We're trying something new at Eliminate Chaos. Designer and Organizing Specialist, Cheryl Ford, will be writing some of our featured articles. We hope you enjoy them - and get to know Cheryl and her beautiful work. You can read more about Cheryl here.
Think Twice, Spend Once
You’ve heard the saying; "measure twice, cut once." One wrong measurement can be disastrous in the pouring of foundation for a new home, not to mention the unplanned time and cost of labor and additional materials needed to correct the problem before the walls can go up. This basic mantra can be used throughout the holiday shopping season, with a minor change: "think twice, spend once". When we are rushed to find gifts for everyone on our list we may barely think once about what we are purchasing. Instead maybe we should take a bit more time to re-think purchases for loved ones and consider the thought that we'd really like the recipient to receive.
The fast and furious "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" advertising is enough to make you jump on the shopping bandwagon without really knowing what you wanted or needed to spend your time and money on. I think it is quite common to rush to get the deals and worry about who the recipients may be later.
I once held a garage sale with a friend and we were selling a brand new small electric tool that I won. My husband told us to sell it because he already had one. My friend and I priced the new tool at about half of its retail price. Early in the day a gentleman wanted to buy the item, offering less than half of what we had priced it at. I countered with a higher price saying it was still a good deal since it was brand new and in the package. He bargained some more with his reasoning and saying to me "but I don't need this." My friend and I laughed and simultaneously said "then don't buy it!" He apparently just wanted it if it was a bargain, even though he had no use for it.
How many items have you purchased during past holiday seasons or this year just because they were at an "unbeatable" price, whether you needed them or not? How many times have you bought multiples of an item for the same reason? How many of those items have actually ended up stashed in a closet because you changed your mind or the return date has past?
Before you get too far down your shopping list this year, chase after too many sales, and waste too much of your precious time, take a few minutes to create the best method to help you think twice and spend once. While shopping for gifts think once about your selection. Before heading to the checkout line, take another loop around the store, thinking twice to reevaluate whether your choices "will do" and if they are the "best" fit for the recipient and your budget. If not, there's nothing wrong with returning an item to the shelf, rethinking the alternatives, or starting with a new idea from scratch. Apply the same scenario to your online shopping. You can put lots of things on your cyber wish list but take some time to think twice and only after that exercise should you feel confident about moving them to your official cart and commit to the credit card charges that will show up on your bill in January.
Take a shopping buddy with you if it’s hard to make decisions when you’re out. Not only can your friend give you a different perspective on your selections, but like Jiminy Cricket in the Pinocchio story, they can help remind you to "let your conscience be your guide".
Your conscience should also be your guide as you think twice about buying “stuff” as gifts. Do your part to be “green” this season and give a gift of “time” by hunting down unique gift cards for fun local restaurants and theaters. Every time I receive and glance at an unspent gift card in my wallet I think about the person who gave me the chance to do some future “me shopping” and find the “perfect” gift. What about some of the thousands of memorable digital photos that are still trapped in your smart phone or desktop computer, just waiting to be shared with the family and friends that are in them? Printed and framed photos may be a thing of the past, but I’ve never heard of a recipient wanting to exchange one for a better fit or a different color.
The answers for a delightful holiday season are not found in any store or on a website. They might just be found by “thinking twice and spending once,” be it your money, your time or your physical and mental energy. Think twice, especially about the good things of the season, and you will have a head start on the good things that the New Year will bring.
~ Cheryl Ford
Eliminate Chaos Opens Satellite Office in Eastern Washington
We are excited to announce that we have just opened a satellite office in Eastern Washington.
Brandy Hickey joins our team as an Organizing & Productivity Consultant, working primarily in the Tri-Cities area; however she is able to travel to other parts of Eastern WA as well.
While the team at Eliminate Chaos is still headquartered in Western WA (Seattle-area) we continue to serve a national and international clientele. If you'd like to know how we can work with you in your area, just give us a call at 425.670.2551 or toll free 877.342.8592.
We look forward to working with you - so you have "More Time for Life!(R)"
Organizing with Laura Blog
Keep up with our new blog on Real Estate.com. Here is a list of topics I’ve posted so far that you may be interested in reading:
"Like" us on FaceBook for more fun tips and bursts of inspiration or "follow" us on Twitter.
Upcoming Classes and Seminars
Topic: Eliminate Chaos: The 10-Step Process to Organize Your Home & Life Date: January 5, 2013
Time: 1:30-2:00 pm
Organization: Seattle Remodeling Home Show
Place: Washington State Convention Center
Address: 800 Convention Place, Seattle, WA 98101 Investment: Cost of Admission to Remodeling Home Show
Topic: Eliminate Chaos: The 10-Step Process to Organize Your Home & Life Date: January 10, 2013 Time: 10:30-11:30am
Organization: Eastside Mother's Club
Place: Life Community Church
Address: 232 5th Ave. South - Kirkland, WA 98033
Topic: Clutter Clearing & Feng Shui for Stress-Free Life. Eliminate Chaos:The 10-Step Process to Organize Your Home & Life, Feng Shui Tips for Harmonious Living Date: January 24, 2013
Time: 7:00-8:30 pm
Sponsored By:Master Builder's Association of King and Snohomish Counties
Place: Federal Way Library
Address: 34200 1st Way South - Federal Way, WA 98003
Topic: Clutter Clearing & Feng Shui for Stress-Free Life. Eliminate Chaos:The 10-Step Process to Organize Your Home & Life, Feng Shui Tips for Harmonious Living Date: April 23, 2013
Time: 6:30-8:00 pm
Sponsored By:Master Builder's Association of King and Snohomish Counties
Place: Oak Harbor Library
Address: 1000 SE Regatta Dr.- Oak Harbor, WA 98277
Topic: Eliminate Chaos: The 10-Step Process to Organize Your Home & Life Date: April 30, 2013 Time: 7-8:30pm
Sponsored by :Master Builder's Association of King and Snohomish Counties
Place: Monroe Library
Address: 1070 Village Way - Monroe, WA 98272
Bookmark this page and check back often for places where Laura will be speaking that you can attend at no charge or for a nominal fee.
Is There a "Nap" for That?
Wouldn't it be great if we could just take a nice long winter's nap instead of shopping for holiday gifts, decor and food? Unfortunately it only happens in holiday poems, and not in real life. To make "More Time for Life(r)" and keep your running around to a minimum, try the "Retail Me Not" app to assure you are getting the best price on an item by consulting your phone. It also notifies you about sales and coupons for stores that you are driving by, or near in the mall. It even sends you alerts when your select coupons are about to expire...and we've all been down that road before!
How to Have "More Time for LIfe(R)" This Season
How can you make time to take time? It's easy. Give something up. Hone in on your strengths this time of year and let others help you with your "stressful chores". Don't let the season drag you down because of too many "shoulds" on your list. Eliminate Chaos can decorate your tree, make room in your garage for a car or two, give your pantry some breathing room, and take down your holiday decor, all in a manner that will have you happily looking forward to next year's festivities.
Let Eliminate Chaos help you manage your time so you have "More Time for Life".
Give us a call at 425.670.2551, 509.392.7064 or 877.342.8592 to discuss your needs and see how we can put together a team to help.