A Day in the Life of a Minimalist

Joshua Millburn, half of the famous duo, "The Minimalists" guest posted A Day in the Life of a Minimalist on Leo Baubata's Zen Habits blog. You’ll agree that Joshua has absolutely earned the label “minimalist,” not just by buying less, but also scouring his days for superfluities, thus, finding true breathing space in his life. This is one of the most unique and inspiring “day in the life” posts I have ever read, stressing habits over routines.

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Could you fill only two trash bags in 1 year?

I don’t think I could either, but I’m incredibly humbled that any American can. Last week my client sent me home with the print edition of the Washington Post’s All My Trash For a Year Fit Into Two Plastic Bags: Here’s How I Did It. Author, and ultimate walker of the walk, Darshan Karwat, went to great social and consumer extremes to only fill two plastic bags of trash...

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Where do old cellphones go to die?

You’re not going to like this.  Read  New York Times article Where Do Old Cell Phones Go To Die.  As of now, seems like the only power we have over the harmful fate of our cell phones is to resist the next upgrade for as long as possible.

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Office Organizing Expert Kacy Paide loves to do what most people hate: organize offices & paper.

She works with folks who are desperate for a more functional, more beautiful, more inspiring office. Kacy has been a Professional Organizer since 2001 and has worked with over 500 clients. Call her crazy, but she loves a good mess and wants to fix yours. Learn her time-tested solutions in her eBook, The Inspired Office: Organize Your Life One Paper at a Time. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking.

Eliminate Made in China junk-ola this Christmas

Yikes.  We all know that most of the things in our homes are made in China, but ever wondered about where in China, by whom in China, and how it's made in China?  Did you know that the town of Yiwu produces 60% of the world's Christmas decorations in 600 factories? Click here to read an eye opening article about Santa's Real Workshop: The Town in China That Makes the World's Christmas Decorations.   I guarantee you, this short read make you think twice about rushing the stores on the 26th for more green and red.  Instead, reuse what you have, shop local, decorate with nature, and buy an Inspired Office gift certificate here. *Recipient must be within a 15mi. radius of Silver Spring, MD 20910.*

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Office Organizing Expert Kacy Paide loves to do what most people hate: organize offices & paper.

She works with folks who are desperate for a more functional, more beautiful, more inspiring office. Kacy has been a Professional Organizer since 2001 and has worked with over 500 clients. Call her crazy, but she loves a good mess and wants to fix yours. Learn her time-tested solutions in her eBook, The Inspired Office: Organize Your Life One Paper at a Time. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking.

Inside the machine that separates your recyclables

One third of municipal solid waste in the US is recycled.  This is thanks to some pretty advanced technology and this number is climbing.  As someone who feels like I am my clients’ own personal recycling sorting plant at times, I geek out on the tech behind recycling.  Popular Science has very simply diagramed the 11-step system that painstaking separates our magazines, water bottles, and food containers.  It’s like a mechanical Kacy (minus the diplomatic demeanor, eagle eye for solutions, and encouraging pep talks)! Read Popular Science’s How it Works: Inside the Machine That Separates Your Recyclables.

119 Circle

Office Organizing Expert Kacy Paide loves to do what most people hate: organize offices & paper.

She works with folks who are desperate for a more functional, more beautiful, more inspiring office. Kacy has been a Professional Organizer since 2001 and has worked with over 500 clients. Call her crazy, but she loves a good mess and wants to fix yours. Learn her time-tested solutions in her eBook, The Inspired Office: Organize Your Life One Paper at a Time. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking.

How do you compare? Check out these organizing statistics.

Did you know that 36% of respondents think their home is disorganized and 85% of respondents would save up to an hour a day if they were more organized?  NAPO teamed up with Decluttr.com to poll Americans on disorganization.  Click here to see where you fall on stats such as what percentage of those who hired a professional organizer did so to have a less stressful home. 

119 Circle

Office Organizing Expert Kacy Paide loves to do what most people hate: organize offices & paper.

She works with folks who are desperate for a more functional, more beautiful, more inspiring office. Kacy has been a Professional Organizer since 2001 and has worked with over 500 clients. Call her crazy, but she loves a good mess and wants to fix yours. Learn her time-tested solutions in her eBook, The Inspired Office: Organize Your Life One Paper at a Time. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking.

What chefs can teach us about organizing

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Any chef knows (and may very well live by) the French cooking term mis-en-place, meaning "to put in place."  In a bustling kitchen restaurant, mis-en-place is crucial for the chef's sanity and the timely delivery of the perfect plate.  Culinary Institute of America instructor Dwayne Lipuma told NPR, "Once [students] set up their station I should be able to blindfold them and tell them ... and they should know that their tongs are always here, their oil is always right here, their salt and pepper is always right here."

If you were blindfolded, could you find anything you need in your office?  Please listen to and read NPR's For a More Ordered Life, Organize Life a Chef.

The German Way of Sending Emails

Recently at a talk I delivered a the World Bank here in DC, someone shared with the group an article he read on the difference between the American and German work styles.  A German in the room could attest to the difference!  In making a conscious effort to be more efficient with email, I think I just might adopt a more direct, German approach. The article states:

Whereas an American would say, "It would be great if you could get this to me by 3pm," a German would say, "I need this by 3pm."

Click here to read Why Germans Work Fewer Hours But Produce More: A Study in Culture

 

kacyRoundOffice Organizing Expert Kacy Paide loves to do what most people hate: organize offices & paper. She works with folks who are desperate for a more functional, more beautiful, more inspiring office. Kacy has been a Professional Organizer since 2001 and has worked with over 500 clients. Call her crazy, but she loves a good mess and wants to fix yours. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking. Reach her at 202.262.1207 and kacy@theinspiredoffice.com. Learn about Skype consultations here. Watch video lessons on office organizing here. Receive your free list of 100 Ways to Organize Your Office at www.theinspiredoffice.com

How Women Undermine Themselves with Words

Never before have I read an article that covers the topic of how women undermine themselves with words.

This eye-opening Goop interview with coach and author Tara Mohr breaks down exactly how women do this.  Guilty as charged.  Since reading it, I've been shocked at how many times I catch myself writing or speaking an unnecessarily softening "I'm sorry," "just," or "actually."

The Cliff's Notes are in the excerpt below, but ladies, it would be really great if you could just  drop everything and read the article.

The key big idea is this: Instead of using the self-diminishing qualifiers (just, actually, sorry but, I’m not sure but, etc.) so that you seem “nice,” communicate both your warmth and competence in a proactive, positive way.

That’s very different than trading off how competently you come across, in order to be seen as more likable - Tara Mohr

 

kacyRoundOffice Organizing Expert Kacy Paide loves to do what most people hate: organize offices & paper. She works with folks who are desperate for a more functional, more beautiful, more inspiring office. Kacy has been a Professional Organizer since 2001 and has worked with over 500 clients. Call her crazy, but she loves a good mess and wants to fix yours. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking. Reach her at 202.262.1207 and kacy@theinspiredoffice.com. Learn about Skype consultations here. Watch video lessons on office organizing here. Receive your free list of 100 Ways to Organize Your Office at www.theinspiredoffice.com

Sort of Fascinating Study Results on Email Behaviors

office-272813_1280Ancient European stone circles are fascinating.  Email behavior is not. However, the researchers at Yahoo Labs made email as fascinating as it can possibly be with a recent study of the email habits of 12 million users.

Read this article to learn the average length of email response time, average length of an email reply, and the best time of day to send an email if wanting a quick reply.

 

kacyRoundOffice Organizing Expert Kacy Paide loves to do what most people hate: organize offices & paper. She works with folks who are desperate for a more functional, more beautiful, more inspiring office. Kacy has been a Professional Organizer since 2001 and has worked with over 500 clients. Call her crazy, but she loves a good mess and wants to fix yours. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking. Reach her at 202.262.1207 and kacy@theinspiredoffice.com. Learn about Skype consultations here. Watch video lessons on office organizing here. Receive your free list of 100 Ways to Organize Your Office at www.theinspiredoffice.com

What Kind of "House" Have You Built Around Your Work?

What do tiny cubicles, converted guest rooms, and lofty urban offices all have in common?  At the most basic level, they house and influence the work done in that space, for better or worse.  This recent Wall Street Journal magazine article further opened my eyes to the impact space has on our work.

Let this be an example at the grandest scale. Fashion brand Céline recently occupied and renovated a 17th century Parisian mansion.  For starters, the floors make use of 12 types of marble.  Marco Gobbetti, Céline's CEO says of the space: “Our project has been about building a house more than a brand. From that point of view, this building represents the foundation and where we come from."

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Like it or not, your office represents the foundation of  where you come from.  Even if you don't have (or aspire to have) just one type of marble on your floor, we can all step it up a notch.

What will you change, add, or eliminate in your home or office to permeate your work with quality, respect and beauty?  Please share in the comments below!

Let's Spread These Email Guidelines for the World

Alexandra-Franzen_003I was pumping my fist in the air while reading Alexandra Franzen's Email Guidelines for the World. She so sweetly lays down some rules for how we can keep life simpler for those we email.

This made me reflect on one of my email practices: I never ask "How are you?" so I especially like her definition and application of the Sanskrit word Asteya, meaning, non-stealing - especially non-stealing of others' time with our communication.

I've heard agreement from others that a well-intended "how are you" is burdensome, because the recipient feels obligated to give a thoughtful reply in the face of 100s of other pressing emails.

 "How are you" sits there, unanswered, and the guilt sets in.

Do you feel the same way?

Do you think that an email can be kind and thoughtful in the absence of a "How are you?" What types of emails would you like to receive less?

 Do you have mindful/efficient email practices? Please share comments below!

