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

 

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Instant laundry solutions

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The power of water can never be underestimated. And in a clothing spill situation, water and the lightning speed reactions of a superhero, can save a piece and keep you feeling confident all outting long.

Yesterday I was enjoying a bowl of Honey Soy Hokien noodles and felt the familiar plop of a dark sauce falling right into my lap; on my bright tangerine dress!

As inconspicuously as possible, I poured a little of my drinking water into my palm and then worked it into the sauce. Tada! The sauce lifted almost completely. Besides feeling good about not walking around all day with a brown spot on my dress, it was such a relief to know that I wouldn’t have a lot of repair work to do at home!

Yes, I had a little bit of a wet patch in an area that may have looked like I’d peed myself but I knew that that wasn’t the case, so who cares. I’d much rather save my dress than worry about being embarrassed. Plus 97% of the time the patch has dried by the time the bill needs to be paid so it’s usually not a big deal.

I can’t think of any spills where this technique hasn’t helped in some degree. So don’t be embarrassed! Do your laundry as the spills occur and save effort and time in the long run.

The organising apps that keep my supplies in order

I gave a friend of mine an eye drop vial that I had in my handbag to relieve her itchy eyes and she said ‘I should make a point of carrying these but I always forget’. Which got me thinking about what it is that I do to ensure that I always have ‘handbag stock‘. Handbag stock includes bandaids, pain killers, eye drop vials and a muesli bar.

My system is to notice when my handbag supply needs replenishing, make a reminder in my Samsung calendar app and make sure that I top up my supply that evening at home.
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It’s also through this app that I keep track of when to refresh my mascara (every 3 months) and electric toothbrush head (every month and a half).

I recently wrote about product placement in the home. Following on from that another way I use ‘placement’ to keep myself organised is to mentally assign areas with specific tasks. For example, I know that if there are items (papers, tins of tuna) on a spot of carpet directly in line with the bedroom door that they need to go to work with me. Another placement is that if things are placed on the second stair I know that I need to take them up to my room the next time I pass by. It’s somewhat like bookmarking but to anyone else it would be invisible.

And linking back to replenishing my handbag. At work I will often jot a note on a Post It (things to do, things to buy etc.) which I then put in the same pocket in my handbag at the end of the day. It’s become habit to empty this pocket when I arrive home and action the pile as soon as possible.

A great app that is starting to replace the amazing physical Post It, in my world anyway, is Action Memo (which is an inbuilt app on the Samsung Note – though there are other Post It inspired apps available). It’s a great tool that allows me to make quick notes in scrawly hand writing while on the go.
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The wonders of Bicarb Soda

I love items that have multiple purposes. It’s less items to have in your space and your money does more work for you.

One such item is Bicarb Soda.

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This stuff is incredible – it’s a cooking product, it’s a beauty product, it’s a cleaning product and so much more. I’m continually finding new uses for it and my confidence grows and grows in its power with every experience.

A few of my favourite (non-cooking) uses…

  1. Dry shampoo – Distribute as much Bicarb Soda as you need through your hair (I’ve found it’s best not to get too much directly on your scalp) and then brush and style as normal to blend its appearance.
  2. Body exfoliant – Bicarb Soda can serve as an invigorating treat of a body scrub. Make a paste of Bicarb Soda and water to the consistency of your preference and then rub in a gentle circular motion to exfoliate  your skin.
  3. Polish jewellery – To shine tired looking silver jewellery, combine three tablespoons Bicarb Soda with half the amount of water. Rub onto the jewellery piece with a clean cloth or toothbrush and then rinse thoroughly and dry. For a fantastic article on caring and cleaning for costume jewellery head over to Beck & Boosh Inc.
  4. Revive sports clothes – When sports clothes start retaining that sweaty odour that a normal wash can’t cut through, I add a cup of Bicarb Soda to the wash cycle and vinegar to the rinse cycle and viola! My sports clothes come back to health.
  5. Deodorise bins Sprinkle Bicarb Soda on to the bottom of your bin to keep gross smells from creeping further afield.
  6. Deodorise shoes – Similar to above. Reduce odours from spreading in shoes by sprinkling Bicarb Soda into them when they are off duty. Make sure to shake the Bicarb Soda out before wearing though!
  7. Lift red wine from carpets – After blotting the spill, apply a Bicarb Soda paste (mix a three to one ratio of water to Bicarb Soda) and apply it to the spill. Once the paste has dried, vacuum the Bicarb Soda up.
  8. Smelly clogged drains – Pour a cup of Bicarb Soda followed by one cup of hot vinegar down the shower or kitchen drain to unclog and freshen the pipes.
  9. Clean stained mugs – Put a teaspoon of Bicarb Soda onto the bottom of the stained mug, add a little water to form a paste, and scrub with a toothbrush – just like new!

