Capture clutter free living

“Absorb what is useful. Discard what is not.  Add what is uniquely your own.”   ~  Bruce Lee

Two scenarios:

1.  A counter top with just a few items needed everyday with plenty of clear work space = Freedom

2.  A counter top amassed with papers, accumulation of mail, flyers, brochures, dishes, food items, pots, pans, utensils, notebooks, pens, coffee mugs, charger cords, iPods, decorations, small appliances, knick knacks…  =  Stress

If you can relate to number 2, then it is time to honestly reflect on possessions. Too much? Clutter? Stress-provoking? Pain or pleasure?

smile frown

Start monitoring your feelings as you survey your surroundings:  Sad? Happy? Are your possessions control your life. Ask yourself:

  • How much time does it take to clean and maintain my home, my space?
  • How much money do I spend on duplicates or items ruined due to neglect?
  • How much extra does it cost when I forget to pay a bill on time?
  • How much energy is consumed in searching for a needed item? Is stress a constant companion?
  • How much time and energy is required to prepare a meal when very little counter space is available to prep and cook? Or, time required to do the laundry? Or time devoted to just get ready for work?
  • How much stress do I encounter every morning and evening trying to cope with too much around me and not enough breathing room?

Organizing is easier when there is less.

Start the simplifying/organizing process and take control of your surroundings. Be drawn to the beauty of a simpler lifestyle where less equals more freedom. Recognize the potential of more space, more money, more time, more energy.

That smiley face can be yours to capture!




Stimulating Brain Cells

Classroom at the Random Passage filming site, Newfoundland
Classroom at the Random Passage filming site, Newfoundland

Many years ago my grandma said, “Learn something new every day!” That was very good advice back then and remains good advice even today. Learning new things stimulates brain cells keeping them healthy. You know, the use it or lose it concept.

Christine M. Gall, PhD and professor of neurobiology at the University of California, Irvine, states that tasks that require learning create actual growth in the ever-developing mind.

What learning opportunities do you take advantage of — reading, workshops/seminars/classes, traveling, technology, crossword puzzles, hobbies, learning a foreign language?  All sorts of activities contribute to a healthy mind and body. Learning requires you to pay attention. As Gall stated, “Recalling where you parked the car or who you talked to in the morning requires learning and remembering information.”

Could it be that learning how to simplify your life and organize your environment is actually good for your brain? There are plenty of books, organizing blogs and professional organizers ready to stimulate those brain cells.

Stay active and be open to new challenges.

What is your modus operandi to keep brain cells healthy, active and stimulated? Leave a comment below.



Avoid Morning Rush

The kids are back in school and the morning rush can be overwhelming. Even without kids in the household, mornings get hectic if you haven’t taken the time to plan ahead.

Morning Rush? Can you relate?
Morning Rush? Can you relate?

Try a few of the following tips and see which ones work for your busy life.

  • Start preparing on Sunday evening. Select a week’s worth of clothing including underwear and accessories for yourself and your children. Assemble a complete outfit for each day on hangers or in cubbies marked with the days of the week. This preparation eliminates the what-will-I-wear-today syndrome.
  • Organize a breakfast center so everyone’s favorite breakfast items are easily accessible. Set the table the night before to speed up the breakfast time. If you are a coffee drinker, use a programmable pot.
  • Delegate one area in the pantry for emergency grab-as-you-go breakfast items (bars, fruit cups, applesauce, crackers, almonds, juice boxes) for those mornings when time is more rushed than normal or if things just don’t go as planned.
  • If dinners are rushed events, establish the menu for a week or two. Keep it simple. Most families have their favorites, so stick with easy-to-prepare meals. Maybe one night a week can feature a special recipe. Knowing what you will prepare for dinner, eases the morning thought process.
  • Designate a specific spot for backpacks, diaper bags, lunch boxes and briefcases. This can be hooks, shelves or baskets by the entryway.
  • Use self-laminated luggage tags to attach a child’s name and daily checklist to a backpack. This tag is a reminder of what each person needs to grab before walking out the door. Involve all family members in gathering together personal items needed for the next day.
  • Develop good habits and establish practical morning routines to eliminate the mad dash. Planning and preparation make life bearable.

How are you doing with your morning routines? Leave your comments below.