The ABC’s of Getting Organized

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Summer has ended and fall is in. From the comfy clothes, to the beautiful trees, and preparation for the holidays, this is my second favorite season. (Summer will always have first place)

Anywho, this week I wanted to do something different and give you a quick reference guide to getting organized 365 and not just the day before friends or family come to visit. Because, I know that is so not you :-)

In 2012, I created this list when I really began to understand the concepts of being organized and how it impacts all areas of your life.

I hope you find this A to Z guide helpful, as it was my breakthrough for creating a space of inspiration, beauty and fun.

A-Appreciate your Space
B– Believe you can have a home that reflects the life you love
C-Containers are your friends
D-Don’t relocate, donate (the cure to clutter)
E– Expect you will reach your desired goals
F– Finance all projects responsibly
G– Get Started. Get Started. Get Started.
H– Healthy Habits = Healthy Lifestyle
I -Inventory is a necessity
J– Just one project a day will do
K-Keep your priorities in perspective
L– Let it Go
M– Mindset is everything
N– Never. Never. Never. Buy on impulse.
O– Order + Balance = Harmony
P– Positivity is an Accessory. Wear it well!
Q-Quiet tyme is mandatory, not optional
R– Relax, and have fun with the process
S– Search for the root of why you consume things, not a reason to buy more
T– Tackle projects in chunks (1 Day. 1 Project. 1 Hour.)
U– Under the bed is NOT storage. I repeat, under the bed is NOT storage.
V– Value tyme with your family and friends…often
W– What purpose does this ______________ serve in my divine space?  It must serve a purpose or else…toss!
X– Examine things that take up space in your home and your life
Y– Why am I purchasing this? Have a why, before you buy.
Z– Zest in your beautiful place of peace, love, and harmony.

Print this list and post it at your desk or home to be a part of your organizing journey!

Have you heard?
Tyme2Organize is now on YouTUBE under Abike Anoka. First Video is Nail Polish Organization and the next one is coming next week.  I would love to hear from you. Check it out and let me know your thoughts.

Until next tyme,
Be Happy.  Be Organized.  Be Awesome.

Home Decor : From Idea to Done in Five Steps

Home Decor Ideas.

You realize you are ready for a change. A splash of color, or a bold accent to bring life into a room. You finally DECIDE you want to revamp one or multiple rooms in the house. You have picked a color, found the perfect pillows, now all you need to do is get started. Right?

Along the way, you realize you need a few baskets, other than that you are all set. You have everything needed for your perfect oasis, and promise to get started once you get home from work. However, a few weeks later you realize that “idea” is just that.

You can do it, I believe in you! See the five tips below to get the ball rolling:

Write it down.

  • List all the inspirations of the space being created
  • What type of feel are you going for?
  • What type of activities will be happening in this space?
  • Will it be for you only or will family bypass this area?

All of these are key questions in your research process. Now that you have listed the details of the room and the vision is clear, you can move on to step two: inventory.

Take Inventory

I agree it can be tempting to buy those cute baskets or containers when renewing a space. But, before you go container crazy try this:

  • Take measurements first- trust me on this one. There is nothing worse than finding what you want, only to discover it doesn’t fit
  • Have an immediate need for it before you buy it- either love it or leave it!
  • Compare prices- shop around before making a final purchase

Set a date

  • Set a start and finish date to share with your accountability partner. This person does not have to be perfect. They just need to be someone who will hold you responsible for your promises.
  • Challenge yourself or put your money where your mouth is.
  • Meaning, once you have the start and end dates, if you don’t meet a deadline you have to pay up.
  • This will help you get started and meet your deadline.

Get to work! 

Someday is NOT a day of the week. – Henry David Thoreau

  • Be realistic with your goals when setting a timeframe for yourself.
  • Post or frame the Vision to stay focused- there is nothing wrong with making a few changes along the way, but making a few major changes could delay the process all together.
  • Know your peak zones- this is the time that you have the most energy and can basically do anything because your energy levels are at its best.

 Celebrate your Success

Have a girl’s night in, host a family gathering or invite friends over to celebrate. Kudos to you for your tyme and efforts of sticking to the plan.

Until next tyme,

Be Happy. Be Organized. Be Awesome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Your Routine Matters

Hey Friend!

Spring is in and this organizer is having some closet fun! From the kid’s room, basement and home office, people
are ready to make space for the life they love. I was recently helping a client organize her
home office and walk-in closet. After we sorted through and shredded old documents, we
moved on to her closet space.

