Posts Tagged ‘organizing tips’

Let Oprah Help You Get Organized With This

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

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VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION

Hi there, I’m Carmen Coker, professional organizer and creator of The Clutter Cleanse®.

And if you’ve been having trouble getting organized, if you’ve been procrastinating about getting organized, or if you are like me and you just enjoy a good inspirational message, then you are in the right place. Because I’d like to share something with you that will do just that – inspire and motivate you to get organized.

Oprah Winfrey once said: “What we dwell on is who we become.”

The word “dwell” is a very poetic and almost old-fashioned word, one that you likely don’t use in everyday vocabulary. But don’t be fooled by romantic notions – it is a word that has powerful consequences.

To dwell means “to exist in a given place or state” or “to fasten one’s attention.” And, in this case, it’s a verb – it’s an action for which you must make a conscious choice to do or to not do.

Which means, if you are a dweller, you will create one of two outcomes for yourself – a choose-your-own-adventure of sorts. On the one hand, you can create positive results if used for good, like dwelling in a success mindset. On the other hand, you can create negative results if used for bad, like dwelling in self-pity.

So let me ask you: Do you dwell on or in chaos and clutter, or do you dwell on or in simplicity and serenity? If you want to get organized, your choice – your conscious choice – will make all the difference in the world.

Now, if you have been dwelling in clutter, and you want to make a change to dwelling in simplicity, then follow the arrow [see below] to take The 3-Day Simplify-Your-Life Challenge™. It’s free, and it will put you on the right path.

This is Carmen Coker, signing off, we’ll see you next time.

© 2007 -2016 | Carmen Coker International | All Rights Reserved

Carmen Coker is a former US Air Force officer turned professional organizer. Thousands of busy people have benefited from her expertise featured by CBS, NBC, The Washington Post, and Real Simple magazine – now it’s your turn! Take the FREE 3-Day Simplify-Your-Life Challenge™, and get more organized, find more time, and enjoy more simplicity in your life…in just 3 days!

5 Simple Ways to Declutter Your Home Right Now

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

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VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION

Hi there, I’m Carmen Coker, professional organizer and creator of The Clutter Cleanse®.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to Jane. She, like you, wants to get organized. Together, we’re going to cover the top five residential “trouble spots” for clutter, and what you can do to organize them.

The good news is – you don’t need one of these [wrecking ball] to accomplish this goal.

First up, the home office.

The problem: Overcrowded libraries with books, magazines, and files as well as large electronics like computers, printers, and shredders translate to little useable, extra space.

The solution: Toss magazines and newspapers first, as they are normally the easiest to part with and will give you a motivating “win” to start. Give away unwanted books to charity. If your budget allows, consider switching out a desktop computer for a laptop, opening up more room. Dust, label, and arrange the computer cables in an attractive manner.

Second, the bedroom closet.

The problem: Closets always seem to feel too small, especially to the ladies. I’m talking to you with the big shoe collection!

The solution: Remove out-of-season clothing and accessories, and place them elsewhere in the home. Relocate or purge any items that don’t belong in a clothes closet, like sports equipment, papers, and junk. Then situate the remaining in-season items as if on display in your favorite store or magazine.

Next, the kitchen.

The problem: As the heart of the home, the kitchen sees high-traffic volumes – and it normally looks worse for wear.

The solution: Make your kitchen into an orderly command center. Remember: you want to make sure that your kitchen has everything you need to survive a crisis, not that it looks like you just went through one. Rethink any small appliances you don’t use on a daily basis. Chuck the junk mail, and use a tidy basket to hold bills and other essential paperwork.

Fourth, the garage.

The problem: The garage is a catch-all for…well, everything.

The solution: Pull everything out of the garage, purge the clutter, and then separate the remaining items into categories like auto accessories, camping equipment, yard tools, recycling containers, etc. Find a home for and use tasteful storage to display each category. The key to organizing a garage is to make use of the elevated space, like the walls for storage racks and the ceiling for a false attic.

