5 Ways to Take Control of your Chaos

5 Ways to Take Control of your Chaos

taking control of your chaos | organized CHAOS onlineThis was me. Until about an hour ago.

I was sitting in the same clothes I slept in, my hair was on top of my head (okay, it still is), my house was a mess, I have things to do more than I have time in a day and I was literally frozen in place.

This happens more than I care to admit.

My “thing” when I feel overwhelmed is to look in one direction toward something I need to complete and say, “Okay.” I’ll turn around and see another project and say it again… “Okay.” This will happen about 20 more times and it accomplishes nothing.

Have you ever felt this way?

It seems that September is the month that kicks us into a speed of about 500 miles an hour and it doesn’t stop until January. The chores, holidays, events and activities start coming in a lightning speed and unless you’re on your game, this will send you into a cell with padded walls.

Let’s control our chaos.

But how?

Get up and do something. It doesn’t have to be something huge. Your goal is to look for something that will provide a sense of accomplishment. It has a starting point and an ending point in a short amount of time.

MAKE A LIST

notepadJust start writing. Unload what’s on your mind. This doesn’t have to be in order, all under the same topic or even written well. The goal is to get that clutter out of your head and on paper. You can go back and sort it out later.

ORGANIZE A SMALL SPACE

shower-organizationWhether it’s your shower, the bottom of your closet, the silverware drawer or the spice cabinet. Tackle a small space that, everytime you go back to it, you feel a sense of accomplishment. Once you get started on your small space, you’ll get the drive to do other things. Tip: Set a timer. Don’t let this take you all day. It’s a small space and should take a small amount of time. If it feels like it’s too in depth, move on to something else. For now, at least.

WRITE A SCHEDULE

creating-a-scheduleI’ve been talking to so many people who have all their days filled with sports, activities, club meetings, organization and travel. It gets so nuts. Start jotting it down in a calendar and make a schedule. Once you know when things are happening, your brain will start to sort it out, too. Place your important dates where they belong and back track a week or two and set yourself a reminder that your important date is approaching. This way, you aren’t caught off guard.

COMPLETE A CHORE

laundryAt my house, the laundry is the one thing I never keep up with. It is typically washed and dried but then it’s stacked up on the table in my laundry room neatly folded in half to avoid wrinkles…until my husband or son goes to look for the worlds smallest item within the stack. Then it topples. Taking the time to hang, fold and put away laundry is almost impossible. The funny thing is: Once I do it, I feel so much better. For you… find a chore that is nagging at you. What has a starting point and ending point and will make you feel better once accomplished? Do that thing.

SPRUCE UP YOUR HOME

fall-wreathIf the inside is just too much right now, go outside. How about adding a festive wreath or swapping out your summer flowers for something more fall-like (or whatever season you wish)? There’s a definite sense of pride when you drive up to your home and you see colorful flowers and decor. Everything feels so tidy and put together. Just don’t invite anyone in.

Are you rolling your eyes right now? Just like working out, you’ll feel better afterwards.

tawsha connell

13 Benefits of Getting Organized

13 Benefits of Getting Organized

13 Benefits of Getting Organized - organizedCHAOSonline

We love findings projects to get you organized, tips for ways to organize, lists to help you organize. We just plain love being organized. So what’s the big deal? Some people function perfectly well in chaos, so why would they bother to try getting some organization into their lives?

Being organized isn’t just a trait that comes pre-packaged in OCD-type personalities. Many disorganized people have been forced into becoming organized, whether they wanted to or not, because of changes in their lives. When you go from single to married with kids who are involved activities, you’ve got to be organized. If your career moves you into a position that requires more of your time, you’ve got to get yourself on a schedule to accommodate work and your home life.

Aside from the obvious benefits to being organized, here are some others that you may not have considered…

Being organized…

#1. Frees up more time.

  • Think of getting ready to go to a birthday party. If you’re running around looking for the outfit you were going to wear because you’re not sure if it’s clean or not, looking for gift wrap, looking for the invitation that had the address on it, shushing the kids, snapping at the spouse, frantically checking the clock, then screaming out the door. Yeah, been there. If you had prepped, you could have had a leisurely breakfast, spent some time with the kids and arrived early.

#2. Saves you money.

  • How many times have you bought a new jar of mayonnaise, a printer cartridge, a screwdriver, all the time thinking “I swear I had one”? After the mayonnaise is opened, the cartridge has been loaded and the packaging from the screwdriver is in the trash..ooops, there it is!

