5 Things to Remember When  Getting Organized Makes You Feel Like a Failure

5 Things to Remember When  Getting Organized Makes You Feel Like a Failure

I wanna tell you something right now. 

Something that, for the past few weeks, I’ve found myself repeating to multiple clients.  Something that you probably already know, at least logically.  

This whole process of getting organized? 

 It can make you feel like the biggest loser on the planet.  

Like a complete and utter failure.  

Worthless.  

Defeated. 

Pathetic. 

It can make you think the absolute worst of yourself and beat yourself up for all the things you haven’t done or should’ve done or could’ve been doing all along for the past decade, so you didn’t end up in the mess you’re currently buried in.  

It’s like you’ve got this evil troll who masquerades as the person you wish you were whispering in your ear.  Whispering why you won’t ever be able to change. Whispering how you’re the only one who lives this way.  Whispering so loudly about your undeniable failure that it blocks out all the other sounds in your life.  

So when you find yourself in this situation, what’s a girl (or guy) supposed to do? Just surrender to it?  Lie down and willingly drown in the mess?   

Heck. No.

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Back to School: The first step in setting up a routine that actually works

Back to School: The first step in setting up a routine that actually works

Three words.

Three. Little. Words. 

Seemingly innocent yet wielding all the power in the universe. 

Three words which strike a deep visceral reaction in all who hear them.   Which possess the power to bring a strong woman to her knees in seconds.  Which, whether tugging on a tightly coiled aversion or igniting a long awaited relief, refuse to be ignored.

Back. To. School.

Did you just shiver like the hyenas in The Lion King when one of ‘em said “Mufasa?”  

If not, let me say it again. 

BACK. TO. SCHOOL.

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Staying Organized: 5 Must Haves to Ditch Old Habits and Maintain Zero

Staying Organized: 5 Must Haves to Ditch Old Habits and Maintain Zero

So.

Old habits. 

Those suckers die hard, right?  

I’m talking Bruce-Willis-circa-1988-kinda die hard.  You can try to shove them off a building or pepper them with gunfire or push them down an elevator shaft.  REPEATEDLY.  And still?  No dice.

Essentially, old habits are the cockroaches of our lives--ugly, stubborn, and kinda gag-inducing when you crunch one dead. 

The thing is, it’s not a completely hopeless plight when it comes to ditching them.  For good.  What most people don’t realize is that it’s not as simple as just making a decision not to do them again and being done with.  I mean, come on.  Do you know how many times I’ve told myself I won’t bite my fingernails anymore?  Do you know how many times I’ve cracked my front teeth (I’ve got some bad dental genetics, just FYI; no offense, Mom and Dad.) biting my nails after I’ve sworn to myself I’d never nibble again?  It’s an embarrassingly high number of times.

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Staying Organized: The Power of Creating New Habits

Staying Organized: The Power of Creating New Habits

I want you to close your eyes for a second.

 Close your eyes and think about the messiest room in your home.  The room that gives you the stress sweats like no other.  The room that you’d rather roll around with fire ants than to admit exists in your home.  

Now I want you to imagine that it’s organized.

Absolutely, 100% organized. 

At Zero. (If you’re not sure what Zero is, check out this link!)

Zero chaos.  Zero resentment.  Zero anxiety.  Zero panic. 

Oh, glorious Zero!  You’ve finally arrived!  Please!  PLEASE!  I’m down on my knees beseeching you! Never leave me again!

And that right there, ladies and gentlemen, is the third and absolute biggest burning question I get asked on a regular basis.  

How in the world, once you’ve GOTTEN organized, do you STAY organized? 

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The Secret to Getting Organized For Real- 3 Strategies for Getting the “Other People” in Your Life to Buy In

The Secret to Getting Organized For Real- 3 Strategies for Getting the “Other People” in Your Life to Buy In

Well.  Here it is.  I know you’ve been on the edge of your seat, right?  Waiting for the second most burning question in regards to getting organized. 

(In case you missed it, here’s the first!)

I told you before that it was a doozy.  

You ready? 

Deep breath.

How do you get the other people in your life to buy into the whole getting organized extravaganza? 

Told you it was a big one. 

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Getting Organized for Real: When an Item Doesn't Make the Cut- 4 Ways to Get it Out of Your Life

Getting Organized for Real: When an Item Doesn't Make the Cut- 4 Ways to Get it Out of Your Life

Well, the time has come, ladies and gentlemen.  

The time has come to address one of the top three most burning questions in regards to getting organized.  

It’s a humdinger.  

You ready? 

WHAT ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO DO WITH ALL THE STUFF YOU’VE DECIDED NOT TO KEEP? 

