quote: get started

Start by fantasista

photo by fantasista

For many people, getting started on a project is the hardest part. You think about it, dream about the outcome, worry about complications, anticipate what others will say about it. Instead, consider what you can accomplish when you focus all of that energy on your goal.

 

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. – Arthur Ashe

 

You’ve got what you need to get started; give yourself permission to let go of your fear. Don’t worry about what other people think or how long it will take or what you else you could do to make it better.

Take a chance, without judgement. You may be surprised by what you accomplish with a little effort.

Marcie Lovett, Organized by Marcie
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5-minute organizing for earth day

Globe handsThe best thing you can do for the planet is to reduce your consumption, which takes no minutes. It does, however, take planning.

A lot of clutter is created when people buy things they already have, but can’t find. That leaves you with unnecessary duplicates in your cabinets or drawers and less money in your wallet.

There is no magic about organizing – basically it’s putting things away so you can find them when you need them. Rather than creating elaborate systems, I encourage people to notice their preferences and work with them.

If you drop your keys as soon as you come home, create a specific place to set them each day. If you drop them in the bedroom, put your “key spot” there. It doesn’t need to be fancy, just deliberate: put a hook in the wall or designate a bowl or box for keys. Then use it every time and it becomes habit.

Use the same process for scissors, your favorite pen, your phone, things you use and lose regularly. Put some thought into where you want to keep things and you’ll spend less time looking for them and less money replacing them. Good for you and the planet.

Marcie Lovett, Organized by Marcie
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product review – cleaning erasers

xMr CleanI’m very skeptical when products claim to produce miraculous results, and I’m rarely the first one to try anything new.

I’d read about how fabulous cleaning erasers are, and friends told me how they used them, but I remained doubtful they could be so great. Then I finally caved and bought Mr. Clean Magic Erasers Mr. Clean Magic Erasers.

They’re pretty magical. I don’t know how they work, but they do. What I like most is there are no chemicals. You just wet the sponge with water and go.

Whether you’re getting your house ready for sale (April is National Prepare Your Home To Be Sold Month) or just doing spring cleaning, you might be looking for easy solutions to tough cleaning jobs. In my recent cleaning frenzy, I realized I could use them for cleaning marks off the walls, and avoid having to touch up the paint. I used them to scrub the tub, too. I even used them on my dirty sneakers.

The only downfall is that they start to disintegrate as you use them, so you have to clean up the little eraser crumbs left behind. A small inconvenience for the number of jobs it does, I’d say.

Have you tried any of the cleaning erasers? Leave a reply, below, and let us know how you’ve used them.

NOTE: This is not a sponsored post; I was not compensated by the manufacturer for the product reviewed. This post does contain an affiliate link, which may result in my receiving a small fee when you make a purchase through the link. This disclosure is being made in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Marcie Lovett, Organized by Marcie
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5 minute organizing

Antique pocket watch - closeup on very old pocket watch

You might not think you can accomplish much in five minutes, but you really can make a difference in a short time. In five minutes you can complete one of these activities:

  • Sort the mail
  • Toss old newspapers
  • Empty receipts from your wallet
  • Start a load of laundry
  • File a few papers
  • Load the dishwasher
  • Empty the trash
  • Hang up clothes

Some of these activities involve cleaning, which you might need to finish before you can start organizing a space. Sometimes simply tidying makes a space feel more organized and function better.

Rather than wait for a substantial block of time, take advantage of the minutes you’re waiting for the coffee to brew or the next meeting to start. If you usually check your email or social media when you have a few spare minutes, consider doing something more productive.

You will not finish an entire room or even an entire drawer in five minutes, but you will further your goals of having a more organized environment.

What can you accomplish in five minutes? Leave a reply, below.

Marcie Lovett, Organized by Marcie
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quote: procrastination

xChoice by Stuart Miles2

photo by stuart miles

Clients often tell me they “have an excuse” for putting off a project. There are many reasons people use to avoid starting or completing tasks, but I think the most common reason is fear.

Fear you won’t do it right. Fear someone else will disapprove. Fear you’ll get bored. The longer you avoid it, the more reasons you can think of that make it feel impossible to succeed.

