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Organize and Simplify


A Guide for the Busy, Overwhelmed, and Overworked



00005.jpg00006.jpg00007.jpg00008.jpg00009.jpg00010.jpg00011.jpg00012.jpg00013.jpg00014.jpg00015.jpg00016.jpgWhen someone says ‘in your free time’, do you laugh? Are you stressed out and


frustrated, overwhelmed by everything? Do you constantly run late, forget


things, and miss appointments? Have you fantasized about throwing your cell


phone, pager, or laptop into the nearest body of water? Our busy, overloaded


lives often leave us wondering where the joy and serenity have gone.


Last year, I started work on my master’s degree. I knew life would be tough,


but I really had no clue just how ‘tough’ it could get. As a wife, mother of three,


system engineer during the day, and student on nights and weekends, I found


myself in tears several times. My husband, who also works full time, was doing


a great job trying to juggle tasks as well, but the bleak truth was that things


were falling through the cracks. So we had to figure out how to fill those cracks!


In the following pages, I’ve summarized the tips and tricks I learned during my


year of juggling that literally saved me. Some may work great for you, some


may not fit well into your life. Take what you can and use it to ease the chaos


that seems to be present in our lives.


In addition, let me say that ‘Having It All’ isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. In


fact, you can’t have it all. Not only would you have no place to put it, you would


have no time to enjoy any of it. Many of us, especially women, have been sold a faulty idea. We’ve been told we can have it all. If you attempt to have it all and


be it all, I truly think you will be perpetually overwhelmed. Instead, focus on


what you love. Go for what makes you happy and fills you with joy. Prioritize


everything based upon your standards, not everyone else’s standards. In the


end, it’s all about happiness, contentment, and fulfillment. You won’t find those


things if you’re busy chasing ‘It All’.


Organizing: The Most Important Rule


00017.jpg00018.jpg00019.jpg00020.jpg00021.jpg00022.jpg00023.jpg00024.jpg00025.jpg00026.jpg00027.jpg00028.jpgDon’t get so overwhelmed that you give up. Remember: baby steps. Any


amount of organizing is going to help. Long journeys are made up of many


single steps.


Time Management: Planning


00029.jpg00030.jpg00031.jpg00032.jpg00033.jpg00034.jpg00035.jpg00036.jpg00037.jpg00038.jpgFirst and most importantly, PLAN. I was never much of a planner, and I had to


make myself start, but the benefits are tremendous. When your head is filled


with your to-do lists, they feel larger than life. This causes worry and stress.


Getting it all down on paper or in an electronic format will not only be more


efficient, you’ll reduce your stress. You’ll remember what you need to do, be


able to prioritize your tasks, and increase your organization. Use a planner. At home on the refrigerator, I can’t say enough good things


about Mom's Family Calendar. If you have multiple family members with busy


schedules, this will keep you on track. Also,Franklin-Covey planners are a huge


help. I was introduced to these planners in 1993 by my employer. Their use


was required as part of our jobs. After moving on to other companies, I am still


very impressed by this requirement. I record everything in myFranklin-Covey,


and would be lost without it. I use it at work, and carry it home with me.


When you are preparing for an event, trip, or even getting the hang of a daily


routine: checklists, checklists, checklists. Keep them in a notebook or in your


planner. You can find checklists on the Internet, or make your own. I have


checklists saved in my computer for vacation, groceries, parties, business trips,


spring cleaning, and the like. Put your grocery shopping list in order of the store


you visit to save running around the store. Checklists are great for tracking what


you’ve already gotten, packed, or accomplished, and they free your mind for


other activities!


Speaking of daily routines, make your life run more smoothly – get routines.


