It’s all too much!
August 7, 2011, 2:27 pm
Filed under: books, family, ideas, kids, life, organized, work | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

As Leonardo da Vinci said, “He who possesses most must be most afraid of loss.”

We’ve all known or heard of someone losing everything they own in a fire or natural disaster; there are even those people who inspire us with their story of selling everything they own to live on less.

Until last weekend, I had lots of projects to work on and boxes to sort – I knew where they were and had an idea what was in them – but then one of the pipes in our basement developed a leak.  Thankfully it wasn’t a flood.  We only had to pull up the carpet and baseboards to dry out the floor, and in my sanctuary (the one room in the house, where “my stuff” is safe from little hands) we are going to have to rip up the flooring and dry out the subfloor.  And one thing leads to another.  Now that the floor is being ripped out, we know the right thing to do would get rid of the subfloor and pour concrete to avoid potential mold issues.

It takes a lot of time and energy to get and stay organized and I am one of those people who knows where everything is, but the item I need is often hard to access.  I enjoy a lot of activities including biking, skiing, running, but I also like to sew, paint, make jewelry and take photos.  I am addicted to magazines; I love to collect articles, decorating ideas and recipes.  In addition, I have 2 children who are developing interests of their own and creating a massive amount of “stuff” that is taking over our storage area.

So . . . we have spent the last 3 days packing, sorting, and moving everything from our basement into a storage pod.  Along the way, I’ve tried to follow Peter Walsh’s advice in his book “It’s All Too Much!” (which breaks the house down room by room and gives practical step-by-step process for decluttering). We’ll be hosting a yard sale next week with the items we no longer need and I’ve already finished one of many “projects” that was taking up space (literally and mentally) for 2 years! 

I have found myself exhausted and overwhelmed this week, but am optimistic that this process will be liberating.  All I needed was some motivation.  Destiny perhaps?


No time to shop?
June 3, 2011, 10:00 pm
Filed under: deals, family, ideas, kids, life, organized, work | Tags: , , , , , ,

I love shopping.   For gifts, for groceries, for clothes, books, toys, shoes, housewares – even for other people!

At least, I used to until I had two kids, a nanny, and a household to manage.  I know, I know, it sounds like I’m whining, but I’ve found that I just don’t have the luxury of time anymore.  In fact, now that I’m not working full-time and am at home with my kids, it’s even harder because I have to take one or both of them with me.  Consequently, I shop quickly, between preschool drop-off and pick-up or on my way to get groceries!  The result?  I am left guessing at sizes and then having to go back to return or exchange the item.  And not just for me, but for the kids and the house, too.

Until now.  I have finally succumbed to online shopping.  And the best option I have found is the Canadian website for the Old Navy, Gap, and Banana Republic family of stores.

One-stop shopping for the entire family.  You can access all three stores at the same time, in one “shopping bag” and if you subscribe to the stores’ email updates you will receive (albeit, too often) emails announcing special online savings and discounts.  Plus, they not only offer free shipping to your home address on orders over $50.00, but they also include a self-addressed, postage-paid label that allows you to return any unwanted, unworn merchandise.

This has revolutionized clothing shopping for my boys!  Old Navy is too inconvenient for me to sneak into quickly – at least a 20 minute drive each way, so I now buy what I think will fit the boys, perhaps throw in something cheap and cheerful for myself, and whatever doesn’t fit, goes back.  We can try things on at home, calmly, unrushed and (mostly)without argument.  In fact, I’ve even let my son choose which swim shorts or t-shirt he wants which means he doesn’t complain about what I picked out for him.  Win-win!

In case you’re wondering, I’m not getting paid for this advertisement.  But every time I mention it to my savvy, fellow-shopping friends, or other moms on the playground, they are surprised to hear how stress-free and easy the process is.

My next delivery is expected to arrive by June 14th . . .

From A to Z in 26 days
May 17, 2011, 7:57 am
Filed under: family, ideas, kids, life, organized, Uncategorized, work | Tags: , , , ,

Now that I am no longer working full-time and using a corporate Blackberry daily, I have come to rely on the SIM card from my old Nokia phone in my husband’s discarded Blackberry.  Unfortunately, this means that I don’t have current contact information for anyone – friends, family, old colleagues or clients.  On the upside, I am relying heavily on my memory for phone numbers; the downside is that I’m feeling unorganized and inefficient.

In an effort to get organized, I realize that I need to find a systematic method of updating my address book (yes, I still use an old paper & pencil format – am I the only one?) as well as my cell phone contacts and computer contacts.  Such a daunting task that I’ve been avoiding it for, well, 6 months now (since I sat down to write Christmas cards).  While I’m at it, I want to add the birthdays of my friends and their ever-expanding families so that I can keep track of how old their kids are and celebrate their milestones.

Finally, a breakthrough!  The solution came to me as I was explaining to my son that sometimes when we have a big job to do, it helps to break it up into smaller, more manageable tasks, and I thought to myself, “yes, that’s it!”.  So, there are 26 letters in the alphabet, right?  And it’s not like I know that many people.  If I do one letter every day, it will be done in under a month!  Now that seems manageable.

I should be able to accomplish this in 30 days or less.  A month.  Depending on your last name, you can expect to hear from me soon!

May 2, 2011, 2:03 pm
Filed under: family, ideas, life, organized, work | Tags: , , , ,

Most people make their resolutions on New Year’s Eve and promptly forget or fall back into old habits.  Stop drinking (as much), eat better, lose weight, exercise more often… we’ve all tried something and likely have given up before Valentines’ Day.

Instead, I make my resolutions on my birthday – it’s a more important annual event than the old calendar one.  Each year I come up with a goal to achieve for each of the following 5 statements:

  • To Do
  • To Be
  • To Have
  • To Give
  • To Learn

Some examples? 

To Do a Marathon.  Check! I’ve run 3 full marathons and at least 4 half marathons.  To Give My Time.  Check!  I’ve volunteered for many years for different charitable organizations.  To Have a New Car.  Check!  This is old news now as I’ve moved on to newer cars since.  You get the picture. 

This year I’ve had a hard time narrowing down my list to specific, measurable accomplishments for some reason; perhaps I just haven’t sat down and thought about it hard enough?  Given that I seldom get a moment of peace and quiet to think that’s probable. It’s possible my daily To Do list is getting in the way or maybe it’s just that the goals are too vague and I need to make them into smaller tasks.  Whatever the reason, I’m halfway through my year and I’ve yet to put my Birthday Resolutions firmly in ink.

Perhaps I’ll end here and get to work on it so I can post them?  I am open to suggestions . . .

Forced change
April 28, 2011, 3:01 pm
Filed under: family, ideas, kids, life, work | Tags: , , , ,

“Forced change is good” said an old colleague.  And he’s right.  Finally, my company’s acquisition led to job elimination and as it turns out, I already have a job!  I’m staying home to be “Mommy” to my two boys (4 1/2 and 2) and have already found that life is different in many ways, but still the same.  I work longer hours and make less money, but now my titles include COO, CFO, VP, Creative Director, HR Manager, Head Chef, Marketing Manager . . . you get the picture.

My primary responsibility appears to be organizing.  Schedules. Activities. Meals. Playdates. Parties. Gear. Closets.  A never-ending list of To Do’s.  But it’s great!  I’ve discovered a renewed source of energy and an appreciation for the little things that I was missing while I was at the office.  My boys are hilarious and test my patience daily, but as Darius Rucker sings “it won’t be like this for long.”

And while I have all this “free” time, I am exploring my options. What is my next move?  What do I want to be when I grow up?

%d bloggers like this: