Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Are You Ready to Resolve Your Resolutions?

I was considering not doing New Year Resolutions this year.  I've never been really successful at them.  But then, I had a change of heart.  I've heard and read a lot of great advice over the years and I believe if I just follow it, I can make it this year!!  I also am getting older, so my desire to improve myself has been increasing.  Below are my five favorite tips on how to make sure you keep your New Years Resolutions.

1. Ask yourself, are your resolutions realistic?  Try to avoid comparing to others.  Someone might set a goal to lose 200 lbs, or to run a marathon, or to make a million dollars.  If they accomplish those, that is great for them!  But some of those goals are not very realistic depending on our individual situation.  Personally, I do have a resolution to start exercising and be able to run a mile again.  If I say I'll run a marathon...  well, I'll give up very early on because that isn't realistic for me.  Then I probably won't exercise or be able to run a mile by the end of 2017.

2. Start Planning Now.  Decide on your resolutions now and start planning on what you are going to do to act on them.  Don't wait until after the 1st!  Your momentum and desire may not be there if you wait.

3. Have a Structured Plan.  Don't just say you are going to accomplish something.  Create a plan that includes steps on how you will reach it.  Does it involve making time in your schedule?  If so, plan out your future days to make sure you have that time.  Would it help to have steps working up to the goal?  On a personal note, I have made it a resolution to rid of 2017 things from my house during 2017.  So, if I break it down, that is only six items a day.  Now, it doesn't seem so bad, and I have a plan to accomplish it.

4. Find Support,  We are only human and can be easily discouraged or distracted.  Find a personal or a group that will hold you accountable.  If you report progress, they can be your cheerleader.  But they need to be comfortable in pushing you if they see you have fallen behind.  For my resolution of getting rid of 2017 items, I have a Facebook group that is set up primarily for that.  We are instructed to take a picture every day, or list every day, the items we remove from our house.  As far as my goal to be able to exercise, I'm not so sure about that.  I really don't have anyone to make sure I am doing that or to support me.  So, I'm not as optimistic about that.

5. Start new behaviors NOW.  Don't wait until January 1st to start your resolution goals.  If your goal is to lose weight, don't view Christmas as the last HOORAH! before starting a diet.  Start eating healthy now.  I have already started making piles and boxes of things to donate to help me with my resolution.  Haven't exercised yet, but it's been cold. (6th tip: Don't be like me and make excuses!)

Until next time, continue living the #BCOdream!

Casey Mondle

Are you a member of my Beautiful. Classy. Organized VIP-eep Group?  If not, go to http://www.facebook.com/groups/clevercasey and join!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Have An Uncluttered Christmas

It's not even Halloween yet, but I know many of us are already shopping for Christmas presents, or at least brainstorming what we can buy our loved ones.

This Christmas follows a several month time span where the husband and I sold or gave away a lot of items that were clutter so we could have our basement as a family and gaming area.  That's not all, but we managed to clean and organize all of our closets, and make serious improvements in the kitchen.   So, the question I've been pondering in my mind is; should I set limits to Christmas so we do not fall into the clutter trap again?

Some solutions I've been considering is:
  • Have shared gift we buy that we can both use.  Then one smaller gift we give to each other. 
  • We can ask for only gifts from immediate family.
  • Set requirements on gifts.  (i.e. only from a list we provide, or only gift cards).
  • Ask family to only give something we will use, read, or need. 
Now, my household is tiny.  It's just Mike and I and our two dogs.  We don't have children who are, of course, the ones that we all most want to spoil during this time of year.  For those with children, I learned from the book Unstuffed some ideas to handle Christmas.
  • Begin teaching your children that living with toys and other non used items is not appropriate.  
  • Give them an allowance and teach them how to save up and buy what they need so they begin to decide what they really, truly value.
  • Set a rule that they can only ask for something they can use, read, or need.
  • Ask family and friends to NOT run out and get the hottest toys for them.  Instead, have them stick to a specific list you and your child create. 
  • Of course, there can be surprises, but make sure their surprise is actually something they will not use.  This usually does NOT include the latest, greatest toy that they will play with once and then move on.
Personally, I really like the idea of teaching kids how to live a more minimalist, organized life from an early age.  Maybe they will develop habits that will prevent them from being an adult and having to learn the skills then.  Like I had to!

Until next time, continue living the #BCOdream!

Casey Mondle

Are you a member of my Beautiful. Classy. Organized VIP-eep Group?  If not, go to http://www.facebook.com/groups/clevercasey and join!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Prepare (you closet) for Winter!

Here in Gillette, WY this past Friday and Saturday was cold and rainy.  This was a huge reminder that summer is over and we should be preparing for winter!  Oh no!  Where are my hats, gloves, and scarves?!  Do all my gloves have their mates?  I haven't thought about them for several months.  I have work to do...

