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Did you know your home can have a great impact on your frame of mind? For example, dark and ugly rooms can make you feel sad and discouraged. Bright, cheery rooms rejuvenate you. However, there are many things you can do besides painting to brighten your home and lighten your mood. 

Photo by: Katie Charlotte Photography

Try these ideas: 

1. Add more light. Light is one of the easiest ways to boost your mood. Increase the amount of light in a room by opening blinds and curtains. White blinds and curtains reflect the light. 

2. Choose bright and cheerful paint colors. You may be creating drama with dark brown or black paint, but it won’t help your mood.

  • Dark colors aren’t the only issue because neutrals can also be dreary. Brighter colors like yellow, pink, blue, and green can freshen up a room and give it an instant lift. Your mood will also benefit from the change.

3. Add happy artwork.  Select art that makes you feel happy. Images of beautiful landscapes, animals, and abstract designs are popular choices. You can also frame your children’s artwork as a reminder of the joy they bring into your life. 

4. Add flowers. Fresh flowers are preferred and will also add a nice fragrance to a room. However, they’re not the only option. Silk flowers come in a variety of realistic choices and can instantly brighten a room. 

5. Rearrange or replace decorations. Does the vase from your aunt make you want to cry? Do you wish your decorations could get an upgrade?

  • Changing the decorations in your home can help you lift your mood. Replace old and hated objects or rearrange other items. Even a simple pillow swap for new pillows can make you feel better.

6. Get rid of clutter. Clutter can weigh you down emotionally and negatively influence your mood, even if you think you don’t notice it. If you clean your house and eliminate clutter, you’ll notice a big emotional change. Consider new storage ideas, such as bins under your bed, to prevent clutter from reappearing.

If you need guidance on how to purge, de-clutter, and organize your home, we can work one-on-one to create an efficient and beautiful space that will function for you. I would love to see what we’ll create together!

Photo by: Katie Charlotte Photography

7. Work with fragrance. If you don’t have allergies, then you can use fragrance for a positive change. 

  • Essential oils are one way to brighten your mood and modify the ambiance in a room. 
  • Citrus oils like grapefruit and orange are linked to happier moods. Mint oils, such as peppermint, also have a similar effect. You can spray a small amount of the essential oils in the air to create a lasting impact. You can also add oils to a burner for another way to add fragrance. 

Photo by: Christopher Shane Photography

8. Add more pictures of your family and friends. If seeing an image of your loved ones instantly makes you smile, then consider adding more of their pictures to your home. 

9. Remove a wall. If a wall prevents the rooms from getting adequate light, removing it can help you feel better. 

Uplift your mood by making simple changes around your home. You’ll notice a difference in how you feel almost immediately.

Hugs and Love,

Nikki

Becoming organized has so many benefits. Perhaps the greatest is the ability to turn days filled with chaos into days of focus and effectiveness.

Stress has a very negative impact on health. When you’re organized, you’ll no longer worry about all the little things that might be slipping through the cracks.

Photo by: Abby Murphy Photography

With greater organization, you’ll also be more trustworthy in all aspects of your life. Trustworthiness is the cornerstone of all relationships, both business and personal.

Consider adopting these habits:

1. Have a place for everything. This habit also relates to your papers, electronic clutter, and even the desktop on your computer.

  • Try to limit yourself to just a couple of email accounts. Consider one for business and another for personal emails. If you frequently fill out web forms that result in a lot of spam, another email account could catch all those.
  • Find a solution for your scheduling. One calendar is ideal. It makes sense to use an electronic system if you have a smartphone. Gmail, Yahoo email, and many other free systems are available that can integrate your email, to-do lists, appointments, and calendar.
  • For your desktop, make a few folders and categorize things. Place photos in the appropriate folders. Come up with a system that works for you. There’s no reason to spend 30+ minutes over the course of a single day searching for items.

2. Put items away immediately. Disorganized people tend to be poor at putting things away at the moment. It’s only after enough clutter piles up that they have enough discomfort to do anything about it. Then, it’s a major project.

  • When you grab your mail, go through it and file it immediately. For more tips, you can watch my video on how to file mails and other paper works.
  • When you’re done using something, put it away.
  • List that appointment in your system as soon as you schedule it. No organizational system can be successful if you procrastinate.


3. Have a daily routine. Use a to-do list. Ensure the dirty dishes are out of the sink before you go to bed. Spend 10 minutes picking up the family room each morning. There are many things that only take a few minutes if they’re done regularly.

