7 Tips to Tidy Mindfully and Create Space

As this year quickly becomes a memory, I thought I would share some tips that I adapted throughout 2018 as there was a need to keep my place organized. I live in a small studio apartment in Brooklyn, so my space is limited. Before I lived in New Jersey, I had a pretty good job and had a pretty modest sized apartment. I lived there for about two years when everything changed.

Now, I own a studio, a business and I am an independent contractor. I have had a lot of change in my life this year. I was pretty overwhelmed by everything. I tried so hard to stick to a schedule that I could not master. I knew I couldn’t learn it, but I did it anyway…this was a significant failure. I put to much pressure on myself to be this great person of success. So, I thought of a way to compartmentalize my life to keep things organize and to expel the right amount of energy for each part of my life. I call them capsules, but you can call them whatever works for you.

One capsule that I began to put together in 2018 was creating “a quick clean capsule” to help keep myself sane and focus. Today, I am going to share some tips and hacks I learned to keep my tidiness in check.

First, let me say I am not a clean person. I love clutter. I feel that my creativity comes out when I study the little mess in my corner. However, I do not live by myself, and it started to become a problem because I had almost no time to clean. The tiny little clutter space that I cherish quickly became unorganized and in multiple areas. Before I knew it, I was overwhelmed and didn’t want to deal with it.

So, for 2019, I thought why not share these little hacks that have helped this messy person stay a little bit organized and tidy in the home. They generally help keep my life with a little less stress. Hopefully, you will find them useful and can start to use them in your daily routine.

Quick Ways to Stay Tidy

1. Taking Off Your Shoes
This hack has been in my life for quite some time, but I find it very important. Not only does it help to keep your floors a little cleaner but you are not attracting dirt and diseases from the outside.

A study led by researchers at the University of Houston has shown that 26.4% of shoes carry Clostridium difficile, while a 2015 study claimed that 40% of shoes carry Listeria monocytogenes, these are two things you do not want in your house or on your child’s hands. It’s best to keep the shoes in an area that doesn’t affect your home.

2. Clean As You Go – The One Minute Rule
Clean as you go when you are doing things around your home. It really can be applied to many things. For example, you are in the kitchen, and you’re cooking. You’ve got a bunch of ingredients and dishes out on your kitchen table. As you use the ingredients and dishes, try to put them away when you are finished using them. You may cut down your cleaning time and have more time to enjoy your meal.

Usually, when you are doing things as you go, it takes about a minute to a couple of minutes to get them done. An example if this is picking up a pile of paper to recycle when it’s been sitting there for a while. It doesn’t take much effort to move it to the bin. Mostly if a task takes you a minute or less then do it.

Doing these small tasks can help set the tone for the day. I find that it helps create a clean, organized environment. I am not thinking about it anymore, because it’s done. I find it frees up a whole bunch of mental space.

3. Have A Spot For Everything
To have a spot for everything means having a proper space to hold your items, whether its a basket, drawer or even a glass container. For me, this is a great way to keep my area tidy and organized. It also allows me to know where things are because I always keep them there.

For example, I always keep my dog supplies in the same specific drawer so that I never forget where the item is when I need it.

4.You Bring In an Item / You Take an Item Out
This tip means what it states, if you buy an item, you have to discard an item. I use this to be mindful of what I buy, which in turn helps me financially. If I don’t have an item in my home that I am willing to part with, then maybe I can wait or not get it.

It is also useful to practice because you become aware of what you are bringing into your space. You consciously know which things you can then get rid of or donate or sell or whatever it may be to make sure that you are not accumulating more things.

5. Setup a Cleaning Schedule
Have a specified cleaning day of the week. A schedule can vary by the person so you may want to clean your home once a week or you may choose to have a scheduled time or day to clean each room. It’s what fits your schedule.

Having a particular day where you know that it is your tidying day can help to keep you organized and on track. One thing I like to do during a tidy day is setting a timer. If I give myself 10 minutes to wash the floors, it gives me the incentivization to keep going. It pushes me to clean because I have a specific time and I know that I am not going to be doing
this for the next few hours.

6. Assess Your Stuff and Start a Donation Bag
Before you start to donate you need to assess your belongings and this often applies to anything. Regularly evaluating the things that you have by going through your living area once a week or once a month and seeing what you can throw out or donate.

If you have a donation bag or bin handy, it helps to keep you mindful of the stuff you assessed but also the things you may notice while you are going about your day. You may put on a pair of jeans that you don’t like anymore or a book you are finished reading. I find that if I don’t have a bag handy that I’m much more likely to shove it back in my closet or not deal with it.