Knotty necklaces knots in time

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Generally I will put my accessories and clean items of clothing from the day’s outfit away before I get to bed. I have a much better sleep knowing that everything is in its place and I feel fresh and uncluttered the next morning when getting ready for the day ahead. Recently I was feeling a little tired (but not extremely tired – so really I was just being lazy) and rather than going through with my routine, I thought ‘Stuff it!’ and I left everything in a pile including the delicate gold necklace that I had worn that day. This particular necklace is quite demanding and needs to be stored on a cardboard backing… even at the time I knew I was being bold to neglect it…

The next day, I went to wear the necklace again and sadly found it in a tangled knot. This reminded me of a quote that has stuck with me for so long that I cannot recall where I first read it (or the exact phrasing) but it’s along the lines of “not practicing IS practicing”. Basically the consequences of not doing something that is in your best interest, reminds you how very good it is to do that thing – so it’s almost as good as doing that thing as it confirms the action’s value.

For example:

Best interest: Exercise, meditation, brushing your teeth, moisturising your heels, setting up direct debits.

Consequence: Harder to get moving the next time, feel stressed throughout the day, teeth feel yuck, heels crack, late fees accrue.

Well, the ultimate consequence was that it took me half an hour to untangle my necklace… with a bright light and a pair of tweezers I got there in the end but it was something I could have avoided.

HINT: Find a place on the knot and take hold with the tweezers, hold the tweezers up and use your fingers or another pair of tweezers to take the other side and wiggle to loosen the chinks till the knot starts to unfold.

The lesson I took from the experience was that giving into my laziness actually deprives me of more time takes more time. So the next time I’m feeling like giving in, I’ll remember this occasion and just get the job done rather than risking another knotty necklace. Practice practiced.

In case something goes wrong later… keep all records

shopping-879498_64097% of the time I will take a copy of my receipt. Cafes, bars, ATMS and of course stores. My parents have always done this and they often state that it’s good to check your receipts against your bank statements… just in case.

My mum taught me to always take a receipt from the ATM, just in case the machine happened to not give you the right amount of money. I’ve also taken on her preference of packing away receipts into my wallet rather than letting the shop attendant fold it up, all pretty like, with the clothes and tissue paper as they like to do. From memory it was something to do with if you were to get robbed then you’d have proof of what was taken? She’s lived in a few interesting cities so I just took her word for it that this is good practice.

I keep my receipts in a gift bag in chronological order each year from June to June (Australia’s financial year) and I hold on to two years worth at a time. I find this system easy to maintain. I keep an eye on receipts building up in my wallet and when there are enough I move them over to that year’s gift bag, I make sure that the new bunch is added to the back (a handy *star* helps me to mark which side of the bag is the front) and off I go.

Due to the chronological order, if I happen to need a receipt I just have to have a vague date in mind as guidance to sift through the receipts. It’s an option to implement a dividing system but I don’t mind strolling down memory lane, appreciating all that my money has done for me and the good times represented by many of the receipts (a great meal out with a friend, a massage or a pedicure).

An added bonus of this system is that I exercise my consumer rights when I need to. If an item fails to live up to standards, within a reasonable time frame, I can go back to my receipts and approach the store about rectifying the issue with confidence (though, you can use your bank statement as proof too). Because sometimes it’s the difference between having a receipt and feeling like this…

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and that makes keeping records worthwhile.

Cheap cinema outings every day of the week

imageDon’t you hate that feeling when you go to a movie, completely pumped and it really wasn’t worth your time or the ticket price? Well there are a number of ways that planning ahead will make a trip to the movies cheaper and those disappointing choices less palpable.

  1. Eating your way to discount tickets – cinemas will often make deals with restaurants nearby which can make for a cheaper outing. One of my favourite deals is the Movie Stack deal at the Pancake Parlour, a short pancake stack and an adult movie ticket for $19 makes for a great Sunday!
  2. Memberships – most cinemas have a movie club that you can pay to join that will get you discounted movie tickets all year round and they also usually have discounts on food, birthday bonuses and such initiatives as see four films and get the fifth free.
  3. Entertainment booklets – some of the best deals for groups can be found in these.
  4. Unions, Insurance or Gym Membership bonuses –
    • For example:
      • NRMA members can get up to 35% off full priced Event Cinemas movie vouchers.
      • CPSU members can buy a range of discounted movie tickets for a variety of venues (including outdoor and drive-in cinemas.

