disorder2order blog

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Would you be mad if I used the F word?

Do you ever get over one of those humps and feel like... "Oh, Dear God... why did it take me so long to get here..." 

Well, I'm having one of those kind of weeks. I've given my website and blog a face lift. New updates and a fresh look! You would think "no big deal..." Well, actually, it's a very big deal (for me that is).

It's one of those things that you sit on, ponder, wonder, consider, research and add to your to-do list... all the while, not getting it done. Well, it's done (almost). It's not perfect, but it's up. With everything... work in progress. 

Finding the traction to get over that hump is such a hard thing to put into words. If you've ever struggled with "the hump" you know what I mean. It's not that we aren't capable. It's not that we are incompetent

It's that f*** word... Fear

#fearnoshame! Prince Harry has recently opened up doors for people to share there fear in hopes to raise awareness... read more here

Fear is one of those things that can stop you in our tracks. It' takes any form of progress or motion and little puts it into a frozen state (kind of like Gru in Despicable Me). It's not that we don't "want" to move... but the fear takes hold.

So, how did I get over it you ask? Well, it's been a process. I have spent more hours than I care to admit being afraid of that next step - and this is why...

1. Learning Curve.
2. Not Enough Time.
3. Judgement of Others.
4. Making a Mistake.

Do any of these things sound familiar? I think we can apply these fears to just about anything. Right?! It's not just about getting things done - it's about overcoming that stupid fear. 

Hopefully, you can see by putting it (aka me) out there... telling you about it... I'm slowly overcoming... I have to be honest... it feels good. 

It doesn't feel perfect, but it feels good to know that I'm past a few of those fears. I took the time to address each fear and... done! 

Thanks Harry... for putting it out there! It's kind of nice knowing we have something in common! #fearnoshame

Do you have a fear? 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

It's 5pm... what's for dinner?

Do you ever find yourself standing in front of the pantry, wondering... what the heck can I make for dinner? As if something magically is going to jump off the shelf, onto the table, piping hot... and ready for your hungry family. 

The thought of it actually doing that cracks me up!

Pantry problems are more than just figuring our what to prepare for dinner... it's knowing where things belong, how much do you need (or have) and when you need to shop for more! Often, I find that when working in a pantry it's important to determine what are the missing ingredients... Here are a few...

Courtesy of Etsy - The LovelyWall
People laugh at me all the time. They will say... "labeling is for kindergartners..." Well the fact of the matter is - everyone loves it once they have it. 

A pantry is the best thing to have labeled in a busy household. It identifies where things belong and reminds others where to put things away (rather than just stuffing them back on the shelf). Things like chalkboard labels, tags or a label maker can really clean up a pantry.

Courtesy of OXO

For me, there is nothing worse than going into the pantry for a box of graham crackers and... the box is empty (I hate that personally and I just know it drives my clients nuts).

Clear containers can help you quickly visualize how much you have left, not to mention helps you find things faster. Open baskets or bins help with items that are individually portion sized items such as granola bars or snacks make it accessible for everyone! Not to mention it make it easier to grab and go!

Courtesy of Container Store
Pantry shelves are never big enough! They typically allow for those tall items such as pastas or large boxes, leaving valuable unused space.A Stack-able shelf can offer a ton of extra shelf space for smaller items such as can or boxed goods.

There are tons of pantry options, you just have to start looking at what's unorganized... and find a solution.

Who knows... maybe tonight, dinner will actually make itself! Got a pantry secret to share?

Friday, September 19, 2014

ScanSnap ix100 is my new favorite wireless + mobile device

Have you been wondering if a scanner is something you need to consider at home or in your business? 

Well, I'm here to tell you that having a good scanner can not only change your life but make you re-think your relationship with paper! 

ScanSnap, makers of amazing products such as the ix500 (which is the Cadillac of scanners) and s1100, has come out with a brand new, just released ix100! I'm here to tell you that this mobile scanning device can really become your next favorite wireless toy! Here are my thoughts...

Set Up + Installation: 
I have to say, the installation process was so simple and quick. It comes nicely packed with: your scanner, a USB cord, installation disc (which personally I love that so much more than downloading) and a Getting Started guide, which explains each step and takes all of about 10 minutes from start to finish.

