Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Guest Blogger: Getting and STAYING Organized in the New Year

I am so excited to feature my first ever guest blogger, Stacy Thomes of Strive to Organize. Stacy is a professional organizer and Super Mom with lots of great ideas to help keep our homes and lives more organized. I'm thrilled she's written this post exclusively for Please Use Your Words.

As we approach 2012 (yes, 2012) we likely have New Year’s resolutions on our mind. We all have behaviors we would like to change and traditionally the New Year is the time to make the declaration “out loud” and commit to making those changes. But, how do we really make them stick? Whether it’s cooking more, eating less, spending more time with family, helping others in need or never being late again, staying organized is the core factor behind all of these behavioral changes.

But how, you ask, do I stay organized? To tell you the truth, it’s a mindset. You have to make the decision to simply stay on top of things, plan ahead and believe that you can do it. And you can. Really.

If you really want to make a change, you have to do some research, on yourself. Take a few moments to ask yourself why you are disorganized, let’s take a look and analyze our behaviors step by step. Try this exercise;

  • Write down the main obstacles you come across on a daily basis on piece of paper. Be totally honest with yourself. Too much clutter in your home? Can’t keep up with the kid’s obligations? Always late? Constantly feeling stressed and rushed?
  • Now, dissect those behaviors by writing down the reasons you think that is your reality. Why are you always late? Why is there too much clutter? Be totally honest with yourself-no one has to see this. Just do it for you.
  • Now write down HOW you can change it. Do you need to hire a professional organizer to come and help do a clean sweep in your home? Do you need to work on your time management and start keeping lists? Do you need to stop over committing to too many events, volunteering and work?  Asking for help and saying NO are often very difficult, but sometimes we just need to. Respect yourself and know your boundaries and ONLY do things you really want to.
Are you done? Great job! This exercise should be enlightening and reveal patterns in your behavior that can easily be tweaked to help you be more productive and less stressed. Just believe you can do ANYTHING you want BUT it is up to YOU to make those changes. Anyone can do this, but like I said, it is all in your mindset. Empower yourself. Make a decision to make those changes, even in tiny baby steps, one thing at a time, and you will achieve your ultimate goal.

Once you’ve gone through this process and highlighted the areas you want to work on, then look for the specific tools that will make this easier. Uppercase Living has a variety of products that work well in an organized home. Their line of Erasable Vinyl (chalk or dry erase) can go anywhere from the garage to the kitchen to the kids’ rooms. You can cut a plain piece to any shape, or use the predesigned items that fit your needs, such as a chore chart to help keep the kids on track, a weekly menu (planning meals ahead means no more last minute pizza delivery), or a family calendar.
With Uppercase Living custom lettering, you can add your kids’ names to bins or tubs so they have one place for their things to go. For a child who is too young to read, a little face is also available. There are also images such as trains, cars, planes, etc. that can help you label boxes or tubs for specific toys. Again, no reading required!

We often spend so much time helping others that we tend to put ourselves last. When we have families that depend on us, taking care of ourselves is of number one importance because if we don’t, our whole family can crumble (and we can succumb to the desire of wine, pills and overall exhaustion!). This year, make a resolution to be kind to yourself. Consider adding an uplifting UL expression somewhere where it will be a daily reminder to go easy on you! If your child were suffering from chronic disorganization how would you help him or her? Treat yourself, you really do deserve it. Cheers to a New Year and a new and improved you.

For all of your organizing needs, contact Stacy Thomes, owner and operator of Strive to Organize located in Woodland Hills, California -

For daily organizing tips, visit her on Facebook.

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