How To Meal Plan Like A Pro

Are you like most people, too tired at the end of the day to even think about preparing a healthy meal?

Have you lost your creativity in the kitchen?

Would you like some go-to dishes that every family member will gobble up?

Watch this short video on How To Meal Plan Like A Pro and then follow Getting It Togethers’ Top 5 Tips

Tip 1: Organize your kitchen. There’s nothing worse than trying to prepare meals in a disorganized cluttered kitchen. How can you get anyone to help you if they don’t know where the items are and you don’t know where they are? Set aside time to donate all the kitchen items you’re no longer using. Clear out all the expired food items in your pantry and fridge. Put all non-kitchen items in their proper place.

Tip 2: Clean all surfaces. Kitchen counters are not designed to be a dumping zone. Make sure all counters are scrubbed down and your kitchen is ready for food prep. Be sure to also clean as you go. There’s nothing worse than a big mess to clean up after a nice meal.

Tip 3: Select your top 10 favourite meals. Things that the whole family will enjoy. Is it stew, pasta, fajitas or chicken casserole? Most households rotate their top 10 meals throughout the course of the month. Look over the recipes and see what items you need to purchase and make your shopping list. IMG_4160

Tip 4: Prepare in bulk. When you bring home your fresh produce, wash it, cut it up and put it in containers. This saves precious time when it comes to meal prep. Select a two-hour slot in your week where you can cook in bulk and freeze. Maybe you could make a huge pot of pasta sauce and your neighbour could make a big stew and you can share. Cooperative cooking.

Tip 5: Clear the clutter from your mind. Once the clutter is cleared from your mind, it makes room for creativity. This doesn’t mean you have to cook like a French chef, it just means your mind is open to put together a healthy meal for your family. Consider deep breathing on the way home from work or a walk with a friend or spa like music.

PS: Would you rather not cook at all? One of my new services is to come into your home and prepare healthy meals for you and your family. Contact me for all the details. www.gettingittogether.ca

How To Conquer Procrastination Once And For All – Part II by Rowena List of Getting It Together

Procrastination is the intentional and continual postponement of a task that should be done now. Chronic procrastinators can have a negative impact on productivity not only their own but within a corporation.

Do you put off important tasks?

Is the stress of procrastinating getting to you?

Check out this short video and then read on for Getting It Togethers’ Top 5 Tips on How To Conquer Procrastination Once And For All – Part II.

Tip 1: Make a list of all the things you have been procrastinating about. Beside each item estimate how long each task will take. Break the tasks into bite-size pieces and then schedule time in your calendar to work on these tasks. The way to work around procrastination is if you treat these task as though they are equally as important as seeing your dentist or medical specialist.

Tip 2: Get help. You don’t have to do everything yourself. What tasks can you delegate? For example, doing your taxes.

Tip 3: Eliminate perfectionism. Recognize that good is good enough and that it’s better to get it done then to delay until it can be perfect. Let’s face it, nothing is perfect, no one is perfect and life certainly is not perfect. Don’t put yourself on a guilt trip if you do procrastinate once in a while. After all, you’re not perfect.

Tip 4: List the advantages of doing the task and compare them with the consequences of not doing it. This should help light a fire under you to stop procrastinating once and for all.

Tip 5: Don’t wait until you have more time; you will probably have no more time in the future than you have right now. Have you ever talked to someone who has retired? They always wonder how they ever had time to work. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, it’s how we spend them that counts. Procrastination is the thief of time. Don’t let it rob you of your precious moments. IMG_4999

PS: If you didn’t get a chance to read part 1, grab a coffee and read it here

Top 5 Getting It Together’s Organizing Mistakes

It’s well into the New Year and you’re bound and determined to get organized once and for all.

What are some of the stumbling blocks you come across?

Is it staying focused?

Is it setting aside enough time?

Or is it some of these common organizing mistakes listed below?

Check out this short video on the Top 5 Organizing Mistakes and then read on to get more tips.

Mistake #1: Thinking that out of sight means out of mind. If your home is organized and your life is organized then chances are your mind will be organized, which means you’ll know what’s in your cupboards, attic and crawlspace. Keep in mind that less is more. You can’t have everything in view or your place will be overwhelmingly cluttered. You need a place for everything and everything in its place.

