Great new app or great way to avoid?

The next time you begin to download that super cool new app to help you “get organized” ask yourself what isn’t working within your existing system that’s inspired you to spend time downloading and learning a new app.

It might be easier to tweak what you already use instead of spending time learning something new. Maybe you’re downloading the new app to avoid doing what needs to be done or you simply want the rush of something fun and new. I get it, I really do because those feelings are way more fun and satisfying (short-term) I  think you’ll agree though that taking the upper hand on something that you’ve been avoiding is more satisfying (long-term) than any app could ever be!

phone-300x224

If you are still looking for some awesome apps – here is an awesome list of home improvement apps and here the ‘best apps for getting organized’ list of all lists – good luck pulling yourself away from this one….the best apps to keep you organized

 

 

 

 

Enjoy a Fresh Style in Your Closet this Season

As we get our kids set for school and psych ourselves up for another fall season, there’s no better time than now for a closet make-over. So, before you head out on a shopping trip for new clothes check out what you ‘need’.

If you’ve already shopped (because really, who hasn’t :)) Then still consider following our  handy checklist to help whip that closet into shape to make getting dressed easier each day :

  • Examine every single thing in your closet – remove items and lay them out on your bed if it makes it easier to sort
  • Only put back items you are sure you want to keep, if you are unsure, hang it backwards and if you don’t wear it by next year, discard
  • As you return items to the closet, divide them into “current” and “out of season” giving the current items up front space with out of season items in the back
  • Group your items by type, i.e. pants, skirts, dresses, long-sleeve tops, short-sleeve tops
  • Optimize space with belt hangers, scarf organizers and door hooks
  • Door hanging shoe bags can hold socks, tights, hair accessories, and any assortment of dolls or ninja warriors 🙂
  • For items that you no longer want – place into 3 labeled bags: donate, garbage, and consignment
  • If you still have too many items for the space, consider storing out of season items elsewhere
    • perhaps an available closet in another room or
    • or pack some items up in storage boxes or under the bed bags that you remove the air from
    • or think about installing a customizable closet system for your next make-over

Here’s a young lady’s narrow closet that we maximized the space in – I wish I was a better photographer but I think you’ll get the idea.

Before pic includes: ceramics on the top shelf, art kits on the bottom shelf and those custom metal cubes that seemed like a good idea at one time. So, we gave her two drawers for her undergarments, two basket drawers plus gave her some floor space back….who can say they have floor space in their closet? Added in all new hangers, a couple of baskets, lighting and only put back the clothes she will wear!

Using Rubbermaid Configurations

Using Rubbermaid Configurations with drawers and baskets for easy access, added interior light, jewellery hanger and scarf/belt hanger and labelled baskets on upper shelf

No drawers so metal cubes were used = messy and a pain to find under clothes, no light to illuminate

No drawers so metal cubes were used = messy and a pain to find under clothes, no light to illuminate

 

Tweaking your entrance

Getting organized is a very personal thing. What feels out-of-place, disorganized or cluttered to one person may go completely unnoticed by another. The most important point is to identify exactly what feels out-of-place or cluttered and work on that one area specifically.

Often times, individuals come home and throw down the keys, the mail, drop the bags and kick off the shoes – a rather common daily activity and one that I love doing….but, if you find yourself feeling anxious about the messy look of ‘piles of stuff’ at your front entrance or the fact that you can’t find your keys the next day, then check out these ideas.

PotteryBarnEntrance Bench

PotteryBarnEntrance Bench

Do you prefer visuals to motivate you? Check these out Pinterest and Better Homes and Gardens

Better Homes and Gardens Entrance

Better Homes and Gardens Entrance

Organize Your Magazines

Do you find yourself keeping great magazines only to later wonder, which one has the article about organizing or renovating your bathroom? What about that great recipe or the tip on how to get that stain out? Here are a few ways to organize the articles, once and for all, that otherwise elude you when you need them most.

1. In your filing cabinet create a hanging folder called “Renovations” or “House Ideas”. Rip out the articles and drop into the folder.

2. Want to keep the whole magazine? Dedicate a group of magazine boxes to your cause. You can label the boxes to suit your style. “Renovating”, “Organizing”, “Gardening”, “Recipes” – you get the idea. Note: Be sure to mark the pages as you are flipping through the magazine. You can use the cool highlighter pen by Post It that has page tabs built-in, you can use the *3M Post-it Durable Index Tabs, or just good ‘ole mini sticky notes – the choice is yours but do remember to keep your supplies handy.

3. If your areas of interest are vast then you could consider a three-ring binder with sections of interest – allow me to divulge some of the category titles of my personal binder:

Storage & Organizing Solutions
Bathrooms
Decorating ideas – Valentines, holidays, center pieces
Stain Removal
Gardening

Good luck!

