Transparency in the Process
A great teachers enables you to accomplish you goals. As both a yoga teacher and a professional organizer, I like to not only ‘teach’ yoga poses and organizing techniques to people, but also make the process transparent so that they can see for themselves how they can grow and eventually become their own teacher – for a lifetime!
How Is It Done? What Am I Doing?
There are a few ways this can be done. It is important to first define what it is you are doing. You are working toward a goal whether it be an organizational or physical. The goal may be to maintain organization (something you do after your initial de-cluttering and organizing session) or to learn how to do side angle pose (an semi-advanced yoga pose). Both of these final goals are not quite the easiest for beginners to get to in one step or by themselves, so it is helpful to first take a look at where the individual is in the process. You can do this with a professional organizer or an experienced yoga teacher.
Where Do I Begin?
Let’s ask ourselves the following questions to refine our thoughts above.
1. What’s working?
Are you really good at tossing out junk mail before it piles up or can you hold plank pose for 10-20 breaths to strengthen and stabilize your core? These skills may come in handy as you move toward your goal. Give yourself credit where credit is due!
2. What’s not working?
Do you skip out on shavasana (a final relaxation pose to end a yoga practice) or throw your dressy work shoes in a pile at the bottom of your closet because you aren’t sure what else to do with them? It is important o be honest with yourself and identify your habits.
3. What is most essential to you?
Is it important to you to be ale to locate your left blue flat located somewhere in that pile in the bottom of your closet when you’re already 5 minutes late for your meeting? Do you keep hearing about the benefits of shavasana and relaxation but find that your mind continues to make excuses as to why you don’t need it? What is actually important to you in your life? When we can identify this we have a better chance of refining our goal and accomplishing it.
4. Why do you want to get organized or learn this new yoga pose?
The end goal may never come to fruition if you don’t understand why you want to reach that goal in the fist place. Is it because your friend can do the pose beautifully? Is it because you have been reading organizing blogs and think you ought to be more organized? If this goal is not something that comes from deep inside of you, it may not be worth pursuing.
5. What’s causing the problem or why are you having trouble reaching your goal?
Maybe you don’t think you can actually do it. Maybe you just haven’t really thought about it much or followed the longings of your heart and mind through to the end. Maybe you believe you don’t deserve the benefits that come from accomplishing a new yoga pose or maintaining an organized closet. These reasons may sound silly as you read them but perhaps they ring true on some level deep down.
The First Step
You have to know yourself. Your true and honest intentions and desires will need to shine through before you can understand how to reach your goal. Perhaps you won’t want to reach your goal of doing side-angle pose after you realize you had only wanted to do it because your friend does it. Maybe you realize that you actually don’t mind your shoes being in a pile (except when you’re late, again, because that blue flat has gone missing!). Being radically honest with yourself, your teacher, or your professional organizer is the first step to getting down to business.
The Second Step
Once you have tapped into your own radical intimacy it is time to take action. Devise a plan based on where you currently are in your process. Practice the pose against a wall or try organizing your flip flops by color and style to take small steps towards your goal. See if you can maintain these practices.
Keep Checking In With Yourself
Hold yourself accountable as you travel down the path to your goal. If you know this is hard for you, try asking a friend, teacher, or professional organizer to assist you along the way.
Leave comments below with what you are working on in your life and how you are removing roadblocks to reach your goals!
Control Your Cords
Hey y'all, Francesca here! There's a new product on the market and it's called 'Cord Controller.' The makers of Cord Controller sent us some of their new products to try out, and, after using it in our own home, we want to share the goodies with you (enroll in our contest at the end of this blog to win a free one!). Cord Controller offers solutions for those unruly cords around your home, office and in your life.
As a Professional Organizer, I like the idea of using Cord Controller to help clients contain their holiday lights and their large extension cords (the extra large size would work best here)! I have worked countless times with clients who need assistance in their storage areas or in their garages and there has yet been such an effective, and attractive, solution to contain their tangled cords.
