July 30, 2010

Friday Findings

Every Friday I am going to find something that I can get rid of.  Sometimes it will belong to me.  Sometimes it will belong to someone else. 

Today I found these books that were crowding my shelves.  Some books were mine that I hadn't read in a long time and have no interest in reading again.  Some books were my husbands cookbooks. He graciously let me purge his three shelf collection down to two shelves. He likes to cook and tends to get a lot of cookbooks as gifts. He is happy to get them.  He reads them when he receives them but he doesn't necessarily use them after that. More often he uses the internet for recipes. 

These books will find a new home at the second hand shop. Sometimes you can donate books to the library.  Ours has shelves in the hall for selling older books. If the books are in good condition and fairly new, you can sell them online too.

Today's questions:  What do you do with your old books?  What are you reading right now?

July 26, 2010

Book Winner!

Congratulations to "Let the party begin..." as she is the winner of our book giveaway!  Let us know when the book arrives and what you learn from the 31 words.  Please send me your mailing address at:  Kathleen@kathleenboland.com and I'll get it out to your asap.

The junk drawer makeover was a success.  Look at how much stuff we got rid of for this client.  Now she has a drawer beside her favorite chair that has what she needs at her fingertips.

July 22, 2010

Junk Drawer

I know I have talked about junk drawers before but here's a new one.  This drawer is beside the clients chair in the living room.  This took about 10 minutes to complete but in the end there was a place for everything she needed beside the chair and the other items were sent to their designated homes in other places around the house.  I'll show you the makeover of the drawer later but for now see if you recognize any items in this drawer that you may have in your drawers. 

PS.  The winner of the book will be announced on Monday!  More organizing items coming soon for free giveaways too.

July 13, 2010

Organizing Book Giveaway

31 Words to Create an Organized Life: A Simple Guide to Create Habits That Last - Expert Tips to Help You Prioritize, Schedule, Simplify, and More

I like to talk as I work.  OK...I talk a lot. I tend to think that talking is therapeutic and a great way to vent and figure stuff out that lingers in the head.  As a mom I don't always get the chance to talk at home unless I am speaking about Lego, play dough or what DVD all three children can watch without arguing.  That is until my husband gets home.  It's no wonder that Mike is so quiet because he gets overload from me as soon as he gets in the door.

I encourage my clients to talk as we work. I learn about the person behind the clutter, history and I hear pain.  People who are Chronically Disorganized don't want to be the way they are and are so happy to have someone help them.  They are also ashamed at first and I talk about how their home or space is a work in progress and that I am here to support and help them.  People talk to me and sometimes they cry.  Talking can release pent up frustrations and emotions.  It's very healthy to cry so I always have tissue everywhere I go.

Talking is good!  I have three children (5, 9 and 11) and I have been talking to them about being organized since they could hear my voice.  I use age appropriate words that they will understand.  I give age appropriate tasks to stay tidy and then give a short explanation about why we are doing what we are doing. I don't have to give the explanations much anymore.  They have heard it all by now.  Usually I just have to give a task and it gets done. Not to say that I don't have the normal whining and moaning at times but it's not half as bad as when we first give out the new chores in the Fall.  As each child reaches a new birthday they also get more responsibility around the house.  I use the expression "I'm not the maid!' often.

If you haven't been talking to your children about being tidy and organized, you can start with a conversation at the dining table.  Talk about your own day and about the work that you did around the house.  Talk about how doing all this work can be tiring and how each member of the family could help you.  Ask them what kinds of tasks they could do to help their house and their family. You can give out chore charts and choose a treat or allowance for the end of the week.  Please don't give out more than five chores at a time. Be very specific in what you are asking a child to do.  You can't ask a five year old to "clean your room" but you can ask them to 1. Pull up your blankets on your bed, 2. Put your toys in their bins until the floor is cleared, 3. Put all your dirty clothes in the laundry basket ...and so on.

The younger you start the better.  Younger children want to be helpful for the most part. Make it fun.  Make it the same time every day. Put music on.  Above all....let them see you getting organized.  They want to emulate Mommy and Daddy.  Then one day when you are feeling frustrated and the bedrooms look like a cyclone hit you will get a comment from another parent about how tidy your child is when they were visiting for a sleepover at a friends' house.  Smile and know that your job is done.

I want to share a great little book that gives you the words, strategies and advice to get anyone started on the road to an organized life.  Sign up to Follow Me and leave a comment for your name to be put in the draw for "31 Words to Create and Organized Life".

And because Rhonda always leaves a photo I will show you the kitchen that I worked on yesterday.  The kitchen is a regular drop zone for people and can easily get out of hand.

July 9, 2010

Sports and extra-curricular activities

For the budget minded person, a child asking to start a new sport or interest can make you cringe.  Much like I did when my daughter asked to become close friends with the local horses. I always say we should take advantage of the unique opportunities in our area of the world and horses are definitely in that realm. With a deep breath I said I would look into it.  I don't want to say yes, but I don't want to always say no.  First job is to find a farm that does the job we are looking for. Then get the pricing.  Feel free to ask about summer camps and group rates over individual lessons. Ask for a discount if you think you deserve one but remember that a farm is a small business and we shouldn't take advantage of them.  We took the opportunity to take the family on a two hour horse back riding tour to see if everyone was still excited about horses or if it was just a princess fantasy.  Once a price has been set you can discuss the finances with all family members involved.  Children need to see how much things cost and what has to be juggled to make things happen. The children may also have the option to help out too, such as a part of their allowance goes towards their new hobby.  Don't forget to set a trial date so that if things don't go so peachy that everyone can opt out with no hard feelings.  I'm happy to say that the horse back riding turned out so great that both Meaghan and Daniel participated and they are returning to camp this year.  
Wait until I tell you about this year with Violin and Guitar lessons for the first time.  But that is for another day...

July 2, 2010

Our Girls

This is an amazing book!  I thought I was pretty up to date on what my daughters are going through and what they will go through over the next few years into puberty.
I am shocked at the amount of stress that society and family puts on our little girls.
I needed to hear what this Doctor said.  Every mother and father should read this book to be thoroughly aware of the needs of girls in this day and age.  I think the scary part is the secrecy of cliques and girls in groups.  Communication and Love are sooo important.  If I can organize them a little with their spirit and expectation for life, I'll be a happy Mom.

I'm off to hug my girls.  Go hug yours too!