Flor&order’s Organising Path

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

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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!

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.

Jewellery heaven

I love accessories. Bangles. Necklaces. Earrings. Rings. I love them all. They complete my outfits and they often collect me the most compliments.

For the past five years I have used this Howard’s Storage World solution to manage my necklace collection. I can clearly see my necklaces and as I see them on a daily basis they all get regular outings.
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I enforce a fairly strict one-in-one-out policy; all my necklaces must fit in these 44 pockets and if I buy a new necklace, another must be let go to make room. Sometimes the sizes of the pockets make it tricky to fit unique shaped necklaces but I haven’t had to resort to alternative storage means as yet. A unique necklace is simply an invitation to use creativity to work out another way to make the solution work, such as folding it or inserting it in the pocket upside down.

I use a similar solution to this for my earrings. It’s a tad fiddly when applied to stud earrings but much better than simply having them all jumbled together.
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I picked my ring holder up as a souvenir on an overseas holiday but I have seen similar ones at Howard’s Storage World. At the moment they have these in stock but I prefer the design of mine as it holds my entire ring collection and allows for easy access.

I recently re-purposed paper towel holders as a method of displaying and organising my bangles and so far I’m very happy with this new set up . The only annoying aspect is that if I want a bangle that has made it’s way to the bottom of the holder I have to take all of the others off to get to it. Having said that though, it does reshuffle the order and reminds me of the other fantastic bangles I own.

Adapting and maintaining these solutions keeps my jewellery organised and ensures that I use everything I own frequently. I’d like to think that this has created an environment of mutual respect between my collection and myself – I keep them organised and they continue to support my outfits. It really is jewellery heaven.

Organising Makeup

I used to go to the gym in the morning, get ready in the gym’s shower room and head straight to work. To do this I would take my toiletries and cosmetics with me in a spacious toiletry bag which I didn’t unpack between gym days. Even though I now go to the gym in the evenings, my morning gym routine still influences my makeup organisation. I use my toiletry bag as storage year round, which makes packing for travel very easy and maintains my limit on how many products I own.

The products that live in my toiletry bag are foundation, concealer, blush, bronzer, finishing powder, mascara, my eyebrow brush and gel as well as tweezers, nail clippers and small travel versions of perfume, hair serum and face wash. I know exactly which pocket houses each step and it’s second nature to reach in and pull out what I need next.

My toiletry bag sits nicely to the side of my sink on a wheelie draw unit which I have divided into Hair (products and accessories), Lotions and sprays (my deodorant currently lives in here as it’s a big spray bottle but usually it’s in my toiletry bag as well), Medicines and first aid, and Storage.
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On the other side of my sink I have three shelves. The top shelf houses my makeup brushes in handy cups that they came in, the middle is where my skin care routine lives and is organised by use – face wash and makeup remover, toner, exfoliant, and moisturiser. The bottom shelf is where my infrequent makeup things hang out because they look pretty and I like to be reminded to use them – my perfume, my eyeshadow palette and my lipgloss and lipsticks. The organiser I use on this shelf to clearly display my items is similar to this one from Kmart. To the side of these shelves is another cosmetic organiser from Kmart and it stores my hair bands, dental floss sticks, ear buds and cotton wool rounds.

Although my makeup organisation is quite particular to my lifestyle and my bathroom setup, I think that there are a few aspects of it that can be applied to any bathroom.

One, I truly believe that having as few products as possible is a great start; declutter and clear out your space!

Two, sort by order of use – when you get ready in the mornings, what is your routine? Do you reach for body stuff or face stuff or hair stuff first? Get these products in order and give them a dedicated place that is within easy reaching distance.

Three, separate products by type to keep them organised. Like my toiletry bag, use containers to further divide a space up.
Plastic takeaway containers are great for so many things besides storing food. Lay as many as you need or can fit into a draw (round ones too can be used to make use of those smaller spaces) and dedicate one to hold each item that you have – brushes, eyeliner pencils, mascaras, foundations, and powders. If you have a lot of lipsticks, store them with the bottom labels facing upwards, this will make it easier for you to distinguish what colour is within each tube. And if you happen to be working with deep shelves, spice racks can make a space more flexible as they add more surface space to work with.

Organising makeup and your bathroom, more generally, means adapting the space available to suit you and your lifestyle which can only make getting ready an easier and more pleasant experience. And who doesn’t want that in the mornings?

Product Placement… make it work for you

As blatantly obvious as it is is, sometimes almost groan worthy so, there’s a reason why product placement is so prevalent on our entertainment screens – because it works. auto-424119_1280Brands that you were unaware of being in existence last week come to mind at the drop of a hat, products that you didn’t even know you needed become utterly important for your reality to continue and you. must. have. them. NOW.

So, how can you use this tactic to your advantage? In your own home? Well, let me ask you… because I’m on a roll with the questions in this paragraph… have you had that experience where you’ve thought ‘I need hand cream’ and then after returning from the shops you realise that you already had five hand creams and two were half used? It’s frustrating, not only because of the additional money spent but I bet that you’d be itching to open the new and exciting hand cream over the older ones (and really, due to expiration dates and all – they should be used up first).

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