“Procrastination”

noun
1. the action of delaying or postponing something.
“your first tip is to avoid procrastination”
synonyms: dithering, delaying tactics, dilatoriness, stalling, temporizing, hesitation, vacillation; More

 

To begin this post, I would like to point out that it has taken me over a month to start writing this blog. I’m sure many of you can relate to the dreaded attack of good old Mr. Procrastination and for many, it eventually starts to drown us as the pile so to speak gets bigger and bigger. I can’t really pinpoint why its taken me so long, but I think I keep finding something else to do that takes me away from something that’s out of my comfort zone, like writing. I’m much more of a hands-on person (perhaps why I love organising so much) and let’s be honest – most of us have a strong dislike for admin or paperwork. But the time has come to sit down and face my procrastination and share some thoughts with you about how I go about setting goals for myself so that procrastination doesn’t get the better of me.

When it comes to assisting someone with their home or garage, I so often hear my clients say to me: “I’m so overwhelmed” / “It’s all too much” / “The pile just got bigger then I didn’t know where to start”

And the result of all this is that people end up leaving it for another time, I can hear you saying you’ll do it tomorrow. Of course, this is us delaying learning for that test, stalling having to put the laundry away or getting our driver’s license renewed. Adulting is hard, especially when we must do things we don’t like doing too – haha.
Now I’m going to share a not so profound piece of advice with you. The secret is to start. Mic drop, mind-blowing advice – No! We all know this, I knew weeks ago that I wanted to write this post but always pushed it aside to do something else. The thing is, that the task at hand takes you half the amount of time that you think it will. That pile of laundry is only going to take you 5 mins, but you leave it for days, and the pile gets bigger, and then your clothes wobble over and fall on the floor. Now you have to pick up the clothes, refold some of them AND put the laundry away which is going to take you half an hour, so guess what – you leave it and go make a sandwich as that’s less overwhelming. In hindsight, if you had just put the laundry away the first time, it would have taken you 5 minutes.

I’m sure you are no stranger to the 5-second rule. In this case, I’m not referring to dropping food on the floor, I’m referring to how long it takes for your mind to make a decision. You’ve literally got 5 seconds. In those 5 secs, you’ll decide whether to do the task or not. My advice is to just do it. That moment that you trying to get yourself out of it, push that aside and put your laundry away. Once you finished, you’ll be so thankful you just did it and you realise it took you barely any time at all.

Here are some tips:
• Break tasks down into smaller sections. Don’t look at your whole room and panic, say to yourself: I’m just going to sort out my dressing table today. Or I’m going to go through all my socks. This way, the task seems much more manageable and you can focus your mind on more smaller tasks than looking at your room as a whole. Also, you don’t have to spend hours doing things you don’t enjoy, you can spend 30mins a day and be done with it.
• Make lists – I personally love lists and it’s a big part of how I get things done. Each week I write down what I need to achieve and slowly but surely, I tick them off. The great thing is that you really have a sense of achievement by actually ticking the items off.
• Put things in their right place the first time: When you take your shoes off at the end of your long day, put them straight in the cupboard rather than taking them off in the lounge then you have to move them again. Same goes for laundry, your groceries, bags when you come back from a trip. If you unpack, put away things straight away then you get the job done quickly and have more time to yourself to relax.
• Set reminders: Technology has improved so much over the years that the world is literally at our fingertips. Set up reminders in your calendar that repeat each year, for example – mark down when you need to get a new license disc for your car renewed. Your reminder will buzz on your phone before it expires and then you can add it to your to-do list. This way, you don’t have to actually remember stuff like this, technology reminds you.

There are so many more ways of beating procrastination and each is often specific to your own environment and what you are having issues with. There is definitely a relation between having a cluttered space and the effects it has on your mind. Should you ever need any help with any of the above, please don’t hesitate to contact myself or Bryony so that we can help with all your organisational needs. Call an organiser and let them help you with areas of your home, garage or office that you have been procrastinating.

How much do you value your mental & physical well-being ?

Hi Organisers!

How much do you value your mental and physical well-being? We spend money each month to protect ourselves from any potential life disaster that may befall us; life insurance to look after our loved ones; income protection in case we are ill. We visit life coaches or therapists or any other kind of medical practitioner so that we can uncover and focus on our potential within, to be able to flourish. In business we have coaches, who hold us accountable for our numbers and motivate us to move forward and focus on the areas that will be most beneficial to us to help us grow.

