Friday Fun: A 5-minute Challenge & An Organizing Product!

Calendar for friday on white background. Isolated 3D imageToday is Super Friday! I call it that because I’m offering a challenge and sharing a new organizing product.  Isn’t that super? Yeah, I thought so!

Today’s challenge is really more for the female readers — sorry guys — as it has to do with our purses.  You know, those portable bags we carry to survive away from home, but which somehow end up holding everything and seem as heavy as a house? I don’t know about you, my purse holds my wallet, sunglasses, lipsticks, planner, notebook, phone, receipts, breath mints, small reading material, and a few writing utensils — and those are just the things that come to mind off the top of my head; who knows what else may be lurking around in there!  And when I’m in a hurry, not everything gets put away neat and tidy, and I am often digging through a pile of clutter just to find what I need.  Can anyone relate?

I’m a disorganized mess. My purse is gross: I once found a shoulder pad, string cheese, and a Christmas ornament in it!
~ Hoda Kotb, Today show TV host

So today I’m challenging you to take 5 minutes — just 5! — and clean out your purse.  Throw away any trash, pull out receipts and file or shred them, put all the floating money back in your wallet, and remove anything that isn’t essential to carry with you.  I doubt you’ll need the full 5 minutes, but I promise that it will be 5 minutes well spent! Go ahead, give it a try!

Does your purse feel lighter? (We girls love to lose weight, no matter where it comes off, right?) Can you see the bottom of your purse?  Doesn’t that make you feel good?  I just love it! Five minutes of organizing every few days is all you really need to keep your purse from becoming a black hole, but what if there was a product available to help you end your handbag chaos?  I recently discovered an organizing tool that can do just that — The Purse Perfector.

I came across the Purse Perfector at my organizing conference a few weeks ago.  It’s a great idea and I thought I’d share it with you (**NOTE: I do not receive any monetary compensation for sharing this product or its links).  Here’s what it looks like:

purse-perfector

purse-perfector1

As you can see from the photos, the Purse Perfector is a purse insert that helps you keep all your on-the-go items organized.  It can move easily from one purse to another, stands upright on its own, includes 13 pockets, and is the only handbag organizer that changes shape to fit smaller or longer bags without adding extra weight to your purse. It’s also machine washable — which is extremely important, you know, for all those snack crumbs we have at the bottom of our purses. And with 2 sizes and 9 colors to choose from, the Purse Perfector is functional and pretty — gotta love that!  If you want more information about this product, or would like to order one of these handy helpers for yourself or for a friend, you can visit their website at www.purseperfector.com.

So that’s it for this week my friends!  It’s been a roller coaster of week, but I’m glad we’re on the ride together.  Have a great weekend!

Your organizing friend,

Go 2 Gal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Basic Principles to Help You Get Organized

In my last post I mentioned I had been “derailed” and tried to relate that to our organizing journey.  Later, I started thinking about exactly how we go about getting back on track once we’ve been derailed.  The one thought that kept coming to back to my mind was, “Start with the basics.”  It seems simple enough, but what if you don’t know what the basics are?

ABC/123 blackboardToday, I want to share with you 5 basic organizing principles that are fundamental to getting organized and staying organized.  If you find yourself unsure of where to start, or even how to get back on track, following these 5 principles will get you going.

1.  Purge the clutter – You’ve probably heard the saying, “Less is more” right?  Well, it holds true. If you can clear out some of the things that you no longer need or use, you’ll find that you have more space for the things you want and enjoy, as well as more time since you won’t be consumed caring for so much stuff (the National Soap and Detergent Association believes that getting rid of clutter would eliminate 40% of the housework in the average home). Trust me, there is blessing in subtraction!

2. Have a home for everything – When you assign a specific place or space for items, you know exactly where they are when you need to find them and you won’t waste time searching for something scattered around the house (according to IKEA, people who were surveyed said, on average, they spend six minutes looking for their keys in the morning!). Plus, when everything has its own home you’ll be more likely to put things back where they belong, cutting down on future clutter and mess.

3. Group like with like and place them where they are most often used – To save time and energy, keep all your paper, pens/pencils, stamps and envelopes together in one spot (the office, for example) rather than have them in 2 or 3 different locations around the house.  Combine all your towels together in the bathroom, rather than in the closet down the hall. Keep all your baking items and ingredients in one designated area in the pantry for easy access.  In this way you have what you need, where you need it, when you need it.

4. Set up systems that work for you – No two organized spaces are necessarily going to look alike because the people using them may have different needs and ideas of how the space should function.  My file labels work for me because I’ve set them up according to the way I think when referring to my paperwork.  I may have a file that is listed “Automobile” that includes all my car papers; you, however, may think in terms of your specific car and label it “Volvo”.  Are either of us wrong? No! It’s important that you set up your systems so they make sense to you and so that you will use them.

5. Use Containers and Label as much as possible – Stuff breeds and expands to fill the space available (think about it for a minute and you’ll see how true that statement is). When it’s containerized it’s limited and so are you.  Plus, containers help keep things neat and tidy and are visually pleasing. Labels help control and direct items to their proper homes so that there is no mystery what’s in a particular box, or where an item should be returned to.

