Don’t Stress About Moving Day: Plan Ahead!

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Image by slgckgc and licensed through Creative Commons.

Guest post by Paul Benjamin of EZ Storage.

If you’ve just recently bought or rented a new home, then odds are you’re pretty excited. It often takes a long time to find the perfect place to live, and finally finding that place can be a huge weight off of your shoulders. However, there is still a lot to do. If you don’t plan ahead, you’ll find yourself incredibly stressed out come moving day. Be sure to use the following tips to plan out your move ahead of time

  • Create a to-do list – One of the problems that many people experience on moving day is all the things that they have forgotten to do. Sit down and create a to-do list before the day of the move. Some of the things on your to-do list should include changing your address on any subscription and insurance policies, picking up all necessary moving supplies, having all of your mail forwarded to your new address as well as contacting new schools, doctors and banks. You should also plan what day to move that best suits the schedule of you and your family.
  • Packing – There are several things you need to consider when packing. First of all, this is a great time to do a little organizing. Toss or donate clothes, furniture and other items that you no longer need or use. If you are moving into a smaller home, decide whether you need to rent out a storage unit for some of the things you won’t be able to take with you but still want to keep. Make sure that you carefully label each box that you pack for the room they belong in. For example, a box full of dinnerware should be labeled “kitchen”. This will make it much easier to unpack and to find what you are looking for at your new home. Consider creating an inventory list that shows the contents of each box to make finding specific items an easier task. This way you won’t have to dig through ten “kitchen” boxes in search of a can opener.
  • Being Prepared on Moving Day – Make sure everything is packed and ready to go. Create a list of specific moving day to-do items like making sure the thermostat and all appliances are off, cleaning, and checking all of the windows and doors are locked. Make sure that you have directions to your new home and that your car has a full tank of gas. Any valuable personal items should be moved in your car instead of a moving truck. Have your cell phone charged, and have contact numbers for the landlord or manager, storage facility and moving truck company saved.

Use these tips to help your moving day to be as stress-free as possible.

Paul Benjamin is a District Manager at EZ Storage. He’s the type of manager that walks softly but carries a big stick.

5 Items a (Week)day in June Challenge

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Baby sock orphans my daughter is letting go of today.

If you follow my Organization Rules facebook page, you’ll notice a month-long challenge! Each weekday in June, find at least 5 things to release from your life – into the recycle bin, to a charity, a friend, or the trash! My daughter and I will be posting photos of our finds each weekday in June. If you do 5 a day for those 20 week days – that’s 100 items to let go! Who wants to join our challenge?

My S.M.A.R.T. Goal for 2013

How has 2013 been so far for you?  Last week I talked about making S.M.A.R.T. goals instead of resolutions and promised to share one of my goals for 2013.

Last year I set out to create a new positive habit of going through and purging my file cabinet on a regular basis.  It was a fantastic idea for me.  My office feels much more organized and I managed to create at least 2 new feet of space within my cabinets!

This year’s goal will go hand-in-hand with last year’s.  I want to move away from as much paper and have more digital files instead.  One, I think that using less paper is better for the environment.  Two, less space will be used.  Three, my computer will hold all of the information that I need and I can access it anywhere, as opposed to only being in my office.  Four, it will make my taxes much easier to have all my business receipts scanned into the computer.

Let’s make sure this is a SMART goal:

Specific – I will scan in all my business receipts to my desktop computer in a specified folder based on date and type.

Measurable – At the end of each week all receipts will be scanned and shredded.

Attainable – Because I will be approaching my goal on a weekly basis, it will not become overwhelming.

Relevant – This is helping with my paper management with my business, something I want to improve.

Time-Bound – Each week I will scan all the receipts.  I will reassess if this system is working and be willing to be flexible and try a new method.

Do you have any 2013 SMART goals?

 

Happy New Year!

I sincerely hope you and yours have had a wonderful Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Winter Solstice (did I miss any?)!  I loved having all my daughters, son-in-law, and grandson home for the holidays (husband too – but he’s always here).

I’m sitting here at my desk looking at my brand new 2013 calendar.  It’s waiting to be filled with exciting events – conferences, trips, times with friends and families.  It’s also sitting here challenging me to think of what I want to improve in this new year.