Having a place to discard your items will encourage you to recycle rather than throwing it away or keeping it. What I like to do is schedule a day to drop everything off at GoodWill or maybe try to sell it. Either way, I am making use of the item until it is out of my hands and into someone else’s hands who can appreciate it.

7. Unsubscribe to Unwanted Emails
In my last blog, I wrote about cleaning out your inbox. I find this important to me because I get a lot of emails and most of it I don’t read or even care about the company or topic.

I am bombarded with emails all the time. In 2018 I start the habit to delete them or unsubscribe to emails that I don’t read. If there is an email that I want to get to I will keep it for a week and if I have not addressed it and seems not essential, in the trash can it goes. It does feel so good not to be overwhelmed by a messy inbox. I have nine email addresses, so this particular trick was a massive help in 2018.

It will take time to clean, especially if you have thousands of emails but take your time. You may find that it is such a relief to be organized and coherent to what your email account holds. Finally, it isn’t just freeing your mind but your electronic memory. Emails take up a lot of space on your computer or phone. You will be surprised at how much memory is recovered by deleting those emails.

So, these are the tips I learned in 2018. I hope they are helpful to you in 2019. I am still working on my tidy organizational skills, but I am a lot better than I was a year ago. I hope that you learned a thing or two.

If you currently follow any of these types of tips or if there are any of these tips that you want to implement in 2019, please share your comment. I would love to know what you do to help keep your space clean and tidy.

Some more article that may help you with your tidying journey:
Is it Healthier to Remove Your Shoes at Home? https://www.wsj.com/articles/is-it-healthier-to-remove-your-shoes-at-home-1491649200

10 Creative Ways to Declutter Your Home
https://www.becomingminimalist.com/creative-ways-to-declutter/

25 Housecleaning Tips to Keep Your Home in Tip-Top Shape Year-Round https://www.mydomaine.com/house-cleaning-schedule/slide6

#howto #tidyup #organizationaltip #cleaninghacks #cleaninnngtip #LIFEHACKS

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What Type of Parent Are You?

Diana Baumrind, a developmental psychologist, noticed in 1967 that parents have basic constructs to raising their children. She saw a pattern within these parenting styles that can directly affect the outcome of the child’s development. Today, we call these the Baumrind parenting styles.

Each child we have are unique. They are different in everything. As a parent, raising each individual child is different. Parents have to be very flexible and able to adapt accordingly to each child and different ages. Although many everyone has their own distinct styles of parenting, there are four main types of parenting.

These four styles are:
Authoritative
Authoritarian
Permissive
Uninvolved

Authoritative parents are reactive to the child’s emotional needs while expecting a high standard or outcome for their child. These type of parents set limits and are very consistent in enforcing boundaries. Authoritative parenting tends to be found in the middle of the level and is said to be a balanced parenting style. Children have a tendency to be more confident and have empathy for others. They also have better self-control.

Authoritarian and authoritative parenting styles may have similar names, but there are differences in how these type of parents raise there child. While both parental methods demand high standards for their children, authoritarian parents will demand blind obedience without being the child much of a reason for their action. These type parents are stern in discipline and often use some kind of punishment to control children’s behavior. Authoritarian parents tend to be less nurturing than authoritative parents as they have the tendency to be unresponsive to their children’s needs. Children have the tendency to lack self-esteem and insecure. They may also some behavior problems.

Permissive parenting style tends to be low in structure and high in reactivity. Permissive parents set very little rules and boundaries. These type of parents are reluctant to enforce rules. These parents are very warm and lenient, as they do not like to disappoint their children. Although it is great to want to make your children happy, there are points in development where the child may possess egocentric tendencies and lack self-control.

Uninvolved parents are low demandingness and low responsiveness. These type of parents do not set firm boundaries or very high standards without indifferent to their child’s needs and are not really involved in their child’s loves. This group of parenting may unwittingly know that they are uninvolved as some in this group suffer mental issues that inhibit them from being involved in parenting properly. Children from this group may experience issues such as feelings of rejection, lack of self-esteem, and problems with trusting others and in the long run, children may be harmed emotionally.

So, which style?

In many longitude studies, researchers found that authoritative parenting is consistently linked to the best results for children. With these studies, it is assumed that the authoritative parenting style is considered the best and most effective parenting style by psychologists and psychiatrists.

This classification of parenting styles has been studied for over 25 years in different countries. Results are generally found in each parenting style.

However, studies are not 100%. There could be factors that make other types of style much more effective. It also depends on each childn’s temperament, personality and culture too. It’s the classic nature verse nurture debate.

So, what do we do with this information? The most critical part of parenting is trying to keep our kid in a safe environment. Its impact on a child is vital.

