Monday, December 31, 2007

Great Paper Purge Challenge 2008: Early Bird Assignment

I hate to wake up early but for this...I will be an early bird! Oh yes
I will! LOL

Early Bird Great Paper Purge 2008 Task:

Here's an early bird assignment for those of you ready to start the
new Great Paper Purge challenge for 2008. (And you don't even have to
get up early if you don't want to.)

We know we'll be reducing our paper supply this year. But what tasks
do you do first???

1) GATHER -Have your papers all together in a convenient location.
That means find a box, bucket, or basket (probably a large one) and
use it to gather ALL your loose scrapping paper in one location. Dig
the papers out of the old tote scrap bag, empty out the bags of papers
you bought on those shopping trips, and gather any papers that might
be hiding in different rooms.

2) SEPERATE: FOR JANUARY MONTH: You can either mentally tally --or actually separate out-- all the targeted papers for the Jan. month long use-it-up focus. Thi s would include any papers that have sparkles, glitter, glossy, shimmer, snow theme, vellum or
metallic. We are going to use this paper specifically in the next
month in JAN on our layouts. Consciously make a decision now to USE IT!

NOTE: If you received/acquired a lot of new papers in Dec. 07, you can
use those as your focus papers for Jan. but ONLY if it was acquired in
12/07. Measure and log your amounts at the ScrappersChallenge Yahoogroup's database both for the TOTAL paper stash you own and for the JAN use focus papers.
(You will need to be a member of that scrapbooking organizationYahoogroup to do so)

3. MEASURE: Now the scary part, measure your pile. You may measure in
inches, millimeters, or actual sheet or paper count. Either on your
own paper tally chart, or in the SC Database, document and log the
size of your ENTIRE paper stash pile as well as your January focus paper in the appropriate Starting Measurement slots on the database.

The database for JAN to APRIL 2008 for the GREAT PAPER PURGE 2008 is here

And for May to August 2008 here\27

and for Septeber to December 2008 here:

Feel free to enter your measured amounts for ALL paper type/colors if
you want to on the database in the first column/slot for that purpose. It may seem scary at first to measure all that paper, but DO it. This is the first step in seeing whay you have on hand and seeing that you indeed should COMMIT to using it in 2008.

You can also just enter your measurements month by month and measure each as you come
to it. Either way is fine. You can also keep a tally in a notebook at home or on a paper chart of your own making. I will try to work one up to share as well as soon as I am able.

Let's get an early start on our paper goals for 2008.
Organize It, Use It, or Lose It!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Just a little something on the sewing machine... :)

Here I am with our dear little cousin in her baptismal gown...Yeah us! Take a look at her gown...

Just wanted to share photos of a baptismal gown I sewed last month for a little baby cousin of ours. The family wanted an heirloom quality gown blending two ready-made patterns and using a certain style trim. I love to sew and can do this specialty kind of garment sewing. It was a joy to create this for little Sasha. I told her mom that every stitch help a prayer for Sasha's happy future.

I love sewing almost as much as I love scrapbooking, so you KNOW I love it! :)


How to Schedule Yourself

Do you need to get organized on your time-- but you are just not sure HOW?

Here is how I set up my schedule: (roughly) and got myself set using
it! The key is to use your schedule daily and not give up after 3-4 days. Your
schedule will look very different from mine. Especially if you work outside the home or have
smaller kids, your tasks will certainly vary. But you can still use this guide to help you get started on HOW to schedule your own personal goals in --as well as the daily grind tasks.

The key to any schedule for yourself is to physically keep the list
making 'stuff' handy. Keep your list/schedule located where you will
sit down and look at it daily--or many times a day. For some this is
the refridge, others a dining table or the office or kitchen desk, but
for me it is the laptop. :) If it is a hard copy paper list, keep
paper and pen in that same area all the time for updates. You can even
computer print out your base listing for the week and have these
sheets handy for updating and adding to without having to write all
the basics over and over by hand daily. Ask yourself where do I sit
down at the beginning of the day? Where do you take my breaks or coffee
time? THAT is the place to put the list.

I do the same base activities every week (pretty much) so why not schedule
them into daily groupings? First, I had to think of what weekly tasks I need
to do weekly. List those and spread them out throughout the week. Then I add in a set of personal goals that are small increments of my bigger goals and are specific. After that, I added the daily items in that make everything happen.

I have a
TO DO list on my laptop in WORD that looks like this. I add to it and
take stuff off daily but basically it starts like this. Make your own.

(I have rearranged mine below slightly for privacy reasons but you
will get the idea)

church --if I am on the ball....
call my mom
do my nails-weekly-
write my dad and grandma
go to movies at theatre with the hubby or
page kit planning in evening watching tv with family so I am ready for
monday and thur.
take daughter back to school if needed

10 am onward- scrapping personal projects-right now it's wedding stuff
lunch with a friend 1-4
scrapping some more on personal projects or gifts

sleep in. yes I schedule this. :) Then I don't feel guilty or
genealogy research in am.
call or lunch with friend 5
maintain my online obligations
scrapbooking special projects of client layouts

banking and errands
lunch with friend 6
scrapbooking special projects or client layouts

10 am onward- scrapping personal projects-wedding stuff
lunch with friends 1-4 again
more scrapping

sleep in- yes I schedule this. :)
lunch with friend 7
pick up daughter from school if needed
dinner out with hubby

friday pm- date night or cropping party night depending on the week.

