11 Essential Stationery Items Everyone Needs

Ever found the perfect gift for your best friend?

You know it’s something she’ll love. It cost less than you expected. And you bought it before her birthday.

You jump for joy. And decide to wrap it later.

Later translates into ten minutes before you’re heading out to meet her for dinner. You grab some wrapping paper. But can’t find any cellotape. Of course, cellotape is on your ‘someday’ shopping list. You’ve been meaning to buy some. Your good feelings about the perfect present give way to frustration at your wrapping challenges.

That’s just one scenario that won’t repeat itself once you’ve collated an organised assortment of stationery.

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Here’s eleven items that will fend off future fiascos.

 

1.    Cellotape

Of course, this one’s obvious. From gift-wrapping to mending torn sheets of paper. When you need cellotape, there’s honestly no alternative. I like this tape from Paperchase. Stick to the real deal. I’ve found with cheap versions, it’s hard to find the free edge and it tears off at an awkward angle. I also like this scotch magic tape. It’s easy to peel off, if you’re not a pro gift-wrapper! Whatever your choose, make life easy for yourself and get a tape dispenser too.

 

2.    Scissors

Use this to cut up pieces of sellotape, paper or card. Tearing and teeth are subpar alternatives that I’ve tried and tested on several occasions. The results aren’t pretty. Save your teeth and buy a pair of scissors.

 

3.    Stapler

If you’ve ever dropped a bundle of sheets that aren’t page-marked, you’ll understand how important a stapler can be. Whenever I have a document to read that is more than two pages long, I prefer to read it on paper rather than a screen. Having a stapler to hand makes easy work of keeping the sheets together.

 

4.    Staples

As soon as you’ve bought a stapler, buy a supply of staples too. Getting caught out by an empty stapler is not fun or funny. There’s usually a few included with a new stapler, however you can almost guarantee that just when you really need to use the stapler, there’ll be no staples left. Be prepared. Stock up.

 

5.    Paper clips

There are some paper items that you’ll want to group together, but without the damage or permanence of using staples. This is where paper clips come into their own. Back in the day, silver/grey oval paper clips were pretty much the standard. Nowadays, paper clips come in all shapes, sizes and colours. Have a look in Paperchase and Etsy and be inspired by just about every colour in the rainbow.

 

6.    Tape measure/Ruler

Trying to guess what 35cm looks isn’t easy, especially when you need real precision. A ruler takes away the guesswork. Online shopping has made it mandatory to have a tape measure to measure up your wardrobe, ‘armpit to armpit’ and ‘shoulder to hem’ (any eBay fans out there, hi!). No longer confined to a dressmaker’s sewing kit, tape measures can fill in for a ruler too.

 

7.    Pens

Everyone has a favourite; fine nib, fountain, just the right flow rate of ink. I find my handwriting changes with different pens. To keep your writing legible and consistent when writing cards, handwritten notes and gift tags, keep a duplicate of your favourite pen in the same place as the rest of your writing supplies.

 

8.    Envelopes (conqueror)

Of late, I’ve observed that when I’m required to return a completed form, less and less frequently am I being supplied with a return envelope. Having a home supply is handy and can also be economical if you buy in bulk. Years ago I bought these envelopes and years later they are still going strong. I’ll confess, I bought loads, buying in bulk made the price a bargain and it isn’t something I’ve thought about ever since.

 

9.    Postage Stamps

When posting a letter or package, having stamps on hand means you can post it write away. I can’t guarantee that there’ll be postbox near you, but having your letter ready to post is one less thing to contend with.

 

10. Thank you cards

I started cultivating the habit of writing thank you cards a while ago. It wasn’t a habit that stuck until I stumbled upon these cards at Smythson. They are simply designed, the paper is decadent and the packaging is a delight. The price is a steal. And showing gratitude is a good thing.

