We are cleaning out closets and offering emotional support to help you toss out!

Good morning! Today on Simplifying and Planning 101 (Facebook) we start purging our closets! The KonMari method begins with closets. I am going to pick on Monica in the group because she’s a friend and she posted her closet!

When I quit working outside of the home, I had to make some hard line decisions about all of the clothes I owned. I’m embarrassed to tell you how much clothing I owned! But I will. It may help someone reading this to make some decisions. If you owned stock in LLBean, Lands’ End, or J.Crew, I was personally responsible for the rise in stock prices! I helped make you rich!  Some of the pairing down came before I quit work, the next step was after.

I loved skirts and owned three types of skirts in about six colors – short trouser style skirts, longer trouser style skirts, and a pleated style. I had shoes to match all of them – flats, low heel, and high heel respectively. Remember belt strips? I had matching belts and coordinating belts, etc along with a variety of buckles. Those belt strips were so fun to wear! I had boots – notice the ‘s’? I had jackets to match. I had jewelry. I had outer coats. I had vests. I had sleeveless, short sleeve, and long sleeve blouses and that was only the work clothes!

I was a MEGGA clothes horse. I loved getting dressed in the morning and laying out my outfit. I could literally go forever without wearing the same exact outfit; until one day I stood back and had a firecracker moment and realized that I didn’t need all of the clothes. I was still working at the time, but had gone through some life changes and was working at a different job and all of a sudden it just seemed ridiculous, which it was! When I realized this, it was easy to begin pairing down and I did. I chose the skirt style which fit my lifestyle, and sadly and sometimes tearfully put the others aside. It’s been years and I still miss some of the skirts! lol The more I paired things down to my REAL favorites, the better I felt about myself. I’m not kidding when I say it took several months. It was a hard process at the time. We become consumed with our love of clothes and it is a harsh process. Now I can walk into my closet and grab a couple of things with no problem and bless someone else with them. Just recently I parted with a very loved red parka but how many do you actually need? I still have two (another red and a blue.) I am sharing my story because I am hoping it helps someone. Hey Monica! lol

The more I paired things down to my REAL favorites and pieces that fit my lifestyle, the better I felt about myself. I’m not kidding when I say it took several months. It was a hard process at the time. We become consumed with our love of clothes and it is a harsh process. Now I can walk into my closet and grab a couple of things with no problem and bless someone else with them. Just recently I parted with a very loved red parka but how many do you actually need? I still have two (another red and a blue.) I am sharing my story because I am hoping it helps someone else make these sometimes difficult choices.

KonMari is done by taking ALL of your clothes out of your closet and from all around the house. You’ll make a mess and if this works for you, go for it. My personality doesn’t like chaos or a mess and I had paired down my clothes to the extent I could take a section at a time. I am an extremely organized person and with my system, could make one section at a time work. When I completed the closet, I was able to stand back and know if there was more I should purge. Not everyone can do this. I’ll explain the KonMari way first and then my adaptation of the method.

The authentic KonMari way is to take everything out of your closet. Gather all of your clothes from around the house – the sofa, the laundry, etc. You might want to put on some soothing music if you are a clothes horse! Sit down and take a deep breath, then begin. Take each piece of clothing and if you feel joy when you pick it up, then keep it. If you do not feel joy or it weighs you down, put it aside to give away. Believe it or not, this works. I love wearing white shirts and jeans. It’s my go-to outfit and I have loads of white shirts to prove it. I decided I’d try color. Big mistake for me. So, when I picked up one colored shirt after another and even though they were new, I felt no joy, I set them aside. As you go through the process it really gets easier and actually fun. Once you have completed this task, we’ll move on to the putting away stage. Marie has a way of folding and putting away that helps you see what you have. I’m a huge fan.

If, on the other hand, you are like me, take a section at a time and pull it out – maybe begin with sleeveless shirts. Once you’ve completed them, set them aside and pull out short-sleeve and so on working your way through each section of your closet. When you have completed the process, we’ll move on to the putting back stage.

I can’t wait to hear from those who are cleaning closets this week. Work on your closet first. We’ll work on kids and husbands later. If you have any questions, please comment.

If you would like to join up for emotional support or just to have fun, please join up on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/groups/SimplifyandPlan/  We’ll be working our way around the house and also doing some Planner planning on the side.

The most wonderful time of the year to purge!

