quote: make room for what you value

Broom3When you think about downsizing, you might think about moving to a smaller space. Downsizing isn’t limited to people who are looking for smaller homes, though.

You can downsize your commitments. You can downsize your collections. You can downsize your wardrobe. You can downsize your quest for perfection.

Consider downsizing as an opportunity to let go of things that aren’t working for you.

Eliminate that which is worthless to make room for that which is priceless.  – Unknown

Whether you want to let go of negative thoughts or emotions or clear out items that don’t make you feel good, take it slowly. Make some progress. You can do it. Remember what you’re making room for.

Marcie Lovett, Organized by Marcie
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recall notification

Instead of mailing in product warranty cards for recall notices (which most people don’t xWarrantybother to complete)*, you can subscribe to email notifications from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

You can register to receive the emails at http://www.cpsc.gov.  This way you can learn about recalls for things you might not have received a warranty card for.

On the same Web site, you can view recent recalls (if you don’t want to sign up for email notices), find safety guides, look up product safety reports and report unsafe products.

Do you fill out the warranty cards that come with many consumer products? Have your ever reported an unsafe product?

*Full disclosure: The photo is a warranty from a product I bought over a month ago. I didn’t go through all the paperwork that was included, so I didn’t notice it. I only thought about it because I needed a graphic for the blog. Now that I’ve been reminded, I’ll go online to fill out the form.

Marcie Lovett, Organized by Marcie
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what’s in your basement?

If it’s outrageously hot where you live, you might find relief in your basement, where it’s typically much cooler.

xFan by Dmytro Kyryliouk

photo by Dmytro Kyryliouk

Or you might be avoiding your basement, because it’s chaotic.

In my experience, people use their basements as a graveyard for dead appliances, outgrown toys and clothes, and hobby materials that they aren’t interested in any longer.

If you’d like to be able to escape to your basement and make better use of that space, consider what it’s in there now. Determine what you need to keep, then contact a nonprofit organization to pick up anything that has no value to you but would be useful to someone else.

Consider how you’d like to use the space. Do you want a place to watch TV, listen to music, read, exercise, play games? Position furniture and equipment so you can move around comfortably.

Don’t forget that basements can be damp. If you have concerns about mold, set up a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air and make it more comfortable to be down there.

What do you keep in the basement?

Marcie Lovett, Organized by MarcieTM
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product review – chore chart

It’s summer and the livin’ is supposed to be easy, right? A lot of families loosen their concept rules during the non-school months, then find that it’s difficult to get back into a routine once school starts in the fall.

It’s easier to continue a habit you’ve developed than to break it and try to start again. Think about an eating or exercise program – once you “take a break,” how easy is it to start back up again?

Whether you give your kids the summer off or you have them perform the same tasks year round, it helps to have a document that spells out what they’re responsible for. There are a lot of chore charts on the internet, and you can go down the Pinterest rabbit hole in search of one. Here is a Web site that offers free chore charts, which you can customize for your kids.

Do you use chore charts for your family? Do you give your kids the summer off from their usual responsibilities?

Marcie Lovett, Organized by Marcie
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reader question – what do I do with all my recipes?

xrecipes

photo by OpenClipart-Vectors

If you love to cook (or enjoy looking at recipes), you might have a large collection of recipes cut from newspapers and magazines or written  on the backs of envelopes or on notecards.

A reader asked for a suggestion for her extremely large collection of recipes, some of which are pasted into spiral notebooks.

Many of my clients find that they have amassed a pile of clippings that they never look at. If you like to cook, and you like to try new things, create a system that allows you to use the recipes you have.

You can put recipes in a folder, accordion file or box until you try them. Those that make the cut can get scanned into your computer or pasted into a recipe book.

Alternatively, you might want to create a personalized cookbook with recipes and your own photographs. You can print a book, using Snapfish, Shutterfly or another photo-printing site. There are dedicated cookbook sites, as well, like Heritage Cookbook, where you can create an heirloom cookbook with family favorites and give a copy to everyone in your family.

A client recently confided that she doesn’t like to cook, but feels like she should, so she cuts recipes to fill that need. If you do something that doesn’t reflect who you are, consider stopping. In this case, the person was creating clutter with the clippings and wasn’t getting any value from them. She felt relieved when she realized that it was okay to stop cutting recipes for food she never was going to make.

How you manage your recipe collection is going to depend on whether you want to use them and how many you think is enough for you. Once you answer those two questions, you’ll have a better idea of how to proceed.

Do you collect recipes? How do you store them?

Marcie Lovett, Organized by Marcie
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productivity backlash

Along with the avalanche of articles about productivity, there has been Stop lightan increase in articles that denounce the focus on productivity.

Are we becoming hyper-productive automatons, without the ability to enjoy life?

I don’t think so.

My focus on productivity has always been to teach people how to get things done so they can spend time doing the things they want to do.

When you are more productive/efficient/effective, you can spend less time at work and more time doing stuff you like.

When you spend less time doing mundane tasks, you have more time for meaningful work and for fun outside of work.

As I like to say: We don’t organize for the sake of organizing. We create systems to reduce stress and to allow you to enjoy yourself more.

Do you think the emphasis on productivity has created an oppressive outlook?

Marcie Lovett, Organized by MarcieTM
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what’s your money story?

Tomorrow is National Financial Freedom Day. While you’re planning your Independence Day celebrations for the weekend, take a few minutes to think about your financial planning.

Fireworks by Felixco, Inc.

photo by felixco, inc.

Life coach Cheryl Richardson offers three simple steps to get you started on beating the fear and taking power over your finances.

Do you have spending amnesia or do you stay on track of what you buy? Do you feel comfortable with your money management skills?

Marcie Lovett, Organized by Marcie
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