What parenting tips can you give to help raise a healthy and happy child? Please leave your comments below.

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Holiday Blues or Mistreated Illness? It’s never too late to get help.

Holidays have always been important in my family, especially Christmas. It was the one time of year that everyone around me just seemed to be in a better mood, and though there were little pieces of mood shifts, my anxiety and depression were always more at ease during this time. I love my family. I love the peace that that holidays brought to my family.

However, as I got older and my family got smaller because of death, disconnects or busy schedules and as I result, my mood became lower, and soon, I was not involved in any holiday festivities. I saw no point in celebrating when no one seemed to be into it. I certainly wasn’t.

My spirit died. 

I felt more stressed around the holidays, and instead of looking forward to them, I would anticipate the end of the season. I just wanted to go away and wait it out, be alone in isolation. I put my feelings on others because I couldn’t deal with myself. There was a point in my life that I wanted to divorce myself and not exist.

Deep down, I knew this wasn’t me. I knew I still loved the holidays, but I abstained from celebrating. I couldn’t let myself enjoy the holidays if other people were not happy. I even have my brothers and sisters that celebrate the holidays every year. I could have easily been with them. I just convinced myself that I did not need them and they did not require me to be there. Plus, at some point, during the years, I would have put a damper on to their celebration. I was incomplete with a void that could never be filled. How could a problem like this even be fixed?

I tied for years to “fixed” the problem on my own, but I only made it worse. The best advise I gave myself was to hide away until it was all over. This action was not making me happy. It was making me unstable. I was dying.

So, how did I get out of this dark hidden place?

The answer: I told someone. At first, I got the classic, “well that is silly” and felt invalidated. My mind was too sad to see any humor in their jokes or words of encouragement. I had a real problem going on in my head that didn’t make much sense to why it was an issue. I just wanted to it to go away before I took myself away from the problem a/k/a die.

Determined and finally acknowledging that I could not solve this problem myself, I opened up to others…anyone at one point. I finally found someone who gave me some kind of direction and that direction was to a therapist.

So, I went to therapy. Although, I realized that even with the acknowledgment of my problems, I would need to do my part to make things better. I could either choose to be miserable or start enjoying the simple things. I had to make peace with the guilt I felt for vanishing for so many years. I began to follow CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy), and I was put on anti-anxiety medications.

WIth opening up to my family (how awkward as it felt), following through with therapy, and understanding why I am anxious or get very depressed, I starting to see sparkles of light. I was not ready for the holidays during my first year of therapy, but I made sure to text everyone. Then I got the courage to call a few years later, and now I am finally starting to show up to actual holiday celebrations.

I count my blessings as I remember past memories, old traditions , and now the continuation of developing new positive moments. As I write this, I am listening to Christmas music that gets into my soul, which for the longest time I felt was dead. I started moving forward that year that I asked for help. It was those simple things I thought were lost that began to resurface. I had to acknowledge the new meaning, and I was fortunate enough to realize it before the darkness entirely consumed me. I thank my friend for starting this new chapter.

I will still get depressed, and I know I will get anxious for no reason except that my brain is inclined to do so…but I can manage it. I have my plans to get me through the storms.

Just like the saying goes, sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. For me, turning the negative thoughts into positive or matter of fact type thoughts (thank you CBT) proved to be successful. Now, I can appreciate the holiday season.

I know this is short and there is a lot of backstories to why I am this way, but the point of this short piece is to start somewhere and to not give up. You are your life, and your life is significant, even if it does not feel that way. It is…someone one out there is looking to you. It could be a neighbor, your family, the postman or even yourself. The vital first step is to realize that you have a problem and to express it before it gets any worse. There are many reasons why so many people get depressed or even worse commit suicide. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Here are some numbers if you are in a place that you need help but have nowhere to go:

If you’re struggling, take the time you need today for self-care and reach out to someone you trust. If you know someone who is struggling, reach out to them, get help. I am glad that I did. I would not be where I am today if I didn’t reach out for help.

Thank you.

#holidaydepression #suicide #gethelp #anxiety #depression #holidayblue #mentalillness

What Am I Doing?

If you landed on my page you are probably wondering what is going on with it or you just don’t care, and you moved on.

For 2019, I want to organize my online presence and streamline my life. This year was great, but as my mind has it….I am just all over the place. I am so into and want to do everything that I am only scattered into a million different times, places and beings. What’s my name again?

So, starting today and in the great future, this will be my central location of all things me.  It will take some time to master, and I will be posting my journey into decluttering and altogether life moments.  If you made it this far, great!

Great! Thank you!

Please stick around and read and view some more organized randomness.