The most wonderful time of the year to purge (to me) is after a holiday season. That is when you have spent time with all the decorations (stuff) and you can easily identify what you are tired of and wish you didn’t have to pack away. Let me backtrack, I think the best time is when you are digging through the containers and putting items back in that you do not feel like finding a place for in the first place. Those items need to go. Don’t put them back in the container to go back in the attic until you pull the containers back out after Christmas and they are staring right back at you when you lift the lid. Yes! I speak from experience. I do it every year just like everyone else – except this year or last year as the season of decorating began. If I put my hands on it and it distressed me, out it went. If it was in good condition, but just didn’t bring me joy (as in Marie Kondo), I donated it so it can bring joy to someone else.

I have a group on Facebook that I am regrouping to focus on simplifying, planning, and organizing our lives. I plan to focus on simplifying by purging our lives of the extras that weigh us down – stuff, busy schedules, people, etc. Nothing will be off limits as the year progresses. The name of the group is Simplifying and Organizing 101 and if you are interested in joining, the group can be found here:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/SimplifyandPlan

This is today’s post –

Hi Ladies! Wow! The weather is atrocious! I hope you are all nice and warm. Kestral and the end of the Christmas season gave me an idea. Instead of beginning with cleaning out the closets (I promise we’ll get to them) let’s begin our purge with Christmas decorations and all the extra platters and dishes we used during the holiday season. I have actually done this every year, but like everyone else, I get to the point where I just toss those few last items back into the boxes to deal with “I may use it next year.”

This is the year I DO NOT do that!!! I really simplified my decorating this year (just ask friends). I didn’t put all the greenery around my house (that probably only me noticed) and the door garland stayed in the wagon in the barn, exactly where we rolled it in when it began raining on us while we were decorating the fence. That garland is staying! I think one reason it was never put up was because we screened in the front porch this summer and Hubby wanted to put the garland around the porch door and I wanted it around the house door. Until we screened in, I would decorate the porch rails with lights and garland. When he painted, he took down all of my rusted hooks (bad, bad me) and never replaced them. So, things were a little off balance and I need a new routine. Enough about me! Let’s get started with the Christmas purge. The Epiphany is not celebrated until Sunday, but we can work around it.

First, get yourself a box or a huge bag. The first things to donate or throw away (if they are in sad condition) are the things you put back in the containers and didn’t use. Those items you picked up and nah to; old bulbs, garland, ornaments, figurines, etc. Those are the items that when you held them, just didn’t bring you “joy”.

Second, as you look around your house at the items that made the cut this year, but you were just going through the motions by putting them out will require a little attention. Ask yourself if you really really love these items. Pick it up and hold it (as Marie says). Does it make you feel good? If not, thank it for bringing you joy in the past and being a part of your home, and put it in the box to pass along so it will have the chance to give joy to someone else. Thinking that the item will bring joy to someone else (one man’s junk is another man’s treasure) really helped me to pass along things. Again, just ask my friends! Lol Holidays provide wonderful opportunities to downsize and simplify. As you put away, it easy to purge.

After you’ve purged your decorations (of if you are waiting for Sunday), work on all those serving dishes that seem to accumulate. I put a power cord to something in a “better place” and have yet to locate it. The box was in the same place, but I was too lazy to put the cord back and now it’s somewhere. I was determined to locate it and this led to cleaning out my buffet. I found plates I had forgotten I had. I used to be in a club and each month would be hosted at someone’s house. There were twenty in the group and I found twenty dessert plates and twenty dinner plates in the back of a cabinet. I’m talking in the abyss – at the bottom in the back. No power cord but a load of plates that will be making it’s way to St. Vincent de Paul to bless someone else. I also pulled out a load of other miscellaneous items to donate and give away. I love purging and organizing so much that it was fun and it just spurs me on to do more. So…maybe I’m not the normal person, but purging can be fun and not tedious. Have fun with the memories and pass things along so others can make memories.

This has been long winded. I apologize! Comment and let the group know what you are tackling this week. With all of this cold weather upon us, it’s the perfect time to purge. We want to see your pictures!!

READY! SET! GO PURGE! If you have questions, comment and we’ll help you! These pictures are the bottom drawer of my cupboard that I cleaned out last night.

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An Organized Screen Saver!

Like everyone else in the universe, I follow lots of blogs; some more than others. I was going through my emails and came across one from In My Own Style blog.

I am known as the “organized one” and I’ve quit even trying to deny it! But, the one place I have been wanting to organize and haven’t succeeded is the desktop on my computer. I can happily report that even my desktop is organized now thanks to a free download. And, did I mention that every time I turn my computer on, I am greeted with a beautiful image that I can’t see myself tiring of anytime soon.

Just looking at my screen makes me happy. I chose the file with colored boards (they are all available in the post link) because it is easier to see my folders. I also took her suggestion and opened up my post-its and have those displayed in the proper box. Joy, joy, joy is all I feel. That is what organizing does for me.

If you have been looking for a solution for your messy screen, by all means, check out the post and download this beautiful screen saver and get organizing! THEN! Come back and let me know how you like it. Leave Diane a comment telling her you found her blog here.

 

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Dashlane – one of my favorite apps – 6 months FREE Premium

Does anyone use Dashlane? I absolutely love this app. It will choose safe passwords for me and the best thing is, the only password I need to remember is my password to Dashlane. Dashlane will also autocomplete forms on the computer when needed. I am such a fan that I am a Premium user, but there is a free version.

This is not a sales pitch, but if you use my referral code, YOU can receive six months of Premium Dashlane for FREE! How great is that! Here’s the code – https://www.dashlane.com/en/cs/3ba86c28  When I first wrote this post I had no idea about the code. Imagine my surprise when I received an email from them thanking me for my post and letting me know about the code. That just seals the deal! I love Dashlane!

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Not only can you choose and store all of your passwords with Dashlane, but also your credit card information for shopping, your online receipts (automatically), and ID information. Dashlane will also let me know if a password I have chosen is not safe. It reminds me every few months to change my passwords. www.dashlane.com/passwordmanager

Another great feature of Dashlane is the ability to sync across all of my devices – MacBook, iPhone, and my PC. My passwords are encrypted with some of the world’s strongest technology and can only be encrypted on devices that I personally approve. Dashlane will also monitor my passwords and let me know if I have used a certain password on more than one site and advises me to change the password. I can also check to see when I last visited a site and decide if I should delete the information from my account if it is no longer relevant.

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These are a few of the reasons I am so fond of Dashlane Premium –

  • Unlimited sync: Sync passwords automatically across all of your devices – phones, tablets, laptops and more.
  • Secure cloud backup: Easily restore your Dashlane account if you ever lose a device.
  • 24/7 web access: Don’t have your device but need access to your passwords? No problem! Access your passwords anytime on the Dashlane website.
  • Share unlimited passwords and notes: A customer favorite! Share passwords securely with family members, coworkers, or friends. Watch our video to find out more!
  • Priority user support at vip@dashlane.com. Run into a problem? Email us. We’re here to help.

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I have been a user of Dashlane for several years and been extremely pleased with the product. I would love to know if you are a Dashlane user and your thoughts on the app.

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You can find more information here – www.dashlane.com

 

Disclaimer – This is not a sponsored post. The opinions are my own and I can only recommend this product based on my own use and experience. I will only recommend products that I have used and think that my followers may benefit from. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

 

iPhone – have you locked out your emergency contact?

I am a person who always seem to be one step ahead; as in never in the current moment! I see the big picture. I think ahead. I am normally prepared for most things that may never happen. So it should come as no surprise to anyone that knows me, I have an app that created a lock screen photo that contains my emergency information because goodness knows I have nightmares about someone making decisions for me that should not be. That is why I am sharing an app that I just downloaded to my iPhone; an app that will allow emergency personnel to contact your designated emergency person even with your phone locked – and my phone is always locked.

Even before I came across this app, I had as my screen saver a picture of me (“Hey, look! That lady forgot her phone!) and a notation that if my phone was found (if lost) to call a certain number (my hubby’s phone). That information alone would help to identify me and give a contact name and number in case of an emergency.

Provided you know how to access the Medical ID on a locked iPhone, you can also access pertinent information via swiping the locked screen. Having the information on the screen is a sure thing. You know – so someone you do not want making decisions for you doesn’t.

This new app, “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) is a great app. If I remember correctly, the cost was $1.99.  It was easy to set up – I did it in a matter of minutes (it took me that long because I kept pressing the wrong buttons). It has my hubby’s name and phone number to contact in case of emergency. It also has my photo and my medical information that I considered to be important – my blood disorders, blood type, and allergies. It is all saved very prettily on my locked screen. No worries that my phone contacts (and how would a police officer know who to call if he doesn’t know who I am) cannot be accessed.

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There are a number of other apps on the market (for all phones), some for free, but this is the one that appealed to me. It is the complete package and well worth the $1.99.

You can also achieve this effect by using a photo of your own choosing and an app that allows you to put a message on the photo. Just be careful that the information is not obscured by the date and time and it contains the information you deem important.

I would love to hear your input on this topic. Do you use an iPhone (or other) and have you taken any steps to help emergency personnel to identify you, and to be able to contact your emergency person?

One last bit of information – you can add more than one contact person to the screen.

Just leave your comments and thoughts in the comment section! Thanks!

How secure have you made your phone?

Not a great, catchy title, but it did grab your interest enough to bring you here. I have been meaning to write a post on this very subject for some time, but you know how that is. Life just kind of gets in the way!

I saw a post on Facebook this morning which spurred me into action – a high school friend was contacting someone on Facebook because his phone had been stolen. My first thought was oh, how sad. My second was, I wonder if he had a password on his phone. My third was, why isn’t he private messaging? (But that’s just me.)

Another friend and I were visiting at a convention a couple of years ago and she had just purchased an iPhone and was learning how to use it. I asked if she had set her passcode and set the lock on her phone. She said she had not, but would soon. A few hours later, we met up again and she was on the hunt for her phone. She was in a meeting and had set it to silence (then forget it on the table) so calling the phone was not an option. I asked if she had set her passcode and she said she had not. The phone was never returned to her, but even if someone had wanted to, how would they know who it belonged to? (Read on to find out how you know my phone belongs to me.)

With so many “itchy” fingers and identify theft going on, there really is no excuse to take a few moments of your time to protect yourself. Hackers may still hack, but we don’t have to make it easy for them!

I have an iPhone. The first thing I did was take advantage of the password protection it offered. To use my phone, you must enter the passcode. I also set the phone to lock after two minutes. If you manage to get past my passcode, each app on my phone that offers a passcode/password protection feature has been set up – AND NOT WITH THE SAME PASSCODE! Hopefully, this will deter anyone from going further. At the least, I hope to have noticed that my phone is missing and by this point, disabled it from another phone. The iPhone (I am not familiar with other phones) also has a feature “Find my Phone” and you can actually set off an alarm or verbal message such as “This phone is stolen” to sound off.

On my locked screen, I put a snapshot of myself. Not because I like my face, although I do use it to remind my hair stylist of the cut and color (it can come in handy!), but for the purpose of having my phone returned to me by an honest person should I leave it on a table in a restaurant or store, etc. In the event, they can’t find me, I also have the message on the picture to please call a number, which is my husband’s phone. Fortunately, I haven’t forgotten my phone anywhere, but being a “Lucy” there’s always a first time. I am a very conscientious person, so this is less of an issue with me than some of my friends. I am also a very paranoid cautious person.

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Getting back to the phone, which I use as a computer – which it is. I think folks forget that we actually have these little mini computers that we hold in our hands and talk on, and do business with. We have gotten so blaze’ with technology that we forget about what our phones do. I take care of banking on my phone. I do business transactions. I handle emails and a myriad of other personal things. I am an Evernote premium customer – that should give you an idea! I want to protect my information as much as I possibly can.

I know that passwords/passcodes can be a real pain at times, but it is just so easy to protect yourself, so why not take those few minutes? In the long run, it will no way equal the time you will spend trying to get your identity back.

If you are anything like me, you do not remember all the passwords you are using. I am a huge fan of Dashlane (and I am also a premium member) for storing my passwords/passcodes. Dashlane will also let you know when it is time to change a password if it’s been a while since you’ve done so. And, not only will it remind you, it will choose one for you! Gotta luv that! Being lazy just got easier! As well as being able to track all of your passwords in Dashlane, you can also store your credit card information. Dashlane syncs across all of your devices and automatically logs you in on your computer. It’s great for autofill when you are shopping and about a gazillion other things.

I hope that after you read this post, you will be motivated to take a few moments and protect your information; even if you only put the passcode on your phone. I will be doing a few other posts on some of the apps I am quite fond of and why I love them so much.

Do you take advantage of passcodes/passwords? Please take a moment and weigh in. Let me know your favorite apps. Thanks!