Organization

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Free Yourself from Mental and Physical Clutter.

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iStock 000024857327XSmallWhenever you get stuck on something or feel you’d like to be making more progress on it and you’re not sure what is holding you back, it’s a good idea to get back in touch with the reason you wanted the thing in the first place, the purpose of it, what it will mean to you, what it will give you.

When we lose touch with our purpose, we run the risk of carrying on pursuing things that no longer have the meaning they once held for us, doing things for the wrong reasons, achieving an outcome but missing the mark of what it was designed to do.  This means time and effort wasted.

reduced broom sweeping cerealThis clutter and mess thing is like the chicken and the egg.  The external - our environment, is affected by what is going on internally - how we feel about ourselves, and is a reflection of it.  At the same time, our external environment influences how we are feeling on the inside.

When we feel lost, unmotivated, indecisive, down on ourselves and so on, this is often reflected in our environment, with things getting dirty, messy, disorganized and yuck.

It might start with a bit of rubbish in the car and a few papers laying around, laundry piling up, skipping exercise, and before you know it you’re being nominated for Hoarders and you have TV cameras documenting the state you’ve gotten into, (Ok, hopefully not that bad, if you do something about it now).

On the inside it starts with a decision.  

The decision to put off some task like the dishes, putting something away or attending to some paperwork will have been preceded by a feeling.  So where did the feeling come from?  

Digital CalendarMy number one tip, first step towards being organized is to be running a diary or calendar and using it effectively. Hopefully you already have a diary or calendar running for 2012.

I've talked about it before, and I'll talk about it again, because my own calendar system is always evolving and cool new tools are always emerging.

Using a calendar is not just about keeping track of commitments you have made. It's one very important tool for driving your own life and keeping it on the path towards what matters to you. Be brave and fill up your calendar with fun things, necessary things, and things which will be unfamiliar to you but which you know will be good for you and good for the greater good. Your calendar can be a tool for stretching yourself. As we give ourselves opportunities to learn and grow, we are able to make a better contribution to our world. Yes, that's a bit deep, but it's good to look at the big picture "why" stuff as well as the fine detail "what and how" stuff. You don't just want to know what you're doing, you need to know why you're doing it.

To have your calendar or diary working for you effectively, you need to:-

Cluttered WardrobeSomething which commonly comes up for people struggling with clutter is the idea of letting go.  Releasing the physical stuff from our home and our life has all sorts of emotional meaning attached to it, and means also releasing a lot of emotional clutter from our mind.

That’s got to be a good thing, right?  If we know it will be good for us to let go of the emotional clutter associated with the physical stuff, why are we so reluctant to do it?  What’s holding us back?  If we understand intellectually that getting rid of physical stuff will free us up emotionally, why do we experience such resistance?

Home OrganizationMost of us feel more comfortable, more confident and more at ease when our home is organized.  Home organization can give us great pleasure and satisfaction when we manage to achieve it, and the lack of it can be a source of much stress and anxiety.  Living in a home which is organized gives us the freedom to give better quality attention to other areas of our life, such as work, family, hobbies, community, health and so on, creating better balance.    Home organization is important to many people, and is something I’ve always been interested in and enjoy writing about.


The basics of achieving organization in our home are time management, routines, systems and decision making.  Running a home in an organized way is something which is a continuous activity, can be learned, and gets easier as habits are established.

Organized Cutlery DrawerA basic concept around which organizing works, is that items are grouped together with like items.  This is pretty basic, and applies to home organizing or any other kind of organizing, but it’s easy to forget this simple thing and end up with various places where an item, or more of those items, might be.  Home organization begins with having a place for everything.  Once you have that done, then everything can be in its place.

Grouping items can be done in stages, beginning with getting things into the correct room, for example personal items belonging to each family member in his or her bedroom, anything to do with food or cooking or eating in the kitchen and so on.

Beyond that, we are narrowing down to cupboards, closets, cabinets, shelves, baskets, drawers etc.

