Posts Tagged ‘organizer oakland’

Confronting our monsters

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At 8:00 this morning, I had my own private celebration. It took place in my head.

An hour earlier I was driving and thinking about how terrifying it must be for some of my clients to do the one thing that scares them the most; To finally confront what’s kept them from moving forward in their lives because they feel overwhelmed and stuck and it’s showing up as piles of papers, boxes and who knows what else, on their desks, on the floor, in their drawers, everywhere.

I was thinking about what it means to do the one thing that scares you the most and to have the courage to do it anyway because you know you have to. Because you know not doing so will have far greater consequences.

For people who are chronically disorganized, the consequence of not facing their fears can be enormous.  For some it’s a loss of control over their lives. For others, it’s isolation. I know people who have lost their children, their spouses and their very security because of their inability to face their fears head on.  I also know people who have shown great courage and have discovered the meaning of making room in their lives.

My fears are about public speaking. And yet, as a small business person I know the value it brings to others in the form of information and sometimes even inspiration. But I do it quite frankly because I have to. Working with people in their homes and in their offices or helping them move is tactical but it’s also very personal. I know that if people see me and feel I am someone they can trust, and recognize I  have the expertise to help them, then they often will remember me when it comes time to organize their offices, or their bedrooms or help them plan and oversee their move to a new home.

The Paper MonsterThis is what I was thinking at seven o’clock this morning, on my way to speak to a group of fifty small business owners and entrepreneurs about how to face their fears, specifically about how to confront their own Paper Monsters.  I did this presentation a few weeks earlier and it had not lived up to my expectations  – perfectionism, my monster, rearing it’s ugly head, yet again –  and now I was getting ready to face him again.  Was I scared? Petrified, which is why at that moment I started thinking about my clients.

“If  they can have the courage to hire me, then I can damn well find the courage to face my fears as well, ” I thought.  And so I did. And it went fine. It wasn’t perfect but it was good enough. And that’s good enough. But to be honest, I’m glad it’s over. At least for today I can celebrate.

Tomorrow, I do it again.

Is it treasure or trash?

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When you begin an organizing project, regardless of whether it’s your closet, garage, kitchen or another room in your home, it’s likely you will come across something that you can’t decide about letting go or keeping. Choosing not to decide or “deferred decision-making” is one of the leading causes of household clutter.

So how do you know what to keep (or toss) if you’re not sure what it’s worth to you?

Here’s an easy guide to help you make a decision you can live with.

Start by placing the object you are trying to decide about in front of you then ask yourself each of the five questions below, in the order they appear:

  1. Do I love it? This means the item gives you a great deal of pleasure, you associate it with a happy memory or you enjoy having it in your life now.  If not, ask yourself:
  2. Have I used this item recently or do I expect to use it again soon in its current condition? Not everything you own, you’ll love but some things are worth keeping because they still serve you in some way. If you don’t love it, it needs repairing and you haven’t used it recently, ask yourself:
  3. Would keeping this item add value to my day-to-day life now? Perhaps this is an item you know you’ll need at a certain time of year or for a particular event or purpose such as for travel or for the Holidays.  If you can’t think of a way the item adds value to your life now, ask yourself:
  4. If I didn’t have this, would I choose to replace it? If yes, keep it. Otherwise, ask yourself:
  5. Could someone else benefit from this item in its current condition? If you answer yes, then it’s time for the item to find new life somewhere else.  Consider donating or if it’s worth your time, sell it. If not, then recycle it or dispose of it safely.

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5 Reasons why I LOVE/HATE technology

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I was dropping off boxes of items that are typically tough to recycle at my favorite recycling center, Universal Waste of Oakland, CA. Usually this is a stop, drop and go experience for me but today for some reason I decided to look around their “sale” area.  What I found inspired me to write this. I feel fortunate to live in a city that has a resource like Universal Waste that gives people and businesses an alternative to disposing this stuff in a landfill.

1. The Internet and specifically Google: Love it. I can’t imagine life without it. The other day I needed to explain something to someone who only spoke Spanish. I used an English- to-Spanish translator tool I found online and bingo, communication received and understood. ¿Qué más se puede decir?
2. Obsolete hardware, especially gaming devices, old computer monitors and cables: Hate it. I just came back from a local electronic waste-recycling warehouse that was filled with every kind of hardware imaginable. The waste produced by this stuff is overwhelming. The cell phone manufacturers are the worst. Every time they upgrade their phones, you need to buy a new charger cable.
3. Smart Phone: Love it. Here are two random reasons why:
Reason 1: I’m at the bank to make a deposit, realize I forgot to make a copy of a check, take a picture of it using Evernote and print it when I get home for my records.
Reason 2: Was shopping at my local grocery store when I see a type of olive oil I’m not familiar with. I “Google it,” read what it says about it and decide whether or not to buy it. I did and it was great!
4. People with smart phones: Hate them: Tried to cross a street yesterday and couldn’t get by because there were three people standing on the curb all looking at their smart phones instead of looking where they were going. Dumb.
5. Access to Technology: Love it and hate it. While a Twitter feed can ignite a people’s revolution, it’s created a bigger gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots.’ I don’t see a lot of working poor walking around with ipads or ipods.  When they do need access to a computer, they generally can only get one at a local library, assuming budget cuts have not shut it down.

What are 5 reasons why you LOVE/HATE technology?

I’d like to tag Cheryl over at the Breakfast Blogging Club since she gave me this idea, as well as Quinn’s blog, These New Boots, Margaret’s New Leaf & Co. Blog and Kristine’s Entrepreneurial Mindset

By the way, if you’ve been tagged, then write a post with your list of 5 reasons why you LOVE/HATE technology. As a courtesy, link back to the person who tagged you, (in this case, me) and then tag 5 more people you’d like to see answer this question.  Till next time…




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