But by far the one making the biggest impression on me of late is Qantas Movies which is accessible through their Loyalty Program. I’ve only recently come across it and it’s phenomenal! By buying a minimum of four vouchers (capped at a maximum of 10 at a time) you collect Qantas Frequent Flyer points and enjoy heavily discounted tickets.  They are valid for five months (unless otherwise specified) and, although it’s annoying that some of the cinemas will only accept the vouchers if printed out, you can exchange these quite smoothly at the cinemas for most standard screenings.

So the other day when I saw the new James Bond film, Spectre, rather than paying $19 I handed over a voucher that had only cost me $10. The added bonus was that I could day dream about what beautiful clothes I’d get once my Qantas points grow into a lovely David Jones voucher. Now, isn’t that a great way to pass some over the top macho action time?

Ready for hunger at work

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Being hungry at work is a horrible situation to find yourself in. For me it leads to producing bad work, taking things way too personally, ruining my budget and eating too many fundraising chocolates.

To make sure that I can stave off hunger at every turn I keep my work draw well stocked and keep a few items in the communal fridge and freezer. This way I manage to avoid having to make a mad dash to purchase something unhealthy to simply see me through the day.

In my work draw I have:

· Uncle Toby’s Oats Quick Sachets (the ones that are ready in 90 seconds)

· Trail Mix

· Brown rice microwavable cups (so easy and delicious)

· Baked beans

· Tins of tuna

· Vegemite

· Peanut butter (I repurpose jam jars to split containers of peanut butter between home and work)

· Vita Weats

· Muesli

· Muesli Bars

· Golden Valley fruit cups (great with muesli)

· Tea and coffee

In the fridge I have yoghurt and cheese slices and I’m a member of the milk club to ensure that milk is always on hand for Oats and hot drinks. I also keep half a loaf of bread and a few meals in take away containers in the freezer.

A perfect week for me is not having to worry about bringing in lunch as ideally I’d already have five meals prepared. However, my stash comes in handy if I need to throw together an easy lunch.

Here is a typical day:

AM: Muesli with yoghurt and a splash of milk

Lunch Options:

A frozen meal;

Or

Brown rice, tuna and nuts (and a teaspoon of vegemite sometimes just to add a little more flavour);

Or

Cheese and tuna sandwich;

PM: Vita Weats and cheese slices.

By thinking ahead and establishing, what some may call, a small pantry at my desk, my colleagues will never have to see my hangry side. And that, I think, is to everyone’s advantage.

Thinking literally about leather

Leather is skin. Literally.

I knew this but it wasn’t until a shoe repair man compared the needs of my shoes to the likes of my daily skin care routine that it really hit home. Very matter-of-factly, he said ‘It’s skin, it’s like your face, it needs moisturising to keep it supple.’ Well it’s something that has stuck with me and now every three months I treat my shoes and handbag to a ‘facial’.

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NOT the shoe repair man quoted.

This facial involves taking a microfiber cloth, applying a small amount of leather conditioner and working it into the leather in a circular motion. These ‘facials’ work wonders; before my eyes the items revive, becoming smoother and more plump.

Another leather conditioning tip is that if you have tight leather shoes, some frequent moisturising can loosen spots to perfection. This is something I wouldn’t want to try on my face though.

Do you have a spare button or two?

Collections sometimes do accidentally happen. Collections of marketing pens, collections of makeup samples, collections of spare buttons. They sneak up on you with their ‘I could be useful one day’ vibe and their ‘I’m so small, I won’t take up too much space’ promise. But once they group together they become problematic.
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This post came about after a coincidental chat with a friend, who on the same weekend as me, was trying to decide what to do with her accidental spare button collection. We agreed that it seems like a considerate gesture of the clothing manufactures to include a spare button but we wondered if enough people actually use them to justify such an effort.

I think a poll is required!

Do you a) keep your spare buttons or b) throw them out along with the price tag?

If you tend to go with the first option, do you then a) keep them all in the one box or bag? or b) organise them?

If you didn’t follow the path of ‘all in together’ – how have you sorted them? We want to know! So please respond in the comments below 🙂

My friend and I both had the idea of making notes on the packaging and then attaching it to a coat hanger which would then be dedicated to the clothing item. This was deemed too time consuming and logistically problematic though. Jumping on Google, it was revealed that this is actually a genuine first world problem and many people do not know what to do with these button collections.

My search led to a few viable solutions but by far my favourite was from the website Modern Parents Messy Kids where they have a nifty free template to use in conjunction with easily obtainable business card pockets. Amazing!

In the end I decided that my collection was too far gone, I couldn’t recall what most of the buttons were for so I picked out the buttons that were recognisable and binned the rest. Decluttering wins once again my friends.