As with most things in life, you can’t go wrong with the basics.  Even in organizing.  Legendary basketball coach, John Wooden, said, “I discovered early on that the player who learned the fundamentals of basketball is going to have a much better chance of succeeding and rising through the levels of competition than the player who was content to do things his own way.”  If you want to be successful getting and staying organized, it’s important to learn the fundamentals of organizing. When you’ve been sidetracked or derailed, the fundamentals can be a great starting point to get you back on track as well.

Your organizing friend,

Go 2 Gal

 

When your organizing journey gets derailed…

Derailed.

That’s the only word that comes to mind to describe what happened to me yesterday. I should have been at home blogging about organizing principles.  Instead, I sat in the doctor’s office looking at my knee and wondering what happened.

Five months ago I had surgery on my knee to correct damage to my knee cap and bones from the effects of arthritis.  I gave up tennis and a somewhat active lifestyle to rest and rehab my wounded knee.  I went to physical therapy as directed, followed all the doctor’s orders, and slowly, slowly returned to activity and exercise.  According to my doctor, I only had about 3 more weeks to go and I would be all clear.  It had been a long five months, but I was closing in on the finish line.

photo credit: zen via photopin cc
photo credit: zen via photopin cc

Until yesterday.  Over the weekend, without any noticeable injury or pain on my part, my knee became swollen and wouldn’t bend.  I limped into the doctor’s office and became derailed in my recovery.  I’m on rest and restricted activity once again.  The finish line is now a blur and I’m back to square one.

I’m not seeking pity.  I’m just being honest.  But you may wonder what this has to do with organization, right?

Perhaps you’ve been walking this organizing journey for awhile and you’ve made some progress, gained momentum, and are excited about this new way of functioning, only to find yourself sidetracked and slipping into old habits of disorganization.  Maybe you’re an organized person who’s been dealt a few blows and you now find yourself knee deep in disorder. Whatever the circumstances may be perhaps, like me, you find yourself derailed.  It can happen to any of us at any time.

I have a dear friend who is a very organized person. Over the last few months she’s dealt with loss, sickness, and job change.  Her once orderly life is not so neat and tidy, and she feels like she’s drowning in the mess that now surrounds her. She’s struggling to get back on track.

Sometimes our organized worlds get turned upside down, shaken, stirred, and turned right side up again.  When we finally get our bearings, we realize that everything is not necessarily operating in the same, neat way.  Transitions, life changes, death, and turmoil are all part of life and can have us move from order to chaos in a blink of an eye. So what do we do?

We have a choice.  We can be bitter or better about our situation, but we can’t be both. Bitterness keeps us in our disorder; better strives to slowly regain the order and progress we once had. The choice is ours.

As for me, I’m getting up, hoping for the best, and patiently trying to survive the 2 weeks until my next doctor appointment.  Maybe you need to take a deep breath, find one way to bring some order back into your life, and keep marching ahead. It may not be an easy road to travel, but if you keep putting one foot in front of the other, you’ll find your way back.

I’m sure this is not the post you were expecting and, honestly, I struggled with whether I should write it or not.  In the end I decided that the words needed to be said.  I believe a hurt is never wasted and that somehow it can be used to help others. Hopefully I’ve helped you today, wherever you are on this organizing journey – standing strong or derailed.

Do you find yourself struggling with organizing your world right now? What one thing can you do to bring some order back into it and make it a little better?

Your organizing friend,

Go 2 Gal

Friday Fun: 8 Favorite Organizing Quotes

Calendar for friday on white background. Isolated 3D image

 

One of my goals for Friday posts is to keep things FUN and light.  The end of the week is not the time for heavy thinking, deep contemplation, or intense teaching. So with that in mind, I thought I’d share some of my favorite organizing quotes with you (which I promised in my last post). These quotes inspire me, motivate me, and help me stay on track with things start to get out of whack!

Since I have a large collection of quotes on a wide variety of topics, including organization, I decided to limit my favorite organizing quotes to just 8.  Trust me, it was hard to choose just 8, but if I didn’t limit myself you’d be spending your entire weekend here with me (which wouldn’t be so bad, would it?).  I hope you’ll find these entertaining, inspiring, and helpful ~ enjoy!

1. “The problem is not the problem; the problem is your attitude about the problem” – Captain Jack Sparrow

2. “Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.” – Immanuel Kant

3. “Don’t agonize. Organize.” – Florynce Kennedy

4. “He who does not get fun and enjoyment out of every day…needs to reorganize his life.” – George Matthew Adams

5. “Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.” – A.A. Milne

6. “Managing your time without setting priorities is like shooting randomly and calling whatever you hit the target.” – Peter Turla

7.  “Tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” – African Proverb

8. “As an organizer, I start from where the world is, as it is, not as I would like it to be.” – Saul Alinsky

Which of these quotes did you like best? Do you have a favorite quote (regardless of topic)? If so, please share!

Have a great weekend friends!

Your organizing friend,

Go 2 Gal