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So, in the last couple of weeks I managed to do some kid de-cluttering.  No, I didn’t get rid of any of the kids, they’re all still here trashing the joint, but I saw that I needed to make room for new clothes and toys that had been coming into the house lately, and also take some steps to make my daily life easier.

My little boy has just turned 4, and likes to dress himself, but I had been wasting precious time in the mornings trying to explain to him that it’s winter now (I live in Australia) and shorts, T-shirts and sandals are no good. 

Sometimes the most obvious things stare you in the face for a while before you get it.  And I’ve been through this stage with my older kids so I should know.  All I had to do was put all the summer clothes away!

At this age, he’d grown out of most of them anyway, so I collected a bag of stuff for the charity shop.  Problem solved!  All that is in his drawers now are clothes I’m happy for him to wear now, that fit him.  The most I have to do now is help with shoe laces.

My two, two year old girls had grown a lot lately, so I’d bought new clothes, and I needed to make it easier to find their clothes too.  It can be hard to let go of good clothes, but if they’ve grown out of them, they’ve grown out of them.  With the girls stuff, the best things are offered to friends first who have slightly younger girls, before going to the charity shop. 

With a new puppy in the house who loves to chew, especially plastic, keeping the toys sorted out has been an issue.  My son received some lovely new toys for his birthday, and I invested in some extra clear plastic boxes – my favourite organizing items.  Yes, I do go on about clear plastic boxes – I just love them!

I run this little business from what is probably supposed to be the dining room of this small suburban family home, but is way too small for the big table my family sits at for meals.  It is sort of a whole room, but feels like a corner because it is in the corner of the house with two rooms leading off it. 

There are double sliding doors on one wall leading into the kitchen/meals area, and a double archway with no doors leading into the lounge room/family room.  I can keep a good eye on the kids from here, and get to my desk easily while I’m cooking, cleaning, washing and so on.  It contains an Ikea desk, a filing cabinet, a couple of chairs and a piano, and until recently one overloaded Ikea Billy bookcase.

The problem with my office until recently, was lack of storage.  The two drawer filing cabinet was broken and overloaded, and books were in piles on the floor with nowhere for them to go.  So, I have finally treated myself to a new, three drawer filing cabinet and three new Billy bookcases.  I chose black metal for the filing cabinet and dark brown for the bookcases.

It’s one of those little habits you can develop a little bit at a time, and grow it until it encompasses a lot of what you do and makes your life much easier.

How many times in a day do you notice some little thing that would take 2 seconds to attend to, and you leave it, ignore it, walk past it, or just get annoyed by it?  Lots?

Here are some examples. 

- You look at the floor and it appears dirty, and you think it will take over an hour to do a full vacuum, but you could just take a minute to pick up the bits of fluff and dirt you can see, and use a dustpan and brush for that little pile of cornflakes on the kitchen floor.  It won’t hurt you, and you’ve removed the most obvious distracting signs of dirt.

- You dump a new pile of papers on your desk, and notice that the last pile of papers you dumped there is still there.  There could be people living in that pile before too long.  But you could just take a few minutes to sort the stuff into folders, open the mail, read some items that can have a decision made and be dealt with very quickly, and take that coffee cup to the kitchen with you.  It might hurt a little bit at first, but it’s only a few minutes of your life, and it will grow on you.

Hello readers.  There were over 33,000 of you when I last published this newsletter, and the more time that has passed since I last published, the harder it has been for me to do it.  Knowing that once I start I must keep going as promised has fuelled my procrastination.

I have been wondering whether to offer an explanation, and if so, how much to say.  Well, there comes a time where you just have to make a decision and get on with something, whether or not you are going to do it right, in order to be able to move on, so here goes.  I'm here and my fingers are moving on the keyboard.

I have, as so many of us have, struggled on and off with depression and anxiety since I was quite young, and had a major flare up, breakdown, overload, or whatever I should call it a while ago.  That's it, that's the truth, and whilst I have no intention of

giving up on this project, this little business, this writing endeavour that I embarked upon over 2 years ago, I did hit a rather large hump, and as many of you will understand, the longer I left it, the harder it has been to get back into my routine.  

Time has not been the issue, as is the case with so many things we avoid doing.  Nor has it been a lack of desire to continue with something I enjoy immensely.  Just the usual human weakness of finding it harder the longer I left it.  I have to get my confidence back, begin whether or not I can find the motivation, despite the fear.

Being a newsletter about organization, I have been writing little bits and pieces on the various topics on my long list, but distracted and put off by the obvious current disorganization of my own life.  Perhaps it is because my washing and dishes are currently all done that I feel able to write at this moment.

For email to be useful to us rather than a burden, we need to take control and choose how we use it.  Like anything, decisions need to be made, and it’s the decision making that we are putting off rather than the task itself.

How often?