Fifth and final, the yard. Which most people don’t consider, actually, and that’s really…

The problem: It’s easy to ignore the dead patch of grass in the backyard because you have more pressing matters, but the outside of a home is reflective of the inside of a home.

The solution: Have a “discovery session,” where you walk around your house, making a list of necessary outdoor improvements. Then schedule a daily to-do on your calendar, or outsource the tasks – this is a great chore for kids – until all items are crossed off.

See, I promised. So simple even Jane can do it! And the best part? No wrecking ball necessary.

This is Carmen Coker, signing off, we’ll see you next time.

© 2007 -2016 | Carmen Coker International | All Rights Reserved

Carmen Coker is a former US Air Force officer turned professional organizer. Thousands of busy people have benefited from her expertise featured by CBS, NBC, The Washington Post, and Real Simple magazine – now it’s your turn! Take the FREE 3-Day Simplify-Your-Life Challenge™, and get more organized, find more time, and enjoy more simplicity in your life…in just 3 days!

The Key To Organizing Success? Avoid This

Monday, April 18th, 2016

Maybe you’ve been telling yourself that you need to get organized for days, weeks, months, or even years – and yet, you are still not there.

When it comes to getting organized, it may be easy to say…

  • I don’t have the time.
  • I don’t know where to begin.
  • I don’t know what to do.
  • I don’t feel like it.
  • I don’t have the patience.

But where does any of that get you?

If you could change the message you are telling yourself to be positive (I do) instead of negative (I do not), how would your get-organized outcomes be different?

Excuses Don't Organize Your Office

Is your home office one of those someday-I’ll-organize-it spaces? Finally have the organized office you’ve longed for – in 24 hours or less!

Join me for Red Arrow Totally Organized Office™ Bootcamp

You can enjoy 50% off for the next:

Imagine sitting in your office, and it doesn’t matter which way you swivel your chair, the clutter is g-o-n-e.

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Carmen Coker
Professional Organizer

3 Quick Clutter Solutions For Your Home Office

Monday, April 11th, 2016

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3 Quick Clutter Solutions For Your Home OfficePiles, piles, and more piles! If this conjures thoughts of your home office, then here are three ways to get rid of office clutter – fast.

1. Pull double-duty.

Books are one of the biggest space hogs in any home office. Placing risers along the back of shelves, and then situating books on top of and in front of, with a little space in between rows, can easily double the storage capacity of a bookshelf.

Done-For-You Quick Clutter Solution: Drawer Organizer, flipped upside-down.

DIY Quick Clutter Solution: Find and cover a long box (such as one for waxed paper, plastic wrap, or foil) with acid-free paper. Leave the empty roll inside of the box for extra support.

Hint: For best effect, measure the length, width, and height of each shelf before you decide upon, buy, or make your shelf risers.

2. Find a quick hide-away.

Getting cords, cables, and wires under control can almost single-handedly transform the look of any office space. The fastest way to achieve this feat is by strategically (not lazily) hiding power strips and excess cords from view.

Done-For-You Quick Clutter Solution: CableBox.

DIY Quick Clutter Solution: Find a lidded, solid-colored container with similar dimensions to the CableBox. Using the CableBox as a model, cut holes where appropriate to guide the cords and cables.

Hint: For best look, tie together the cords extending outside of the cable management box with zip, twist, or Velcro ties.

3. Focus on the underutilized.

Not making use of vertical space like walls and doors is one of the top office organizing mistakes most people make. When used appropriately (and eye-pleasingly), vertical space can store office supplies, corral papers, and create more room to work and play.

Done-For-You Quick Clutter Solution: Magnetic Bulletboard, with Mini Bulldog Clips and Magnetic Spice Tins.

DIY Quick Clutter Solution: Find a large hanging frame that matches your office decor. Hang it, mark the opening, then remove. Cover the marked opening with magnetic paint, and rehang the frame.

