{Organising} Birthday cards with binder rings

For a few years now, I’ve been making little binder ring books with all the birthday cards I want to keep.

Granted, I don’t usually get more than about 4 – 5 cards for my own birthday, but the kids generally get a few.

This year, since I turned 40 and had a “party” (lunch!), I got a few more cards than normal.

This is how I turn them into a book.

Punch holes, thread them onto the rings and close. DONE!

I don’t even fancy them up with ribbon anymore.

This is how I store them. I’m still using that same yellow basket. I just squish the “books” in tighter.

Some more uses for binder rings

I also used to use them to hang my handbags.

Do you keep birthday cards? How do you store yours?

{Printable} Core desired feelings

I created a free printable to map out your core desired feelings.

If you’re already a newsletter subscriber, you’ll receive it in exactly 30 minutes’ time. Otherwise, if you’re not, feel free to sign up here (or on the sidebar —->>> where it says free time and organising tips) and it will be delivered to you automatically, together with your welcome pack.

Please note – the link for part 2 will not work yet as that post is only going to be published on Monday.


{Live intentionally} Core desired feelings – part 1

If you haven’t yet heard of Danielle LaPorte’s core desired feelings, then you’re missing out.

I watched this video where Danielle talks with Marie Forleo about goal-setting with a twist and I was hooked.

Basically, you’re not chasing goals but you’re chasing the feelings you want to feel. Slight twist but so very powerful.

Core desired feelings | Organising Queen

I did a little mind map (as I do!) on CDFs for the work I want to be doing, and then I did a general mind map for my general core desired feelings. The photos in this post is my “whole life” mind map.

If you decide to take up the challenge, you could do it my way – with a mind map – or just tap into what currently works for you. But take the time to have some thinking and feeling time.

It’s a really powerful exercise.

I chatted about this concept with one friend over supper one night, and just talking her through the process and pondering/ probing/ gently challenging her thinking was hugely insightful.

Core desired feelings | Organising Queen

If you want to apply this concept to organising of your home or time, you could simply ask yourself these questions:

What are my core desired feelings for my home?

These are mine:

  1. order
  2. peace
  3. freedom
  4. breathing space
  5. fun

What are my core desired feelings for my time/ schedule?

These are mine:

  1. freedom
  2. (lots of) white space
  3. abundance
  4. (yet) accomplished
  5. connected

Core desired feelings | Organising Queen

What are your core desired feelings?

(I’m sending out a free printable to work through your CDFs on Wednesday. Are you signed up to the newsletter yet?)

You can make a printable/ shareable/ pinnable graphic of your CDFs here.


{Organising} When you know what to do but can’t seem to do it

When you know what to do but life throws you a curveball |Organising Queen

 Another great question from Laura.

I have re-read your book twice this month and I get the ideas, but my own issues right now are preventing me from implementing them and I’m trying to figure out why.

Could you address people who, in theory, know all the organizing tips and tricks, and have ten books or blogs about it on their reading lists, but can’t seem to do it? Does that make sense? That’s me right now, not always… but right now.

Blessings, Laura

To me this sounds like either a case of motivation, customisation or accountability.

If you know what to do and have done it before, it’s definitely not a question of skill or competence. You can do it – you’ve done it before – and you will be able to do it again.

See if any of these questions triggers something for you :)

1. Why do you want to organise x, y or z? Are you very clear on your why and how you want it to look/ be?

Get clear on the vision for your space – I want this kitchen to function smoothly so I can prepare and cook meals in under 30 minutes.

2. Are the solutions not motivating you because they don’t feel like your style, or that they will work for your lifestyle?

If there are particularly fussy solutions that you know won’t work for you or your boys, that may be why you don’t feel like implementing them. Try to customise as much as possible, and take your organising style (I talk about this in the book) into account.

3. Do you have accountability or support?

I make a goals list every week (from my annual and monthly goals) and share this list with my accountability partner, Beth. I’m definitely not always highly motivated to do everything on that list but the fact that I”ll be chatting to Beth on a Thursday pushes me over the hurdle to get things done. I don’t want to tell her, week in and week out, that I still haven’t done x or y. Sometimes I have done that though which usually means there’s also something else going on.

A great place to get some accountability and support is the Live Organised Community.


{Organising} When life throws you curveballs

When life throws you a curveball |Organising Queen

I had a great question from my friend, Laura, at Clearly Living. Laura is a missionary living in Mozambique. I think she has about 30 boys in her care.

She said that she’s travelled back and forth to the US a lot over the last couple of years due to her parents’ ill health and when she does, she’s thrown off all her routines and it takes her ages to get back on track when she’s in Mozambique again.

She wanted some suggestions for her and for other readers who might not travel a lot but get knocked off their routines by life’s curveballs.

