How to remember what you stored in that out of sight storage option

Recently I worked with a client who throws a lot of parties. She’s very good at it and so as well as hosting her own, many people come to her for help or to borrow her equipment. By the time we started working together her party equipment was being stored across many spots ranging from the garage, to the pantry, to the multi purpose study room.

My client complained that she was often buying duplicates of things because she’d forget what she already had as her collection wasn’t centrally located. Another problem that emerged from this complaint was that my client would often think about her garage storage at inopportune times (when it was too dark to venture out or when there wasn’t enough time to rummage).

With this information at hand we developed an action plan. Firstly, we collected all the party things together and went through it to make sure that only what was relevant was left to store.

Secondly, we categorised and got the items stored in a manageable and accessible way.

Using the garage proved to be the best home for the party equipment but what changed my client’s relationship to the garage and her way of handling the party equipment, was photographing her party equipment collection.

By taking photographs of the party gear and saving these in Evernote – my client can refer to them easily and quickly whether inside her house or speaking with friends and family about an upcoming party.

If you’re unable to photograph your out of sight storage space then sketching a note on a phone app or taking a photo of a doodle is a useful method. I do this to keep track of what I’m storing under my bed. I have several plastic roller containers that I use for off season clothing and for other irregularly used items. Rather than dragging out what I think might be the correct container, I check my sketch and get it right every time! Saves time and muscle energy!

What out of sight storage have you under utilized of late? Will photographing or sketching it help you efficiently retrieve it later?

ORGANISING HEART, HEAD, AND HOME

FLOR&ORDER

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Organising Gems from my Dad

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With Father’s Day having just rolled past for another year, I began thinking about the top gems that I’ve garnered from my Dad that effect my organised life style:

  • Always make your bed (which I wrote about in depth here).
  • Keep your shoes polished and you’ll feel prepared for anything.
  • Always ask if that’s the best rate a company can offer and don’t sit still with a provider for too long – loyalty rewards no one it seems.
  • Mark where you want to hang something with a pencil before committing hammering a nail into the wall. Or better yet – use Commander 3m damage free hooks.
  • Computer maintenance is key to a healthy laptop and saves you much money. You can’t blame a computer for being slow if you don’t treat it to some defragging once in a while… it’s like saying that your car won’t move but not giving it petrol.

What organising gems have you gained from your Father?

Organising heart, head, and home

Flor&order

Two ways to keep simple tasks off of your to do list

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Every day things will come up that need attention. Related to personal items, household, work, future dreams and fun. Some of these things will have to be done at a later date and should be added to a to do list. However, some simple tasks can be ticked off as they come up.

If you’re able to do the task as it comes up I find it’s less effort to ‘Just do it!’ rather than taking the time to add it to a to do list and think about when else to do it.

A method that I’ve found works well is to collect a bunch of these tasks and simply plan to have a ‘Pottering Marathon’ – there’s nothing I love more than a home day and just having the time to potter and see what pops up as I move around the house and check in with my possessions. I find these times rather cathartic and a good grounding exercise. A Pottering Marathon can go from mending a shirt, changing a bulb, cleaning the windows, making a call, to consolidating my household’s collection of plastic bags.

Between doing simple tasks as they arise and having the space for a Pottering Marathon where you can come across simple tasks while being able to action them, you may be surprised as to how much more efficiently your life can run.

Organising heart, head, and home

Flor&order

Click here to book in for your FREE 20 Minute Clarity Session

How finding your personal mantra can help you be a finisher

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My personal trainer used to say “What’s another 30 seconds…? What’s another minute…?” when motivating me to keep going on the treadmill during our sessions together. And he was right – by the time I was nearing the end of my run I’d gone so far that another 30 seconds or a minute was not really worth fighting about – I just did it!

It’s a phrase that comes back to me whenever I feel tired and think about doing something simple later – such as putting away my clothes, hanging up my necklace or returning my little shopping cart to the garage. The thought “What’s another minute? You’re going to do it anyway, why not now?” will get me to push on through.