Organizing your own boat
Photo by Jayant Kulkarni on Pexels.com

“Clutter is the physical manifestation of unmade decisions fueled by procrastination”   ― Christina Scalise

 

The Holiday Cats – A Story

“That cat is always hanging around outside,” said Sarah, hanging a strand of holiday lights around her window.

“Does she have a collar?” asked her best friend, Trudy.

“I don’t think so. I’m always feeding her. Look, here she comes.” A fluffy black cat wandered onto the patio. She sat and stared at her new friends.

“Here you go,” said Sarah, pulling a pack of treats from her pocket. She placed a few on the ground, while the cat quickly gobbled them up.

“She’s gorgeous,” said Trudy. “I’m sure you could adopt her if you wanted.”

“It’s getting cold out. I’ll try and find out if she has an owner. I’ll ask my neighbors.” Sarah smiled.

“That’s great. I have to run home now. I hope you’ll be okay?” Trudy asked her, with a concerned look on her face.

Sarah looked sad. “I’ll try. It’s quite lonely in the house right now.”

“Hey look, there’s another cat.” She pointed to a pure black cat sitting in the garden.

“Oh, that’s her friend. I call him Kitten.” She went over to pet the cat.

“Okay, I’m on my way. Please call me any time of day or night, if you are anxious or depressed.”

Sarah nodded and smiled. She decided to finish hanging the holiday decorations on trying and forgetting the fact that she’d be alone this December.

The next day both holiday cats showed up on time. They gobbled down the treats she handed them. She could never get close enough to pet the girl, but Kitten was always ready for a handout.

“How did the two of you become friends?” she asked them. “Usually she is territorial.”

Each time they walked away she felt sad. She swept up some stray leaves from her patio and put them in a brown bag. Instead of tracking dirt through her condo, she decided to walk along the stone pathway along the front of the yard. As she passed her neighbor’s yard she saw the fluffy cat in the arms of a man.

“Hello,” she called out. “Is that your cat?”

“Yes, this is Dusty,” he said.

She was crestfallen. She had hoped the cat had been a stray. Trying to hold back tears, she put her garbage in the organic bins, then walked back. On the way back, Kitten ran out and followed her.

As she passed her neighbor’s patio, she noticed he was still there. “Say, is this your cat too?” she asked him.

He shook his head. “No, that’s a stray. I was going to take him to the animal shelter. I’ve been feeding him, but can’t look after two cats forever. My wife passed and it’s been difficult.”

Understanding, Sarah had an idea. “Why don’t I adopt Kitten? She and Dusty get along well. They can keep on visiting.”

The man smiled. “That’s a great idea! I think he needs to be neutered though.”

“I can make arrangements.” She turned and picked up Kitten. He wouldn’t be allowed back outside until he had a visit to the vets.

As she carried him home, she was already starting to feel better. The cats had cheered her up, just in time for the holiday season.

The End.

#cats #catstory #holidaypets #pets #holidaystory

“Little, stop!”

Some Tips For Walking With Your Distracted Puppy

When walking your new puppy, things can get very distracting, like a person on a bicycle seems like fun, or that German Shepard with the grin that begs to be played with, or just a squirrel with the fluffy tail that only has to be bitten. Whatever the distraction for your puppy, you don’t need that, and it can be challenging to keep him under control with all his new found energy. Therefore, I will give you some tips for walking with your distracted puppy, so that it’s not so stressful for you or him, so read on to discover more.

Increasing Distance Or Speed

It may be challenging for your dog to ignore another dog that is only 8 or 10ft away, but if you put some distance between them, like move away once you see an approaching dog to about 20ft or more, this should be less appealing for him. Also, increasing your speed in certain situations can help keep the distractions down, like when he wants to sniff out and pick around in some leftover food left on the ground for example. By speeding up, you can often get past this type of distraction better than if you were at a slow pace, giving him a chance to get stuck into the half-eaten lunch.

Get A Super Treat

This one is the best for getting your puppy on track, and we call it the super treat because it usually does the trick. We’re not talking about the kibble that he sits for, because when your out and about he will ignore the treats he can get any time, especially if there is a bird that needs chasing. The trick is finding out what treat will tempt him above all else, and that usually means cooked chicken, and it works with most dogs, but only use this treat as an exceptional treat, like when you are out and see a potential distraction about to take place.

Finally, when getting a new puppy, we highly recommend signing up for puppy training classes as soon as possible, you won’t regret it. Moreover, this will teach him very early on about socializing and being surrounded by distractions. Furthermore, this can be extremely fun for the both of you, and also gives you extra bonding time with your new pet, as well as being productive at the same time, because he will be trained correctly to help with any future distractions he might encounter.

#puppytraining #dogtips #dogwalkingtips #dogwalking