I’ve invited my friend, Brandie “The Home Office Organizer” to give us some tips where to get started on living a beautiful life. It all begins with getting organized. It is very difficult to see, appreciate or focus on beauty every day when your home or office is in disarray. Disorder affects our creativity, productivity and our sense of peace about life. It brings about frustration rather than contentment. Creating order and systems for our belongings is a way of finding beauty that we can appreciate in our day to day activities.
Have you ever felt overwhelmed and not known why? Take a look around your room right now. Are you able to find everything you need, when you need it? Do you know where your keys are? What about your last bank statement? Your child’s last school picture? If you don’t know where these things are, how does it make you feel?
I wasn’t “born organized”, but I love helping people create order and beauty in their homes and home offices. Home offices are dear to my heart, as it is where my life changed (and my career as a Professional Organizer began) several years ago. I took control of my home and home office and created a place where my family can make memories and my creativity can flow. You can do the same thing. Here are some tips and resources to get you moving in the right direction.
Three Things You Need To Know
About Getting Organized
1. “Organized” simply means you can find what you need in 5 minutes or less.
Isn’t that wonderful? Every person has a different personality, way of learning, living and working. No one organization system will solve everyone’s problems (no matter what their marketing or commercials say). There are so many products out there, and you are bound to find the perfect one for you! Also, don’t be afraid to let you creativity out to play!
If you like electronics, use a PDA or Outlook for your calendar.
If you like more attractive and personalized things, consider a russell+hazel product.
You can even make your organization tools and storage containers! Try these:
Book Recommendation: “Organizing For Your Brain Type” by Lanna Nakone
2. Order clears your mind and frees you up to become the person you are meant to be.
There’s a lot to be said for simplifying your life. Having a little empty space in your life frees up corners for other things to come in. It doesn’t mean you have to give up everything you love. It means you look at your life and your space and “edit” out what you don’t love or use, leaving you with your most prized possessions. Your home and home office should reflect you and your family.
In her book, “Time Alive”, Alexandra Stoddard’s chapter, “Order Precedes Beauty” says:
“Without order there is no beauty. Living can be a messy business. The more engaged we are in living fully and well, the more stuff we seem to accumulate. We live in an orderly universe. Our homes and offices need to be kept orderly so we can spend our time in beautiful spaces that answer all our needs, arranged so that everything is both practical and uplifting.”
The act of simplifying and organizing means we value the beauty in our life, and allow it to show through in a place of honor. Living our life consciously in this way illuminates the path of our life and inspires us to move forward.
Book Recommendation: “Time Alive” by Alexandra Stoddard
3. Organization is a process of establishing habits, not an event.
I picked up the phone, and the woman on the other end had questions about my services and how I could help her. When I got to the part about how long the project would actually take in hours, there was stunned silence on the other line. I couldn’t blame her – it does take a while! In our microwave, drive-thru, instant gratification world, we sometimes forget things worth doing take time. It also doesn’t help when your three year old is throwing a fit over not eating her peas, the laundry is slowly spilling over into the hallway and about 30 minutes before bed, you learn your son’s science project is due in the morning. It can be too much some times!
So, here’s the good news – you don’t have to do it all today or even this weekend. The average American woman spends 55.2 minutes a day looking for things they need (according to a Real Simple study in 2003). What if you spent 10 minutes everyday working on one corner of your home office? Sort thru that corner and decide what goes, and what stays. How soon could you get that 55.2 minutes of your life back?
Bonus Girlfriends Tip: If you’re feeling extra motivated: invite a friend over, put the tea kettle on the stove, plug in a movie and get going. Rotate homes and repeat. What if you did this every month for a year? How different would your home look by this time next year? Imagine the possibilities!
Book recommendation: “Real Simple: The Organized Home”
One of the worst things about disorganization is the small pieces of joy which are taken from you. Life gets busy, and things can pile up. It’s all part of life, and it’s messy sometimes. Take time out every once in a while to re-evaluate and get things back into order – whatever that means for you.
If you’re a visual person, use pretty file folders for keeping your action paper in check (To Do, Bills To Pay, To Read, etc.).
If you like things to be a little easier, just label a box “Important Papers” and toss in statements, insurance information and other records (use a new one for each year).
Organization is a tool, and should be used to make your life better, not to make it more stressful. As long as you can find what you need in 5 minutes or less, use what works for you. I know you can do it!
About the author
Brandie Kajino, The Home Office Organizer, is a dynamic speaker, author and professional organizer. Brandie organizes home offices for home-based professionals. Her website offers resources, articles, services and a blog to help home office professionals get organized and simplify life.
top photo: Russell + Hazel