Get Organized Now! Mid-Week Edition By Maria Gracia May 3, 2017
Thought of the Week from Maria
How Clutter Begins…and Grows Are you familiar with the “broken window theory”? The premise is that one thing leads to another. For example, if someone vandalizes a building, causing a broken window, and that window is not immediately fixed, chances are tomorrow and every day after, there will be more vandalism…broken windows, graffiti, and other damage. Why is this? Because by not fixing the window, essentially a message is being sent out, loud and clear, stating that it’s OK to vandalize because nobody cares. This applies to many aspects of life, including how clutter begins. Let’s use Sally as an example. Sally bought a new shirt and cut the price tag off. Instead of throwing out the price tag and plastic loop, she tossed both on the kitchen table. She later went out to get the mail, but didn’t have time to sort through it. She put the pile on the kitchen table to deal with later. She then had lunch and realized she was late for a dental appointment. So, she left her dish, fork, napkin, and glass on the table…figuring she’d handle it later when she returned. Right before she left, she remembered she had to get x-rays, and her hanging earrings might get in the way, so she removed those and left them on the table as well. In the meantime, her teenage son came home from school, tossed his jacket over the kitchen chair, put his backpack on the kitchen table, had a glass of milk and a granola bar, and left that dirty glass, and the granola bar wrapper, on the table. When Sally returned home, the kitchen table was loaded with stuff. She was frustrated…but what she didn’t realize was, 1) it all started with her first decision to not trash that price tag and 2) that by neglecting to do this one simple action, she was giving herself and her son permission to continue the clutter-building. Clutter doesn’t start or grow on its own. It is initiated by a seemingly small decision, and it builds because of continued decisions…encouraged by that first decision. Next time you’re thinking about putting something down “temporarily,” when you could instead take the extra minute or less to put it where it belongs or throw it away, think about the message you’re sending by doing so…and the mounds of clutter that can easily follow. It’s not ideal, healthy, or safe to live in a neighborhood of broken windows…or a house piled with clutter. P.S. If you are always on the lookout for new perspectives and creative ideas that inspire and entertain, I have something special for you this week. It's called Anything and Everything and it's available to you with TONS of complimentary bonuses...until Monday, May 8th. Visit: Scroll further down in this issue for details.
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Create a Happier, Healthier, More Fulfilling Life 	   with Maria Gracia GON Mini-Edition
A more pleasant “eating outdoors” experience First off, I wanted you to know that out of all the newsletters I receive in my inbox, yours is the only one I read “start to finish” without fail. I love it…and even though I’ve never met you, I feel like you’re a good friend of mine. Thank you for years of wonderful information and friendship! I saw a tip recently, and tried it out. It worked so well that I wanted to share it with you, so you could share it with your other readers. The other day, the weather was beautiful outside. My husband and I decided to eat on the deck. To our dismay, the flies, bees, and wasps were already out and about…ready to invade our mason glasses of homemade lemonade. Don’t you just hate that? You’re all ready to enjoy a treat and then a bug ends up in your glass! Remembering the tip I read, I ran inside to get some cupcake wrappers and straws. I placed the cupcake wrappers upside down on our glasses, screwed the band on the mason jar, and then poked holes with the straws through the tops. It worked beautifully and looks so pretty as well! --Kelly Ann from Iowa I’ve been married to a wonderful man for 34 years, am an administrative assistant, and have two grown children who, we’re blessed to say, visit often even though they live out of state. I love to read, garden, cook, and quilt!
Reader Tip This Is the End of Our Regular Newsletter Content If you’d like to learn more about Today’s Special, “Gotta Have” Resource you will find that information below.
In Closing Consider a building with a few broken windows. If the windows are not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows. Eventually, they may even break into the building, and if it's unoccupied, perhaps become squatters or light fires inside. Or consider a sidewalk. Some litter accumulates. Soon, more litter accumulates. Eventually, people even start leaving bags of trash from take-out restaurants there or even break into cars. ― James Q. Wilson And remember...Being organized creates a happier, healthier, more fulfilling life! Warmly, Maria Gracia Get Organized Now!
Final Thoughts
I find recipes I want to make. I save them. And that’s where everything stops. I never make them! Reader Question Hi Maria, My question to you is, I love scrolling through all the delicious recipe photos on Pinterest. When I find something I’m pretty certain my family will like, I “pin” that recipe. Problem is, that’s where everything stops. I’m always pinning and never following through. Do you have some insight on this? --Margie L., Danbury, CT Response from Maria Gracia Hi Margie, I know what you’re saying. Pinterest could be addictive, especially when it comes to beautiful photos of food that looks delicious. What I think often happens is, when we’re going through our feeds, it’s not a “specific mission,” but rather “entertainment time.” We see a quote, recipe, cute penguin, decorating tip, etc., and we pin it…with the thought that maybe we’ll come back to that pin later. Later, that pin is forgotten about. OR, it may actually cross our minds…but then gets dismissed because: 1) there’s not enough time tonight to make that recipe, 2) it’s too difficult to make based on your cooking skills, 3) you just had chicken last night and the recipe you pinned contained chicken, or 4) you don’t have the ingredients on hand and you don’t feel like running to the store. If you really want to make those recipes, they have to be an integral part of your meal planning and your grocery list. So, what I do is: 1. Have “pinning criteria”: Read the recipe, ingredients, and steps necessary BEFORE you pin it and ask yourself if making that recipe is truly realistic based on your skill level, time, and family likes/dislikes. If so, great. If not, don’t pin it. 2. Organize your recipes on Pinterest: I have folders set up in Pinterest to sort my recipes into Pinterest categories (”boards”) like Food-Appetizers, Food- Main Dishes, Food-Side Dishes, etc. I precede each recipe category name with the word “food” so I can easily sort them all near each other…this way, cute pictures of puppies or motivational quotes aren’t mixed in with recipe pins. 3. Plan ONE Pinterest recipe per week: To get yourself started, when you’re ready to do your weekly meal-planning and prior to going grocery shopping, go to one of your Pinterest boards, find ONE recipe you like, and print it out. Be sure all of the ingredients you need go on your grocery shopping list, and the recipe is put where you can easily find it…in a meal planning folder or attached to the fridge with a magnet. 4. Schedule your Pinterest Recipe Meal on your calendar. Decide what night you’re going to make your recipe, depending on your schedule and what you will be eating the night before or after if that makes a difference to you. Get it on your calendar…preferably an electronic calender…with a reminder. 5. Buy the groceries needed for your recipe. Be sure you have the ingredients a day or two before you plan to make the recipe. 6. Make the recipe. When your scheduled date rolls around, make the recipe. If you love it, save the recipe in your permanent recipe binder. If you don’t, recycle the paper AND unpin the pin from your Pinterest board so you don’t end up with paper or digital recipe clutter. Hope this helps. I look forward to hearing from you telling me all about your first “accomplished” Pinterest recipe! --Maria
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New Stuff You're Going to Love! Catch up on all the NEW STUFF on our Get Organized Now! home page... NEW Article: Paper Clutter…you have 4 options to begin clearing it NEW Ask Maria: Can I reuse plastic bags for storing food? NEW Organizing Checklist: Budding flowers, sunshine, and outdoor fun is calling our names. Get your life organized so you can enjoy it all. Check out our NEW May 2017 Organizing Checklist! NEW Dirty Little Secret #1: Before you toss those vegetable peels, consider this… NEW Dirty Little Secret #2: You’ll work out 90% more often if you do this… NEW Dirty Little Secret #3: Add this to lunch and dinner to save on over-eating…it makes you feel full faster! NEW Mini Challenge for the Week: 5 organizing TO DOs that take 10 minutes or less…here goes… In ADDITION, on our home page, you'll also find lots of NEW and featured STUFF including... Mothers: It’s our theme of the week, and our home page inspirational quotes reflect that! NEW Social Media Spotlight: 15,524 tiles…the world’s longest domino line…2 days to build…5 minutes to fall! NEW Web Poll: How many times do you hit the snooze button? Let us know. It only takes a few seconds, and you can see real-time poll results.
New Stuff on My Website Special “Gotta Have” Resource
Be Your Very Best Self with my ANYTHING and EVERYTHING Resource. GON Readers are LOVING It! Plus, FOR A VERY LIMITED TIME You Can Get ALL of the Back Issues Too! Our lives pull is in many different directions. It's on these paths that we find joy, inner peace, laughter, wisdom, compassion, serenity, balance, love, creativity, motivation, inspiration, and fulfillment. It's easy to step off these paths and spend the majority of our time hanging out in the alleys of TO DOs, obligations, and chores. Of course, we have to hang out in those areas for a little while each day, but life can be so much more than that...if we allow it. I love to write about things that take our thoughts and minds 'beyond the alleys' so to speak...perspectives and ideas that inspire and entertain. In light of this, my ANYTHING and EVERYTHING resource is filled to the brim with personal stories, humor, countless ideas that anyone can benefit from, easy creativity projects, delicious foods, monthly assignments for a more balanced life, very cool things I've learned, recommendations on movies I've watched, books I've read, and products I've used, ways to enjoy your social time...and your time with friends and family, what I do to make my own life easier and more fun, unique adventures you can take right in your own town or nearby, ways to stay fit and healthy, ideas to look and feel your very's way too much to even list! ANYTHING and EVERYTHING is created in full can print it out if you'd like...or read it on your tablet or laptop. Each month, you can relax and enjoy it while snuggled on your sofa with a cup of tea, outside on your patio in the fresh air, in a park while you're listening to the birds sing--whatever strikes your fancy. Then you can pass it on to your family members for their enjoyment! Each month, you'll receive a full issue (12 pages or more!) of information you're going to love. In a nutshell, ANYTHING and EVERYTHING is your perfect companion for being  your best self...and living the life you were meant to live...the beautiful life! For more details, visit P.S. It gets EVEN BETTER! Until Monday, May 8th, when you obtain your annual subscription to EVERYTHING and will get 10 eBook bonuses: 100 Incredible Happiness Hacks Acres of Diamonds How to Develop Your Power of Concentration 5 Must-Do, Gotta Have Traits to be Successful How to Be Happy: No Fairy Dust or Moon Beams Required Live Improvement Tips Meditation for Everyday Living A Guide to Motivation Positive Attitude for Unlimited Success The Power of Positive Thinking For more details, visit: Plus, you'll get ALL of the BACK-ISSUES...but only until Monday, May 8th, at midnight, so don’t delay!