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.

 

Computer Desktop Background Screen Organizer

Holiday Planning begins with pretty planner pages!

I was feeling the holiday spirit today and thought why not decorate a few pages in my May Book and share with others. Sometimes you look at your planner pages and think, this needs a little pizzaz, a little life breathed into it. I am hoping to inspire you.

As you have seen in many posts on my blog, I use a planner. I am a person who loves to plot my days. In fact, I need the To Do lists to keep me focussed. If not, I tend to just wander around and do all sorts of other things rather than the things I really need to accomplish that particular day.

Don’t think you have to spend a lot of money in order to be organized; a simple notebook will do. I have the Day-timer and inserts – which I adore. I have an Erin Condren – which I’m not particularly fond of. The layout just doesn’t suit me. I found a way to make each of these systems work for me, which shows you how false the claim “I can’t find a system that works for me” is. I know some will disagree, but they won’t change my mind. You first have to figure out your organization style, how your mind works, and what you are capable of doing with that information. Then you choose a system that will work for you and not against you, setting you up for failure.

If all you do is take a sheet of paper and draw columns and make lists, you’ll find your day more productive. If you have kids, a job, and home life, make three columns. Write what needs to be done in the appropriate column along with a timeframe. You don’t need a fancy planner. Throw a few stickers and little washi tape on the page and now it’s pretty.

As I said, I have tried many systems and they all work but my favorite is just a little notebook. My one obsession is graph paper. It works with my personality. I know this so I use it. I also use a month at a glance calendar. I record appointments, bills, etc. on the month at a glance calendar. This is the calendar that I throw into my bag when I leave the house. I have all the important information with me so if I have to make an appointment or check and see if we have a free day to add an activity, this calendar will tell me. The To Do lists are left at home in the book.

I normally sit down either Saturday or Sunday and transfer everything for the upcoming week to my graph book. I decorate it if that’s what I have in mind to do and I write my lists for the week. Of course, as the days go by, things will be added, but I now have my week set up. I use a page for each day (this allows for my HUGE handwriting and decorating) and I divide a page in half for Saturday and Sunday. You may need an entire page for Saturday and Sunday and that’s okay, I don’t.

I make my own stickers and I love using them. They can all be found in my Etsy store (www.etsy.com/shop/SouthernCharmPlanner) or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/groups/SouthernCharmPlannerAccessories  Also check out the planner group at www.facebook.com/groups/SouthernCharmPlanners We love posting pictures of our planner pages and you can always find tips on organizing and supplies. You can find stickers and washi tape at Michaels, Walmart, Hobby Lobby and any number of stores that sale craft supplies as well as on-line. Just start googling.

I am posting some pages and I’ll tell you how I achieved the look.

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This is Thanksgiving. There was no need to fill it up with loads of stickers and such (although I did put a few indians and pilgrims). The orange plaid background on both pages is scrapbooking paper. I cut it to a two-inch width and then ran it through a sticker maker (Xyron). I applied it to the page. On top of that I layered one of my To Do list from my shop. I added a few Thanksgiving stickers and I was done. I still have plenty of space to jot down notes about the day or add more to my lists.

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My Black Friday consists of decorating my house for Christmas so I’ll be filling up the empty space on Friday pretty quickly once the day gets closer.

I also decorated a couple of days in December. I couldn’t wait to use some of the Christmas stickers I made, and I love Christmas.

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I wish the pictures were a little brighter because the colors definitely are! Below is how the stickers look in the Erin Condren planner. Christmas stickers

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I achieved this look by using scrapbooking paper and cutting it to length and running it through my sticker maker. I adhered it to the page and then added a To Do list on top. I really like the layered look. It’s festive. This is a day that bills are due so i added the stickers that represent the gas bill, water, cell phone, and cable bills. I also have a meeting that afternoon and the page wouldn’t be complete without a nutcracker or two. FullSizeRender (5)

Cookie Swap will be coming up the beginning of December so I added a little sticker for baking and two To Do lists as there will be plenty to do before the party on Sunday.

I hope these pictures give you a little inspiration to break out of the humdrum and add a few stickers to your planner. It will make you smile and I guarantee you will be hooked. You’ll never look at a planner page the same.

I would love to hear if you are a planner. What system do you use and how is it working for you? Do you decorate? Do you have any questions about planning or organizing? Be sure to leave a comment.

Thanks for visiting today!

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My Life in Review – The Traveling Midori

I have been a member of a group on Facebook for almost a year now. It is a group of people who are enamored with Midoris, and to celebrate the year anniversary of the group and to promote friendship, one of the members came up with the idea of traveling Midoris. The concept behind the group was that there would x number of groups – depending upon the number of interested parties – and each group would have its own hand-made Midori. This Midori would take a year-long trip to be documented by each member of each group as they, in turn hosted the Midori for a week in their lives.

I think the group ended up with approximately ten groups of ten people. These Midoris are traveling worldwide at this very moment, and to me, that is exciting. I am part of the Pioneer Dorian group and I am experiencing my week right now! Each of these Midoris have been hand-crafted by the members of the group and are works of art in their own right. Each person hosting the Midori is encouraged to document their life and add a little of themselves to the book, giving each book its own unique history. It will take a year for each Midori to complete its journey. At that time, the books will be assigned to a new group and begin a new year of travel.