Yes, you might need to schedule crop time away from home at a local
store in order to get it done.

garage sales
errands with hubby
my studio cleanup
making page kits and cutting Cricut titles for the next week

Ok those are my basics. You can see that by working in my varied
commitments (my son's wedding projects, our client work, my social
obligations/lunches, crop parties, home chores, my writing, my online
work, and even sleeping in) --it can all get done. I do things in a
planned and CYCLICAL way. That way I know I will come around to it and
get it done. I don't put things off. Plan it in and even if it is only
15 minutes, you will get a lot more done than if you don't schedule it
at all.


Then I add in EVERY day items like the following onto my list:

vitamins daily
brush teeth
check email
type two letters up on my WW2 heritage Grandpa Project
email jy daily
email jn every other day
laundry loads-into washer 1 load only
read my inspirations-set a time limit
order dinner :)
drink water
laundry-fold clothes while watching tv with fam- 1 load only
email replies-yes schedule this-- and a time limit!

You may ask yourself why does Rock say she does only one wash and one
fold load of laundry per day? Why does she set limits on her email
replies? Why does she only type two letters when she could type four? Why does she set limits on her inspirations time? The answer is that I
have found that if I don't set limits, it gets way from me. It is too much to bite off. I will get
discouraged and REBEL on some things like on laundry or other chores. Home chores need
attention but they can suck you in. Doing a bit a day is better than
overdosing on tasks I don't like. And on fun things like email and inspirations--well
I will get sucked into the vortex of reading quotes, bible verses, and
general scrapping online browsing. That can cost me hours if I don't say NO.

That will take several hours a day away from my other goals. And
honestly, my priority is my family. I want to keep to working on their
genealogy, scrapping albums and projects instead of looking at what
OTHER people have done. As fun and pretty as it is to see other's
work--it is MY work that my family wants to see. It is MY work that I
want to get done. And really 5 to 10 or 15 minutes of inspiration is
plenty if I just follow up and USE it. :)

EVALUATE and MOVE ON: Look at your list now. Is there a BIG goal that is not being addressed? Sometimes making a list will point out to you that you have not allowed any time for certain goals. I have not allowed myself enough time this last year for my genealogy work so I will be remedying that by adding genealogy time one more day a week. I will also be increasing the typing time daily for my Grandpa WW2 Heritage Project. Oh yeah --and cooking dinner one more time a week! I guess I will add that in there too. LOL

Note that because I have limited my online browsing time, I can type two more letters a day on my heritage project? Because I have limited my laundry time each day, I have time to do my genealogy and make a dinner! I haven't added hours to my day, but I have stopped wasting hours!

Don't forget the applause! Set up a listing for yourself. Print a few
copies of your base schedule. KNOW that it will need adjusting and deleting and crossing off
here and there and adding to it. Do keep track of your successes too. I get great
satisfaction from taking a pen and crossing off items as I do them on
my paper lists and scoring them out on my laptop lists. It gives me a
sense of applause and KUDOS for what I have done. It also shows me how
far I have come each day. That boosts my moralle for the tackling next
list the next day.

FLEXIBILITY in your own methods and your expectations of
of yourself is key. IF you don't like loose paper lists, get a planner. If you don't like planners, try online or text calendar reminders like Google or YAHOO calendars or another free one like CALENDAR HOME offers. My husband loves his Yahoo calendar and phone text reminders. Just remember that you don't have to finish it all every day. Don't beat yorself up if you only get the most important ones done. There are days that I flop several unfinished tasks onto the next day --or even the next week! Life happens. Just flex. :)

Hope this helps!


Thursday, December 27, 2007

My Top Ten Time Wasters!

I think the following issues have sucked up wayyyyyyyyyyy too much of my time
in 2007. I resolve to not let that happen so much in 2008!

Time Wasters:

1. Unclear goals: my goals have not being clear --and set --in a
couple aspects of life. So I go in circles more than I need to.

2. Lack of Scheduling: my genealogy project goals are not scheduled
so I am allowing long term interruptions.

3. A Drop and Go Mentallity: my drop and go tendancies in my craft
workspace are a bother later on. Good thing I use clear storage! I
will try to make my "Drop and go" tendancy into a "Drop into storage"
tendancy! LOL

4. Biting off too Much: I have been attempting too much in too short
a time. No, you cannot completely reorganize a jam-packed 1000 square
foot space in 4 hours. Small steps, Kathy small steps.

5. Getting Sidetracked: this is especially true online-- I need to
FOCUS not continually browse online. :) Ideas are NOT actions.

6. Lack of Delegation/lists: Ineffective communication or delegation
to my family. They need to know what I want done and when. LISTS will
help them--and me.

7. Knick Knack Syndrome: I don't like knick knacks (thanks Grandma
Helen!) but I do love antiques and garage sales, so I constantly fight
having a cluttered home, desk. I want to focus JUST on keeping
heirloom items from my family and not random antiques.