A vital decision to be made is how often we check our email, and how often we will deal with it.  It’s rarely necessary to be notified whenever a new email comes in, unless you are waiting for something specific and urgent.  Once or twice a day is usually enough, if you want to have a life. 

For how long?

How much of your life do you want to spend on emails?  If you feel as many people do, that email is taking over your life, or preventing you from getting on with other work, you can change how you deal with it to reduce the amount of time to a more reasonable level.  Setting a time limit, prioritizing, and doing as much as you can within the time in a prioritized and organized way will make a big difference.

So, decide on a time or times of day when it suits you to attend to email, and decide how long you wish to spend on it, and work towards staying within that time, then even cutting it down further as you become more efficient.

Backlog

If you have a backlog to get through, it’s a bit like looking at a pile of overdue bills.  Firstly you need to make sure you are dealing with at least as many each day as you receive, then you need to calculate how many on top of that you will need to handle each day in order to clear the backlog by a given time.  A bit like negotiating an installment plan for overdue bills.

Then of course you need to deal with the oldest top priority ones first, followed by all current top priority ones, followed by all new top priority emails, followed by next most important from oldest to newest.

Of course this is easier said than done if there is a lot of clutter in your inbox of things which just need filing or deleting, so I’m not opposed to spending the first 5 minutes of your email session clearing junk or emails which require no action.

A part of our daily life which benefits from organizing is how we pack and use our purses, handbags, backpacks, briefcases, baby bags and so on.  Having a system in place to make these things as easy to use as possible and well stocked and prepared makes our daily life just that much easier.

Being a busy parent, a busy worker or business person, a busy committee member, a busy hobbyist, a busy group member, a busy student, a busy anything, or all of these at once, means it's good to be prepared for anything.

It's a lot easier to keep an organized daily bag if we have chosen the most appropriate bag for the job.  A well designed and attractive bag, purse, backpack, carry all or briefcase is a pleasure to carry.  Having a few different ones for different purposes might be necessary, and of course ladies need different handbags/purses for different outfits.  (Yes, I really do.)

Personally I'm glad that there are lots of oversized handbags (in Australia we call purses handbags, and we call ladies wallets purses) in fashion at the moment, with plenty of compartments.

So, what sort of bits and pieces do we need to carry around with us on a daily basis?

BASIC ESSENTIALS

Phone, keys, glasses, sunglasses, purse/wallet, pocket tissues or handkerchief, medication, personal hygiene and grooming items

Ever had trouble finding something?  The answer is here - a revolutionary new technique, ancient and re-discovered by you.  It's called: putting things back in the same place.

But you don't have a designated place for everything?  Hey, that's always a work in progress, and ever evolving.  Meanwhile we have to get on with things and either put things back where we found them, or make a decision about its new designated place.

Start with the basics: your keys, your phone, your bag.  This is stuff you need to find every day, maybe many times a day. 

There usually only needs to be one place in your home where you put these things, unless you have to carry your phone and keys around with you from room to room.  In that case, make it the same place always in each room.  It might be the hall table, a shelf or spot in the kitchen, your dresser or your desk. 

Charging your phone in the same place always and at the same time makes sense.  I charge mine overnight on my bedside table and use it as an alarm clock as well.

Speaking of phones, I also have a designated pocket for it in my bag, and have made sure it rings loud enough for me to hear it in there.

I recently had another shot at organizing my pantry.  The amazing new system I have introduced is labels on the shelves to say which items go where.  This at least allows us all to see where to put something back, and where to find it (if it's been put back in the correct place).  I just used strips of masking tape to write the labels with, as it's easily moved and doesn't leave a mark.

Ok, so you don't want to do it all on your own.  You'd like those you share your home with to share the load.

What, you do want to do it all on your own?  You want to prove how you're hard done by and better than everyone else and deserving of lots of sympathy?

If that's the case, grow up, get a life, go see a counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist, get frisky with your partner, pull some weeds, do some pruning, scrub something, and come down off your high horse.

Gracious, what an outburst.  What was I saying?  Oh yes, this:

- Stop being a martyr
- Stop feeling guilty
- Shut up and quietly love your family
- Lead by example
- Don't direct your negative feelings about yourself at those around you
- Forgive yourself your imperfections
- Love yourself, so that you may love others

Oh yes, and the practical stuff:

Let your family see that you do things which are good for you and which you enjoy - it's good for them to see this.

As part of my continuous quest to get/keep my life on track, I’m constantly trying to improve/develop my routines.

The more ingeniously we construct our routines the better able we are to follow them.  The key to achieving what we want in life and living the kind of life we want is making the right routines and following them.

Following a routine can be difficult to achieve at first, but is easily achieved by making it a habit.  The tricky part is making a routine that is workable in the first place.  Often it happens that if you analyse the routine you are expecting of yourself, you will find it full of faults and tricky places that are asking to go wrong.

