June 17, 2018
My second big announcement from the Organize 365 National Convention is the exciting news that we are going to have Paper Organizing Retreats! That’s right, you can literally pack up all of your paper into boxes, travel to Cincinnati, and organize your paper during a productive weekend retreat with key members of the Organize 365 Team – how awesome is that? I’m so excited! I’ve wanted to start these Paper Organizing Retreats for years. When I began Organize 365 in 2012, I knew I needed to launch a unique organizing retreat where people could bring their paper and organize all of it (while listening to some great music and snacking on delicious food as we go) – it was the PERFECT plan. But it took six years to turn that vision into a reality, and in many ways, I’m glad it took so long because now I’m 100% sure that I’ve come up with the best products, best structure, and the best team possible. After six years of long hours and lots of hard work, we have finally done it! Organizing Paper Is Hard Organizing paper isn’t the most exciting thing in the world, especially if you aren’t a passionate organizer. At home, it’s easy to get distracted and procrastinate, which is why it’s such a good idea to join one of my Paper Organizing Retreats where you can focus and actually get work done. But one of the main reasons to attend a retreat like this is so you can have the opportunity to ask questions to professional organizers. You’ll know exactly what you’re doing, and you’ll be able to avoid shredding a file that you really shouldn’t have because, unfortunately, there are no time machines when it comes to organizing paperwork! The REAL Reason For My Paper Organizing Retreats Yes, I like to help people organize their paper, and I love the community of organizers we have here at Organize 365 and the Sunday Basket®. BUT there is a deeper, more personal reason why I decided to launch these retreats. When my kids were young, they got a lot of different diagnoses including things like autism, ADHD, bipolar, food sensitives, and so on. And you know what? It was so overwhelming! I soon transformed into a protective mama bear. I was determined to know as much as possible about their conditions and I’m sure a lot of mothers who find themselves in similar situations do the same thing. Who can blame us? Whenever we receive unexpected news like a medical diagnosis or a sudden death in the family, it’s like your entire world comes crashing down. One minute, you’re sailing through life, the birds are singing, and your only concern is what you’re going to cook for dinner. And then BANG, you hear some terrible news. Then you’re devastated and left with all this paperwork you didn’t even know existed. I know that feeling all too well, which is why I wanted to create the Paper Organizing Retreats to help reduce stress at a time in your life when you feel like everything is just falling apart. Getting Organized On The Retreat On a more light-hearted note, when you attend the retreat, you’re guaranteed to leave a lot more organized than you were when you arrived! If you’ve got your hands on one of the new Friday Workboxes that have just been released for your home-based business, you can take it with you to the retreat and get stuff into it. The Friday Workboxes can really help you to get an effective system in place so you have more structure and direction to take your business that extra step further. The retreat begins at 9 am on Saturday morning. When you arrive, you’ll have your own organizing table which includes a shredding bag and a recycling bag. You’ll spend a lot of time during the first half of Saturday going through your paper and organizing them into three piles: shredding, deleting, and the keep pile. Everything you want to shred can go into the shredding bag, the paper you want to recycle can go into the recycling bag, and the rest of the paper is what you’ll need to focus most of your time and energy into organizing. You can then begin to organize your paper into the Organize 365 binders, slash pockets, or the Sunday Basket®. You can either bring your own items with you, buy them from the Organize 365 Store, or pre-order your products in advance and have them available at your seat when you arrive at the retreat. The Paper Organizing Retreat Team I’m excited to introduce you to three of the key members of this retreat team! First up, we have Janet Davis. You may have heard me mention her in previous podcasts because she’s just amazing and she’s going to be helping me run the Paper Organizing Retreats. She is our lead Paper Organizing Retreat Planner, and we’ve known each other for over 17 years. The second team member I want to mention is my sister, Emily Kelly. Emily is the Marketing Director of Organize 365, so she’ll be at the retreats helping you to organize your paperwork into the binders. Last, but not least, we have the Organize 365 Sunday Basket Club Queen, Monique Horb. Monique is a huge fan of the binders, and she’s also a Sunday Basket® Certified Organizer. She knows absolutely EVERYTHING about the binders and will be more than happy to help you organize your paper during the retreat. Each member of the team is HIPPA certified, so you don’t need to worry about that side of things when you’re organizing private papers and documents at the retreat. I’m so excited about the Paper Organizing Retreats! It’s going to be a fantastic opportunity to meet more of you AND it gives you the chance to really dive into your paper organizing like never before! If you want to find out more about the retreats, head over to! And follow me on Instagram to see my posts and stories! Get your Complete Sunday Basket with On Demand Workshop here!
June 10, 2018
It’s finally time to talk about the NEW Friday Workboxes! I’ve worked on the Friday Workboxes for a very long time (and by that, I mean three years), so I feel like they’re more than ready to go out into the world and start changing people’s lives! If you want to take a trip down memory lane with me and travel back to around two years and four months ago, that was when I first introduced the idea of a Friday Workbox with you. Time flies, huh? It may have taken a few years to get here, but it took that long to make sure the Friday Workboxes would be as awesome as possible. And as the saying goes, it’s “better late than never,” right? Friday Workboxes Are For Home-Based Businesses Are you an entrepreneur or the owner of a home-based business? If you are, the Friday Workboxes are PERFECT for you! There are four Friday boxes available, including a box for: Direct Sales Home Schooling Entrepreneurs Teachers (this one will be available July 1st) If you’re familiar with the Sunday Basket® system, navigating your way around the Friday Workbox will be a piece of cake. They share some similarities such as the use of the 1.0 and 2.0 Slash Pockets, but they also differ regarding their use and purpose. The Friday Workbox is a complete system and costs $150. You can’t buy each part of the box individually, but you can make your own workbox with materials from the Organize 365 Store, if you prefer. But I would advise that you save yourself the hassle and go for the complete Friday Workbox to get the most out of your investment. Friday Workboxes Vs. Sunday Baskets® : What’s The Difference? You’re probably wondering how the Friday Workbox differs from the Sunday Basket®. When you think of the Sunday Basket®, what pops into your head? Bills, letters, medical information, finances, and everything in between, right? The Sunday Basket® is built for organizing the home, and everything that’s connected to that is kept in your Sunday Basket®. The Friday Workbox, on the other hand, is all about organizing your home-based business or “passion project.” The NEW Golden Hour – (Friday at 2pm) I’ve designed the Friday Box to be done on a Friday at 2pm. That’s very specific, I know. Of course, you can do the Friday Workbox at any time of the day. But if you’re anything like me, you want to be done with work by 2pm on a Friday! You’ll need at least one hour to work on your Friday Workbox. As you’ve probably heard me say before, for every minute you spend planning, you GAIN five in execution. So, if you spend just an hour planning, you’ll save yourself five hours next week – how awesome is that? Reviewing The Week & Planning Ahead Some of you may still be thinking, “But why choose a Friday?” and I have two reasons: When I do the box on a Friday, I can review the week and plan for what needs to be done the following week. It gives me a clear perspective and saves me a lot of time when Monday morning rolls around again. I don’t like to work over the weekend. I’d rather respond to emails and get in touch with people on a Friday rather than wait for the beginning of the next week. This way, I can enjoy my weekend and not have to think about work again until Monday morning. Inside Your Friday Workbox The Friday Workbox comes with a Sunday Basket® in the color of your choosing, one set of the 2.0 Slash Pockets, and two sets of the rainbow 1.0 Slash Pockets. One set of the 1.0 Slash Pockets are set up in a similar way to the Sunday Basket® while the second set includes labels for each day of the week. You’ll also receive a guide for your workbox about how you can sort out your slash pockets. Each one is focused on the traditional sales cycle and color coded as follows: Pink Slash Pockets – Leads Purple Slash Pockets – Customers Green Slash Pockets – Finances Blue Slash Pockets – Marketing & Personal Development Once you get the hang of the Friday Workbox, it will start to create a fluent sales cycle for you. As you go through the program, your sales will increase and your business will become more organized. Friday Workbox Workshops On June 18th, I’ll be hosting a live workshop. And if you’ve bought a workbox, you’ll receive a quick invite to come and join me on the live call. During the Workbox 1.0 Workshop, we’ll go through everything you need to know about the Friday Workboxes and how you can organize yours to be the most effective and impactful for YOU. So, if you buy a Friday Workbox, you can check out the original live workshop, and you’ll also get a link to another video showing you how to organize the workbox you purchased. The direct sales, entrepreneur, home-school, and teacher workboxes will each have their own coaching video so you’ll get a real fine-tuned and in depth workshop related to the workbox you purchased. In your Friday Workbox System, you’ll receive: A Sunday Basket® One set of the 2.0 Slash Pockets Two sets of the 1.0 Slash Pockets A printed workbook to talk you through how to assemble the workbox A recording of the live video class and the coaching video for your specific workbox Imagine having the ability to organize your work in one box, going through it on a Friday afternoon and keeping your work organized throughout the week. Sounds great, doesn’t it? In the next podcast episode, I’m going to tell you how to get these Friday Workboxes organized most efficiently and effectively as possible – stay tuned for that one!