8. Procrastination/lack of self-discipline. See # 5 This can also
apply to dishes and laundry. LOL I love my family, I love my family ... :)

9. Not Understanding Technology: Yes for me this is a time waster. I
wish I understood more so I wouldn't be so stumped when trying to
reach certain goals!

10. Shopping for Bargains --especially storage containers and
organizer storage. When I need something for my space, I want to get
the best deal or recycle something to use for it. Usually this is a
great way to go. But This sometimes means I spend more time LOOKING
for the right storage bargain instead of doing the actual organizing
or just scrapping. I can always avoid buying scrapbook supply stash
--but rarely can say no to a great basket, bin or container! :)

What is standing in your way? Do you have ten time wasters to share?
Speak up!
Let's tackle this together!!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Dawn H Sock it to Me Rock Room Review

Hurray for Dawn H.
She was brave enough to send her pics for review last month ...and I am sorry it took me a bit to get this one out. She actually has a lovely space and here are the shots she sent in and my comments on each. Bravo Dawn! I hope I can offer a few helpful tips.

I love, love, love the fact that you have family member portraits in your work area. I hope they are your inspiration pieces and motivators for all your albums and projects. :) The ceiling border is a nice touch and the live plant is a terrific touch. You do have a natural wood furnishings style so it is nice that you have put the white plastic boxes inside a wooden case at far right of the above photo. I tend to say that if you have plastics, keep them all one color. Most drawer and storage boxes are sold either as white or black. Because the entire rest of your plastics in this room are black, consider switching these 8 white boxes to black.

Terrific that the pretty green photo boxes are labeled. You are off to a great start here. I take it that the Santa's are not a year around element and that they will "dash-a-way-all" after the holidays. :)

In this close up (above) of the same area, I see on the wall at the far right that you have a nice collage of photos in a frame. Those also look labeled. TERRIFIC! This is a great tip for others reading here. These collage pieces often get handed down and the recipient 10-20 years from now may not know who is who or when things happened. Labeling is not only important in our albums but in our other photo projects. Good work!

OK now for the below photo. (Wink) I see some refreshments in the cabinet. Normally with doors closed they are out of sight, I know. But I am not sure I would want to move those bottles every time I had to get to my supplies. Make sure whatever is in the lower left cabinet is something you almost never use. I see lots of magazines and Idea Books to the lower right. This is OK for storage--but out of sight is often out of mind--and out of use. Perhaps take out about 4 or 5 idea magazines a week. Place them in a more visible spot in your desk area so that you look at them and USE them that week. Then you can feel OK about gifting them away when done.

It also looks like there is a tool sack of some kind in the lower right in a black bag. Make sure this is as handy as it needs to be --for whatever it holds. If it is an every-layout kind of item/tool, then do consider placing it in an easier to reach spot.

Your computer desk area below looks spotless. WOW. (Better than mine!) Bravo.

I like the file folder method you have here for your geneology. I love it. The secret to keeping a small space like your organized and usable (note I did not say clean) is that you put things away and file them WHERE YOU CAN FIND THEM AGAIN. The secret to an organized person is not how much or how little they have. It is not how long they spend a day putting things away. It is whether they can FIND and USE their items quickly. This usually means a system is needed --and maintaining that system for every item you use is crucial. This is especially true for paper arts and for geneology. Good job.

Mama used to say, "Put it away. Put it back. Keep your train on the right track."

Photo below: I am not sure what is in this file cabinet. It looks like photo storage. Looks pretty organized. Plants are good. Doilies are fine. I think you do share this space with a family room. But if I had a horizontal surface at seated/arm height in my work area, I would probably take away the plant and have attractive photo boxes, finished altered projects, a big tool, or a pen caddy on it. :) But I realise plants do need light so I won't tell you to move the plant. :)

Our next photo is an overview of the room and it shows your black storage tower at right. If possible, take a few of the units off the tallest tower and place them under or on the shorter tower. This will be safer and more uniform looking as well as easier to reach. It will make the black units look like a unified bureau instead of a tower and a short stack. You can always add another black drawer unit later if you need it.

However, I was very impressed with a casual, simple statement in your email to me. You mentioned you have been on NO BUY for a year and a half already! Amazing and awesome....what an achievement! You have been using up your stash non-stop! So really, you may eventually be getting RID of some of the drawer units if this keeps up and you use your stash down even further! Good job. The more you can consolidate furnishings in a small workspace the better. :)

Glad the brown wood tone cabinet is all sorted into themes and that alike items are together throughout the whole room. Once the Santa's go away for the season, do you use that horizontal space above the glass front hutch to store your green photo boxes? Or perhaps the shoeboxes can move over there and you can lose that wood frame case they are in now. This would give the room a more streamlined look. Keeping lines clean visually is a good thing. I love that comfy-looking leather office chair too. Good ergonomics always help us work longer and healthier.

Bravo Dawn H! All in all I love your compact space and it is a great example for us. I think this is one of the tidiest room reviews we have had yet! :)

Hurray for Dawn!