When I started my master’s program, I laminated routines for my children to


guide them through school mornings, evenings, and chores. They looked like


this: School Morning Evening


00039.jpg00040.jpg00041.jpg00042.jpg00043.jpg00044.jpg00045.jpg00046.jpg00047.jpg00048.jpg00049.jpg00050.jpg00051.jpg00052.jpg00053.jpg00054.jpg00055.jpg00056.jpg00057.jpg00058.jpg00059.jpg00060.jpg00061.jpg00062.jpg00063.jpg00064.jpg00065.jpg00066.jpg00067.jpg00068.jpg00069.jpg00070.jpg00071.jpg00072.jpg00073.jpg00074.jpg00075.jpg00076.jpg00077.jpg00078.jpg00079.jpg00080.jpg00081.jpg00082.jpg00083.jpg00084.jpg00085.jpg00086.jpg00087.jpg00088.jpg00089.jpg00090.jpg00091.jpg00092.jpg00093.jpg00094.jpg00095.jpg00096.jpg00097.jpg00098.jpg00099.jpg00100.jpg00101.jpg00102.jpg00103.jpg00104.jpg00105.jpg00106.jpg00107.jpg00108.jpg00109.jpg00110.jpg00111.jpg00112.jpg00113.jpg00114.jpg00115.jpg00116.jpg00117.jpg00118.jpg00119.jpg00120.jpg00121.jpg00122.jpg00123.jpg00124.jpg00125.jpg00126.jpg00127.jpg00128.jpg00129.jpg00130.jpg00131.jpg00132.jpg00133.jpg00134.jpg00135.jpg00136.jpg00137.jpg00138.jpg00139.jpg00140.jpg00141.jpg00142.jpg00143.jpg00144.jpg00145.jpg00146.jpg00147.jpg00148.jpg00149.jpg00150.jpg00151.jpg00152.jpg00153.jpg00154.jpg00155.jpg00156.jpg00157.jpg00158.jpg00159.jpg00160.jpg00161.jpg00162.jpg00163.jpg00164.jpg00165.jpg00166.jpg00167.jpg00168.jpg00169.jpg00170.jpg00171.jpg00172.jpg00173.jpg00174.jpg00175.jpg00176.jpg00177.jpg00178.jpg00179.jpg00180.jpg00181.jpg00182.jpg00183.jpg00184.jpg00185.jpg00186.jpg00187.jpg00188.jpg00189.jpg00190.jpg00191.jpg00192.jpg00193.jpg00194.jpg00195.jpg00196.jpg00197.jpg00198.jpg00199.jpg00200.jpg00201.jpg00202.jpg00203.jpg00204.jpg00205.jpg00206.jpg00207.jpg00208.jpg00209.jpg00210.jpg00211.jpg00212.jpg00213.jpg00214.jpg00215.jpg00216.jpg00217.jpg00218.jpg00219.jpg00220.jpg00221.jpg00222.jpg00223.jpg00224.jpg00225.jpg00226.jpg00227.jpg00228.jpg00229.jpg00230.jpg00231.jpg00232.jpg00233.jpg00234.jpg00235.jpg00236.jpg00237.jpg00238.jpg00239.jpg00240.jpg00241.jpg00242.jpg00243.jpg00244.jpg00245.jpg00246.jpg00247.jpg00248.jpg00249.jpg00250.jpg00251.jpg00252.jpg00253.jpg00254.jpg00255.jpg00256.jpg00257.jpg00258.jpg00259.jpg00260.jpg00261.jpg00262.jpg00263.jpg00264.jpg00265.jpg00266.jpg00267.jpg00268.jpg00269.jpg00270.jpg00271.jpg00272.jpg00273.jpg00274.jpg00275.jpg00276.jpg00277.jpg00278.jpg00279.jpg00280.jpg00281.jpg00282.jpg00283.jpg00284.jpg00285.jpg00286.jpg00287.jpg00288.jpg00289.jpg00290.jpg00291.jpg00292.jpg00293.jpg00294.jpg00295.jpg00296.jpg00297.jpg00298.jpg00299.jpg00300.jpg00301.jpg00302.jpg00303.jpg00304.jpg00305.jpg00306.jpg00307.jpg00308.jpg00309.jpg00310.jpg00311.jpg00312.jpg00313.jpg00314.jpg00315.jpg00316.jpg00317.jpg00318.jpg00319.jpg00320.jpg00321.jpg00322.jpg00323.jpg00324.jpg00325.jpg00326.jpg00327.jpg00328.jpg00329.jpg00330.jpg00331.jpg00332.jpg00333.jpg00334.jpg00335.jpg00336.jpg00337.jpg00338.jpg00339.jpg00340.jpg00341.jpg00342.jpg00343.jpg00344.jpg00345.jpg00346.jpg00347.jpg00348.jpg00349.jpg00350.jpg00351.jpg00352.jpg00353.jpg00354.jpg00355.jpg00356.jpg00357.jpg00358.jpg00359.jpg00360.jpg00361.jpg00362.jpg00363.jpg00364.jpg00365.jpg00366.jpg00367.jpg00368.jpg00369.jpg00370.jpg00371.jpg00372.jpg00373.jpg00374.jpg00375.jpg00376.jpg00377.jpg00378.jpg00379.jpg00380.jpg00381.jpg00382.jpg00383.jpg00384.jpg00385.jpg00386.jpg00387.jpg00388.jpg00389.jpg00390.jpg00391.jpg00392.jpg00393.jpg00394.jpg00395.jpg00396.jpg00397.jpg00398.jpg00399.jpg00400.jpg00401.jpg00402.jpg00403.jpg00404.jpg00405.jpg00406.jpg00407.jpg00408.jpg00409.jpg00410.jpg00411.jpg00412.jpg00413.jpg00414.jpg00415.jpg00416.jpg00417.jpg00418.jpg00419.jpg00420.jpg00421.jpg00422.jpg00423.jpg00424.jpg00425.jpg00426.jpg00427.jpg00428.jpg00429.jpg00430.jpg00431.jpg00432.jpg00433.jpgBreakfast Complete homework


