Collections, When to Stop

We all collect things.  It might be something relatively unusual or completely commonplace.  Women have the stereotype of collecting shoes and/or purses.  I’ve talked many times about my own collecting of media – books, music, and (somewhat) movies.  Men have been stereotyped as collecting tools and/or electronics.  Stereotypes can often some basis in truth, though we cannot mistake that as truth or being even remotely close to typical.

Collecting things is not bad in and of itself.  It seems to me that it’s an inevitable fact of living.  We need clothes and shoes to survive.  Often we need certain things to apply to different situations and occasions – not all shoes are appropriate in all settings – which means we all need more than one pair.  We find value in certain items – my books are knowledge and other worlds to me.  Also, we enjoy collecting things – there’s a desire to have more of this or that.

Therefore this is not about trying to tell you to avoid collecting things.  Nevertheless, we cannot collect things indefinitely.  There needs to be an end, a time and place where we stop.  We need to recognize how this applies to us, as individuals, and there is no simple answer.  Because of this, here’s a number of considerations for you as you contemplate your own collections, whatever they might be – and you can discover where that place is for yourself and your situation.

  1. Sometimes it’s as simple as the collection feels finished to you.  This means you need to be attuned to that feeling – paying attention to when you feel that you have enough.  It could mean that you have enough to cover those various occasions or unique characteristics.  Then you need to have the discipline to not collect more.  — i.e. shoes of different colors and style for your expected situations – although this does not mean you will no longer desire to collect more – yet you can choose to focus on the anticipation of getting more once one of the current items need replacing.
  2. A clear clue that it’s time to stop collecting is when you run out of space for your things. You need to decide whether there are other things that can go to make room for your collections or does some of your collection need to leave to make room for more.  — I’ve talked before about donating some shoes to make room for a partial bookshelf in my closet, and when I did this, I largely stopped bringing any more books in – I was aware of the limited space.
  3. Are you cycling your items in and out simply as a reason to collect more?  You need to examine your motivation here, if you enjoy the cycling things in and out, great.  On the other hand, if you are using that as an excuse to collect more, it might be time to stop and look at what else is going on for you.  Cycling things can be a great way to keep your things fresh and continue appreciating them.
  4. Have you stopped appreciating what you already have?  It’s remarkably easy to become blind to our things, we are so used to seeing them, and we begin to forget they are there.  If the number of items is getting in the way of your appreciating your collection, you might need to scale back your collection.
  5. Something I’m not sure how much we think about as consumers is that virtually everything requires some maintenance.  Are you able and willing to do the things to maintain your collection?  Many items are meant to be used – leather shoes need to be worn and if you want to maximize their life, they also need to be cleaned and waxed.  — I also think often of pearls with this – as they are meant to be worn, it helps keep their luster, yet many can be reluctant to simply wear them around the home – so we might not be maintaining our things as they need to be.

You might have noticed that some of what I’ve talked about might not be collections per se, someone could have one pearl necklace, but it is one more thing they have – is it being appreciated, protected, valued?  These questions can apply to more than just the things that can be grouped together – all the things in our homes are a collection of sorts.

Earlier I mentioned that there is a time and a place to stop our collecting – this is an individual process.  Jay Leno continues to collect cars, hiring people to help take care of all of them; I wonder how much he is able to actually appreciate this car collection.  It also doesn’t hinder his life apparently.  Most of us do not have this luxury, and I do not envy him – I appreciate my life of relative simplicity tremendously.  As I’ve said before in a previous post, do you have a collection or does your collection have you?

Hate Doing Laundry? – An Alternative Solution

“I hate doing laundry,” someone told me the other day (we’ll call her Jane and respect her anonymity) “it’s the worst household chore of all.”

So I responded, “What is it about the laundry that you hate?”

One of the things Jane won’t do is mixing colors in the loads – each color needs to be washed and dried independently of the other colors. Jane has 3 closets of clothes, moving through them as the week’s progress, knowing when they get to a certain emptiness, laundry will need to be dealt with.

