Keeping Organized is a Team Effort!

I love an organized house, closet, pantry… you name it!  Nothing makes me ooh and ahh more.  Of course, even I have those moments where life gets too hectic, and the paper piles on the counter and the closet loses its mind.  A family of five can get disorganized in the blink of an eye!  So, instead of allowing myself to go completely crazy, running around cleaning up after the kids… I have decided to let them in on a secret.  The key to an on-going organized house is to have a proper place for everything and to utilize teamwork in the effort!

We might think our children are too young to be taught organizational skills, but the truth is, it is never too early to start.  Many parents often find themselves frustrated by the mess made in their home because of their kids;  however, with a little encouragement your kids will easily be able to contribute to the team.

Here are four easy tips to getting your littlest team members to help clean-up:

1)  Keep the clothes off the floor.
This is the very basic of skills.  If your child can dress themselves, they can learn to pick up the clothes.  Place hampers and baskets low to the floor and hooks on the wall that are easily reachable by small children.  This makes helping out safe and easy, and should happen daily before bedtime.

2)  Putting away the toys.
Teach your children that putting away their toys is all part of playtime (I know, easier said than done!).  Keep toys in shallow, labelled containers to avoid your child digging endlessly to the bottom in search of a toy.  After playtime comes clean-up time!  Sing a silly clean-up song or say a silly clean-up poem.  Make the transition from playtime to a new task a valuable practice — this will translate well into good lessons for homework time or desk/office clean-up later in life.

3)  Keep the bedroom clean and tidy.
I know, you just rolled your eyes… right?  I’ve tackled this beast numerous times — having three little girls means plenty of clothing changes per day, always strewn about.  The bedroom is a space where your child will begin and end each day…it needs to feel neat and ooze healthy Feng Shui.  Making the bed each morning, keeping food and drinks out, and having a place for everything (dressers or closet organizers),  go a long way to keeping the bedroom free of clutter.  A simple 10 minutes per day set aside for your child to tidy is all it should take to return to order.

4)  Teach your children to let go.
It is not always a fun lesson, but not everything lasts forever. (Like ice cream cones on a hot day!)  Clothes and toys are items that children grow out of and that are worn down after years use.  Use this concept to teach your child the idea of letting go at an early age.  It is a good idea to go through this process every 6 months or so, pointing out which items your children don’t play with or wear any more.  Explain to your child that they have two choices:  they can donate the item to another child in need or they can put it towards the next garage sale.  Involving them in this process makes it more fun for them while teaching them a valuable lesson — both about letting go and donating items to those in need.

These four easy steps will have your children on the path to organization in no time!  And you won’t lose your mind constantly over their mess!  You may have to modify these ideas to suit the age of your child, but you’ll be so much happier teaching your children to be capable team members.





& The ‘Be That Girl’ Team!


*Thank you to the Professional Organizers in Canada, for providing these quick and easy tips.  The POC is a national registered non-profit association that provides education, business development tools and a code of ethics for all types of organizers across Canada.  Representing more than 500 Professional Organizers in more than 14 chapters nation-wide, POC’s mandate is to provide a supportive environment for members to learn, share ideas, network, and exchange resources.  For more information, please visit .

An easy, effective assignment.

Grab a garbage bag and take a walk through your home. Open up closets, look under the beds, and inside drawers. Pick 5 things that you no longer need or want, or that just no longer have a spot in your life anymore.
Choose things like shoes you no longer wear, old jackets, boardgames, old make up or hair products, books, toys or something out of your kitchen. It may be your favorite jeans… the ones that you can’t even wear out of the house anymore because they are so worn out.
As you put things into your garbage bag, let go of any feelings you have associated with those items. Say “thanks for being there for me, but I need to move on”.
Be sure to find at least 5 items, and feel free to get rid of more (but don’t spend all day on this).
This task should take less than 10 minutes, if you walk fast and make quick decisions. It’s only 5 things. No excuses. Just go do it now.
Look through the garbage bag and decide what you are going to do with your 5 items. If the item is garbage (not reusable), put it there now. Decide if you want to donate, or sell, the remaining items that are still usable. Put the items you intend to donate into your car so you can drop them off on your next outing. If you plan to sell some items, decide how you are going to do that and then do it. Take pictures of your items and upload them to Kijijji, or decide on a date for your next garage sale. If you think trying to sell the items will be a hassle, just donate. You will be making someone’s life better. By doing this exercise, you will also be making your own life better. Reducing the amount of stuff you have in your life can increase your efficiency and reduce your stress. Namaste.