A good routine has a lot it needs to provide.  The first thing is balance.  We all need a balance of the different parts of our lives included in our daily and weekly routines.  The things we need to include are:

- Sleep
- Work
- Eating
- Movement - exercise
- Family time
- Relaxation
- Social time
- Personal goals

Recently as I’ve been busy keeping up with eye tests and new glasses for all five children and myself, immunization injections for us all, blood tests for my daughter and I to monitor our iron levels, hospital admissions for myself, dental treatment for us all and visits to the orthodontist for the eldest two children, managing our health insurance, and arranging veterinary care for the pets, it’s become clear that I really need to make sure all the records and papers relating to all this are kept in order so I can keep up with what’s going on.

When visiting a doctor, dentist, specialist, optometrist etc, of course they keep records of the reason for your visit, diagnosis, test results, treatments and so on.  But there are good reasons for also keeping a basic record of these things ourselves.

Over the years we’ve moved house quite a few times, and even within the same area sometimes attended different doctors because the preferred one was not available at the time or didn’t bulk bill.  This means our records can be spread over a number of different places.

It’s usually not until you find yourself filling in a form asking about your medical history that you realize you can’t quite remember exactly what year you had that surgery, or some of the details of it.

It’s worth keeping a medical folder for each family member, including pets.  The things to keep in this folder are:

- optical prescriptions, in date order

- Record of all vaccinations or immunizations and the date given.  This is especially important for your children.

- your own copy of any test results

- X-rays, CT scans etc, or if they don’t fit, a note stating where in the house they are located.  Locate all X-rays in the same place in the house, and separated into folders for family members and clearly labeled with date taken and what they were for.

Testimonials


"I am grateful to Yvette for the changes that she has facilitated in me. I feel that my learning from Yvette will stay with me for the rest of my life, and has brought me to a brighter, positive more confident and happy place in my family and work life."

Anshula Ohri, Toronto,
Canada

"Before I met Yvette I had many opportunities in front of me but I was feeling overwhelmed and I had no confidence in making the decisions.  I was feeling stuck and confusedd.  My career has progressed in a positive direction and I am now functioning better in physical and emotional health.  Thank you Yvette for your help.  This was one of the best decisions I have ever made."

 

Sarah Grudzien,
Melbourne, Australia

"The coaching with Yvette was very beneficial. In just a few weeks I had achieved so much. I am so thankful. I found Yvette to be very patient, professional and reassuring. I would definately recommend NLP now that I have seen the difference it has made to my life. I have left the past in the past and I am happier within myself."

Gemma,
Western Australia

"Your belief in me gave me the confidence to work out ways of improvement, knowing how important it is that these answers be found by me within me to enable them to be so powerful and successful. I loved the CD you sent as your voice is so easy to listen to and reassuring as it imparts great words of wisdom and strengthens the concepts taught within your life coaching sessions. These life skills are amazing!"

Lynne from Lowood,
Queensland, Australia

"I consider myself very fortunate having chosen Yvette for coaching.  It has turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made. I started from a place where I was stuck in procrastination and everything seemed so overwhelming that I didn't really know where to start.  I love the freedom and empowerment I now feel.  Yvette's methods are personalised and very effective.  I have looked forward to every coaching sesssion."

Heather
Melbourne, Australia

"Yvette is a great coach who inspires you to overcome the obstacles that she finds in working with you.  She is highly motivated and has worked hard to increase her knowledge in many areas that in turn help her clients.  Yvette draws on her own real life experience adn studies to help those of us who have to juggle many responsibilities and mangage the conflicts in thinking that come from that.  I am looking forward to working with Yvette again in the near future"

Liz Jarvis, CSI Business Solutions, 
NSW, Australia

"Through my coaching experience with Yvette I was able to shift my awareness onto my value system as opposed to staring at my circumstances each day and feeling pulled in a hole.  It's powerful because I want meaning, I want to live up to my values and what's right and good for me!  So, I truly learned the value of letting go and receiving the abundance of knowledge for every situation that gives life, love and meaning to who I am and what I can do, with this fearless self awareness."

Keri, 
New York, USA

"Yvette.  Many thanks for a wonderful experience... Our sessions were productive, really interesting adn I so looked forward to them each week with anticipation of what I can learn about myself and my behaviours.  Every session seemed to flow right on topic of what was present in my relaity at the time and your effortless guiding of my strategies never ceased to amaze me.  I highly recommend you as a life coach and thank you again for the experience."

M Shears, 
Melbourne, Australia

"I really questioned my future career ambitions and thanks to Yvette I changed direction from something I felt I had to do, to something I know I will love to do.  I was stuck on this topic for quite some time and Yvette really helped me shed light on this.  I changed the MBA I signed up for and feel excited about my careeer and all the opportunities in the future."

Sabine Mascarenhas, 
Wollongong, Australia