Mistake #2: Putting the cart before the horse. Quite often people will go out and purchase several storage containers thinking that this will get them organized. Just as a treadmill doesn’t make you fit unless you use it the same is true with storage containers. Don’t buy any containers until you’ve done all the purging and know what needs to be stored. You’ll then know how many containers to purchase and which size will work best for your area.

(as you can see in the pictures, this repurposed wooden structure was turned into a shoe rack once we knew the 1number of shoes needing to be stored.)

Mistake #3: Not having a proper to do list. To do lists need to be broken down and assigned a verb. Look at your weekend ahead and write organize garage on your Saturday to do’s. Saturday morning arrives and this task looks so overwhelming that you don’t know where to start. So, you don’t. You go for coffee with a friend instead. The best and only tactic is to break down the job of organizing into bite-size pieces and assign a verb. For example. Recycle paint in garage. Toss out all broken sports equipment in garage. Repair shelving unit in garage.

Mistake #4: Thinking that everything has to be perfect. Kiss perfection goodbye and instead use KISS which equals keep it simple sweetie. Highly organized people have a huge value on time and how they spend it. Prioritize and get started. Don’t wait for everything to be perfect in your life before you clear the clutter.

Mistake #5: Not assigning a specific time to a task. It’s important to know or at least guess how long a specific task will take. For example: recycling the paint needs to get into the car and be driven to the local depot. Will this take approximately 30 minutes? Tossing out all broken sports equipment might take 15 minutes. When you’re doing your to do list also assign a time frame beside each task. And be sure to book these tasks in your calendar when you have the most energy. Are you a morning person or a late afternoon person? Do you need to have your favourite music on? Or do you need to be working alongside a Professional Organizer in order to get the ball rolling?

PS: Getting and staying organized is not a one-time thing. It is a daily commitment to at least 15 minutes. Do you need a power partner? If so, check out our coaching programs which are designed especially for you. www.gettingittogether.ca

By |February 20th, 2019|Articles, Home Organization, Organizer, Time Management, Videos|0 Comments

How To Have A Balanced Life Once and For All

Wouldn’t it be great if you had a balanced life all the time?

As you strive for that balanced life and ultimately get it, there may be times when things are a little out of whack or not balanced at all. How do you cope in those times?

Know that your unbalanced life can be temporary if you check out this short video on “How To Have A Balanced Life Once and For All”  then read on for Getting It Togethers’ Top 4 Tips

Tip 1. Get More Organized Personally

Is that easier said than done? What about streamlining your home and getting it more organized? It takes 40% less time to clean an organized home. How would you spend that extra time? Look for ways to simplify. For example, IMG_4119making a big pot of stew at the beginning of the week or keeping meals easy and simple. Also, setting a weekly meal plan and doing one big grocery shop a week can be a big timesaver. Do your shopping when the grocery store isn’t busy like before 10:00am in the morning or after 7:00pm at night. Better yet, shop online and have it delivered.

Tip 2. You Don’t Have To Do It All Yourself

Resist the urge to do it all yourself. Delegate some tasks or temporarily giving up some activities that aren’t serving you at this time. For example, volunteer activities might have to be put on hold. You can always go back to these events once your temporarily unbalanced lifestyle is back on track. Be sure to give people plenty of notice so they can fill your position.

If you really want some extra time and relief why not hire a housekeeper. Just think of all the things you could be doing while your home is being cleaned.

Tip 3. Down Time Is Key

Everyone needs down time and relaxation time. Down time means sitting and reading a book, going for a massage, having a bubble bath or getting a manicure.

TV is one of the biggest time busters. Even with PVR. Did you know that a half hour show is really only fifteen minutes; the rest is commercials! How much are you watching? The average person is watching between 2-4 hours a day! Keep track in a week; you might be surprised. While you’re at it, keep track of how much time is spent on Social Media. This is another big-time buster and for what?

Tip 4. Remember Your Life Goals

Whether your life is balanced or unbalanced at this time, here is a great question to ask yourself when doing any FullSizeRendertask: “Is this contributing to my life goals?” If the answer is “yes”, then keep on doing it. If the answer is “no”, then delegate it, dump it or deal with it. Keep in mind to always be fair, firm and friendly, especially when delegating.