 

11. Letter Opener

So there was this time where I just couldn’t grow my nails, they seemed to grow at a snail’s pace. I scoured the web for tips and tricks to speed up the their growth. I read article after article. Until I came across one that suggested things to stop doing. That got me interested. One of the tips was to stop mistreating my nails and hands in general. Fingers are not for opening letters, letter openers are. And so I bought one and have used it ever since. My nails grew by the way, but I do have Sally Hansen to thank for that too.

 

Bonus No. 12. Stationery Box

Now that you’ve compiled your essentials. Put them in a hand place so you can always find them. A dedicated drawer, a shelf or stationery box will keep them all organised and ready for use at the drop of a hat.

 

Charles Dickens’ was a fan of stationery. I’ve turned one of his quotes into a downloadable quote. Once you’ve downloaded it, you can print and frame it for your workspace or pop it in your planner.

 

Car Prep: 10 Tips For Everyday Driving

Road trip.

 

When I hear those two words, my first thoughts are ‘must get the car ready’. Time to fill up on petrol. Pump up the tyres. And stock up on snacks. Snacks, mustn’t forget the snacks.

 

But you know what?

 

I hardly ever drive on long road trips. And when I do, there’s usually enough time to get my ducks in a row.

 

However, I do use my car every week, almost everyday. But this is where I’ve been caught out. I once drove to work wearing my slippers, only I didn’t realise until I was getting out of the car.

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It was one of those manic Monday situations.

Excessive alarm-snoozing. Mad dash out of the house.

Jumped in the car. And drove to work on maximum adrenaline.

 

So I couldn’t help but laugh out loud when I looked down and noticed my inappropriate footwear. Fortunatley, I had a spare pair of shoes in the car. That was pure coincidence. Or good fortune. It wasn’t the result of considered planning.

 

Ever since then I’ve realised a little dose of advance car planning can really help with daily driving. Not only for one-off road trips.

 

Want to know what’s worked?

 

Read on to discover ten tips that will infuse more calm into your car journeys.

 

1.    Park Facing Your Direction of Exit

Whenever you’re parking your car, make sure the car is facing the direction you’ll exit. If that means reversing into a parking spot, do it. It’s easy to think ‘nah, I can reverse out when I’m leaving’, but you never know. Another driver could block your path or you end up in a rush and that extra manouvere slows you down. You’ll thank your organised self for being able to hop in the driving seat and zoom off.

 

2.    The Tank Is Always Half-full

Make a point of keeping your petrol tank topped up. There’s nothing as annoying as a flashing empty petrol tank warning light on your dashboard when you start the engine and have precisely zero minutes to fill up en route to an urgent appointment. Never let the petrol-meter needle fall below the half-way mark.

 

3.    Tissues

This one probably needs no explanation. Blow your nose, blow your kids’ nose, wipe your hands, wipe a spill. Like I said. No explanation needed. Stock up and keep stocked up.

 

4.    Cloth(s)

There will be times where tissues won’t work – smears, fluff, not enough tissues for the job. Then you can turn to a cloth discretely stored out of the way in the glove compartment or under the car seats.. Choose something that is lint-free and highly absorbent. Then it’s multi-purpose. Success.

 

5.    Food

Snacks, kids and car journeys. Those words make up a complete sentence. However, you don’t need little ones to justify keeping edibles on hand in your car. Sometimes, hunger rapidly deteriorates to hanger. Don’t go there. A well-timed snack can be essential. Especially when you’re stuck in a car. Long journeys and unexpected traffic delays may mean you miss a meal. Keep hunger at bay with a quick eat. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

 

6.    Water Bottle

Food requires drink. So stock up on water. Use a BPA-free bottle, like this one by Chilly (I’ve got my eye on this one). Go for a BPA-free bottle, that ensures no leaching of nasty chemicals over time. A full water bottle also means you can wash your hands, top up your car radiator or screenwash and even eradicate traces of bird poo on the car roof, if that happens.

 

7.    Map

Sat-Nav devices and google map apps are a great addition to modern life, however devices fail, batteries die and you’ll end up lost, unless you have a back up solution. When it comes to finding your way, a map is essential. They’re compact enough to slip into any available space in your car. You may not use it for ages, but you’ll be glad you had one if  technology ever lets you down.