Piles of PaperworkAfter a long bout of being unwell some time ago, I one day felt compelled to dig out and organize my desk, as I must so often do, and catch up with my filing so that I could more easily get on with my work.  Feeling inspired is one thing, but fortunately I know how to organize a year’s worth of paperwork, as organizing is my thing.  I jotted down how I did it as I went, so I might inspire or help someone else who has gotten a little (or a lot) out of control with papers piling up too.

My desk can need digging out after only a few days of neglect.  Although I do follow my own system for being organized, the sheer quantity of stuff landing on my desk every day soon piles up if not attended to.  Every day bills, forms, notes from the schools and the kindergarten, kids’ artwork, projects I’m working on and lots of little handwritten notes to myself (or sometimes really long ones) pile up on my desk, mixed up with ballet shoes to have ribbons sewn on them, toys to be fixed, and any random stuff for mummy to deal with – my desk is one big in tray and the organizing hub of my home.

Woman stringing beans outdoorsMy basic approach to being organized and having my home and my time run as smoothly and easily as possible is having a good, workable daily routine and establishing good habits (and re-establishing them over and over again if necessary).

Our routines are the stuff that holds our life together and keeps it functioning, and prevent the need for floundering around wondering what we should be doing.  Good routines kill self-doubt.

When we manage to get a routine going which is working for us, something really cool that can happen and which should be encouraged and nurtured, is that we somehow, accidentally, start finding pleasure in it.  When we do find pleasure in our daily routines, it makes it easier to reinforce the good habits we have developed, and the pleasure is also valuable in itself, as any genuine healthy pleasure makes us more mentally healthy and resilient.

Lots of loose family snapshot photographsDoes the idea of having all your family photos organized seem like an impossible dream that might take a lifetime to achieve, or would require hiring a team of experts for a month?

I know it can seem like an impossible task, but it can be done.  I’m not saying it will ever be finished, as you’ll always be adding new photos, but you can get all your old ones sorted out so that you can enjoy them more and have them stop bugging you.

I’m not a scrap-booker, and I’m no kind of photo expert.  All I have done is scan all my family photos, and all my parents’ family photos.  That included photos in albums with the sticky backing which were fading fast and old black and whites with peeling corners.  There were about 10 of my parents’ family albums, about 9 albums of my own before digital cameras, lots of packets of unsorted photos and lots of strays.  There were also photos in frames and cardboard folders.

There is more work to be done with labeling, looking for the negatives for ones we know are missing, choosing pictures to print and so on, but the feeling of achievement at getting this done was wonderful.  I did it while I was pregnant with my middle child and was not working, and it took several months of doing several hours per day.  Believe me you get better at it as you go along, but it is tedious.

Kid in a pile of washing

How good would it be if you never had to worry about your washing again?  I hate being hassled by the kids about items which I “should have” washed by now, lack of school socks and so on. 

By the way, in Australia we say “doing the washing” when we are talking about washing our clothes and linen, rather than cleaning laundry.  “The laundry” is the room where the washing machine goes, which is usually a separate room here.

We hopefully already have a rough idea how to do laundry or washing.  Washing laundry is just something we need to keep up with and keep under control.  Like anything, having a system and a routine is the answer.  You find a way that works, and stick with that, not altering it if possible unless a better way presents itself.

Almost MidnightIt’s that quiet week between Christmas and New Years.  What should we be doing?  Should we:-

a) Go shopping in the sales and max out our credit cards if we have not already done so?
b) Clean the house like a maniac because we need to be perfect by the end of the year?
c) Write a massive list of things to do, or maybe a series of massive lists of things to do in order to be perfect for the New Year?
d) Flop down exhausted and eat potato chips and watch DVDs?

That’s right, there is no correct answer, but I do have a few ideas.  Perhaps like me, you do have a few things you’d like to get done this week to start the New Year feeling like you’ve got it together.

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