Thursday, April 29 2010
I was thinking the other day about how much I love what I do for a living. I wake up each morning and am anxious to start my day because I know it means I will be helping others get organized and enjoy their day too. I am so fortunate to have discovered a profession that makes me so happy.
Unfortunately, not everyone is as fortunate. I speak to so many people, through my client base, networking, friends, family and others. So many people are just not happy with what they do for a living. So many feel stuck in a rut with their careers and their life in general.
I can't help thinking the story of Cinderella and how she was forced to scrub floors and take care of her step sisters' home. Even though this obviously was not what she wanted to do, she found a way to make it a more positive experience. She whistled while she worked!
I am a true believer in a positive attitude. It can carry you so much further than you ever thought.
For example, I have a friend who drives a truck and although he is only 50 years old, he will be able to retire in less than 3 years! He tends to think about having to go to work each day and the fact that he has to put up with a boss who he does not get along with and how early he has to get up every day. All negative thoughts.
I reminded him how fortunate he is; that at such an early age he will be able to retire and start a new chapter in his life - to choose what he wants to do with it and get a pension at the same time! How great is that!
My point is, no matter what you do for a living or where you are in life, you can always put a positive spin on a situation. Your circumstances can change if you look for the positive. You don't have to feel so stuck!
If you are stuck in a rut, look at what you can do to make a change. This is true with a job, career, marital situation, etc. This is especially true when it comes to getting organized.
Do you envision eliminating the excess clutter from your home and getting organized once and for all? If so, you might be overwhelmed and don't know where to start. You can simply get help from a professional organizer, even to just get you started. By taking this one step, you will be able to make a positive change in your home and reduce the stress in your life. Then, you can whistle while you work, just like me!
Keep those positive thoughts coming and start whistling!
Have a great week!
Tuesday, April 20 2010
As a busy mom, you are responsible for running the household, caring for your children, being a chauffeur, and perhaps having a full-time career among other responsibilities. Part of those responsibilities includes meal planning.
As a mom, it is our responsibility to make sure that the family is fed and fed well. Providing good nourishing meals is important to us. However, chances are, your schedule is so chaotic that you hardly have any time to prepare dinner let alone find good nourishing meals that everyone will enjoy.
If you run home after a full day to get something on the table before everyone has to run out the door again for evening activities, you probably don’t have time to figure out what to serve. So, what is a busy mom to do? The answer is "planning".
Once a week, you should sit down with your favorite recipes, recipe books or go on line to find recipes. Plan out a variety of quick and nutritious meals you can make and have ready for those times when dinner is squeezed into a tight schedule. Include chicken, turkey, pork, ground meat, beans, pasta and casseroles into your plan.
Take those recipes and create a list of items you will need to buy at the store to prepare them. When preparing these meals, consider making a double batch and freezing one, so you will have a home made meal that is quick and easy to heat up but still provides good nutrition.
Ask your family what their favorite dishes are and include one of them into your plan each week for a pleasant surprise.
To save time, use a crock pot. Prepare the ingredients in the morning and let it cook all day. The meal will be ready to serve when you come home at the end of the day. The low setting is recommended!
Look for recipes and recipe books that have meals you can prepare in under 30 minutes. Schedule enough meals for five or six nights of the week and give yourself one night off. You deserve it!
Then, prepare your menu for the following week. With this system in place, you will be able to put a meal on the table almost every night of the week and not have to think "What should I make for dinner tonight?"
If you need assistance in pulling together your grocery list when planning your meals, why not purchase the "U Can Do It Grocery Shopping Checklist". It's a comprehensive and compact list which will reduce the amount of time it takes to prepare for and go shopping because you just simply check off the items you want to purchase from the already prepared list.
Visit the "ABS Store" right on this website and make it a regular part of your meal planning each week.
In the meantime, have a great week!
Monday, April 12 2010
Sometimes, instead of organizing tips, I find items of interest that I just want to share for the benefit of all. This is one of those times. I found this information very informative and hopefully I can help spread the word so lives can be saved. Please do the same. Pass this onto others...
In case we have an earthquake or you are somewhere else when one hits here are some tips to remember!!
THIS IS AN EXTRACT FROM DOUG COPP'S ARTICLE ON THE 'TRIANGLE OF LIFE'
My name is Doug Copp.. I am the Rescue Chief and Disaster Manager of the American Rescue Team International (ARTI), the world's most experienced rescue team. The information in this article will save lives in an earthquake.