 

8.    Phone charger

Stay one step ahead of technology and keep a spare phone charger in your car. However, I will admit, I was once caught out. The connector from my phone charger to cigarette lighter wouldn’t work and needed a mechanic to fix it. However, that’s unsual. And it has’t happened again. So a spare charger is a must-have.

 

9.    Sunglasses

Change in seasons is guaranteed, however I am yet to receive a memo or text message stating exactly when summer will start. This usually means that one day, I’ll be happily driving along, and then boom, a blast of sunshine transforms me into Little Miss Squinty Eye as I try to navigate traffic with bright sunlight hampering my view. I am now a veritable Little Miss Prepared as I keep a second pair of sunglasses in the car and whip them out whenever I meet unexpected rays.

 

10. Footwear

A spare pair of shoes saved my working day once and I’ll happily experience that again. There’s always room for a thin pair of flats in your car boot or even under one of the car seats. Have you been out and about wearing heels, that hurt like crazy? Hed back to your car and you can swap them for your comfy flats.

 

Here’s a handy free printable PDF sheet to help you brainstorm ideas to make your car preparation complete. The free printable planner pages complement the full range of printable planners available in my shop.

 

Have I missed any useful driving habits or car contents? Let me know in the comments below. Here’s to happy driving.

One & Done: A New Approach To New Year's Resolutions

So the traditional approach as a new year approaches has been to sit down and write out a list of goals for the year. Finding the balance between what you want and the commitment to doing your bit can be tricky. Deciding how many goals to set, which areas of life to focus on and what changes I’ll make has meant that some years my new year’s resolution list was about as long as my arm. And unless I was going to tattoo that list on my arm, it was unlikely that at any one time I’d be able to recall all my goals, never mind start achieving them. Then there were the years when I made shorter lists only to feel a bit disappointed that I hadn’t written a longer one when lots of ‘non-list’ things came to fruition.

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So this year I’ve decided to use the word for the year approach, I forget where I first learnt about it, but it’s pretty well known now as far as I can tell.

 

The idea is you choose a word that guides your desires, goals and life in general, for the coming year. This affords some flexibility with regards to resolutions, so at any one point it’s easy to think is this choice, decision or action in sync with my life for this year, based on that word.

 

There are numerous approaches to choosing a word, there are no hard and fast rules really. Choose a word that resonates with you, choose a bunch of words and journal about them and see which ones feel like a good fit. Some points to to consider in this process are the various areas of your life and the different roles you play.

 

Once you’ve narrowed down your search, you can look up synonyms of that word and see if those are a better fit.

 

And voila, there you have it, a succint way to set your resolution for the year, without writing out a long list that may never see the light of day until the end of the year.

           

My word for last year was flourish and looking back on the year, I can definitely see lots of flourishing. This year, without spending too much time choosing a word, honestly it feels as if the word chose me…it’s ‘finish’. I started a lot of new endeavours last year and made good progress, however a lot of last years projects and even older ones are ready for completion and closure. So finish feels like a very apt word to guide me this year.

 

Have you chosen a word for the year or has a word chosen you? Let me know in the comments below.

Delight in Decluttering With These 10 Steps

Clearing out junk and unwanted stuff is something I find easy. Maybe because I've been doing it for such a long time. There's been less to declutter over time, but I still need to do it so I don't get overwhelmed with stuff. To ensure your decluttering gets off to a successful start, I've listed some helpful tips below.

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1.  Do have a plan

Decluttering has enjoyed a bit of a renaissance thanks to the KonMari Method. So it is no surprise that many people have jumped on the decluttering bandwagon. However, an impromptu decision to declutter your belongings may not necessarily be the wisest approach. You are more likely to make rash decisions, and probably part with things you’ll later regret. There are significant advantages to planning your decluttering session amongst them ensuring you have enough time, energy and resources to keep you going.

