How do we end up with so many baskets and storage containers that don’t work?

It becomes overwhelming with what to do with them and how to use them and what to put in them.. oh I am getting overwhelmed as I am writing this. So I am going to give three principles for using baskets and storage containers.

1. Sizing matters. Use the right size container to store the right amount of stuff. Don’t have large objects spilling out of a small container or have a large container with small objects getting lost inside.

2. One basket/container per same or similar stuff. No catch alls. It is better to have as many as you need with only one purpose for each one, than having a large container with everything dumped in. You’ll never find anything in those. For example in my kitchen, as pictured, I have a large open shelf unit.  There are two grapevine baskets for supplies. One holds pencils and pens. The other holds tape, scissors, post its, etc. That’s it. Keep it basic and simple.

3. Stick with one style that fits the decor. If baskets are what works, then use the same exact basket or style for the area. I have a client who was using different shaped and sized wicker baskets to hold various items on shelves in her black contemporary desk/hutch. It didn’t work. I suggested sleek black boxes to hold her items which matched perfectly and the boxes blended in and almost disappeared, another benefit.

4. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to work!

What to do with the rest after you have found your perfect fit? Get rid of them! Don’t hold on to them. Donate or my favorite thing is Really, I am addicted to see what people are trading. I love matching resources to needs.

This is a wrap up from the Organize and Energize call today.  If you missed it, don’t fret.. jump in. There is a call every Tuesday 11:45 – 12:30 EST.  Experience the call live and get the information and inspirationl!   Please post comments and questions.

Call in # (760) 984 1000

Participant Access Code  789248#

See you there!


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3 Simple Steps for keeping track of keys,cell phones, and eyeglasses

Keys, cell phones, and eyeglasses all have similar distinctions. They get placed mindlessly, are then misplaced, and take cumulative hours of wasted time and energy to find and search for them. Here are three simple steps for keeping track of these types of items.

1. Be mindful.  Though it seems that your hand and brain are not in communication at moments when keys, cell phones, and eyeglasses are put down, and their whereabouts  are a complete mystery, this  action can be interrupted by paying attention. Develop a routine for putting the item where it belongs.  For example, I put my car keys into the bowl in the kitchen where they belong as soon as I walk into the house, even before I put the mail down.

2. Put it back in one spot.  Each type of item should have a home. In one client’s home, we have put her reading glasses( all together about 20 from re buying “lost” ones) in a kitchen drawer. Another client has her sunglasses ( about 20 same reason stated before different person, see a pattern?) in a nice looking box on shelves above her desk.  For the cell phone, keep the charger in one spot as it’s home at night.

3. Do it now.  As stated by Gretchen Rubin author of  The Happiness Project, don’t put off any task if it can be done in one minute or less.  Yes, put those keys in their home as soon as you walk in the door. Yes, put your glasses back where they belong so you can find them again. It may seem a little rough at first but it will become a routine in no time and give you great satisfaction and happiness restoring order.

On the Tuesday Organize and Energize with Tracy call today a couple suggestions were made.

Barbara shared that she has pretty little knick knack trays with a particular theme that are in each room to hold her cell phone. The tray is symbolic with cell phone so it is always readily found.

Another shared tip was to keep the remote controls in a  box; suggested was an attractive inexpensive purchase from Michael’s.

Please post any tips of your own that you find useful. Or try these and post how they work for you and what is the experience of a new routine.

Join on Tuesdays 11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EST  conference call in number (760) 984 1000 Participant access code 789248#

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A little bit of inbox Spring cleaning

I am old school and my preferable mode of communication is phone call vs. email. Not a reality in this day to call and actually get all the people I need and want to talk to in a day. I only like to spend the minimal amount of time as needed for emails and my inbox can pile up.  Here are four things I have done to Spring clean my inbox.

1. Unsubscribe.   From regularly occurring emails that you don’t want, instead of constantly deleting, go to the bottom and unsubscribe. I have a client who unsubscribed from my email list. At first I was taken aback.. why would she do this?  I came up with lots of stories but the two that stuck in my mind was either she didn’t want to hear from me, and I couldn’t imagine why.. or she was really busy,  Senior VP for a major textiles company, and was decluttering her inbox. The possibility of the latter was inspiring to me. I called her to check in and find out. It was the latter. Nothing was wrong, she loves me, will get in touch when she needs me, but really needed to downsize the amount of emails she was receiving at work. Plain and simple. Yay Amy!!  I started doing the same.. ruthless 🙂  The other benefit of unsubscribing is that it exponentially cuts down on the other unwanted marketing emails you receive. Since they sell their lists to others, if you unsubscribe vs. delete, the email address won’t go further and the amount you receive decreases

2. Report Phishing

Per wikipedia, phishing is a way of attempting to acquire information (and sometimes, indirectly, money) such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Communications purporting to be from popular social web sites, auction sites, online payment processors or IT administrators are commonly used to lure the unsuspecting public. Phishing is typically carried out by e-mail spoofing or instant messaging,[1] and it often directs users to enter details at a fake website whose look and feel are almost identical to the legitimate one. Phishing is an example of social engineering techniques used to deceive users,[2] and exploits the poor usability of current web security technologies.[3] Attempts to deal with the growing number of reported phishing incidents include legislation, user training, public awareness, and technical security measures.

Last month it seemed like every day I was getting some new scam and was seeing facebook posts from others who were experiencing the same thing.  One example was from “Delta Airlines” that my tickets were just purchased for my upcoming trip. Thus the bait.. you would want to open the email to respond and complain to someone and there you are “hooked”. They have you. The emails are similar enough to the actual source that it could be real, but they are not. I found a reporting agency that I starting forwarding all those emails to.   It is     Don’t open them; just forward them to this email. They stopped completely in a short apunt of time.

3.  Change passwords.         This came about because I got a message from facebook a few months ago that someone was trying to hack into my facebook account and they suggested that I change my password. Really? Who would want to break into my facebook account and why? No matter, after doing some research I found it was recommended to change your passwords for all your online log ins. This ideally should be done every three months.  I store  my user names and passwords in my blackberry.  I DON”T store any that have to do with money sources.. bank accounts, paypal account, etc.  Only those that are relatively benign.  There are secured sites you can find online that store sensitive  information as another option.

4.  Declutter.    Schedule a time and day in your planner to declutter your inbox and other action items as listed above. It may be one big chunk or a little bit for a week. Preferably schedule a time early in the morning or after a work out or a time for you when you are clear headed. They are in your inbox because you already haven’t dealt with them on the first pass, and it will take tenacity and energy to get it out on the second pass.

This was a recap from the Organize and Energize call on Tuesday May 8. There is a call every Tuesday 11:45 – 12:30. To experience the call live and get the information and discussion first hand join the call!   Please post comments and questions.

Call in # (760) 984 1000

Participant Access Code  789248#

See you on the call! Every Tuesday 11:45 – 12:30.

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7 Ways for 30 minutes in 7 days to jump start Spring energy

3 weeks ago I started  Organize and Energize with Tracy calls from 11:45 – 12:30 every Tuesday. A request was made to post the foundation of these calls 7 ways in 30 minute projects for 7 days to jump start Spring energy. Thank you to Elisa Dolan for the request and holding me accountable to post it.  These are my favorite projects that I have done and some are ongoing for immediate fast results leaving you feeling goooood!

1. Refrigerator.   Clean it out thoroughly like you have never done before. Clean every nook and cranny. Get out the toothbrush. I took my refrigerator apart stripped to an empty box. I didn’t know it could be done. I cleaned out every drawer and shelf with hot water and white vinegar and a little baking soda  for the tough stains. Mind you I have an old GE but you get the point. Group like things together when putting it back. It is so satisfying to find it sparkly clean every time the door opens (which is a lot).

2.  Windows. Wash them, especially corners. Windows are the eyes of the house. Clean windows, new and clear vision.

3.  Medicine cabinet and bathroom closet. Check expiration dates and throw out old stuff. It is amazing how fast it expires. Go through toiletries and sundries and whittle down to a manageable number of products to store on hand. Toss out the cosmetic and mailed samples, hotel shampoos, etc. that accumulate.  Once you are done, you should have half the stuff  or less than when you started.