It’s finding personal mantras like this one that I find help clients stick to their organising goals. If a client can get into the habit of automatically putting things back for even a week, by the end they are amazed at how much more organised they and their space has become.

What’s your mantra that helps you push through?

Organising heart, head, and home

Flor&order

Click here to book in for your FREE 20 Minute Clarity Session

 

Get the ball rolling to kick procrastination to the curb

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Procrastination affects us all. I’ll often get stuck into something after putting it off for so long that I wonder why I dreaded it so much. Sometimes I find that all I needed was a way in to get the ball rolling, just a little task that gets my interest into gear and kick starts the project.

I’ve found that a small win will help motivate clients to keep going for their organising goal. Starting with decluttering – if you keep feeling stuck, simply pick one of the below tasks and go for it! Set a timer for 20 minutes and see if breaking such a task into more manageable pieces feels more doable.

  • Old stationery and crafting supplies
    • dried up paints
    • glues
    • pens that don’t work
    • notebooks that don’t inspire you
  • Clothing
    • Broken or cheap/free clothes hangers
    • Socks that are threadbare
    • Knits you didn’t wear last winter and knits with unmendable holes
    • Clothes that you have always felt wrong in – for starters, jeans
  • Kitchen
    • Mismatched or excess cutlery
    • Baking accessories that you haven’t touched in years
    • Fancy platters, place mats, doilies that aren’t ever used
  • Bathroom
    • Expired makeup (foundation and concealers especially)
    • Worn out towels of any variety
    • Candles you’ll never use and that have lost their smell
  • Household items
    • Expired vouchers stuck to the fridge door
    • Keys that you can’t match to any known lock
    • Cards that aren’t meaningful
    • Broken, old or unused toys
    • Worn out, rusty or broken gardening tools that you don’t use

Have a go and let me know what it is that you found surprising?

 

Organising heart, head, and home

Flor&order

Click here to book in for your FREE 20 Minute Clarity Session

 

 

How being organised is beneficial in an emergency

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Staying somewhere that isn’t familiar brings out the differences in people. Two broad categories that show up are nesters and tornados. Nesters come in, secure an area and return their possessions to that point, in comparison, tornados unpack everything on arrival, use all available space and their possessions end up scattered everywhere. One type needs to look under the bed before leaving just in case and the other type knows that there is nothing under there because they didn’t put anything there.

I fall into the nester category and I recently had an experience that made me grateful for it. The experience made me consider that organisation is a silent support that can be counted on in times of need.

In my case, I was the only one present when my friend started to have a serious medical emergency late at night, my nesting tendency meant that I was able to quickly call for help and be effective. Likewise, before heading off in the ambulance I was able to grab a set of clothes and all essentials set for a full change at the hospital. I didn’t have to think and I didn’t second guess myself, I just knew that I was covered. Organising had my back!

Hours and hours later in Emergency, my phone was nearing empty and I was again so grateful that I had organised packing a spare battery in my day bag. It was the little things at that stage that were keeping me grounded and seeing that spare battery was just like getting a huge hug. And in a way it was because it kept me connected to my sister who was supporting me via text message on the other side of the world.

Since then I’ve stayed in other rooms that aren’t my regular place of abode and I have renewed vigor in nesting. When you have a strong experience of something working for you it becomes easier and easier to keep the habit up.

What are your habits when staying somewhere unfamiliar?

 

Organising heart, head, and home

Flor&order

Click here to book in for your FREE 20 Minute Clarity Session

 

 

 

Being prepared for forgetting is organised and human

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In my last post I suggested that a healthier perspective to feeling you’ve failed is to instead observe your patterns and tweak for better results. Changing and adapting to situations when new information becomes available, is in fact, being organised.

The same goes with forgetting things. Being organised is not about never forgetting anything ever again but being able to do something about it quickly when you do.

Case in point, I was rushing for a doctor’s appointment and forgot my Medicare card. In the span of 30 seconds I went from saying “Doh!” to “Ah! I have the number listed in Evernote.”

Disaster averted!

And how did I know to have that number listed else where? You got it! Because I’d forgotten before. Live and learn is the phrase, not live and beat yourself up!