Hint: For best use, display only things that inspire and motivate you, that you need to use or see often, or that keep you focused.

How’d you like to finally have the organized office you’ve longed for – in 24 hours or less? Join the Totally Organized Office™ Bootcamp by clicking here!

5 Timeless Lessons About Simplicity From Albert Einstein

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

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In today’s fast-paced world, it is normal to crave simplicity and serenity – and lots of it. The modern view of “simplifying life” focuses less on doing without (unless that is your preference) and more on slowing down, enjoying balance, and experiencing fulfillment. Here are five timeless lessons about simplicity from Albert Einstein – and how you can apply his genius to your own life, simplified.

1) Learn to say “no”.

Einstein’s connection with the Jewish people was said to be the strongest bond in his life, yet when he was offered the presidency of Israel, he politely declined the invitation.

[EINSTEIN-LIKE FIX] A lot of people say time management is getting more done in less time. Wrong emphasis! In reality, using time wisely is getting more – more of what is really important to you – done, and ignoring the rest. Only say “yes” to commitments that support your personal priorities and values, and say “no” to those commitments that don’t – even if it is as important as a presidency.

2) Change things up.

Einstein once explained his idea of insanity as: “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

[EINSTEIN-LIKE FIX] It’s true – if you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always got. If you want to simplify and get organized, yet you keep doing the same things that hold your life in chaos, then your life will never change. Step out of your comfort zone and try something new, better, and different in the realm of simplicity – something that will stretch your idea of what is possible.

3) Use smart systems.

Witnesses claim Einstein did not rely on memory to recall his phone number – he referenced a phone book instead.

[EINSTEIN-LIKE FIX] With an estimated 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts a day, there is a lot of competition for attention inside your head. While your brain is an amazing organ, the odds are stacked against you that you will remember everything important. Find or create your own system to track essential information, even if it is as basic as using a phone book!

4) Take regular breaks.

It is believed that Einstein conceived the theory of relativity, not while holed up inside a high-tech laboratory, but rather while riding his bicycle.

[EINSTEIN-LIKE FIX] Although it may seem counter-intuitive, our minds need an occasional rest in order to remain alert, productive, and creative. Schedule regular 20-minute breaks into your daily schedule, using your break time to truly disconnect from your work with fun activities to boost your energy and cognitive power like meditation, a water-cooler chat, or a short Einstein-approved bike ride.

5) Visualize what you want.

Einstein’s greatest breakthroughs in science were born from Gedankenexperiment, or visual experiments carried out in his mind.

[EINSTEIN-LIKE FIX] For many years, visualization techniques have been used in areas like health, athletics, education, business, the arts, and science to break boundaries, create positive change, and facilitate success – amongst others. Visualize your path to simplicity, envision reaching beyond the grasp of chaos and clutter, and take your simplify-life results to the next level.

© 2007-16 | Carmen Coker International | All Rights Reserved

Carmen Coker is a former US Air Force officer turned professional organizer. Thousands of busy people have benefited from her expertise featured by CBS, NBC, The Washington Post, and Real Simple magazine – now it’s your turn! Take the FREE 3-Day Simplify-Your-Life Challenge™, and get more organized, find more time, and enjoy more simplicity in your life…in just 3 days!

If You Love Facebook, Then This Will Help You Get Organized

Monday, February 15th, 2016

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If You Have Time To Facebook, You Have Time To Get Organized

This bull calls it like it is. If you have time to Facebook, you have time to get organized. NO MORE EXCUSES! #TidyUp

Carmen Coker is a former US Air Force officer turned professional organizer. Thousands of busy people have benefited from her expertise featured by CBS, NBC, The Washington Post, and Real Simple magazine – now it’s your turn! If you would like to find more time in your life, download your FREE copy of The Ultimate Productivity Planner™ right now, and start saving 90 minutes (or more) every day…even if you think time management is a myth!

