Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"The next time you decide to unclutter your life and clean up your space, start with the things that are truly useless; like regrets, shame, and anger." 
-Sandra King 

I love this quote so much because it's EXACTLY my philosophy - there is no better place to start than giving yourself a spiritual and emotional break - so I wanted to share it with you.

You know, you can't undo what's past anyway, so quit beating yourself. Pick a spot to begin, and just start. It'll give you something positive to build on, and you'll see progress each time you work on getting organized.

Overcoming the Link Between Depression and a Disorganized Lifestyle

For years, I tried to walk through life with my head help high and my shoulders back and a smile pasted on my face. I tried to hide the fact that I was falling apart inside, but no matter how together I tried to make myself look on the outside, my reality wasn't as bright.

Broken Inside

I was broken inside, and it came out in the way I managed my time and in the way I managed my home. I can't even really speak to you from the perspective of someone who came through it and thrived. I still struggle with it every day.

I can, however, speak to you from the perspective of someone who has made an incredible amount of progress and who maintains a daily effort to keep a forward momentum in getting organized.

Step by Step Progress

It can and does get better if you focus and force yourself to do at least one small thing - daily is best - but even just once a week is an improvement over not trying at all. Once a week won't get you out of a high level of disorganization, but it will give you something positive to hold onto - a positive foundation for your future organized life.

For me, a recent step has been going through my old sewing patterns and listing them for sale on eBay. When one sells and I pack it up and ship it away, I feel as if I've won a victory by letting it go. It's a win-win if you can do it - because you get a few dollars for something you (let's be honest here) weren't using or enjoying having anyway and that was cluttering up your space and your life.

What Can You DO for Yourself Today?

I'm off to sort through some of my old clothes from the back of my closet to see what I can list on eBay. What small thing can you do today to feel positive about and help YOU break the link between depression and a disorganized lifestyle?

Friday, July 18, 2014

How to Set Up a New Budget

Basic information to consider when making a new budget.

If you're trying to create a new budget - chances are you have already had a budget and it didn't work out. Whether you are creating a new budget, or a first budget, however, is not the important part. The important part is that you find a way to balance your finances so you can live well.

To get started setting up a budget that works, you need to begin by understanding your finances. While gathering the basic information you need to set up the new budget - take a moment to think about why the old budget didn't work. Maybe the failed budget didn't leave any room for emergencies or for a favorite entertainment activity. Maybe the income was simply not enough to cover all of the debt.

Expect Emergencies and Budget for Them
   
Emergencies always happen and if there is no contingency plan in a budget - an emergency can crush a budget. Emergencies may be small like a broken pipe or a forgotten birthday or something so big it's hard to even imagine. A budget will be the most successful if the person making - and using it - is honest with themselves about who they are and what their needs are.

Remember the Small but Important Details

Don't Forget to Keep Money Aside for Simple Pleasures. Someone who loves to rent movies or eat out (or whatever the luxury of preference is) is not going to be happy living on a budget that doesn't allow for those treats. Don't put the luxury before paying the rent or electric bill, but make sure you fit it in.

If small details are not included in a budget it is really easy to set up a budget that is doomed to fail because the income simply won't cover all of the debt. It is easy to overlook things like school lunches and gas for the car but these things have to paid regardless and they will break a budget if they are left out.

A budget will be the most successful if it includes an emergency fund of some sort as well as a fund for the things that make life worth living - what that means has to be decided by each person.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Who Needs to Purchase Renter's Insurance?

Basic tips on finding and selecting a renter's insurance company and coverage.

What to Look for as a Renter Who Needs Insurance Coverage

Renter's insurance cannot protect you from the unpleasant and painful things that happen in life, but having the money to replace lost or stolen items will make it easier to get on with things. Bad things happen to good people, it isn't fair, but there is no way to escape all risk.

Many renters mistakenly assume that the landlord's insurance will cover the replacement of the renter's property - or will pay for damages if their dog bites someone. This is not the case. If the home burns down or their dog bites someone, the tenant is - in most states - responsible for taking care of their own damages.

Renter's insurance is easy to get - you can fill out and pay for the coverage online or you can go into an insurance agent's office and discuss your coverage needs with them. You will need a basic inventory of the items in your home, from large items to small, including antiques, furniture, electronics, and clothing.

Most credible online companies will offer some kind of calculator to help you figure out how much coverage you need. You simply enter the basic information about your property and whether you want replacement value or a more basic coverage. Also, make sure you are covered for the types of damage normally seen in the area of your home.

Take the time to do a little bit of background checking on the insurance company. This applies whether you are buying the policy online or in a face to face setting; because there are some scam insurance companies. It will save you money in the long run if you check it out first. It is hard enough to go through an experience like being robbed, surviving a fire, or a natural disaster, without finding out later that your insurer was a fraud.

Some policies exclude things like flood damage or hurricanes - whatever the circumstances in your area - make sure your needs will be protected. If the insurer you are considering does not offer the coverage you need - based on the location of your home - talk to another insurance company.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Spider Lamp Shades, Harps, and Finials

The most common type of lamp shade assembly, the spider, harp, and finial, is easy to identify and to change.