Photo by: Katie Charlotte Photography

4. Create your to-do list each night. Starting the day without a plan is a mistake. It’s far more challenging to get anything done. Before hitting the day, spend a few minutes and list everything you’d like to get done. Then pick the three most important and make that your list for the following day. Three items might not seem like a lot, but it’s plenty.

  • If you get the three most important things done each day, you’ll be surprised how differently your life looks after a couple of weeks.

Maybe it’s time to finally get organized and get your life and your clutter under control. You’ll be more relaxed, more effective, and a better friend and partner. Developing a couple of effective habits can really make a huge difference in your ability to stay focused on what’s most important to you. If it gets to the point that you are overwhelmed and do not know where to start, you can talk to me, and together we will get your home organized!

Hugs and Love,
Nikki

Clutter messes up more than your living room. When your home and workspaces are in disorder, you’re likely to feel more anxious and depressed.

Studies have found that homeowners who say they have too much stuff describe themselves as drained and overwhelmed. They also have a higher level of cortisol and other stress hormones, and they have more difficulty completing tasks because of their disorganized environment.

Photo by: Abby Murphy Photography

Find out how clutter affects you and pick up some tips for bringing physical and mental clutter under control.

Understanding the Effects of Clutter

There are good reasons to be concerned about clutter. An untidy environment aggravates allergies and increases the risk of fire and accidents. See what tidying up can do for your body and mind.

1. Eliminate distractions. It’s difficult to concentrate when your brain is busy looking at irrelevant objects. A clear view will help you to focus on your immediate task.

2. Save time. How much time do you spend looking for car keys or the TV remote? When your possessions are kept in their place, you’ll know where each item is.

3. Boost your creativity. Clutter increases stress, which inhibits your creativity. On the other hand, open spaces encourage innovative ideas and artistic flair.

4. Really relax. Overloading your senses with physical and mental stimuli disturbs your sleep and rest. You may also feel guilty about your housekeeping. Becoming more organized will eliminate a major source of tension.

Controlling Physical Clutter

Imagine how great you’d feel without dirty dishes in the sink and piles of paper on your desk. Even a few minutes of straightening up each day adds up to a big difference.

Photo by: Katie Charlotte Photography

1. Buy less. Fight clutter at its source by resisting the urge to add to your possessions. Prepare a shopping list in advance, so you stick to purchasing just what you need. Find other ways to entertain yourself besides browsing online stores.

2. Toss stuff out. Go through the things you already have. Sort out what you can throw in the dumpster or give away. Try setting parameters like discarding anything you haven’t used in the past year that has no sentimental value.

3. Store things away. Once you’ve figured out what to keep, think about how to make it less visible. Filing cabinets and trunks can keep essential documents and out-of-season clothing on hand but out of view.

4. Set up a maintenance schedule. Remember that dealing with clutter is an ongoing project. Schedule an appointment with yourself every 6 months to review the situation.

Controlling Mental Clutter

Conquer those disturbing thoughts and digital overload by adopting some constructive new habits:

1. Disconnect for a while. Put aside an hour or two each day to turn off your phone and stop checking social media. For higher quality sleep, stay away from the TV and computers for at least an hour before bedtime.

Photo by: Katie Charlotte Photography

2. Set specific goals. Planning your activities and creating priorities shows you where to channel your energies. You can hire a Professional Organizer to help you organize your life so you can enjoy making progress without worrying about what else you’re supposed to be doing.

3. Filter information. Do you feel bombarded by advertisements and news stories? Try becoming more selective about what media you consume.

4. Leave the TV off unless there’s a program you plan to watch. Limit the number of websites you visit on a regular basis.

Transform your outer and inner experiences. A tidy home and office decreases anxiety and enables you to devote your energy to the things you love. De-cluttering will leave you feeling more content and productive.

Hugs and Love,
Nikki

There are plenty of benefits to be gained from being organized. It can save you valuable time during the day and will help you save money too, as you will be able to use what you have rather than buying more of what you already own.

So what can you do to become more organized at home?

Try this process to turn your home into a clutter-free space that you’ll want to come home to:

1. Plan ahead. Buy supplies and make a to-do list.

  • Picture each room and figure out if you’ll want to acquire anything to organize that room, such as baskets, bins, or boxes. Get these items ahead of time so that you won’t have to stop and go get them while you’re working on the room.

  • List each room of your house and then prioritize your list. Which room do you most want to get organized? This room will be your first priority. Completing just this one room will make you feel so good that you’ll want to go on and do the rest of the house.