© 2007-16 | Carmen Coker International | All Rights Reserved

How Productive People Deal With Interruptions

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

How Productive People Deal With InterruptionsYou can be an encouragement to others – share this on Facebook or share this on Twitter with your family and friends!

Cave intermissio. Beware of the interruption.

Why? The statistics speak for themselves. Studies show, on average, that…

  • You experience one interruption every eight minutes. That’s up to seven per hour, and up to 60 per day.
  • Barely-noticeable interruptions of only two seconds are enough to throw your productivity off-track.
  • It can take up to 25 minutes to regain your mental focus and work flow after being interrupted, depending on the complexity of the task.

The Big Reveal

There’s no denying it! Interruptions are one of the most lethal time-sinks known to mankind. You don’t even have to be good at math to realize that these statistics spell trouble for your get-stuff-done factor.

The problem is this: Interruptions are inevitable, and they can come from anywhere with little to no notice. Your boss requests a hot tasker. Your spouse phones to say “hi.” Your office mate asks to borrow a dollar. Your kids call for you. Your assistant needs your signature. Your cousin pings you on Facebook. Your dog wants to play ball. Your friend texts with drama.

Then what happens? Human nature practically dictates that you give the interruption immediate attention, action, and precedence over whatever you were doing in the first place, no matter how important.

Even more dangerous are the interruptions you welcome, allow, or encourage. After all, who wouldn’t want to find out how your spouse’s day is going, share a memory with your child, or enjoy some fresh air with your dog? All good (and arguably necessary) things, but sometimes, these good intentions come with bad timing.

The Ins & Outs

Martin Luther King once said: “The major problem of life is learning how to handle the costly interruptions. The door that slams shut, the plan that got sidetracked, the marriage that failed. Or that lovely poem that didn’t get written because someone knocked on the door.”

As MLK so eloquently explained, no matter what the situation – pinning a simple poem or achieving a world-changing dream – interruptions should be avoided, if and when possible. Here are three strategies to do just that:

  • First, identify the source(s). Download this tool to help you analyze the who’s, what’s, and when’s of your daily interruptions, allowing you to either eliminate or reorganize to save time.
  • Second, have a game plan for interruptions you can’t ignore or delay. Bookmark your place; jot down your last thought on a sticky note; or, if appropriate, ask for 10 minutes to get to a proper stopping point. All of these ideas will make restarting your tasks faster and easier.
  • Third, have a game plan for interruptions that you can ignore or delay. Put to memory a script like: “I’d love to help you! But now is not a good time. Can we talk later today at 3pm? I’ll be able to give you my undivided attention then.” Being prepared to say “not now” with confidence and integrity means you can get back to being productive asap.
  • Plus, stop interruptions before they even have a chance. Of course, there is always the popular close-your-door approach or do-not-disturb hours. More importantly, however, is cultivating a work and home environment that eliminates interruptions where possible. Teach – and show by example – to interrupt only when it is a top priority, and when it is not, to find a way to honor the other person’s time.

The Bottom Line

Most people understand the importance of not letting interruptions get in the way of productivity. But it is only a highly productive person who follows through on this understanding and gives time and attention only to those who deserve it, not to those who demand it.

Carmen Coker is a former US Air Force officer turned professional organizer. Thousands of busy people have benefited from her expertise featured by CBS, NBC, The Washington Post, and Real Simple magazine – now it’s your turn! If you would like to find more time in your life, download your FREE copy of The Ultimate Productivity Planner™ right now, and start saving 90 minutes (or more) every day…even if you think time management is a myth!

© 2007-16 | Carmen Coker International | All Rights Reserved

A Ridiculously Easy Way To Save Time

Monday, February 1st, 2016

A Ridiculously Easy Way To Save TimeYou can be an encouragement to others – share this on Facebook or share this on Twitter with your family and friends!

Do you find that you are constantly tangled in a web of too-many-things-to-do, rush-rush-rush, and no-time-for-just-me?