Time Tips – You can be effective in spite of ADHD characteristics

I recently had the pleasure (and let me be honest – the honor) of being on a panel with Harold Taylor – Canada’s Time Management expert.

Here is a great post by him – scroll down to see how you can subscribe to his newsletters.

You can be effective in spite of ADHD characteristics
By Harold Taylor

In past issues I have outlined the increase in ADHD symptoms among both children and adults, the role technology plays in this increase, how to avoid outsourcing your life to your electronic devices, and some basic suggestions for managing time when you exhibit ADHD-like symptoms. In this issue I offer some further “quick tips” to help you cope.

1. Organize your working area so that everything you use on a regular basis is visible and within reach.

2. Develop routines for repetitive tasks such as checking email, paying bills and writing articles or blogs.

3. Acquire a planning mindset by closing each day with a list of “To Do”s for the following day.

4. Use a planner and use it to excess, blocking off time for projects, recording future “due dates”, follow-ups, appointments, special events, family birthdays and even recording places you visit and people you meet.

5. Assist your working memory by using techniques such as acronyms, visualization, association, and other mnemonic devices described in most books on memory training.

6. Practice stress-relieving activities, since in addition to the usual benefits, reduced anxiety will free up more working memory. (See Boosting Executive Skills in the Classroom by Joyce Cooper-Kahn & Margaret Foster, 2003)

7. Work in short periods of time – breaking longer tasks into “chunks.” Use a timer if necessary.

8. Make up checklists for activities such as travel, shopping, meetings and even for starting the day.

9. Curb lateness by entering the time you must leave your office or home in order to arrive on time. Always allow extra time in the event of heavy traffic.

10. Exercise strengthens executive skills, and research on attention shows that viewing or walking in nature for as little as 20 minutes per week provides the right amount of cognitive input.

In the next issue I will offer some further suggestions relating to physical and mental exercise, mindset and diet.

Please recommend our newsletter to your friends. They can sign up for it here.

Visit us at www.kaosgroup.com

Dear Spammers….. you know who you are

…… I see your subject lines as the Aqua Rug, Mothers Day Bouquets, Coffee Refills, Allied Vans, 1ink, flex-ablehose offer, instant checkmake, Free solar quote, FlexAble Hose, ICM, seniors dating, Instant Checkmate, Garnica, Gardener Today, Enrollmenet Update, Early Bird Mother’s Day Gifts, AutoPrice Finder Deals, Dr. GaengWoo Lee, Time Shares 2013, Lending Tree, RBC Royal Bank and the other 4-6 Girls that email me to tell me they are shy and want to meet me online….

These are just the spam messages from today… on average I receive about 50 -60 spam emails a day.

I know many of you reading this are saying “hey lady why don’t you use filters, set up rules, etc”
My reply to you would be “I do and they still squeak by and then I still have to review my junk folder to catch the things that shouldn’t be there.

We are totally open to hearing your awesome “keeping spam out of my inbox secrets” and I’ll give them a try 🙂

What I’d really like to know is why? Why send me this crap? Why send me these emails hoping I’m going to click on something so you can wreck my computer and my day? What’s the point of making me scroll through and click delete on 50+ emails a day?

I just don’t understand!!

What’s Even Better than Recycling?

Recycling paper is a great way to support the environment – shred it, dump it in your recycling bin, or compost it – there are many options to get paper out of your home in an eco-friendly manner. But the best way of all to make an impact when it comes to paper is to not create paper products at all! When it comes to your office policies, why not take a lead on implementing some “no printing” guidelines that you and your associates can follow:

• Do not print emails. This should be a basic rule that everyone can easily handle – if you need to save information from an email, set up a folder in your email inbox for this purpose. Depending on your email provider, there should be many options available for saving and categorizing email messages so that you can retrieve them when needed.

• Arrange for an electronic “document signing” service – There are many options available now to send documents electronically for signature. This is an acceptable practice for real estate agents using leases and property transactions plus it’s being used for many legal contracts. Create the document directly from your computer – no need to print it, just send it to the recipient and once signed by all parties, save it on your computer. There should be no need to keep a printed copy when you have it stored electronically. One of the most popular services for this is http://www.docusign.com.

• Have an effective “cloud” back-up service in place for your electronically stored documents. One of the fears of giving up paper is that your computer may crash and your saved documents will be lost. But with an online daily web based back-up system in place, this fear can be alleviated. One reliable service to check out is http://www.carbonite.com.

By not generating as much paper in the first place, you won’t even need to worry about the best method of recycling it!