As you can see, it's so slim that it can easily fit in your work bag, desk drawer or nicely on your desk tucked into a corner. What I love most about it is that it's simple and small. I keep my ix100 on my desktop, alongside my laptop so I can quickly access it, or grab it to toss in my work bag.

The one thing I would love to see from Fujitsu, is a nice neoprene travel case for it, so when I stick it in my bag, I feel that it's protected from the elements of my bag! I'm sure it's out there... I just didn't see it yet.

Using the ix100 is quite simple to use... and in fact it's as easy as 1-2-3. 

1. You open the paper feeder, and wait for the wireless connection.

Once your "blue lights" are on, and you see the pop up window noting that the "ix100 is ready to scan" you can begin scanning your documents.

2.  Load your single document into the feeder tray and hit the Scan/Stop button (and away they go). Doesn't get any easier than that. You can continue to load multiple sheets into the feeder tray to create a multiple page document if needed. 

3.  Once your done scanning, a pop up window will ask you what you want to do with this document. Now... this is my favorite part. Look at all the choices! You can email, save, fax, send to a device or any cloud based drive. 

Wireless + Mobile Capabilities:
This is where I tend to find myself wondering about all the amazing ways I can use my scanner. The ix100 operates on a wireless platform, which in turn, when connected to your mobile device, can scan right to you iPad, tablet or smart phone.  The app is a little tricky to figure out I will admit, but once connected seems to work well (as long as your connection is working, your not connected to another device.. and most importantly... the battery is charged)! But really... isn't that the case with EVERY WIRELESS + MOBILE DEVICE?

Overall Comments:
I have to say... I really love Fujitsu's ScanSnap products. Easy navigation, simple set up and wealth of features allows any user to eliminate paper and scan away!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Inspire success for your students!

Helping our kids get organized and prepared for school can be one of the hardest things for parents. We can either over do or under support and finding that perfect balance is tricky... Depending on the age of your student, here are some easy things you can do to help your kids during the school year:

Give them a tracking system. If they are 10+ years old... get the used to using some sort of tracking system or planner. There is no one-size fits all answer. My favorite planner is the Academic Planner from Order Out of Chaos

Create a routine. I've talked about this before, but having a daily routine for kids during the school year can make a huge difference for them in and out of school. 

Create a work station or a place for them to do their school work. It should be quite and well equipped with any tools they will need to do their work. 

Physical activities can really help have that outlet for their energy. PE doesn't look the same as it did 20 years ago, so enrolling them in activities outside of school can help them balance their focus and energy.

Teach them self reliance. Figuring things out on their own, how to problem solve and/or plan ahead for their daily activities can be a huge help (not to mention confidence booster) to your students. They learn to rely on themselves rather than their parent.

As parents, we often rely on our instincts to protect our children and control the outcome; but as our kids get older, it becomes more and more important to teach them how to do for themselves. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Hate that pesky alarm clock? Here is the answer...

I came across this clock in ADDitudeMag a few weeks ago and was intrigued on what it did exactly... then I saw it again on the Museum of Modern Art Store website. It's kind of like it's following me... 

The Clocky Tocky Alarm Clock has my attention! 
MoMA Store

This fascinating and interesting clock, when going off, jumps and rolls around the room to ensure you get up on time. You can record your own wake up sounds or add your favorite songs...

It got me thinking... for those hard to wake up teens... is this the answer?

Retails for about $46...  

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Your back to school success checklist

I don’t know about you somewhere around August 1st I get this funny twinge in my belly. It's that little reminder that the school year is approaching. 

We are bombarded with advertisements and TV advertisements...  it's just enough to drive you nuts. It's no wonder people feel overwhelmed. 

No matter what you’re feeling, being prepared for the back to school transition can take that stress out of the household and perhaps be an enjoyable time for you and your student! HINT: It’s never too early to get organized for school.  

Here’s a great punch list to get your started for your organized school year:

Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos dot com
__ Get the school supply list from your school is the first step. Most will post the school supply list on their website or sometimes they can be found at your local school supply retailers.

__ Check your clothing inventory and see what’s hanging in the closet.  The new school year is a great time to clear out the clothes that are too small, too worn or just plain shabby! And don't forget to check the shoes! 