That’s where Professional Organisers come in – how much value do you place on your surroundings around you? Countless research and studies have been done and prove that your space has a direct impact on you as a person, your emotional well-being and your mood and your productivity. In business, we strive to put procedures in place to create organization and seamlessness; planning and preparing so that we may remain stress-free and achieve our goals. At home, we plot our weeks to make sure we can attend to all matters. Interior designers have even pin pointed specific colours that enhance or improve our mood.

The thing is you don’t know what you don’t know until you know! Just like going to a nutritionist to give you advice to improve your health, Professional Organisers look at a space from a productivity and a use of the space perspective. Perhaps your space works: it’s neat. Perhaps you don’t even know what potential your space has, just because you have never considered another perspective.

So, when we hear potential clients say, ‘Oh no I don’t want you to see my space’ just think of the incredible possibilities your space may have that you are missing out on.

We don’t make you throw your things away, you make that decision all on your own. We suggest cost-effective, long term solutions to make your life easier. What if you are storing items that you use every day in a place hard to reach which frustrates you every time you try to get to them. Think of the reduced frustration of having them in an easily accessible place. We all know how something silly like things falling out of the cupboard and spilling on the floor can infuriate you when you are already late and possibly it puts you in a bad mood for the rest of the day.

Research has also shown that stress is the number one killer in society today and it comes in all forms! Being late because something fell out the cupboard and you had to tidy it up is a stress trigger.

As professional Organisers, our aim is to make your space stream-lined and organised so that it improves your productivity and reduces anxiety. Sometimes it’s a case of moving a few things around and working out what you want from the space. ‘I have no space to work at my desk’ well, then let’s move everything that you don’t need on a daily basis to GIVE you the space to function better. Perhaps you need more of something to maximize the space you have. ‘I don’t have enough space to keep all my things organised so they just make a mess’ – chances are there is something in the space that we can work on to improve the organization, perhaps how things are stored or where.

Just like a Chiropracter is going to look at your office from an ergonomic perspective, to improve your space to account for your body and muscles, Professional Organisers look at your space and how it affects your mind.

Do you want to reduce stress and increase your mood and productivity? Imagine having a space in your life organised, so that it’s no longer on your to-do list in the back of your mind? Imagine what other magical things you can achieve without having it to weigh you down. Have a Professional organiser come and give suggestions and inspire you to LOVE your space around you.

Plan the Perfectly Organised Christmas With These Top Tips

Plan the Perfectly Organised Christmas With These Top Tips

With Christmas just around the corner, there is so much to get done: present-buying, food shopping and generally getting the house ready for your guests, just to name just a few. The more organised you are the more you’ll be able to enjoy things, and these top tips are really going to help you out.

 

Make a list, check it twice

If you write something down you’re far more likely to get it done than if you just rely on your memory. So make lists of everything that needs to get done, from presents to food. Write down the names of people you need to buy for, jot down gift ideas and even price budgets if you’re feeling economical. Make a shopping list before you hit the shops or order online, then pin it up on your wall and add to it as you need to.

 

Save the day

Your calendar is another key tool at this time of year and if you rely on the one on your phone it’s a good idea to transfer that onto paper too. That way it’ll refresh your memory about upcoming events and put you ahead of the game, rather than relying on a reminder 10 minutes before you’re supposed to be there! So whether you need to remember to post Christmas cards or to attend a friend’s Christmas drinks, you shan’t forget!

 

Do Secret Santa

There are so many people to buy for and not a lot of time to get it done, so organizing Secret Santa amongst your friends and family is a great idea. It saves a lot of time and money, and it’s great fun too. There are online tools you can use to randomly assign each person if time and distance mean it’s not possible to do it the old-fashioned way by pulling names out of a hat.

 

Think about gift cards

Gift cards are a good way of saving money and time too. Take a look at your present list and link individuals with certain stores or outlets. Most people secretly would love to choose their own gift so it’ll be highly appreciated. As an added bonus there’s no gift-wrapping to do, which is a great timesaver, and less paper means less mess and it’s better for the environment.

 

Pre-prep food

We all know the rush of preparing food for a group of guests, and it can be stressful, rushed, not to mention messy. You may find that you can save time by pre-preparing some of the food you’ll be serving. Of course some things you’ll want to take out of the oven fresh in time for dinner, but there will be dishes that you can have pre-prepared and then just reheat to serve. Chopping can take up a lot of time and create mess, so start chopping certain vegetables and herbs in advance of cooking; simply store them nicely and take them out when you need them on the day.