I mean, you’ve ditched perfectionism, called BS on the lies you’ve believed about living an organized life, bought into the concept of Zero, chosen your first space to work on, and followed all six steps!  

Now, look.  You and I don’t have any secrets from each other.  You know I think Kid Rock is hot, and I know you own 37 pairs of black flats.  

Let’s just all agree that this is THE main reason you’ve held on to certain things in your life even when you know it’s time to get rid of ‘em. 

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Two Organizing Tools That Will Change Your Life

Two Organizing Tools That Will Change Your Life

Okay, I’ve been SO excited to have this conversation with you.  

Seriously, you have NO idea.  

It’s all about timing, though, and I couldn’t go gettin’ you all excited about something that you weren’t ready for.  

But now?  Now you’re ready? 

Step five in the whole Six Steps To Establishing Zero extravaganza wasall about evaluating the items you’d decided to keep and figuring out how best to store them in a way so staying organized was as easy as possible.   

I’m about to introduce to you my two ABSOLUTE favorite organizing tools that will do exactly that- Store your items in a way that makes staying organized easier. 

I use these tools in pretty much EVERY home in which I work so I’ve got quantifiable data to prove that they work.   (I use them in my own home as well!) And besides, I’d never steer ya’ wrong!

Drumroll, please. 

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The Secret to Getting Organized- Taking Action Part Deux

The Secret to Getting Organized- Taking Action Part Deux

Alright. Alright. Alright. 

Y’all ready to finish up those six action steps for establishing Zero in your space?   

Six Action Steps to Establish Zero in Your Space

1. Empty it. 

2. Clean it. 

3. Sort the items that used to live in it.

4. Evaluate and purge the items that used to live in it.

5. Evaluate and figure out how to store the items that made the cut.

6. Make it cute. 

(And do you think I’m legally bound to formally quote Matthew Mc Conaughey for those “alrights” up there?  I mean, it HAS been his signature catchphrase. Just to be on the safe side, I borrowed your catch phase, Matthew McConaughey!  Thank you!)

Those six steps can be broken down into two major chunks.  The first three, which we talked about in the last blog, are pretty much straight up grunt work.  

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The Secret to Getting Organized for Real: Taking Action

The Secret to Getting Organized for Real: Taking Action

Ditched perfectionism? 

CHECK.

Called out those seven bold-faced organizing lies on their crap?

Uh-huh.

Bought in to a solid organizing philosophy? 

Sure have.

Chosen an appropriate space in which to start and figured out a realistic Zero? 

You know it. 

(Don’t freak out if you’re still figuring out exactly what Zero will look like.  We’ll come back to that later!)

Well, guess what time it is, ladies and gentlemen?

IT’S TIME TO TAKE SOME ACTION!

It’s time to implement Zero in your own home!

WOOHOO!  

It’s about dang time, right?  I mean information is great and all, but it’s time to DO.  And do, you shall!

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The Secret to Why You Stink at Organizing- Choosing an Appropriate Space To Start

The Secret to Why You Stink at  Organizing- Choosing an Appropriate Space To Start

Are you still struggling to get your home organized?

Let me guess. You have pinned countless posts promising to solve your organizational problems, downloaded checklists, beat yourself up, and still…. your space is a mess.

I like to say you haven’t achieved “organizing success.” That’s a great clinical term, isn’t it?  And you haven’t found success because you set yourself up for failure.  

You self sabotage. 

Even after you buy into the deliriously genius idea of Zero, you self sabotage by thinking too broadly in terms of the space you want to tackle.  

 “I’m gonna gut my entire house this weekend.  It’s gonna be epic!”

“I’m gonna tear apart my kid’s room tonight.  Completely annihilate it.  Show it once and for all who’s boss.”

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How To Get Organized For Real: Figuring Out Your Zero

How To Get Organized For Real: Figuring Out Your Zero

So.  

Zero. 

(If you’re not sure whatZero is, you wanna read The Paradigm Shift to Zero.)  

It’s a great concept, right?  Describing your space in the same terms that you describe pain. Being able to quantify something that’s seemed so nebulous in the past.  Pretty dang revolutionaryif I do say so myself!  

And the ripple effect of the seven basic premises of Zero is HUGE.  

1. YOU decide what Zero is for each space.  

WHAT?  Yep!  You decide what organized looks like.  Not your mom or your sister or your messy 16-year old son.

2. When your space is at Zero, you’re not stressed out by it.  

Uh huh.  I said it.  The gut-wrenching angst your space used to induce?  Gone. 

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How to Get Organized For Real: The Paradigm Shift To Zero

How to Get Organized For Real: The Paradigm Shift To Zero

Which of these sounds most accurate?

“I need to get organized.”