It turns out that Jane separates all her clothes by color immediately. She has 7 laundry baskets to collect the different colors and she avoids needing to sort the clothes when laundry time approaches. As soon as it’s time to handle the laundry, she can immediately begin the laundry process, loading a basket directly into the washer.

Jane went and bought the largest capacity washer and dryer available – despite the salesman questioning her that she didn’t need something so large for just herself. She knew what she wanted – a way to reduce the amount of laundry she would need to do. Jane definitely does not want to do laundry weekly – the least often is best for her.

Once a month she sets aside time, usually Friday evening through Saturday night to get her laundry washed, dried, and put away. She’s then free for another month from having to do any laundry.

The reality is that she doesn’t hate her laundry anymore – she found a way to handle it in such a way that actually gives her pleasure. Jane went on to say that she actually loves her laundry now!

How this applies for you:

  • Identify what it is you dislike or even hate doing – whether it’s laundry or dusting or whatever
  • Brainstorm an idea for how to do it differently enough that it becomes less burdensome – so often we cannot eliminate tasks, yet we can still find an alternative approach
  • Make it relatively easy for yourself – Jane has the different laundry baskets, the large capacity appliances, and does the laundry consistently in order that she keeps it easy enough to work for her – and if it’s too hard, we won’t do it anyway

As with so much when it comes to organizing, finding a way that works for you is most important. It doesn’t matter if it makes sense to anyone else as long as it does make sense for you and your life. In this example, weekly (or for some daily) laundry duty is the solution for many families, but for some it’s the wrong approach. Discover the approach that works for you and your family – and consider all options.

Useful & Beautiful

Years ago, when my husband and I moved into our first house (still the house we’re in now) we didn’t know how we wanted to decorate. I’d grown up with antiques my parents had acquired while traveling overseas. My husband had decorated his apartment with modern furniture. Our house had been a rental, so all the rooms were painted white (except the odd half bath anyway) – which gave us more freedom to wait and figure it out. Then a few years ago we became fascinated with Arts & Crafts or Craftsman style – maybe most famous in the Midwest from Frank Lloyd Wright. We lived in a bungalow after all.

When Craftsman style was popular here in the United States, it was approximately 1910-1925. It encouraged originality, simplicity of form, local natural materials, and the visibility of handicraft. You might be familiar with a quote from William Morris,

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

Is there actually a good reason to have anything in our homes that is not useful or beautiful? When was the last time you really looked around your home to notice what you might not appreciate anymore?

You might even say to yourself that anything that doesn’t fit in one of these criteria – useful or beautiful – could be clutter. Can you imagine the simplicity your life could have if you had only useful and beautiful things around you?

We all need the useful things. I wouldn’t give up my vacuum or washer and dryer for anything. I’m quite attached to my bed. Yet, I do wonder about my cell phone sometimes – is it really that useful? Our lives are certainly more filled with tools today than they were 100 years ago. How often do you think about whether things are actually useful to you? I think about it, as my husband and I joke “I am the dishwasher in our house.” That’s something “useful” we don’t even have. I don’t mind it; I even appreciate it. We contemplate a push mower sometimes – although we’ve not made that leap.

I appreciate that the “believe to beautiful” part too since it leaves it as subjective – it doesn’t have to be beautiful to anyone else (although it avoids the spouse issue!). I’ve been in homes filled with framed artwork from their children and grandchildren – where it wouldn’t be beautiful to me as such, yet I imagine it was absolutely beautiful to them. This also allows the variations we all can have about how sparse or filled an area can be – one can be beautiful to some and downright uncomfortable to another.

In an earlier post I mentioned that I want to spend time monthly to review a room in our home – to evaluate it – to see what is no longer useful or beautiful. We’ve done that some, there’s a box of décor items we’ve pulled out a couple of rooms. Now we just need to decide if we want to put them up somewhere else or if they need to move on to somewhere else altogether.