I have crawled inside 875 collapsed buildings, worked with rescue teams from 60 countries, founded rescue teams in several countries, and I am a member of many rescue teams from many countries.
I was the United Nations expert in Disaster Mitigation for two years. I have worked at every major disaster in the world sinc e 1985, except for simultaneous disasters.
The first building I ever crawled inside of was a school in Mexico City during the 1985 earthquake. Every child was under its desk. Every child was crushed to the thickness of their bones. They could have survived by lying down next to their desks in the aisles. It was obscene, unnecessary and I wondered why the children were not in the aisles. I didn't at the time know that the children were told to hide under something. I am amazed that even today schools are still using the "Duck and Cover" instructions- telling the children to squat under their desks with their heads bowed and covered with their hands. This was the technique used in the Mexico City school.
Simply stated, when buildings collapse, the weight of the ceilings falling upon the objects or furniture inside crushes these objects, leaving a space or void next to them. This space is what I call the 'triangle of life'. The larger the object, the stronger, the less i t will compact. The less the object compacts, the larger the void, the greater the probability that the person who is using this void for safety will not be injured. The next time you watch collapsed buildings, on television, count the 'triangles' you see formed. They are everywhere. It is the most common shape, you will see, in a collapsed building.
TIPS FOR EARTHQUAKE SAFETY
1) Almost everyone who simply 'ducks and covers' when buildings collapse ARE CRUSHED TO DEATH. People who get under objects, like desks or cars, are crushed.
2) Cats, dogs and babies often naturally curl up in the fetal position. You should too in an earthquake. It is a natural safety/survival instinct. That position helps you survive in a smaller void. Get next to an object, next to a sofa, next to a large bulky object that will compress slightly but leave a void next to it.
3) Wooden buildings are the safest type of construction to be in during an earthquake. Wood is flexib le and moves with the force of the earthquake. If the wooden building does collapse, large survival voids are created. Also, the wooden building has less concentrated, crushing weight. Brick buildings will break into individual bricks. Bricks will cause many injuries but less squashed bodies than concrete slabs. Concrete slab buildings are the most dangerous during an earthquake.
4) If you are in bed during the night and an earthquake occurs, simply roll off the bed. A safe void will exist around the bed. Hotels can achieve a much greater survival rate in earthquakes, simply by posting a sign on the back of the door of every room telling occupants to lie down on the floor, next to the bottom of the bed during an earthquake.
5) If an earthquake happens and you cannot easily escape by getting out the door or window, then lie down and curl up in the fetal position next to a sofa, or large chair.
6) Almost everyone who gets under a doorway when buildings collapse i s kill ed. How? If you stand under a doorway and the doorjamb falls forward or backward you will be crushed by the ceiling above. If the door jam falls sideways you will be cut in half by the doorway. In either case, you will be killed!
7) Never go to the stairs. The stairs have a different 'moment of frequency (they swing separately from the main part of the building). The stairs and remainder of the building continuously bump into each other until structural failure of the stairs takes place. The people who get on stairs before they fail are chopped up by the stair treads ? horribly mutilated. Even if the building doesn't collapse, stay away from the stairs. The stairs are a likely part of the building to be damaged. Even if the stairs are not collapsed by the earthquake, they may collapse later when overloaded by fleeing people.. They should always be checked for safety, even when the rest of the building is not damaged.
8) Get Near the Outer Walls Of Buildings Or Outside Of Them If Possible - It is much better to be near the outside of the building rather than the interior. The farther inside you are from the outside perimeter of the building the greater the probability that your escape route will be blocked.
9) People inside of their vehicles are crushed when the road above falls in an earthquake and crushes their vehicles; which is exactly what happened with the slabs between the decks of the Nimitz Freeway. The victims of the San Francisco earthquake all stayed inside of their vehicles. They were all killed. They could have easily survived by getting out and lying in the fetal position next to their vehicles. Everyone killed would have survived if they had been able to get out of their cars and sit or lie next to them. All the crushed cars had voids 3 feet high next to them, except for the cars that had columns fall directly across them.
10) I discovered, while crawling inside of collapsed newspaper offices and other offi ces wi th a lot of paper, that paper does not compact. Large voids are found surrounding stacks of paper.