About five minutes in she said, “I hate feeling so rushed in the mornings. I feel like I am
always rushing and never have time to even grab breakfast.”

My immediate response was Awesome! The look on her face said, what? I always tell clients
that part of the organizing journey is identifying the problem. Once you know what the problem
is, we can work together to establish systems to solve them.

You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily.
The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.
–John C. Maxwell

I asked my client if she had a routine and to list three to five things she would like to do in the morning before starting her day. After she created her list, she noticed that three out of the five could easily be done the night before. By ironing her clothes, laying out accessories, and having lunches packed, that was an additional 10 minutes saved. Exercise was another important part of her day. She enjoys staring her day feeling energized, but the conflict with time was becoming a real issue. Lastly, makeup and breakfast. I explained that in order to command your mornings, you must first be aware of how long each activity takes. This helps to manage your expectations, taking your to-do list from an idea, to a habit, until it becomes a routine.

Your Routine matters because:

Regular schedule
Order
Utilize time wisely
Trust yourself
Investment in your well-being
Nourish your mind
Energy to be effective

This list is my motivational reminder when I need to get it done. Remember, take action first, feel second. Once you get going, 9 times out of 10 you will want to finish. When you decide to give those things most important to you a tyme, date and place to get done, you cancel out someday and turn it into mission accomplished. Being proactive requires constant motion.

Which do you check first your to-do list or your calendar? Before you commit to anything you check your calendar first right?

The same rules apply to your workout schedule, date night, play date for the kids and so on. If you want to see results, put it on the calendar and show up!

Take a few moments to reflect on what is working and then write down what needs to be tweaked. There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to your routine, but it MUST add value to your day.

Until next Tyme,
Be Happy. Be Organized. Be Awesome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi, I’m an Email

 

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Hi, I’m an Email

Before you open, then close me, I promise this will only take a few minutes.

I’m a bit concerned about our relationship. There used to be a time when we would start the mornings with coffee and our favorite blogs. Then, just before arriving to work we would review the to-do list, follow-up on action items before meetings, arrange play dates or confirm travel plans. Now, I rarely see you.

Where is the love?

Not to mention, it is getting a little crowded in here.  Maybe the January crew can find a new home?

Now I know, my friends and I have a way of showing up by the numbers, especially after you have worked so hard to get your inbox down to a reasonable number.  Listen, I will talk to them if you promise I get to see you more often?

Well. I think I have found a solution, to see you more and cure the inbox overload.

During your lunch hour, I came across a professional organizer. I believe her name was… oh yes, Abike Anoka.  I told her about our “issue” and she left a few tips to get us back to happy!

Here is what she had to share:

You control your inbox, not the other way around. Instead of responding to emails as they come in, pick a specific time either once an hour, before lunch or just before the work day ends to read, respond, delegate or delete.

Take five minutes to create folders for emails that come daily. For example, Money, DIY Projects, Travel, etc. Once they come to your inbox, transfer them immediately. If you know it is trash or spam, delete right away. Try this approach to stay ahead of the email game:

E–  Easy response

M– Move to categorized folder

A – Action required

I–   Interested, but not sure

L–  Last in, first out

S–  Select to unsubscribe

For emails that require a quick response, take a second or two to rsvp to the birthday party or gradation dinner. If you know the location and time, delete that email. If you need to keep it until the event, do so. Once the event is over, delete that email. For all those blog sites that you subscribe to weekly, move them to their categorized folder to read in your spare time weekly. Once you have read it, send it to the trash bin. You can always visit the original website, if you want to read it again.

For those action emails, decided if you have enough information to respond. If you do, reply and save until the overall task is complete. This typically applies to work emails, itinerary for travel, or any important emails you may need to refer back to.

When you get an email offering promotions, deals or attending an event, give it 48 hours. Usually, by the end of the email you know if you are really interested or not. Go with your first mind, then respond or delete.

Lastly, address them as they come in or unsubscribe all together. If possible, check your inbox daily especially if you have multiple accounts. Be diligent and reserve tyme to read, respond, and delete. Having a regular schedule to check your emails, lightens the worry about email overload.

Set a magic number for your inbox. Once it gets close or passes that number, emails MUST GO!

If you are tired of the same emails coming to your inbox, check out the websites below to have them permanently removed or consolidated into one email:

www.otherinbox.com

www.unroll.me

Until next tyme,

Be Happy. Be Awesome. Be Organized.

Abike.

Where is my Phone?

Greetings!

Has this happen to you, or is it just me?