 

We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible. – Vince Lombardi

 

Instead of giving in to fear, break your project into smaller tasks and assign yourself dates to accomplish them. If you see the project as a series of actions, you are more likely to commit to them.

I downloaded income tax software today and committed to spending 30 minutes every few days to meet my deadline of finishing my taxes by April 14.

What have you been delaying? Can you visualize finishing it by working on it over a period of time?

Marcie Lovett, Organized by Marcie
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reader question – should i keep old electronics?

When you buy new a toaster or speakers or cell phone, do you put the old one in the basement, just in case? Even if it’s broken?

Whether it’s a broken coffee maker that could be used for parts, or a computer that can be called back to duty in case the new one breaks, almost everyone has extra electronics around the house. I don’t know what drives the desire to hold onto things once you’ve replaced them, but I do know that a lot of people feel the same way.

I call the basement the “appliance graveyard” because many of my clients have a collection of old, obsolete and/or inoperable electronics stashed away there.

When you replace an item, it might be a good idea to keep the old one for a few weeks. If something goes wrong – as in my recent computer experience – you’ll be prepared with a substitute. Before you stow the old TV in the basement, attic or garage, decide how long you’re going to wait before letting go of it. Put a note on your calendar to donate, sell or dump the original and then do it. Otherwise, you’re going to create clutter and lose valuable storage space.

If the original item stops working completely, however, there is no reason to keep it. You can take a photo or write down the model number if you want to buy the same one again. As for keeping parts “just in case,” consider whether you ever needed an extra piece before. If you might replace a defective part one day, would you remember where you put it? Or would it be easier to go online and order it?

Like the reader who asked the question, my clients aren’t able to use their spaces because they’re storing stuff they don’t use. The hardest part for most people is the decision making – it’s easier to stick something in a drawer than it is to think about how to dispose of it.

If you want to sell an older model, look up the value and decide whether you want to trade it online or sell it. Don’t wait until your technology or appliances are worthless. If you need to schedule a bulk-trash pickup or ask someone to help you move something heavy, make that your next step.

If you’re not using something, don’t let it take up space in your home. If you’re agonizing about what to do with it, don’t let it take up space in your head.

Do you have old electronics hanging around your house?

Marcie Lovett, Organized by Marcie
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the organizer comes clean on spring cleaning

Dustpan by artur84

photo by artur84

I love a clean house and seeing sparkling surfaces bring me joy.

I don’t particularly like to clean, however, so I’ve created a schedule that works for me. A few times a year I tackle areas that aren’t in my regular rotation, the ones that go beyond everyday cleaning.

One of my annual tasks is emptying the pantry, and washing the shelves and walls. I’d like to replace the shelves, but they’re an unusual size. Instead, I took a small step to make them slightly less unappealing. Each shelf has a wood strip on the front, tacked on by some previous owner. This year I decided the wood strips had been annoying me enough to pull them off. The shelves will look better once they’re sanded and repainted, which I plan to do when it’s warm enough to work outside.

Some cleaning tasks get done when I notice them. The dishwasher hasn’t been doing a great job recently, so I checked the inside to see if there was an obvious problem. While I was poking around, I noticed some dirt on the inside, which I wiped off. I didn’t find anything unusual, but I did see what looked like a filter. I know dishwasher filters should be cleaned regularly, but I thought this model didn’t have one.

I took a break from cleaning to consult the owner’s manual. There was no mention of a filter, but it did recommend that you run the hot water tap before turning on the dishwasher. I’d always thought that was a myth, so I’ve never done it. Now that I know, I wondered what else I wasn’t doing correctly.

All the product manuals in my house are kept in one place, so they’re easy to find. I file operating instructions after reading them the first time, and don’t usually look at them again until I get rid of the item. Since you can forget details, it seems like a good idea to review product manuals once a year. I’m going to add that to the spring-cleaning list.

How do you keep track of cleaning tasks? Do you know where your appliance manuals and warranties are?

Marcie Lovett, Organized by Marcie
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