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Archive for the ‘organize’ Category

san francisco

I’m baaaaack in San Francisco! Phew! The move from Los Angeles to San Francisco was such a haul of belongings, emotion, and anticipation. We made it in one piece and I’ve used the last few weeks to unpack and become reacquainted with the city I once called “home”. It feels so good to be back here. I’ve hit all my favorite restaurants like Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack and Pakwan. Next on my list is Ethiopian food at Axum Cafe.

The only bummer is that the staircase that leads from our front door to our flat has a narrow, 70-degree turn and our couch and queen-sized box spring mattress didn’t fit up to our apartment. Our couch *almost* fit; it was only a few inches too wide. Ugh, so frustrating. We’ll be donating our couch and mattress. I guess the bright side is that we ordered a beautiful sectional sofa from Room and Board that’s so versatile that we’ll have it for years and years. I guess when one “sofa” door closes, another opens. And we bought a split box spring for our queen bed. Who knew they made such a thing? But they do and it works perfectly. Seriously, we move so often that if I knew they made a split queen box spring, I would have bought that when I purchased the set long ago.

Well, with all the unpacking and finding places for everything in my new apartment I have storage systems on my mind and I was so excited when I came across these furniture storage pieces on Yatzer. The Jose Collection by Mauricio Arruda is produced out of plastic containers and (Forest Stewardship Council) wood sheets to create beautiful credenzas and side tables. I remember my college days of using milk crates for end tables and this furniture really takes that idea to a whole other level.

Jose Furniture Collection

Love, Love!

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daily routines

Organization is something I’ve been doing since I was young. Over the years, I’ve had close friends poke fun at me when I decide to stay home and organize my filing cabinet rather than going out to dinner with them. For the most part, I try not to let my organization obsession take over my life, but organization is such a part of my psyche that I have to be reeled in by loved ones and reminded to go out and enjoy a movie every now and then. The key to anything is balance. The balance of work/play/life/relaxation. Balance is a challenge and keeping everything in your life moving forward and interesting is what I strive to achieve day in and day out. I always find it fascinating how other people organize their days and their time. If you’re interested in how Stephen King spends his mornings then you’ll love the web site, Daily Routines as much as I do.

Some of my favorites from the site include:

My routine varies slightly from day-to-day depending on if I’m organizing clients or doing business work from home. For the most part I wake up between 7:30-8am and make coffee in the french press with lots of sugar and milk. Coffee is a new thing for me. I just started drinking it this past year and I gotta say it’s been a life changing addition to my schedule. I’m surprised I never understood the powers of coffee before, but… NOW I UNDERSTAND COFFEE PEOPLE! While I’m drinking coffee I check my calendar, email, twitter, and teuxdeux for the days tasks. Around 9am, I get ready and start the day. Lots of work happens. In the late afternoon, I take my dog for a long walk around the neighborhood. At 5pm, I’m back on the computer. I’m enamored with web sites, so I probably spend way too much time researching and seeking out new things to obsess over, so that’s pretty much how I end my day, by spending an hour or so back on the web. At 7pm, it’s time with my husband whether we’re watching our favorite television shows– Lost and The Office– or experimenting with some random recipe I’ve found online. The day ends around 11pm, which is my favorite part of the evening, being in my pajamas and laying in the most comfortable bed in the universe. *sigh*

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Organize Closet

  1. Keep two boxes in your closet. One box for ‘Donations’ and the other for ‘Tailoring’. It’s an “as-you-go” sort of organizational trick where you make decisions about an item while you’re getting dressed. If you happen to try something on and it doesn’t look or feel right. Decide right then and there– Can the item be tailored? Or does it need to be donated because it doesn’t fit or it’s outdated? Once the boxes are full take them for donation and/or tailoring. Do not hang the item back up without making a decision first.
  2. Sort like with like. Hang coats with coats. Dresses with dresses. Shirts with shirts. You get the idea. It makes it easier to find items and allows you to mix-and-match separates easily while you’re getting dressed in the morning.
  3. The 12-Pair Shoe Organizer. Stackable, compact, and fits shoes perfectly; even heels and wedges. Grab multiple shelves and either line them side-by-side or stack them two high. You could get really OCD and have one for casual shoes; one for heels; and another for sneakers. The top of the shelf is a flat service which is perfect for boots.
  4. Hang a full-length mirror over your closet door or have a mirror hanging near your closet. It’s an essential part of putting together an outfit.
  5. Keep two open boxes on the top shelf. One for random clothing accessories such as scarves, gloves, broaches, etc. And a second box for belts. Never underestimate the power of accessories to transform a wardrobe. I’ve found that keeping accessories within easy reach allows you to grab a box and have fun adding the finishing touches to your outfit.

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Step aside Martha Stewart

About six years ago, I ran across this Clean Sweep Assessment, a checklist of life goals in four areas: Physical Environment, Well-being, Money and Relationships. I printed it out and put it in my desk drawer. Every now and then, I revisit the list and calculate my score. Since 2004, my score has gone up which is a good sign since I guess it means that I’m becoming more organized, content and happy in my life. The point is to check off each one of the 100 items that rings true for you, noting your score and focusing on getting up to a 100 over the next few years in order to, well, make yourself perfect and wonderfuLLLLLL…!

