Category Archives: Home Organizing

Do you have a ‘ring of attack’?

iStock_000002543406XSmallWhen I speak on “Organize with Confidence” I always bring up the fact that when most people organize they get distracted by things they find that belong somewhere else.

For example – you may be organizing your junk drawer and find a tool that belongs in the garage. Thinking that you are doing this organizing thing right you go to put the tool away in the garage. While you’re there you think that you might as well organize the tools! You completely forget that you were organizing the junk drawer and when you go back in the house you’re shocked at the mess you’ve left in the kitchen. But by that time you need to leave for an appointment so you shove everything back in the drawer and it’s worse than before!

This is where I teach about the Elizabeth Circle. When you organize you need to draw an imaginary circle around your feet called the Elizabeth Circle. You may not leave the circle until you are COMPLETELY done organizing that area. Have a bag marked ‘take to another area’ for items you find that belong somewhere else and bring them away AFTER you are done organizing. But after a workshop a few years ago I may have an alternate name for the Elizabeth Circle.

One of the greatest joys I have as a speaker are the emails I get after my workshops. My latest workshop was no exception as I got the best email! I thought that you would enjoy it, too, so here it is in part with her name withheld to protect the unorganized!

I just had to drop you a note and tell you how much fun I had at your seminar. True to form, I came home all inspired but this inspiration woke me at 6:00am this morning! So, I trotted downstairs, opened the “mom’s going to scream” drawer and started the process. I didn’t move my feet, I had all my tools there, I formed my “put someplace else” pile and didn’t wander from the attack zone. It was all great and wonderful …until … I came upon that one piece of paper … the memory that had to go acknowledged. It was either irony or divine intervention.

I found a printed menu from the very first night my friend (who also attended your workshop) and I hosted our “Girl’s Gourmet” night. Yes, as a group of 12 we were all professional women, some married, only one with kids and lots of time to enjoy a long dinner and lots of wine. Things change and we have changed as a group as well. We have tried cooking schools, nights out, less intense “gourmet” experiences, etc. Finally, we are all too busy and too disorganized to get together. Well, not any more.

The menu was from February 24, 2000 and so my stepping out of the ring of attack I had to call my friend. I got her voice mail and that was best … no further digression or distraction … just left her the message that in our newly organize lives, we will be hosting the 9th Anniversary of “Girls’ Gourmet” at my home and we will even be ahead of the game enough to do a fabulous menu because we won’t be distracted by the clutter and junk in our homes! So, thanks for a fun night and the wonderful reconnection with a wonderful group!

Isn’t that just the best! Notice two things – she got up at 6:00am to organize (which I find amazing!) and she changed the Elizabeth Circle to ‘the ring of attack’. I found that fascinating. I wrote her back thanking her for the email and then asked about the name change. She wrote back “I do believe that future projects will not require such intensity and I can return to the ‘Elizabeth Circle’!”

So, I now have an alternate tool to help you stay focused. If it is an area of great intensity stay in the ‘ring of attack’!

Organize. Focus. Love.

 

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Today I was thinking about the last time I helped mom organize her closet in her home. We took everything out of her closet and went through each item. Yes, every item!

As my mom would go through a pile I’d bring some more things out from the closet and she’d start to look at those new items and I’d say ‘”Focus!” and she’d get back on track! It’s so easy to get distracted while organizing because it’s hard to make decisions. It seems easier to set things aside and start looking at a new pile. It takes a lot of discipline to stay focused and keep making decisions. That’s why it helps to have someone with you while you work. Even better if that person can say “Focus!” with a very authoritative voice.

Even though my mom doesn’t have that much stuff we ended up giving away bags of clothes. Her closet looked fantastic when we were done. Everything was sorted and labeled. And what was left were things she really enjoyed wearing.

That night I received an email from my mom which said:
Dear Blossom in the Snow,

Such good feelings about this remarkable day and our communication and being protected by in and out and our giggles PLUS the stunning closet completion. I think I was really rash in all I tossed out, but I likely won’t miss a bit. Thanks for the stern FOCUS reminders and results. Unbelievable. Super many thanks and hope the ride home was a happy one. Take care of yourself, in and out, you are a special creation of God.

Love you,
Mom

I love you, too mom.

A way to be super organized!

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Would you like an all-in-one place for your active project papers?  Well, Smead has just the product for you – the SuperTab Organizer with 90% larger tabs and labeling area.  Label away!

Help from Smead

I just discovered another great product from Smead!  It’s the 3-way Classic Organizer with 12 pockets:  A-Z, January through December, and 1-31 and holds 900 + sheets. Think of all the different ways you could use these organizers:  Receipts, action reminders, etc.

Organization Tip of the Day

You may think that you don’t have the time to get organized. I’m here to tell you that you need to make the time! The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If you want to get more done, have more focus, feel better about yourself, and have more time then take the time to make the changes needed in your life.

Organization Tip of the Day

Being organized is all about systems. Being able to get ready for a trip quickly is all about systems. Here are some tips for you to implement before your next trip.

1. Have good luggage. Is the luggage you have a wedding present from 25 years ago. It’s time to upgrade! I invested in some great luggage and it has paid for itself over and over. Don’t forget luggage tags.

2. Purchase a great makeup bag or whatever it’s called for men. Mine has lots of zippered compartments and then folds up.

3. If you travel a lot get doubles of everything – makeup, shampoo, lotion, etc. Then, when it’s time for a trip, grab your makeup bag and you’re off!

4. Use a travel checklist. Not only go over it when you pack but put it in your suitcase and check it again when you leave your hotel so you don’t forget anything.

5. Give yourself enough time to pack. Most mistakes are made when you are hurrying. That’s always the time you forget the cell phone or laptop charger!!

6. Purchase a compact fold-up travel alarm clock. If the hotel just messes up once with your wake-up call you’ll understand why I take my own clock!

7. Take less. I should do this myself! I always over pack.

Organization Tip of the Day

A common response I get when I speak is that people don’t have any time to get organized. I’m always baffled by that response. Not surprised because I hear it a lot, but baffled.

If you’re wasting time looking for things, are overwhelmed by your email inbox, can’t see the top of your desk because of all the paper piles, and constantly feel behind – what do you expect to change if you don’t take the time to do anything about these situations? I don’t get it.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results!

You have to take time to make time. Really, you do! Why don’t you try it and see if I’m right. Go to your calendar and make a 30-minute appointment for yourself in the next week. During that time just pick 75 emails, two stacks of paper or one cupboard in your house and deal with the stuff. I guarantee you’ll get more organized than you think AND the next time you look at your inbox, the top of your desk, or that cupboard you’re going to feel great that you did something which will motivate you to go on to the next area you want to organize.

ElizabethHagen.com  •  605-310-5764  •  Elizabeth@ElizabethHagen.com

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