Finding the good part of obstacles (aka loadshedding)

Some of my American friends find the concept of loadshedding crazy. In a nutshell, the power utility doesn’t have enough power to supply South Africa with electricity, so we have loadshedding. Depending on the severity on a particular day of the week, we might have no loadshedding (happiness!), or anything from stages 1 – 3/4.

Many of the municipalities are very organised and if an area is due to be hit say from 6 – 8 pm, then on the dot of 6 the power goes out and exactly at 8 pm, it comes back on.

In Johannesburg, they don’t stick to schedules very well so some days I rush home from work, forgo a lovely winter evening walk because I’m frantically heating food, boiling water, etc. and … nothing. Or we’re not scheduled and we have loadshedding.

Very, very frustrating for all, but definitely for the structured people out there.

You could obviously buy a generator – I still am not convinced…. – and these run anything from R4500 to R30 000 (these are figures two friends have paid). I can think of better things to do with that money 😉


In the meanwhile, there are a few positive things I can think of about loadshedding.

This is not just a post about loadshedding, but about how to use a negative situation to find some good in it:

  1. Traffic is awful with the traffic lights out. I make sure my phone and my power bank are fully charged when I leave the office and listen to audio books and podcasts while driving home. I have never been this up to date with my audios :)
  2. We all go to bed earlier. I am a firm sleep advocate and believe 90% of people sleep less than they should (me included), so when there’s loadshedding, we all get to bed earlier and catch up on sleep. I have yet to tally up my sleep for June but loadshedding has definitely increased my average.
  3. I have a mental list of things to do when there’s no power. One of them is editing photos. There is usually enough power on my laptop to work for a good few hours on photos. It is nice to not be that behind anymore.
  4. I can’t go on the internet because the wifi doesn’t work, so I’m finding that I tidy up a few areas of the house that normally I would leave.
  5. Because I know there may be loadshedding at a particular hour, I’m extremely efficient getting going with things like supper, writing a blog post, getting lunches made, etc. while we still have power.
  6. It’s winter so very cold, and so we snuggle and read bedtime stories with the kids in my bed. I ADORE this part of loadshedding.
  7. …and on a lighter note, I’m finally burning all those candles :) Very satisfying for me, as I’m a finisher.

Tell me your stories about loadshedding, and how you’re making the best of it, or other obstacles in your life.

Some reading for the weekend

Some reading for the weekend

I’m a big fan of Myers-Briggs profiling. Normally I refer people to the similar minds site but I found a new one that I really like. Go here if you don’t know your MBTI type and don’t forget to come back and tell me which one you are.

(I’ve finally figured out the rebels will never do this!)

(I’m ESTJ)


I can’t tell you how much I love Paula’s blog. This is a great post on how to save more money. I took her 1% challenge at the beginning of the year and I only realised when reading this post that I haven’t even missed that extra money from my budget. I’m type 1 in her post. Which one are you?


I’m a big fan of The Nester. Matter of fact, her book was one of my top books from 2013? And now I’m taking her course. While I was watching the webinar, I bought a couch (she calls it a sofa) after dithering for months because she said a sofa is something you want to buy new and pay a bit more money for. So that’s what I did. Anyway, here’s an inspiring post on summerizing your home.


Speaking of inspiring, I just love this woman’s attitude. Don’t you want to be unapologetically, authentially you as the lady being photographed?

And last but not least, the Myth of Best Mom Ever.

Happy weekend, everybody!

PS do some organising and tag me on @organisingqueen so I can pop by and say hello!

10 questions for your half-year review

I do a Goals Night on the last day of every month. It’s time to take stock of the month that’s passed, what went well, what didn’t and to set goals for the month ahead.


When I get a little way into the year, then I occasionally take stock against my annual goals.


Here are a few questions to ask as you take stock half way through the year:

  1. On a scale of 1 – 10, how have the first 6 months of 2015 been?
  2. What are your reasons for the number you chose?
  3. What is working well? Why?
  4. What could be working better? How?
  5. If you chose a word of the year, has it been guiding/ inspiring/ clarifying things for you? How are you living out your word of the year?
  6. Looking at your goals, are you on track?
  7. Are there any goals you need to let go of? Let them go and be kind to yourself.
  8. Do you know why those goals were no longer motivating you?
  9. Looking forward… what are the 3 main things you want to focus on for the next 90 days?
  10. Do you have the necessary support? I may be able to help you.

If you’re feeling introspective, this resource may delight you.


If you ask yourself these questions and end up feeling a little blue about what hasn’t been done, stop. It’s better to have the self-knowledge and anything done is better than nothing.

Write down your top 3 things (maybe on a Project Life card?), prop it up on your desk and start again.

Care to share some of your progress with me?

You might enjoy these:

I posted 6 questions for your half-year review two years ago.

How to achieve your goals

Better than before – maximiser or satisficer?

