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Get Organized Now! NEWSLETTER
By Maria Gracia
July 15, 2017

  Today's Feature

Think Quick. Snow White. What's the First Thing You Think Of?

Think quick. Snow White. What's the first thing you think of? Perhaps you're picturing her biting into the red apple that immediately sends her into dreamland, or the evil queen having conversations with her magic mirror, or the seven dwarfs cleaning up in preparation for supper?

I immediately think of her dancing around the kitchen, wearing her blue and yellow gown, holding her broom, delegating organizing and cleaning chores to all her forest friends...all while listening to the chirping bluebirds and singing 'Whistle While You Work.'

If all of us could be a fraction as happy while we're doing chores, that would be something, wouldn't it?

The fact is, the average adult works 47 hours a week, according to a Gallup poll. Nearly 20% of those folks work as long as 60 hours a week...12 hours a day. And that work time doesn't include organizing and cleaning.

So, doing our tasks, chores, and errands, while happily singing, is not a common occurrence in the average household. Plus, it seems those forest friends, and sometimes our family members, plan a quick escape once the broom or vacuum makes an appearance.

Still, organizing and cleaning are both directly related to our happiness levels. In fact, a study published by The University of California showed that coming home to a messy house can actually interfere with the body's production of the de-stressing hormone cortisol...and when that happens, we not only stop whistling and singing, but we often become irritable and frustrated.

So, how can we organize and clean, while resembling Snow White, rather than Grumpy...even when we're tired and have no energy to do it? Here are 5 important keys:

1. Short bursts. The more 'consecutive time' you organize and clean, the higher the chances you're going to raise your stress levels. Do your tasks in short bursts...15-30 minutes each.

2. Don't let the mess get big. Organize and clean as you go, rather than allowing the mess to get out of hand. For instance, when you are done using the bathroom in the morning, before you turn off the light, put away your toiletries and cosmetics, and wipe the sink and counter clean. Finished reading your magazines? Put them back in the magazine holder for someone else, in the recycle bin, or in the car to bring to a co-worker tomorrow. Disorganization and messes stem from delaying something that could have been done very quickly and easily.

3. Keep your eye on the prize.
Yes, ending up with an organized, clean area is rewarding in itself, but having something to enjoy in between tasks makes life that much better. I like sandwiching tasks and rewards. For instance, I might work on uploading and organizing my cell phone photos for 30 minutes and then have a cup of tea while listening to some music or surfing my Facebook feed.

4. Get others to help. If you have others living at home with you, remember, organizing and cleaning should be a team-effort and not a solo performance.

5. Watch your breaking points. If you've had an especially long day, coming home and doing heavy organizing and cleaning may be out of the question, especially if it's going to send you over the edge. Save your cleaning for lighter work days or lower your standards just a bit. For instance, does a full dusting job need to be done, or can you just pass the feather-duster for now? If there is no such thing as a lighter work day, and you have nobody to delegate some of the responsibilities to, you may have to consider drastically minimizing your belongings or hiring a cleaning service.

Finally, putting on some of your favorite tunes and whistling and/or singing while you're working can immediately springboard a better mood and make your tasks that much nicer. In the words of Snow White, 'When hearts are high, the time will fly, so whistle while you work.'

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Maria Gracia
Get Organized Now!

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  New on our Web Site!

Organizing Kids: Here's a fun way to get the kids to do their chores

Organizing Men: Men...get and stay organized for your health. Here's how

Organizing Quick Tip: An organized way to welcome new neighbors

Dirty Little Secret 1: Bathroom mirror streaks are a pet peeve of mine. Here's how I avoid them...

Dirty Little Secret 2: Using sticky ingredients? Prevent them from sticking to the measuring cup. Here's how

Dirty Little Secret 3: I'm not a fan of soggy French Toast. Here's what I do to ensure it's crispy...

Mini Challenges: Who hasn't said, 'I wish I had more time to (you fill in the blank)'? We all want more hours in our day. That's why this week's mini- challenges focus on how to gain more time in your day.

In ADDITION, on our home page, you'll also find lots of NEW and featured STUFF including...

Social Media Spotlight: 10 clever kitchen hacks to try right now...

Interesting 'Eating' Tidbits. Do men and women eat more when they're alone or when they're in a social setting? Find out on our home page

Theme of the Week: Curiosity. Enjoy our home page quotes, that reflect our theme, for added inspiration and motivation this week

  TO DO This Week

Week Beginning July 15th

1. Sort through a pile or box of photos. Grab a pile or box of printed photos and begin sorting through it. Pass duplicates on to people in the photo. Decide if you want to corral events, people, or approximate year/decade. I generally recommend sorting into a photo box, either permanently or until you're ready to put photos into an album or scrapbook. Tons of old photos? It's OK. Just sort a little bit at a time each week.

2. Get one messy file folder in order. Look through your file folders and pull out the one that's the fullest. Weed out that file folder as much as you can. Then, sort the papers within it as appropriate...perhaps by date or subject. If the folder is still packed full when you're done, consider dividing it into two folders.

3. Donate or sell an appliance you never use. Locate an appliance you never use, like a bread machine, cake pop maker, or juicer. Clean and/or wipe it off as necessary. Then, donate it to your favorite charity, or sell it on social media or your next rummage sale.

4. Schedule time for YOU. We're always so busy doing a million things for others, and that's great. But we have to remember ourselves too. Schedule some time for your calendar, just like you would any other important appointment...whether it's relaxing in your yard, going for a massage, taking a class, or visiting a craft show in your town.

5. Make an important call. Do you have to call the plumber to fix a leaky faucet, or your clinic to schedule a mammogram, or your sister-in-law to organize a get-together, or your child's babysitter to set up a few date nights for you and your better half? Whatever call you've been putting off, make it this week.

  In Closing

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.

--Dalai Lama XIV

I'd love to hear from you.
Comments, suggestions, or just to say hello. Just REPLY to this email with a short note.

And remember...Being organized creates a happier, healthier, more fulfilling life!


Maria Gracia
Get Organized Now!

How to Use This Newsletter

In this newsletter, you will find stories, ideas, inspiration, links and more to help you live a less stressful, more organized, more fulfilling life. We encourage you to apply these ideas to your own life AND share them liberally with your family, friends, and fan base via email, on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, other social media outlets, and in person, of course!

When you share, please mention my name and web site - Maria Gracia - as the source.

Thank you for helping to spread the gift of organizing far and wide! -- Maria

(c) Copyright 2017 by Maria Gracia, Get Organized Now!

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