I think this is a great question because she’s right – we all have things that throw us off track:

  • busy time periods at work (month-end/ year-end/ closing out a project/ going live with other projects, etc.)
  • busy periods in our kids’ lives (concert week was like that for us last year, getting close to recitals or plays, etc. with performing kids)
  • any illness (kids are not sleeping, parents are not sleeping, everything goes to pot and the laundry piles up…)
  • going on holiday (I’ve recently been on a holiday and the laundry when you get back – my word!)
  • really, any out-of-the-ordinary happening that messes with your routine

I’ll share with you my top 3 ways  to get back on track:

When life throws you a curveball |Organising Queen

1. Lower my expectations

That seems counter-intuitive but it makes complete sense for any of us control freaks.

I know after a holiday it’s going to take about a week for things to return to our normal. There’s no sense in stressing every day because there are piles of laundry (I have a thing about laundry!) undone.

This one step is the biggest creator of peace of mind in the home.

2. Get back to basics as quickly as possible

For me, that’s making my menu plan and making sure we have enough fruits and veg in the house. I can almost always cobble meals together from the freezer or pantry; it’s when there isn’t enough apples or carrots that I start to twitch. Food is important to me and the family, so this is one of my priorities.

Basically, just start putting your routines in order. When we get back from a holiday, I start unpacking IMMEDIATELY and I’ve trained the kids to do the same too. For our last two trips, they unpacked their own things :) One of them whined a bit but this is a non-negotiable.

3.  How can I restore order in the quickest, painless way?

I could take one day, generally the Sunday afterwards, and do laundry non-stop, but that is not painless for me! So I do a daily load until we’re caught up (we generally only do the laundry about 3 – 4 times a week). It’s generally just a day or two longer, but knowing that there’s a plan helps a lot to keep me at peace!

If laundry isn’t painless for you, attack it all and get it done quickly :)

I read a blog once where the mom used to go to a laundromat, use 6 machines and just get all the laundry done if they had a curveball or two thrown at them. She said she’d take a book, relax for two hours and leave with everything up to date. Sounds splendid.


Laura, if I were you, I’d give myself two weeks to get back to my routines. Decide what is most important to you, and start doing that thing immediately (as you saw above, unpacking and food for me!).

Then build on those initial steps until your routine is restored.

What do you do when life throws you curveballs?

Of course this all assumes you have some routines to start with. If not, food and laundry are always good places to start.

How to make a vision board – part 3 (photos of my own vision board)

Two quick announcements for the new week:

First, a reminder that the Live Organised Community is always open.

Next week, the members will be getting the 10-page “how to make a vision board” PDF document which is a more fleshed-out version of the blog posts. If you’re not a member yet, sign up now. You’ll also get $10 off the price of the bestselling Organise your Home weekly e-course. (Alternatively, simply sign up for the e-course!)

If this is not your thing, fair enough but please think about someone who might enjoy it and pass the word along. Thank you.

Second, I’m pleased to announce that registration for the next round of Help! I need more time is now open. Last time I had a few people enquire a week after the course had started so this time I want to give everyone plenty of time to register. If you can’t wait a month or you prefer the longer course with a lower weekly time commitment, then sign up for Organise your time. And the answer is always yes, you are very welcome to split your payment ;)

Time for your hobbies |Organising Queen

Back to today’s topic – vision boards! We talked a lot about vision boards last month.

Here’s part 1

…and here’s part 2

I also made a new board which I’m going to share with you today.

Once I’d gathered all my words, phrases and photos, I positioned them on my lovely green table (I love this table!!!).

How to make a vision board | Organising Queen

Once I did this step, I checked it against my notes of what I had to have on my board and I found that I didn’t have a couple of key photos (like my photography which is very important to me, and also something showing connection with friends).

I then scoured through my photos (since I’m not buying magazines just to page through and cut them up :)) and arranged the ones I wanted into a collage for printing.

I pasted the rest onto my cardboard with post-its in the spaces where the photos would go.

Here’s the final result:

How to make a vision board | Organising Queen

And a peek at some of the life areas: How to make a vision board | Organising Queen


How to make a vision board | Organising Queen    How to make a vision board | Organising Queen


How to make a vision board | Organising Queen

What do you think?

Have you done your vision board yet?

Show me your vision board! If you’ve made one and instagrammed a pic, or written a blog post, please feel free to share the link in the comments. Thank you!

{Time management} Weekly goals


Weekly goals | Organising Queen

Goals work best when they move top down.

In other words… life mission, long-term, medium-term, annual, monthly, weekly, daily.

Today I want to quickly share how I do my weekly goals.

Why weekly?

I love having an intermediate step in between monthly and daily goals. Also, I feel like I’m making steady progress yet I never feel rushed.