The true/false statements range from the obvious like “I live in the geographical location of my choice” to smaller things like “My hair is the way I want it”. Several of these points could be up for debate, like, does your hair really have the power to make you happy? Actually, YES! I’m one of those people who thinks hair is important especially since my husband is a hairstylist. Anyway, you’ll notice some questions seem a bit trivial, but overall it’s a fun quiz to take to see how you rate quality-of-life wise. Personally, I scored 45 points in 2007 and I just took it again and scored 56 points. Hmmm… what gives? I guess my bangs need to be trimmed, I still need to get settled in my new home back in San Francisco and I have yet to file my 2009 taxes. And if I owe you an apology, by all means please let me know so I can cross #7 off in my ‘Relationships’ category.

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Geez, 2009?! Seriously, where did you go? It feels like you left us so quickly. I guess we only have one day left until 2010, so I better get busy! I love the anticipation and prospects of a new year. New goals, fresh ideas, renewed ambition and the shear anticipation of what the upcoming year holds. On just about every New Year resolution list is the goal of organization. Being organized can change your life– saving you time and money– and even making you healthier and happier.

Moleskine Calendar Planner and Volant

One tried and true organizing tip I can give you is to have some sort of calendar notebook system. You need a way to see the month at a glance, a place to capture your goals and ideas, and somewhere to write your daily task list. I’ve tried every conceivable system imaginable, from Franklin Covey to pocket planners, and the system I constantly go back to are the Moleskine Monthly Planner coupled with the Moleskine Volant Notebook. I use the Monthly Planner as my calendar system and it also serves as a place to capture my life goals and ideas. Whereas, the Volant Notebook serves as more of a daily task or “to-do” list.

Moleskine Monthly Calendar Planner

The main reason I love the monthly planner is because the calendar spans two pages giving ample room to write. Each morning, I take a quick glance at my calendar to see what’s in store for the day. I use the calendar pages strictly for personal appointments, important meetings, deadlines and any time-driven reminders. Basically, anything that I need to leave the house for or *HAS* to get done on a particular day gets jotted down in the appropriate date of the calendar. Following the two-page calendar of the Moleskin Monthly Planner, are two blank pages. I organize these blank pages in the following ways: the left-hand side of the page holds my “Main Goals”, the goals I want to accomplish for the month. I also highlight ideas and brainstorming notes on this page. My main goals are then broken down into manageable “Mini Goals”, the baby steps I need to do in order to accomplish the larger goal, and are written on the right-hand side of the planner.

Moleskine Calendar Planner Blank Page

For example: ‘Build company web site’ is a main goal and might be hard to get started on without breaking it down into more manageable steps. I would write ‘Build company web site’ on the left-hand “Main Goals” side of the planner. “Mini Goals” such as ‘order domain name, build mock-up of initial design, write content, contact illustrator for logo design’, and any small steps needed in order to accomplish my main goal of building my company web site, and are written on the right-hand side of the notebook. Goals that may merge over to the next month, can be easily re-written for the following month.

The Moleskine Volant Notebook holds my daily “To-Do” list. A rolling list of tasks are written down in this notebook. It also includes my shopping list and daily monotonous things that need to be done to keep my life moving such as: buying stamps, taking dog to groomer, going to the dentist, etc. The Volant notebook and my Monthly Calendar/Planner go with me where ever I go. They are light, flexible and small enough to fit in my bag. The secret to any organizing system is to use it. Have it on your desk and open to the day’s date. Start making lists of things you want to accomplish the night before. For example, plan Monday on Sunday evening. Keep the system up. Tweak and refine the system so it works for you and becomes a part of the natural rhythm of your life.

Other calendar options that I haven’t tried and sound intriguing are:

  1. The 8 Days-A-Week Planner. Room for all your Monday through Sunday plans, and then an extra column for your Someday plans.
  2. Sync Google Calendar with your BlackBerry.

If you have any calendar options to add to the above list, I’d love to add your link– and hear what works for you!

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browser-based teuxdeux list

TeuxDeux To-Do Application

I love the simplicity of the online to-do list called, TeuxDeux. Nothing to download, nothing to pay. Super user friendly and a clean, clear design that shows a view of the week with the ability to check things off. Basically, as minimal as it gets. TeuxDeux works especially well for people who spend a great deal of time on their computer. Have it set to be your homepage, so each time you open a browser window you’ll be reminded of what needs to get done that day.

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Pre-Travel Packing List

As I know many people are traveling for the holidays, I’ve put together a list for preparing your home and a pre-travel to-do list, called the “Before You Go-Go” packing list. Lists always make my life easier– something about getting items off my brain and on paper makes me feel like my neurons can begin focusing on the more important things in life. Feel free to print these lists out. Use them. And I’ve left extra spaces for you to customize and personalize them as you see fit. Enjoy!

Download the “Before You Go-Go” Packing List

Also, download the “Enjoy Your Flight” Packing List from last week’s

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