood just to help you get back in the swing of things.” To expect to be in the mood with a regular partner when it’s been an age isn’t realistic, so as boring and unromantic as it sounds setting a specific time to do the deed for want of a better phrase can actually help get you back into the swing of things. Put it in your diaries and actually stick to it and hopefully your libido will kick back in and it will turn into the spontaneous and enjoyable act it should be.

Raunchy Reading Material
A raunchy book or magazine may do the trick to put you in the mood,. If you are in the category of a partner who is wanting more sex but you don’t, (and their usual methods of arousing you are not working like they used to), you can read a chapter or so of one such book to give you a head start without your partner even having to know it wasn't all them if you think it will adversely affect their confidence. I promise they won’t be complaining!

Off-the-shelf Libido Enhancing Products
I wouldn’t go down this path unless you have a good naturopath or Kinesiologist who knows your history and whether the mix of ingredients and importantly the quantity of each is going to have a positive effect anything for you and your sex life. Otherwise they could be at best a waste of money or at worst actually making the situation worse and even masking what may be the real problem.

Hormones gone awry?
Look at your hormone levels (more closely than a simple one off blood test result will give you) – but rather - again -with a good Naturopath/Kinesiologist, who can tell you if any of your hormone levels are too high or too low and can give you something to rectify it. Otherwise you may be fighting an unwinnable battle until you do – with no more sex in the meantime.

Sex after a baby
A tip for those who have recently had a baby and you are a bit apprehensive about going ‘there’ after what your nether regions have been through- a great way to ease yourself into action in the area is to use a vibrator or the like so that if it is a bit uncomfortable at first then you don’t transfer this unease onto your partner. Now why don’t they have this great tip in any pregnancy before and after books it’s a real gem!!

Sex Creams/Pills/Potions
There are some products out there that focus on female arousal which is great, (considering how heavily weighted it is the other way – little blue pill and all) but you need to be aware that there are no regulations with these sorts of products and using them on your private parts is at your own - potentially great risk. I know of a case where a woman used one such pleasure inducing cream which was great for her but unfortunately for her parent had a burning effect on him– ouch!

Sex Shops
You don’t even have to go through the potential embarrassment (you know it’s all only in you head) of buying sex related items such as the funnily but in many cases aptly named ‘Marital Aides’ in a store – you can simple do it anonymously from home.

Sexual Positions
Varying the good old ‘normal’ position you ‘do the deed’ can mix things up enough to peak your interest sexually. An interesting product on the market that can be used by pretty much anyone (even George Clooney I’ve heard) is the Loving Angles mini couch/bed all in one, enabling you to get into some more sexually charged positions with relative ease. Check it out at www.lovingangles.com.au

Psychological Sex Issues
Counselors or Sex Therapists to be even more specific can be a great way to jump start things in the bedroom if there are underlying Psychological issues/resentments that you cannot resolve yourself. Look at it this way ‘Would it be better to put up with the same problem for goodness knows how many years or actually make a stand for the quality of your life and do something about it, putting any embarrassment or pride out of the way? Which lifelong reality would you rather have on your death bed?

Get a lock on the bedroom door!
If you have kids you know about the fear of being sprung in the act, which can end up being a conscious and sometimes unconscious reason for not getting intimate. A great way around this is to put a lock on bedroom door. Explaining to the kids that you need some privacy sometimes can only be a healthy thing. So get down to the Hardware store ASAP! Just be sure to put the lock up high if you have young children so there are no ‘children locked in the bedroom’ accidents.

Medical Sex issues
Sometimes no sex drive is a result of a more serious sexual issue that may need medical intervention. Having a good rapport with your doctor is vital here. As with any profession there are good and bad doctors and a prudish doctor if may result in a road block in this area and the solutions you need. Like anything – shop around making sure to put your ego in your back pocket for a while and get on with it. Putting up with no sex life is not healthy for you physically or mentally, with very few being able to do it successfully - even willingly. So source the help that is out there and find what is right for making a difference to you personally. Patience and persistence will get you there.

Monday, 20 October 2008

AAPO Professional Organizers Conference in Sydney

Julie, Deb and I just got back from the Australasian Association of Professional Organisers Conference in Sydney, which was fantastic. So well organized - as you'd expect!! There were attendees from all over Australia, New Zealand and even some University Lecturers from Indonesia as well - so a mixed bag of interesting Organizing type people.

