We're trying something new at Eliminate Chaos starting with last month's newsletter. 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.
Just Say "NO"-Vember
"No" thank you, "no", maybe next time, "no" I really don't have time, "no" we have other plans, “no”, family comes first, “no” I don't need one. If you start practicing saying no in “no”-vember you will be well versed in it when December arrives and the holidays have jumped upon you. By the time that you have devoured your holiday bird and all of its leftovers you will be a pro at saying no.
I didn’t come up with this idea of “no” on my own. Shortly after Thanksgiving last year, my 26 year-old son sent an email to family members asking that they not give him any holiday gifts. He said “no” to wanting or needing anything and did not see the purpose of everyone buying “stuff” just for the sake of giving ”stuff”. He told everyone that if they had a hard time not buying him something or not giving him money, that would they please donate to one of several charities that he felt strongly about, or spend extra time participating in a fun family activity together.
At first I was a bit upset at the idea of not getting to buy my son a gift or gifts just because he didn’t want anything! The more I thought about it, the more I warmed up to the idea. The more I discussed it with other members of the family, including my daughter who I had already mailed gifts to, the more everyone was on board with the idea. Hmmm….what a concept?
The result was amazing and so stress free, that it was hard to describe the feeling as November rolled into December and I started in with my holiday routine. Suddenly there was “ More Time for Life “ instead of the dreaded shopping list. When I was out in the mall, I had the greatest feeling from saying “no “ to shopping for gifts that I could thoroughly enjoy meeting my friends for a holiday lunch or dinner instead, not to mention the financial bonus. (In my head I was secretly bragging to myself “I’m all done with my shopping because I never had to start!”) My aging parents were delighted with the idea and very proud of their grandson. They had been telling us for years that they too didn’t want or needed anything, but I guess we just didn’t want to listen to them as we spent hours of frustration each year trying to solve the “what can we get my parents” dilemma.
I unknowingly did give my parents their gift of choice last year….A holiday meal in my home where they got excited about using my great aunt’s silverware and admiring the extra tree in the family room decorated with antique ornaments, recently passed down to me, and not out of their boxes since I was a child. To top if off, my dad was delighted even more to share stories with our last minute brunch guests when he found out that they grew up in the same area of the Midwest as he did.
The point is that all of the good things of the holidays do not need to revolve around presents and holiday party obligations. If you say “no” to TV commercials for toys, moonlight sales at the mall, and people on your Christmas card list that you haven’t seen or talked to in 10 years, it will free up lots of time and money for you to enjoy the traditions that are your favorites. If there are traditions that stress you out, or make you crazy, then they are probably not worth doing just for tradition’s sake. Maybe it is time to delete a few, edit a few, and insert a new one here and there.
I recently asked my grown children what some of their best holiday memories were and I wassurprised, yet not surprised at their answers. The tradition of making a gingerbread house topped the list (new pajamas came in second), and house decorating is still a tradition today, with the only difference being that they don’t eat as much candy in the process. One year we tried a glass blowing workshop together and that topped the “best memories “ list for years! Other favorite and repeated holiday traditions in our house include playing board games, assembling a jigsaw puzzle, attending a museum exhibit, and discovering silly things in our Christmas stockings. In other words, time together, which you can’t shop for at a department store.
So if you want to get a jump on your holiday plans, here is a list of “mind set reminders” to put at the top of all of your other lists.
1. Start new simpler traditions and give up some of the old complicated ones.
2. Spend time and money on those you love and care about, not on those you barely know or rarely see.
3. It is okay to re-gift
4. It’s about the spirit of the season, not the stuff
5. Don’t be afraid to “Just say No” to the “shoulds” of December.
~ 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.
You can learn more about Brandy here.
Phone Number: 509.392.7064
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:
Decorative Storage Boxes for Home and Office
Static Attic Storage
Unusual Storage Doesn't Mean Unusable Storage
Clever Cosmetic and Makeup Storage
Hanging Out with Your Closets
Emergency Preparedness: Make a Plan & Create a Long-Term Storage Kit
Entertaining Ideas for CD/DVD and Other Media Storage
"Like" us on FaceBook for more fun tips and bursts of inspiration or "follow" us on Twitter.
Upcoming Classes and Seminars
Topic: Eliminate Chaos: Get Organized so You Have "More Time for Life(R)"
Date: November 13, 2012
Organization: Hospitality Mixer
Place: The Rainier Club
Investment: For Members and their Guests Only
Topic: Eliminate Chaos: The 10-Step Process to Organize Your Home & Life
Date: January 5, 2013
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
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
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.
If you are so inclined to ponder Cheryl's sons' idea of “no stuff for the sake of stuff” idea this year, there are a few ways to help you ease it in to a reality. First, think about what you already have tucked away in your closet (new or used) that could enrich someone's life; be it a relative, a friend or someone trying to make ends meet. Next, if you really want to “buy” something, for someone, purchase a gift card of “time”, for the movies, a museum, or a restaurant and it will not end up in a landfill. Or, you could make a donation to your a favorite charity, be it money or “stuff”. There is a website called JustGive.org that gives you the ease and flexibility of choosing a charity locally or nationally. You pick the amount and the charity, or you can give a gift card from the site to your friends and let them choose. There is even an App that lets you select and keep track of your donations.
Need Help Saying "No"? Eliminate Chaos can Help!
Bottom line, when it's tough to “just say no”, ask for help with your yeses. Not everyone can be Martha Stewart during the holidays. The team at Eliminate Chaos can decorate your home, de-clutter your guest room and have every one of your kitchen cupboards so organized that you will be proud to fling them open at your next open house. We can help you do things that you don’t like to do and save you time and money for things that you do like to do.
Let Eliminate Chaos help you to "just say no".
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.
You may reprint this article in its entirety with the following credit: © 2012 Eliminate Chaos. Reprinted with permission from Laura Leist, CPO of Eliminate Chaos. To receive Eliminate Chaos eNewsletters, click here.