Clean up after breakfast Dinner


Brush teeth Clean up after dinner


Deodorant Pack bookbag for next day


Brush hair Pack lunch for next day


Make bed Choose clothing for next day


Feed cat Brush teeth


Your routines for children will vary, of course, depending on the age of the child


and what tasks you have them complete.


Delegate. Give children chores. It teaches them responsibility and helps you.


When my youngest was four years old, his chore was to brush the cat. We


owned a Persian with very long hair. She was always shedding. It was a simple


chore that both helped me out and gave the cat attention. My four year old also


earned $1 per week for his work. Older children can clean the kitchen, care for


pets, clean, wash the car, do the laundry, and such. Try not to be a


perfectionist. Children must learn, and their first efforts will be far from perfect.


With practice, they will improve and take pride in their work. Time wasters, like mindless channel flipping and web surfing, need to be


minimized for efficient time management. Viewing e-mails that you don’t really


care about, and not filtering e-mail are another culprit of time wasting. If you


have not realized it already, these activities can cut into your time by surprising


amounts. I’ve been shocked to realize the time I spend surfing the web. We all


intend to look up one thing, then get distracted and spend hours before we know


it. Cut back on TV and computer, immediately delete unimportant e-mails, and


screen phone calls to avoid idle chatter.


Is Clutter a Problem? De-junk and Organize!


00434.jpg00435.jpg00436.jpg00437.jpg00438.jpg00439.jpg00440.jpg00441.jpg00442.jpg00443.jpg00444.jpg00445.jpgClutter and junk will drag you down. It drains your energy. It feels like an


anchor around your neck. You worry about it, fuss and fume over it, berate


yourself, get embarrassed when company arrives, AND it takes away from your


joy and happiness. So… why would we want to keep any such thing?


Well, we all get a little sentimental for one thing. We are afraid we’ll forget a


special person, place, or memory without the reminders. The thing is – special


people and moments live in our hearts and minds, not in our junk. Don’t toss


out a few items that are highly meaningful to you, but do limit yourself on what


you deem to be highly meaningful. And the more ‘stuff’ that we have, the less


meaningful each item is to us. Another reason I believe we hang onto things is due to a scarcity mentality.


