weekly organizing Tips

Brought to you by Beautifully Organized

Month: July, 2013

Camping Tips and Tricks

Is camping on your to do list this summer? I will show you a variety of tips and tricks to make your next camping trip an enjoyable, organized success! Take a few moments to pick up an idea or two.

Happy Organizing!

Camping to Reconnect

Camping

It’s funny, when I am at home I feel like I’m always going 100 miles an hour. I work, play and live from my home. There is always something to do. So when my husband and I were asked to go on a camping trip we jumped at the opportunity. We relish the outdoors and being able to spend uninterrupted time together.

As I was preparing for the trip I decided this was perfect to fit into my happiness project. I am focusing on the relationships in my life and specifically my marriage. I have promised to take any opportunity to reconnect and be with friends and family in a meaningful way this month… and always.

The thing about camping is once yo get to the site you are set. You have everything you need for meals, sleeping and hanging out. There is no hussel or need to “do” things. It’s a total relaxation fest. However, making that possible takes a little bit of work.

I would highly recommend camping to anyone, even if you don’t think you would like it, you will. If you take time to prepare it could be the best mini-vacation you’ve ever had.

To help you get started I have included a Camping Checklist. This will give you a great place to get started.

Friday, I will post my camping video, which is packed with tips and tricks to help you reconnect with the people you love most in the great outdoors.

Take the plunge and go camping. You will feel better, lighter and recharged when you get home, I promise.

Happy Organizing!

Make Room for Relationships

“The best things in life… aren’t things” Art Buchwald

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Keeping with the theme of my happiness project, I am focusing on relationships this week. One of the biggest motivators for a declutter sessions is the people in our lives. Our spouse is upset about the mess we create, your kids don’t have a place to do their homework, your in-laws are coming to visit and you can’t imagine them stepping foot in your home. It might not be a specific event, but rather a general frazzled feeling that keeps you from spending time with loved ones.

When the physical spaces in our home are full there is no chance, but to have a full mental life as well. It’s time to step back and take the time to make room for your relationships. It is proven that the people in our lives make us happier than any amount of stuff ever will.

Find ways to honor the your relationships in your spaces. I love the idea from Gretchen Rubin in Happiness at Home about rotating family pictures based on the season or holiday. Why not put out pictures of your kids in their different Halloween costumes over the year to help celebrate the season and cherish the memories in the mean time.

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Another great idea from Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love is happiness jars. They can be anything from a small jar of sand to remind you about a family beach vacation or slips of paper that you write memories and happy moments on, put in the jar and pull out to read from time to time. My happiness jar is a glass vase full of smooth white rocks I’ve collected from bodies of water around the world. It reminds me of fabulous vacations, quiet walks with my dog, adventures with my husband or exotic places.

Of course any of the two suggestions above only work if you take the time to sort, edit and reorganize the spaces you work and live in to create space for the relationships in your life.

Happy Organizing!

* photo courtsey: freedigitalphotos.net

The Happiness Project Begins

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I read a book recently called, Happiness at Home, by Gretchen Rubin. She also wrote a book before this one called, The Happiness Project. The basic ideas of the two books are finding small everyday ways to make life a little happier. Over a set amount of time, 12 months in her first book and a school year, nine months, in her second she picked a specific topic each month, marriage, parenthood, work, body, family… you get the point. The book I read focused specifically on the house and taking action to make it a happier place. I will use this book all month for my blog posts because there is so many amazing tidbits in these books! On a side note, I would highly recommend either one.

As you can imagine I found a lot of joy in reading her section on possessions… Things! Possessions can be a tricky thing. They can bring us great joy or great guilt. Gretchen felt what all of us feel, we want to love our possessions, we don’t want to feel mastered by them.

This is why I do what I do. I work hard everyday to help people break free of their stuff. This doesn’t mean throwing everything away it means honoring what you have and finding meaningful ways to use it, display it or store it. Gretchen nailed by saying, “When I felt engaged with my possessions, I felt enlivened by them, and when I felt disengaged from them, I felt burdened.” Yes, yes and yes. Don’t strive to throw everything away, in turn creating a stale lifeless home. Enjoy your things and feel enlivened by them. However, when there is so much you don’t know what you have there is no other option than to feel heavy and burdened.

When you embark on an organizing project it’s always good to remind yourself what clutter is and use it as the basis of your decision making process. I love William Morris’s simple explanation, “Have nothing in your house[s] that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful…”

Be ruthless, be honest and start cultivating a space that makes you feel enlivened and happy, powerful and proud. You deserve it!

Happy Organizing!