Eileen Roth

Eileen Roth is a productivity expert and the author of Organizing For Dummies. She helps people be better organized in the Office, Home, Time Management and Student Organization.

Forget items at the grocery store? Use a template.

Do you find yourself unpacking your groceries at home and realize your forgot to buy something you wanted?  Maybe it was a gallon of milk, butter, cereal or bread.  Whatever it was, it had been on your mind, but once you were grocery shopping you totally forgot about it.

 

It happens. 

It happens even more when you don’t create a list. 

 

Most people make a grocery list just before they go shopping.  That’s not when you tend to think of things.  It’s usually while you’re making dinner, or any meal, and realize you are running low on something or that next week you’d like to make this particular meal that would require ingredients that aren’t in the house.

What if there was a way to create your list when most things popped into your head?  When you’re preparing a meal.  When you’re home.

 

That’s why it helps to have a Master Grocery List.  One you could print off weekly, or whenever you needed a new list, that you could place in an easily accessible place.  A place like the refrigerator or a bulletin board in the kitchen area.  And to make it even easier, what if that list was already printed for you?  You wouldn’t even have to create a master list, just mark a template.

 

I designed a Grocery List Template that has over 250 items on it.  You can hang it up and not only you, but ever member of your family could see it and use it.  All you need is a highlighter, or if you want you could circle an item.  Then you would have a list ready to go.  If you thought about needing mayo on Tuesday and fish on Friday, you would have the list right there to mark.  And if a family member wanted waffles for breakfast next week, they could mark that down too.

 

Most  people buy the same things, and the same brands every week.  However, you may prefer to make your own list so you could be more specific.  So if you’d rather put down specific items, like Cheerios or Raisin Bran, then Sheet 2 of the Grocery List has just the 17 categories with lines under them  so you could list exactly what you want to get.

My Grocery List Optin

Try it both ways, one week with a pre-printed list and one week with just the Categories.  The most important thing is to have a list that everyone can add to and that you can re-print weekly whenever you need it.  You have nothing to lose, and may find yourself saving alot of time and not having to make another trip to the grocery store because you’re out of milk!

 

Here’s the Grocery List

It is my present to you.

 

Where did it go?

It disappeared.  It just vanished.

I spent days looking for it, hours at a time.

I looked under the bed, in the closet, everywhere.

 

But I can’t find the remote for the bed so my husband can sleep somewhat upright. If you have sleep apnea, you know what I am talking about.  It’s like a hospital bed. Adjust it any way you want it to go.

I know I shouldn’t think so, but I suspect a little grandkid about 3 yrs. old may have moved it.  He loved to push the buttons and watch the head or the feet of the bed go up or down.   I did call and ask him if he took it, and he said no.

 

Of course it didn’t help that it had been missing for a few days before we realized it. My husband stopped raising his bed every night because sometimes he could just fall asleep. And it doesn’t help that there is a garbage can right but he night table where the remote would Sit. I really do think I would have checked the trash bag if it weighed much as it is usually just full of tissues.  But it’s been 3 weeks and the remote has now shown up.

I’m an organizer, and I don’t like to say I lost something, but it’s lost. Possibly lost forever.

We called the bed company and they wanted $150 for a new remote.  Then it turned out that they could take m y emote – since we got matching beds – and pair it to his bed.  So we did that since I only raised mine when I had foot surgery and had to be in bed several days.

Still hoping we find it, but I’m almost giving up.  But – you never know.  I have yet to pull absolutely everything off the closet floor – just in case it’s in there.  About 2 years ago I found a digital camera in a boot.  Apparently my husband packed it in the boot on the way home from a vacation and forgot, and we just thought we lost that camera.  Of course when we found it we already had better cameras.

So even though I’m an organizer, some things can get lost, accidentally.

Never said anything was 100%.

Reminder:

Have a place for everything, and put everything in its place.

And don’t change it!   (story for another day)

 

 

PS  If you have little kids and remotes – hide them (the remotes, not the kids) when they come over.

Or the remotes may disappear!

This got me up in arms (really frustrated) and I’m mostly an introvert!

I read something that I totally disagree with.

In fact it surprised me how strong my reaction was.  I feel like a fish out of water.