You are getting ready to leave the house, you have your purse or work bag, coat, keys and then you say “Where is my Phone?” Or at least, this was my life towards the end of my pregnancy and about six months after she was born. I would ask myself this question at least once a day.

If you are new to the blog site, Welcome! And if you have been tuning in weekly, Thank you!

In previous blog post I shared that my leap from chaos to calm began when I felt my world was all over the place. I needed a rescue and fast. The phone situation took a while to master, but I am NOT a quitter.

Today, I am going to share how I won the phone battle:
If you haven’t noticed by now I love, love, love doing things using acronyms. From grade school until now, it is my signature way to remember anything.

So here we go!
P- put away immediately
H- have a dock station close to the entry way
O- outlets save the day
N- need to charge
E- everyday affair

When you first get home, put the phone away and give yourself time to unplug. You need that! We are so busy from the time we rise in the morning, until we lay our heads down again for bedtime. Give yourself permission to be present and in the moment. Whatever happened in the day is done, and tomorrow will be a fresh start.

Have a dock station that can hold your phone, keys, pens, or any other trinkets that help to ease your mornings. Position the station as close to your entry way as possible. This helps prevent the phone from getting lost between, checking mail, dinner, answering phone calls and so on. Find an outlet close by or get an extension cord, so that your phone can charge when you first get home or when needed.

Lastly, make it an everyday affair. If you have a system that works, great! If you are tired of rushing or looking for something in the morning, renew your style. You do not have to reinvent the wheel, know what makes you happy and do just that.

The first picture below is what I use now. On my to-do key ring holder I have a label that says, Phone?? Since my mail, keys and purse/workbag stations are the first things I see, having that label as a prompter keeps mornings simple. The next one I found on Pinterest posted by one of my top five magazines, Better Homes and Garden. They used an old bread maker, added wood to the bottom and cut slits to fit the cords through to charge the phones.

How do you keep up with your phone?

Until next tyme,
Be Organized. Be Happy. Be Awesome.
Abike

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Key Ring Holder

 

Phone Storage Station

Phone Storage Station

Grocery Store Chronicles: How to Save Time and Money

Grocery Store Chronicles: How to Save Time and Money

Grocery Store Chronicles: How to Save Time and Money

How many grocery store trips do you make in a week?
Within a month, do you make 2 to 3 big trips or several mini trips?

When I first got married I was trying to be Martha Steward, trying new recipes and making elaborate meals for two.

About six months in I noticed the following:
1. There has to be a better way
2. Need to regulate portion sizes to prevent massive leftovers
3. I forgot another ingredient again

I was either ready to try a new recipe, but did not have all the ingredients, too tired to make a big meal but needed something quick and simple or made too much and had a lot of leftovers.

Then, I would head to the store with dinner ideas in mind, but not a formal list. This tactic was short lived because I would over spend, buy things I wanted and forget things needed. Everything changed when we decided to host our first Thanksgiving dinner three years ago.

I was determined to make our dinner full of awesome food, laughter and one to remember. Truth be told, I find cooking and trying new dishes quite therapeutic, however, I just happen to like the 40 minutes or less versions:-). Because I had experience in leaving things at the store, my secret was simple: Write. It. Down.

Since I am a highly visual person, I started to picture what the dinner table would look like. This helped to categorize my list by meats, sides, breads, and desserts. From there I put the power to the PEN.

The Power of the PEN:

Pantry- this is where the magic happens by taking inventory. Inventory is your main ingredient for sticking to a budget and managing your time in the store. Additionally, this process eliminates buying things twice. Check to see what you have and create a meal plan for the week. Write the list out, categorize by breads, meats, snacks, toiletry, and feel good about shopping with a purpose and a plan.

Expiration dates- check for expired labels that need to be thrown out. Bring older items to the front and newest items behind them. This helps to stay current on what is on hand and what needs to be used soon.

Need more- once you have taken inventory, checked expiration dates, now you can check your list to see what you have and what is needed.

This step was huge because I did not waste tyme in an aisle thinking about what to get. Referring to my list made it clear about what I had and what was needed.

We all know how the story goes, “I’m just going to run in and get a few items.” When you get to the car and review your bill, you are still in shock asking yourself “What happen?”

Whether you are running in to get a “few items” or making the weekly haul, never underestimate the power of the PEN.

P.S. don’t forget to grab those coupons!  A dollar saved, is a dollar earned.

How do you stick to your grocery budget? Leave me a comment below.