In Better Than Before, Gretchen Rubin’s stance is that the better you know yourself, the better you will be able to stick to and sustain good habits.

I agree wholeheartedly.

So let’s talk about being a maximiser or a satisficer.

A really quick way to explain the difference is to give two examples:

Say you need a pair of black pants for work.

There are about 5 women’s clothing stores who would have black work pants.

A maximiser would check out the black pants at each of the 5 stores, and then go to buy the pair that perhaps fitted best and were the best price (whatever your criteria).

A satisficer would walk into the first of those stores, and if they had black pants in the correct size for a decent price, would buy them and that would be that.

Do you know which of the two types you are?

One more example.

Booking travel.

You want to go to NYC and be near Times Square.

The maximiser would search all the possible hotels in the area until the price and location were just right.

The satisficer would search until they found a hotel in the appropriate price range in the area and book it.

Now do you know which type you are?

Modern Mrs Darcy talks about how she’s a maximiser but writes about the satisficer’s guide to NYC :)

I’m a satisficer…. wholly and completely :) Yes, I’m a very efficient shopper. Also, life is too short to chase the 10%!

Which one are you? Tell me why you say so.

How I currently organise my handbags

I post a lot more organising tips on the Organising Queen instagram feed @organisingqueen. Are you following yet?


Fun fact – I’ve been wanted to write this post for weeks but I had no decent (well-lit) photos because it’s winter and I get home too late.

But now, thanks to the public holiday on Tuesday, I can finally share this post with you.

Storing handbags |

I’m a handbag person. I’m certainly not as crazy about buying them as I was before (bought one two weeks ago, but before that, my last purchase was probably 15 months ago) but I still do change mine regularly to match clothes… as you do.

The last time I wrote about how I store mine, I showed you the binder rings.

Definitely a good idea that worked for many years.

But then I decided to try something new – hangers.

Storing handbags |

Yes, I just clip the bag onto those pants hangers and hang them up like clothes.

Storing handbags |

While I was collecting enough hangers, some of the bags were in transition on the binder rings. It doesn’t bother me to have half a system :)

Storing handbags |

Some of the more structured, longer bags are stored on the floor of my wardrobe. By rights that grey one hanging should also stand on the floor but it’s a bit too floppy.

Storing handbags | Www.OrganisingQueen.comI looked through all the hangers to find one that was not from a store, but they’re all from PnP.

Storing handbags |

That’s it – too easy. Clip onto the handbag and hang up like you do your other clothes.

The hangers do leave a little bit of an indentation on some of the bags but about 30 minutes after removing them, the indentation is all gone.

If your handbags are not the sort you can clip with the hangers, the binder rings will work beautifully.

Do you have any other questions?

How do you store your handbags?

Coaching the Four Tendencies

Coaching and the Four Tendencies |

When I was listening to the book, I realised something really cool about coaching the Four Tendencies:

I’m an Upholder. I have coached other Upholders but usually only for laser coaching where the person was clear about what they wanted to do and just needed strategies and guidance on getting there. Here’s the thing – they didn’t need the weekly accountability part of coaching because they already respond very well to their own inner and others’ outer expectations.

I have never coached a Rebel. At least I don’t think so. If you’re a Rebel and I’ve coached you, let me know – I’m so curious. That’s because Rebels do whatever the heck they want IF they want to do it.

Coaching and the Four Tendencies |

I have coached quite a few Questioners and these people are usually the ones who really like me to ask clarifying questions and make them think about why they want to do something, be a particular way, etc. They like being challenged in their thinking. They like the intentions-based, values type of coaching because it satisfies the WHY they already always ask.

The bulk of the people I’ve worked with over the years though have been Obligers. This is kind of obvious when you read/ listen to the book because Obligers readily respond to external accountability and they need other people to make them accountable to get things done. That is exactly what I, as their coach, would provide, especially with the weekly accountability.

Coaching and the Four Tendencies |

If you haven’t yet taken the free Four Tendencies quiz, you’re missing out.

And best of all for me, when someone now approaches me for coaching, I can have them take the quiz and they will then decide which type of coaching is best for them. Isn’t that cool?

I’m counting on everybody reading to take the quiz and let me know :)

Are you ready to take the challenge?

Are you a lark or an owl?

I finished listening to the audible version of Gretchen Rubin’s new book, Better Than Before, on the very last day of May.

I really loved it a lot and can thoroughly recommend it to all of you, because you all want to improve your lives. I know this because you read my blog.

One thing she says is that that it’s a good thing to know yourself because that informs how you make changes in your life. Strategies that work for one person will not work for another (which we all know, and that’s also the type of thing I say all the time in my books and courses).

I’ve known from the beginning of time that I’m a night owl.