__ Routines = happy students! Setting up routines at home can give your students a solid structure to thrive during the school year. Start your morning routines now! A consistent wake up time and a balanced meal is a great way to start the day.

__ Planning ahead. School calendars should already be available to parents. Get your students 2014-15 school schedules loaded into your calendar or the family calendar right away. It will make planning after school activities so much easier when you know what their schedule will be.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

10 things that simplify my life

I love being a reliable resource for my clients and friends. It's an amazing feeling to help someone simplify a process or find the right answer to a problem. 

As I continue to celebrate my 10 year anniversary in 2014, here are 10 things that simplify my life:

1. Wunderlist - keeps track of my to-do's on my phone, computer and iPad.

2. Outlook - organizes my contacts, my calendar, my emails without fail.

3. iPhone - allows me to access everything quickly and easily

4. CardStar - keeps all my reward card bar codes in my phone and NOT in my wallet

5. ScanSnap Scanner- a new feature in my life that will (hopefully) allow me to get rid of all the paper!

6. Shredder - Helps my compost bin + and eliminates the paper easy

7. Thank you notes - Allows me to appreciate people in my life, easily and quickly.

8. ATM machine - Haven't needed to go into a bank in almost 10 years!

9. Sharpie Markers - Helps me to organize my thoughts COLORFULLY!

10. My husband - Picks up the slack when I need it, cheers me on when I want it, and most of all reminds me that it's okay to be human!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Why is getting things done so hard? Here's one reason...

I am a huge fan of Inc Magazine. If you own your own business or are a manager this magazine is for you. They have great articles on business - but also give you lots of food for thought when it comes to productivity and "getting things done."

As a subscriber, I get a weekly email (I know.. that can be annoying) of recent articles posted to their website. I rarely ever click on them; however, I was stopped in my tracks when I read the article link How Goal Setting Hurts Productivity.  So of course I had to read it... Here's what I learned...

Long Term Goals vs. Short Term Goals. So often when we set a goal we think of it in the general sense or maybe long term goals for the year... things like loosing weight or exercise might be a long term. The key, is to be more specific or speak in the immediate future. I am going to stop eating sugar for a week, I will  walk 5 miles two times each week. So another words... BE SPECIFIC!

Lack of focus can be a good thing. Now, for those of you that struggle with staying focused... this one's for you. Too often, we freak out if we aren't focused or too scattered. That doesn't have to be a bad thing. What's important to consider is when you set the goal... set the specific goal. Then, give yourself permission to not hyper-focus on that goal. Expand your horizons or as they say in the article "key is to set goals, and look around, smell the roses, and try not to focus on them. That might mean communicating about those goals less with your team during actual execution processes, and limiting visual or audible reminders about them

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tax Preparation Made Easy

Before owning my own business and starting my family, I never had a problem getting my paperwork ready for tax time. A few receipts here and there and a W-4 from my employer is all I needed. Pretty simple... right? 

Now there's investment reports, mortgage statements, business receipts, mileage... it's never ending. As you get older, things just get more complicated. If there is one thing I've learned, it's that you have to set yourself up for success from the beginning. Not only does this support you throughout the year, but it makes the end result that much easier...

Here are just a few simple steps you can take to set your system up so that tax docs are ready to rock and roll...

1. Identify what you need for tax purposes.
  • Receipts (business, personal)
  • Donations (business, personal)
  • Personal Investments
  • Medical 
  • Mileage Records
2. Set up a few folders for the various categories.
  • Organize your files by NAME or by CATEGORY
3. Keep these files/folders separate from your standard files so that information is easily accessible.
  • Use colored files/folders to differentiate tax records from standard files
  • Label your files/folders so that know what's a tax record
4. Document information and file records as information comes into your home or office.

If you keep your records filed away, they are always accessible when you need them throughout the year PLUS at tax time, you can simply pull out your files, sort and organize your tax records WITHOUT weeding through all the "other" stuff. 

Helpful tax resources:

I always recommend having a good resource for questions... if it's not your ACCOUNTANT then the Internal Revenue Service is always a good place to start. If you prepare your taxes on your own, having good software is key. I recommend Intuit.  