2.  Don’t do it all in one day

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither does all your decluttering need to be done in a day. Breaking up the decluttering process by room, type of possession or available time or the availability of a buddy or accountability partner are all strategies that will support you.

 3.  Don’t do it alone

There is no need for decluttering to be a solo activity, if that floats your boat then by all means go for it. However, decluttering can be a draining process as we’re usually handling physical items as well as the emotions tied to them. It can quickly become an exhausting process if you’re making decision after decision and awakening memories, which may be good, bad or ugly. So enlist the help of a friend, a family member, a coach, or even a good podcast or music playlist to keep you company and spur you on.

4.  Don’t buy organising aides/storage solutions beforehand

It is so tempting to stock up on folders, boxes, baskets and the like, ready for our new streamlined stock of possessions in advance of decluttering. This is not the best way forward, as all those aforementioned organising aides could easily contribute to clutter when you realise they no longer fit the bill after your decluttering spree. Trim your things and then decide the storage and display items you need. You may find you don’t need any extra solutions at all.

5.  Don’t get discouraged

If it’s been a while since you had a good declutter and clean out, you may feel the task is too big and balk at the idea of getting started. Please don’t be discouraged. I find it easier to sort through books or clothes or a particular room in one session, that way I can see I’m making progress, but I also have time and energy for other activities. Just a little bit of decluttering here and there will get you to your goal, so there’s no need to do everything in one fell swoop. However, you may find that once you get started you’re energised to do a lot more than you originally thought you would!

6.  Do be realistic

It’s easy to think that decluttering means you have to end up with fewer items than you started with or you haven’t decluttered properly. That isn’t necessarily so, knowing what you own and why you do is a more important goal, in my opinion anyway. If you’re finding it hard to decide whether to keep an item or let it go, then sealing the item in a box for a defined period of time, say 6 months and then setting a reminder to look through the box may give you greater clarity as to whether you’ll keep the item or choose to part with it. Once you’ve let it go it’s harder to get it back, than if it were just stored in your garage or attic!

7.  Do put things back

Some advocate for a pull-everything-out-of-the-cupboard approach, others recommend a section by section approach. Whichever way you choose to go through your possessions, the end result is to put those items back! It’s no good leaving them in piles on the floor, or stuffing them to the back of your cupboards. Purposefully returning the items ensures you have a home for each one and that you have enough space to accommodate them all.

8.  Don’t declutter other people’s belongings

In our desire to declutter our own stuff, it’s easy enough to think including other people’s things is a good idea. It isn’t. You’ll know if the people in your life would like that sort of thing, but on the whole it’s better if you stick to decluttering your own items and refrain from extending your reach to other peoples’ belongings. A good way to suggest your loved ones declutter is to ask them to buddy up with you.

9.  Do set up maintenance

You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘nature abhors a vacuum’ a hundred times and I’ll repeat it again; natures does abhor a vacuum. The space you create once you’ve decluttered can become the metaphorical vacuum that will have you accumulating things in no time if you haven’t set up systems to prevent clutter building up again. Simple rules such as ‘one in, one out’ can be used to buy clothes, shoes and handbags. Or having ‘a pair and a spare’ will prevent you from having seventeen sets of bed linen! 

10.  Do declutter then organise

Once you’ve finished clearing out all those unwanted and un-needed items, it’s time to organise what you have. You may want to re-arrange items so that the things you use regularly are all in one place, you may decide to redecorate which can open up new storage options. The key is to organise your remaining possessions so you can fully enjoy your pared down possessions.

 Good luck!

Once you’ve had a good clear out, you can make some money by selling your stuff on eBay, it’s really quick to get set up. I’ve got a short course that walks you through the steps with some tips I’ve gleaned from over 10 years of eBay experience. Head over here to get started.

Be A Frockstar! 7 Reasons Why Dresses Are The Ultimate Clothing Item

So how many times have you been caught out deciding what to wear? Usually in the morning right?! Standing in front of open wardrobe doors staring at the contents and getting stuck on what to wear is a very familiar situation for me. I repeatedly promised myself I’d get organised and plan my outfits ahead of time and only recently started using an outfit planner. And it has been a game changer. However, what has been an even bigger help in choosing my daily outfits has been limiting my choices to dresses. Becoming a frockstar has so many benefits and I’ve listed them below.