Here is what I did last winter: We have a cute little bench close to our front door with three of those cubby drawers underneath.  I kept our hats, scarves, and gloves in there.  I thought they'll have their own place, it's close to the coat closet, and it's in the cute little drawers.  That was a great idea... or so I thought.  It ended up being a cluster.  I didn't have the cubby drawers labeled or any assurance things would be put back where they taken from.  Mike and I would randomly pull out a drawer and put warm things in them without paying much attention.  This led to extra time being spent looking for our stuff every time we left the house.  Pull out one cubby, dig through it, nope not in that one.  Pull out another cubby, look through it, nope not in that one either.  Very frustrating!!

So this winter I'm going to try a new idea.  I am going to use a hanging shoe cubby inside of our entry way closet to store the winter wear in.  Benefits:
  • Takes up little space in the closet as it hangs vertical.
  • Each cubby is clear so we can easily find what we need.
  • Saves time when bundling up.
  • Frees up my cubby space that is in my bench for something else.
Right now my closet is full. REALLY full.  It's amazing how many coats just the two of us have. Admittedly, we don't wear all of them and several have not been used in a couple years.  So, we will go through our coats and give away those that are not needed. This is a good time to do so, as there are many who will be searching for coats before winter gets into full swing!

How do you store your winter clothing?  Please post your ideas on the Beautiful. Classy. Organized VIP-eep Facebook group! or comment below!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Basement Revealed

Do you remember that dreaded basement I would often complain about?  The one that was such a mess and full of clutter that I actually resented the basement.  If you don't remember, please go back and read previous posts.  Because, this moment has to be fully appreciated!!

Two weekends ago we held a yard sale on Saturday.  It was very successful and actually sold most of our stuff!  Just a few small-ish boxes of things left and we donated them.  On Sunday we spent the entire day rearranging our basement into the game room and family room we had envisioned for two years. 

Below are the before pictures.  (this part is embarrassing...)

Okay now here are the after pictures!  All we need a few decorating changes and we are completely finished.  (update: we now use our little sitting area a lot in the evenings when watching t.v.  It's very cozy!!)  We also now have a table for gaming in the big empty area that is shown in front of our board game shelves.  I am proud!  Getting rid of clutter DOES make room for life! 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Love It, Use It, or Lose It

Last weekend I had to repeat the mantra "Love It, Use It, or Lose it" to myself repeatedly as I reluctantly snapped pictures of my scrapbook supplies.  It was time to let go....

I do speak a lot about clutter and specifically on how to get rid of it.  If anyone wants my advice on how to clean their closets, cars, cupboards, office, (etc...), I always address the clutter issue.  If the items cause you stress or prevents you from using the space for what makes you happy, then get rid of it!  I can talk a big game and give my advice freely, even if sometimes unwanted!  However, even I struggle with taking my advice and am learning as I go.

You might recall a previous post where I described how my stuff in the basement was making me unhappy because it was preventing me from having the family/gaming basement area I've always wanted.  I also used calculations so I could show you how much I was paying per month to keep this stuff that I don't use and is keeping me from enjoying my basement.  I also admitted that I hadn't done anything to remedy my situation because I was procrastinating.  Procrastination comes from being overwhelmed.  I really didn't know where to start.

Last week I decided to do something to start the basement organization project!!  I did it with parting with the most difficult items to lose, my scrapbook supplies.  Those papers, cutters, stickers, and I have a very long relationship.  Roughly around 13 years ago I decided I wanted to start scrapping.  I bought the Creative Memories cutting systems and would hit up scrapbook stores and garage sales for stamps and other cute items.  I had the best of intentions, but never did make more than a few pages over the years.  I realized things along the way.  I'm not an artistically inclined person.  It actually was not fun for me, it was stressful.  My bins and boxes of supplies became an unused reminder of good intentions.

So, 13 years later after starting my collection, I snapped the pictures and posted them for sale on the local Facebook classifieds group.  Within 15 minutes I had an offer to buy ALL of my supplies.  An hour later I was helping the buyer haul it all out to her car.  She was excited because scrap booking is a hobby she and her daughter want to start as an activity to do together.  After I found that out it made the parting much easier.

Parting with clutter can be difficult.  I have read many books about the subject and here are a few quick points to follow:
  • Love It, Use It, or Lose It?  If your answer is Love It, analyze why you love it.  Is it for sentimental reasons?  Do you have items in bins that you haven't opened in many years?  Then that proves the memories are what is special, not the items. 
  • Never take things to your parents to store, even temporarily.  You will never retrieve the items.  Parents, do not let your grown children store items at your house.  They will never retrieve them.
  • Never let your mother know what you are giving away.  She will either try to talk you out of it or insist on taking the items to her house, where they will just be clutter!!
  • It's okay to not keep gifts.  The item served it's purpose by bringing joy to you when you received it and bringing joy to the giver.
Some of these ideas are contraversial. But I'm not here to bull shit. Do you want your life to be organized?  Some of you might need a swift kick in the ass to get started...  I know I did!

Until next time,

Your Home Organization Consultant

Join discussions, interact live, win prizes, and find out more about Clever Container by joining my Facebook group!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

These monthly specials are not available in the catalog. Shop online and add these items on the "Checkout" screen.