PS: Using a weekly plan sheet which is colour coded will give you more balance. Have you got yours? If not, Contact me at www.gettingittogether.ca or contact me directly at rowena@gettingittogether.ca I will get back to you.

You can even have a lesson on how to use it by booking a FREE over the phone discovery call.

A balanced, organized life is a happy life. Give yourself that gift.

By |December 17th, 2018|Articles, Blog, Home Organization, Organizer, Time Management, Videos|0 Comments

What Everybody Ought To Know About Staying Motivated

Do you find yourself drifting off while working on a project?

Are there things you need to do in your home but simply don’t get around to it?

Have you lost your get up and go?

None of us can be motivated 100% of the time. It’s only natural to have some slumps. So, when those slumps hit, you need to have a plan in place to get you through.

Check out this short on “What everybody ought to know about staying motivated” then read on for Getting It Togethers Top 10 Motivational Tips.

Tip 1: Make a resource list. Who can you call on when you’re not feeling motivated to get the job done? Everyone needs a cheerleader in their corner. Pick one or two trusted friends who will give you that much needed kick in the butt when you need it most. And who knows, maybe you’ll be a person someone calls on when they need motivating.

Tip 2: Know your WHY. When you know WHY you are doing something or WHY you need to do something it’s easier to get and stay motivated. Make a list of the reasons WHY you want to get in shape, or the reasons WHY you want to get organized. This will help give you a jump start on getting going.

Tip 3: Visualize the process. See yourself at the finish line. That might be the finish line of a work project, a home project or a fitness goal. How will you feel once you’ve completed the task/goal?IMG_2107

Tip 4: Be kind to yourself. You’re never going to be motivated 100% of the time. Give yourself some slack if you have a day or two where the stars are not aligning. Practice kind self-talk. You can pick up where you left off tomorrow.

Tip 5: Replace words like “have to” “should” and “must” with empowering words like “want to” “get to” and “choose to”.
Example: I have to get organized or I’ll continue to waste time.
Replace with: I choose to get organized so I’ll have more time with family and friends.

Tip 6: Set a timer. We all work better with deadlines. Give yourself five minutes on social media and then start the task that you “choose to” do – not “must” do.

Tip 7: Reward yourself. Once you have completed the task you’ve been putting off, reward yourself with a nice glass of wine or a cup of your favorite tea.

Tip 8: Break your tasks down. The best way to stay motivated is seeing the project in small bite size pieces. IMG_2113Can you break the tasks down into 15-minute increments? We can all stay motivated for 15 minutes. And then another 15 minutes and so on.

Tip 9: Put all distractions on pause. Turn off anything that beeps, chirps or chimes while working on a task that you’re choosing to complete. Every distraction robs you of 20 minutes or more. Interruptions are the thief of time.

Tip 10: Just do it. Imperfect action is better than perfect procrastination. Just get started and watch the miracles unfold.

PS: Sometimes we need a little push or an accountability partner. This is where coaching is so magical. Have you taken advantage of your free 15 minute over – the – phone discovery session?
Contact www.gettingittogether.ca to book yours today.

PPS: Has life taken over and can’t seem to stay organized? Or perhaps you can’t part from gifts that were given to you but you either don’t like or have no use for? Check out this podcast that I was recently a guest on for some great tips https://www.francescaanastasi.com/podcast/getting-it-together

By |November 20th, 2018|Articles, Self Care Organization, Time Management, Videos|0 Comments

How To Create New Habits For Staying Organized

A habit is defined as a recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behaviour that is acquired through frequent repetition.

Most habits are harmless however we all have a few we wish we could change.

What are yours?

The act of staying organized requires some skill, dedication, determination, desire, discipline and creating new habits.

It’s easy enough to clear the clutter but how are you going to keep your space that way?

Habits! Good habits.

With these simple steps you’ll be able to create the new habit of staying organized.

Are you thinking this is easier said than done?

Check out this short video on “How To Create New Habits For Staying Organized” then read on for
Getting It Togethers’ Top Four Tips

Firstly, staying organized needs to be a massive goal. You need to have big reasons for wanting to stay organized.

What are yours?

Please leave them in the comment box below.

Some of the top reasons for staying organized are; to have more time, less stress and more money. For others it might be to release the constant overwhelm of not being able to find what they are looking for in a timely manner and for some it might be the need to release the embarrassment and shame.

