2018 Word of the Year

Hello friends! I hope you are excited for an adventurous 2018. I certainly am.

I always like to start each new year by designating a Word of the Year. It helps clarify my goals and intentions and provides a good foundation for my actions in the coming year.

Over the holidays, I like to take time to ruminate about what I want the next year to look like and what I’d like to accomplish.

I ask myself such questions as:

  1. What am I most proud of from 2017?
  2. What disappointments did I experience?
  3. What personal obstacle do I need to overcome or make significant progress on to reach next year’s goals?

After much introspection, this usually allows a theme or word to surface that will serve as a guide – a compass of sorts – over the next year.

In 2018, my word is:

Prepare.

As a creative, focus-challenged adrenaline junkie, I’ve always struggled with creating time to do careful preparation for events, projects, etc. I have often overlooked or procrastinated on the planning phase, opting instead for the thrill of reaction-based, last-minute scrambling. I can’t really explain why I do this. I think I must take pride in coming up with just-in-time solutions that work … that whole “I work best under pressure” claim.

But as I gain wisdom with age, I’m finding that careful preparation will almost always offer the most successful, professional and prosperous results in the end. And it certainly will reduce stress and anxiety.

So this year my word is designed to help me focus on the necessity of careful, proper planning in every area of my life.

Can I plan or anticipate every single thing that will happen this year? Of course not.

Do I need to allow room in my schedule for flexibility, fun and adaptation? Certainly!

This is simply me recognizing that being prepared whenever possible will help create the margin I need to have more flexibility and fun in my life.

Some of you “born organized” people have long understood the need for good preparation and planning. Bear with me on this … this has been a long journey for me. But I’m making good progress and am excited for what this discipline will make possible for me in my personal and professional life.

So now I’ll turn it over to you.

What is your 2018 Word of the Year?

A sneak peek at our laundry room redo (plus craft supply organization tips)

Hello friends! We are officially neck-deep in our current flip house project (photos and “before” video coming soon), so I haven’t had much time to work on our own home. But we are this.close to finishing our laundry room renovation, so I thought I’d share the progress with you because, honestly, I don’t know when we’ll get around to completing the final details. 😉

Just to recap … we removed a wall leading into our garage storage closet and used that space to expand our laundry room. Here’s what the space looks like before expansion (on a really good day):

Here’s what it normally looked like:

And here’s what it now looks like today:

I still have to install crown molding around the plank ceiling, add hardware to the cabinets, and add a filler piece to the center of the lower cabinets. But other than that, we’re pretty much done. I was lucky to have these pros helping me out with the project: 😉

I chose hickory cabinetry to help tie the space in with our hickory floors in the living and dining rooms.

The wall color is Accessible Beige by Sherwin Williams (I had it mixed at Lowe’s in Valspar Signature – Eggshell finish).

The flooring is engineered hardwood plank from Wayfair. The accessories are from Hobby Lobby. The countertop is off the shelf at Lowe’s.

What I really love about the added space in our laundry room is that I now have an area I can dedicate to sewing and crafting! I’ve already begun organizing my supplies.

I was recently introduced to a cool new crafting product called Sugru® Mouldable Glue. A sample was sent to me to try out and review.

It’s a soft-to-touch, flexible, grippy substance you can use to bond ceramics, metal, glass, wood, etc. I used it to help organize my sewing supply drawer in the new laundry space.

I attached the containers to the bottom of the drawer liner to keep stuff from slipping around. It worked like a charm!

Oh, and that pin cushion you see in the bottom left corner of the drawer? I DIYed that in about 5 minutes.

I purchased a block of styrofoam for about 97 cents at Walmart (craft section), trimmed out a piece of scrap fabric, and adhered the fabric to the block with spray adhesive. Done!

I’m excited to finish this laundry room space and load the rest of the drawers up with all my sewing and crafting goodies.

What do you think of the laundry room redo so far? It cost us a total of about $1,500 to complete.

 

5 habits of organized people

I have always admired the uber-organized among us. Getting and staying well-organized does not come naturally to me – an easily distracted and creative-minded DIYer. It’s been a struggle my entire life; that’s why I dedicated an entire book to the subject of organizing.

Over the years, my methods have become more realistic, and my habits have improved a bit. But I still have a long way to go. That’s why I decided to share this post today. I wanted to do some research to see what sets apart the highly organized people out there from the rest of us mere mortals. This is what I found out:

1. They face their Goliaths. Super-organized and productive people don’t typically avoid tough projects, issues or problems. They charge into them, facing them quickly so they can move on and keep those things from becoming giant, stressful time snatchers.

2. They’re disciplined. Statistics show that organized people have the ability to identify and eliminate time wasters. They also tend to take personal responsibility quickly. They are in the habit of consistently hitting goals, meeting deadlines and fulfilling promises. In short, they hold themselves accountable.

3. They have laser-like focus. Organized, productive people are able to concentrate on the task at hand and tune out distractions. They understand that not everything can be important. They distinguish between important tasks and trivial ones and focus on the most important stuff first. They don’t get bogged down with busy work. Of course, laser-like focus isn’t a natural ability for many people – including myself. But it is a skill we can all cultivate. Check out this article on 12 ways you can find and foster focus.

4. They plan their days. Although this is probably a fairly obvious habit of the organized, it bears mentioning because it’s so vital to creating an advantage at the start of each day. Rather than taking precious time to figure out where to begin, having a plan or clear path for the day’s schedule creates a sense of urgency and momentum early in the morning.

5. They’re able to get back on track faster. When organized people are interrupted or things don’t go as planned, they are quickly able to adapt. Their normal, organized routines come in very useful at times when the unexpected happens, because all the other things that are important have already been taken care of or are on autopilot, providing the margin necessary to respond without scrambling or dropping the ball.

Getting and staying organized has been a life-long quest for me. I’m currently reading Jane Stoller’s Organizing for Your Lifestyle: Adaptable Inspirations from Socks to Suitcases. It’s helping me refocus my efforts and go back to the basics of setting up working systems in our home that everyone in our family understands and uses daily.

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I think that is a key part of keeping an organized home – developing systems and holding family members (especially kids) accountable for their part in managing those systems.

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Do you struggle with getting organized? Do you have any tips for how to stay on track?