I will go into more detail about some of the great Professional Organisers/Organizers we met in future posts, as there is too many to mention in one go. We have lined up several interviews with experts in various Organizational fields - covering book publishing/promoting; the Psychology of Organizing/Organising; Organizing your home for sale; Marketing your Organizational business and so on - to post on our site in the future. We were known as the 'Three (Organising) Musketeers' or as Julie's Husband has coined us - the 'Three Marketeers'. Attending our first Professional Organizing/Organising conference together really showed us what a great team we are and how well we work together - each with our own business area we focus on and love.

We have lots of new Organizing Professional Affiliates lined up from the Organizers Conference which is exciting for both us and them. They can help spread the word to people and we can help their Organizing business grow - with a great resource for their dis-organized/dis-organised clients. Win - win - got to love it.

So our new Organize Your Life site is LIVE and the feedback has been brilliant. The first step to becoming the 'Umbrella' for all things Organized! watch this space.

Claire McFee
Author Organize Your Life
http://www.organizeyourlife.com.au

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Organize Your Life ready for take off!

Well we have offically clicked the 'live' button for our our new Organize Your Life website. It may still take another 48 hrs to be seen by the public, but it is still really significant to us after the blood sweat and tears that has gone into it in the past several months - plus some!

I am really enjoying being able to get back into 'Publicity Mode' now that our New Organizer is ready. I had two interviews today: one with the Herald Sun and the other with the Geelong Advertiser. I must say I have only ever had positive experiences with the Media over the (almost) 10 yrs I came up with the idea for Organize Your Life, and have found them to be very helpful & professional.


With the prospect of some more Organize Your life TV publicity coming up we, would love to hear from you if you would be happy to go on camera to talk about your 'before' and 'after' experiences. Don't worry - your house doesn't have to look perfectly organized! It's more about the improvements in your life both externally and internally.

Email me if you would like to discuss this further -claire@organizeyourlife.com.au">mailto:further-claire@organizeyourlife.com.au

If you need help Organizing Your life click here for some inspirational Organizing articles.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Organize Your Life on ABC Radio

I was contacted to be interviewed on ABC radio twice recently on.....you guessed it Organizing to Spring Cleaning your house.
One interviewer focused on Spring Cleaning inside the house, while the other was about Organizing the dreaded shed/garage. Both were enjoyable interviews - with the 'junkyard Jill' characters versus the innately organized people being discussed, and of course the rest of us in between.

As I always say - how effectively and naturally you take to being able to Organize Your self and your home often comes down to your personality, so being realistic about what you can achieve is important. Getting help if you need it -paid or otherwise is also 'key' to the Home Organizing issue.
I mentioned the National Organising Week here in Australia and the free workshops at Officeworks around the country, which with the help of new Australian Association of Professional Organisers - AAPO - Sponsor DYMO. I'm sure all Organizing workshops are being well attended.
So happy organizing and spring cleaning!
Claire


To see and read more about the Media coverage Organize Your life has had over the years then go to the Organize Your Life Media page.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Organize/Organise

Big changes are brewing here at Organise Your Life - namely with a business name change from Organise with an 'S' to Organize with a 'Z'. Not surprisingly, this is mainly to capture more of the Organizing global market, as we launch a new Interactive Organizer shortly.

We are really excited about the upcoming advancements of Organize Your Life, as we know it will empower you to regain control of your life in the easiest way possible. Stay tuned for the re-launch of our website shortly too.


We will be gviing away lots of free organizing lists so stay tuned.
Claire McFee and Team Organise Your Life

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Organizing to Move House...and UnMove Article

Organizing to Move House Again - No Joke

For those of you who received the last newsletter about moving house, you will appreciate this article more. :)

You wouldn't read about it but after our recent Organizing a House Move, we had to organize an Un-move! I had moved 3/4's of our stuff/possessions - (because my husband was working 7 days a week at the time) - into the new house. This can be the stuff of nervous breakdowns but luckily with the personal development course I did last year, I was able to let go of the "There's no way I can do this AGAIN!" feeling really quickly and turn it into - "What are the positives of this happening?" Below I will share what I gained from the somewhat unexpected experience and if interested how on earth it happened in the first place.
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Lose Weight: Organizing to Move House is a great way to lose a kilo or two and to tone up big time - especially your arms carrying all those heavy boxes. I was surprised at the difference in this area in just the first 5 days of movuing let alone doing it all over again!