Photo by: Katie Charlotte Photography

2. Start with a task that will motivate you to continue. The hardest part of any new project is taking the first step. Many people feel that tackling the hardest job first and getting that out of the way will motivate them, while others choose an easier task to ease into the project.

  • Neither option is right or wrong. Whichever option will get you to make that first step is the best option for you.

3. Avoid taking too much on. It can be tempting to spend the entire weekend cleaning and organizing your household. However, if you don’t finish, you may feel as though you’ve failed, and the effort was for nothing.

  • Instead, focus on smaller tasks that will take at most 3 hours, such as cleaning a cupboard or one room. These smaller tasks will be easier to complete and will motivate you to complete a second task or more.

  • All of these smaller tasks will soon add up to something substantial as you complete more and more of them.

Photo by: Christopher Shane Photography

4. Put on some music and have fun! It has been shown that music can motivate you to get moving. 

  • Organizing your home doesn’t have to be all work and no play! Feel free to dance to your favorite tunes as you sweep or pick up. A broom can easily suffice as a microphone if you want to sing.

5. Designate a specific place for each item that will stay in that room. This is where extra baskets or boxes will come in handy. As you organize each room, put each item in its place.

6. Complete one room before going on to another. This method will also motivate you to keep going. When you finish a room completely, you’ll feel good in the room, and you’ll feel good about yourself! Claim those good feelings and be proud of yourself for what you’ve done!

  • On the other hand, if you leave some items undone when you go on to another room, these unfinished tasks are likely to nag at you, and then the whole project becomes tedious because it may seem like nothing is getting done, in spite of your hard work.

7. Be quick about getting rid of the stuff you don’t want. As you organize, you’ll no doubt come across things that you no longer want or need. If you don’t get rid of them quickly, they will start to be reabsorbed into the household. Throw away, sell, give away, or donate these items right away as you finish each room. You can check out this video where I give some of my tips on decluttering your home in a simple and frustration-free way.

Photo by: Christopher Shane Photography

8. Reward yourself. Once you’ve started organizing, motivate yourself to keep going with small rewards as you complete each room. Rather than buying something material, which can add to the clutter, consider something else that pleases you, like a nice meal or some fresh flowers.

The trick now is to avoid cluttering up your home again!

When you’re done organizing, there will be a place for everything, and everything will be in its place. Keep it that way by putting things back whenever you’re done with them. Take a few minutes each day to tidy up.

Photo by: Katie Charlotte Photography

Be thoughtful of what you buy. Before you buy something new, ask yourself whether you need it. Does it even have a purpose? Do you have a place for it? It may be best to wait a day or two before you actually decide if you want it.

It may take some effort to get organized, but it will be well worth it when you start to experience the benefits of a clutter-free home.

Hugs and Love,
Nikki

As summer shifts into fall, the kids return to school and you settle in for whatever the season brings.

For many of us, this means tasks around the house. Including the children in Home cleaning will provide you with plenty of opportunities for teachable moments.

Whether you plan to clean from floor to ceiling or just do a few little things, you can use some of your fall projects to educate your kids about a variety of topics. You can also use Gets it done cards for motivation or Loyalty cards to reward their dedication to cleaning the home. 

Cleaning Out Drawers

One task that many parents face with disdain is cleaning out drawers. However, you can use this project as a wonderful way to introduce young children to sorting and counting. Learning to group “like” things together is an important aspect of developing math skills.

For older kids, cleaning out drawers helps to sharpen organizational skills as they must decide how to store their clothing in an orderly fashion. Parents might offer suggestions or reinforce the choices their kids make when cleaning out drawers.

Raking Leaves

Teaching kids about how work pays off will put them on the road to work success in the future. One fall project that demonstrates how to have fun and get results from hard work is raking leaves.

Kids of all ages can join in. Parents can assign “jobs” depending on the kids’ ages. You can teach about taking responsibility for their jobs, the importance of cooperation, and the pride of getting the desired results from your work.  

While you’re raking leaves, feel free to educate your children about what happens to plants and animals when the weather starts cooling down. Ask questions about what they’ve studied in school that may relate to what you’re doing or to the changes that occur during fall.

Rearranging Furniture

Including your children in this Home project will provide plenty of teachable moments. 

Have a simple measuring tool, such as a sewing tape measure, that can be easily manipulated by little fingers. Assign jobs of measuring furniture width, height, and depth to the kids. These jobs pertain to all types of subjects: Math, Algebra, and maybe even Geometry. 