It is very interesting to flip through the pages and see what other’s have chosen to leave of themselves. Some of the participants are artists, some are writers, some lead busy lives, and some lead quiet lives. The journey of each book is also being documented on Instagram with the hashtags #travelingdori #pioneerdorian and others, each representing the name of the group’s Midori. You’ll find us on Twitter and on Facebook in the Traveling Dori group.

This is my story:

I received a package in the mail on Saturday, June 7, 2014. I wasn’t expecting the package as we are not warned ahead of time. It is a surprise for each of us when the Midori will arrive. Even as I opened the envelope, and peered inside, I was still not certain what I was seeing. It was when I pulled out a leather sleeve and looked inside that I realized I was the next recipient of the Pioneer Dorian. As I sat down and began to thumb through the different books, I was taken by surprise by the artistic talents of the person before me. It gave me pause, and I began to picture what I might leave behind for the next person.

Where the person before me was surely a free spirit – drawing and writing in a random fashion – I am not. I shall leave my mark upon the Pioneer Dorian in a much different way – a way that speaks to me, as the next recipient of this piece of history will no doubt do. I will decorate my pages with stickers and washi tape. I will add a ribbon marker to mark my place, pink, as that is my favorite color.

While some are whimsical, I am not. If I contribute art, my mark will be a carefully thought-out Zentangle with precise lines made with intention.

As I turn the pages of this wonderful book, this traveling Midori, I will bring order to it for the short time it is with me – then, I shall send it forward where it will be transformed once again.

I hope you enjoyed the story and enjoy the pictures of the traveling Pioneer Dorian – next stop – Georgia, USA!

Technology Thursday – Wunderlist

Wunderlist iPad
Wunderlist iPad (Photo credit: Gustavo da Cunha Pimenta)

It’s Thursday again and that means revealing another one of my favorite apps!

Wunderlist is one of my all time favorite apps for list making – next to Evernote that is, and the one that I am featuring today! (You can find more apps under The Write Plan tab.)

Like Evernote, it syncs across my devices so if I am on the computer and need to jot down a note or add to my grocery list, it’s just a click away.

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Wunderlist iPad (Photo credit: Gustavo da Cunha Pimenta)

I downloaded and tried many different list apps before deciding on Wunderlist. I have been referred to as the app Queen by a couple of my friends – and I think I’ve earned every bit of the name calling in this case! Haven’t decided if that’s good or bad yet.

While I had to upgrade to Evernote Pro – that’s how much I love it – I have not upgraded to the paid version of Wunderlist. With the free version I can upload three docs or photos a day and I find that is enough for me.

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I am a list maker. I’m a pro at making lists. Did I mention how much I love lists? Wunderlist is great for making lists. I have a list for me, a list for Hubby, a grocery list, a to do list, and an errand list. I love that the lists are checklists. We list makers LOVE checking things off. We do not want to delete our tasks until we can visually see that all the tasks have been accomplished. Wunderlist gives me the freedom to do this. It allows me to flag important items on my lists and with a swipe, delete items. I enjoy being able to add sub-lists (in the form of check-lists) to my lists and with a simple movement/drag re-order them.

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Wunderlist has an extremely high number of 5-star ratings. The app allows you to organize your life and your business all in one place. You can add important details – pictures, documents, notes, reminders, due dates and subtasks to your lists. You can share your list with any of your contacts and access your information from anywhere – iPhone, Android, PC, iPad, etc.  Wunderlist Pro is $4.99 a month and allows even more sharing as well as making comments. When you think of the cost of paper and the number of list you hand write and toss out, I would say that is quite a bargain.

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It is important to remember that your phone isn’t just a phone, it’s a computer and should be utilized as such. Our phones are such amazing little creatures and can help us stay organized. Do you use Wunderlist? What is your take on it?

Wunderlist iPad

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Organizing a planner to work as a wallet

It seems like I have been on a long quest to find the perfect wallet. And, along the way wasted time and money. Well, the quest is over. I have finally found my perfect wallet. It has movable parts and loads of the “pretty pretty” that just makes me so happy. I can take things out and add things in on a whim. I can decorate. I can have folders and clear sleeves. It holds a pen and paper. What kind of wallet does all that you ask? My Malibu Personal by Day-Timer.

I have been writing about my Day-Timer in the desk size that I keep – where else – on my desk. For the times I am not at my desk, my planner/wallet comes in handy. The only thing I sync between the two is the month at a glance. That is because when I am out and about and do not have my desk calendar with me, I can still see what activities we have planned.

I thought my planner/wallet would be better explained in a video – I know – not another non-professional video! Well, yes. Hope you enjoy.


As always, I welcome your comments. Have you found the perfect wallet? Please tell us.

Don’t forget to follow my blog for more book reviews and nonsense!
Southern Charm Planners – https://www.facebook.com/groups/LouisianaPlannerGirls/

Day-Timer – http://www.daytimer.com/daytimerstore/mwv/product/Distressed-Leather-Free-Form-1%22-Planner-Cover-Desk-Size-/45014?searchClickId=0169751530%2C3519&catId=&prodId=45014

Polka Dot Posie – https://www.etsy.com/listing/170968988/2014-small-polkadotposie-signature?ref=related-5

Pembroke Papers – https://www.etsy.com/listing/176148796/downloadable-2014-12-size-a5-week-o2p?ref=shop_home_feat_1

Southern Charm Planner’s Charm – https://www.etsy.com/transaction/180298065

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