Shared Life, Shared Space, Shared Schedules – Tips for Couples Getting Organized

Do you share space with a loved one and find it challenging at times because you have very different organizing or time management styles? I have a number of women and men who call asking for organizing help, frustrated with their spouse/significant other’s habits. When I enter the situation, many times it’s tense because the “unorganized one” feels judged and harassed and the “organized one” can’t understand their love’s plight and seeming resistance to being “more organized”. The “organized one” has threatened, cajoled, pleaded, tossed stuff, and tried to organize their love’s space all without success. Can you relate? Whether you are the “organized one” or the “unorganized one”, take heart and keep reading so you can learn the language of Organized Love.

First, look for desired outcomes that you can share in common and avoid negative/edgy comments:  If you have been in a relationship for any length of time, you might find the dirty laundry left on the floor annoying but saying “What’s wrong with you -can’t you ever just pick up after yourself?” rarely creates the desired change. You both need to look at the problem area and come to a shared vision of how you want the space and relationship to feel. Continue reading “Shared Life, Shared Space, Shared Schedules – Tips for Couples Getting Organized”

Choosing Wedding Gifts That Won’t End up as Clutter or be Forgotten

I was asked a few months ago about how to choose wedding gifts for a couple that would not turn into clutter or be forgotten. Having been through the process myself, it was a pleasure sharing my insights.

  • Follow the bride & groom’s gift list. Ask the bride or her parents (as appropriate) where the bride & groom are registered.
  • If the bride and groom are not registered, ask what kinds of things they would find helpful or if they are saving for something that you could add to the fund.
  • Gift certificates to the stores you know they would use are great. For totally unrestricted options for the bride & groom, cash is always welcomed. For couples marrying later in life, be aware that the bride may be keeping her maiden name. If this is the case and you choose to write a check, write a check accordingly.

When my husband and I got married, we combined 2 households so needed nothing for the inside of the house. We talked together to identify what things we wanted or needed and came up with 2 things:  pond landscaping and spectacular wedding photography. We wanted to have a really great wedding photographer with multiple day coverage so were willing to a pay for a premium package. On our wedding invitation, we stated no gifts were necessary or expected but if someone wanted to contribute to our photography or landscape fund, it would be gladly accepted.
Continue reading “Choosing Wedding Gifts That Won’t End up as Clutter or be Forgotten”

Are You Running Your Business or Does Your Business Run You

  • Do you feel overwhelmed, inundated by your office, out of control, overscheduled and full of mental and physical stress?
  • Are you running faster, multi-tasking more and feeling that you can’t get ahead?
  • Do you accumulate piles of all the things you need to “decide”? e.g. “I might need this info some day!”, “I don’t know if this is important”, “I don’t have time to deal with this now”…
  • Do you spend money on expos, advertising, brochures, networking etc. without a clear understanding of the real costs or payback (ROI – return on investment both for money AND time)?
  • Do you lose sales and opportunities because of lack of timely follow-up?
    Running a home-based business or working as an entrepreneur is different! Time management skills and workflow/follow-up processes are critical for success. When you do not have strong, well thought out decision making criteria, it’s easy for piles to accumulate, procrastination to set in and time to fly by unproductively.

It’s about getting a 30,000 foot view:
It’s not about multitasking faster, sleeping less, buying more storage containers and
forcing your inbox to 0. These only deal with symptoms vs. the causes.

THE KEY to being organized and productive LONG-TERM is the ability for you to see the bigger picture and assess where you are and what you want to accomplish. This includes planning and goal setting. You get stuck and stressed when you don’t have a plan because you don’t know where to start. Getting organized and productively managing time requires having the following decision making criteria in place:

1) What to let in
2) Where is it going to go – schedule & space
3) When are you done & 4) what’s the exit strategy?
I help my clients with these questions every day. It is the foundation to all work – at
office, home and life. These are some tips that will get you going in the right direction:

3 Secrets to long term success:
1) Work with someone on big picture goals. Determine what is important – set priorities.
2) Be selective. Set up appropriate decision making criteria to realistically assess
opportunities and obligations you take on. This is the number 1 thing I coach my clients
on – ALWAYS!
3) Simplify your life. Develop good habits and get into routines that keep you on track
both at work and at home.

It’s Really All About You (and your market) Questions:
What is your biggest issue?
What do you need to work on?
What is keeping you from moving forward on this?
Is it time to call Within Reach Organizing Services?

Mary Dykstra Novess MBA, CRTS, CPO is a Certified Professional Organizer, speaker and Time Management Coach. Mary helps corporate, residential and entrepreneurial clients get organized long term and has extensive experience in working with people with ADD/ADHD. She is past Director of Examination Development for The Board of Certified Professional Organizers and past National President of National Association of Professional Organizers. (616) 453-2976