 

kacyRoundOffice Organizing Expert Kacy Paide loves to do what most people hate: organize offices & paper. She works with folks who are desperate for a more functional, more beautiful, more inspiring office. Kacy has been a Professional Organizer since 2001 and has worked with over 500 clients. Call her crazy, but she loves a good mess and wants to fix yours. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking. Reach her at 202.262.1207 and kacy@theinspiredoffice.com. Learn about Skype consultations here. Watch video lessons on office organizing here. Receive your free list of 100 Ways to Organize Your Office at www.theinspiredoffice.com

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Office Organizing Expert Kacy Paide loves to do what most people hate: organize offices & paper.

She works with folks who are desperate for a more functional, more beautiful, more inspiring office. Kacy has been a Professional Organizer since 2001 and has worked with over 500 clients. Call her crazy, but she loves a good mess and wants to fix yours. Learn her time-tested solutions in her eBook, The Inspired Office: Organize Your Life One Paper at a Time. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking.

What If We Couldn't Ask for Advice?

paul jarvisVancouver-based website designer Paul Jarvis writes one of my favorite newsletters.  As a fellow newsletter writer, I know that this guy gets it.

Sometimes it's about design and marketing, and sometimes it's reflective.  It didn't cross my mind to share this this week until yesterday when I was chatting with a friend about Paul's latest post, A World Without Advice.

You should read the entire thing, but here's the last sentence: "So, how would you proceed with what you're thinking about doing if you couldn't rely on advice from others?"

Apply it to organizing and see what comes to you….and share your answers below.  Sign up for Paul's newsletter here.

 

kacyRoundOffice Organizing Expert Kacy Paide loves to do what most people hate: organize offices & paper. She works with folks who are desperate for a more functional, more beautiful, more inspiring office. Kacy has been a Professional Organizer since 2001 and has worked with over 500 clients. Call her crazy, but she loves a good mess and wants to fix yours. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking. Reach her at 202.262.1207 and kacy@theinspiredoffice.com. Learn about Skype consultations here. Watch video lessons on office organizing here. Receive your free list of 100 Ways to Organize Your Office at www.theinspiredoffice.com

Newsflash: Clutter kills Persistence

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Organized spaces sometimes get a bad rap for killing creativity, but experience had me suspecting there was another side to that coin. Turns out there is.

The Harvard Business Review recently conducted a study that revealed that though disorder can encourage creativity and relaxation even, it kills focus & persistence. Read the full story here.

Photo credit: 55Laney69 @flickr

kacyRoundOffice Organizing Expert Kacy Paide loves to do what most people hate: organize offices & paper. She works with folks who are desperate for a more functional, more beautiful, more inspiring office. Kacy has been a Professional Organizer since 2001 and has worked with over 500 clients. Call her crazy, but she loves a good mess and wants to fix yours. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking. Reach her at 202.262.1207 and kacy@theinspiredoffice.com. Learn about Skype consultations here. Watch video lessons on office organizing here. Receive your free list of 100 Ways to Organize Your Office at www.theinspiredoffice.com

Depression Study Explains Why Most of My Organizing Clients are Women

11Researchers at UCLA's Center on Everyday Lives and Families (CELF) studied the link between depression and the amount of stuff in our homes.  Read the study here.  It was validating to see research explain something I witness often as an organizer, but this bit on females in particular was news to me:

" CELF’s anthropologists, social scientists, and archaeologists found a link between high cortisol (stress hormone) levels in female home owners and a high density of household objects. The more stuff, the more stress women feel. Men, on the other hand, don’t seem bothered by mess, which accounts for tensions between tidy wives and their clutter bug hubbies."

119 CircleOffice Organizing Expert Kacy Paide loves to do what most people hate: organize offices & paper. She works with folks who are desperate for a more functional, more beautiful, more inspiring office. Kacy has been a Professional Organizer since 2001 and has worked with over 500 clients. Call her crazy, but she loves a good mess and wants to fix yours. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking. Reach her at 202.262.1207 and kacy@theinspiredoffice.com. Watch video lessons on office organizing here. Subscribe to the weekly newsletter & receive your free list of 100 Ways to Organize Your Office at www.theinspiredoffice.com/subscribe.

An existential kick in the pants to buy less & play more

"Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed"IMG_4675 could also have been entitled "Why we buy unnecessary fluff instead of take walks in parks."  This eye opener of an article isn't to be enjoyed, so as much as it is a call to action to design healthier happier days.

Even though I have never have had a typical 9-5, 35 years in workaholic Washington hasn't left me unscathed. I too am guilty of its said side effects: choosing off-duty mindlessness over quality time with myself and loved ones.

Click here to read this existential kick in the pants to get reading, hiking, cooking, napping, building, planting, decluttering, etc.

 

kacyRoundOffice Organizing Expert Kacy Paide loves to do what most people hate: organize offices & paper. She works with folks who are desperate for a more functional, more beautiful, more inspiring office. Kacy has been a Professional Organizer since 2001 and has worked with over 500 clients. Call her crazy, but she loves a good mess and wants to fix yours. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking. Reach her at 202.262.1207 and kacy@theinspiredoffice.com. Learn about Skype consultations here. Watch video lessons on office organizing here. Receive your free list of 100 Ways to Organize Your Office at www.theinspiredoffice.com