A simple sentence reflecting one’s current living conditions usually accompanied by a general sense of unhappiness or discombobulation.  

“Why can’t I just GET. ORGANIZED?”

A desperate plea intermingled with frustration bordering on the extreme.

“CLEAN UP YOUR MESS!”

The words one screams at one’s self when yet another day passes and no noteworthy organizational progress has occurred nor is there any in the foreseeable future.

“FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING THAT’S GOOD IN THIS WORLD WHY AM I CONSTANTLY DROWNING IN CRAP?!  MY ENTIRE LIFE.  ONE BIG CRAPTASTROPHE.”

An anguished expletive uttered with absolute self-loathing in the complete absence of hope.  Said statement is most often rendered incomprehensible due to accompanying sobs and hiccups.

Anything sound familiar?  Maybe just a little bit? 

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Seven Lies We Believe About An Organized Life

Seven Lies We Believe About An Organized Life

So.  Perfectionism. 

We’re all pretty much on the same page with that right?  The page that says it’s just a big ole’ LIE?

(Just in case you missed my last post that laid all that out for ya’!)

Before we jump in with both feet and I give you the keys to the organizing kingdom, which, rest assured, I’m gonna do, we need to dispel a few other fallacies about what an organized life actually looks like. 

See,  if you don’t go into this whole organizing thing with your head on straight and your eyes wide open, you’re not gonna get the lasting results for which you’ve been pining.  

There are seven main myths that I see on a regular basis about organizing.  Seven misconceptions.  Seven lies. 

Bold. Face. Lies. 

Yup, Satan is spreading his dirty little lies all over the organizing world. Lies meant to steal, kill, and destroy.  Lies meant to undermine and demoralize.  Lies meant to distract us from our real purpose in life.  

Ephesians 4:25 tells us, “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.”

We’re getting ready to put away some falsehood, y’all, and speak the truth.  Big time.  Because there’s absolutely no room in your life for the lies I’ve listed below:  

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Three Vital Reasons to Ditch Perfectionism in the New Year

Three Vital Reasons to Ditch Perfectionism in the New Year

Hello.  My name is Brenna, and I’m a recovering perfectionist.  

That’s right. I said it.  I struggle with perfectionism.   Or as I like to call it, being an overachiever.  For some reason that just sounds less offensive.  You know, more playful.  Less anal.  Whatever makes me feel better, right?

Let me back up for a second.  I’m assuming you all know and struggle with perfectionism too.  But, just in case you don’t (You lucky thing, you!) or you’re in a deep state of denial as was I, I’ll start at the beginning.

First of all, what IS perfectionism? 

According to dictionary.com, perfectionism is defined as a personal standard, attitude, or philosophy that demands the highest degree of excellence and rejects anything less. 

A PERSONAL standard DEMANDING the HIGHEST degree of excellence REJECTING anything less. 

Those are some pretty harsh words right there.

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Cast Your Cares- AKA The Brain Dump

Cast Your Cares- AKA The Brain Dump

Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt overwhelmed.  Stressed out.  Beaten.  Devoured by life and its responsibilities.  

Raise your hand if you’ve ever dreamed of running away.  Of starting over.  Of leaving with nothing but the clothes on your back and hightailing it. The destination doesn’t matter all that much, does it?  You just want out.  

I’d like to introduce you to a very special person in my life.  A confidant of mine.  Someone who’s never let me down or betrayed my trust.  Someone who answers whenever I call and has never judged me, no matter how pathetic or overwhelmed I may be.  

The Brain Dump.  

A good friend and mentor of mine prefers to call it the Brain Blossom.  She thinks it lends a more positive, less gross connotation to this handy little strategy but personally?  My brain doesn’t blossom.  It doesn’t open up and flourish.   Something beautiful and delicate isn’t unfurled. 

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The Goal-Setting Tip that Changed My Life

The Goal-Setting Tip that Changed My Life

Time is a precious commodity. 

And, regardless of your life station, time is the great equalizer. 

Whether you’re a billionaire or a college kid scraping to get by, we all have the same number of hours, minutes, and seconds of a day. 

When we waste time, we can never get it back. 

When you really think about it, time is our most precious commodity. 

There are a plethora of resources available to help plan your day. Some even go so far as to help you set goals.  So what’s missing? 

We’re missing the forest for the trees. We’ve got it all backward. We seem to focus on so heavily on our day that we miss our lives.

While it’s great to have goals and plans, we have to be cautious. 

“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring.  What is your life?  For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.  Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’” James 4:13-15

We can have the best-laid plans, but ultimately God decides.

Am I advocating we plan nothing? Of course not. I just think we need a different approach.

So what is the goal-setting tip that changed my life?