Next you need to be really specific about your plan of action for staying organized.

My clients that are the most successful in this department are the ones who follow the “15 minutes to freedom” techniques I coach them on.2

Once your space is completely organized, take 15 minutes per day to keep it that way. Tidy as you go and be mindful about what you bring into your cleared space. Have a place for everything and everything in its place.

Thirdly, think about the consequences of not keeping this new habit. Write out the ways your life will be negatively affected if you don’t follow the “15 minutes to freedom technique.”

And write out the ways you will feel by keeping this new habit.

When the WHYS are big enough, the how’s seem to take care of themselves.

Finally, you must commit to this new lifestyle, this new habit. Implement the four D’s. Dedication, determination, desire and discipline. Self -discipline is not inherited – it’s created, nurtured, and developed daily. Self – discipline comes with a desire to forget what happened yesterday, be the best you can be today, and expect great things from tomorrow.

PS: Do you need to have an accountability partner or some coaching in order to get started and stay on track? If so, contact us today at www.gettingittogether.ca for a FREE 15 minutes to freedom call.

Top 5 Tips To Getting And Staying Organized

Do you long to be more organized?1

Have you ever wondered why some people are organized while others are not?

Why some people have the natural talent of getting and staying organized and some people don’t have that natural talent.

The great news is that you can learn the skills it takes to get and stay organized.  It might mean working with a professional organizer for a period of time to gain the skills and habits.

Check out this short video….

Read on for Getting It Togethers’ top 5 tips to getting and staying organized.

What area of your home is bugging you the most? Start with this area to de-clutter, purge and sort. Take 15 minutes and use these tips below to finally get organized and keep it that way!

Tip #1: Purpose. Pick up one item and ask yourself this question ”what is the purpose of keeping this?”  If it is a teapot and you make and drink tea everyday then you know the purpose of keeping it.

If for example it is a T-shirt from high school all torn and the wrong size then what is the purpose of keeping it? I know what you’re thinking “well I loved high school, I had so much fun in high school…” Keep the memory and toss the T. (Take a photo of you wearing the T- shirt if you really must).

Tip #2: Value. What is the value of keeping that particular item?  Storage lockers are one of the fastest growing businesses in North America.

Do you have items in a storage locker?

Are the items taking on any value by being in there? Most people do not even know what is in their lockers yet they 2continue to pay the monthly bill.

Maybe it is time to sort through these items and ask yourself “what is the purpose and value of keeping them.” Once your locker is empty you could put that extra money towards a trip, donations or home renovations.

Tip #3: Ruthless. It is so important to be ruthless while clearing the clutter and getting organized.

This is where lots of people get stuck, because everything you touch has a story attached to it. You have emotional attachments to your things. As a Professional Organizer I don’t have the same attachment to your things. I have an attachment to the outcome. This is why I can support you in moving forward.

I know how much better you will feel once your home is organized. I know how much more time you will have. You’ll have less stress too!

Tip #4: Stop. This is where a new habit will be formed. You will need to stop bringing items into your home. Don’t buy items unless you really need them. Don’t buy because it’s on sale. Or because you think you might need it “one day”.

Ask family and friends to please stop buying you things unless it’s something you really need and will use.  The best gifts are consumable. Fancy teas, coffee, candles, spa packages, dinner gift certificates and so on. I made a deal with all of my friends and family members. We create memories together instead of buying things. It sure makes gift giving a lot less stressful and way more fun.

Tip #5: Faith. Have faith in yourself. Have faith knowing that the things you need will always be around you when you need them. Have faith that if you pass something on you will not need it “someday”. Someday is not a day of the week.

It is so disempowering to think that you might need it, “what if I need it, maybe I will need it.” When you are clear on your future direction you will not want to live in the past.

Getting and staying organized takes time. The first time you start you might not be as ruthless as the second and third time. Remember, it took many years to get disorganized. It will not get organized overnight. It is like peeling back the layers of an onion. Each time you de-clutter you peel back another layer.

We have room for 2 more coaching clients at this time. Grab your spot today by contacting us at www.gettingittogether.ca

By |August 16th, 2017|Blog, Home Organization, Organizer, Time Management, Videos|0 Comments

How To Conquer Procrastination Once and For All

Saying “I don’t have time” is like saying “it’s not a priority”.