Cord Controller works when you're traveling or on the go, in your home or office (think: technology, garage, kitchen!). The creator of the product visited hundreds of Construction Sites in her former career and says the extra large size would work to control even those huge cords. I really like the color options and have been having fun coordinating the product with my different colored cords!
Size and Color
Cord Controller comes in 5 sizes (extra small, small, medium, large, and extra large) and 6 colors (blue, red, black, purple, pink, and beige). Which means it can work with everything from industrial cords to something as small as iPhone cords - with 5 sizes to choose from, there are a lot of cords that can be organized with a size and color for everybody.
In my line of work, safety in the home and office is something I like to keep in mind. All of us, especially children, can be prone to tripping over cords. Additionally, having many cords in one area can be a fire hazard. The solution? You guessed it: Cord Controller solves this problem and this is invaluable to those looking to transform their spaces not only aesthetically, but functionally. There is also a loop at the top of the product so it can be hung on a hook in the garage, bedroom, or bathroom.
Putting it to the Test
We have tried out this product with all of our various sized cords and we have to say, it's great and it does what it says it does!
When it comes to durability, it's made of a strong, non-elastic fabric. However, it can stretch to wrap a large amount of cord, because it uses an accordion design to create more surface area. Everyone loves velcro. Every size (except for the smallest) uses two strong velcro straps to hold the Cord Controller tight together.
It is very usable. Offices can use Cord Controller for the many wires that can too easily pile up in closets and behind desks. Garages are another place we think of with the many extension cords, elastic straps, and christmas lights.
Finally, the design is great. The different colors can help organize cords baed on their various uses or categories. Cord Controller is easy to use and understand because the design is so simple and user-friendly. Just open it up, place the wire in, and velcro it tight.
Overall, we would give this product five stars out of five, because it is very durable, usable, and makes a good addition to the organized space without adding more clutter.
Win a Cord Controller
I don't know about you all but this past week has mostly been about scribbling out items on my to-do list. With each item scribbled, two or three more were written down on my pink post-it notes and the list went on and on and on.
You know the kind: things that will literally take one minute to do but you have just not been able to get to them. Or things that you have been trying to do over and over again only to find you are missing an important part to completing the task.Read More
Okay, so maybe you'll go a little crazy but here are some tips on not going completely batty or losing track of things that are important- material items and your mind alike.
The details of WHY you're moving around so much from place to place don't necessarily matter. The fact is that your daily life is being interrupted and your normal routine (assuming you have some order to your day) is totally being flipped inside out. For me the end of summer meant transitioning from living in a community where I had lived for the past year and into a new community. Because of the nature of living with others and not having your life and your decisions being completely based on what you would like, sometimes things happen that are out of your control and you have to go along with them and say, 'Okay.' You cannot do anything about the external circumstances or your situation but what you can do is decide how you are going to deal with it. It helps that I do not own many possessions to begin with (I moved out to California with just a suitcase and a backpack after all!). Over the course of the year I have accumulated a good amount of things but all of those items still all fit into a medium sized car. Being an extremely organized person, I was able to successfully make these various transitions almost pain free with a few professional tricks!
During the first move I had various specific projects going on: I had just began a new consulting job online that required me to be available two days a week, I was in the middle of writing two articles for an online blog (not this one!), I was working on getting paperwork together to get a new car put into my name (title, insurance, etc) and I was planning a 5 day yoga retreat that required me to correspond with participants and retreat staff to effectively communicate to ensure all necessary parts were moving as they should. I had a lot of paperwork and written communication to keep track of.
I present to you... the color coded hanging and portable file folder!Read More
Last month we had the pleasure of helping our very first moving clients shift into their new space which doubled as both a home and a massage studio. It was about 100* that day but we were prepared with water and kept in the shade when possible. The end result was so rewarding that we barely minded the heat!
Our clients had been living in Ojai for almost one year in a small one bedroom second floor space that was a work in progress. They had a shared bathroom, kitchen, and outdoor space and their massage business was expanding so they had to find a new space quickly! They needed help packing and loading the truck as well as unloading and organizing their new space - and we were there to help!
