Get Organized Now!
By Maria Gracia
July 15, 2017
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
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
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
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
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
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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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
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Theme of the Week: Curiosity. Enjoy our home page quotes, that reflect
our theme, for added inspiration and motivation 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 you...in 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.
Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
--Dalai Lama XIV
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And remember...Being organized creates a happier,
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(c) Copyright 2017 by Maria Gracia, Get Organized Now!
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