Let’s go one step further in how we actually organize ourselves to feel freer. Remember our last post on Dematerializing ourselves? Being trapped under things, does not help to think and act freely. So I decided to get in touch with my friend, Patty Cruz-Fouchard, who founded the company Organised & Simple so that she can share with us some tips.
1. How did you get to set up this company? Why?
Having been part of the corporate world in the Finance Industry for more than 15 years. I knew I had lost my motivation and no longer understood what my objective was in my corporate career. I decided to leave my job and once I spent more time with my personal network I realised I was drawn and enjoyed organising friends, family, my home and any project that came along. I knew I wanted do for a living something I felt passionate about.
I’m passionate about developing strategies and routines that help deal with work, family and personal interests while avoiding the trap of burning out, overwhelmed or tired – I want to make other people’s lives easier by teaching them how to get and stay organised.
2. What is the key advice you would give to be more organized at home?
Being organized is not about having a minimalist environment or living and working in a space that looks like a picture from a Interiors Magazine, it is about finding your things when you need them, being calm and happy in your environment and having time to enjoy life.
The 3 things we all have to deal with no matter what are: Paper, Personal Belongings (clothes, childrens’ toys, home offices, kitchens, etc.) and Time
• For Paper –
1. Identifying a place (hub) that is accessible and visible where your mail will land is vital. Make sure that every piece of mail goes to the hub as soon as it is picked up.
2. Have a set day of the week to go through your mail – make it a habit to open every single piece of mail on that specific day!. It will become second nature once you have done it a couple of times.
3.Deal with any actions that come out of any opened mail on the spot (i.e. RSVP to the wedding invite you just got, dispose in recycle bin any junk mail, write a cheque for required payment, etc.)
• For Personal Belongings –
1. Have your items organised by a common category: by texture, colour, usage, season, size, etc. This will make it easier to choose and reach what you need, plus you will have a clear idea of what you have.
2. Store items that are used regularly -e accessible and easy to reach, any items not regularly used can be stored in less visible and accessible places.
3. Having a yearly clear out is key to keeping space becoming cluttered i.e at seasonal changes (i.e winter/summer for clothes) or after a Birthday (for children’s toys) or Holiday Season (for home offices, kitchens, Lofts, etc.)
• For Time – A “Must-Do-List” Split what you must accomplish in a week into three “must-do” activities per day. Three daily goals are very doable. You can then move on to less pressing tasks.
Having these 3 aspects of your life under control, means you have minimised stress and can start leading an organised life.
3. What are the typical traps we fall into whilst organizing?
• Not having a Vision – taking some time to think: Why is it that you are re organising? What is the desired ultimate result?
• Wanting to get reorganised in one day – when the situation you are dealing with has taken more than a day to get to where it is.
• Tackling an organising project your own – in reality dealing with a clear out and re organising, is time consuming and boring if done alone and with no motivation.
• Getting excited about containers – going on a shopping spree and getting “cool” containers, before you actually start the organising project, to find out that their not the right size, too many or not functional.
4. Now that Spring is there, what would you suggest would be the first thing to do?
• Clear out: Start with the area that bothers you the most, that ones that making you stuck – it is the area that will have the most impact on you, your life and your ability to focus. The main questions to ask yourself while doing a clearing out:
o Does it fit my overall purpose and vision?
Being clear about your Vision – will help you to decide what you are keeping and what you are letting go. Get 3 bin bags ready to decide where each item you are “letting go” is going:
1. Give Away – Charity, Friends & Family, etc
Once you finish this, you will have a great sense of accomplishment and you will feel inspired to tackle other areas of your home.
Thanks so much Patty. You can get in touch with her here: Organised & Simple