In 1996 we made a film, which proved my survival methodology to be correct. The Turkish Federal Government, City of Istanbul , University of Istanbul Case Productions and ARTI cooperated to film this practical, scientific test. We collapsed a school and a home with 20 mannequins inside. Ten mannequins did 'duck and cover,' and ten mannequins I used in my 'triangle of life' survival method. After the simulated earthquake collapse we crawled through the rubble and entered the building to film and document the results.
The film, in which I practiced my survival techniques under directly observable, scientific conditions, relevant to building collapse, showed there would have been zero percent survival for those doing duck and cover.
There would likely have been 100 percent survivability for people using my method of the 'triangle of life.' This film has been seen by millions of viewers on television in Turkey and the rest of Europe, and it was seen in the USA , Canada and Latin America on the TV program Real TV.
Spread the word and save someone's life... The entire world is experiencing natural calamities so be prepared!
Hope you find this information helpful.
In the meantime, if you are feeling overwhelmed with the prospect of getting organized, please feel free to contact me at A BETTER SPACE. I will be glad to help.
Enjoy your week and stay safe.
Wednesday, April 07 2010
April 22nd is Earth Day. Will you participate in any way? If not, perhaps you aren't sure what you can do. It's actually very easy to make a positive impact on the environment for yourself and future generations.
Here are a few Quick Tips For A Better Space that you can start today so you can GO GREEN too!
1. Stop buying bottled water. Did you know that some bottled water is actually bottled municipal tap water? Few people can tell the difference, anyway. Bottled water is more expensive than gasoline and 250 to 10,000 times more than tap water. If you do buy some bottles, then be sure to recycle them or refill then at home for your next trip or outing.
2. Check those faucets. Office workers alone use enough water every day to fill 17,500 olympic-sized pools! Much of it comes from leaky faucets. Here's a statistic - a leaky faucet that fills a coffee cup in 10 minutes will waste approximately 3,000 gallons of water a year! While you're at it, check the outside faucets as well, especially since they were exposed over the winter months.
3. Use cold water. When doing your laundry, try to wash your clothes in cold water whenever possible. Heating water is the #1 energy consumer in many homes. And while you're at it, use an outdoor or even indoor clothesline to dry your clothes whenever possible. I always use an indoor drying rack for my delicates and special fabrics. You can dry them on the line and then just pop them into the dryer on a low setting for a few minutes just to get rid of wrinkles and make them softer. This will keep the clothes from wearing out and fading so quickly as well, saving you money!
4. BYOB - Bring Your Own Bag. Instead of using the plastic or paper grocery bags the next time you go shopping, bring canvas bags. You can purchase them inexpensively at most grocery stores these days. Remember, it takes one 15-20 year old tree to make enough paper for only 700 grocery bags! And, although plastic is convenient, they are not biodegradable. They can only be recycled so many times!
5. Turn off your screen saver; unplug your tv. The EPA has estimated that using a computer "sleep mode" reduces its energy consumption by 60% to 70%! So, please turn off your monitor when you are not using it. At the same time, consider unplugging your tv or using a power strip with a manual on/off switch. Most tvs, dvd players, game systems and stereo receivers use electricity because they are placed in "standby" mode when you shut them off. They are not really "off". However, keep your vcr,dvr or cable box on the regular outlet so it will not lose its programming.
6. Use a ceiling fan. Some manufacturers have suggested that a ceiling fan can save up to 40% on summer cooling costs and up to 10% on winter heating costs. Sometimes, all you need is a light breeze to cool the room in the Spring and Summer and by reversing the fans in the Fall and Winter, you are drawing the heat down to the floor, thereby saving energy.
You should find these tips easy to implement. Just by doing these simple things, you to can start to go green! You don't have to wait until April 22nd. Do it now!
Until next time, if you have any organizing questions or problems you would like me to address, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be glad to help.
Sunday, April 04 2010
Happy Easter everyone! Spring has sprung and my flowers are in bloom. The season is changing and I think it's a good time to make some changes within ourselves, especially if those New Year's resolutions are quite working out for you. Here's some more motivation.
I found this information on a site called Freestyle Mind and thought I would share...
Developing good habits is the basic of personal development and growth. Everything we do is the result of a habit that was previously taught to us. Unfortunately, not all the habits that we have are good, that’s why we are constantly trying to improve.
The following is a list of 30 practical habits that can make a huge difference in your life.
You should treat this list as a reference, and implement just one habit per month. This way you will have the time to fully absorb each of them, while still seeing significant improvements each month.
- Exercise 30 minutes every day. Especially if you don’t do much movement while working, it’s essential that you get some daily exercise. 30 minutes every day are the minimum recommended for optimal health.