 

Make the house gleam

If you’re planning on having people round it’s a good incentive for doing a really good clean. Before Christmas week you can give the house a good once over and check that everything is in working order. If you’re throwing a party it’d be good to brush up on your bathroom cleaning skills too. There’s always that one guest ready to scrutinize every aspect of your home! And in case of any disasters in the loo, here is a handy guide for how to unblock a toilet. Nothing will ruin your party!

 

Plan journeys in advance

We’re all busily buzzing around over Christmas, so roads will be hectic. If you’ve got any long journeys to do, make sure you know how to get there long before you set off. Look at alternative routes and check to see which areas are best avoided and make a packing list of things you want to take in the car. Try and leave yourself plenty of time to get to your destination in case of delays.

 

If you get ahead and get organised there’ll be no need to stress too much. From writing down lists to knowing how to unblock a toilet in the case of a minor disaster, these top tips can help you relax and enjoy everything about Christmas.

 

A few words from Julia in Johannesburg

We are DELIGHTED to have Julia to join the Oh So Organised Family, we asked her to tell us a bit about her… Enjoy!

My love for all things Interior / Space Planning / Organisation and Design orientated started when I was in High School. Back then we did Home Economics as a subject and apart from the stereotypical “cooking” lessons we touched on the ergonomics of design. I had an amazing teacher who inspired me that I could do anything I set my mind to and as a result, excelled in the subject because I loved it. I went onto study a certificate in Advertising at Varsity College which helped me get a clearer understanding of Consumer Behaviour and Brand Marketing, then onto a 3 year Diploma in Interior Design at the Durban University of Technology.

 

I’ve had experience in office furniture / space planning offices / designing layouts / travelling internationally to the U.S.A to gain more experience / Country Clubs / New York living / Running a showroom / Managing a KZN sales team to being a Recruitment Consultant. For as long as I can remember I’ve been one of those people who colour coded my wardrobe, moved my bedroom around to change up the space and literally labelled everything. I made use of every inch of space but in a way that I could always find what I was looking for as it was accessible. I’ve even repacked my friends dishwasher when she wasn’t looking coz there was no way that last glass and plate weren’t going to fit in :)! I’ve done a full circle since then and now I am embracing my passion for all things Organised / Disorganised / Downsizing and Clutter.

On a more personal note, I remember just before I embarked on my travels to the States, I was in Somerset West with my Grandmother and she had moved into a retirement village from a substantially larger home, along with recently losing my Grandfather. It was tough for her to let go of the things she loved in order to downscale to a smaller home, and even tougher to go through the mounds of books / clothes and paperwork my Grandfather left behind. I can honestly say that was “the moment” (singing birds and harp sounds included) that made me realise that people like her needed help with decluttering and organising their space to accommodate their new lifestyles. I made a pact with her when I left that day, that when I got back from the States I was going to start a business that helped people organise / declutter / downsize and relocate them so that they didn’t have to make those hard decisions alone. Unfortunately a couple months later my Grandmother past away and as so many say, life got the better of me and I moved away from my dream! Until now…

 

My extensive experience overseas and in multiply corporate jobs has taught me about the consumer, how to arrange a space to best suit its function, interior & furniture trends on an international level, how important HOME is to me, how to deal with multinational / multicultural people at all levels of seniority, that money and security aren’t everything, but perhaps passion and sanity are, that dreams can be real, and that the hardest step sometimes is just taking the leap, and FINALLY, how passionate I am about what it is that I now do professionally.

There is a lot of truth in this commonly used quote:

“Choose a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life.”

With Oh So Organised, I feel like I have done just that! I am humbled by my friends and families support throughout this experience and feel brave that I’m now in charge of my own destiny.

 

How many Easter eggs did you eat this holiday?

April is a time of year when everyone takes a few days of leave (and gets most of the month off!) and plans family time or a vacation.

This year we kept it local and quiet and it was glorious!

When I talk about my business and about what I do, I often get the same question: ‘where on earth do you begin?’. Well, it’s simple, really. Organising one’s spaces often seems like a very daunting task but so are most tasks, so here are a few of my handy tips that might help:

I decided on Sunday morning that it was time to do a closet clean out. I got a bucket of my lovely fragrant all-purpose cleaner, my vacuum, a stepladder (for us minis out there), a drying cloth, a bin and a donations bag.