4.  Weeding.  Weed your garden. I find I get my best ideas when I am lost in a task like weeding. They just appear.  Once it is weeded, then step back and take a look with fresh eyes for new plans.

5.  Purse or wallet. I actually do this daily. Only keep what you really need. Tip from Suze Orman: when organizing money in your wallet, arrange all the dollar bills facing the same way and in denominational order.. your choice higher to lower or reverse. It shows respect for your money, it is in order.

6.  Car.  Wash thoroughly inside and out. Find all those hidden places that stuff stores up. Glove box for one.. I threw out about five years of past insurance cards.

7.  Take one item that is forever on your to do list. Like shopping for a new phone, new car, new insurance plan, etc. Spend 30 minutes on it and 30 minutes only to get the action started.

Please take the challenge and write back results and post how it worked for you. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. We want to hear it all. And please join us on Tuesday calls  11:45 – 12:30.

Call in number  (760) 984-1000

Participant Access Code  789248 #

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Feng Shui in the New York Times

Interesting article in the Real Estate Section of the New York Times, “When Feng Shui Helps Determine a Deals Fate:”

If big business is using feng shui in the decision making process for real estate transactions, why not consider it for your own decisions.  There really is something in the astrology, direction, elements, address and siting of a property. People are investing huge amounts of money using this type of information….

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We must believe, because it is true, that people are affected by their environment. By space and scale, by color and texture, by nature and beauty.

Feng shui is about the connection between people and their environment and solving problems in today’s world using ancient principles. To simplify and declutter. To get people in touch with their true, authentic selves.

To me, feng shui is the study of men and women in their environment. But what is more interesting is that we experience feng shui on all levels, at every minute of the day. Where you sit at a restaurant. Where your bed is located. What color a room is painted. Where a particular plant is placed. We respond to cues around us in both positive and negative ways.

Using feng shui, we can transform the negative energy, the negative cues, to positive ones. There is the possibility of changing an experience, however subtle the change may be.

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Free Flow to Wealth

There is an overwhelming concern about money and  knowing the right thing to do to get it. Read the featured story for the most frequently asked question around wealth. What I have found is the thing to do is follow your passion and trust your intuition… don’t chase money.

A frequent question on the topic of wealth is “Do I need to keep the toilet lid down to protect my wealth?”  It is written and said that it should be left down to prevent the chi from going down the drain.  However, in my experience, I have not seen a direct correlation to loss of wealth, health, or energy due to the toilet lid being left up.

I can tell you from personal and professional experience that plumbing problems can be a sign that loss is occurring.  Specifically, leaky faucets, pipes and running toilets.

 A few months ago the flushing lever to the toilet in my bathroom was sticking and I had to manually lift it up to stop the water running. Annoying, but not yet a hardship to call in a plumber. I did tune in to what was going on in my life.  At the time I was having financial difficulties, namely I was avoiding dealing with some sticky situations. I started paying attention to them and dealing with the incidents that needed to be handled and weeks later the toilet “fixed” itself. The flusher went back to normal.  Additionally, I received a letter in the mail, totally out of the blue, that I am due a judgement settlement from a real estate closing three years ago. Windfall!

 C  had spent months redesigning her apartment based on my feng shui recommendations, with many results. She was dating like crazy. She left a stressful job to explore new possibilities, and in her words was happy like never before. But she had not addressed the leaking bathroom faucet. When she finally called the “super” to fix it, she got a call from her father soon after with a business opportunity and an all expense paid trip to Asia. 

In feng shui, it is all in the flow, literally and figuratively. There is a natural flow to wealth, health, and energy. When there is a breakdown, it can show up literally as a leak.  Then the thing to do is to see where there is a problem and do what there is to do to solve it. Maybe it is time to call in the plumber.

Gratitude is always a chi booster.. so let’s acknowledge all the plumbers out there.  and to complete the cycle, when paying the bill, do it with heartfelt gratitude for generating flow.

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