Higher Water Intake: I drank a lot more water during all this extra organizing, which had a marked improvement on my skin and increased energy. We really do function and look better when we drink about 2 litres of water a day - especially when the weather turns colder but you still need to drink adequate amounts due to being around the dehydrating effects of indoor heating.

Valuable Lesson: The other fantastic effect on organizing another move again was the increased reduction of even more of our 'stuff'. I had obviously already culled a lot of our belongings for the original move. This unique situation made me look at our possessions with an even more ruthless eye and say to myself "Do we really want this item enough to move it again?" I was surprised how often I said No and gave it away. Although most of you won't ever been in the bizarre situation we were in, think to yourself when you de-clutter next. Would I move house twice for this object?! If the answers no then toss it!

Books, books - I moved on a lot of books this time around. I am not a huge novel reader and never have been. When I do find the time to read a book it is usually one recommended and loaned to me. I know books are a much loved possession by a lot of people and that's a great interest to have, however to those of you who keep them just 'because and are never intending to read let alone re-read all the books you own, perhaps you should consider giving them to someone else and filling the valuable space with something that means more to you.

It's all a matter of Relativity - There is 'always' another level to which you can take your de-cluttering and organizing. Each time we do a 'cull' we get rid of the lowest common denominator, deeming the other 'stuff' still to good/sentimental etc. So the next time you go through your things the lowest common denominator of items will be ones you overlooked last time. The trick therefore is to cull more often than you already do, not mistakenly thinking there isn't enough to get rid of because there's always more. It will be clear when you look at it without the last lot of stuff that to make it look better than it actually is. You will wonder why you kept it so long.

Schedule Declutter 'Culls' more frequently - i.e.: quarterly clear-outs make the job easier each time to rather than one big chore to dread with the end result being less objects filling up your valuable living and sanity space!
Opportunity to be a REALLY good role model! I am proud that my children saw me handle the potentially mega stressful situation so calmly and even with a touch of humour. Not a bad life lesson at the tender age of 9 & 6!!

How this happened in the first place??!!
We rent directly from the owners of the current house we are renting, while building our new house. Our friend's own the house we were moving into, and who had their new house on the market for two years without a bite, with only 2 people even looking at the house the whole time, and no luck with suitable tenants. They decided to take the house off the market at the end of the Easter Holidays. We took a gamble moving in before it was officially 'off' the market due to being holidays and a good time to do it with the kids help. The rest is history! I'm so glad we could see the humour in the situation. What's the point in stressing about it?

Publicity
I recently had an interview with a lovely journalist from Marie Claire. The article aims to lessen the stigma around Depression, which now that I have gone public about my experience with Depression, I am really passionate about helping to do in this way. The article should appear in next months edition. I even had my hair and makeup done for this shoot which was a bonus!

Personally
My new business partners - Deb and Julie - and I are nearing completion of our New Interactive Organizer. We have been getting heaps of feedback about what people want and would love to hear from you as well. We will be re-launching soon with lots of added features for you to Organise Your Life, so stay tuned.

Testimonial
" Getting organized is something I have been working on for a long time now. Your newsletters are really helpful, and I look forward to them appearing in my inbox. I know your organiser will help me to overcome some lifelong issues I have had. Mainly forgetting things, because I always seem to be multitasking. Thanks so much." L Fieldman


Till next time.........Happy Organizing! From Claire and the Team

Monday, 12 May 2008

How to Organize a Night Time 'To Do' List"

"How to Organize a Night Time 'To Do' List"

As we are moving into Winter and we tend to try and find a warm corner to curl up in I thought this suggestion might be well recieved right now.
I know most of our subscribers use a 'to do' list, but have you ever thought of writing a separate list, specifically for jobs you can do at night when the kids (if you have them) are in bed? I used to rely on my memory to get little jobs done at night, but found that unfortunately my brain just wasn't up to the task!

Now that I write these sorts of jobs down on their own special list, I quickly refer to it of a night time before I sit down to watch a show or the like, grab what I need and get a few odd jobs out of the way at the same time.
Some of these jobs are really a great excuse to sit in front of a warm fire or rugged up on the couch and be able to say - I'm actually working!!

1. Some of the odd jobs you may find useful to do at night include -

· Putting photos in albums Great to do while the kids aren't around!

· Darning socks or anything else that needs mending.

· De-pilling jumpers One of those boring jobs that should only be done when there's nothing else to do except watch TV!

· Cutting & Filing nails a great job to do in front of the TV. I also do the kids nails while they are watching a favourite program, so that they are distracted and are less likely to protest, (or notice that their feet are ticklish!)