Helpful apps: Shoeboxed (for receipts), TripLog (mileage tracker tool)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

4-Ways to Eliminating Paper Clutter

Paper is a problem for everyone. Even the most organized people hate dealing with paper... As we approach tax time, the paper piles always seem to grow just slightly bigger. There is no magic wand. There is no super secret trick to dealing with the paper. You just have to deal with it. 

The first thing you need to consider is how it's coming in the door. Did you ask for it? Did you bring it? Did you (at one time) find it interesting?

Here's are four ways to control what you have and possibly stop it from coming in the door:

Recycling Station: Have a designated spot in your home where you process paper. Make it easy to recycle what you don't need. It can be in the same spot as your other recyclables, or a separate station for just paper. 

Go Paperless: Things like monthly bills can be emailed to you and/or put on automatic withdraw. Simplify what comes in by taking advantage of paperless billing.Go paperless with magazines, newsletters, books and/or catalogs too! Simply check your subscription settings to see if the option is available. Additionally, things like user manuals can be saved electronically rather than a paper copy (one of my biggest pet peeves) for most every new purchase. It helps you and the planet!

Opt Out or Unsubscribe:Although this takes some time, it's amazingly powerful to get your name off various mailing lists. Websites like DMA Choice and Catalog Choice are two websites that can help you in removing your name off various mailing lists. There are other services such as Opt Out Pre-screen (which takes your name off the pre-screen mailing lists), Yellow Pages OPT Out (Stops those pesky books from coming to your doorstep) and the ever popular Do Not Call List (one of my favorites).
Shred! Shred! Shred: Having a good quality shredder in your home can help support your "recycling" and/or disposal steps when it comes to paper. For years we had a small garbage can top shredder that took forever to use (one page at a time) and kept getting jammed. We invested in a larger more industrial shredder and it was amazing how much it simplified the process. Shredding your documents can help protect your identity and ultimately make it easy to discard unwanted mail.

It takes time to eliminate the paper piles. Start small and do a little bit each day; before you know it, the paper piles will be gone!

Monday, January 6, 2014

[2014... the year of celebration!]

I can't believe it. 10 years in business. Who would have thought that my little "project" back when the babies were born would turn into a way of living. 

2014 is my year of celebration! An entire decade of understanding the hows and whys of ORDER; and then translating that into manageable pieces for my clients.  I've learned about how to help people, about your needs and most about myself. My focus for 2014 is to give back.

Now, you don't want to miss out... There will be lots of ways to take advantage... 

The first thing you might want to do is subscribe to my newsletter (hint: you can do it right here to the right). Here, I will be sharing each month fun tips, prize opportunities and giveaways. I love to have fun!

Secondly, follow my on Facebook. I will be sharing lots of product ideas and tops on Facebook in addition to my eNews... but be warned... Facebook is a time sucker... If Facebook is too much and you prefer the 30 characters or less... check me out on Twitter.

Lastly... if you need visual inspiration. Pinterest is your go-to. I am going to be creating some new boards this year that will focus on... well, organizing.. products, inspiration, motivation etc.

It's going to be a great year! I'm looking forward to sharing with you... before we get crazy, let me ask... 

what do you want from this year of giving?

Friday, January 3, 2014

Friday Find: Organizing Your Club Cards

Last week, we made the trip into Portland to do the typical holiday returns. We spent the afternoon going from store to store making returns, exchanges while taking advantage of the post-holiday sales. 

When planning for that type of trip into Portland, there are so many things to remember.. gift receipts, shopping lists and most of all - the right club/reward(or frequent shopper) cards. I'm not a big fan of those types of cards. It's just one more step in the shopping process that you have to take to save money or be rewarded for shopping in a specific store. I know you can often manage those accounts with a phone number, but not always... or worse. You have to have the card with you. 

Enter my new favorite app: CardStar

This free app manages EVERYTHING that has a bar code. You can load your grocery club cards, rewards programs, library cards, family savings cards... if it's got a bar code, you can load in the number and your card is there. It's so easy to use...

1. Open the app.
2. Find your card.
3. Scan your card...

and your done. Simplify the reward redemption process AND lighten your load in your wallet! 

Have a favorite app to organize your life?