‘Stuff’ makes us feel secure. Perhaps we think we can sell it if hard times befall


us. Or that we’ll have ‘enough’ if disaster strikes. Scarcity thinking breeds more


scarcity. If you want to breathe freshness and abundance into your life, let go of


your grip on ‘stuff’. Shut your eyes, imagine your space clean and open, and feel


how wonderful it is. When you get frustrated or want to give up, repeat this


step. Visualization is a great help in becoming motivated. I’m a huge fan of the


Abraham-Hicks work, which speaks to how and why this works. For more


information, seeThe Law of Attraction: The Basics of the Teachings of Abraham.


Get some boxes and start de-cluttering. There are many methods available to


you, most of which can be found on the Internet. My favorite is the following:


A box for garbage


A box for charity / give-away


A box for selling


A box for storage


A box for keeping (just needs to find a home)


While you need to exercise caution with your ‘storage’ box, some items truly are


for storage. These would include items such as holiday decorations, seasonal


clothing, and baby items (when you think there will be more babies!). One


method I have used, although sparingly, is to store items when I am really struggling over parting with them. Tape up the box, label and date it, and re


visit it in 6 months or a year. I often find I’m not as attached when time passes,


and I can bear to part with the items. However, this should not be a common


practice, or you’ll simply be boxing the clutter and cluttering your storage areas!


For some wonderful articles, advice, products, and more, a reference site that I


use is a web-based one-stop


shop offering everything you need to get organized at home or at work. Shop


for the latest "do-it-yourself" organizing products, get a free referral to a


Professional Organizer in your area, hire a speaker to put on a workshop for your


next event, subscribe to our free online newsletter, link to hundreds of


"organizing-related" websites across the internet, and get tons of tips for


organizing your paper, space, and time.


I love to browse for ideas and products for storage. When


you do store items, always store similar things together, and label the


containers. For example, I store summer items in one section of my storage


room. In that section, I have a ‘beach and pool’ container. The contents include


beach towels, beach bags, pool toys, goggles, a radio we use for the beach, etc.


I also have a winter section in my storage room with a ‘snow and ski’ container.


It includes ski goggles, ski suits, waterproof gloves, etc. This may seem to be a


bit much of an effort if you do not store items in a similar manner. Believe me, it pays off in the end when you can quickly find everything needed. Once you get


your system set up, it is a breeze to continue.


A word on clothing: try trading items with your friends. I practice this little ritual


with a very close friend of mine. When the seasons change, we clean our


children’s closets. We trade clothing, shoes, toys, books, games. It is a fun way


to not only get rid of your ‘stuff’, but to have some new (used) items of your


own. My children look forward to the trading. The items we can’t trade or don’t


want are gotten rid of in other ways.


Other ways of getting rid of your ‘stuff’ are available that also add cash to your


wallet. Everyone knows about yard sales and garage sales. Make certain you


are organized to have the most successful sale.


• Place an ad in a local newspaper giving date, time, location, and items for


sale. The investment in the ad is well worth it.


• Place signs in your neighborhood with arrows pointing to your location,


and signs on any local bulletin board on which you are permitted to post.


• Have your items clean and clearly marked with a price. Know ahead of


time if you are willing to bargain on the price.


• Have a change fund ready to make change for your customers.


• Keep bags handy for those who buy many items.


• And my favorite thing – when the day is done, take all leftovers to the


local charity of your choice.


E-bay and are also excellent places to sell your used items. I am a big


fan of both, and am both a customer and a seller. I rarely buy a book, CD, or


game at retail price thanks to and the used section at!


Another hint about music: use iTunes. You don’t need an iPod to make use of


iTunes. Simply click on the iTunes folder at the top of the page and click on


download. You can purchase music, then play it on your computer or burn CDs.


The best part to me is that you can purchase one song from a CD rather than


buying the entire thing if you are unsure about the rest. I can’t tell you how


many CDs I used to purchase to discover I really only liked one song. Now I mix


and match, and if I burn a CD, it is my own compilation. And I don’t have the


CD clutter from many unwanted CDs!