How much excess stuff do you have surrounding you? Is it useful? Is it beautiful? Start by asking these questions – then you can have some things you can pass along to someone else.


A month ago I was ecstatic, my craft room was going to get a closet system installed. Oh the anticipation! For the week before the date, I kept talking about it, the joy of having a system and the organization I would set up. I was excited, at least until the system actually was installed. Then something happened. I became overwhelmed with feeling daunted by the effort and process of setting the closet system up. It confused me in many ways too.

I love organizing. I don’t do this for a living without a reason; I am passionate about organizing. In fact, if I am feeling a bit down about something, I will tackle an organizing project and immediately start feeling better. Can you begin to see how puzzling it was for me to feeling overwhelmed? Maybe you can, yet you might be asking yourself – “what does this have to do with ME?”

How often have you gotten overwhelmed at the thought of tackling a project? Although I did not take pictures of the piles of my stuff meant for the closet – the boxes filled up 3 ½ rooms here. Since it is my craft room, many of the items are smaller. It was going to be a process to go through it all and get it organized. It’s easy to feel like there is just so much to be done. Where do I start? I don’t have time to delve into this project.

Interestingly, this is exactly how I felt. This is how my clients often talk about feeling with their own stuff. I joke that this is why my profession exists – help in getting started and having some direction during the process. I know all this. I knew what I needed to do. Nevertheless I was still dreading it.

My point – we’re all human. We can each feel overwhelmed and reluctant to jump into a project. It doesn’t even need to be a big project, like my walk-in closet. Papers are a common area that causes significant dread among people. They tend to be tedious and time consuming. I have a lot of scrapbooking paper – possibly the easiest papers to organize and it still took me over 3 hours to organize the 12×12 loose sheets.

Another point – all it takes is jumping in. You don’t need to set aside a huge amount of time to get started. I didn’t organize those loose scrapbook papers first. I did find an “easy” place to start – in this case it was the completed photo and scrapbook albums. I already had at least part of a vision for the closet. Then I grabbed the next box. I won’t say that my feeling of overwhelm went away just because I got started. If only it was that simple. Sometimes it is, not always.

Sometimes it also means stepping back for a break. As I was going through things, I found items I spent money on and knew I would never use. I felt sad and frustrated. Even that feeling got overwhelming at times. When I saw this happening, I would try to finish the immediate stuff and then take a break and do something else entirely. Other times, I just moved the stuff off to the side and stopped anyway. This also provides a way to gain perspective – all this stuff was personal to me – ideas and plans I’d had at some point or another. Yet, I needed to let some of it go. Stepping back can be just as important as jumping in and getting started.

I’ll admit I have been a bit ashamed of feeling overwhelmed by my craft room closet. I mean I am an organizer, how can I of all people be overwhelmed by an organizing project? Yet, it also means I can relate to other people feeling overwhelmed. It also means that I will bite the bullet and jump in. You’re not alone if you too are feeling overwhelmed by an organizing task – just remember you are human like the rest of us and to just get started, somewhere or anywhere.

Purging – Part of the Whole Process

If you have ever heard me speak, you’ll know that after the introduction I jump right into purging, “yes the dreaded purging”. Often this is an important aspect of getting organized. As FlyLady says, “you cannot organize clutter.” One of the reasons that I focus on the purging is also the limitation of space we all have. If you open a door to a stuffed closet and think that you won’t have to get rid of anything, you might be fooling yourself.

In fact, I have had a couple of clients lately who have opened their closets and told me that everything in them needs to stay. Beyond bringing in my closet guy, I worry that they think simply neatening things will somehow change the space limitations of their closet. Yet, as we dig into the closet and the items within, there are things that leave, whether it’s to the trash or for donating. It often is not a lot, but is enough to make space for what’s needed.