 

Just minutes ago I read an email and someone suggested this. I shot back an email immediately and said

“Please don’t ever do that!”

In fact if you follow me on twitter, you might have seen that someone recently tagged me in an article we were both quoted in, that had this same idea (not a comment from the person who tagged me.)  Normally I would have played up a place I’d been quoted in, especially since it’s a major online pub. I admit that I didn’t promote this article because I didn’t agree with many of the other organizers’ comments in the article.  But today I feel like I need to say something after one more person even thought of doing this!

So what am I fussing about?  I just got an email that said this guy was thinking of “color coordinating his books.” I think this guy was jesting when he said it, but I’m not sure.  I literally told him that sentence got me “up in arms.”

Maybe you’d think that organizing books by color is a good idea. The blocks of colors would look pretty. It’s logical. Something I’m all about – logic. I even advocate color coordinating for: paper file systems, binder spines, closet organizing and especially for calendars.  I’d color coordinate my digital files, if I could. But that’s about it. Color coordinating your books – it’s useless!

Really, how can you even think of color coordinating your books–or sorting them by height? How do you find anything? Are you going to remember a book is blue, or yellow or green, or tall or short? There’s only one way to organize books and that’s by type. First separating fiction from nonfiction and then by categories: i.e. biographies, art, music, health, hobbies, etc.   For business:  marketing,  sales, writing , training, etc.  You can even create subcategories: I have separate shelves for office organizing, time management, and home organizing. That’s how you organize books. That’s how you find something.

The realtor’s.com article is about décor. I don’t organize my house for someone else to think it’s pretty. I organize my house and my office so I can find what I want — WHEN I WANT IT!

Everything in its Place – that’s my motto and my business name.  Make your house, and especially your office, functional, don’t organized things to waste time.

OK, I feel like I’m on a soapbox. And I was wondering what I was going to write about on my blog. No problem this week.  I’m done.  I need a nice cup of hot chamomile tea and a good Victorian romance book to relax!  Yes, I do read  them!  (refer to the comment in the realtors.com article)

Eileen

PS  And for heaven’s sake, don’t use your books to hold up a lamp or anything else. You bought the books someone wrote them– read them or display them or donate them.  But please don’t ruin them!

 

The Right Conditions can Compel You to Complete a Goal

I like things to be organized, as you can imagine.   If you didn’t see the recent message, in the past few months I’ve had 5 surgeries since January, so doing spring cleaning was out of the question.  Either I had eye surgeries, a boot on my foot, or I had my eardrum repaired.  I didn’t feel like doing much of anything for the past few months.  Pain meds also affected my desire and drive.

I’ve been wanting to clean all the fake trees and plants in the house for some time.  Once I tried cleaning a large ceramic potted plant,  leaf by leaf.  It only took one plant and several hours to realize that just wasn’t going to ever happen again– especially with 4 large trees, 4 large ceramic potted plants, and more than half a dozen small planters.

 

goal - cleaning fake plants and trees

What compelled me to achieve this goal?

Cleaning fake plants is not my favorite thing, but it is one of those cleaning jobs that needs to be done once a year.  And to me, the late spring or early summer is the best time to get these plants done.

It was just the right temp today, a little breeze and not too cold to play with water. I might have to touch up a few leaves, but 95% of the dust just washes off the fake trees and plants with a hose.  (Do a light, wide stream – little pressure on the leaves.)   In fact most of the time it takes longer for the styrofoam or wicker basket inside the ceramic pots to dry than the plants themselves.  Of course I didn’t wash the expensive silk flower plant.  That’s for another day –with a paintbrush. (I haven’t tried the salt in a bag trick-at least not yet.)

As you can see in the picture, it’s not a small job.  The trees all mean climbing a ladder to hose down each tree starting with the top leaves.  The hardest part is getting the trees and big pots over the patio door track which is also raised about a half step.  Even though I keep the trees and large planters on rolling wheel stands to easily move them around the floor for vacuuming, many of the ceramic pots are way too heavy to lift over the patio door track.  I had to have help.

I had just the right conditions to compel me to get this done today –  the perfect weather, a little breeze and warm sun to dry the plants, and me (especially after my grandson’s idea of helping was to soak me too with the hose.)

My goal is now complete.