Do you set resolutions?  It seems there are two different types of people – those who do every year and those that are vehemently opposed.  I supposed I’d have to place myself in the opposed category because the word “resolution” is too overwhelming for me.  I prefer the word “goal.”  A goal is much more forgiving than a resolution.

How would I suggest setting a goal for yourself?  I love the S.M.A.R.T. goal format:

Using this format, as opposed to an open-ended resolution, your goal is well thought-out, approachable, and has a plan.  Instead of “I resolve to organize my entire house in 2013 and keep it that way” think more in the way of “My goal is to declutter my home, donating at least 100 items to charity in 2013” and then map out a plan for room-by-room.  The more specific you can get, the better!  I’ll be sharing one of my 2013 goals next week – stay tuned!

Two Minute or Less Tasks

A friend and fellow organizer, Patti Kreamer, always says “if it takes less than 2 minutes – do it now!”

What can you accomplish in 2 minutes or less?

  • Place your dishes in the dishwasher
  • Make the bed
  • Put away folded laundry
  • Throw a load of laundry in the washer
  • Wipe off the kitchen counters
  • Delete emails

What you CAN’T do in less than 2 minutes

  • alphabetize all your media
  • turn your living room into a thing of beauty that Martha Stewart would want to be YOU
  • declutter a very cluttered basement

Confession time – no one is perfect, least of all me.  I know you secretly picture my home as a place of complete organization at all times – not exactly true!  I may be a professional organizer, but I’m far from perfect!  I have a habit of leaving my breakfast dishes on the counter instead of placing them in the dishwasher – it would take me only 30 seconds!  It’s something I’m really going to start working on.  I encourage you to do the same – examine your daily routine – what little task could you accomplish in less than 2 minutes?

Imagine this – if everyone took 10 minutes in their day, we could ALL accomplish at least 5 tasks that take less than 2 minutes.  What difference would that make in your home?  In your life?  If you’re struggling to find the time, try the commercial breaks of your favorite tv shows!  I know you can find those 10 minutes!

Procrastination

We’re all guilty of procrastination in some form of another.  (Example…it’s Friday and I’m finally posting this blog entry.)  For many of us, procrastination is a natural part of life.  We have fabulous intentions, make great lists of what we wish to accomplish, but never seen to cross off the items.

Some reasons why we procrastinate:

  • Not enough time to complete the project.
  • The task is difficult or overwhelming.  You don’t know where to start.
  • There are too many emotions involved (example – cleaning through a deceased loved one’s belongings).
  • The task seems unpleasant and there are other things we’d rather do.

How can we overcome procrastination?

  • Make a list of your goals whether they be daily, weekly, or monthly.  Take the list and divide it into manageable chunks.  If you for example want to “clean your entire house” this week, it can seem daunting.  Instead, write out each chore or room and assign it a day.  Instead of one large overwhelming goal, have small mini goals that are achievable.
  • Schedule time to work towards goals on your calendar.  For example in our clean-house example, estimate how long it will take to clean each room.  Bathrooms tend to take about 30 minutes…but schedule an hour in case you take longer than you think.  You’ll be rewarded with extra time to do what you want to do!
  • During your scheduled goal time, ignore phone calls and emails.  Avoid distractions.  Sometimes listening to good music can help keep focused.
  • Eat that frog!  Do the thing you dread to do first (ug, scrubbing those bathtubs).  Sometimes it’s as simple as a pile of papers you’ve been dreading putting away.  In reality, the task probably won’t take as long as you thought…it’s just taking more energy and thought because you’ve been putting it off.  Don’t sit around thinking, “I need to do blank…” – just do it!  It can be empowering to complete a dreaded task.
  • Consider letting old projects go instead of feeling guilty.  Maybe you thought alphabetizing your spices in your kitchen cabinet would be a great idea, but it’s been on your to-do list forever.  Is it really important?  Is it worth scheduling time?  Let go of the project and release the guilt.u must get to work on the sweater, consider letting it go. After elevating it you may feel it is just not worth your time, let it go without the guilt and move on to something else.
  • Reward yourself for accomplishing goals!  After an hour of working on goals, it’s great to take an hour to do whatever you want to do!

The bottom line – overcome procrastination by making a plan and dividing goals into small manageable chunks.  You can do it!  Now…or later!