June 3, 2018
With summer literally on our doorsteps, preparing your kids for the new school year is probably the last thing you want to think about – and I don’t blame you! You’ve got your vacation planned and you’re ready to start enjoying your summer break. BUT there’s just one little thing that you have to do first – clean out your child’s backpack! It doesn’t take long to clean out a backpack. In fact, I’m willing to guess that it shouldn’t take longer than 15 minutes per bag and, once you do it, you’re pretty much done with school until the summer is over. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Cleaning Your Child’s Backpack On the last day of school, your kids usually come home with everything that was left in their locker and desk. Most of it will be things like broken crayons, partially used notebooks, old pens, and if you’re one of the unlucky ones, a moldy sandwich wedged in the bottom corner – eww! Don’t wait until August to clear out the backpacks because you never know what you’re going to find and you might not have the time (or energy) to tackle your kid’s backpack just a few days or weeks before school starts again. There’s so much you need to do to prepare them for the new school year that it makes sense to get as much done in advance as possible! Learn From MY Mistake About five years ago, my kids came home on the last day of school before the summer and I took their backpacks and hung them on a hanger in the back hallway. I took the whole “out of sight, out of mind” approach and I never gave them a second thought. That was all well and good until the day came when I had to fetch the backpacks and open them up at the beginning of August. You wouldn’t believe what I found lurking inside my kid’s backpack. It wasn’t a rotten banana or anything like that – it was much worse. Inside, locked away for the entire summer, was a GIGANTIC summer assignment that was impossible to complete before the start of the new school year. Almost immediately, panic set in. How could we get this assignment done on time? It simply wasn’t going to happen and there was no time to hire a tutor. So, the first thing I did was call the school. As it turned out, some of the assignment was just a suggestion, but a large part of it needed to be done. So, the remainder of our summer vacation in August was spent working on this mammoth assignment and, it’s safe to say, that it RUINED the end of summer for us! If you want my advice, don’t make the same mistake I did and clean out your children’s backpacks NOW to save yourself the time and hassle later in the summer. Assessing The Backpack When you’re searching through the backpack, you need to decide which items to keep, donate, recycle, or throw out. But you also need to assess the condition of the bag. Look at the backpack and ask yourself, will it survive another year? If not, you’ll need to remind yourself to buy a new backpack when you’re shopping for new school supplies. If it’s in excellent condition – great, you’ve just saved yourself some money! The “Back to School Vortex” I have a theory that I like to call the “Back to School Vortex.” It’s that time of year when you’re shopping for school supplies and, even though you might already have some notebooks and crayons, etc. left over from last year, you can’t help but get caught up in the whole excitement of it all. Before you know it, your shopping basket is filled to the top and you want everything the store has to sell from sparkly notebooks to fun stickers – you’ve got to have it all! This is the main reason why I always say it’s better to throw out the old broken crayons because, for just 25 cents, you can easily buy a new box. The same goes for a lot of what you’ll find at the bottom of your kid’s backpack. Some of it may be salvageable, but if it’s not, just throw it out. Recycling Notebooks When you’re cleaning out your children’s backpacks, you’re likely to come across several notebooks that are as good as new. There may be a few pages of notes at the front, but the rest can be re-used as a journal, scrapbook, or notepad for the following year. However, if you can’t keep all the notebooks and you can’t be sure whether or not you can use the same ones for the next school year, recycle them. Don’t keep a pile of old notebooks if you have no use for them because they just take up space that you can’t afford to spare! Creating A ‘Back to School Basket’ There are a lot of different elements and things that need to be planned before school starts in the fall, which is why I think it’s a good idea to create a Back to School Basket. In your Back to School Basket, take an index card and write down where you put the school backpacks so when August rolls around, you’ll know exactly where you left them. Next, take another index card and write down “Lisa’s FREE Back to School Blitz” which starts on July 15th. You should also include this note in your planner and calendar because you don’t want to miss out! I’m hosting several 20 to 30-minute Facebook Lives on the Organize 365 Facebook Group to help you get ready for back to school. Over on the Organize 365 Podcast, I’ll also be talking about the Kid’s School Binder that I make for my own kids every year, so you know how I do it and how you can follow suit. Make sure to tune into the podcast on July 13th to keep up with that one! Keep Up With The Podcasts! I hope you enjoyed this discussion and, if you do happen to find a summer assignment hiding in your child’s backpack, I highly suggest that you delegate the work to someone else! A babysitter or mother’s helper is a great option because they can look after your kids, help them with homework, AND give you the free time to get some of your own work done. If you like the sound of that, you’ll love the Organize 365 Podcast where I discuss the different summer routine days that you can apply to your summer schedule, including advice on hiring a babysitter to help keep you organized. You can listen to this fun podcast episode here. Next week on the Sunday Basket® Podcast, you’ll hear all about the National Convention, and I’ll let you in on some of the surprises that were announced at the convention. Be sure to tune in!
May 20, 2018
How To Eliminate Slash Pockets If you’re anything like me, you’re probably thinking about preparing your Sunday Basket® for the summer! It’s an exciting time, isn’t it? There’s something oddly satisfying about starting a fresh Sunday Basket® – it’s like a new beginning. One of the questions that I get asked a lot is: “What should I do with the slash pockets I rarely use in my Sunday Basket®?” It's an excellent question for this time of year because, chances are, you’ve got a lot of completed slash pockets, or you have a few that you won’t touch this summer. What should you do with these slash pockets? Throw them in the trash? Give them up for adoption? No, of course not! Deep Diving Into Your Sunday Basket®  Have you listened to my podcast episode where I talk about the Sunday Basket® Deep Dive? If you haven’t, go ahead and catch up with that one and then come right back! In that episode, I revealed everything you need to know about the deep dive process which involves the complete renovation of the Sunday Basket®. You empty everything out in front of you and divide the slash pockets into different sections to help organize your new basket and eliminate the slash pockets you don’t need. When you’re done with a slash pocket, it means that you've delegated the project, deleted it, or you’re finished with it. An insight Into My Deep Dive Process This week, I emptied out my Sunday Basket® and took all of the slash pockets out and interrogated each one. Which deserve a place in my Sunday Basket®? That’s the question I asked during the elimination process, and yes, I did feel like a bad-ass organizational agent. It was fun! I label all of my slash pockets with a label maker. And whenever I come across a slash pocket that I want to eliminate from the basket, I remove its label. I can’t describe the feeling of accomplishment that runs through my veins when I strip the label back… it’s bliss. Dividing The Year Into 3 Trimesters If you’ve been listening to the Sunday Basket® Podcast for a while, you’re probably aware that I live in a world of my own. The rest of the world views 12 months as a full calendar year, but I divide my year into three trimesters: The New Year - January to May Summer - June to August The School Year - September to December For each trimester, I deep dive into my Sunday Basket®. And with summer fast approaching, I’ve begun organizing my next Sunday Basket®. Organizing My Summer Sunday Basket®  When I was looking through my Sunday Basket®, I noticed there were a few slash pockets that I won’t need until the school year. So, I decided to take these slash pockets and put them in a drawer until August. I set aside three to four hours for deep diving into my Sunday Basket®. I went through all of my slash pockets, planner, bills, and mail, and spread everything out on my bed. Instead of asking my usual Sunday Basket® question, “Can this wait until next Sunday?,” I asked myself, “Does this need to be done this summer?” If it needs to be done, I’ll keep it in my Sunday Basket®. But if there’s no urgency for it to be completed, I’ll put it in the drawer until after Labor Day (because that’s when I’ll do my next deep dive in preparation for the school year). How To Eliminate Slash Pockets From Your Sunday Basket®  There are two ways you can remove slash pockets from your Sunday Basket®: Transfer that slash pocket to the next "Lisa year" so you can come back to it at a later date. Eliminate it. Remember, your Sunday Basket® is for your actionable projects. You don’t need to think about what other people consider to be actionable projects because everyone uses the Sunday Basket® System differently. The Sunday Basket® is designed to work for you, so customize it however you need to. If you’re following along with the Organize 365 Podcast, you won’t want to miss next week’s episode because I’m going to be talking about setting one goal for your entire summer. On the Sunday Basket® Podcast, you’ll find out how you can organize your paper in the most time-efficient and effective way possible!
May 13, 2018
New Binder Printables Over the last few weeks, I’ve shared my binders and revealed how I modified them to suit my personal needs and lifestyle. It’s important to understand that no organizational product is going to work 100% for your situation – and that’s okay! It doesn’t have to be perfect. My Sunday Baskets® and the Organize 365 binders are built with YOU in mind, which means you can adapt and modify the binders however you like. Since you guys mean the world to me, I wanted to do something extra special for you. I have a gift (well, it’s more like four gifts!) that I want to share with you. Anyone who has purchased an Organize 365 binder will be eligible to receive the gift via email. If you haven’t got your hands on a binder yet, you still have time to qualify for this special gift, so don’t worry! Why The Organize 365 Binders Were Created Those who know me well enough know that I’m a sucker for office supply stores. I love to roam the aisles and discover new paper solutions for my home organization projects. However, I can’t help but notice that other than fun colors and stickers, the planner and binder space hasn’t had a lot of innovation over the last 40 years. It's almost as if everything has just frozen in time. It was this realization that made me think about my own organizing solutions that I had manufactured at home. Sure, I was using cheap scissors, construction paper, tape and hole punchers to get things done, but at least it was working. I had successfully eliminated the need for a filing cabinet, and that was my goal when designing the four main binders. I had two main reasons for wanting to eliminate the need for filing cabinets: It’s easier to maintain, reference, and access information in a binder. When your paperwork is organized and portable, you can use it in emergency situations. It’s not if an emergency is going to happen, it’s when. At least if you have all of your important information in one place, you can quickly grab it and go. So, what’s included in this week’s gift? If you’re a caregiver for a child or an ill relative, you’ll find the Medical Organizing Binder to be very useful for your current situation. The first free printable is the Daily Caregiver Report. We’ve also included a Caregiver Communication Log where you can record medical details such as dietary restrictions and medication, etc. so a healthcare professional or your child’s babysitter can see it and have the information they need to care for that person properly. The third free printable is a General Health Tracker, which is great for tracking things like blood pressure, blood glucose levels, or weight. The final printable is a Mental Health Tracker, which was designed for those of you who care for someone with a mental health condition so you can document their behavior over time. Household Operations Printables Whenever you first buy one of the Organize 365 binders, it will include all of the printables you need to get started. The additional printables are for more specific phases of life that you can use if and when required. I have to be honest, I was a little selfish when it came to designing the new printables for the Household Operations Binder. These printables are definitely for someone who has teenagers in the house, so forgive me if you don’t! We made a Teen Driver Log and a Graduation Party Tracker. We also created a Loaned & Borrowed Items Tracker, which can be used to record what items you have loaned somebody and when. Household Reference Printables It was challenging to come up with new printables for the Household Reference Binder because I’ve been working on it for over 20 years and it’s done pretty well – if I do say so myself. However, I wanted every binder to have something new, so instead of a free printable, I’ve included a free PDF copy of my eBook, "10 Weeks to an Organized Move." It contains some excellent tips and advice on how to make the moving process run as smoothly as possible. Financial Organizing Binder Printables In addition to the new Vehicle Information Tracker, we’ve included a Financial Communication Tracker that you can use for your taxes and other financial information. The next free printable is the Celebration of Life & Funeral Arrangement Tracker, which is where you can record the things you would like to happen at the end of your life. You’ll also receive an Estate Executor Checklist with the Financial Organizing Binder printables.
May 6, 2018
Planning The Convention In A Basket The Organize 365 National Convention, titled "Rise You Are Enough," is taking place in Dallas, Texas from June 7th to June 9th. I am SO excited! This convention will be transformational, and by the end of it, you’ll discover that everything you need to be the person you were always meant to be has been inside of you all along. You’ll receive the roadmap, the practical applications, and the steps needed to live out the dream that only YOU can live. In my latest podcast episode, I reveal the inner workings of my mind and the physical process I took to plan the Organize 365 National Convention. The 3 Steps To Organization There are three steps to the organization process: Declutter Organize Increase productivity No matter what you’re organizing, you have to take these three steps to complete the task efficiently and effectively. They all work together. And the more you get used to the process, the more your productivity level increases. Let me explain how I put this into practice when organizing this convention. Organizing The National Convention The thought of organizing a national convention may seem like a nightmare for most people, but not for me. I was in my zone! Before I got started, I sat on a pillow on the floor and laid everything out in front of me. Doing this allowed me to see the big picture and visualize what my schedule will look like over the course of the event. I pulled on my teaching background and divided each day into two parts – a morning session and an afternoon session. For example, I know that on the Wednesday morning of the event, I have a meeting with the Organize 365 employees, followed by a dinner with the team that night. So, I divided my days into two and began running the planning process of the convention just like a classroom. I Love Color Coding! I decided to color code my plans for the event. Everything related to the Organize 365 employees was labeled blue, the certified organizers were pink, the convention attendees were purple, and all the administrative details were labeled green. With that stage out of the way, I moved onto my master schedule and laid out all of my slash pockets. I began adding Post-it Notes to each one and divided them further to help me with the decluttering and organizational steps of the planning process. The Power Of Music My goal with each podcast is to teach you something to help you live a more organized life. But that’s not the goal of this national convention. I don’t want it to be like a line up of podcasts strung together. I want to make it more impactful. Adding music to an event gives it a whole other element. Music lets the mind wander to where you need it to go and, when you hear the same song again, I hope that it takes you back to the convention and replicates the positive feelings you had at the event. I spent at least two hours finding the perfect songs that reflected the main message of the talks. However, I couldn’t decide on just one or two songs – so I picked 18! Yes, it may seem a bit excessive. But trust me, each song has a purpose. Refining My Ideas As I continued to plan the convention, I realized that some of my previous ideas no longer worked with the overall vibe of the event. So, I started to refine them until I was 100% happy with the outcome. If you’re familiar with my Complete Sunday Basket® System, you’ll know that it can work with pretty much anything. You can use it to plan more significant events like I did when I created my own Convention Sunday Basket®. My Convention Sunday Basket® is where I put all of my main ideas during the planning phase of the event. I printed emails and letters related to the convention and divided everything into my 2.0 Slash Pockets. Come See Me In Person! I can’t wait to see you all at the Organize 365 National Convention and meet you in person! It’s going to be a very memorable event. You will leave a changed woman – I promise. If you would like to find out more information, go to organize365/dallas to register. I really look forward to meeting you and giving you a big hug!