Another project done for the year.

I’ll probably sleep well tonite.  It’s a lot of exertion to move those trees and pots.

 

Something to check off my list – until next year.

 

What could compel you to get a goal done this season?

Deliberate Practice

Did you know that you really need to do more than just repetition to make a significant improvement? On Toggl’s blog, (a time tracking service) Kat Boogard wrote about a technique called Deliberate Practice. She quoted Jeff Cobb who said “Deliberate practice is designed around improving performance, rather than sheer repetition. ” That’s why you don’t remember shortcuts you have done more than once, because it wasn’t focused concentration to remember it. Check this article out. You don’t have to be a member to read it, but you might want to check toggl out.

Travel Hacks

If you travel a lot, or even a few times a year, you will appreciate these travel hacks I found.

Having had my luggage lost and delivered a day late, twice; I have always followed the advice of packing an extra set of clothes.

I would add to that a jacket. You never know when you will have weather changes, cold airplanes, or even night weather drops. If it’s in your luggage and it’s lost or late, you’ll be happy to have it with you!

 

Read more tips here:  travel hacks

How to Know what Product to Create

 Something I am going through right now, paper file organization course or just digital organization? One of the things my mentor, Jeff Herring, says is Ask. So I have started asking. I haven’t had great results yet, but I am still asking. If you want to know what product to create, read Jeff Herring’s blog.

 

BIG Product Creation Mistake (Do THIS Instead!)

Naps can Rejuvenate you

Should you take a nap during work days?  Good question.

You wouldn’t want visitors, or even your boss, coming into the office and seeing you with your head down.

So your choices would be an empty conference room or private office. Or your car if it’s not too cold outside.

If you’re a home-based business, then it’s easy to go into your bedroom.  In either case, you might want to set an alarm on your phone to wake you at a certain time so you don’t nap too long.

Personally, I do work better in the morning and at night.  My downtime is the afternoon.  I feel rather slow and sluggish  in the afternoon and find it harder to concentrate which is why I try to do something routine like data entry in the afternoon.  Focusing and thinking are better for me in the morning or evening times.

So it would seem that I might want to nap in the afternoon and re-energize, but I haven’t really tried it.  The few times I’ve napped in the daytime it was because I had a bad night the night before or I was sick.

Michael Hyatt  references some major people who were nappers:  Edison, daVinci, Einstein, and JF Kennedy, and

Helen Sanders (Health Ambition) describes power naps and how they work.  Very interesting article, especially on how you have to wake before you go into deep sleep.

 

Maybe next time I’m tired in the afternoon, I should try a short nap.  It just might rejuvenate me to make better use of my afternoons.  Do you nap?  If so, how long?

 

 

Read Michael Hyatt’s nap article here:    Naps are Rejuvenating

and be sure to check out Helen  Sander’s article on how power naps work.

Here’s to sleeping –  I mean napping!!

 

Eileen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regrets After Decluttering

When my mother passed, and my father cleaned out the house, there were 2 items I didn’t think to ask him to save.

  1. One was a picture I had made for my mother.  It was just a paint by number, but it was a picture of a woman celebrating the Sabbath on velvet and she had framed it and kept it on our living room wall.

    Thinking about regrets

    Thinking back

  2. The second regret was sheet music I had since I was around 12 or 13 when I was taking piano lessons.  They were all popular songs. I never could get the left-hand notes right or coordinate it with the right hand, so the piano teacher taught me guitar chords on the piano for the left hand.  I had all this sheet music from popular songs of the day, and my Dad pitched them.  Now, I did get the actual piano when he moved to Florida, but I wish I had that sheet music to go along with it!

 

 

 

 

Here’s an article of items other people regretted losing.  It appeared in a blog called SpareFoot.

You might to check it out:   decluttering regrets

 

Have you ever tossed something when you were decluttering that you wish you still had?

Comment below.

Hope you had a great Valentine’s Day!

 

Eileen

 

Two Reasons your New Year’s Resolutions didn’t work

If you set New Year’s Resolutions and they did not work, it is probably because of two reasons you haven’t considered:

Hint:  One of them is probably the wrong time of year for you.

Watch below.

 

 

Organizing Tips…

Featured On…

Connect with us…