#3. Lets you set a good example.

  • When you’re smack dab in the middle of your unorganized rampage (see #1), is this really an example of time management you want your kids to carry into their adult life? Kids watch their parents, learn from them and then mimic their behavior. How many times have you said “This is how my mom did it”? Good grief, I pat each towel after I fold it, which is a really weird habit, but apparently that was my mom’s confirmation that towel was done being folded. See? Kids pick stuff up subconsciously.

#4. Gives you a sense of freedom.

  • When everything around you is cluttered, it can cause you anxiety and feeling overwhelmed can cause depression. Do you watch hoarders? Those poor people. So many of them I think once they realized things were out of control, it was just too big for them to fix. I know that when I walk into my office, if it’s a pit I feel “heavy” and unmotivated. Once I clean that sucker up though, I feel lighter and more positive.

#5. Makes you more productive.

  • This, I think is true in both household productivity and work productivity because the same principles apply. At work, if you have to dig through files for a missing report, search through notebooks for a log-in and password, run to the store for copy paper, sift through 50 emails to find the attachment someone sent you…you’re wasting a ton of time. Same applies to running a household. If your spending time searching for things, redoing things, running back and forth gathering and prepping, you aren’t being productive. Organization results in better performance at work and at home.

# 6. Gives you more energy.

  • Being unorganized saps your energy. Plain and simple.

#7. Improves your health.

  • Anxiety, depression and high blood pressure are byproducts of stress. Slowing your life down by organizing your life can significantly improve your general health, and also calm your mental chaos.

#8. Lets you think more clearly.

  • When you’re sitting in a tidy space, you’re not distracted by things that you need to attend to later. Your mind is free to focus only on the task you have at hand

#9. Improves your creativity.

  • When things are messy, I can’t think. If I’m trying to work or make dinner and there’s clutter everywhere, I’m not productive. As in #8, if you’re distracted by things you need to do or should do, your mind “can’t breathe” and isn’t open to new ideas and creative thinking. You’re stuck.

#10. Makes you proud.

  • I don’t know about you, but when I’ve made the effort to tidy up a space and I can easily locate what I need to find, I’m pretty damn proud of myself. A lot of times it hard to get started getting things cleaned up, but I love the sense of accomplishment once its done. Now you’re not stressed out if someone unexpectedly drops by, and you’re not going into other peoples homes wishing your house looked like theirs. You now look to others like someone who takes pride in their home.

#11. Gives you confidence.

  • Like mentioned, sometimes a mess can get cray cray out of control to the point of overwhelming. Do you have a room that at one time was functional but now has become nothing more than a place for you to dump your junk? Is it your worst organizing nightmare? If you tackle that sucker and organize it back into a room, something you thought was impossible…well, you can probably pretty much do anything, am I right fancy pants? So how overwhelming does that silly little messy junk drawer seem now?

#12. Balances your life.

  • If you’re now able to spend less time on the little things in your life and more on the important things, the quality of your life just improved. If you’re not weighed down by clutter and a long list of “to-do’s”, you can sit down and read that book guilt-free, have time to paint your toenails, and spend time on hobbies and things you love to do.

#13. Makes you efficient.

  • When you’re not wasting time looking for things, and can easily find your keys, your checkbook, your kids immunization records, the bike pump, etc. the task you need those items for is getting done more quickly. As you continue to organize your life, a little at a time, you’re gaining valuable time in your life.

So…what areas of your life are your biggest organizing challenges? How can we help? Are you ready to start de-stressing your life by organizing it?

Patti signature

24 Surprisingly Clever Uses for Rubberbands

24 Surprisingly Clever Uses for Rubberbands

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We love finding new uses for things that have been around forever. Sometimes we tend to get stuck in our thinking and only use a product for the intention it was created. We were amazed when we discovered all the creative things people are doing with the good o’ rubberband. Who knew?

1. To keep clothes from slipping off hangers, attach rubberbands around the ends.hangers

 2. Use a rubberband to screw in a stripped screw.

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3. Use a paperclip and a rubberband to bind pages of a book together.