You wouldn’t be alone. Studies show a whopping 78% of people wish they had more time to “smell the roses.” You also shouldn’t be surprised. With all the demands of a busy life, it’s common to feel that:

  • Your to-do list only gets longer, and longer, and longer.
  • Your home, work, and life responsibilities are overwhelming.
  • You can’t truly rest because there is simply too much to do.
  • You need a vacation, but who has time for that?
  • And the most common of all…You just don’t have enough *&%$#@! hours in the day.

Here’s the thing: I’m willing to bet, if you scrutinize your schedule, you will find tasks, projects, commitments, appointments, or other that are…avoidable. This could mean they are temporarily avoidable, allowing you to reschedule for a better time, or it could mean that they are permanently avoidable, allowing you to eliminate them altogether or delegate them to someone else.

“Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.” ~ Lin Yutang

Today’s easy organizing challenge is to leave something “avoidable” behind. Look at your to-do list or planner, and ask these questions of each entry:

  • Is it necessary?
  • Is it urgent?
  • Is it important?
  • Does it support my priorities?
  • Does it support my goals?
  • Can it be deleted?
  • Can it be postponed?
  • Can it be delegated?

Warning: So this is ridiculously easy. Like, making a Pop-Tart®-easy! In fact, the more times you do it, the easier and faster it becomes. But, sometimes during this process, feelings of guilt, perfectionism, and ego may bubble up.

Recognize any of these? So-in-so is counting on me. I’ve done this for years, why stop now? I already gave my word. Someone else could do this, but I want to get credit for it. No one can do this better than me. I don’t trust anyone else to get this right.

These feelings can have a strong pull – if you let them. DON’T. Don’t accept your excuses, don’t give into your fear, don’t let the devil on your shoulder get its way. If necessary, drink some virtual Gatorade® and get a big kick of Win from Within. (Really, when you see what these champions have overcome, you’ll probably feel silly for even letting these feelings get in the way of your time-management success.)

Once you’ve made your wise decision(s) about your schedule, don’t look back! Simply relish the freedom of letting go…

Want bigger results? Instead of picking one thing to leave behind for just today, pick three things each day for an entire week.

Ready for more time in your life? Download your FREE copy of The Ultimate Productivity Planner™ right now, and start saving 90 minutes (or more) every day…even if you think time management is a myth!

© 2007-16 | Carmen Coker International | All Rights Reserved

The Top 5 Reasons Why You Can’t Get Organized

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

The Top 5 Reasons Why You Can’t Get OrganizedYou can be an encouragement to others – share this on Facebook or share this on Twitter with your family and friends!

Getting organized means…quality of life…high levels of energy and productivity…creating space in your home and life for the things that really matter…being fully present. Getting organized is a huge part of being all you can be physically, mentally, emotionally, and more.

Given these amazing benefits, what’s stopping you from getting organized? Here are the TOP 5 reasons why you can’t get organized:

1 – Can’t break free from the daily grind

Whether you’ve got one small organizing project to tackle, or you’re looking to organize your entire house, the question becomes: “How do I fit in organizing in between breakfast and morning meetings…diapers and dinner…laundry and housekeeping…Scandal and bedtime?”

Being perpetually trapped in the day-to-day could mean another year (or two, three, or more) passes you by – and still you are no closer to your organizing goals.

2 – Not being prepared for common situations

There are some spots that need organizing regularly, like mail, toys, and clothes. I bet if I ask you to list off the clutter hot spots in your home or the ways in which you waste time, you could list them 1, 2, 3 – without much thought.

You likely know the moments that make you disorganized, and if you let them, these moments will continue to steal away your hope of getting organized.

3 – Not connected to your why-power

Just saying “I want to get organized” will not sustain you. Why? It shows that you are interested in enjoying the many positives that organizing affords, but you aren’t 100% committed to doing what it takes to fully realize those positives in your own life.