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1.  All In One

It doesn’t matter whether the day’s dress code is professional or casual, my wardrobe has a dress for just about every occasion. And choosing which one to wear is a simpler process because it’s just a single item; a dress. No need to worry about a coordinating skirt, shirt or blouse. No thoughts of mixing and matching colours or prints. It’s all done and dusted when you choose a dress for the day. Pick one and you’re done. If your wardrobe is seriously lacking in the dress department, head over here to be inspired before you head out to the shops.

2.  So Many Styles

There’s an abundance of different styles of dresses to choose from that flatter just about every body shape, my favourites are fit and flare, peplum and maxi dresses. It takes a little experimentation and a few trying-on sessions to figure out what suits you, but eventually you’ll work it out and then it’s easy peasy to build up your wardrobe. Besides trying on a whole load of dresses, other ways to work out what suits you is to pick a celebrity with a similar figure to yours and search online for images of what they wear and see what takes your fancy. You could also use the same approach with fashion bloggers. And there are the more traditional options of booking a session with an in-store personal shopper or enlisting the services of a personal stylist.

3.  Lots Of Lengths

Whatever the length of dress that you prefer, it’s out there. I am big fan of maxi dresses in the summer, but midi dresses work best for my day job. From mini to maxi, from knee to ankle, there is a length that flatters every lady out there. And there’s no need to stick to just one length, mix it up and fill your wardrobe with them all.

4.  Colour And Print

Dresses come with built-in colour and print detail. So you can choose from single colours, colour blocking or a pretty print. All the mixing and pairing up of colours and patterns has been incorporated in the design of the dress, making your choice that much easier.

5.  Every Occasion

On days when I go straight from work to a social event, it’s so much easier to make that transition when I am wearing a dress. I can change accessories, outerwear or shoes for a significant change to my look. And dresses meet the dress code for more social settings rather than a pair of trousers.

6.  Make Your Own

One of the many benefits of being organised is that it frees up time for you to do more than the necessary daily duties and activities. I’ve spent some of my free time at my sewing machine. One of the very first items I made when I started learning to sew was a dress (and I still have it, even though the zip is a little suspect and the fit is not exactly spot on). It is such a great feeling to see a dress you like, but know you can make it yourself in the fabric of your choice and you can make any alterations too. Sew Over It has a superb range of fabrics as well as patterns, in-person and online classes. So far, I have my eye on the Eve, Emma and Alex dresses.

7.  Oh So Feminine

And last but not least, dresses are the ultimate feminine piece of clothing, hands down. On days when you just want to be a fair lady, a dress most definitely fits the bill. Yes, I do agree a skirt would work too, but see point number one above.

 

So what are you waiting for? Come and join the frockstar revolution. Planning your outfits (ahem…dresses) in advance will save you precious time in the mornings!

40 Inspiring Quotes To Start Planning And Organising Your Life

I love a good quote, amongst them I can usually find just the right dose of wisdom to give me a boost particularly when it comes to planning, organising and then getting things done. Here is a selection to keep you going!

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1.    “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” – Lao Tzu

 

2.    “Fail to plan, plan to fail” – Winston Churchill

 

3.    “Organise your life around your dreams, and watch them come true”- Unknown

 

4.    “A place for everything, and everything in its place” – Mrs Beeton

 

5.    “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful” – William Morris

 

6.    “Organising is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up” - A. A. Milne

 

7.    “Once you have a clear idea of your priorities – that is your values, goals and high leverage activities, organize around them” – Stephen Covey

 

8.    “Stuff has gotten a lot cheaper, but our attitudes towards it haven’t changed correspondingly – we overvalue stuff” – Paul Graham

 

9.    “How many things are there which I do not want” – Socrates

 