When you are de-junking, it comes down to keeping what you love. Buy only


what you love, keep only what you love. Be a fierce guard as to what comes


into your home. Use great caution and care about what may pass through your


doorway to stay. If you don’t love something, or really, really like it, then get rid


of it. What are you tolerating that really just annoys you? Would someone else


love it? Once you have found the peace and tranquility of free space, guard your home


from junk. Use great care and caution with what passes your doorway.


If you’d like more inspirational reading, try Messie No More: Understanding and
Overcoming the Roadblocks to Being Organized
, Organizing Magic: 40 Days to a
Well-Ordered Home and Life
, and Living Organized: Proven Steps for a Clutter
Free and Beautiful Home




00446.jpg00447.jpg00448.jpg00449.jpg00450.jpg00451.jpg00452.jpg00453.jpg00454.jpg00455.jpg00456.jpg00457.jpgThe first necessary step in simplifying your life is to decide what is important to


you. Get a notebook, piece of paper, blank document on your computer – any


manner of recording you prefer – and start writing down your priorities.


Remember, these are YOURS. There are no “should” or “should not” rules. No


one gets to dictate your priorities. Not your mother, your father, your boss, or


your friends.


Need help getting started? Here is part of my “important to me” list:

• Time with my family
• Exercising
• Close friends
• Making my space enjoyable
• Connecting to the spiritual These are just examples – your list may look similar or very different from mine.

You need this list to be able to see what is in your way in life. What unimportant


things are taking up your time and energy?


Once you have your list in place, the things or people on the list become your


guiding priorities. For instance, if I am invited to a “marketing” party (you know


the kind…. it is a party to sell you something…. ), I will decide if it is worth my


time based upon my priorities. Does the product involve something I love, such


as cooking or jewelry? Will my close friends be there, giving me time to visit


with them? Is this an opportunity to network and grow my business? Is this an


event that will be fun and exciting for me? If this party does not fall in line with


my priorities, I will politely decline. Do not let anyone pressure you to do


something that takes your time and energy away from your priorities. Do not let


anyone pressure you to complicate your life. Guard your time and energy with


the watchful eye that you guard your home and possessions, for your time and


energy are even more important.


Simplify the people in your life – are there too many? Now, this sounds rather


cold, doesn’t it? But seriously, do you spend time and energy on people you


don’t really like, or people who put you in a bad mood? We don’t need anyone


bringing negativity into our lives. People who constantly complain, argue,


gossip, or look for the worst in life are a drain on our life. I’ve heard these people referred to as “Energy Vampires”. I laughed at the term, but it really is


an accurate description. I once had a co-worker who loved to complain about


the company, other employees, our benefits and pay, and just about anything


else. She was kind-hearted, and I didn’t want to seem mean to her, but every


time I spent time around her I caught her negativity and bad mood. Eventually,


I removed myself from her group of friends. I still like her, but I like even better


that her bad habit of complaining does not affect me now.


Create Places and Spaces that Bring You Joy


00458.jpg00459.jpg00460.jpg00461.jpg00462.jpg00463.jpg00464.jpg00465.jpg00466.jpg00467.jpg00468.jpg00469.jpgIf you haven’t completed the section on clutter, you must do that first to create


places and spaces that bring you joy. Your home, your rooms, your spaces


should all feel like your sanctuary. Keeping items you don’t like, don’t need, and


that stress you will prevent the potential enjoyment and comfort you deserve.


Clutter will keep you ‘stuck’. Remember to look around you and keep only those


things that you love, or that are very useful. And personally, I have some highly


useful things that aren’t all that attractive – so I keep them but store them in


closets or drawers.


A great resource, whether or not you believe in Feng Shui, isClear Your Clutter
with Feng Shui
. It will motivate you to make some changes! Once you have squashed the clutter bug, give your space a good cleaning. Go


back to the basics – mop floors, vacuum, wash windows, polish tables, launder




Invest the time to add a few extras that make you smile. I love candles, and use


them all the time. I also play my favorite CDs to set the mood. Even when you


are doing housework or paying bills, you can make it more enjoyable if your


space is enjoyable.