April 29, 2018
Lisa's Binders Part 3 In the previous podcast episode, I revealed how I organized my Household Reference and Household Operations Binders. I also talked about how I set up my binders and how important it is that you customize your binders to suit your lifestyle. Last week, I promised that I would go into more detail about my Financial Organizing Binder in Part 3 of my mini "Lisa’s Binders" Podcast Series and that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I’ll be honest with you, this is the binder that I did not want to make. Why? Well, this financial binder thing is a beast! Organizing My Financial Binder I created the Financial Organizing Binder with one thing in mind – how to settle an estate. My reasoning for this is because it’s what I needed at the time since I was in the process of settling my father’s estate. It made sense. However, it wasn’t long before I realized that I needed a lot more tabs in my Financial Organizing Binder than I thought. Organizing my finances into a single binder seemed like a mammoth task at first. How would I fit all of the finances of a working family into one binder? Was it even possible? Before I started pulling the hair out of my head, I decided to take a more straightforward approach. First, I began emptying our filing cabinet and sorted the documents and files into specific piles. I had a pile for everything. There was a pile that needed to be shredded and a pile for the trash. Slowly but surely, things began to take shape. The majority of the stuff in our filing cabinet needed a place in the Financial Organizing Binder, but five tabs weren’t enough. I didn’t know how I could divide my files into the tabs provided. Customizing The Financial Organizing Binder Tabs The general information, current money, future money, and inventory tabs are excellent. However, I needed to organize my insurance information into three different tabs – medical insurance, home and auto insurance, and life insurance. So, I created extra tabs and divided our insurance information into three separate piles. I also kept our retirement and security information in the Financial Organizing Binder. We have a lot of information for family members such as passwords and other personal data that we keep "just in case." So, I created a new family section to store this information in one place. I then added a slash pocket to the Financial Organizing Binder to store all of our tax information, and put bank and credit card information into the bank account tab. It’s important to remember that you have the freedom to customize your binders in any way that you like. Reorganizing my tabs helped me to create an organization system that works for me, so make sure that you focus on building one that works for you. Digitalizing Your Binders I cannot tell you the peace of mind I have knowing that all of our financial information is in one binder. However, I’m not going to say that it was easy. It wasn’t like I took my binder and immediately started sorting it out. I had to work on it – it was like a jigsaw puzzle. The final step I wanted to take was making my binders digital. It’s not as difficult as it sounds. I took the printable papers from one binder at a time and ran it through my scanner. I then created a PDF document for each binder, giving me the ability to email or text the document to anyone so they can save it on their phone. So, that’s everything you need to know about my binders. I hope you enjoyed this mini-series of what’s inside my personal binders and found some useful tips and tricks to help you organize your own binders. I’d love to hear from you. Let me know how the binders are working for you and if you made any modifications to your binders. And don’t forget to share in the Organize 365 Facebook Group, too.
April 22, 2018
Lisa's Binders Part 2 In last week’s episode, I shared my binder organizing story with you. I talked about how the task of organizing paperwork and files can seem overwhelming for beginners and professional organizers alike. I also took the opportunity to reveal my organization process which uses a more simplified and stress-free approach to organizing. In Part 2 of this mini "Lisa’s Binders" Podcast Series, I disclose how I organize my Household Reference and Household Operations Binders. Yes – I have both and I can explain why. You see, my Content Team and I had two very different ideas for the Household Operations Binder, and in my opinion, two are always better than one – so we made both! What’s Inside My Household Reference Binder? First, let’s dive into my Household Reference Binder. If you get your hands on this binder, you’ll notice that it’s very similar to the Medical Care Giving Binder, so I was able to take papers from that one and transfer them into my Household Reference Binder. After that, I decided to divide the papers by tab to make life easier for myself. The tab that I was most excited about was the home decorating section. Inside the binder, you’ll find two home decorating sheets and you’ll also receive a digital copy so you can print additional copies. Each page allows you to record the furniture and other relevant items that are in each room of your house. You can even take note of decorative features such as the paint color of your walls and the carpet color, etc. The important thing to remember when it comes to organizing your Household Reference Binder is that YOU are in control. If you want more of something, print it. If you want to swap a tab out for one that you use more often, do it. A Peek Inside My Household Operations Binder The Household Operations Binder is like a lesson plan for my house. And since I was once a teacher, I know everything about lesson plans! Within this binder, you’ll have access to various tabs and sheets including meal planning, party planning, cleaning, maintenance, and general. I tailored this binder to suit my lifestyle and personal needs. After all, I’m 46, my two kids are graduating from high school soon, and I’ve lived in the same house for 22 years – it’s safe to assume I don’t have much use for a checklist! So, I did quite a bit of rearranging. I put all the documents I rarely use under the "general" tab and created new tabs, including one for travel and one for our family dog, Hunter. The travel printable is originally part of the Financial Organizing Binder, which I’ll get into in more detail in my next podcast. But for now, I’ll explain why I decided to put the "travel" tab in my Home Operations Binder rather than in my Financial Organizing Binder. There are a few main reasons: My family and I are planning to travel a lot more – and I’m super excited about it! Travel isn’t a financial designation for us and it's viewed as more of a fun option. Introducing The Sunday Basket® 2.0 Slash Pockets To My Household Operations Binder For me, the Household Operations Binder is about running the house and the fun side of everyday home life, which is why I keep all my favorite tabs in this one. I also included five slash pockets from the 2.0 Slash Pocket Kit we discussed in my last podcast. I divided everything out seasonally – which probably has something to do with the fact that I’m a former teacher. I have a confession. The Household Operations Binder is the most challenging for me and it’s most likely because I don't see myself as a "fun mom." But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to get better at the fun stuff and this binder is really helping me to do that. My goal with this binder is to gain more control of our family fun, including things like holidays and travel. And there you have it, everything you need to know about how I organize my Household Binders! I hope you enjoyed this week’s podcast. In the next podcast episode, I’m going to talk to you about the Financial Organizing Binder. So don’t forget to tune in and follow me on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with my latest updates and posts!
April 15, 2018
Lisa's Binders Part 1 I’m so excited to have introduced you to the paper organizing binders in the last couple of episodes, but not having the right products is only one part of why we’re not organized. The other reason we’re not organized is because the task of getting organized is overwhelming and is multi-layered. This is why I love the Sunday Basket® Workshops because they are not just for creating and doing your Sunday Basket®, it’s the first step in getting all of your papers organized. In the next couple of podcasts as I explain how I got all of our papers out of our filing cabinet and into binders, you’ll see how you could be doing this at workshops as well. There are so many other things you could do with your time when you’re at home other than an organizing program and that’s why the workshops really help you get these binders done. I was really super excited to put my own papers in my own albums, but I’ll just be honest with you, I didn’t even get started with the majority of the albums until spring break because I was overwhelmed. So if you guys are overwhelmed, don’t’ worry. I created the albums and I was overwhelmed with putting them together! My Binder Organizing Story In January when I got the samples of the binders, the first thing I did was make the school memories binder for mine and Greg’s school childhood paperwork. I already had that separated out and I probably completed the entire thing in a couple of hours. The School Memories Binder comes with some printables which I did not fill out and it comes with 100 sheet protectors. In the sheet protectors, I put our baby albums, our papers we kept from school, and a lot of colored stuff. It all fit in one binder so that binder was already done. My kids' medical binders were already completed. I view the medical binder as the caregiver binder, too. We have four people in our family... me, my husband, and our kids, Joey (18) and Abby (16). I have had binders for my kids since they were 4 and 5 years old since at the time we had a lot of school and medical issues going on. These binders have been in my kitchen for over a decade and, as we continually get new paperwork from school or medical visits, I just add them into the front pocket of the binder. Then every summer, I go through and reorganize that binder, check it out, and make sure everything I need is in there. Anything that’s outdated, I move out and into the basement to a supplemental binder. My Process The Medical Organizing Binders were the easiest ones for me to do and that is where I got started. I grabbed my two medical binders and the printables that went in there and I started to sort out my information into the kids' binders. The 2-inch size binder ended up being perfect for me in every single instance. I was so excited that it wasn’t too big or too small so the size of the binder is perfect. It’s funny, there’s very little medical information in my kids' medical binders. For the majority of us, unless you care for someone with an extreme medical condition, your medical binder is only going to have a little bit of medical information in it and then anything else you need in order to be the caregiver. I really want you to think about the medical binder as a caregiver binder. When I was making my binders, I had to stage it. I had to get the paperwork that needed to go in the binder I had to decide how I was going to divide it up based on the slash pockets I had to fill out the printables that come with the binders So far what I’ve done is divide all of our papers out of our filing cabinet into the proper binder and decided the best way for me to organize that information by binder. In the podcast episode, I explain in more detail how I organized the binders for my kids. In the next podcast episode, I’m going to talk to you about how I set up the Household Operations Binder and Household Reference Binders.
April 8, 2018
Household Operations Binder Last week on the podcast, I introduced you to my Household Reference Binder and I likened looking after your house as if it’s a person… like it’s an additional family member! This week, I introduce you to my Household Operations Binder. This one is more like your lesson plan or teacher’s guide for how you run your house for your family. My Household Operations Binder Explained You are the CEO of your house and this is the Director of Operations Binder! We can break the contents down into 5 sections: General information This section is especially useful if you have young children as it will contain contact details for babysitters and house sitters. It also contains key safety information about your home, such as where to find your fire extinguishers, the names of your neighbors, and when your trash gets collected. There’s a separate sheet for each family member and key information about pets. Think of it like a 411! I include sheet protectors in this binder in case you want to store any information about people or pets that you may not feel the need to have separate binders for. There’s also an emergency information sheet. The last sheet in the General Information section is for items you rarely use, such as camping equipment. Use this page in your binder to list where you keep all of these things to make it easier to find them when you do eventually get them out again. Meal Planning Included in this section are lots of meal planning tips and plans, as well as a master grocery list (which is really useful for online grocery shopping). It’s a great way to keep track of exactly what you need, and it can give you inspiration when you can’t physically see items in front of you. My Content Creation Team has been making some wonderful printables for this section, including: Favorite meals based on your main ingredients Favorite meals based on theme Both of these printables are a great way to store your favorite recipes and inspire you when you either don’t have time or are stuck in a rut of eating the same things over and over again. The final page in this section is for take outs and there’s a pocket to put all of the menus in one easy-to-reach place. House Cleaning One of the most requested things I get asked for is my weekly house cleaning checklist, so this is included in this binder. There are also spring and fall housecleaning checklists which I personally do around the time the clocks change. Also included in this section are any special cleaning tips and advice for stains and items that need specialist attention. General Maintenance If you don’t have a household maintenance binder, this is where you’re going to put all your frequently used service providers and contractors. A seasonal maintenance checklist is also here, as well as a home improvement wish list and infrequent tasks checklist. Lots of information works well here, for example, instructions on how to change the password on your answering machine! Holidays This is the holiday and event planning part of the binder and this is packed with planning sheets. In this section, you can plan your entire summer with my summer break planner. There’s also Thanksgiving, Christmas, and kid and general party planners… and more. This section is SO much fun and so valuable!! Putting Your Binders Together I can’t wait to see how you’re putting all of your binders together. I’m sure you'll see how these binders can eliminate the majority of things from your filing cabinet forever. The only things that should be left in your filing cabinet after you’ve sorted everything into your binders are tax information (because of the sheer size and quantity of the papers), possibly some manuals, and house sale information.  Although… why not consider having a storage box for these things and getting rid of the filing cabinet from your living space completely! Now, there’s a thought… Next week, we’re going to look at boxes for businesses.