In their new space they would have their own kitchen, bathroom, living space, and massage studio space. How exciting! More photos in a future blog on how their beautiful new home and massage studio has turned out :)
Check out some photo's below taken by Zack (except the one he is in!).Read More
It may not seem like a direct connection to you but YOGA and ORGANIZING connect!
Yoga gives you strength and courage to face ‘what is.' This supports your organizing efforts because you are better able to make decisions based on the 'what is' and not an idea of what should be.
Yoga teaches presence. This provides an opportunity for you to be present with your stuff- thus allowing for clarity in decision making.
Yoga can allow you to live in the unknown and be okay with that. It i scary sometimes to think about what it would be like to live without all of the stuff you've always had.
Yoga can be an exercise in letting go. Learning how to let go on different levels can be healing and is a beautiful thing.
Through the practice of yoga it may make items seem less important and personal, thus making it easier to purge and declutter.
Yoga may allow you to be more open or vulnerable to yourself, your things, or your organizer. This only aids in the decluttering process.
Yoga lets you connect with what matters most to you. Why keep that old shirt if you have 10 others that you wear on a regular basis?
Yoga provides opportunity to be alone and okay with yourself. Sometimes a person might be holding on to things because of a deeper issue.
There are probably many more ways that yoga and organizing connect... what do you think?
Close your eyes.
Okay, now you have to open them again to read the next sentence. But - seriously, when we close our eyes we can begin to tune out to certain aspects of what we input and begin to notice other aspects of what is going on within and around us. This is how we will begin a Holistic Organizing session. We do not immediately take a look at your things when we begin our sessions. We do not go into the why, what, where, how of the story of your stuff. We begin by taking a moment, maybe longer, to close our eyes and center ourselves. This lays the foundation for us to work together - by beginning here we start the process together. We are both sitting, eyes closed, taking a moment to connect and center.
Having been teaching yoga publicly and privately for about three years, I have seen first-hand the effect of closing the eyes and looking inward. I have taught two year olds and I have taught 80+ year olds and I have seen that every one can benefit from tuning into themselves and taking a honest step toward centering. By implementing this into holistic organizing sessions we too can accomplish and achieve a 'looking' that will give us a different sense of what it will mean for you to be organized.
Through my yoga training and teaching I have gone through my own journey myself - both of the yoga and organizing nature.
My fascination with the mind-body connection grew and even led me to do an Institutional Review Board approved junior research project in my Experimental Psychology course to end my study in Psychology titled, 'Exercise Consciousness.' I proved through a hands-on control-variable study of my peers and acquaintances that doing yoga postures does effect your outlook on exercise and stress level in measurable ways.
I graduated from college early, in 2009, not due to any amazing feat necessarily, but because I was organized! I worked part time, was the founder and president of two on-campus student groups, and took sometimes up to 21 credits each semester. My point in saying this is that between being a full-time student, a part-time worker, and running two student groups, I still managed to attend two weekly yoga classes, roller skate, and take part in social activities. I figured out early on - over 7 years ago at this point - how to balance the life you want to lead by setting goals and figuring out how to make them happen in your day-to-day life.
This experience supports my holistic organizing business present day. I work individually with people to do the very same thing I did and am currently doing; figuring out what it is that is important to you and taking action.
Personally, I did this by creating excel spreadsheet after excel spreadsheet, color-coded, down to 15 minute increments. I would print out the spreadsheets, hang them right in front of my face over top of my computer (lot's of college papers were written with this spreadsheet in mind!)
This specific tactic may not work for you but there are other methods in achieving your goals. By getting to know your style, preferences, and work habits, together, we can come up with a fantastic way to begin this journey of organizing.
The place where we begin is important. What are your goals? What is happening with you? By closing our eyes and taking a look in a different way we can begin to answer these questions.
I would love to begin by sitting down with you and taking time to tune in. Contact us when you're ready!