What’s something you can do to help your future self?

Organising heart, head, and home

Flor&order

Click here to book in for your FREE 20 Minute Clarity Session

 

To schedule effectively – be curious about your patterns

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After a gym session the other day I had planned to go past the library and pick up an item I’d been looking forward to. I arrived, collected the book, and was ready to check out at the self service when I realised that I’d forgotten my library card. Doh!

I went to the Help Desk and asked if it was possible for them to check it out for me by using my licence details. The librarian noticed that this wasn’t the first time I’d done this which led to an interesting discussion around patterns and observations of one’s self.

My pattern is that I more often than not combine library pick ups with gym sessions as they are close to each other. However, I was still keeping my library card in my main wallet. Realising that my library card is of better use in my gym bag, the moment I got home I popped my card into my gym bag. This has greatly improved my library track record!

Observing your patterns and tweaking for better results is the key to being organised. It’s a much healthier perspective as well, to be curious about yourself and your patterns instead of associating trip ups, similar to mine above, as failing.

On that note, I ask you to observe yourself and to see if any patterns start to interest you and then come back and share!

 

Organising heart, head, and home

Flor&order

Click here to book in for your FREE 20 Minute Clarity Session

 

Flor&order’s Organising Path

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In today’s fast paced world, being organised is one of the essential survival skills. Life is busy and being human increasingly reflects that. Getting organised isn’t so simple as doing this or buying that. The urge to organise arises inside each of us in infinite ways but at the heart of the matter is that gaining clarity is a part of life. Clarity that enables us to grasp a sense of where we have come from and where we want to go. I love providing a service empowering others to find their special clarity and move in the direction of “doing life their way”. My organising philosophy combines developing mindfulness, encouraging an appreciation for minimalism, increasing an appreciation of what to be grateful for, and sharing knowledge of essential life support tools which can enable all the above.

I feel there is a connectedness in everything in life and that there’s a strong link between heart, head, and home. Often, people see the everyday human things as annoying yet necessary evils; I want to change that view. I hold that by thoughtfully incorporating and appreciating everyday things that contribute to being human, that a life develops a stronger foundation. A foundation upon which it is more likely a continuum of happiness can be built. Our living spaces are projections of our headspace and heartspace, so if someone  feels overwhelmed or stressed at home or when contemplating their to do list, or doubts their grasp on time, all are messages of distress. Making connections with a person’s values and needs I help them appreciate life’s requirements that in turn help make their waking hours easier and more productive overall. Approaching my own life in this manner has aided me so often that I deeply feel the fundamental truth in this approach.

Organising has been a major aspect of my personality from the beginning. My family moved frequently and I was always the first one unpacked and ‘at home’ in a new house and city. I realise now that this was an innate means of getting grounded and to feel more at ease in new surroundings and getting on with life. My passion is to help clients find what the advantages of being more organised are and how they can contribute to them becoming “grounded” in the same way.

In my mid 20s I got everything in my life organised. I reached out to experts and outsourced style and shopping, fitness, finance, and established a self-care network made up of a massage therapist, chiropractor, hairdresser, and meditation teacher. I organized my life to more fully support me and as a result was able to focus on my priorities.  I felt composed, cared for, and leading a more streamlined life when facing some serious challenges at times. These experiences made me firmly believe that if someone’s essential life structures are in place, they are much more capable of handling the unexpected.

Managing and organising my life has taught me many skills that have been of great utility for clients. My mind likes structure, seeks structure, and sees clearly how structure can work for the benefit of others. In my work I’m passionate about helping clients find what gaps they have in their lives and through our interactions we find what works best to eliminate them. What excites me about this process is that it’s always surprising and varied as to what one person needs as contrasted to another.  No “one size fits all” model in this field.

In my last corporate job the realization dawned on me that I was meant to be doing organising work. What gave me the most satisfaction was assisting my colleagues in providing life hacks, connecting them with sources to achieve a personal project, or motivating them to improve their current situations. By the time I relocated from Canberra to Melbourne in early 2016, I had already begun working with clients on weekends and loved the experience of connecting with people during organising projects and helping them find tailored solutions. Being in Melbourne has given me the opportunity to turn my full attention to organising and in doing so increase client engagement and knowledge.