April 1, 2018
Household Reference Binder Would you like a simple way to make managing your home easier than ever?  In this podcast episode, I want to introduce you to my Household Reference Binder - what it is, how I use it to manage my home, and how it can help you run yours. How It Began I originally created the Household Reference Binder around 15 years ago. I created it because filing cabinets just did not work for me. I wanted a portable binder instead to help me be more organized with household paperwork and I’ve used it ever since. It’s been invaluable! The Secret - Think Of Your House As A Person Once you start to think of your house as a person, it gets so much easier to manage. That’s because all of the things we have to sort out for our family (like clothing, maintenance, food, etc.) need to be done for our house, too. I know, it’s kind of a weird way to think about it, but trust me. If Your House Was a Person, Who Would It Be? And How Well Would You Take Care Of Him Or Her? The Household Reference Binder, and the Household Operations Binder that I’m covering next week, will really help you to take care of your house as if it was a person. It has all of the information, just like you'd have for your child or anybody else you might be taking care of. Because if you have a house, you have something else (or somebody!) you need to take care of. It’s no different from any other person in that respect. This binder has been really invaluable to me in helping me take care of my house. I think of it just like taking care of my kids. It’s similar to the Medical Binder that I keep for my kids, where everything important related their medical needs is in one place. I have my Household Reference Binder divided into 5 sections: The House Appliances Electronics Decor Exterior When I first started using my Household Reference Binder, I was getting rid of my manuals for electronics at the time. I would just keep the model number and receipt. I didn't even bother keeping that for smaller goods (items less than $100 or those that I would definitely not repair if they broke), which eliminated 90% of the manuals and receipts that came into the house. We've repaired and replaced pretty much everything during the 20 years we've lived in our house. I don't plan to move, so I just replace stuff instead! It creates a lot of paperwork, but the binder means I don’t lose any of it and can find it easily. It's even got business card holders so you can include details of your trusted tradespeople that you only need to consult maybe once a year. You can get your own binder by going to How To Organize Your Household Reference Binder Once you’ve got your binder, it’s very simple to set it up into the 5 sections and then fill them out: Section 1 - The Home This is where you store all the essential information about your lease or home purchase. Section 2 - Appliances This section has a sheet for you to list all the information about your household appliances so you can make informed decisions about whether to replace or repair when the time comes. The binder has sheet protectors so you can easily slip in receipts. Section 3 - Electronics Inventory Personally, this is my biggest section. We have a lot of electronics, but then I do have two teenagers! I've also created printables for this section, so you can print out more sheets if you need them. Section 4 - Decor This section is really fun. Each room gets its own sheet and you can list how you decorated each room plus the furniture it contains. So you’ll never forget what color of paint you used when it’s time to redecorate. Section 5 - Exterior This is all about the outside of the house and garden. I've found it really useful to keep names of the plants and trees in the garden. It’s so helpful if you want to remodel. Believe It Or Not, Your Binder Will Save You Money! Keep your Household Reference Binder next to your kids' Medical Binders and any other binders you may have, and then whenever you need any information, it's right there.  I've saved myself thousands of dollars by keeping information together like this. It reminds me of previous quotes I’ve had for work around the house, which items need repaired, and which would be more cost-effective to replace. My Household Reference Binder will save you so much time and stress. You'll be able to find the information that you're storing in your filing cabinet at your fingertips literally within seconds! They’re available now here. So have fun making your Household Reference Binder! And don’t forget to check back for next week’s episode when I tell you about the Household Operations Binder!
March 25, 2018
Financial Organizing Binder This week on the podcast, I talk about making a Financial Organizing Binder. Full disclosure… I haven't made my own yet! But I will this summer. On last week's podcast, I spoke about my Medical Organizing Binder, and next week I'll be telling you about my Household Reference Binder (and this one's a game-changer!). But this week, I'm sharing my Financial Organizing Binder with you. Why Do You Need One? Having a Financial Organizing Binder is not just about getting rid of the majority of stuff that you have in your financial filing cabinet (and to get rid of that filing cabinet, too!) More importantly, it’s about getting all of your relevant financial information in one place which is super-useful if you are Power of Attorney or handling an estate. We’re not all great at organizing our finances. Maybe it’s because we don't want to know how much debt we have. It’s definitely an “I'll do it later” task, and it's confusing. For many of us, we go through those files and we don't know what it means, or how we would retrieve it. So we do nothing… until someone passes away and you're in charge of settling their estate.   The Binder (And People To Help You With The Binder) The way I've designed the Financial Organizing Binder is for you to have one per household. It will work if you're single; it will work if you're married. Because if you're married, often your money is intertwined. It starts with the worksheet that tells you why you want to make it, who will keep it, who's going to use it, etc. Did you know we have Certified Binder Workshop Organizers?! Whenever you buy one of the Organize 365 binders, you'll get the information delivered to you digitally AND you'll also get information on how to find a Certified Binder Workshop Organizer. They each specialize in different binders and will have online workshops to sign up for. Let me explain the four sections of the binder: Section 1: General Information This is a really detailed family information sheet and you'll have one of these for every family member. *Personal Documents and Contacts List A whole bunch of important pieces of paper and information we need to have and where they're kept. Your birth certificate? Funeral arrangements? Your computer screen name and password? All of that information is on a sheet. Plus, all your advisers and people who would need to help someone if they took over your finances... or just for yourself. *Insurance Policy Information and Safe Deposit Inventory This is all things that, if something happened to me, Greg needs to know. And if something happened to Greg, I'd need to know it. Right now, half of the information is in each of our brains, but together we can get this binder done. Hmm, maybe this could be one of my date night activities! Section 2: Current Money Current money, if you're making this for yourself, is obviously where you're going to keep your current money. But when I was caring for my father, current money was where I was when I was the Power of Attorney. And after my father passed away, current money was where I tracked everything as I closed out all the accounts. This is your address book for everybody who helps you with money, all in one place. It includes: *Debt and Loan Worksheet *Credit Card Inventory and Merchant Cards *Bill Paid Record *Gift Card Rewards and Information Gift card rewards was an eye opener when I was handling my dad’s estate. We were able to get a whole bunch of gift cards from my dad's credit cards after he had passed away. And the same for travel rewards information. All of his airline travel miles were able to be transferred to me and my sister. I'm personally excited about this sheet because I'm starting to do a lot of travelling. I am keeping track of the airline and hotel rewards so we can get some free family trips. Section 3: Future Money This is all the different retirement benefits that you have. We have sections for your and sections for your spouse in here. Social security information, pension plans, veteran benefits, etc. all go in this section. Section 4: Physical Inventory Walk around your house, take pictures of everything, upload those photos into Dropbox for a home inventory... and keep your receipts! I update this personally about every five years. This is great for insurance purposes. Final Thoughts When you get this binder, it includes all these printable sheets and pockets so you can divide up the sections. My Financial Organizing Binder really will help you with organizing all of your finances once and for all!  
March 18, 2018
Medical Organizing Binder I’m really excited to share the details of my medical organizing binder with you all. Next week, we’ll deep dive into the financial organizing binder.     The Format – One Binder Per Person You’re going to need one binder for each person with medical needs. The whole point of my binders is to make sure that your medical papers are organized, so one per person works well. When I started to put my binders together, I realized that we only needed two in our house, rather than the assumed four. Greg and I may well need a medical organizing binder in the future, but at the moment, thankfully, we don’t have a lot of medical needs and so we don’t need binders at this stage. You do, however, need one for each person who has medical needs. If you’re a caretaker, get yourself one of my binders. Personally, we have binders for both of our children and I honestly couldn’t live without them! Personalize The Binders To Suit Your Individual Needs One of the things that I have talked about a lot over on the Organize 365 Podcast is that if you have children with learning disabilities or medical conditions, it makes sense to have all of their medical and educational information in one place. Doctors and education requirements interchange so by storing all of these documents alongside each other, you’re saving yourself time and effort in chasing information from different places.   What Can I Expect In The Binder? Here are some of the highlights of the binder, but there’s plenty more besides. Medical and Health History  How many times have we been to the doctors and they’ve quizzed us on our personal and family medical history? It’s often hard to answer all of the questions fully so the binder is a great space to be able to document all of this information. I like to think of it as my personal medical journal. Key Milestones For Children I’ve been asked numerous times for dates for specific physical milestones in my children’s lives and it’s honestly a tricky one. If you have kids, can you remember the age when they first sat up, said their first word, or took their first step? My children are adopted so it made some of these questions even harder to answer! Apparently, from a neurological point of view, these questions are very important and so instead of guessing, take the time to go back through baby books and photographs and pinpoint these early childhood milestones. Take it from me, you’ll feel like a better mom when you have this information ready at the doctor’s office! Diagnosis Tracker This is a really useful way of tracking the behaviors and the medical situation of someone you’re caring for, especially the young or the elderly. It could be a child with diabetes, for example, but you can tailor and personalize the tracker to suit your individual situation. Often, true medical diagnosis aren’t made for a number of years. By being able to track problems, they could help you to get a firmer diagnosis quicker. Mary, from our Content Creation Team, is a cardiology ER nurse and is making up additional trackers so all areas of diagnosis tracking should be covered. There’s also an allergy and medication tracker included for the same reasons. Lab Results Tracker The original digital medical and financial binders were created for people to use when they become the caregiver and power of attorney and are in charge of the estate for their parents. This was as a direct result of how lost I felt in the last year of my father’s life. I was travelling four hours each way to see him and I found it really difficult to remember test result numbers from one visit to the next. I wish I’d had the Lab Results Tracker at that time as it would have been really good to be able to keep track of these at home. Appointment Tracking As a caretaker, you have to start making decisions based on observations. Sometimes people’s behaviors will tell you more about how they’re feeling than even test results can. This is where these trackers really shine. When you can track observations from one appointment to the next, it’s possible to start seeing patterns that doctors would not necessarily be able to see. An immunization record is also included here. Personalization Is Key My Medical Organizing Binder comes with 5 slash pockets and, for my children, this is where I store the information on personal goals that I’m working on with them. All of the core medical information is in the front so it leaves space for other things that aren’t directly medical, but intrinsically linked. The tags are very specific to the individual and for the role you play as the caregiver for that person. You can turn it into a journal if you wish. A Word Of Wisdom Being able to give your child a Medical Organizing Binder when they leave home will really help to set them up for success in the future. This is the second podcast in this binder series. Over the next three episodes, I’ll continue to tell you all about the individual features of each, why I love them, and why you should love them, too!