I’ve even written an article about how doing things at the right time of the day… for you… will make you 50% more productive. Go read it – it’s a good one :)

Night owl or lark | Organising
And then I ran across many other books and e-courses online (I can think of 3 off the top of my head) where the authors believe you can change your day by maximising your morning and so on.

Which always made me feel a bit of a failure because try as I might, I am not a morning person.

People said to me pre-kids, “just wait. Once you have children, you’ll become a morning person”. It didn’t happen.

I woke up 3 times a night, sometimes more, for the first 10 months of my kids’ lives, and groggily attended to my allocated baby (we were each allocated one to listen out for) but once they were sleeping through, I went back to being my normal sleep-through-anything self.

Night owl or lark | Organising
The interesting thing to me about this book is Gretchen says that there is research (!) proving that a lark will always be a lark and an owl will always be an owl.

Such freedom for me.

No more of the slight guilt that I wake up when I do and that I’m actually quite useless before 9 am.

Tell me your story.

Are you a lark or an owl?
Have you tried to live the opposite way? How did that work for you?

My life in Instagrams – March

The fact that I’m posting my old Instagrams here every two weeks is a great motivator for me.

What could you do to make yourself accountable so that you can get something done you really want to… but just need a little push to do?

2015 March IG

The weather started cooling just a bit… tea, baking bread….

2015 March IG-001

Hairdresser time, books I bought for a library project and cute kids :)

2015 March IG-002

One year of doing Spanish the second time around, tea, traffic and my first movie with the kids!

2015 March IG-003

I love doors so I started a little project where I’m officially collecting photos of doors, potato pancakes and lift selfies :)

2015 March IG-004

Making house lists, autumn is here, cooking with Connor

2015 March IG-005

New favourite nail polish (Rimmel Jazz Funk), disturbed sleep and the start of our holiday (pancakes in Graskop)

Organising inspiration from my iPhone

I was clearing out my iphone photos because I kept getting rude messages about not enough storage space when I needed to download podcasts and audio books, and I found a few interesting photos I thought I should share.

I’ve written about organising for the sentimental person before. If you click those links, you’ll get a nice flashback like I just did.

One of my key tips is to take a photo and release the physical item.

Anyway, have a read and see if you could use any of these tips :)

Good ideas and thoughts on organising

I took a photo of a feather so I could remember the “gift” but toss the feather.

Good ideas and thoughts on organising

This is genius. I hate mess on a table at a restaurant – these people clearly do too!

Good ideas and thoughts on organising

We’re experiencing lots of loadshedding and these jars have come in very useful. They’re solar jars – I leave them outside in the sun every 2nd day or so, and we leave one in the babies’ bedroom as a nightlight. The great thing is we do this whether there’s loadshedding or not. Yes to electricity savings.

Good ideas and thoughts on organising

I’ve always wanted to read this book. I was super happy when I found it at the library but I just couldn’t get into it. So I returned it. i trust that if/ when I ever need to read this message, I’ll easily find it again :) (Let go of books you feel you should read and read the books you really want)

Good ideas and thoughts on organising

And free printables for the win! I don’t think anybody needs to ever buy gift tags ever again. I’ve got a board on Pinterest to get you started.

What’s a great idea you’ve ever seen around that you use in your home or life?

My Word of the Year update

We’re nearly 6 months into 2015 and June is a very good time for a review.

I’ll talk more about the half-year review in a week or two, but this week, let’s talk about our word of the year.

My word of the year for 2015 is enough.

Word of the year update | Organising Queen
You can read more about it here.

So let’s do some inventory. How has this word been working for me?

The short answer? Great!

The longer answer…

  • It’s been a great reminder when I feel like I don’t know enough about the new part of the industry I now work in, that I DO know enough.
  • I’ve shared more with people about how God always is enough, which has been a good testimony.
  • I had to get brave and share very honestly with friends something that hurt me… enough of being quiet about it and pushing aside the twinges.
  • And of course, even though I’ve been busier than I have been for a long time, there has been enough time for what matters.

That’s me.

Would you like to take stock of your word of the year?
Have you forgotten your word and need to revive it again?
Or do you need a complete re-start?

Remember, there are no rules that say you can only do intentions-based work in January.

You can do this stuff any time.

The half-year is a good time for many of us and especially if you didn’t take time in the beginning of the year.


I have 3 options available  of the Let’s Do This material that you may be interested in:

  1. Workbook plus short audio prompts plus 30-day email support … $49 or R465
  2. Workbook plus half-hour private telephone/ Skype session with me… $79 or R750
  3. Let’s Do This live workshop in Johannesburg on 27 June … R400 or $36

The very best thing you can do is to live your life intentionally.

Let’s Do This!

I had a ring made with my word, others have a special journal/ notebook for jotting down thoughts and feelings relating to their word, and still others have framed prints of their word.

What is your word and how have you been using it this year?

PS which option do you want? Just a heads-up, registration closes on Tuesday 16th for the live version of the workshop

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