It’s also premature to focus on purging too much. It needs to be integrated into the entire process, something you’re considering each time you handle your stuff as part of the organization process. If you are handling something and there is no reason to keep it, get rid of it – whether it’s raggedy or no longer your taste or whatever. Sometimes it can be helpful to make a “pending” pile, a collection of the things that you’re considering getting rid of. One of the pre-teens I’ve worked with did this; we just kept adding things to it as it applied. When we had finished sorting everything, moved most of the keep items into place, only then did we revisit the pending pile. This gives you some space to let the need for a decision be set aside for a while and when you revisit the stuff you have more clarity about whether to keep it or let it go.

I’ve spoken before on how when you’re organizing, it’s gets messier before it gets better. This is also why purging is part of the entire process. You begin on a section you want to organize – you sort first. As you’re sorting, you can purge what is no longer relevant to you. If you are doing a thorough organization, you are inevitably going to need to sort it again – another time for purging. I am going to be organizing my craft room in a week or so and much of the like items are together, not all them are. I will gather them altogether and go through those like items in one fell swoop. I’m expecting that I might find some things that as I look at everything, there will be some things I will no longer want to keep. Not because I need to or “should” purge, but because as I am organizing I will discover that there are things I don’t want.

If we could make purging part of our life, it could simplify things. Imagine going to your closet to pick out your outfit and seeing a shirt (or whatever) that you don’t like, doesn’t fit, or is getting worn – and then and there pulling it out and putting it in a bag to be donated or into the trash. That’s purging too, as part of the whole process. This also means that you will be less likely to need to go through your entire closet because it’s getting too full.

Purging doesn’t need to be a process of trying to force yourself to get rid of things. It’s about considering whether those items still hold value for you; then whether you have room for them all. What are your values? Some people I work with cherish free space, the sparsely decorated space and roomy closets; others don’t care as much about that as long as they can find and get what they want when they want it. I will always make room for my books and music – these are what I hold dear. What are the things you want to make space for above others?

Remember, being organized is about being able to find what you want when you want it. It’s also about maximizing your own quality of life and what that means to you.

You’re Organized, Right?

“You’re probably completely organized, aren’t you?” I get this question frequently. And sometimes I cringe. My home goes through stages, much like most people’s homes. It is certainly not uber-organized at all times, and I have a tendency to have a project or two going at any given time. If you’ve worked with me, you’ll probably have heard stories of some of my own organizational struggles – I am not perfect, gasp! Yet, perfection is not necessary to achieve organization in your own home and life.

What does it require?

First, you need to recognize what areas need help. If you don’t “see the mess,” you aren’t going to be able to fix it. If an area has become a “dumping ground,” a place you easily drop various things, this is a good example of where you can start. It might be an area you avoid or a space you dread dealing with.

  • This was the case with our utility closet. You can see that it had gotten bad and I was reluctant to retrieve anything from there, let alone return anything to the chaos. (See how far from perfection I can be?)

Our utility closet before!

Second, you need to assess what is wrong and develop a plan for what you want it to be. This is also the step to stay with until you have an idea. You can always work on sorting and purging the area, but nothing more significant. If you race ahead, you can easily discover that you’ve made more work for yourself.

  • One of the problems with our utility closet was the odd shape, under our stairs, and my desire to maximize all that space. Also, the narrowness of the entrance complicated the shelving options. The shelving we’d chosen was still a little too deep for easy access to the closet. Also, it was wire, despite the wires being spaced close together, bottles had a tendency to tip, and smaller items too frequently found a way to fall through those wires. Interestingly, it took years of living in the house and getting past the duct (not visible in the pictures) as a reason to avoid putting shelving on that side of the closet. By switching the sides of the shelving, it works better with the way the door opens (also considering the floor stops the door from opening completely) and allows considerably better access to the closet.

Third, you need to plan for the necessary tools, time, and energy to tackle the task of creating organization. The tools are specific – the large pieces of furniture and containers to collect the trash, recycling, and items that belong elsewhere. I recommend waiting to buy other tools – containers for the space – until after you’ve completely sorted and organized. You need to set aside time to work on the project and coordinate with others if it involves them. You also need to have energy to deal with the space and items – this can be frustrating and draining, depending on what you are dealing with.