10. “Happiness is a place between too little and too much” – Finnish Proverb

 

11. “Clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions” – Unknown

 

12. “Out of clutter find simplicity” - Albert Einstein

 

13. “The more things you own the more they own you” – Unknown

 

14. “If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things” - Albert Einstein

 

15. “The most important things in life aren’t things. - Anthony J. D’Angelo

 

16. “Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough” – Unknown

 

17. “For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned” - Benjamin Franklin

 

18. “You will never be completely ready. Start from wherever you are” - C.J. Hayden

 

19. “Good order is the foundation of all things” - Edmund Burke

 

20. “Perfection is highly overrated. Real learning and growth come with imperfection” - Felicia Watlington

 

21. “Our life is frittered away by detail . . . simplify, simplify” - Henry David Thoreau

 

22. “One may walk over the highest mountain one step at a time” - John Wanamaker

 

23. “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” - Leonardo DaVinci

 

24. “There’s always room for improvement, you know – it’s the biggest room in the house” - Louise Heath Leber

 

25. “Gentlemen, I do one thing at a time.  I do it very well.  And then I move on” - Major Charles Emerson Winchester III

 

26. “Perfection is the death of possibilities” Mary Kay Hamm

 

27. “I’m careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence I can strive for; perfection is God’s business” - Michael J. Fox

 

28. “Less is more” - Mies Van Der Rohe

 

29. “If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it” - Olin Miller

 

30. “You can have it all. You can’t just have it all at once” - Oprah Winfrey

 

31. “Joy is not in things; it is in us” - Richard Wagner

 

32. “Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week” - Spanish Proverb

 

33. “The best way to get something done is to begin” - Author Unknown

 

34. “The maxim ‘Nothing but perfection’ may be spelled ‘Paralysis” - Winston Churchill

 

35. “There is no try. There is only do, or do not” – Yoda

 

36. "A goal without a plan is just a wish” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

 

37. “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” – Benjamin Franklin

 

38. “Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming after all is a form of planning’ – Gloria Steinem

 

39. “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first hour sharpening the axe” – Abraham Lincoln

 

40. “Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes, but no plans” - Peter F. Drucker

 

Quote No. 17 is my current favourite quote. Which one is yours?

Want A Squeaky Clean Home? Try This Tripod Of Success

Most blogs about getting organised are mostly about home organisation; kitchen closets, wardrobe rehab, laundry schedules and the like. That’s not my sole intention here. I want to cover topics about being organised that pertain to all aspects of life. I believe it’s a skill that applies to all that we do and all that we are. Of course, you’ll have to take my word for it for now, but please do stick around and you’ll be able to judge for yourself. For now, I figured I’d pen a ‘homey’ article that shares my viewpoint. So let’s get stuck into my take on cleaning and the home front.

 

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1.    Aim for neat and tidy over clean.

Cleaning is easy, I said easy, not enjoyable! Some people like cleaning, others just get it done and others get a cleaner. The real key to a clean home is keeping it neat and tidy, if things are arranged well and there’s no clutter and everything or most things are in their place, then a room will look clean. Sure, there might be a few dusty surfaces, the floor might not be spotless, but the overall impression is one of cleanliness. Now, keeping a room or home neat and tidy requires good habits that are repeated daily or several times a day. You’ve got to start with a well designed and decorated room, that’s down to personal preference. Then you need to develop the habit of returning things to their rightful places. And then acting right away when spills, splashes and stains happen, they inevitably will. If you really take those points to heart and act on them, then your home will take on a neat and tidy appearance which will significantly contribute to it looking much cleaner than before. And when it comes to cleaning time, it becomes a pretty speedy affair because you won’t need to manoeuvre around a whole load of misplaced junk or need to put umpteen things away.