Ready to add some excitement to your dinner options?  Checkout my favorite recipe sites below:

www.hungry-girl.com
www.allrecipes.com
www.pinterest.com- it all looks good:-)
www.myrecipes.com

Where inspiration meets order!

Abike.

The Art of Purging

Spring is coming!

When was your last purge party?

When I first stumbled upon the “organizing world” I kept seeing experts say you must be willing to let things go. At the same time, I was torn between holding on to old jeans and finding new ones to fit my body post baby.

A year later, those same jeans were still in my closet taking up space. I started to ponder why I was having such a hard time parting with the jeans. I mean, they were just jeans right? I finally got the courage to move them from hanging, to the donation pile on the floor.

During my first purge party, (pandora is a must) my husband walked by and said “Oh, I remember these, from our first date!” For the next hour we talked and laughed about how we first met, getting married, the diva (our daughter) and how next month it will be five years of marital bliss!

Time flies when you are having fun! It was then I realized the jeans represented one of the happiest moments of my life, starting a journey with my best friend. By seeing the jeans, “I thought” I was staying in touch with that moment, then I came across this:

You have to first let go of what you don’t
want to make space for what you do want
-M. RKologie

What I did want and have now is a space for things I use on a regular basis. After coming to terms with it was NOT the jeans, but the memories, I was finally able to let them go. Once I was able to make the connection between my things and that time of my life, purging became a seamless process. I read several ways to purge, found helpful hints, but I needed something to stick.

After several attempts I created the concept The ART of Purging

Active pieces
These pile usually consist of work clothes, weekend wear, and those comfy clothes around the house.

Rotational wear
The section contains items wore throughout the year, but for seasonal or special occasions like that Christmas skirt or dress, or suits for an interview.

Tyme 2 Go- donate, sell and drive away
It was a fun, but this relationship has come to an end. One of the three has happened:
1. You forgot about
2. You don’t love it anymore
3. You “think” you may need it someday

Whenever you decided to take the purge plunge, only two rules apply: Purge first, Think later. If you give yourself tyme to think about it, you will find a way to keep it!

                                            The first day of spring is March 20, 2015.  Ready to get started?

If you need to get everyone on board, make it a family affair. Grab the timer, bring out the trash bags, sharpie’s to label what is going where, add some iTunes, celebrate with good food when done!

If not, give it two weeks. If after two weeks, you need more time, start exploring the connections with items that may be keeping you stuck.

                                              T2O tip: Clutter keeps you stuck, Clarity makes things clear.

P.S. In the spirit of spring, this week’s blog came out today. See you next Thursday!

Let the purge party begin!
Abike.

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Do you have Plans Tonight?

Hi there!

How do you manage your to-do list on the daily?

This was my number one question as I perused through many websites, read books and discovered concepts on how to do less, achieve more. The notion of “Supermom and get it all done” was taking its toll and I needed answers fast!

The truth is, it is NOT possible. I was tackling my list the wrong way. I finally came to the realization that help is always available to us, we just have to be willing to receive it. I learned this lesson year two of being married. No one is a mind reader. If you need more support, ask for it. When a system is not working, change it until it does.

Everyone in the home must play a role in keeping their space nice and tidy. From the toddler to the adult, everyone needs to know they are responsible for the care of their home environment.

Perfection is the enemy of good enough. -Voltaire

I came across this quote and it changed my life. I went from “I’ll do it, to ok, looks good, next.” I realized that everything does not have to be done my way, in order to get done. Once you ask for help, take it and move on. Whether you are a family of five or it is you and the dog. Start now and decide what being organized looks like for you.

Being organized is an inside job. How do you want to feel when you walk into your home? What do you want your space to do for you? Is this an investment or am I buying this on impulse? As you begin to answer these questions, you will begin to create a space to reflect just that. Remember First Name, it always about you, not the stuff.

By making simple changes, I became less consumed with the laundry list of things to-do and strategically worked on getting the most out of my day.

The action PLANS. My ultimate five step approach to maximize my tyme and get it done.

Preview my task list for the next day (categorize by order of importance)

Lay clothes out for tomorrow

Ask for help and receive it!

Neatly put things away (15 Minutes only)

Soak in bathtub when done

Doing this daily helps to alleviate stress and prioritize. This strategy has really helped to bring balance and clarity back into my life. I have more time to do things I enjoy like painting my nails, brunch with girlfriends, getting lost in a good book, or making labels for projects around the house (I know, labels make my happy.)

What could be done today, to become your one less thing tomorrow?

Until next tyme,

Abike.