Keep it neat. You’ve done the work, now keep up the good job! Put it all back


where you got it after you’ve used it. Everything in its place. Make it a habit to


hang coats in closets immediately when you arrive home. Always put your glass


or plate in the dishwasher instead of placing it in the sink. Go through the mail


when you get home, and throw away what you don’t need; file what needs filed;


keep a ‘to pay’ folder for bills. Give your children space to store their book-bags


and lunch-bags.


Decide how you want each room to make you feel, and take the steps to


accomplish your goals. For instance, it is always a good idea to make your


bedroom serene, your kitchen fresh, and your living room warm and inviting. A


fun way to get some ideas is to browse home magazines. Keep a folder of photos that you like and give you good feelings, then refer to them when


rearranging your own rooms.


Taking Care of Yourself


00470.jpg00471.jpg00472.jpg00473.jpg00474.jpg00475.jpg00476.jpg00477.jpg00478.jpg00479.jpg00480.jpg00481.jpgDo take time to take care of yourself. At the top of the care list is getting


enough sleep. If you are hitting the snooze button on your alarm several times,


you are either wasting time or not getting enough sleep. If you need more,


make it a priority to get to bed earlier.


Caring for yourself makes you feel better, gives you more energy, puts you in a


better mood, and generally makes life more fun. Plan some time to go to a spa


for a relaxing massage. Read your favorite books. Have dinner with friends.


Splurge on some delicious perfume or cosmetics. Focus on eating healthier.


Take a self-development course or join a group. Send yourself flowers! If you don’t take care of yourself, there won’t be much left in you to take care of the


ones you love.


Consider hiring help. Housekeeper, babysitters, and lawn care can reduce your


burden greatly. I spent six months mulling over the idea of hiring a


housekeeper. I felt I should be able to ‘do it all’, and that hiring a housekeeper


was a reflection on my skills as a wife and mother. (There’s that ‘Having It All /


Doing It All’ myth….) Finally, at long last, I decided that my hiring a


housekeeper might very well be a good decision for my husband and children.


Not only would the house be cleaner, but I’d be in a better mood! In addition, I


was providing income and job opportunity to someone else. I have had a


housekeeper once a week now for ten years. It is one of the best decisions I


ever made for myself and my family.


Also consider buying more on-line to save time and money on shopping. Many


places have free shipping with a minimum purchase. Some of my favorite time


savers for pets and It saves me from


the often crowded pet section at the store, or pet store itself. In the case of pet


medicines, I would not buy them until you have a vet’s diagnosis and


recommendation. However, once you know what you are looking for, keeps you out of the vet’s office for repeat medications. I buy


flea medicines online every spring, because my cats love to sunbathe by a screen door and invariably the fleas find them! is another great site to help


you find products on-line without spending time, energy, and gas visiting


multiple stores and comparison-shopping.


00482.jpg00483.jpg00484.jpg00485.jpg00486.jpg00487.jpg00488.jpg00489.jpg00490.jpg00491.jpg00492.jpg00493.jpgI hope you find some tips and useful information in this e-book. Being


overwhelmed and stressed is not fun, but also not healthy. Remember, one step


forward at a time. Every little improvement will help.


Take care of yourself, and make sure to have some fun. The more relaxed and


centered you are, the better equipped you will be to deal with the tasks at hand.

Jayne Julian Master Resale rights are granted with this book. It may be sold on auction sites or business sites, and your customers are granted resale rights. This book MAY NOT be modified in any way, and this book is NEVER to be used in conjunction with spam.

Any violation of the above conditions will result in the instant termination of any license or rights related to this product and thus forfeit of any paid funds.


If you received this book through spam or know of any case of illegal marketing for this book, please send an email to


The contents of this e-book are copyright © 2007 by Achievements. All rights Reserved.


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