 

2.    Clean the kitchen daily.

Now, my rationale for cleaning the kitchen daily is that hygiene is really essential here. Who wants to prep a meal in or eat food from a grubby kitchen? Nope, none of us. So you can see there’s an inherent desire to keep the kitchen clean, even if cleaning is not your thing, that desire is in you and it needs to be harnessed! Whether you clean up a little as you go along throughout the day or do an end of the day clean, it must be done. In the words of Nike, just do it. There really isn’t any other option. If spontaneous visits from friends and family make you wish you could spontaneously combust because of piles of dirty dishes, cluttered counter tops and an unwelcome whiff from an overflowing bin in your kitchen, then you need to start cultivating a ‘clean the kitchen everyday’ habit. Stat.

 

3.    Never clean at the weekend.

Our weeks are full of lots of activities, be it running a business, going out to work, staying at home or looking after children. Now, I don’t know many people who look forward to household chores at the weekend. I don’t. Just saying the word chores, makes my eyes droop! I can see how we inevitably end up leaving housework until the weekend, but it doesn’t have to be that way. No matter how busy your week is, I am positive that you could find time during the week to get the household duties fulfilled. How about food shopping on a thursday night or having it delivered? If you don’t have a cleaner, how about picking one night of the week to clean and do laundry. It just requires us to really look at our weekday schedules and get creative. The plus side is that you’ll have a weekend free to do things you actually enjoy, because I haven’t yet met a single person who says they like household chores and errands. Of course, it will take practice to make this new routine stick, but hey every journey starts with a single step. And when that journey is heading towards more free time at the weekend, you can definitely count me in!

10 Reasons To Get Organised

We’ve discussed using your own personal ‘why’ as a practical approach to getting organised. However, I will admit, I find it helpful to use prompts or templates to help we work out where I’m headed when the opening question is a general one and that applies to getting organised too.

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In the list below, I discuss some of the common reasons for wanting to get organised. And you can use these to springboard into working out your reason or reasons. So without further ado, let’s look at some reasons for getting organised and see whether they resonate with you.

 

1.    Save Time

It used to be a daily occurrence where I’d make a mad dash out of the house running late yet again because I had 'nothing to wear' in the morning. Thankfully those days are over and I’ll spill my secrets in another post, but today, I share this to illustrate just one way that getting organised has helped me save time. It took time (and money and effort!) to create a closet I loved (from choosing colours and style to storage and outfit planning), but I am now reaping the rewards of the upfront work every.single.day. There’s no more indecision or delays to my morning routine, which frees up a few minutes every morning that I can then use for something else. What things use up a lot of your time in your life, especially things you do everyday or frequently? A little bit of prior planning or using a system or template could save you time on a regular basis.

 

2.    Increase Energy

We only have so much energy each day and it is rapidly depleted when our days are haphazard. It becomes a drain when we constantly spend our days looking for misplaced items that we haven’t given a consistent home or when we’re juggling an overloaded to do list or don’t eat well because we didn’t give our meals much thought. Getting organised, for example, by planning our outfits and preparing our meals in advance frees us up to use our energy for other things.

 

3.    Save Money

I remember one year where I received parking ticket after parking ticket, it almost became a monthly expense! I soon realised that the main reason I was getting caught short was because I never had the right amount of loose change to pay for parking. So on a free afternoon from work, I headed to the bank and got coin bag after coin bag of suitable change. I decanted most of it into the car and I am pleased to say I never had a problem paying for parking again (now I can pay using my phone, even better!).  That’s just one instance where being organised saved me money, there are loads more. Being organised enough to make lunch to take to work can cut expenses. Paying our bills promptly avoids late fees, interest and other charges.

 

4.    Improve Health

Organising an exercise schedule, our workout clothes and equipment means we are more likely to stick with it. And we all know regular exercise is great for our bodies. In addition organising nutritious meals and snacks benefits our health too.

 

5.    Reduce Stress

A definition of stress that has stuck with me is: how we feel when what is asked of us is greater than what we can give. It’s pretty much commonplace in modern living, but we can reduce it to a minimum. Getting organised enables us to systematise things that can be systematised (it doesn’t work for everything), which frees up our energy to handle things that crop up unexpectedly. When we take time to look ahead we can identify situations or events or tasks that we don’t want to handle. Then we can delegate these to others, refuse them or schedule them for a time when we can handle them.