Encourage your children to visualize how the room will look with certain furniture placed in various ways. If it’s their own room, ask them what arrangement they’d like most. Then, discuss how and whether their plans will work. 

If you like, you can even have the kids sketch out their floor plans on graph paper as a simple introduction to design and engineering. Of course, you’ll want to show the kids about cleaning before you place furniture in its new space. 

Cleaning the Garage

In cleaning the garage, as in any task around the house, you can talk about a positive quality that your child has and reinforce their efforts. 

Also, encouraging your kids to think of “green” ways to re-use or recycle items you no longer want provides a fantastic way for them to learn about reducing your family’s carbon footprint. 

Discuss local charities and swap meets where you can take items you don’t want. You’re educating your children about those charities and why they’re necessary. Also, you’re teaching about the social agencies your community has to offer.  

Including your kids in your seasonal tasks may take a little more time and effort on your part. However, they’ll grow up loving to learn if you infuse education into working around the house. Increase your children’s chances for success by using fall home projects to provide teachable moments.

Hugs and Love,
Nikki

If you’re like most of us, at some point you’re likely to come to the conclusion that your life is too cluttered. You have too much to do and aren’t able to handle your schedule. You probably own too much stuff and just keep adding more every day.

Most people would probably be better off with at least a little decluttering. But how do you go about it? When you’re under a pile of clutter, commitments, personal files, and a load of digital information, how do you even get started with decluttering?

Follow these tips for decluttering your life:

1. Simply get started. Pick a room, a closet, or a shelf, and get started. Pick up each item once and ask yourself, “Do I use this regularly? Do I love this item?” If the answer to both questions is “no” then the item needs to be sold, donated, or given away. Have a box for each of those categories to put your discarded items in.  In my book, Beautifully organized I share a great decluttering tool to help with the purging process. 

Photo by: Abby Murphy Photography

  • Put away the items that you’re keeping in their proper place.

  • If you have a lot of stuff, it might seem overwhelming. Try setting a timer and just work for 10 minutes. Limit your decluttering to one small area for those 10 minutes. That way, you’ll really be able to see some progress.

  • Try not to get carried away by spending too much time. Working on decluttering for 10 minutes a day for a month is a lot better than overloading yourself and quitting after 2 days.

You can also watch my video for tips on how I declutter my home to help you organize your space.

2. Go a little further each day. Once you’ve gotten started with your decluttering, keep moving forward. Finish one area and then move on to the next. Your enemy is perfection. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Simply do a good job in a reasonable amount of time. Any work you’re putting into this will result in progress. Make it easy on yourself.

Photo by: Katie Charlotte Photography

  • Get some help. Some of us really are pack rats and can’t seem to let go of anything. If that sounds like you, get a reasonable friend to help. The ideal friend will have a clutter-free home that you envy.

  • Take the time to enjoy the new clutter-free spaces you’ve created in order to help keep the momentum going.

Photo by: Christopher Shane Photography

3. Declutter your calendar and digital life. Your living environment is only one aspect of your life. Simplifying how you spend your time and handle your digital life is important, too.

  • Decluttering your calendar is about learning to say “no” to commitments that aren’t important to you. Make a list of commitments and put them in order from most important to least important. Keep the top few and remove the rest from your life.
  • Start decluttering your digital life. Prioritize the blogs, newsletters, social networks, emails, and so on. Only keep the things that really matter. Use a planner to keep you on track with your most meaningful tasks.

4. It’s important to include others in your home. If the other people in your home aren’t on the same page, decluttering is much more challenging.

  • Focus on telling them about the benefits they’ll receive if the home is much less cluttered. Share the benefits of decluttering their space.

  • If there’s too much resistance, keep your focus on decluttering and maintaining your own space. 

  • Getting rid of things can be contagious. You’ll likely find that everyone else in your household will jump on the bandwagon when they see how great your personal space looks.

Photo by: Christopher Shane Photography

Decluttering your life is more beneficial than you probably realize. It’s not only easier to find things, but you’ll have adequate space to put everything away in its proper place. Clutter weighs on your mind 24/7, whether you realize it or not. Avoid letting it stress you out or take over your life.

If you feel like you need a little more help from a professional organizer, you can schedule a virtual home organizing session with me here. I will gladly help you with your decluttering process.

You’ll be surprised at how much more relaxed you feel when the clutter is out of your life for good. Give it a try today!

Hugs and Love, Nikki.

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