Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Setting Your Expectations

For those of you who do not know, I live with my husband, two daughters and our family dog, a big, happy golden retriever named Buddy. We're a dog-people kind of family. Living with a dog can sometimes be frustrating and full of surprises, like the time I came home to find the stuffing pulled out from my upholstered foot stool. But it can also bring much joy, like when I come home to find Buddy running to greet me with a wagging tail while trying to maintain his traction on the slick surface of the kitchen floor.

There are certain things that you come to expect from owning a dog. For instance, while I wouldn't be totally surprised, I would momentarily be taken aback if my 4 year old decided to lick my face. I say not totally surprised because this is not something that she hasn't tried or failed to accomplish once or twice. But it would be nothing for me to expect an occasional sign of affection of this type from my 4-legged friend.

I think nothing of Buddy jumping up on our bed to snuggle with the same 4 paws he uses to run after bunnies in the yard, kicking up dirt and grass along the way. But I'm sure I'd let out a horrified screech if I saw my husband on our bed with dirty shoes on...especially if it were Clean Sheet Sunday!

Likewise, one innocent, errant "mom hair" in someone's mashed potatoes and you'd think the whole meal was toxic. But they could drop their sucker in a pile of dog hair, half-heartedly wash it off and never think anymore of it.

So, it appears that some things are expected when you live with someone of a different species. Sometimes we have to look at organizing and keeping house the same way. And, let's face it, there's probably been more than one time you've thought your family was from another planet, or at the least that they were a bunch of pigs.

You have to expect that there are going to be times that your home doesn't always look like something from a magazine. You have to expect that someone is not always going to put things away. There are going to be days you want to hide the dishes. But, these are normal parts of everyday living. The joys of everyday living far outweigh the little inconveniences and those are the things that make you want to wag your tail.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Organizing Gene: Fact or Fiction?

Do you go about your daily activities thinking how much better things would be if you were just more organized? But then, reality hits and you say to yourself, “Who am I kidding? I just don’t have an organized bone in my body!” Do you often think that some people, maybe including you, just lack the “gene” to function in an organized state, forever doomed to live a life of clutter?

For some personalities it would seem so. But, becoming better organized is actually less about clearing clutter and knowing what to keep and where to store it. It’s more about developing the personality traits that are conducive to good organizational skills. It goes without saying, that to be more organized you have to do the obvious, like spending a few minutes each day picking up. But, when you get down to the nitty-gritty, it’s the personality traits of organized people that make the habits stick, and luckily, contrary to what many think, with the right tools these can be learned.

But, what about those who just seem to be “born with it”? It’s more accurate that these people were just exposed to examples of these traits early on in their lives. Fortunately, for those less adept, it’s never too late to learn. In actuality, everyone with the desire has the ability to learn to be more organized.

There are many adjectives that one is reminded of when it comes to describing someone who is “organized”. Things like being self motivated, prepared, efficient and consistent are all very attainable characteristics. Oftentimes, people think of these as things that you’re either blessed with or you’re not. But it is this same thought pattern that limits our ability to learn, effectively sealing our fate to never being able to successfully make that change.

Let’s take efficiency, for example. Organized people are often thought of as being efficient, true? Well, being efficient is all about processing things, whether it’s the daily mail or the kids’ toys, in a timely and proficient manner. Imagine how much more efficient you would be if you had pre-determined systems for the belongings in your life. By this I mean that when you open the mail, you have a place for bills, a place for magazines to read later, and a place for junk mail. Likewise, if you establish consistent places for sorting and storing children’s movies, books, toys and the like, clean up time is much more efficient.

Many disorganized people chronically suffer from the effects of clutter simply because they haven’t previously taken the time to explore the how, what, where and when of storage and processing. When you make these decisions ahead of time and use them consistently, most of the future work is done for you. Congratulations, you’ve just become more efficient! This method can be applied to nearly every area of your home if you stop and think it through. It takes a little forethought, but once you’re through that process, you hardly have to think about it again.

When it comes to organization, greater success is gained when the attributes are developed first. Developing good habits and specific techniques will follow. But the biggest payoff is that the transformations brought about will more likely be long-term changes that will help you reach your organizational goals and make positive improvements in your life.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Mom's Coffee Break

Hop on over to Mom's Coffee Break this week for a chance to win a copy of my book, A Life Less Cluttered and a 20 minute phone consultation. I'll be joining Coach Tonya Ramsey next Thursday October 18th for a live radio talk show. This will be my first time as a guest on a radio program, so I'm very excited about that! Be sure to get all the details and tune in to hear the discussion.

Copyright 2007, Christine Rice

You are welcome to use any of the information or articles from my blog for your own newsletters or ezines, just be sure to add the following copyright notation:

Christine Rice, Professional Organizer and owner of Organize It Today helps people discover "organizational enlightenment" with the help of her newest book, A Life Less Cluttered: Expert Secrets to Your Own Organizing Epiphany. Visit her website at http://www.organizeittoday.com/ to find out more about her services and products.