March 11, 2018
Binder Organizing Basics If you’ve been listening to my podcast episodes and reading my blog posts, then you’ve got the hang of your Sunday Basket® now. You’re using it well and you’ve even done the deep dive. It’s safe to say that you’re getting REALLY organized! Now that you’re confident with the process and you really understand what to do with your everyday papers, let’s tackle those "other" papers. It’s the ones that live in filing cabinets and in those binders that I keep telling you about. One of the things that I’ve realized is that most of us hardly ever go back to a filing cabinet once we’ve filed something away. Furthermore, when we do eventually dive back in to find something, we often realize that most of the things we find in there are very outdated and we question why we’ve even kept them in the first place! Why Binders Are So Important To Me As a parent of two kids with educational and medical issues, I really struggled to keep up with the mountain of endless paperwork. It was too much to keep in my Sunday Basket® because I didn’t need to immediately act on it, but I couldn’t put it in the filing cabinet because I needed to reference it at least a couple times a year. I needed to find a storage solution that worked. One Of My First Binders I created an early binder by using A-Z tabs and it was my solution to organizing all of my children’s vitamin supplement information (I know more about this than almost anyone else!). I was using natural supplements to support my children’s development and I researched extensively how I could help my kids be the best they could be, by all means necessary. In order to meet their needs, I needed to find out all the information about all of the supplements you could buy on the market. My binder was a great way to store all of this work. I was also doing observational research at the time so it was necessary to have an organizational system in place that was easily accessible and able to hold lots of information, so I could reference all of the supplements in one easy place. Over the years, I’ve become quite the expert on supplements and this binder has been so valuable in not only keeping me organized, but also helping me to track my children’s health and lead us to an eventual diagnosis. Whatever Works For You We all have individual needs. On the podcast, I share the story about my children’s health binder to show you that they can work for all areas of your life, in work and personal capacities. Binders Help You To See Patterns One thing I realized after using binders for a while was that they help you to see patterns emerging. On the podcast, I share an example of when one of my kids started to go downhill medically and there was a series of 20 things that would happen. This included things like them starting to use the improper verb tense, feeling hot and cold, sleeping less and becoming agitated.  When I realized that all of these symptoms were on my observational list, I was able to see how close we were getting to hospitalization. My binder helped with the diagnosis and everyone realizing how sick they were. The more behavioral issues that they presented on the list, the more dysregulated and ill they felt, even though there was no medical test for that. Find Your Project We all have different things that consume our time and binders are great for tracking and managing these projects. Binders are a place where you keep anecdotal evidence, mail, and anything else that substantiates the project you’re working on. You can make any kind of binder for any kind of project, but I’ve concluded that every homeowner needs at least 4 and these are the ones that I’ve created for you! You can purchase these binders here and they’ll be delivered right to your door. Each binder is ready to be customized into whatever works for your individual needs. My Binder Features I’m not a detail-orientated person, but it amazed me how important the features and details became when I designed the binders. It was also the same for the Sunday Baskets®, interestingly! Over the next few weeks, I’ll dive deep into each individual binder and show why you’ll want one, what to put in it, and what’s in mine. All of the Organize 365 binders are 2” binders. You can get a wealth of different sizes, but I found that this is sufficient for 95% of what you’ll need to put in them. If they’re much smaller, you run the risk of not being able to file all of your papers. And if it’s much bigger, they become harder to carry around. D-Ring Binder I’ve chosen this flat-edged ring binder option because your pages won’t bow. And I feel that it’s much nicer overall. It also includes a one-touch open mechanism which means you don’t have to pull any rings apart with your fingers. Why is this important? The truth is because I’d like these binders to be really easy to use, whether you’re 8 or 80. A one-touch binder means that you can’t potentially get your fingers pinched and it means that all three rings open and close at the same time. In the binders where you physically open them yourself, you can pull with more force than you realize and then over time the rings may malfunction. I don’t want that to happen so D-rings it is! My Innovative Design When you open a normal binder, most of the rings are usually mounted on the hinge in the center. With the Organize 365 binders, the rings are mounted on the back of the notebook. Why? You can fold the front underneath and write on things in the binder without having the top section in the way. The binder is longer, so you can put in paper, sheet protectors, and slash pockets in one fully protected place. One of the design requirements I stipulated was that there were to be no tabs left sticking out. The bigger the back of the binder ensures this doesn’t happen and everything is nicely tucked away. The slash pockets are oversized so you still have easy access to individual tabs and sections. The binder also features inside and outside pockets for when you don’t have enough time to file it away at that moment. I’m SUPER excited about the binders as I'm sure you can tell! There’s More… One of the biggest complaints that I had from you when I offered this product as a digital binder was how much it was costing to print out all the full color printables. I love these and we’re designing more and more each day, but I heard you and I’m so pleased to say that all of the binders come with full color printables. Depending on your binder, you’re looking at between 20 and 40 of these wonderful sheets! They’re all brightly colored and pre-punched. This is the first podcast in this binder series. Over the next five episodes, I’ll talk about each individual binder that I’ve created, why I created it, and most importantly, why you might want one as well! If you would like to get ahold of my binders, you can click here. Hey, have you signed up to join me in Dallas, Texas for the Organize 365 National Convention? I can’t wait to meet you and give you a BIG hug!
February 25, 2018
Sunday Basket® Deep Dive It’s time to clean out your Sunday Basket®! Even if you’re the most organized person, there are still lots of sorting tasks that you will need to do. In a perfect world, you would go through everything each week. But personally, I know there’s no such thing as this ideal. It is OK to admit this! Organization is a teachable skill. As you get more organized, there’s many more skills and tactics that you can use. It really does get easier as you go along. Give Yourself Time Every 6-8 weeks, I do a complete Sunday Basket® clear out. This week’s podcast is all about how to do this efficiently and how it can work for you to make your life easier. We live in the real world and I know that it’s not always possible to schedule in the same amount of time every week. My advice would be to do it as often as you can. Sorting a little bit is still better than not doing anything at all. A deep dive clear out is going to take you around 90 minutes so you need to think about when it is going to be best to fit this into your week. It sounds like a lot of time, but I promise you that when you start to get into the rhythm of things, it’ll save you so much more time in the long run. Create Layers In Your Organizational Life The deep clean addresses the papers that can ALWAYS wait until next Sunday. Longer term projects or changing a supplier are good examples of this. The usual Sunday Basket® sort will see these projects get deferred multiple times, so every 6-8 weeks is the time to take these papers and start to look at them differently. By focusing on this, it will create more layers of organization and give you a clearer mind. A deep clean of your papers takes longer because you take action on the things that you could normally defer. This process addresses those papers, gets them out of the way, and then you are ahead of yourself as you move forward. Set Yourself Goals Set yourself a goal to clear one or more of your pockets. It’s a great way to feel like you’ve really accomplished something in the time that you’ve set aside, and it will give you an energy boost to move forward. If So, When? Don’t be afraid to question whether things will ever actually be completed. It’s OK to change your mind. Use this theory for your next 20 pockets. You may find that some of the pockets hold projects that need other elements to exist in order for you to complete them. A great example of this is my "to file" pocket. I have to wait on the binders to arrive! Listen to the March 11th podcast for the big reveal on these. Other pockets may contain big decisions that can be deferred for another couple of months. If this is the case, file them away. If they can’t wait for that long, they need to be prioritized to become actionable and take priority now. Stay Ahead Of The Game 2018 is my year of traveling so it’s really important to me that I stay on top of everything. Listen to my Organize 365 Podcast on this to hear more about my plans for this year. How To Deep Clean FAST Sort Action or defer Do it or don’t Recycle and move on Don’t delay decisions indefinitely. Reminders are good to use, but it’s perfectly fine to make the decision that you’re not going to do something right now. You need to be confident enough to make the decision and prioritize other things in your life. Let it go and move on. As I say: DO IT OR DON’T! If it’s not a big enough issue to set aside time to change it, it’s probably not worth doing. My Top 5 Tips For The Deep Clean Completely empty the Sunday Basket® Complete your weekly Sunday Basket® actionable tasks, using your first 5 slash pockets Set yourself a challenge to fully empty a couple of other pockets using the "defer or action" method Delve into the longer-term projects and decisions pockets, deciding when these decisions WILL become actionable DO IT OR DON’T! Don’t be afraid of getting rid of things that don’t seem important enough. Get your Complete Sunday Basket with On Demand Workshop here!
February 11, 2018
Organizing Taxes On this week’s Sunday Basket® Podcast, I share three things that I do to organize my files and tax documents. 1. Collecting tax documents Collecting, organizing, and preparing tax documentation is overwhelming. I think it is because the information you need comes to you in a trickle through the mail, your email inbox, and your own receipts. Little by little, every day for weeks like Chinese water torture. Drip. Don’t miss this. Drip. Where will you put me so you can find me again? Drip. Are you missing documents? Drip. What category does this go in? Drip. Drip. Drip. So I have come up with a few ways to alleviate my anxiety and to take the torture out of tax preparation. Have a file, box, or basket to put ALL incoming tax information. Make a master list of the documents you needed to find AFTER you file your taxes this year. Above is a picture of my list. Set aside a 3-4 hour chunk of time to organize and prepare your taxes in one sitting. I actually look forward to this day.   Still want more? Here is a link to all of my tax related blog posts over on my Organize 365 website!   Get your Complete Sunday Basket with On Demand Workshop here!
February 4, 2018
How To Sort Paper Part 2 What To Do With The Paper You Have Saved Now that you have decided on the papers that can be recycled and those that can be shredded, it’s time to organize the paperwork that you need to save. This is a long process, but it is important for you to know how much paperwork you are going to be keeping. When we organize a physical space, we have a tendency to buy containers, then purge, then organize. With paperwork, what we need to do is purge, then buy containers, then organize. For example, imagine you have four full filing cabinets and you take the time to go through everything, recycling and shredding the waste. When you look at what you are left with, you think, “That’s about 4 binder’s worth.” If I had shown you the 4 binders right in the beginning, there would be no way that you would have thought that all the papers in the full filing cabinets would fit in there. You would have looked at me as if I were crazy! The 3 Ways To Sort Paper Once you know what you want to save, there are 3 ways to sort your papers. The Sunday Basket®  This is for your actionable items – the passport renewal forms, and the letter from your vet about your dog’s latest vaccinations. There shouldn’t be many papers sitting in your filing cabinets, but you never know. These go into your Sunday Basket® and will eventually be placed in your binders. The Filing Cabinet Items that you MIGHT need to reference in the future (but probably never will) go back into your filing cabinets. Hopefully, you will be able to take pieces of information from these papers and file them more effectively. Binders Binders are how I got my house running really well. They make information easily accessible so I can answer important questions at a moment’s notice. Binders are best for big organizational projects and frequently referenced papers. I’m so excited to let you know that at Organize 365, we’re coming out with 4 binders this year, all by February 15th. There are 4 types of binders to suit all your household and family needs: The Financial Binder – You will need 1 per household The Medical Binder – You will need 1 per family member The Kids/Arts/School/Memories Binder – You only need this if you have kids and you are building an arts and memories file The Household Operations & References Binder – You will need 1 per household The Household Operations & References binder is extremely helpful. I no longer keep any manuals in my house. They take up so much space. Now, I only keep the information I need to help ascertain whether to fix or replace large electrical items in my house. I’ll give you an example. Recently, my dryer stopped working. Now you may laugh, but I attempted to fix the dryer myself. I am actually pretty handy when it comes to fixing machines. The problem is appliances nowadays are a lot less mechanical and a lot more technical. It took me 8 hours and 3 days to figure out that the problem could be any of 6 different elements. I looked up the price of the parts and it came to $30 so I decided to order them all and change them one at a time. It was when I was considering flipping the dryer upside down that I decided it was time to rethink. I asked myself, “Exactly how old is this dryer?” So, I went to my Household Operations & References Binder and I looked up the receipt. The receipts are the only paper I keep for all my major appliances. I saw that the dryer was over 7 years old and I realized then it was not worth the time and money to fix. It would break again in 6 months. So, I went and bought a new one. Why Binders Work Knowing when I’d bought the dryer and how much I’d paid for it helped me make a faster, better decision. In this week’s The Sunday Basket® Podcast, you'll hear the hilarious story of how Greg and I managed to break our refrigerator, why we decided this time it WAS worth the price of fixing it, and why that was a real bummer! I’m sharing more stories on this podcast because I think it’s important that you understand why you are saving paper and what information you need. Right now, you are saving all your paperwork in dusty filing cabinets in the basement. Everyone does this because that’s what we were taught to do. However, it’s much more effective to have the right information on hand in a reference binder in the kitchen. So when something breaks, you can look up immediately how old it is, how much it cost, and how long it should last. Binders mean the information is right there at your fingertips. They're ready to help you make fast, conscious decisions about what to do next. In future episodes of The Sunday Basket® Podcast, I will explain what a binder paper is and what a filed paper is, case by case, to give you a better understanding of how to organize your saved papers efficiently. Get your Complete Sunday Basket with On Demand Workshop here!