STEP 1 – when doing an organizing session – have all your tools at hand; think of all the possible items you may need: markers, labels, notepad and pencil, a box for items that don’t belong in the space, a bottle of water (so that if you knock it over it doesn’t spill). Rather have to many than having to go off in search of a screwdriver to fix your shelf, cause that’s when distraction sets in. Keep them all together in one spot and put them back there when you have used them otherwise you will lose them amidst the organising!

So I started at the top of the cupboard (the idea is that all the dust and bits you wipe out don’t fall into the shelf below that you have just cleaned) pulling everything out and wiping it out – I discovered to my horror that there were orange spots on the underneath of the shelves, probably a kind of mildew, living in a humid climate, thankfully it came off with ease, as it was September when I did this last so the little spots didn’t have a chance to take up permanent residence!! I also made sure that I dried the shelves – otherwise the colour transfers or mildew grows. I was VERY proud of myself; I donated 3 or 4 handbags just from the top shelf!

Step 2 – PULL everything out! Put items for donation straight into the allocated box to prevent confusion and don’t just throw everything onto the floor, go through each item. It makes the packing away easier. Have piles for like items so you can see EXACTLY how much space you need.

Give the space a vacuum or clean out, mend screws or make a note of shelves or doors that need fixing. Make a note of things thrown out that need replacing.

Step 3 – Once the space is clean and dry, start putting back. Take the box of items that belong in other spaces and return them (I had some of my fiancé’s socks and a scarf that needed to be returned home. Make sure you fold your clothing wide and flat, tall thin piles of clothes topple over and drive everyone mad! I hang as much as possible in colour coordination (tops, dresses, jackets) my trousers hang too, I fold gym clothes and have boxes for my smalls and bras. I store my shoes in styles.

Step 4 – put tools away and marvel at your space!!!

I spent an hour doing my closet, granted it was just a clear out. But start small. Don’t start with a whole room, a cupboard will suffice, and when you have had success, then you will feel motivated to start the next job.

Reward yourself! You are triumphant! I had an Easter egg!

Try and donate your items asap, otherwise they take up root in your garage or you accidentally go through the items and start having second thoughts! Give yourself a week to donate the items and keep in mind that some charities collect too!

If you have any questions, pop me a comment or drop me a line on my Facebook page.

Happy Organising

 – isn’t she pretty:)

Drowning in kids toys?

I have had so much fun over the last few weeks, returning to my child mind, by working with a few of my clients and assisting them in organizing their kids’ toys.

One of my clients laughed with me when she said, “I feel sorry for your children; they are going to have no toys!” we laughed about it but when I think about it further I actually agree!

I have recently become a godmother (he is just the most delicious little creature – proud fairy godmother here) and I have to actively stop myself buying him every little cute toy or shark outfit that I see, (they are just too precious for words) but then I think back to my clients (most of them) and we work through a cupboard and find that lots of the valuable storage space is taken up by gifts bought for future birthdays and special occasions AND unopened toys from past occasions.

We are living in a time where we are driven by consumerism, following trends and keeping up with the Jones’. It’s so easy to get sucked in and feel the need to buy all the knickknacks that we think will make ourselves and our family happy, when we all know that a first birthday – the baby is more interested in the wrapping paper and is asleep for a portion of the party.

I look back on my childhood and I remember my mother saying NO, and I knew she meant it and that was that, I don’t remember dying inside because I didn’t get the toy, or the tantrum I threw, but I do recall understanding that there were more important things that money was needed for AND I treasured the gifts I was given – that amazing pink outfit my gymnast Barbie had, with all the ribbons and my Polly in my Pocket; I remember the day we brought her home I remember shaking the box and listening to all the bits inside, knowing that when Christmas came – ahh, bliss – it was going to be magical!

Anyway, before I recite all my toys to you, I just want to say that every parent is the same, they love their little ones and want them to be as happy as they can. But just think about yourself too, after a long day at work, the kids’ toys have exploded everywhere and you want to run away. It’s hard to say NO but it’s also not the worst thing in the world – ‘Mom is going to put the price of the toy into a saving spot so that when you are older it will benefit you more’ (they will hate that I’m sure but they won’t in a few years), or heck – make them work for it – tidy room for a week and we will revisit the toy. I sound like such a meanie…

I have a friend who has had her third munchkin and he arrived while their home was being built and she said for the most part he hasn’t had a room, he has just fitted in. She said in fact they don’t need the space, their needs are basic, to be loved and cared for which doesn’t require stuff! This made me DELIGHTED, great! My kids won’t need toys OR a room!