· Updating an old to do list. Something that is easily forgotten, which then makes us avoid looking at the messy list, and therefore not getting the jobs done.

· Personal phone calls - Hard to do at the end of a long day, but if you look at your reminder list and see a friend's name staring back at you, you're more likely to pick up the phone and just do it. They will appreciate the effort, and you will be glad you did too!

· Sending emails via lap top/or your PC If phoning friends at night is too hard for you to do, then keeping in touch via email is a great idea instead. If I don't do this at night I find it's always the thing that comes last during the day, when work/kids etc come first. But I can hoon through several emails in one night time sitting focusing.

· Doing any internet research again either on a lap top, (so you can do it out of the office/study), or on your PC. You may have wanted to look into something crafty or to do with gardening. This quieter time is perfect for personal interest jobs that you usually don't get a chance to do.

· Going through your kitchen/phone drawer it never ceases to amaze me how quickly my kitchen paperwork drawer fills up, since the last time I went through it. I just get a rubbish bag, pull the whole drawer out, put it on the coffee table and sort through it putting everything in one of three piles - Rubbish, Filing Cabinet.

Although some of you may thing that these jobs may sound too small and insignificant and not necessary to write a 'to list' for, as I've said before and I'll say again "The weakest pen is better than the strongest memory" Anom

If you ant to read more articles on Organizing Your Home click here.

Friday, 2 May 2008

Mothers Day - How To Ensure You Pamper Yourself As A Woman For Mothers Day

Quote – Mothering myself has become a way of listening to my deepest needs, and of responding to them while I respond to my inner child. – Melinda Burns


Mothers Day is fast approaching and many women are fortunate to have families polishing the silver and going shopping for gifts to treasure; others families are busy after school making cards and gifts of affection while staining their clothes and carpet in the process.
If you are fortunate enough to have small children bringing to your bedside a bunch of flowers and burnt toast with a half a cup of tea on Mothers Day, then you are truly blessed. Enjoy the efforts of your family and love them with all your heart.

Maybe you are the nurturing host in your family who has Mum over for lunch and then the in-laws for dinner. Although we love the idea of being able to provide for family, upon reflection, Mothers Day is not much more than a Sunday spent in the kitchen!

For many too we acknowledge that Mothers Day can be a difficult day; possibly without a mother or a child; a day rather skipped than celebrated.

No matter how you do, or don’t, celebrate Mothers Day, Organise Your Life wants to help you to ensure that you do carve some time out in the first week of May to call your own: to plan, to anticipate and to do what you truly want to do.

Plan something that from just thinking about it during the week will make your heart sing, and give you a feeling of joy and happiness. There is no saying – “I don’t have time ...I’m needed this week, I don’t have the money….”
None of these are valid reasons: everyone around you will benefit from you doing this for yourself, so there is no excuse.

Plan some time into the first week of May to ensure you don’t miss out – take out your diary now and look at the first week or two of May and find time for you. Then write it in! – make it a date with yourself. Schedule with your partner, friend or sitter to care for kids if that is needed.

With that done comes the next fun bit, planning what you will do. The time of day you have allocated will most likely dictate what you will plan but planning and anticipating will bring you possibly as much joy in the next week as the actual hour or so you will spend on yourself.

After you have decided what you are going to do, look at the activity creatively and think “How am I able to make this time more enjoyable and memorable? What indulgence can I include?” Pop into a specialty shop or even the supermarket and get some cheese, chocolate, bubble bath, fruit, scented drawer sachet, etc that you don’t normally buy but love. It can be as little as $5 but will make you feel delightful.

Time on your own might be anything

It could be that you are tied to the house with sick kids; so to get out and go to the local pool for a swim or a walk at the beach might be just what you are hanging to do.
Curl up by the warm fire with a great book and something yummy to munch on, even better if you have had a warm pampering shower or bath first.

Hire a movie you have wanted to watch –or see again! – something the rest of the family “don’t get”. Play it on your laptop while you sit in a bubble bath and eat choc dipped strawberries!

Go out for a manicure or massage, and a decadent dessert from your favourite restaurant – who said you had to have entrĂ©e and mains every time?

Play your favourite music and rearrange your treasured collections of pictures, books, plants, furniture etc and give your space a fresh feel. If you don’t have your own space at home, create one. Think of new ways to surround yourself with the things you love.