January 28, 2018
How To Sort Paper: Part 1 It’s time to start sorting ALL the paper in your house! Now that you have your Sunday Basket® up and running, we can start to get a handle on all the papers you have cluttering up your home. You know, the pile sitting on the kitchen counter, the stash under your car seat, and that random box of receipts that somehow ended up in the laundry room! I know that a part of you is going to feel really excited. You can’t wait to have all your documents color coded and your countertops cleared. But another part of you is thinking, "Oh, wow! There is just so much paper, what am I going to do with it all?’ Don’t worry, we are going to get there. It’s just going to take some time. The process of decluttering and organizing paper is simple. First, we need to sort. Then we need to get out information. Then, ideally, we can digitize that information so that everything is available to you at the click of a mouse button. With this as our end goal, let's take the first step towards it. Trust in the process. You can do this. Download the FREE How to Sort Paper Printable here. Step 1 - Decide what to do with your paper When you sort your papers, you are going to decide: What can be saved What can be recycled What can be shredded Right now, these are the only decisions you need to make. It’s important to remember, though, that this process can take a long time, longer than you probably expect. The quantity of paper we keep is massive. But you can tackle this however you want. Maybe it’s easier for you to sort one drawer at a time. Or maybe you prefer to sort for 15 minutes a day and see how far you get. It’s entirely up to you. Supplies  1 substantial recycling bin 5-10 cardboard boxes 1 marker pen I prefer to use banker’s boxes when I sort my papers. They are readily available at most office supply stores and they are inexpensive cardboard boxes that come flat. They are useful because they hold hanging files so they’re perfect for when you’re emptying your filing cabinet. You can take your files and hang them in your banker’s box, then take that box to your family room, turn on a great TV show and sort in comfort. Don’t bend over your cabinets for hours as this can hurt your back. Now you are going to need two other cardboard boxes and, with your marker pen, label one RECYCLE and one SHRED. This is an important step as you won’t believe how quickly you can forget which is which when piles of paper look identical. Once you have your boxes ready, you can start to sort them into three piles. Save These are the papers you need to keep, current documents that are necessary for your files. You don’t need to worry about how you are going to keep them – we’ll get to that next week. For now, it's just that you need to save them. Make sure you store these in a safe place. Recycle This is any paperwork that you have that is no longer needed that doesn’t contain any of your personal identifying information. You don’t want to recycle any papers that could increase your chance of identity theft so make sure there are no addresses or ID numbers anywhere on the pages. Once you’ve finished your sorting session, empty your RECYCLE box into your recycling bin ready for the next session. Shred Paperwork that contains personal identifying information must be safely shredded. I take my SHRED box to the local office supply store where they shred my paper for me. The papers are placed in a locked cage and shredded on site by a professional shredding company so it's a safe process. You will find that most places that sell paper will also shred it for you, but there is usually a charge of around a dollar a pound. One of my banker’s boxes costs me about $20. Some places offer free shred days, especially at tax time, but just know that there can be a long wait as people will queue for hours for free shredding. Ask yourself if it’s worth the cost of the time spent. A handy tip for saving money and increasing your recycling When you are sorting your paper, you might see that your personal information is only visible on the first page of a document. If this is the case, you can tear off the first page for shredding and recycle the rest. If your information repeats on every page but only appears on the top inch of the document, consider cutting off that top inch, recycling the bulk of the paper and just shredding the small pieces. This saves a little money on shredding and reduces the amount of heavy boxes you have to carry. Figure out how much paper you have to sort, what order to sort it in, and how much time you can devote to organizing. Now, I don’t want to alarm you, but when I completed this process, I found that I recycled or shredded a whopping 80% of the paper I had kept. I guarantee that you will also be shocked at the amount of paperwork that is sitting in your filing cabinets not being referenced and not being used. I’d LOVE to hear how much paper you can get rid of in your home. Take it slow, one box at a time, and soon you will start to notice that the piles of papers are missing from your dining table and your car seems a lot cleaner. This is Part 1 of How to Sort Paper. Next week, on Part 2, I will be talking about what to do with your saved papers and where they are going to go. Get your Complete Sunday Basket with On Demand Workshop here!
January 21, 2018
The Sunday Basket® Club When I started the Sunday Basket®, my idea was to teach you Sunday Basket® 1.0 and Sunday Basket® 2.0, and for you to just do your Sunday Basket®. I thought that the key to getting organized was to have the right knowledge and the right supplies and then organization would just magically happen on its own! What I didn't take into account was that when I work with my professional organization clients, I provide accountability and motivation by just being there. When you're learning to make a Sunday Basket®, some of you are like me - you can just set up the system, put it on your to-do list, and boom, it just gets done! For others, having the professional organizer standing in their home provides much more than the products and the knowledge. I am excited about the knowledge and the products that we are going to give you for organizing your paper. But in addition to that, you also need the support, the community, and the accountability to get it done. That's where the Sunday Basket® Club comes in. I reached out to my good friend, Monique, who was really excited to help me run the Sunday Basket® Club. And after a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, we have developed what we think is a great club, a place for you to join in if you need accountability, support, and community in order to get your Sunday Basket® done. Why should I join the Sunday Basket® Club? The interesting thing about getting organized is that you start in one area and it just morphs into others, like peeling back the layers of an onion. And for your home, I have systematically figured out how to walk you through your entire house with the 100 Day Home Organization Program. With paper, it is a whole different problem because we all have different kinds of paper in our house. How you organize your paper and the questions that you may ask will vary by individual. Making a Sunday Basket® can be done in a weekend. Learning to use it regularly can take 6 to 8 weeks and the Sunday Basket® Club can help you to do that. If you stick with the podcast, 6 to 12 months from now all your paperwork will be organized or in digital format. The amount of time this takes depends on how much time you have to spend on the activities and how much paper you have to go through. So why start now? Well, because it's going to take longer and longer, the longer you wait!  What is the Sunday Basket® Club? The Sunday Basket® Club is founded on the premise that people need accountability, support, and community. It is included in the Complete Paper Program or as part of ALL ACCESS Inside the club you get three things: 1. The Facebook Group A like-minded group of people who are organizing their paper and have already taken Sunday Basket® 1.0 and 2.0. We insist on this so people have a common understanding of the colored slash pockets and are using a common vocabulary in asking and understanding the answers to questions. Monique will be in the group pretty much every day. I will come into the group twice a week and we will answer all your questions and, of course, you will be there to help each other. This will be your community. 2. Facebook Live Every Sunday at 5pm Eastern, Monique or Ryan will be live in the Facebook Group for 90 minutes going through her Sunday Basket® and helping you go through yours. The beauty of this is that you don't know what your questions are until you are actually doing it. This helps to keep you working through your Sunday Basket® and wait for the answer to that question you didn't know you had. As the club grows, we will add additional professional organizers into the group and additional Facebook Live's, but it will only be at 3pm Eastern on Sundays for the first 2 or 3 months. 3. Live Q&A Every otherTuesday Morning at at 9:45 am Eastern, Monique will answer all of your "file or binder" related questions live. Get your Complete Sunday Basket with On Demand Workshop here!
January 14, 2018
Sunday Basket® 2.0? Congratulations! If you have been following along with my podcast episodes, you have gotten your Sunday Basket® all set up and are on week two of using it. But I bet you are still feeling a little overwhelmed. The number one thing that makes you feel overwhelmed when starting to use the Sunday Basket® is that not everything fits into the first 5 pockets. I mean, where do you put your recipes, your business or small project paperwork? The first 5 pockets that you set up are called Sunday Basket® 1.0 and these are for tasks you do every single week like paying your bills, updating your calendar, placing orders online, and so on. These 5 pockets will save you time and will save your sanity, but the beauty of the Sunday Basket® is when you take it to Sunday Basket® 2.0 level. What is Sunday Basket® 2.0? I thought about how I use my Sunday Basket® and what works best for me, but it took me a while to figure out how to teach you to do the same thing. And the products I wanted to do this with didn't exist. I had custom slash pockets created that are different than all others available on the market and different from those in Sunday Basket® 1.0. I even had the colors specifically designed for me… maybe you should be a little worried about me! Try to visualize this... in Sunday Basket® 1.0, the 5 slash pocket colors cascade down the outside (red, orange, yellow, green, blue). But in Sunday Basket® 2.0, they are packs of each colored slash pocket. So the first 5 are all blue, then the next 5 are green, then pink, and then purple so you have 5 of each of the 4 colors. Once I had these slash pockets to teach the Sunday Basket® 2.0 how I wanted to teach it, I realized that I not only manage my paperwork, but also prioritize and do my goal setting all in my Sunday Basket®. I never realized this until I really started thinking about it, breaking it down, and working out how I wanted to teach it to you. Now, you don't have to use my slash pockets. You can buy regular ones and it will still work. But I will tell you that it is easier if you do use my slash pockets. The Sunday Basket® 1.0 process corals all of your paperwork in one place and helps you to go through it on a regular basis and not miss bill payments and important paperwork. The Sunday Basket® 2.0 and beyond corals all your papers... and all your hopes and dreams... into different slash pockets and then allows you to prioritize them. What Do the Colors Mean For You? The start of the Sunday Basket® 2.0 Workshop is getting you to think about what you want the colors to represent, what do you need them to be. You don't need to use all 20 pockets. And sometimes, you will naturally fill more of the pockets than at other times, depending on what is going on in your life. We talk about what to put in each of the pockets. For me, I use blue for my family as it is a color representative of loyalty, green for money (it's the color of money, right?), purple for household stuff, and, saving the best for last, the pink one for you. And this is where I focused for this week’s podcast episode, on the pink slash pocket. Because once you have a slash pocket just for you, you really start to think about yourself. We all have goals for ourselves, but let's be honest, if your husband, kids or work call, those personal goals don't take priority. Having this slash pocket has changed how I look at things. This is how my five pink pockets are labeled: Clothing One of the things I've noticed as a woman is I buy my kids new clothes each season as they grow or they wear them out. It’s kind of fun and it's what my Mom did for me. But as soon as we get older, we stop buying clothes for ourselves. We only buy what we desperately need and cannot do without. So I decided it was time to start buying clothes for me again. And I have a new style that I like so I actually have a slash pocket for my clothing. It's where I store my coupons, ideas of things I've seen, frilly shirts I want to buy, and the most recent edition of catalogs I like. Recipes My husband has done all the cooking for the last 3 to 4 years, but I'm making a weekly recipe for a friend so it is a personal goal of mine to make a fun new recipe every week for my friend and my husband. So this is also one of my pink pockets. Home Improvements We have lived in our house now for 20 years. It's gorgeous and I love it. But I decorated it 20 years ago and it needs a little improving and updating. And since we are having a graduation party this year, what better excuse do I need to update things! This is more about me expressing myself in my home rather than mechanically fixing things in our home (that I would put in the purple pocket). Travel This is the slash pocket that Greg would like to hide from me, but it's happening... I'm traveling. In this pocket, I put things like my passport renewal, TSA (Transport Security Administration) pre-check approval, which I've done, and yesterday I applied for a new credit card. I also put in there my plans to go to a conference in March, the Organize 365 National Convention I'm organizing in Dallas in June, and a trip to Orlando with the team to plan this convention (a convention to plan a convention – I actually think this is a brilliant idea!). I am also going to pick out a new suitcase and look at how to really pack that case so I am only taking a carry-on with me, something I will be sure to share with you on the Organize 365 podcast. Fitness I'm no good at programs and diets. I just know I need to eat less and more often to maintain my weight so my goal is to walk 5,000 steps 2 to 3 days a week. I know this doesn't sound much like a "fitness" goal and more like a "not being a sloth goal," but it is all about you, what you want to do to move your life forward. You can't do all of these things at once. They are not weekly tasks, but they are actionable in 2018 and provide good reminders of your goals. Get your Complete Sunday Basket with On Demand Workshop here!