Creating legacy goals

Rather than planning my day and setting a few arbitrary goals, I spent time figuring out what really matters to me.

We’ve been doing it backwards…. planning our day, reaching a short term goal, and maybe reaching a long term goal. And if we really thought about it, we’d realize what we’ve been doing doesn’t even matter in the grander scheme of life.

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What Being Disorganized Really Says About You

What Being Disorganized Really Says About You

I think it’s time we had a little talk, me and you.  

A frank discussion about what the disorganization in your life truly means.  

Maybe what it’s a symptom of.  

Maybe what it’s costing you.  

An open, honest, and perhaps even a little uncomfortable conversation about the truth of living a disorganized life.  

Perhaps a dialog about unnecessary busy-ness.   Empty busy-ness that adds nothing of value to your day.  To your legacy.  

A discourse on how disorganization effects things like your time, money, and energy.  How it impacts your relationships and the joy you experience, or don’t, on a daily basis. 

Deep breath.  It’s truth time.

You ready? 

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11 Questions to Ask Yourself About How You Use Your Time

11 Questions to Ask Yourself About How You Use Your Time

Time.

Mr. Merriam and Mr. Webster define it as “the measured or measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues”. 

The Rolling Stones claim it’s “…On my side. Yes, it is.”

According to the Steve Miller Band, it “…Keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future”.

And Ecclesiastes 3 assures us that “For everything there is a season, a time for every matter under heaven…”  

In my professional opinion?  Time is our absolute greatest commodity.  And we squander the crap out of it. 

I’m not just talking about procrastination here.  You know, the act of putting something off until the last minute.

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Your Organization Questions Answered: Part 1 (Systems, Labels, and Kid's Artwork)

Your Organization Questions Answered: Part 1 (Systems, Labels, and Kid's Artwork)

People ask me questions all the time.

All. The. Time.

 As soon as someone figures out what I do for a living, one of two things happen.  Either the questions start rapid fire or they slowly back away, first murmuring and then shouting words that sound a whole lot like “She can never come to my house.  NEVER COME TO MY HOUSE.”

Now, those questions I get asked?  Sometimes they’re just straight up curiosity about the things I have seen, and OH SWEET MOTHER, you should see some of the things I’ve seen.  I have seen some STUFF, lemme tell you.  Rarely, if ever, do I run screaming and crying in the opposite direction though.  Okay, that’s a lie.  I actually never run screaming and crying in the opposite direction as long as someone is open for a little bit of help.  

If you’re sitting there shaking your head thinking “This chick hasn’t been to my house yet!” Lemme tell you a little secret.  There’s always going to be someone who’s in better shape than you are, and there’s always gonna be someone who’s in worse shape than you are.  And let’s get this straight right up front- There is no shame in my organizing game.

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The Secret to Organizing When You Don't Know Where to Start

The Secret to Organizing When You Don't Know Where to Start

Picture this.  

Your eyes flutter open. 

Still nestled in your cozy bed, you realize today isn’t just an ordinary day.  You realize today is…special.  You almost feel… Huh.  You’re not sure.  It’s been years since you’ve felt this way.  Is it?  Could it be?  Are you motivated?  Your heart starts to pound.  Yes!  YES!  You’re motivated.  REALLY motivated.  So motivated that you wonder for a split second if you’ve been body snatched.  As you briefly ponder what body snatching even means, you pinch yourself to make sure this isn’t some cruel dream.  

All at once, the craziest idea flits through your brain.  THIS is the day you’ve been waiting for.  Been praying for.  This is the day you’re finally gonna tackle your--cue dramatic music--OFFICE.  

Well, no one in your family actually calls it an office anymore. It’s actually known as “The Room You Throw Yourself in Front of If Company Shows Up Before You Can Slam the Door.”  

Today is the day.  THE. DAY!  It’s organizing day, baby!

You leap out of bed, shoving children and pets out of your way.  You’re ready!  You’re finally ready!  Sprinting through the house, you smell victory in the air.  You’re gonna show your office who’s boss today.  No longer will it mock you.  No longer will it hold 250 square feet of your home hostage.   Those craft and office supplies, piles of paperwork, broken toys, outdated phones, and discarded purses?  Well, by the end of the day they’ll be begging you for mercy along with all the other crap you’ve tossed in there for the past six months.  

Before your family can distract you, you’ve barricaded yourself inside.  A chair is shoved under the door knob because your youngest has an uncanny ability to pick locks.  You pause to catch your breath.

You’ve got everything you need.  Motivation.  Heart.  Determination.   Your right hand reaches out for the light switch.  You take one more deep breath and smile broadly in the shadowed room.  THIS. IS. IT. 

 

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