Sunday, August 28, 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011

Confessions of a (Recovering) Perfectionist

You may have noticed that I’ve been trailing behind my timeline on my Master Plan projects.  (Ok, maybe you haven't.  But I have!)  I had a little revelation this week.  Let me share something about myself to explain...

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Master Plan - June Project: The Bathroom

Figured I should get my June project posted at least before July is over, right?

Monday, July 11, 2011

"Reading" Your Rooms

I came across an interesting article on Real Simple's website today that has given me some direction on my kitchen project.  As you may recall, I have been avoiding my kitchen reorganization.  Part of my avoidance is because I know it's going to be an all-day (or multi-day) affair.  Because of the size of the task, I've been wondering where I should begin.  Which drawer or cabinet goes first?  Not knowing where to start is always overwhelming.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Update on June Project

Just wanted to check in and update you all on my June project (the bathroom) since I had promised to get it done in June...

Friday, July 1, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Toss Unused Beauty Products

Sorry about the lapse in my Five Minute Friday series last week!  My vacation had me all out of whack, and I accidentally let three weeks go by instead of two!

Since I promised last week that I was going to get moving on the bathroom project, I needed to get started.  I wasn't quite in the mood to jump in head first, so I decided to play a little game with myself.  I'd give myself five minutes to toss out all the old beauty products I no longer use.  No organization, just elimination.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Change of Plans

Hey everyone!  Sorry I have been MIA lately!  I have an excuse for last week, since I was on (a much-needed) vacation, where I spent a week at a mountain lake with my immediate family.  I got caught up on sleep, and I feel much more relaxed and refreshed than I did before the trip.  My spirit feels renewed, and I've gained back some motivation that I seemed to have lost prior to the trip!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Stop the Sales Calls

Welcome to the second Five Minute Friday!  Ready for another quick way to a simpler life?

Continuing with the theme from last time, on handy websites my local Better Business Bureau provided ot me, I have another useful online resource to share with you.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Five Minute Friday: Eliminate the Credit Offers

I thought I'd start up a little series where every other Friday I'll offer up a suggestion of something simple you can do in five minutes to help de-clutter your life.  Hence the name: Five-Minute Fridays!

Today's suggestion comes courtesy of my local Better Business Bureau.  If you recall, I took advantage of their Free Shred Day in April as part of my filing cabinet project.  Before I dropped off my papers, they handed me a "goody bag" that had some various information.  I flipped through it when I got home, and found a handy list of some useful websites.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Files: To Keep, or Not To Keep?

Although reorganizing my filing cabinet was fairly easy, I did have to spend some time researching how long I should be keeping everything.  I found that not every source had comprehensive information, so I had to compile from several sources, and then I also modified or created my own rules in some cases to tailor to my lifestyle.

Below are the guidelines that I used when de-cluttering my files.  Keep in mind that I'm not a tax or legal professional, so this is the intersection of common timeframes and what worked for me.  You may want to check with your accountant or lawyer if you are concerned about keeping or tossing certain documents in your files.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Master Plan - April Project: The Filing Cabinet

Although I'm a bit late in posting, I did finish the April project in April!  This project was the easiest so far and was a nice way to catch up on my schedule.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Taxes Are Done...Time to Get Ready for Next Year!

I can almost hear the groans...

"But Jenna, I just got done filing my taxes...and now you want to talk about next year?"

Just like thinking about having another drink might intensify that hangover headache you feel the morning after a wild party, the last thing you probably want to think about during your "tax hangover" (as LearnVest calls it) is taxes.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Master Plan - March Project: The Office Closet

I realize it's April...but it was intended as the March project, and I started it in March.  Either way, it's done!  This project was actually pretty simple and really just took so long since I was out of town one weekend and spent some time finding some decently cheap organizing materials to get the job done.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Free Nationwide Shred Day - Saturday April 16

Apparently this Free Shred Day is a nationwide event sponsored by the Better Business Bureau as their "Secure Your ID" Day.  It is tomorrow, Saturday, April 16th.

If you're like me and have a pile of old documents you need to shred, check out their website to see if there's a participating location in your area!

A little bit of late notice to all of you, but I can't think of a better way to spend your Friday evening than going through your filing cabinet!  (Right??)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My House May Be Small...

...but it's not 90-square feet!

Yes, 90, I'm not missing a zero in there.

Check out this video of a woman who rents a 90-square foot apartment in New York City.  She is (not surprisingly) a professional organizer.  On one hand, it makes me appreciate that I'm not trying to cram my life into 90 square feet.  On the other hand, I'm jealous of the liberation that freedom from material possessions can give you.  I think this video is a good reminder throughout this organizing process that no, we don't really need everything that we think we need.

Simple life Manhattan: a 90-square-foot microstudio

A quick update on where I'm at with my current projects (the Office Closet and the Filing Cabinet)...  I set up some shelving in the closet and have been pricing out some plastic bins, so that has been on hold.  In the meantime, there is a local company hosting a free "Shred Day" this weekend, so I'm hoping to go through my filing cabinet this week and make a big pile of papers to take to that.  (I'm sure it would take me forever to feed them, 5 sheets at a time, through my home shredder!  And I might break it in the process.)  I think I'm still on track to get both projects done by the end of the month, so stay tuned!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Tackling To-Dos: Eliminating Paper Piles

If you're anything like me, you don't have time to deal with every piece of paper that comes through the door every day.  If you're also a visual person that needs things in plain sight to remember them, this results in a pile-up of "to-do" items.  Literally, piles.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Master Plan - February Project: The Office/Music Room

Phew!  After six weeks of hard work, the office project is finally done, and I'm very excited to share it with all of you!