How many years of income tax returns do you have that are still not filed? Until the cost of not filling in those forms and sending them off is greater than doing it, you will continue to procrastinate.

Are you driving yourself crazy, wasting precious time thinking about the task by putting projects off over and over again?

Are you a last minute person? How’s that working for you?

Procrastination can come in many different disguises but it always includes waiting until the last possible moment to do something.  Most people feel stressed in these situations and the people around them are usually feeling stressed as well. They generally feel bad about themselves and their actions.

You are not alone.  Most people struggle with procrastination at least some of time (if not most of the time).If a task is not of interest or importance it can be easy to procrastinate however what is that costing you?

Watch this short video and then check out Getting It Togethers Top 5 Tips on How To Conquering Procrastination Once And For All

Tip#1 Getting and staying motivated.

Set a specific goal or a desire to succeed. A must vs. a should. Ask a friend or family member to join you in this new journey of not procrastinating. Sign up for a free daily motivational email to remind you of your goal or do you need to work with a coach to get you on track?

Tip#2 Set deadlines.

Setting realistic deadlines are important in getting out of the procrastination hole. Deadlines provide you a sense of 1urgency.  Meeting deadlines will also help you in getting and staying motivated. You’ll feel good about yourself once you have met the deadline. Harnessing these good feelings will help you to want to continue in succeeding. And then you can reward yourself with a fancy coffee

Tip#3 Take one step at a time.

Break your “to-do’s” down into smaller manageable steps/tasks. When you start to see some progress, or your list becoming smaller, you will want to continue on and will have the motivation to keep going.

Tip#4 Focus on your goals and tasks.

Focusing on one task or goal at a time is a major point when you are clearing the clutter and getting organized.  Craft a “master to-do list” of all the things you would like to accomplish, and then break it down into smaller, more manageable “to-do’s”. Begin with what is most important and those items only you can complete. Notice if there are some items on your list that you can delegate. Set actual tasks in your calendar. For example if you need to do your taxes, set aside one hour to collect all the information needed. Once you have completed that task, set aside another block of time to fill in the tax return form.

Ask yourself:

How does completing this task contribute toward my long term goals?

What issue do I have with this task and not completing it?

What actions do I need to take to accomplish this task?

Tip#5 Getting organized.

This is my favorite tip of all. It is a challenge to work or live in a disorganized space. Being disorganized can lead to a feeling of being overwhelmed, of stress, and that feeling of wanting to give up. Being disorganized is the number one factor in procrastination. When you have systems in place and know where everything is, you will see how much better you feel about doing your taxes on time, your projects or finishing your goals.

PS: Do you need an accountability partner? Check out our coaching/mentoring program. Maybe it is what you need to get yourself started on the right track www.gettingittogether.ca/services

By |July 12th, 2017|Blog, Home Organization, Organizer, Time Management, Videos|0 Comments

How to Plan a Successful Road Trip

Depending on where you live and what activities you like to do you might be able to take road trips throughout the year.

Road trips can be filled with adventure. It certainly gives you total freedom to come and go as you like.

You might see a beautiful place to stop for your lunch break or you might be in a place that does not offer what you are looking for so you push on.

Whatever your fancy, you’ll want to follow these guidelines for a successful road trip.

Watch this quick video and then read on for Getting It Togethers check list

Checklist for a successful road trip:

  • Find out the goals and wishes of everyone who is going on this road trip. Try to accommodate most of them. For example: Do you want to drive for at least 8 hours a day? Do you want to take your time and only see what you see and not worry about the rest? Do you want to hit every “In and Out” burger place in town?
  • Have a master list of the items you need for your road trip. Surfboard, skis, golf clubs, bike, certain clothing etc
  • Make sure your car is in good condition, oil has been check and spare tire in good working order
  • Take your driver’s license, passport if crossing borders, up to date car insurance and registration, roadside assistance card and maps. Google might not work in every small town.
  • First aid kit
  • A blanket, pillow for those spur of the moment naps or road side stops under a nice tree
  • Spare set of car keys that are not left in the car :)
  • A garbage bag for those coffee cups or car snacks
  • GPS
  • A couple of things to entertain the kids. Like maybe a favorite toy, book or movie
  • Portable cooler with water, drinks, snacks and ice packs
  • Hand wipes and TP
  • Motion sickness pills
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses and beach towel
  • Wear comfortable clothing and wrinkle free
  • Your favorite music
  • For safety I suggest you post on social media after your trip not before.
  • For peace of mind, have a friend or neighbour check on your place while you are away.