January 7, 2018
Step 5 - Can It Wait Until NEXT Sunday? If you’ve been listening to my podcasts in real time (on the day that they were released), then you’ll know that this podcast episode was released on the first Sunday of 2018. I am so excited about this. If you’ve listened to episodes 1-7, then today is the end of my daily episodes of the Sunday Basket® Podcast (they'll be released weekly from now on). If you have been following along and taking action with each episode, then you’re almost done with your Sunday Basket®. I’m picturing all of the Sunday Baskets that have been created all over the world. I’m picturing all the women that are taking control of their to-do lists that have been sucking away their time, energy, and causing stress. Every podcast episode, from episode 1 through to this episode, is actionable. They all have an action for you to complete. We have emptied our Sunday Basket® completely. We've gotten rid of all items that needed shredding or recycling. We have opened all of our mail. We've divided our actionable items into three piles – mail and money, computer and calendar, and errands and things to do outside of the house. And we took action with our mail and money and our computer and calendar items. Can it wait until NEXT Sunday? We must always make this assessment with all items – can this wait until next Sunday? With money and mail items, if it can wait until next week, then we put it into a green slash pocket (if you have been to one of my workshops, you’ll have one of these) or you can clip it together. Then it goes back into your Sunday Basket®. Similarly, with your computer and calendar pile, anything that can wait gets put into an orange slash pocket or clipped together. Then it goes back into your Sunday Basket®. In the errand pile, you have selected what can be completed this week. You've created your "car closet" – putting items in the trunk of your car on a Sunday that you’ll need through the week. You have also made your to-do list based on what can be completed this week. Any errands that won’t be completed this week should go into a yellow slash pocket (if you have one) or clipped together – then back into your Sunday Basket®. Sunday Basket® 2.0 Any other items that you have left in front of you are the topic of next week’s podcast episode – I call this Sunday Basket® 2.0. They are usually items that are unique to you – recipes, memorabilia, work-related, etc. For now, just group the items together as best you can. With each item ask yourself, can it wait until next Sunday? Of course, if it can't, take action. Then put your Sunday Basket® back on the kitchen counter. Next Sunday, I’ll teach you what to do with all of those items that didn’t fit into the red, green, and orange slash pockets. Don’t worry, there is a system. They have not been neglected! Get your Complete Sunday Basket with On Demand Workshop here!
January 6, 2018
Step 4 - Plan Your Week In this podcast episode and blog post, I’m so excited to share with you my free weekly planning printables. Head to the homepage and you’ll see that when you sign up for my newsletter, you get a copy of my planning printables, too. The planning printables are something that I created years ago.  I’ve realized that, although I’ve moved to a Google Calendar as my planner for the day-to-day, sometimes I just need paper, too! On a Sunday night, when I’m doing my Sunday Basket®, I flesh out a plan for my week ahead (using my planning printables). I love writing my plan out. I find that physically writing something down on a piece of paper creates a different connection within your brain in relation to that task, as opposed to making a digital record. I recognize that planning your week ahead is an extra task on a Sunday for you to complete, but I promise that in doing so, you’ll see that your week flows so much easier and in a far more organized way. You’ll also be able to add new and exciting things into your week that you previously didn’t have time to do before! If you’ve been following along with the previous podcast episodes, then you should currently have an empty Sunday Basket®. Let’s recap! You’ve shredded and recycled paper that you don’t need. You’ve placed your actionable items into three piles – money and mail, computer and calendar, and errands and tasks outside of the house. You worked through the money and mail pile, and the computer and calendar pile, and you took action with every item in there – apart from those that can wait until next week (the focus of my next podcast episode)! This week, I’m looking at the errands and things to do outside of the house pile. You can’t complete these on a Sunday (most likely), but what you can do is plan out your week so that they do get completed. To help you do this, go ahead and download my planning printables. How to use the printables There are two printable PDF documents. The first printable has three columns. Things to do every week – turn phone off and on again, fully charge electronic items, etc. Home to-do list – your to-do list related to your household and family. Work to-do list – work is whatever you spend the majority of your time doing. Work is not necessarily paid; it could be volunteering or home schooling. The second printable is used to plan your week ahead. You add the top 3 things that you are going to complete each day. The top of the planner says ‘Top 3 Work’ and ‘Top 3 Home’ – but to be clear, you don’t set three of each, just three tasks overall. Why set three things to complete every day? I truly believe that setting 3 tasks to complete every day is the key to having a really productive day and week. We all naturally try and do too much. You most likely think "three things, I have twenty things to do every day!" – but that is the problem. We try to do too much and it all becomes disorganized and often overwhelming. The key thing is to batch together your work and the tasks that you need to do. If you batch together work, you save on all of the transition time. For example, one of my three tasks today is recording my podcast episodes. I’m recording 11 podcasts today! I consider this one task because the task is to go to my office and record the podcasts – but in reality, you could call it 11 tasks because it’s 11 podcast episodes. But, it’s so much easier and far more productive for me to set all of my podcasting equipment up today to record a batch of episodes than it is to record all 11 podcast episodes over the course of the next 11 days recording 1 per day. It would take time every day to set everything up, put equipment away, etc. Pick a day for your errands I really recommend selecting a day of the week to complete the majority of your errands. Pick the day of the week that typically goes awry. For me, that’s Tuesday or Wednesday. I LOVE Monday, I get so much done on a Monday. Thursday is an excellent day as well. I get lots of content created on a Thursday. Friday is the day where I finish early as I’m pooped! Tuesday and Wednesday are the days when I meet my team, I do guest interviews on other podcasts, and they are also the days that I tend to schedule doctor’s appointments, school appointments, hair appointments – naturally, they became my errand days. Can you think of a day or days that you tend to do this? If you work full-time, perhaps this is Saturday? Most of us have a day that errands are more easily completed. My action for you is to pick a day that is going to be your errand day. Make a to-do list. Pick your top 3 things to complete for each day. Try to get all of your errands completed on that day. Don’t forget to download my free planning printables to help you. Happy Planning! Get your Complete Sunday Basket with On Demand Workshop here!
January 5, 2018
Step 3 - Take Action! I hope you’re enjoying The Sunday Basket® Podcast so far. If you’ve been following along with the podcast episodes, then you should have three piles of your actionable items from your Sunday Basket®. Your three actionable piles are: Mail & Money: Bills and things to be mailed Errands & Outside The House: Errands and items that you need to buy or do outside of the home Computer & Calendar: Items that need to be put on your computer, on your calendar, or you need to order them on your computer The next part takes up the bulk of your Sunday Basket® time. It can take you anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to work on these piles. Before we get going, I want to let you know that the Sunday Basket® is all about you. While I may talk about your kids, your spouse, and your extended family, the Sunday Basket® is about YOU. It’s about your time, your to-do's, and your calendar. It applies to any woman, of any generation, anywhere in the world. Your first action now is to sit down with your mail and money pile and work through it. Pay your bills. Reconcile your bank checks (I can’t be the only person who still does this!). Check your investments. Mail out whatever needs to be mailed on a Monday morning. This usually takes me about 30 minutes. Next up is your computer and calendar pile. I have two high school-age teenage kids who are getting ready for college, learning to drive… they are as busy as ever. I manage a calendar for each family member. I spend a lot of time calculating things like who is driving who, where, and when. I note everything on calendars. I need to spend at least 30 minutes each Sunday doing work on our calendars. Next, I work on computer-related tasks. For example, I do my grocery shopping online, I order A LOT on Amazon (daily). I check my email. This is another good 30 minutes to an hour. My Sunday Basket® takes me at least 90 minutes every week. The great thing is that on Sunday night, I feel very organized. I can focus on my business Monday to Friday and on my family Saturday and Sunday. Finally, we're to errands and outside the home tasks. They are often the tasks that we don’t equate time to.  But, they can take up so much more time than you realize. For example, I worked out that I drove 25 hours a week last year just driving my kids to school and back. That is a lot of time. I have an organizer friend who spends 3 hours a day commuting. All of this time in the car can be lost time. Your errand pile isn’t going to be completed on Sunday, but you’re going to plan for it. For example, what can you put into the trunk of your car now that you’ll need later in the week? All of these actions help you to have a more organized and productive week. When I go to bed on Sunday night, my goal is that all the bills are paid, the mail is ready to go out the following morning, I’ve updated my calendar for the week, everyone in my family knows where they are going and when, I have bought anything that I possibly can for the week coming up, and the errands for the week are pre-planned. Now it’s your turn! Take action on your money and mail, your calendar and computer, and plan your errands. In the next episode, I’m going to talk about how to plan your week. Get your Complete Sunday Basket with On Demand Workshop here!
January 4, 2018
Step 2 - Your Top 3 Sunday Basket® Piles If you listened to the last podcast episode and followed along taking action, then currently you have a completely empty Sunday Basket®. You also have a big pile of paper that requires action.  You've gotten rid of anything that can be shredded or recycled. You've opened up all of your mail and only kept the parts that you need to take action on. Phew! Now everything in front of you needs to be acted upon. There are three things that are in every person’s Sunday Basket®. Mail & Money: Bills and things to be mailed Errands & Outside The House: Errands and items that you need to buy or do outside of the home Computer & Calendar: Items that need to be put on your computer, on your calendar, or you need to order something on your computer Almost all actionable items in your Sunday Basket® each week fall into one of those three categories. I want you to make three piles according to the three categories above. In the next podcast episode, I’m going to discuss what to do with your three piles! Get your Complete Sunday Basket with On Demand Workshop here!