If getting organized – whether it’s your kitchen or your attic or your files – is not connected to your why-power (aka your deepest motivator), then you’ll easily fall off the get-organized wagon.

4 – Don’t know what you don’t know

In order for getting organized to work for you, you need a complete organizing system, or know-how. Know-how generally consists of more than just tips like “to organize your shelves do this”. These are what I call surface tips, since they tend to repair the surface of things, and often just for a short time.

If you don’t have the know-how or don’t have access to the know-how, then getting organized can be an uphill climb.

5 – Too many negative influencers

Negative influencers are anyone or anything that hinders your organizing progress, either intentionally or unintentionally (spouse, kids, parents, pets). Despite your best efforts to get and stay organized, these guys just get in the way.

Not understanding how to deal with negative influencers will have nothing but a negative effect on your organizing success.

© 2007-16 | Carmen Coker International | All Rights Reserved

Did you know…there are not just five reasons why people can’t get organized – there are 26 total? Good news! All of the reasons can be easily fixed. To learn more, go here http://bit.ly/GetTotallyOrganizedWebinar now. This free webinar will show you how to say goodbye to clutter and finally create the home and life you desire (and deserve)!

All You Need To Know About Time Management

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

All You Need To Know About Time ManagementYou can be an encouragement to others – share this on Facebook or share this on Twitter with your family and friends!

When it comes to your life, would you categorize yourself as…

a. A highly effective person?
b. A moderately effective person?
c. A poorly effective person?

Now, here is the cold, hard truth about your answer, no matter which it may be: YOU CAN BE BETTER.

Granted, this very truth brings up the million-dollar question: how?

The answer is simpler than you think! Better yet, the effects are immediate. Even better still, it is a rinse-and-repeat system that will take your time management and productivity skills to new heights.

The Big Reveal

In life, there are those individuals who are goal-setters and those who are goal-getters. A goal-setter is someone who either likes the idea of or is very good at setting goals, but doesn’t put the necessary actions behind them. As such, the goals never come to life and remain well-meaning (but worthless) words on paper. On the other hand, a goal-getter doesn’t just set and believe in goals, but also has the follow-through to achieve them.

Dr. Stephen R. Covey wrote about the secret of goal-getters in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: “The key is not to prioritize your schedule but to schedule your priorities.”

A-ha! Much of what comes into your day – emails, text messages, phone calls, meetings, snail mail, conversations – they are just vehicles for other people’s priorities in your life. If you always schedule in “all that stuff” first, then there will always be little to no room for your own priorities, goals, and dreams.

The Ins & Outs

This is the very reason why you should trust your priorities to help you make decisions, infuse your priorities into your daily routines, and stick to your priorities, no matter what challenges you face. In the end, doing so is the best way to avoid common time-sinks like lack of focus and procrastination.

Here are three guidelines to defining your priorities and becoming a goal-getter who is the envy of everyone around you:

1 – Deep down, you are driven by a set of core values and principles. For example, maybe you are motivated by faith, family, excellence, independence, love, power, honesty, wealth – or maybe a mixture of. From the get-go, decide what these values are. They will set the tone for your goal-getting success.

2 – Brainstorm the wish list of objectives that you would like to accomplish, either in the short-term or long-term. Next, break this wish list down into projects and tasks.

3 – Calendar out the projects and tasks in order of importance and also set a date for project completion.

REMEMBER: act as the gatekeeper for your time. Before putting anything on your schedule, ask if it will support your priorities – fully, partially, or not at all. While there will be surprises and unavoidable hiccups here and there, stick to your schedule as much as possible.

The Bottom Line

Your priorities act as your internal compass, helping you to stay focused, make clear decisions, and feel balanced and fulfilled. A highly productive person uses his/her values to guide every step, including how and where to spend time. Here’s how you can learn more and get started today!

Ready for more time in your life? Download your FREE copy of The Ultimate Productivity Planner™ right now, and start saving 90 minutes (or more) every day…even if you think time management is a myth!