Monday, March 14, 2011

New Page: Resources + Inspiration

Hi readers!

Just wanted to let you know that I have added a new page to my blog, Resources + Inspiration.  This has been added to the link list across the top of the blog, so it is accessible from whatever page you are viewing!
As clever as you might think I am, I don't come up with all of my ideas all by my lonesome.  I wanted to make sure credit was given where credit is due, so I created this page to collect my favorite organizing resources.  Right now I have 2 books and 3 blogs listed on there, but I'm sure I will add to this as I find additional favorites!

I hope you enjoy these and find them as helpful as I have!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Recognizing Sunk Costs

I have been a very busy bee working on my February/March project of the office, and I'm pleased to say that it's finally starting to come together!  I'm putting the final touches on the organization, and then we're actually going to paint the room, so I'm holding off on the final pictures for that.  I'm planning to post "the reveal" by the end of March.  I'll then plan to spend April working on the office closet, including a makeover for my filing cabinet.

However, I wanted to pop on here and update you all on my progress, as well as to talk about an article I recently read on one of my new favorite financial sites, LearnVest, about sunk costs.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

De-Cluttering the Office

Well, we made it through the first phase of the office: de-cluttering.  We found 2 1/2 bags worth of trash to toss, a few items to donate, and a small pile of things to re-locate elsewhere in the house.  We also found a good bit of items to sell, so I currently have a decent-sized "inventory" on Craigslist!

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Fresh Perspective

It's been a couple weeks and I just wanted to check in and let you all know that, no, I haven't given up or anything!  Since I finished my first project a little early in January, I took the last week "off" from major projects and had some friends in town this past weekend, so I haven't been able to start on my next project.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Master Plan - January Project: The Laundry Room

I'm very excited to share that my first project in the Master Plan is complete!  I'm happy with the way it turned out, and also happy that I was able to stay in line with my monthly budget for these projects.  (By the way, decent bins are pricey!)

(Note: I created a new page - the "2011 Master Plan" tab at the top of this page - where I will add links to all of my projects as I go through the year.  It's the one-stop shop to see everything I've done in one place!)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Gaining Control Over Email

Project #1 (Laundry Room) is coming along nicely.  I only have a couple final things left to obtain, so I'm hoping to have that done tomorrow!

In the interim, I have realized how much time I spend trying to keep control of my personal email inbox.  I'm guessing that I probably receive between 30-50 emails a day from various newsletters, stores, financial institutions, and occasionally from actual people I know.  That adds up to a lot of backlog if you don't stay on top of it, and that can be difficult since I don't have that much time to spend on my personal email every day.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Master Plan

"Change in any area of life occurs when the discomfort of remaining the same becomes greater than the discomfort of changing."
~ Sandra Felton, Smart Organizing

It's safe to say that my "discomfort of remaining the same" finally outdid the desire to stick with status quo, and so the Master Plan was born.

Monday, January 10, 2011

"Let's start at the very beginning..."

"...a very good place to start." ~ Sound of Music

I have blogged before, but in a more personal, "journal" sort of way.  As I've toyed with the idea of getting back into the habit of blogging, I've decided that I'd like to do it in a more focused way.  I love learning about food blogs, I've watched my fair share of Food Network programs, and I enjoy trying new recipes, but let's face it: most of the meals I make are pretty basic and rather unworthy of photos and a blog post.  (Frozen ravioli and sauce from a mix?  One of my faves!)  Food blogging was out.

While I do craft (cross-stitching is my long-time love), I often can't devote enough time to it to make swift enough progress to actually warrant meaningful blog posts.  I'm not a lover of politics -- let me rephrase that, I try to stay out of it as much as possible -- so that's not an option, either.

A number of factors ultimately caused me to land in the general category of "organization."  I find myself drooling over well-organized, clean spaces when I flip through catalogs and magazines.  I am a hopeless list-maker and often have some good ideas that never get acted upon.  Probably the more motivational factor is that I can feel my blood pressure rise when I find myself in certain areas of my house.  (Ok, I can't verify that my blood pressure actually rises, but my stress level certainly does!)  So, really, it is a matter of personal sanity that I solve this problem!

And so begins the journey to diagnose the problems and find solutions that I can actually follow and manage.  There may be a great idea that would fix one of my organizational dilemmas, but if it's too complicated and doesn't fit fairly easily into my daily routine, it's pretty much worthless.  I'm sure that the first answer will not always be the final answer, but as long as I learn from the things that didn't work, I'll always be improving.

Starting with my next post, I'll discuss what I like to refer to as my "Organizational Master Plan," which has been brewing for a couple months now, and will serve as some general guidelines for how I'm actually going to go about revamping the organization in my home.  Stay tuned, and thanks for joining me at the beginning of what will surely be an interesting adventure!