How I do weekly goals

  1. I look at my monthly goals and see which of those need traction or which feel like they want working with :)
  2. I choose about 4 – 6 personal and 4 – 6 business every week.
  3. Some are recurring – every week I have “blog 3 times” and “____ mins on photos” and some are new.
  4. When Beth and I chat, I write the goals down in my diary as in the photo above. Personal, Business, and Beth’s goals for the week underneath. I only took a photo of the top for privacy reasons.
  5. As I complete tasks, I highlight them, again as you can see in the pic above. I love doing them this way because I can still see what I had on the list but I get the satisfaction of crossing something off.

That’s it – easy-peasy. I don’t believe in complicated systems and this works for me.

Do you do weekly goals?

How do you track your goals?

{Time management} Getting in the zone: 3 tricks that help me with my work

I mentioned when I spoke about how I eat my frog that I have a little trick to help me get in the zone for my writing.

It can be hard staring at a blank Word document or WordPress draft screen and then just start writing.

I have three tricks that work for me:

1) I always know what I want to write about

For the blog, I use an editorial calendar. This is just a free printable calendar (I like Joy Charde’s printables). I mind map what I want to talk about for the month ahead, figure out which ones fit into which category (I like practical organising on a Friday, something to make you think/ mindset stuff on a Monday and time/ living intentionally stuff on a Wed, and then write the blog topics in the squares.

I don’t necessarily stick to it (just like a menu plan!) but I like knowing that there are some ideas on my radar in case I ever run out of ideas.

I write in pen but if I change my mind, I just attach a sticker and write over it. No perfectionism here.

Getting in the zone | Organising Queen

2) For blogs, I start by selecting photos

I’ve either already taken the photos otherwise I’ll write down all the types of photos I need, and pop around the house taking photos, or doing organising projects to take photos.

While I’m inserting the photos into the blog and resizing them, my mind’s working on the sentences.

Once that’s done, it’s a lot easier to just write the post.

3) For articles, I like to play with the heading and the author bio

I always try to leverage everything I do.

Some articles I use for the newsletter are not, as I call it, “ezine article-worthy” and they will never be repurposed, but those are few and far in between.

The majority of the articles I will tidy up later, make sure the word count is correct, etc. and then send to Trisha to submit online.

Just the act of playing with the heading and putting in my bio gets me in the mood to do the real writing.

I usually start off with one or two ideas and let it grow from there.

If I don’t use my tricks, I could quite easily get distracted by my email instead of getting the writing done.

Has this peek into my process been useful or interesting?

How do you get in the zone for what you do?

(I’m particularly interested in hearing from people who do numbers-type work. Because I just leave that til I have to, force myself to do it and it’s DONE! :))

August review, Sept goals and Get it done day

I had a great weekend two weeks ago. It was the Live Organised Community‘s Get It Done Day.

Basically, I created a form, put it in the member downloads area with the instructions/ suggestions, we each decided what we wanted to do, and we did it.

This was my list for the day.

I’m pleased to say I got it all done, not because there’s anything special about me but just because I’d made my list and put it out there. There’s such power in intention. Oh, and I wanted to lead by example :)

I got the first 5 things done on the Saturday and I used 15 minutes on Sunday to attend to my birthday card book.

All in all, a fabulous idea for me to tick some things off the list of projects.

As for my August goals:

  1. Increase coaching fees done
  2. Have a birthday sale done
  3. Post about the kids’ party done
  4. Vision board project – done. I wrote 3 posts – 2 published in Aug and the last will publish next week
  5. Get to 90% done on the writing of the time book - done but I need a hook. I’m not sure what my hook is…
  6. Write blog post – top 5 time management books – will publish later this month
  7. Write blog post – top 5 organising books – started planning it and realised I don’t even have 5 excellent ones that come to mind. Might have to be top 3 organising books :)
  8. Get more people signed up for Live Organised Community. Big Fat Fail. Not one extra :(

September is a really good time to sign up though. The product of the month is Organise your home which is a bestseller in the store.

How did your goals for August go?

Monthly goals | Organising Queen

Business goals for September

  • Write 13 blog posts
  • Finalise the top organising books post
  • 5 Pick my brain sessions
  • Sign up more people for Live Organised Community
  • Read two books for review on this blog – organising, time management, goal-setting

What are some of the goals on your monthly list?

Some reading for the weekend

Some reading for the weekend

How interesting! Having fewer options makes you happier. Makes sense when you think of it, doesn’t it?

I love how Gretchen Rubin summarised her whole book in 12 sentences. Do you think I should do it for Live Organised and 31 days?

Are you in this 1%? (such a lovely infographic)

Consume vs create

Sherman Owens once said “there’s no traffic if you go the extra mile”. LOVE! This is the practical version.

Do you suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out)? Tsh wrote a really thought-provoking post. I don’t, by the way. Except sometimes afterwards for a few seconds, I may think, “oh, it would have been nice. Oh well”

and last but not least, Ronnie wrote a fabulous post about letting go of perfection with your clothes.

Which was your favourite link?

(mine was number 3 – this is why!)

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