Last week I wrote the blog about getting Back to the Basics. Looking back on this month I think that’s been a common theme of mine. So often we get into a groove where things are going so great and we feel like we can conquer the world!! I’d like to say that feeling lasts forever but we are human! It doesn’t last forever and that’s okay. It’s how we cope with it and the strides we take to get back into the groove of things.
When I lose my groove and things feel jumbled, I take a step back, breath and journal. My journal prompts are: What am I doing in my life right now that fuels me? What do I want to be doing? What roadblocks (physical and mental) have I hit that is preventing me from getting there? When was the last time I felt in control/in my groove? Then I envision what it felt like to be in that controlled headspace and visualize the steps I have to take today to get back there.
This journaling exercise helps me to organize my thoughts and provide clarity to my purpose. Taking the time to journal to these questions helps me to get back to the basics and take action today to get to where I want to be.
The feeling of having everything in our lives all together and under control isn’t continuous, but the time between doesn’t have to be long either. This idea is comparable to the organization in our homes. We may organize and get everything in its place and then we live it in, doing our best to keep it together. We do for a time but then one day we look around and we find we’ve lost control. Well my friend, congratulations! You are human. Don’t let this feeling linger. Fight all urges to throw in the towel and instead take charge of your space. Learn from why it didn’t stay organized like that first day and adjust. Do you need to schedule it into your week to tidy the space? Do you need to involve the family so they know? (More on keeping organization sustainable here) Do not accept defeat. Organization isn’t a quick fix, it’s a journey. Just like everything else we do in our lives, if we want to improve and get better it takes hard work and determination. If you’ve lost control of an area of your home, hit reset today. Visualize that perfectly organized space. Live in the daydream of what it it looks like to be perfectly organized for you and what feelings you have being surrounded by it. Use this visualization as fuel to take charge and organized your space once again. You can do it friend! I know you can!!
Until next time.
Hugs & love,
Hello, friend! Today I’m sharing 5 steps to achieving a more organized space. What sets me apart from other organizers is that I use techniques that I learned while in school at Iowa State University. In my Industrial Engineering classes I learned about the process called “5s”. I was enlightened to the topic of workplace organization and I was excited to go to class and learn how the 5s process, as well as many other techniques, can make a work environment more efficient. Now being in my field of engineering, majority of Industrial Engineers go on to work in a manufacturing facility, so a lot of examples and scenarios in school revolve around that. I looked at it from a Professional Organizer perspective. The techniques can so easily be translated to home organization!! So, let’s zero in on the 5s process as it relates to organizing your home.
5s is a Japanese method for workplace organization. It relates to five Japanese words: seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu and shitsuke. These translate to sort, set in order, shine, standardize and sustain.
Give these 5s steps a try. I hope they work for you to achieve a more order and organization in your space. Please feel free to leave a comment about your experience! I’d love to hear about it!!
I get asked a lot how I manage to stay organized and be productive in business and in my own life. I’ve tested a lot of different methods, checklists, and other people’s suggestions, and while some worked better than others, the important thing was finding what worked best for me and my lifestyle! The past month or so I’ve been trying out the following three things and I'm confident they’re going to stick!!
These past blog posts have laid out other habits that I’ve tried, and I’m not saying I don’t still do some of these things, but like my To-Do List habit, some things just don’t fit into my lifestyle anymore! Just like with organization, our needs and preferences change so we always need to reevaluate and adjust accordingly. I believe this is key to sustainability! I encourage you to take a look at your needs and test a few techniques out! Find what works best for you. :)
Until Next Time!
Hugs & love,
Happy Tuesday, all! Raise your hand if you want to get organized, but you just don’t know where to start?!? If this is your dilemma, I am here to tell you you’re not alone. Often when things get disorganized, it leads to feeling overwhelmed and you simply don’t know where to begin. Ask yourself the following questions:
I.What room do you or your family spend the most time in? You want the room that you spend the most time in to make you feel relaxed and comfortable, not overwhelmed and stressed by the cabinet that you know is containing the avalanche that would happen if you were to open it.
II.What room do you feel most frustrated/overwhelmed when you walk into it? While organizing every other room is good too, it would be like cutting off one head of the beast. Tackling this room, the one that makes you feel most frustrated, is like killing the beast.