  • In our case, we needed to buy the shelving I had found and liked for this space – it has solid shelves, is narrow enough to work in the closet, and required assembly. I have not yet bought any other containers, though I am considering a couple, and just need to find the right size. We wanted to work on this together since it’s a space we both use. Also, we wanted to not have too many others projects going on at the same time. We contemplated replacing the linoleum tile and painting as part of the process, but decided that could wait and would be easy enough to do at a later point.

Fourth, simply doing it. Sometimes it’s not that simple. When you delve into an area that has been a dumping ground, especially something hidden, you’re likely to find any number of oddball things. You need to go through everything you find and make decisions about it. You might even get a little dejected at the level of chaos that you are discovering. Then there’s the frustration that can happen from the items you don’t know what to do with. We all have those types of items – you want to keep it, but where exactly does it go, logically? Or those items that don’t fit well into another category.

  • We worked together; he began assembling the shelving while I began pulling all the stuff out of the closet. I tried to group obviously similar items together on the floor for easier organizing later, although this became challenging with the amount of things that had been living in the closet. Then we talked about each thing and category we came across – was this something that we even wanted? Did we want it in the utility closet? A large number of items were moved to the basement (more painting supplies!); then we assessed the things that remained – how would we categorize them? How frequently do we use them – in order to decide if they needed to be more or less accessible. Then finally we began to put the items back into the closet, beginning with the highest used items.

Fifth, you need to see how it is working with time. If things are organized according to how you use them and how you function, the new system should work for you. The biggest challenge for some people is not getting dejected because it’s not working for them. I encourage you to examine it closely and figure out what pieces are working and then work on ways to tweak things so that the parts that aren’t working can be. Although I wish being organized didn’t need discipline, it does – and maybe it’s time to focus on one area to be disciplined about, to make it habit.

  • Our utility closet seems to be functioning well almost 2 months with the new organization, though time may tell a different story. On a different front, a challenging room to keep organized as the systems fall apart before long. I’m in the process of re-doing that, so stay tuned and it will end up in the blog too.

Our utility closet after (& you can see why we'd want to change the flooring!)

As a professional organizer, I’m sometimes embarrassed that I am not more organized. My husband reminds me, “The shoemaker’s children go barefoot.” And I realize that I have the skills to make things organized when I make time and energy to do so. I believe that you can to (and if not, you know how to get a hold of me for help). 🙂

Another Answer About Professional Organizers

I was talking with another organizer in our state and she mentioned that there is an organizer in her area, offering services for less than half of her hourly rate.  We, as organizers, do not talk to each other about what we charge.  Although I was in a similar situation early in my career – I spoke with a possible client who wanted some additional services I didn’t provide.  I shared the name of an organizer I knew of who would provide those services.  When I made my follow-up call with this possible client, she shared that the other organizer was offering her services at about half of what I charge.  This was disappointing as this was another NAPO organizer.

So, why do professional organizers charge what they do?  It’s not about wanting to prove that they have expertise.  It’s not that they want to become rich.  It’s about the technical business side of things.

First and foremost, this rate is before taxes.  Professional organizers, like other independent business people, have to pay their own taxes – and this means that they are earning a fraction of what you are paying them.  This is true as long as they are functioning as a legitimate business.  When you think about what their rate is, do you consider what your mechanic’s hourly rate is? Or your doctor’s? Or other professional people you deal with?

Second, when you are running an actual business you have other costs – like insurance and bonding.  There are fees for being registered with the state and then the membership fees for organizations that educate and support the organizer.  In all my years in business, I have only had one client ask if I was insured (that was a lawyer), although I’ve mentioned it to a few clients.  Insurance and bonding protect both the organizer and the client from any unpleasant accidents. Unfortunately, I know that there are NAPO organizers who do not carry insurance or bonding for themselves and their clients.  Maybe this is the reason they might charge significantly less.