Most important to keep in mind, this is your vacation time, family time, so make it as stress free and fun as possible. Safe travels.

PS: For those of you who have enjoyed several successful road trips please leave your comments in the box below. Your tips and additions will be helpful to others. Thank You

By |May 23rd, 2017|Blog, Organizer, Time Management, Travel Organiztion, Videos|0 Comments

How to Organize Your Inbox

How would you feel if you turned on your computer and your inbox was empty? Most people would feel relief. The reason being is that most people feel so overwhelmed by the volume of emails in their inbox.

What is your comfort level when it comes to emails?

Do you feel out of control if you have 15 unanswered emails in your inbox?  Do you feel overwhelmed if you have 50? Knowing your comfort level will help you with managing your inbox.

Check out this short video on “How to Organize Your Inbox”

Why not give these top 5 Getting It Together tips a try and see if you can tame your inbox…….even just a little

Tip#1 Exercise control. To be the most productive check emails 2-3 times per day at most unless your job requires otherwise. Pick the same time each day so your clients/friends will know when to expect a reply. I recommend checking your emails at noon and again at 4pm. If you check your emails first thing in the morning it is very easy to get sidetracked. Most important turn off email notifications. The email notification is like a dog with a bone. You hear it and feel like you MUST respond. Stay focused to the tasks you are working on and check those emails only twice a day.

Tip#2 Unsubscribe. Take a close look at all the newsletters you subscribe to. Are they relevant to your life right now?   Set up a “to read” folder for all other newsletters you enjoy and find helpful. ( Like this one :)) Immediately move them from your inbox to your folder. OR set up a RRS feed in Google Reader. Put a filter to go straight “to read”. Give yourself a time limit. If you have not read those newsletters in a month then delete. It means you probably will not get around to reading them. We all have the best of intentions. Life gets busy and time flies. One of the best things about being portable is you can read your newsletters on a plane, while waiting for a Doctor’s appointment or on a beach.

Tip#3 Action Folder. Create an action folder. Move emails that need your action into this folder. These are not important or urgent emails. Take a few minutes a day and deal with each email. Do not look at it if you cannot deal with it right away. Can you delegate any of the “actions?”

Tip#4 Important Folder. Pick the top 8-12 most important emails and move them to this folder. Deal with these right away. Having them in a folder will help with not getting side tracked. Once you have dealt with those 8- 12 then move another 8-12 over and deal with them. Some people like to colour code their emails. This can look cluttered and again it is easy to get side tracked. I do however always highlight my most important emails in red.

Tip#5 New Policy.  Every new email that comes in will follow this new policy of being filed.  Let people know you will only be checking emails 2 – 3 times per day and that you will get back to them in a timely manner unless your job/personal life requires different. Only look at emails when you have the time to deal with what is inside that email. Take a few minutes each week and clear/clean out your inbox of any unwanted not needed emails. It is no different than tossing out the mail you have read. A cluttered inbox can mean a cluttered mind.

Ask friends and family to take you off their “joke” list. Yes it is fun to receive jokes however it is so easy to get sidetracked. A time buster at its best.

If you absolutely love getting jokes then set up a folder. Read them at the end of the day, on your coffee break or on weekends.

80% of what we file never gets looked at again!!

Keep you outgoing emails short and to the point. One subject matter per email. Be sure to change the subject line if you have changed subjects in a reply. I like to give as much information in the subject line as I can. For example: “Inbox training/tips “or “You are invited to dinner on July 22/16 at 7pm” This is helpful for filing purposes and quick referencing.

What’s great about being organized is you have more time to enjoy these finer things in life.
How would you spend your extra time? Please leave a comment in the box below.

PS: Are you still feeling overwhelmed by the volume of emails? If so, grab your FREE over the phone consultation.

Book now at www.gettingittogether.ca

By |April 18th, 2017|Blog, Home Organization, Organizer, Time Management, Videos|0 Comments