III.What gives you the most joy? Family? A certain hobby? Cooking? What room does this translate to in your home? This goes along with question number one. Let yourself enjoy what brings you happiness with a clean organized space. If you love to cook but you can never find anything in your kitchen it gets to be a stressful situation quickly.
Once you’ve identified the room, use the 5 Steps to Achieving a More Organized Space Blog to start the organizing process. If you’re having trouble knowing what to keep and what to get rid of, take a look at this previous blog post.
So, what’s stopping you now? Stop avoiding it – Take Charge. Opt for Organization. Be brave!! And if you don’t want to, call me 😉 Have a wonderful day!!
Hello, organizers! We’ve had a lot of new faces so if you’re new, welcome! At the end of each month I like to do a recap of my month. I think it’s fun to share what’s going on in my life, so you get a chance to get to know the face behind the “Optimal Organization” name!!
I'm not sure I can pinpoint an exact time, but recently I've noticed I make a conscious effort to look on the positive side for any situation I'm in. For example, it would be very easy to be upset and angry about the following recent events:
Naturally, these are valid things to get a person angry, at the very least worked up about. While I’ve had my moments, I have chosen to remain optimistic. And people around me have noticed!! What a great feeling for being associated with a positive attitude. So, instead of getting angry, this is how I’m rewriting the story and choosing optimism:
Happy Wednesday, Organizers! I think Spring is finally here to stay (yay!) so I wanted to touch base on Spring Cleaning! My first ever Spring Cleaning Organizing Challenge wrapped up at the end of April and I want to thank all those who participated and followed along. I loved coming into your inboxes everyday and interacting with you all on Facebook and Instagram. This challenge was heavily focused on the deep organization of different areas of our home and deciding if there were things that could be donated to help declutter. Today I want to talk about the other side of Spring Cleaning -- the actual cleaning!
There are so many checklists and suggestions of Spring Cleaning Tasks so I took the opportunity to compile some of them that I found out there on the internet and added a few that I thought were important (and often forgotten).
So get ready, print this off and let’s get to cleaning!!
Until next time!
Hugs & love,
Any I missed? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!!
It is 11 pm and I’m sitting here at my kitchen table exhausted, after driving home to Wisconsin after being in Illinois for the past week, yet so on fire with love for what I do. I have been working on Optimal Organization full time for a year now and I am so fired up at seeing the positive impact it has made on people’s lives.
I sat in a room this evening with a group of amazing women dedicated to making the city of Rockford a better place and give back. I was in complete awe of their dedication and generosity and honored to speak at their meeting about organization. It is moments like tonight and jobs like I worked on these past few days that I am so grateful that I get to come home and say, “I love my job”.
I say this, but just know this past week/month has been no walk in the park. We’ve gone through the roller coaster of emotions that is house hunting and organizing deals and contracts have fallen through. At the same time though, my beautiful baby niece, Molly was born. I’ve also gotten to spend time with my family and my husband’s family, and I’ve had some amazing “ah-ha” moments for Optimal Organization (more on that in the coming months!!).
So as I sit here, writing to you (determined to not miss a Tuesday blog), thinking about how to encompass this feeling and it all boils down to GRATITUDE.
It is such a magical thing, gratitude. It has the power to transform our minds if we let it. I was listening to Rachel Hollis’s podcast, Dais, and she pointed out, “You can’t have anger/frustration/anxiety if you are in a space of gratitude”. Like I said my husband and I have been through the emotional roller coaster that is house hunting for about two months now. From the beginning we made a promise to each other that we would try to be optimistic about the whole process, have faith that we would end up where we were meant to be, and try to enjoy the ups and downs because this would be the only time we’d ever be house hunting for our first home together. Well, about 20 houses later and two rejected offers, there’s finally a glimmer of hope that we may have found the one. At first, I didn’t want to talk about this afraid that I’d jinx it, but it’s on my heart and my mind and I think it’s necessary to say – I am still grateful. Even if it falls through, I am grateful. I am grateful that throughout this entire process we have an apartment we love, family that supports us and a patient realtor. I am grateful that we are going through all these trials together and will be stronger because of it. I’m grateful for when we finally get our home that we’ll be able to truly appreciate it. I am grateful to all the people who have beat us to putting in an offer or who’s offer got accepted over ours so that we didn’t end up in a home we weren’t meant to be in. I am grateful for my job that I can go see a home at a moment’s notice because they go off the market so fast. I’m grateful that we can purchase a home at all. I am grateful.