Third, there are other expenses. Websites cost money, both to register and maintain – and in this day and time – a website is critical. Personally, I want to always expand my expertise and learn more – hence why I attend the national NAPO conference, read books, and listen to teleclasses and webinars.  Since professional organizers travel to the client, their car needs gas and maintenance.  These costs serve the client as well.

I had a client once who asked this question – and I shared these answers with her.  Her response was that I should charge more since it is hard work.  It’s not hard work to me, I love what I do, and the amazing people I get to meet and work with.  I’ve even surprised myself by enjoying the business side of running an organizing business.  What’s unfortunate is how not many people realize what goes into setting one’s price – whether you are a professional organizer or some other independent business.

To Go Paperless or Not

Papers are the number one struggle I see people dealing with – there’s always more of it.  It never stops coming in, the mail is delivered almost 6 days a week.  There’s no escaping it, despite how we’ve been hearing predictions of being a paperless society.  This does not mean that we cannot reduce our paper consumption, although there are considerations to doing this.

I’ll admit that I was resisting going paperless.  I would check my banking account online and they’d ask me if I wanted to go paperless and I’d say no. I liked part of the idea of it, how much did I need those statements in paper?  Yet, it was comfortable and familiar to have them waiting for me in the mail.  I don’t trust completely that my computer isn’t going to suddenly do something it shouldn’t (whether a corrupted file or a more serious overall computer malfunction).  One day working with a client, we ended up talking about this, and when I told her I wasn’t getting my statements electronically, she looked at me quizzically and asked “why not?” I hadn’t thought that much about it and I struggled to put words to my reasons – I was just not changing the way I’d always done it.  Within a week, I logged on and changed to getting my statements electronically.

This is the only occasion that I’ve personally gone paperless though (personally, as my husband has several accounts we share as electronic).  I download my statements and check on things.  I don’t need to worry about computer issues since my account with the bank keeps all my monthly statements for a few years – therefore if something were to happen to my files or my computer, I can just log back in and get them downloaded again (if I even need to have a copy on my computer). There could even be an argument that I don’t need to use the space on my computer for these files once I’ve reconciled things.

There are other accounts that I’m still attached to having a hard copy – something I can put in a file and have access to. I do look at these papers periodically.  If I were to set up getting them electronically, I would just have to spend time logging in, reviewing, and printing out.  What’s the point of them being electronic then? Paper is being used either way, and to get them automatically in the mail saves me time and energy.  I’d rather spend that time and energy in other ways (and the post office gets some support too).

I’ve talked before about e-mail and how that too can become clutter.  I avoid giving my e-mail address out to every vendor that wants it (not professionally), as I too often feel overwhelmed with email.  There are times I don’t look at my electronic bank statement promptly simply because I have so many emails to review. If you’re one of those people with hundreds (or even thousands) of emails hanging out in your mailbox, getting statements electronically could make them easier to miss – which becomes more critical when they’re actual bills that need your attention.

There’s also the way to be freer of papers – to set up auto payments for your recurring bills.  This makes sense in that it saves you even more time and energy.  You tell certain (or all) regular bills to be withdrawn from your account and on what day.  This can be also be accomplished by your bank’s online bill pay option.  You save the paper of the check and envelope.

Have you moved toward being more paperless?  If not, what exactly is it that is you are resisting?  Until I figured out that answer for myself, I didn’t change.  There’s no right answer, but finding your own, personal solution.

Decide on the Next Action

I’ve mentioned before that I can be a procrastinator, haven’t I? Now, I’ll admit that I have piles of books that need to be dropped off. We’ve had various ideas about what we want to do with them. Yet the piles continue. Then I got fed up and decided to take one box each week to Half Price Books – at least with most of them. One day I headed to the pile, ready to grab a box and go. Only they’re not all in boxes, a bag was the easiest to reach, and the bag disintegrated in my hand. Guess what, none of those books made it to the car, nor did I go to Half Price Books.