Turn off the mobile phone, go and kick the autumn leaves in the park and bring a few home or to the office and stick on the fridge to remind you of that weightless feeling. Don’t worry if anyone sees you – they will only be wishing they were as uninhibited as you.

What ever you decide to do be sure to do it, enjoy it and why not then schedule more time next month….
Let us know how you go and tell us what you did – we’d love to hear from you!
claire@organiseyourlife.com.au


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For more Organizing tips and ideas go to our Organize Your Life website.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

How to Organize Your Garage

How to Organize Your Garagge
By Julie McRitchie co-Creator Organize Your Life

How and why is it, that one day you realize it’s been years since your car took cover in an organized garage……what happened? There are many reasons but the fact remains the same – the garage area is in a complete mess! There is no way you could find the right size screw driver, or hammer to drive even one of the nails that are spread all over the floor into anything. Who would have a clue which box holds the camping and picnic gear? “He” might know you may think, but the garage should be user-friendly for everyone and that means anyone who wants to go into the garage to repair or make something – or to simply find the Christmas lights.

Ok we all get the idea the garage is disorganized and you want it to be organized!

Set aside, then Plan and Prepare for a day to organize your garage. You will need to spend some time doing a bit of a stock take of the situation. Really give some thought to how our suggestions are a fit for your garage and select your storage solutions based on your needs and budget. You will need to be prepared with some empty boxes, garbage bags, some labels and markers and if things are really serious, a mini skip.

Do you need a mini skip? – If you do; book it now!

Do you need more boxes or stackable plastic containers?

Collect boxes from your local fruit and veggie store or buy some big plastic tubs from $2 shops, or hardware stores. Fishing tackle clear lidded boxes also often found in craft shops are great for all the small screws and washers. Pull out drawer units can also be handy and keeps the little bits handy on the bench top ice cream containers are great in the garage too for holding all sorts of oddments.

If you need and have room for more storage shelves, Op shops and $2 type shops can be good for cheap functional pieces. Or buy some brackets and wood from your local hardware store.

Create a plan

What is being moved from where, to where? what will be the advantages of moving it? Think about how often you use something and position it accordingly – the most used item most accessible and the least used higher up and further to the back.

Make use of wall space for all types of storage

Some wall mounted storage solutions include:-

Peg boards

Hooks and racks – for garden tools anything from the leaf rake to your bike or hoses.

The ceiling can be great place for storage especially if you have rafters to utilise

Skis and fishing rods can be balanced across rafters

ropes and pulleys can be used to hang a kayak or roof racks.

Putting shelving up can be very rewarding so if there is room for some shelving of whatever length and width give it a go store all manner of items.

This is a great way to store paint tins and power tools. Just be aware of weight ratings to be sure what you put on them will be held securely.

Consider if you need to ask someone to help you move some heavy or awkward things. Asking for help is a lot better than getting a bad back!

On the big day equip yourself with sturdy shoes and old clothes including gloves and maybe a mask if you have to deal with lots of dust/sawdust/cobwebs or chemical fumes.

Whack on some music that will keep you on the move.

To get started sometimes we need to make a larger mess to clean up so don’t be upset if after your first half hour attempting to get organized it looks worse than when you started!

We all have different styles but this is what I did recently to declutter and get our garage organized.

Take some before photos
Walk around in the shed if you can (!) & visualise it clean, tidy and orderly
Make some decisions on the big stuff, bin / op shop, a new space, or use it more effectively if you are going to keep it – i.e. the lawnmower and garden tools, power tools, hand tools, etc
Question if this is the best spot for them? How can I store this better?, Is it accessible for how often I use it?. Could I store it another way i.e. handle folded away, shelving over it, garden tools hung or standing in a drum or have in a tray against the wall.
Using your space well is the key to having your garage organized. You will need to get rid of what you don’t need; this may be heartbreaking, but on the whole it will be satisfying as you and your family decide what is no longer needed and can live without. Take photos of things that have been special if that is what is needed to move on.


Allocate an area for going to the op shop, to be given to friends, local club/charity Auction event etc.

You can get good prices for scrap metal, especially for the copper, stainless steel, bronze and Aluminium so look into this if you have any lying around.

Also make piles to sell – you may not have enough for a garage sale but still a few products good enough to sell. To earn some extra cash might even be a good motivator for you to take this job right to the end! EBay is great to sell off the repair manuals for the cars you had years ago, the old backpack, power tools, hand tools, garden tools, kids prams, toys, exercise gear, snow & diving gear etc

If you need to experience the feeling of progress load the stuff for the op shop / friends etc into the car and take away immediately, phone friends and give them a deadline to have collected it before you give it to someone else or simply toss. You can also put a FREE sign for your nature strip. Anything you put here will be gone quickly! Same with wood – “free firewood”.