Spider Lamp Shades

The phrase spider lamp shade conjures images of spooky lamp shades with spider designs all over them. A spider lamp shade is really just a lamp shade that has a certain type of fitting assembly. A spider fitting resembles a spider's body and at least three spider legs. Spider lamp shades are easy to remove for cleaning or replacing - and easy to put back afterwards.

The legs of a spider fitting go from the center piece - that compares to the spider's body - out to the shade. The spider fitting then attaches to another fitting that is attached to the lamp. A harp is the most common support fitting used with a spider lamp fitting though an Uno fitting (with stabilizer clips) that attaches near the light bulb base is also seen with spider fittings.

Harps

A harp for a spider lamp is shaped like an outline of a light bulb. The harp attaches to the lamp at the base of the light bulb assembly. It has a screw attached at the top. The center pierce of the spider lamp sits on top of the harp and a finial is then screwed on to hold the shade in place.

Finials

Finials are both practical and decorative. Finials provide a finishing touch that completes the appearance of the lamp. A finial for an early American style lamp, for example, would be shaped like an eagle. Glass prisms and globes are attached to some fancy finials - and some finials are smooth to provide an appearance of simple elegance.

Finials make it very easy to remove a spider lamp shade for cleaning or replacing.
  • Make sure the lamp is turned off and cool because finials can get quite warm.
  • Turn the finial counter-clockwise to unscrew it from the harp.
  • Then the lamp shade can simple be lifted off of the lamp's harp fitting.
  • After the shade has been either cleaned or replaced, set the lamp shade back on the harp.
  • The center of the spider fitting - the part mentioned above that resembles the body of a spider - should be centered over the screw of the harp.
  • Put the finial back on the harp by turning it onto the harp screw and turning clockwise.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hi, Can't Believe June Is Here Already

I really am amazed by how time flies. Organized or not - it just goes by too stinking quick.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Get Organized in 30 Days Without Tearing Your Hair Out

Would you tell me I am out of my mind if I tell you that you can get organized in 30 days, even if your house is really cluttered and chaotic?

I'm not going to tell you it'll be easy if the clutter is really deep and out of hand, but I will say it's probably going to be easier than you expect. But, you have to have faith and be persistent. This method works, but results are not immediately visible.

When I tried this approach - which is really a "cleaning and organizing chart-based plan" - in a really chaotic house trailer, a case of clutter hoarding actually, it was about the third week before it really started to show, but once it started to show, it showed a lot - with daily improvement visible after that point.

Steps to Get Organized in 30 Days
  1. Make a list: This can be the hardest part... Either grab a notebook or use a computer program such as Excel, whichever you prefer. Make a page for each room in your home - don't forget closets, basement, garage, and the attic - any space you use needs to be recorded in this step. Now record every cleaning step you need to do in each room. For example: vacuuming, dusting, washing dishes, laundry, changing linen, shining mirrors, cleaning over door trim - you get the idea - list everything - even the smallest details.
  2. Make a plan: Look at your first page. Pick the easiest thing to do. Mark it down as a Monday task. Go to the next page - pick the hardest thing to do. (In some rooms the hardest task might be only a two or three minute task - so don't worry that this will take all day to do - it only takes about half an hour to an hour a day - and then - only until the clutter is under control - then it's mere minutes a day.) Mark it as a Monday task. Go to your third page, pick the easiest task and mark it as a Monday task. Go through the rest of your pages, alternating between the hardest and easiest tasks - mark them all as Monday tasks. Start through the rooms list again, in the same order - this time starting with the hardest task and marking it as a Tuesday task. Alternate between easiest and hardest until you finish the last room. Now every single one of your hardest tasks are out of the way before Wednesday without doing them all on one day. Fill in the rest of the tasks on the remaining week days. It's up to you if you want to spend your weekends on this too.
  3. Put your plan in action: Go to your plan for whatever day of the week it is and do the cleaning and organizing chores listed for that day. You can start on any day of the week because you have a plan for every day. You can do extra if you want - but this organizing plan is about making daily progress without getting burnt out on the cleaning and organizing process.
  4. Congratulate yourself: You just made progress in every room in your house. Does it show? probably not, but that's ok, because it will soon. I don't recommend telling anyone in your real life about what you are doing just yet. Here's why... if you were getting the understanding and support you need in life from them, you probably wouldn't be here looking for organizing help at the Get Organized Club, though I'm glad you are. That doesn't mean they are the problem... it just means - wait... let yourself feel good because you just accomplished something. Share your success in the comments here if you like - because we get it. We wouldn't be here if we didn't.
  5. Repeat, repeat, repeat: Go through your checklist each day - week after week... Add things you might have missed in your original planning session as needed. You will quickly learn which days are the easiest for you and how long your daily cleaning and organizing chores take.
One other advantage of this checklist method: if one of your family members steps in to help with cleaning and organizing, they don't have to ask what to do - they can just look at that day's checklist and choose a chore. It makes it easy for you, and easy for your family.

After a month, as long as you stick with this, expect to look around at a cleaner, more organized home that is EASY to maintain in a short amount of time each day by following your daily checklist.

Hopefully, you'll say, "Wow, I really did get organized in 30 days without tearing my hair out!"

Let me now how it goes and feel free to ask questions about any unclear parts, as I now this is kind of long and wordy.

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