I am also grateful for you, dear reader, for following along on this journey with me. I am grateful for you choosing to spend your time with me here reading this blog. More than you’ll ever know!!
I can go on and on about how much I appreciate you all and all the things we’ve seen or the troubles we’re facing, but at the end of the day, my bad day could be someone’s best day. I am choosing to be grateful and see the positive.
It’s the same thing with organization. Our lives change, our situations change, and things will get messy. However, by being organized we are better equipped to handle these changes and adapt accordingly. When we have gratitude for the things and people in our lives, it doesn’t excuse us from pain and stress, but we’re able to better navigate the things in our lives that may be causing these negative emotions.
I encourage you all to write down three things you are grateful for. Take them with you throughout your day and if they are people, send them a quick message or give them a quick call and tell them how much they mean to you. Open up and allow gratitude to transform your mindset and your life.
In love and gratitude.
I feel like meal prepping is a topic that sounds so daunting. “You’re telling me I have to prep an entire week of meals in one day?! Impossible.” That’s what I thought at first too. Through trial and error and lots of practice I finally feel like I’m getting the hang of it. The biggest change didn’t happen with meal prepping itself, but with my mindset behind it. In the beginning I looked at it as a time consuming activity and something that my time could be better spent on. Well no wonder why it felt so overwhelming!! I shifted my mentality to see how much time it’d actually save me in the long run. By prepping all the meals at once, I cut out all the thinking about what I was going to have for a meal, the last minute grocery trips, the time to cook it and clean up. I also love how it stopped me from making worse choices in what I was eating because I never had to think about what was next and possibly default to the fast food option.
Learning to meal prep reminded me that food isn’t just meant to crave my hunger, but it’s purpose is to fuel my body for the day. That doesn’t mean you have to derive yourself either! There are so many healthier alternative recipes to your favorite comfort food meals.
However, I recognize I’m a newbie and I’m still learning. So, in the interest to give you all the most valuable advice and tips, I’ve ask a friend to give you her tips, as this is one of her areas of expertise.
Organizing home offices are so much fun for me to organize. I’m able to think and map out the processes and systems my clients will need to use. However, it is also the toughest room for me to organize because each person has different habits and initial systems, so it takes a lot of one-on-one interaction with the client (which I also love!). If you wanted to organize your desk at home though, how can you do it if I’m not there? Here are three steps to desk organization.
Step 1: Designate Desktop Items - Try to allocate as few things as possible as desktop items. These are things that are the only things left on the desk at the end of the day. For example, it could be your computer, a cup of writing utensils, a lamp and some sort of desktop organizer. By only having a few things that remain on the desk, it makes room for the things you use during the work day. When I work, I always have my planner and notebook, but at the end of the day these things are easy to tuck away until the next work day. The "out of sight out of mind" mentality is something to keep in mind too. Things you need to remember to do or things that come to your desk frequently, (the daily papers from your boss or bills you need to remember to pay, etc.) give these things a home on the desk in the form of a desktop organizer or paper tray.
Step 2: Find everything else a home - Books on the bookshelf, papers filed away in a filing drawer, office supplies in drawer organizer. Whatever else you have, if they are not what you deemed as “desktop items”, find another (close) home for them.
Step 3: Add to the aesthetics - This is a place you may spend a lot of time in. You want to make sure it’s aesthetically pleasing!! By adding plants, a vision board, favorite quotes, etc. you increase the energy you attract just from being in this space! Try it. Your productivity, inspiration and creativity should increase the more you enjoy being in the space you work in.
If we have to work, we mind as well make sure it’s in a space we enjoy being in!! Give these three steps a try. I want you to be the most productive and inspired version of yourself!!
Hugs & Love,
If you’re tuning into this blog for the first time, I’m so happy you’re here. And if you’re returning, thank you and welcome back!! At the end of each month I do a month recap of sorts. For March, I want to talk about balance.
Emily has a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Iowa State University. There she learned how valuable organization can be in being productive. She chose to use this knowledge and help others achieve this productivity and optimization in their homes and small businesses. Read & Enjoy and as always, let us know if you have any questions!