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4. To keep sliced apple sections from browning, slice the apple, then rubberband the pieces back together.

apple

5. Keep glasses from slipping out of little hands or elderly hands, add a few rubber bands around it. glass

6. Nailpolish top stuck? Wrap a rubberband around the lid to give you a beter grip. rubberband-nail-polish-ictc

7. Exercise your forearm extensors using large rubberbands. extensors

8. Rubberband a microfiber cloth to a Swiffer for a reusable alternative to the one-use purchased sheets. ac33c5ac99ab9ed30de2ad9e99aa8e74

9. Decorate a Dollar Store vase/candleholder: Randomly add rubberbands, spray paint with frosted glass spray paint.

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10. Attach rubberbands randomly on eggs before dying them. easter-egg-dying_300

11. Easy decorating! Add colored rubberbands to cheap glasses. Match the rubber band colors to the holiday or event. 53a24c45514a32824a5b2cc2a389def1

12. Pull a balloon over a clean tin can and securely attach with a rubber band. This will create a drum for your young child to explore rhythm and expression through music. e38df1d12ced539f52669de019b86135

13. Remove the labels from prescription bottles, rubberband a group of them together, and use on your dresser or desk for small items. blog-pillbx-desk-org

14. Use a rubberband to keep a door from latching.

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15. Wrap a rubberband around nail tip to use as a guide for a perfect french manicure. perfect-french-tips

16. Keep your towel from falling off the oven door. 08b4a20706f8423e8ce1f1f0da70138d

17. Rubberbands can be used as an inexpensive, effective childproofing tool when you are in a pinch.

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18. Use rubber bands across any box or drawer for an instant way to stand up recipes, addresses, etc. 33f5cb101a0ce9661b3a00308bcbb6fb

19. Have you lost something small, like an earring? Use tights rubber-banded onto your vacuum hose to find it. a71f2dbb296dd9e02bc766e3ddf5da6c

20. A way to keep the dosing syringe with the medicine. Use wide rubberbands like the kind that come on broccoli. dosing

21. Keeping kids cups organized – no more using 100 cups a day. Just write their name on a giant rubberband so they know which cup is theirs. sippies

22. Instead of trashing an empty tissue box, rubber band it to a full box of tissues, and use the empty carton as a makeshift trash can. 8d619f4c79cd72e78df8cc1b29522d3b

23. Easy DIY pen holder. Use a frosting container or can, a piece of cork (found at any craft store), glue, and rubberbands. Cut the cork to the length you need to go around the can and glue it on. Use a rubberband to hold it in place until it dries. cork

24. And the best use EVER! Can’t afford a Bluetooth? Rubber band it. Seriously? 9af03ee43e02c2a09b01182dd75b6074

Did we miss anything? Comment below with any creative ways that you use rubberbands.

Patti signature

Tips for Moving – Part 1: Packing

Tips for Moving – Part 1: Packing

tips-for-moving-packing-hea

Planning a move? I still think this seems like the most simple way to do it. Don’t you think it would be awesome to give your house a good clean, secure everything in place and then pack the entire house on a truck for a move to your new location?

Turns out, that’s not possible for about 99% of us.

We will be posting a 3-part moving series that will apply and be helpful to those moving in or out of a home you own, rent, a dorm or any other place where you have to pack loads of stuff you didn’t even realize you owned and make the place look pretty when you vacate.

Tips for Moving – Part 1: Packing

Just scroll down and discover easy tips for moving, how to stay organized, the proper way to pack a box and tips on your “first night survival kit.”

Tips for Moving – Part 2: Cleaning & Repairs

Coming soon. We’ll share quick tips on how to efficiently clean your home making it look spotless with the least amount of effort. It will appear as if you hired a cleaning company…all the way down to the driveway.

Tips for Moving – Part 3: Inexpensive DIY Home Updates

Coming soon. Are you staging your house to sell or are you moving into a less than new home? We’ll share tips and how-to’s on update your home making it appear more high priced than it actually is. We all like quick-fixes to make us feel a bit more high class, right?

There are a few simple tips to remember, a few other websites to browse for packing how to’s and ways to organize your move so you know where everything is when you get to your new home.

PACKING TIPS

1. Create a moving binder and/or moving log. (use a color-code system for your boxes)

Click for moving a moving binder how-to.  Source: A Bowl Full of Lemons

Click for moving a moving binder how-to.
Source: A Bowl Full of Lemons

Click for instructions Source: Shannon Brown

Click for instructions
Source: Shannon Brown

2. Separate plates and bowls with disposable foam plates and bowls. For a more environmentally friendly version, choose corrugated cardboard or even dishtowels. 

The Frugal Girls (click image for more)

The Frugal Girls
(click image for more)

3. Wrap Glad Press n Seal over any miscellaneous home items that could fall out or get messy in the move.

More Press n Seal tips at orgjunkie.com (click image for more)

More Press n Seal tips at OrgJunkie
(click image for more)

4. Wrap your clothes in a trash bag while they still hang in the closet.

The Wicker House  (for more packing tips, click here)

The Wicker House
(for more packing tips, click here)

5. Use socks to pack perfume bottles or fragile items.

socks

6. Everything soft is packing material. This will help you save on bubble wrap, packing paper, etc. Hello linen closet!

linen closet

7. Before you get boxes, start packing up suitcases, laundry hampers, garbage cans, storage bins, etc.

old suitcases

8. You can get FREE BOXES at colleges (head to the computer lab), book stores, liquor stores, craigslist and even behind major stores like Target and WalMart.

A lot of times you can go in and ask for the boxes or you can go dumpster diving. In the recycled box container. Be careful…we won’t take responsibility for your diving injuries.

box dumpster

9. Tape nuts and bolts to the furniture in which it belongs.

taping parts to furniture

10. Create a moving day survival kit.

You will be moving into a place that is completely empty (unless you just won the lottery and are buying everything new and it’s waiting for you – but I digress). Be of the mindset that you are camping. What would you need for night one?

survival kit

  • A suitcase loaded with a couple changes of clothing (including sleepwear)
  • Toiletry kit
  • Towels
  • Daily medication
  • Quick food (non perishable)
  • Plastic utensils
  • Bottled water
  • Bed linens and blankets (or sleeping bags)
  • Pillows
  • Pet food (if applicable)
  • Small tools
  • Flashlights
  • Phone charger
  • Towels
  • Cleaning supplies (just some basics)
  • Games and/or toys for kids
  • (more survival packing tips at The Joyful Organizer)

11. No matter the distance of your move, do it as if you’re moving cross country.

You’ll be more efficient if you pack a big truck one time and unload it one time.

truck backed into house

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

tawsha connell

Hiding Your Cords

Hiding Your Cords

Why are cords so ugly? They drive me crazy. I’ve been known to be on my hands and knees on more than one occasion, tucking cords in between the carpet line and the base trim of my wall. I’m sure I’m stripping the cords in order to make it appealing but I just can’t stand the look of cords creating a maze around the house leading from one electronic device to another.

When we moved into our house (three years this July), we temporarily ran our cable cord from an office to my son’s playroom via the ceiling. Again, this was temporary.

Three years in July. Just in case you forgot.  Looking at this makes me absolutely crazy. I don’t know what to do with it. So I went searching.

How does one hide these blasted things? I’m throwing in a couple ideas on how to hide your router or cable box. Both are a pain in the arse. Click on the image of each idea to find out more.

picket fence cord cover

Source: Decoist

There’s that white picket fence everyone talks about wanting.

Source: Sewing Barefoot

Source: Sewing Barefoot

Use books to hide a router or cable box. I’d choose the smart books to make me look good. I’d also make sure that no guests went up close to take a peek at them only to discover that they were so useless to me that I mutilated them in order to cover up something that’s allowing me to watch Real Housewives of Orange County.

Source: Angie in the Thick of It

Source: Angie in the Thick of It

Hide your flatscreen cords behind this cool DIY trim. I need a TV like this, a wall this color and pretty much everything in her living room.

Source: Popsugar Living

Source: Popsugar Living

This extension cord cube makes for a very tidy and organized cord holder.

pvc pipe screwed to the deskJust grab some PVC pipe and screw it in to the back of your desk. Ghetto but effective. Never overlook the simple solutions.

rain guttersWhat about a rain gutter? This idea is quite brilliant if you ask me.

baskets with hook screwsThis basket is a simple drawer organizer. You can find it at Target or even the dollar store. Add in some hook screws and you’re golden. This is the under side of a desk.

Source: Modresdes

Source: Modresdes

This is called the Smart Plug Hub Cable Organizer. The image makes me happy. Isn’t this just so perfect?

Source: Lacey Haskell

Source: Lacey Haskell

I’m pretty sold on this idea. Inside the little box is a router. With storage this side, you could put a ton in here. I tend to over-stuff storage areas and I’d do the same here. I love it. Storage under the seat with storage in it. Following me, here?

So, now…what on EARTH do I do with our “temporary” cable cord idea in my son’s play room?

tawsha connell