Often when we’re stymied by our stuff, we’re undecided about what we need to do with it. Sometimes when we procrastinate, we’re reluctant to tackle this or that item. These things require us to make a decision. Too often we aren’t even aware of what decision we need to make.

Decisions, decisions. Life is filled with them. Too often, we’re racing through life just trying to get everything done and not stopping to think about how and where we are spending our time and energy. Some piles of books on the three-season porch were frequently the least of my worries. You’ve probably heard the saying “When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice.” (by William James)

Most of the time we need to consider what the next step we need to take is, specifically. It’s great that you can identify the things you want to do. You want to clear out the basement, or spend more time with loved ones. Sometimes we are talking about a “project,” whether we realize it or not. A project is typically any task that takes multiple action steps to complete.

Regardless of what you need to do – ask yourself “What is the next action for this item?” If you can do this, you will have clarity about your to do list. It also amazingly can motivate you to start tackling items you might have been procrastinating.

In fact, an extreme statement (especially from me) – never make a to do list that includes anything except those specific and concrete next action items. If you don’t write out to do lists – when you’re deciding what you’re going to do next, figure out the action.

If you can consistently take a moment, yes that’s all it takes – just a moment, to ask yourself what the next action is for each task you have, you can reduce the amount of time you spend on tasks and work through your tasks.

Unfortunately, the piles of books are still there. When I decided to deal with the piles of books, my next action was to take one box in. Lately when I look at my to do list, I see ‘take a box to Half Price Books,’ I avoid it. In my current situation, the piles of books moved from an action to a project, since I need to box up the books that I want to take in before I can take them in. I also cannot tackle my to do item immediately – the books aren’t ready to take anywhere. I can see how I’m procrastinating it since it’s more than this easy step. Now the to-do list is modified, my next action item is to box up the books.

What will your next action be?

Hard to Believe – My 100th Blog

Earlier this month I realized I was coming up on this moment – number one hundred blog!  I’ve been trying to think about what I wanted to do, something that would be different.  I couldn’t come up with much, and it occurred to me that if you’re a more recent reader, you might not have seen some of my earlier posts.  Here comes 6 of my most favorite posts (I thought about a top 10, but it seemed too much, yet I couldn’t narrow it down any more than 6!):


Work to Be In the Moment – Every Moment

Being mindful of your present actions will save you time and energy, increasing your productivity, and allowing you to spend your time where you most want.

Use Your Time Intentionally

An odd synchronicity with “intention” in my life and learning (NAPO conference) and how it relates to how we spend our time inspired me to write this – sharing, not the need to be more productive, but rather just increase how conscious we are about how we’re spending our time.

Evaluate While In the Moment

Life is complicated enough without our many tasks adding to the demands on our time and energy. “Simplify, simplify” as Henry David Thoreau said, and here I talk about one way to help you simplify those tasks and make life a little easier.

Let Your Passion Lead You

Sometimes we have a moment, a sort of epiphany, when we realize that we’re buying things or have collected things that do not reflect the actual life we’re leading. There are several components of this and can help lead us to leading the life we want.

Considering Your Possessions by Time as well as Space

Possessions are unavoidable, space is a concrete limitation, but considering things in terms of time can prompt a fresh view of the things that you own.

Stop Inadvertent Multitasking

We’ve all accidentally started multi-tasking, digging into the dreaded junk drawer, and dread dealing with the various items, and often founder in making decisions. Save yourself the tedium and simplify things by dealing with each item as you handle it.


These six are where so much of my passion lies and I hope you enjoy them.  It was hard to eliminate so many posts, and I’m full of ideas for more to come.  It’s such a long way from the feeling when I wrote my first one, unsure whether I had more than 5 or 10 in me.

Happy 100th!  I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas – drop me a line anytime.  🙂