- Eat breakfast every day. Breakfast is the more important meal of the day, yet so many people skip it. Personally, I like to eat a couple of toasts in the morning along with a fruit beverage.
- Sleep 8 hours. Sleep deprivation is never a good idea. You may think that you are gaining time by sleeping less, when in reality you are only gaining stress and tiredness. 8 hours are a good number of hours for most people, along with an optional 20 minutes nap after lunch.
- Avoid snacking between meals. Snacking between meals is the best way to gain weight. If you are hungry, eat something concrete. Otherwise don’t. Update: for clarification, I mean don’t eat junk food between meals, but eating real food it’s ok.
- Eat five portions of fruits and vegetables every day. Our body and brain loves getting vegetables and fruit, so I highly recommend eating as much of them as possible. Five portions is the dose that’s usually recommended by many health associations.
- Eat fish. Fish is rich of omega 3 and other healthy elements. At least one meal per week of fish should be enough for getting all these nutrients.
- Drink one glass of water when you wake up. When you wake up, your body is dehydrated and needs liquid. Make the habit of drinking one glass of water after you wake up in the morning. Also, drink more during the day.
- Avoid soda. Soda is often one of the most unhealthy beverage you can find. Limit your consumption of soda as much as possible and you’re body will be grateful for that.
- Keep your body clean. I don’t advise spending your day in front of the mirror, but a minimum of personal care does never hurt.
- If you smoke, stop it. There’s no reason to smoke anymore, and quitting is easy.
- If you drink, stop it. Same as above. Don’t think that alcohol will solve your problems. It never does. The only exception is one glass of wine per day during meals.
- Take the stairs. This is just a hack that forces you to do a minimum of exercise. Instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs.
- Use an inbox system. Make the habit of keeping track of all the ideas and things that comes to mind. You can use a notebook to do this, and then sync everything on your computer.
- Prioritize. If you have a list of things to do, where do you start? One way is to prioritize your list. If you are in doubt, ask yourself: “If I could only accomplish one thing today, what would it be?”
- Plan, but not too much. Planning is important, and you should decide in advance what you are going to do today or this week. However, planning for more than a few weeks is usually inefficient, so I would not worry too much about that.
- Wake up early. Waking up early in the morning is a great way to gain extra time. I personally like to wake up at 5 am, so that by 9 am I have already accomplished what otherwise would have taken me many days..
- Check your email only twice per day. Email can easily become an addiction, but it’s usually unnecessary to check it every 10 minutes. Make an effort and check your email only once or twice per day, see if the world will still rotate as before after you try this.
- Eliminate unimportant tasks. Being busy all day does not mean you are doing important stuff. Eliminate every activity that’s not important, and focus on what really matters.
- Clean off your desk and room. Having a clear room and desk is important to maintain focus and creativity.
- Automate. There are a lot of tasks that you need to perform every day or every week. Try to automate them as much as possible.
- Set strict deadlines. When you do something, decide in advance when you’re going to stop. There’s a rule that states that you will fulfill all the time you have available for completing a task, so make an habit of setting strict deadlines for maximizing your productivity.
- Take one day off per week. Instead of working every day, take one day off per week (for example sunday) where you are not going to turn on your computer. Use that time for doing recreational activities like going for a walk.
Personal Development habits
- Read 1 book per week. Reading is a good way to keep your brain active. With just 30 minutes per day you should be able to read one book per week, or more than 50 books per year.
- Solve puzzles. Quizzes, word games, etc. are all good ways to exercise your brain.
- Think positively. You are what you think, all the time.
- Make fast decisions. Instead of thinking for one hour wherever you are going to do something, make your decisions as fast as possible (usually less than 1 minute).
- Wait before buying. Waiting 48 hours before buying anything is a tremendous money saver, try it.
- Meditate 30 minutes per day. A great way to gain clearness and peace is through meditation. 30 minutes are not a lot, but enough to get you started with meditation.
- Start a blog. Blogging is one of the best way to put your word out. It doesn’t have to be around a specific topic, even a personal blog will do.
- Build a portfolio. If your job is creating stuff, building a portfolio is a great way to show what you are capable of. You can also contribute stuff for free if that applies to your work.
What do you think? What are the habits that changed your life?
If you want to change your disorganization into organization and change your life, contact A BETTER SPACE. I will be glad to help.
In the meantime, have a great week!