1 Day. 1 Project. 1 Hour.

1 Day. 1 Project. 1 Hour.

Can I ask you a question?

The last home project you set intentions to complete, did you get it done?

Did you see the space organized in your head, but for some reason didn’t get around to it?

Is there pile of mail or stack of clothes still in the basket?

Just a few years ago, this was my story. I would say to myself, “Ok this weekend I am going to spend thirty minutes devoted to cleaning my daughter’s clothes and donate things she no longer needs or wears. Saturday would come, thirty minutes would come and go, but most of all the piles of baby onesies plus toys was still be there.

When you work all week, playing catch-up on the weekend between activities, grocery shopping, birthday parties and the list goes on and on, the tyme or desire to declutter becomes less of a priority.

When you finally do get a few free minutes of solitude, the urge to sleep-in or relax has a way of taking over.
I remember finally making it to the couch to read one of my favorite books The Art of Imperfections by Brene Brown, looking out into our living and saying to my husband “Is this our home or her daycare?”

I will spare the details of how many toys I actually counted “cough 50.” As of now, I am happy to share we are down by half! That day lead to serious of changes. I could not go another day with the clutter staring at me. I felt as if it was saying “Hi there, we’ll be here a while, when is dinner?”

Problem: Too Many toys
Solution: 1 Day. 1 Project. 1 Hour.
My first step was immediate action. I chose Saturdays because it was my own time, I wasn’t tired from the work day, and was up an hour earlier before the family. I picked an area that frustrated me the most, her toys. Then I found a magic number that worked. For me, that number was 45 minutes. This was enough time to start, stay focused without distractions and finish the project.

I started with her toys and closet, then moved to my closet. I immediately noticed a sense of relief as I entered any room of my home and knew right away where items belonged. That frustration turned addiction is now a weekly affair. This routine keeps clutter at a minimum and makes this momma happy!

Chunk it Down:
1 Day– Pick a day that you will commit to on a consistent basis. For example: Tuesdays- No school activities

1 Project– what space in your home bothers you right now? Stick with this area until you see the results you want.

1 Hour – My magic number is 45. I set the timer for an hour, with the last 15 minutes reserved to clean up and put things away.

T20 Tip: Follow your initial thoughts. If you feel it is time to let it go, do exactly that. Memories are forever, however, all clutter has an expiration date.

Whether we are purging or keeping areas nice and tidy, what I appreciate most is what is does for my mood. I am no longer irritated because I can’t find what I’m looking. The guest room is now a retreat room, instead of an overflow room.

So, if you are tired of the piles and ready to renew your space, pick a station and let the games begin!
I hope that you have been inspired in some way and tune in weekly, as I share my organizing journey from chaos to calm. As always, no matter where you are in the process believe you can get stared today, purge with no regrets and simplify with those items you cherish most.

Until next tyme,
Where inspiration meets Order!

Abike.

Holiday Guest Basket

How to Pick Your Battles and Feel Good About It

This Christmas was the best day ever. I spent the day with my most prized possessions, family. We opened gifts, ate, slept, and ate all over again. It was perfect. Every year we alternate between homes, and this year my husband and I were the hosting family. I love hosting and entertaining of parties (20 or less) lol. For Christmas, I decided to do brunch style and have it all. You name, we had it. It was wonderful. Everyone took over a station and made it their own, no rules, just make it good. Since Christmas was on a Thursday, guest started trickling in on Sunday. I may have slight Order-Calm Destination (OCD) tendencies and they started to kick in day two of my guest visiting. As I began to put things away and keep things in order, I asked myself the following questions:

Is this an issue?

Will this matter thirty minutes from now?

Why do I feel the need to do this now?

As I answered each question, it became clear to be in the moment and just let things be. It is Christmas! Once this day is over, it won’t be back. From that moment forward I was able to relax, watch a movie, cuddle with my little one and catch up some much needed rest and relaxation. I could have easily staring putting things away every time it was out of place, but overtime that will make my guest uncomfortable. I never want my family or guest to feel like they can’t relax and unwind while at my home.
So instead of going to into auto pilot, I used that energy to create a basket that contained all things visitor would need or forget. The basket included the following items:

Toothpaste
Toothbrush
Dental floss
Lotion
Shower caps
Socks
Deodorant
Chocolate
Body wash

Most of all, guest were pleased with the basket and another holiday was a success. Check out the basket below and let me know what you think!

From my family to yours Happy New Year!

Holiday Guest Basket

Holiday Guest Basket