Once you have some space, and you are down to what you want to keep, put in place a system that will save your garage from being that disorganized again.

Make a monthly note in your diary to assess the stuff in the odds and ends box in the shed and take it to the op shop – recyclers etc. This is an easy system that keeps you on track and you will enjoy the satisfaction of ticking it off your monthly to do list.

At some point you might have decided you have enough for a garage sale. Before you get carried away with how much money you will make – (although some people make a lot of money out of a garage sale) on the whole it may not be the most effective way for you to get rid of your stuff. We previously lived in a rural town and passing trade was limited so sales were not great but once we put a sign out that said “garage sale all stuff free” then they came in droves and we were happy to get rid of it. We didn’t have to pay removalists to take it all to our new home and no tip fees, or have to store it in our new garage and we could then quickly get back to life.

Alright, the garage is decluttered and is now ready for sorting; think about what you need access to right now. Seasonal rotations help to declutter – your camping gear, beach stuff and skis won’t likely be needed all at the same time so put away at the back what you don’t need and make easier access for the things that you do.

My Father was an earth mover and needed discipline to put things away and once he had a place for everything clearly marked he followed it to the letter, so much so that in his latest employment he is getting the workshop in order on a large cattle station using many of the simple ideas we share here with you.

Plan
De-cluttering
Accessibility

Clearly marked places for things –we cannot stress enough the importance that every thing must have a place and you must put it back after every use. If it isn’t being put away ask why not ? – maybe it isn’t in the most practical place or stored the best way.
Rules - Rules of the shed at our house with 3 teenage boys is; the work bench must be clean and clear before leaving the shed.
Discipline to follow whatever rules you set – motorbike time is deducted at our house.
Reward yourself for sticking to the rules.

TIPS/Helpful Links –
Try to avoid using glass jars – as great as they are for being clear – they are too easily dropped and broken. Fishing tackle boxes are ideal they stack and you can see what is inside. Howards Storage SolutionsLearn how to stay on top of every aspect of your life using just one simple folder full of lists and spots to store all your current bills, mail, rosters, must see videos, favourite wines etc. www.organizeyourlife.com.au

Top 5 Dis-organized Warning Signals

Top 5 Dis-organized Warning Signals

If you think you might be dis-organized, then read on to see if you fit into any of the below categories and if so, what you can do about it!

1/ Crappola Overload – When you can’t see the majority of surfaces in your home due tio all your clutter there is a definite problem whereby you may need to bring in some serious help. One Organize Your Life customer of Claire’s got to the point of having to clear the marital bed every night to be able to go to sleep before she got help!
Find a wardrobe professional in your area of Australia. Search Now!

2/ Miscellaneous Madness – If you have the problem of miscellaneous dis-organized piles of things in drawers boxes cupboards etc then things aren't looking good. You need to have ‘like objects’ housed together for them to be better organized. Yes it will take a while to de-clutter, but it’s worth it when you find things quickly and not only you but your family will get in the habit of putting things away where they belong - (most of the time anyway!!)
Kangaroomstorage - Unique Storage solutions for an easier life.

3/ The ‘Late Bug” – Forever being late for work, or to meet friends etc probably means your home based organization (which is the centre of all of our lives whether we want to admit to it or not) is out of whack. Besides which, this affliction annoys people no end and is a good reason to make yourself do something about it.
Feel Good and Be On Time With These....

4/ Brain Fog – If you constantly forget what you are saying mid sentence, forget appointments and have half finished jobs done all over the place, at home and at work this is a sure sign that you need to take stock. Life isn’t meant to be that hard! YOU need to serioulsy Organize Your life
Tools To Life is a 100% free self help and development program - Make the changes that you want to make in your life with Tools To Life. Get Started Today!


5/ Wine O’clock Syndrome – When you reach for a glass of wine at 5 on the dot and don’t stop at just one, robbing yourself of any last drop of energy to attend to household clutter, there is an issue. This is a numbing strategy, which works well for that purpose, but if you want to get out of your rut and do more with your time, then cutting back on the old alcohol is a must if you want to beat your dis-organziation.
Alternative Pampering...


For lots more Organziation Articles go to our website Organize Your Life

Claire McFee
co Creator - Organize Your Life Organizers