 

6.    Sleep Better

Before I made serious headway with getting organised, I would frequently lie in bed at night with this feeling that I had forgotten something, but couldn’t quite remember what! I must admit, I was so zonked that I didn’t lay there awake for very long! Once I started making to do lists and setting up reminders, things improved and I could sleep easy in the knowledge that I had a handle on things. What we eat also affects our sleep, so if we plan and stick with eating healthy meals, this too will improve our sleep quality.

 

7.    Achieve More

When we get organised, we can achieve so much more. Several years ago, there would have been no way I could have started a blog with the way I was living. Now that I have set up simple systems that suit my lifestyle I have freed up a tremendous amount of time and energy. And this has directly enabled me to achieve more in almost every area of my life.

 

8.    Feel Accomplished

I love the feeling that comes with having a plan. It doesn’t mean that everything goes according to the letter of the plan, but having a plan gives me peace of mind. And then working that plan with any changes that arise, gives me a feeling of accomplishment. When I reflect on my week and think about all that has happened, and look at all the items I have crossed off my to do list, I feel accomplished. That feeling can be magnified when we then look at the bigger picture of what we are working towards in life.

 

9.    Raised Standards

Once you’re on the road to getting organised, you’ll find your personal standards are raised. You’ll develop better habits, think clearer thoughts and feel more at peace. And that will impact every area of your life. It may not be an obvious reason to get organised, but trust me on this one, it's true.

 

10.   Be Spontaneous

When I first started out on this journey to get organised, I distinctly remember thinking, gee life is about to get boring, having everything planned out and set by a schedule is so restrictive. I was so very wrong! Having the big areas of our life planned out frees up gaps in our life for us to be spontaneous. We're able to seize opportunities when they arise, partly because our life is in order and partly because we know that we will use the same skills to organise that new opportunity that we have been using to organise our everyday lives.

 

And there you have it, ten good reasons to start organising your life. Don’t stop at just organising your wardrobe or your home. Keep going and organise it all, life afterwards is so much more rewarding.

 

 

Use This Fresh Approach To Get Organised

There’s a ton of info in books, blogs and beyond about the best way to get organised. Whether your aim is to clear out your kitchen cupboards or achieve inbox zen, there’s a guide to help you out.

Ten-reasons-to-get-organised.jpg

However, the usual approach is to declutter, decide what you’ll keep, set up a system or two and you’re done. I propose a different approach. Start with the end in mind. Okay so that’s not particularly ground-breaking! Stick with me, there’s more. It doesn’t matter where you are in life, be it studying, climbing a career ladder, running a business, or juggling jobs and family life, it all runs more smoothly when we are organised. The real key to getting and staying organised is to first ask what are the benefits, what are the benefits for you. What’s your why?

'What's your why?'

There’s this unspoken assumption that it’s a good thing to be organised. And yes, of course it is, but why? That’s the real question to ask and you gotta make it personal. This becomes your reference point as you start taking steps towards getting organised. You’ll know when things are working because you’ll start experiencing those benefits.

Would you like a home that’s more homely? Want to eat healthier meals? Want to stop running late; all day, everyday? Is it time to start arriving on time or even turn up early? Would you like to inspire and encourage your family or friends? Would you like to infuse more feelings of calm into your everyday? Or would you like to get so organised you free up enough time to be able to spend a whole day at the weekend doing whatever you fancy? Perhaps you’re an accomplishment addict and getting organised fuels your love of to do lists and timetables and with each item crossed off you get a mini adrenaline high; I am raising my hand to a little bit of all of the above. How about you?

Knowing your reason why and keeping it to hand is the real key to getting organised and only then will getting organised expand beyond printing pretty labels for the contents of your pantry (hey, I like pretty labels, but there’s a time and place for everything).

Once you’ve worked out your why and written it down, keep it to hand and review it regularly because it may well need updating as you make progress on this journey to being organised.