I am not suggesting a colourless, toy-less childhood for your children at all. I just think we are indoctrinated to feel inadequate without things (look at black FRIDAY). Family is far more important than things (you know what they say, less is more) and so are experiences AND your bank balance will be grateful too.

Something else that made my heart sing – friends teaching their children about the less fortunate and taking them to donate the toys they had outgrown– what a magical and humbling life lesson!! It’s often hard to find the time to go through your kids toys and to donate them, why not get the kids involved and make them feel proud to do an act of kindness?

I am just looking at it from the other side, from the driver’s seat of a car FULL to capacity with donations of toys that have been forgotten or outgrown.

In short, just be mindful of your purchases – or give me a shout and I’ll sort through them for you!

Everyone needs a helping hand!

It’s been another marvelous week of organising. It suddenly occurred to me this morning that, after having spoken to clients and colleagues, there is the same response from most of them. There is a sense of shame and embarrassment when talking about their spaces at home and work. “Ooh! don’t look at my desk, it’s such a mess” “I’m sure this is the worst room you have ever seen” “I bet you don’t know where to start” It’s like I’m the tidy police with my clipboard and judgement card, coming to tell you how disorganised you are.

Well, I just want to clear a few things up for all you wonderful people out there, potential clients, those who feel ashamed about their space, and my friends and colleagues as well. I don’t see a space and think anything of you at all. All the clients I have ever had have been amazing people, with businesses and families and delightful children. That’s who I see, the family and the drawings your little ones bring home with pride, the family heirlooms that you treasure which show you hold your family dear; the toys that mean you think of your little ones every time you are away from them and think, “Ahh yes! she will love this” (I’m the same with chocolate and treats for my fiancé and he says it’s going to make him fat – I can’t help it; it’s a gesture of love) and the paperwork from the bills and information we keep in case we may need them in future. I see that you have grown as people, faster than your space is able to keep up with. Minutes turn into days turning into weeks and months and while you are getting up and making most of every day, sometimes the material objects in our lives stay as they were, having once been useful, perhaps no longer and you turn around and think – how did I end up here?

It’s life and it happens to everyone! Everyone also has different levels of chaos management and that’s what is so fabulous about being human; we are set to cope with pretty much anything!

So don’t feel ashamed, don’t apologize, I’m not here to judge, and don’t feel guilty when my eyes light up and I hop around wildly when I see your space for the first time, I LOVE WHAT I DO, because when I see your space, I see the potential, the end result, the calm you feel, the smile on your face, the happiness in your heart, that you will make it through this too.

All I want is to help you love your space and know that it’s ok to have a little bit of chaos every now and again.

On that note, I need to do my bathroom cupboards…. they are driving me dilly!

Have a beautiful weekend organisers!

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Yay! let’s talk ORGANISING!

Finally, after a very busy and happy two weeks, I have managed to come up for air and am so delighted to finally be able to start my blog!

If you have met me, or know me, you will relate well to my posts as they will no doubt be full of excitement and happiness. And for all those who haven’t, I hope you will get to know me and begin to understand my funny-isms!!

It’s been the most wonderful adventure, educating and explaining what we do at Oh So Organised! For South Africa and specifically Durban, Professional Organising is somewhat an unknown, which is totally FABULOUS because when I do get to share what we do and the benefits of our services everyone ALWAYS responds with ‘Oh we need you in our life!’ Which just makes my heart sing!

I love that we can help and support our clients and that it doesn’t just have to be the one session, that they know they can call on us.
“Family are coming to visit and we are swamped, can you come and help us out?”
Of course!! That’s what we are here for!

We are also having a great time, educating. That it’s OKAY to be a bit disorganized from time to time in life, be it at work or at home. Nowadays life is filled with work and family and friends and responsibilities. We often look back, Gasp! Where did the month go!? Now, admidst all of that going on, we must also find time to go through our belongings and decide what we need and don’t need and where the best place to store them is and how to keep them….. Unlikely!

And, of course, I LOVE it. Being able to say to my client “It will be done and you won’t have to deal with the chaos any longer”. It’s just fabulous in every way!

So in closing on my very first blog post, I do hope that I can post hints and tips that I come across that you may find helpful in getting yourself Oh So Organised (hee hee) like my client on Thursday who cling-wrapped all her archiving, instead of the usual archive boxes, BRILLIANT- they stack beautifully AND its super cost-effective!!!

Please also feel free to send me your suggestions and comments! Every day is a school day and it’s great to hear new ideas!

Have a super week!
B

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