Successful Simplicity

Saving Time; Simplifying Lives


                         April Organizing Tips

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                                      A New Normal

I hope this message finds you well! I don’t know about you, but I’ve felt totally overwhelmed by all the COVID-19 messages hitting my in-box and facebook feed these last few weeks. Although this newsletter may seem like an overly delayed response, I consciously made a choice to not add to everyone’s already stressful plates. During such difficult times as these, there’s so much that’s not in our control, that our natural response is to take control of the small things that we can. So this month I’ll offer some suggestions for how to adjust to the temporarily new normal of our lives. One thing I’ve done for myself to feel a little more in control is to turn off the constant onslaught of COVID-19 updates. In the morning I take a brief look at the online news headlines to get a national perspective and then watch the local news before turning in for the night. In between those times I’m trying to focus on finding some laughter and fresh air. I also recently signed up for the Daily Ray of Hope through the Sierra Club. It offers a quick dose of inspirational words and images to help keep a more positive perspective. 

The world of work as we know it

Many of you may be dealing with several adults working from home now. In order to be successful, it’s crucial that you set up your separate workstations in different rooms. Don’t get hung up on whether or not the space is an actual home office or not; it’s likely that it won’t be. As long as it gives you occasional privacy for video conference calls and minimizes distractions, consider it a win! In order to accomplish this, you’re probably going to have to give up the traditional use some spaces had. For example, one person may need to take over the dining room table or kitchen island during the day. Or maybe you can rearrange some furniture in the bedroom to create enough space to set up a card table as a makeshift desk. Get an inexpensive desktop file to help corral the papers, and make a habit of cleaning up the surface of wherever you’re working at the end of the day. Now might also be the time to invest in that pair of noise cancelling headphones you’ve been meaning to get so you can block out the sound of the kids playing in the background. The name of the game is flexibility right now!

School strategies

Kids’ lives have been turned upside down just as much as ours have been. They’re not able to have playdates, see their friends every day at school, or go to extracurricular activities. Hopefully you’re getting a lot of support from their schools regarding online instruction during this disruptive time. While they’re learning at home, remember that this is uncharted territory for everyone. Be kind to yourself and realize that you’re not expected to take over the role as teacher. However, you can help with setting up a structure to their day. Try to set specific times each day when they’re expected to be learning, for example from 9 am – 11 am and 1 pm – 3 pm. Once they finish their school’s work, don’t necessarily let them off the hook for the rest of the time. There are all sorts of great online resources for educational learning. Or have them learn a new skill like building a box for their trading cards or learning how to sew. It’s also important to have them decide where it is that they want to do their learning at home, and do your best to create a separate space for each child they can call their own. If you google 3-tiered craft cart you’ll find some great options for a way to keep their supplies organized, plus the rollers allow for mobility to move their learning materials around where they need them. 

If you like you're drifting and depressed

My heart goes out of you if you’re been one of the people who lost their jobs during the pandemic, or have had your college internship canceled, or even are retired and have had all your volunteer and social engagements canceled. When you don’t have a purpose for getting up each day anymore, the isolation can be even more depressing. I hope you’re able to find some reassurance in knowing that this is going to eventually feel like a blip on the radar instead of a concrete barrier on your life’s path. But while you’re stuck in the midst of it, do what you can to keep your mind engaged. There are so many online courses being offered for free right now. Maybe you could finally learn how to play the guitar that’s been sitting in the corner collecting dust. Even though you don’t have anywhere to go, keep a routine to your day and identify some absolute musts for yourself. For instance, no matter what, I must make the bed and brush my teeth each day so I continue to take care of myself. Or I’m going to call one person each day that I’ve lost touch with to reconnect and not feel so isolated. Or I will participate in a live streaming yoga class each day so I can feel part of a larger community. 

Be well and be kind during this difficult time!