Recent study has enabled me to obtain coaching qualifications specifically designed for the professional organising industry. Currently I am only one of two Australian organisers with this qualification. My decision to enroll in the Organizer Coach Foundation Training Program fit naturally with my philosophy that being organised is vital and the training has helped me deepen my connections with clients in order to help achieve their goals.

Organising Coach Christie Flora at Flor&order

As an organiser coach I use the principles of coaching to tackle organising challenges. Utilizing coaching techniques I can more fully respond to the enormous desire that is usually just under the surface of a client’s initial request for organising help. My work helps empower clients who struggle with too-busy lives, disorganisation, ADD, situational stress, or challenging transitions. Transitions both in life as well as place. By tackling challenges in this more in-depth way the client is supported and encouraged to explore what they really need and are better able to tune into their underlying, often partially unconscious needs. I’m intrigued with helping clients learn to engage with their motivations, emboldening them to experiment with perspectives, and to test actions and strategies and tweak all whenever necessary.

One of the fundamental steps in getting organised is looking at the mental clutter that has created the issue. My recent training has made me better able to explore the immobilizing beliefs and personal barriers that a client is unconsciously grappling with.  The next step is then to discover new perspectives that can aid in getting to the place or personal situation desired. Kindness, empathy, curiosity and patience are incredibly important to the whole process. Kindness and empathy lead to compassion and adding curiosity to the mix means we are able to gift ourselves the time and space to explore who we are and what is wanted.  Invaluable knowledge.

Organising is a life time skill that evolves and changes through the years. In today’s fast paced world it’s a basic tool for achieving a more fulfilling and encouraging life. Finding stability in support systems and using order creation to develop and more fully achieve in life, are ideals I strive for and are what I love helping clients discover for themselves.

 

Organising heart, head, and home

Flor&order

Click here to book in for your FREE 20 Minute Clarity Session

 

Claiming calm in your kitchen

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If your kitchen is feeling out of control, there are three things that you can do to claim some calm back.

Tackle those Plastic Containers

This area is often a quick win. Gotta love that!

First step, pull out all the containers and start matching lids to bottoms. If any come up lonely – ditch them!

Second step, take stock of what is left, do you have more than you could ever need? If so, keep enough to last you a week and recycle the rest. By having a limit on your containers it enforces a ‘return to the kitchen’ cycle, whether that be from work, rooms, bags or the fridge (full of leftovers).

Third step, make a call on freebie containers – yogurt pots, jars, and takeout containers. Do the proper containers cover your needs? If so recycle these.

Fourth step, keep like sizes with like and stack the containers inside one another. And let the draw limit you how much you keep!

Pretty up the cooking utensils draw

Take everything out! And give that draw a wipe down. As you start picking items up ask yourself “when was it last used?”

If you can’t remember or it was a while ago, put this utensil aside and continue on; we’ll come back to these ones soon. Another few questions to ask is did it work? And is it in perfect condition? We don’t want any broken or useless instruments that make life harder.

Now ensure that the utensils that have returned back to the draw are in an orderly fashion. Can you use some of those plastic containers ready for recycle, as dividers and to give the draw some structure?

Now for those items that aren’t used all that often! One way to decide if you really need them is to pop them all in a container and observe over the span of a month what you use. Once you’ve needed something it gets to return to the draw with the other essential utensils. After one month, have a look at what you haven’t touched and move it along!

Take stock of dishes, mugs and pots and pans

Take a moment to have a think about the crockery and cooking tools used in your household. If the same ones always come out to work, put them aside and have a look at why the others aren’t being given a go. Do your favourites cover your needs? Can you cut back? How many do you realistically need if you were to have some guests over? Are there items that are cracked, chipped or just too far gone? By sifting through your collection and holding on to only what you need and love your kitchen will feel breezier and lighter than before.

 

Organising heart, head, and home

Flor&order

Click here to book in for your FREE 20 Minute Clarity Session