January 3, 2018
Step 1 - Shred, Recycle, Open & Sort The next five podcasts go through exactly what to do with the items that you have in your Sunday Basket®. When you sit down to do your Sunday Basket®, follow the actions that I talk about in this podcast episode and the following four podcasts, too. There are two key actions that lead to the success of the Sunday Basket®... first, to completely empty it every time, and second, you must go through it every single week! Before you get started, make sure you find a place that you’re comfortable sitting while you complete a project. For me, it’s sitting on my bed or the floor. I make too many piles to do it at the table! Also, have your trash bin next to you and a space for a recycling pile. Step 1: Empty your Sunday Basket® By empty, I mean completely empty. Take everything out of your basket. Move your empty basket to the side. The only things going back into your empty basket are the things that can wait until next Sunday. Step 2: Decide what can be recycled or trashed Spend 5-10 minutes deciding what can be recycled (or shredded) or trashed. Quickly filter out those items that you can decide on right away, like flyers and magazines. Step 3: Pick up each item and open all your mail If your mail needs to be recycled or trashed, put it in that pile right away. Then, open up the bills. Keep the important section of the bill (the part that you need to pay the bill) and put it into a pile for taking action. Shred or recycle the rest. You’ve now filtered out of your basket all items that require recycling or trashing, and you’re left with a pile of paper where everything requires action. Now may be a good time for a little break from the sorting. I suggest you take action on the household to-do items.  For example, if you need to order batteries for that kitchen appliance or sew that button on a blouse, take a bit of a break from the paper sorting and take action. There you have it, step 1 of The Sunday Basket® – shred, recycle, open and sort. Step 2 is covered in my next podcast episode number 5. Happy Sorting! Get your Complete Sunday Basket with On Demand Workshop here!
January 2, 2018
Fill Your Sunday Basket®  It’s time to fill your Sunday Basket®! If you’ve been listening along to my previous podcast episodes, then you have: Got your basket (or box or bag) Decided on the day of the week that you’ll go through it Plus, you may have signed up for a Sunday Basket®  Workshop. Now it’s time to take some more action and fill your basket. There are four items that I want you to put into your Sunday Basket®. From now until the day that you are going to sort your basket, I want you to be filling your basket with these four items. Mail Put all of your mail into the basket. It does not need to be open and you don’t need to sort through it – just put your mail into the basket. Defer your brain power until Sunday when it comes to sorting mail. Coupons Put coupons unclipped into your Sunday Basket®. Actionable to-do's Put all actionable to-do's in your basket. For example, when someone asks you to fill out paperwork, or arrange a lunch, etc. Always ask yourself the question, “can this wait until Sunday?” If the answer is yes, put it in your Sunday Basket®. The number one thing that causes worry, stress, and exhaustion is thinking about these things. We’re clearing up your mental exhaustion so that you can clearly think about these things on Sunday. Notes to yourself I recommend you go to a store and get index cards and post-it notes and get into the habit of writing notes to yourself. When you think of something that you need or want to do, write it down on a piece of paper and put that paper into your Sunday Basket® if it can wait until Sunday. If you don’t have time to write a note, put something in your basket that will serve as a reminder. For example, if you need a new food item, put the empty box in your basket to remind you to order another. Your Sunday Basket® Must Go On Your Kitchen Counter This is why you should get something that looks pretty! My own Sunday Basket® that will be available to purchase in February is pretty and functional (to me functional is the most important, but it is pretty, too!). If your Sunday Basket® is anywhere else, like in your home office, you just won’t use it. Your Sunday Basket® is your inbox for the whole family so it needs to be prominent to you and all family members. The key thing is to defer everything that you possibly can until Sunday. This will enable you to defer your brain when it comes to thinking about these things until Sunday, reducing your worry and stress through the week. It may seem like you are going to spend far too long going through the Sunday Basket®, but I promise you that I will walk you through it, step-by-step, week-by-week. By around Week 6, you will not believe you ever got by without a Sunday Basket®! You will learn how to become ultra-productive which will improve your life in more ways than you can imagine. Action For Today: Go fill your basket! View the complete post here:
January 1, 2018
The Sunday Basket® Workshop In my next couple of podcast episodes, I’m going to tell you exactly how to set up a Sunday Basket®. The idea is that you can follow along and set-up your own basket as you listen. However, I know that we all like to learn in different ways. There are some people who learn just fine on their own, and there are other people who like to learn with others face-to-face or virtually. If you fall into the latter category, then you are going to be really pleased to learn that I offer two different types of Sunday Basket® Workshops – they are either delivered by me or by one of my wonderful Certified Sunday Basket® Workshop Organizers. The Sunday Basket® Workshop  $97 Are you ready to create a lasting system for the paperwork and to-do’s that clutter your kitchen counter tops and your mind? The Sunday Basket® Workshop is the solution for you. The complete Sunday Basket® System includes all workshop materials, the physical Sunday Basket® and digital recording of a Sunday Basket Workshop for you to watch on demand – multiple times. Where do I START organizing? That’s the number one question I get asked as a professional organizer. And while that is a loaded question with multiple “right” answers, I have decided to start all of my clients with a simple system I call The Sunday Basket®. You see, organization is a way of living, and “being organized” is a way of thinking. The Sunday Basket® is a system for processing mail, kitchen counter “to do” papers, and ongoing household projects. The weekly routine of collecting, processing, and maintaining household to do’s and papers is the perfect training ground for all your future home organization skills. And, like it or not, the mail just keeps on coming… giving us plenty of practice to hone and refine our organizing skills. The Sunday Basket® can be as simple as the place you drop your unopened mail to complex enough to run every aspect of your household. Over the last 16 years, I have tweaked and honed my Sunday Basket®into a productivity machine. I rarely misplace any to-do and my family knows to drop all receipts, notes, and mail right in my Sunday Basket®. The key to my productivity is a set of color-coordinated slash pockets that keep my ongoing ideas and tasks in order and insight without getting in my way. The Complete Sunday Basket® System includes: Sunday Basket 1.0 + Sunday Basket 2.0 + the physical Sunday Basket.   The Sunday Basket® 1.0 Workshop will go through the basics of a Sunday Basket® and create the first 5 slash pockets that ALL baskets have in common.   The Sunday Basket® 2.0 Workshop will teach you how to organize, prioritize, and complete the projects you always want to “get to someday.” This second part of the system adds 20 slash pockets in 4 colors: pink, purple, blue and green. {An additional set of 20 slash pockets may be added to your order after you register.} The basket is 13″ wide x 9″ high x 9″ deep. The velcro attachment inside gives you a bit of flexibility depending on how you attach it. It creates a section that is 2.75 to 3.5 inches. Select your color of Sunday Basket from the drop-down menu to complete your order. **NOTE** INTERNATIONAL PURCHASERS will be charged $35 for international shipping. purchase here The Sunday Basket® Workshop Certified Organizers I can’t do everything myself! I have a team of Sunday Basket® Workshop Certified Organizers who also deliver workshops. These certified organizers hold in-person workshops and virtual workshops in the US and Canada. If you’re interested in becoming a certified organizer, please click here.
December 31, 2017
Why A Basket And Why Sunday? I’m so happy launch my second podcast – The Sunday Basket® Podcast. If you are brand new to my site, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Lisa Woodruff, a professional organizer and productivity expert. I have another podcast called Organize 365, and it’s been going strong for almost three years. I decided to start a second podcast because, as a homeowner, you have two different and distinct things to organize – your home and your paper! I LOVE to talk about paper organization. It’s one of my favorite topics. I could talk about paper organization all day long! But I’m aware that not all of my listeners of the Organize 365 Podcast want to listen to me talk about paper organization… or at least not as much as I want to talk about it. And so, the birth of The Sunday Basket® Podcast! The Sunday Basket® Podcast is an actionable podcast. I hope to inspire you to take action in order to get your household paperwork organized. In my first podcast episode, and in this post, I’m going to explain to you what a Sunday Basket® is. Why a basket? Why Sunday? Let me explain... Where The Sunday Basket® Idea Came From Going back 15 years ago, when my kids were 2 and 3 years old, I was running a couple side businesses that equated to full-time jobs. I was a wife, mom, caretaker, homemaker, cook, laundress… sound familiar? I had a lot of paper. Plus, I had an addiction to these beautiful baskets made in Ohio called "Longaberger." You can already see where this is going! One particular evening, I decided to tackle the 12-inch pile of paper on my kitchen counter. The paper stack was disorganized and there were a lot of actions for us to take within that stack of paper – including bills to pay, adoption paperwork, invoices to send out, orders to place, etc. The first action that I took was to sort the paperwork into piles. I had 40 different actionable kinds of piles. I found I’d been paying bills late simply because I didn’t know where they were. Being disorganized can be demoralizing and you start to question yourself. It can feel like your life is out of control. This is how I felt with my 40 piles of paper. I was overwhelmed, but I knew what I needed to do. I created a plan to tackle each pile of paperwork one at a time. Well, that was 15 years ago and that’s when I consider the Sunday Basket® System to have been created. During the 15 past years of having a Sunday Basket®, I’ve gone from having just a few bits of paper in it, to having an overwhelming pile of paper. It ebbs and flows, but I always have one. In essence, it was a basket that I sorted through on a Sunday. Sunday has always been the day of the week for me when I manage to get some time to myself and I have the most energy. Your Paperwork Changes Throughout The Year When people start having a Sunday Basket®, the same thing always happens. Sometimes, their Sunday Basket® is overwhelming and full. Sometimes, it’s down to a few pieces of paper and it seems as though you don’t need a Sunday Basket® anymore. Do not be fooled! You always need to have one in my opinion. I find these things ebb and flow with the seasons. On the Organize 365 Podcast, I often talk about how I divide my year into 3, and there is a different energy associated with each 3rd of the year. Right now, it’s the beginning of 2018. I call this my "new year" – I set goals and work through my to-do list. At the beginning of May, I switch to my "summer year" – it’s more laid back. I don’t get as much online work done, but I get more done around my house. I spend a lot of time with my family and I set parenting goals. Then, from September to December, I have my "school year" – at this time I am at my most productive. My Sunday Basket® becomes very full during the transitions between these three seasons. What Is A Sunday Basket®? The Sunday Basket® is a container that holds your actionable to-dos, your kitchen counter paperwork, and you go through it every single Sunday. In the next 7 podcast episodes, I share with you exactly how you set up a Sunday Basket® and what you should be doing each time. Action Steps: Get a basket (or box or bag) Pick a day (it doesn’t have to be Sunday) My own Sunday Basket® will be released in February (very exciting… it’s going to be amazing). If you want that, please be patient.  In the meantime, grab the nearest bag or box that you have and use that! In terms of sizes, try and make sure you basket is about the size of a big watermelon and about 9 inches tall so it could fit a binder or slash pockets (plastic binder inserts). Your task for today is to find a basket, box, or bag to be your Sunday Basket® and decide on a day that you can do go through it every week. Let Me Help You I am a teacher by trade, a professional organizer, an Amazon no.1 bestseller, and I have taught thousands of women how to organize their homes online and in my local city of Cincinnati. I am going to help you create a system in your household for organizing your paperwork so that it never has to be overwhelming again. Get your Complete Sunday Basket with On Demand Workshop here!
      0:00:00 / 0:00:00