Round out your life.

It is a commonly held belief in Feng Shui that rounded, smooth things give off gentle, more positive energies while squared, pointy edged items give off a harder, more negative energy. All I know for sure is that I love the energizing feeling of being seated around a round table with my family for a good old Chinese Food dinner… and I do not like the scars that I have on my shins from the pointy edges of my children’s beds.

So “go round” whenever possible, and with everything in your life. Namaste.

Tips of Feng Shui: Do something powerful.

Clearing some clutter can really have a powerful impact on you.  When you are feeling like you don’t know what to do next, clear some clutter! Take 2 minutes and walk through your whole home, and look in every cupboard and closet.  Notice how each room and closet feels to you.  Do you feel warm and cozy and smiley in certain areas? Do you feel anxious and apprehensive about other areas? Be on the lookout for the area that makes you feel the most awful.  Now find half an hour over the next two days to clear the clutter in that particular area.  Set a timer for 30 minutes.  Pull everything out of that space, assess its value to you and decide to keep it, toss it or donate it.  If you keep it, YOU MUST have a tidy spot for it.  Be ruthless.  As one of my dear friends said to me the other day, edit your emotional life by releasing yourself from the emotional ties you have to your things.  Put everything back neat and sweet and enjoy the positive energy that you have just created.

While you are clearing your space, your mind will be free to dream about all of the wonderful things you are going to do with yourself.  When you see the beautiful results of your clutter removal, you will feel inspired and happy and more at peace.  This will allow you to put more focus on your dreams and less focus on your worries.  Have a fun and tidy weekend.  Namaste.

Tips of Fengshui: Enhance with Plants

A Warm Welcome to all my new Edmonton Friends! I enjoyed meeting each of you at my book signings in Edmonton over the last couple of days.

My next book signing is this Sunday February 26, 2012 in Calgary at
Chapters Dalhousie Station from 1 pm to 4 pm. Come out if you can.

Today I want to remind you to add plants to your life. Plants can have an amazing impact on your life. Plants clean your air naturally. Plants absorb negative energy and create positive energy. Looking after something beautiful that flourishes with your attention will make you feel good. And seeing your plants everyday will make you smile on the inside.

Choose a variety of flowering and tropical plants. Some plants are easier to care for than others. If you’re new to plants, the easiest thing to do is start reading the little info cards that most places have attached to their plants. These will tell you the name of the plant and how to care for that type of plant. Plants love being watered on a schedule, so water them on the same day each week, or more frequently if they need it.

To maximize the impact that plants can have in your life, place them in the following places:

  • On your desk at work. I like the wealth corner for this one (left corner of your desk).
  • In corners. Corners give off negative energy. Plants can absorb some of that negative energy.
  • You may have a room in your home that does not feel comfortable. Add as many plants as you can there.
  • Bathrooms. Absorb some of the negative energy that emanates from this area by keeping plants near to the toilet.
  • Anywhere that is appealing to you and not in the way.

I truly believe that that the more plants you add, the better you will feel. So just keep adding plants whenever you have the opportunity, without cluttering your home, of course. Each room in your home should have at least one plant, in my opinion. Do what you can to add one plant this weekend. Getting cuttings from someone you know who has healthy plants can be one cost effective way of adding plants to your life.

Happy plant hunting everyone! Namaste.

Out with the Old, In with the New

A few weeks ago, I cleaned out my office thoroughly, did all of my filing and got my desk looking neat and sweet, and I pumped up the good energy of my desk using Feng Shui.  In just a few short weeks, I have moved out of that office, and yesterday I officially welcomed someone new to that office!  Gotta love that turn around!

Clear out the clutter in your life, keep things organized and do not hang onto too many things.  Keep it simple.  Let go of the old, unused, unwanted stuff in your home, and in your life, and you will immediately make room for new, exciting things.  Get ready for some change! Namaste.

Increase work wealth.

Buy an attractive plant for yourself and put it in your workspace. Place the plant on the far left corner of your desk, along with something red.  If the plant is in a red plant pot, perfect.  You can also add some red with a simple ribbon around your pot, or another object that pleases you.  If you do not have a desk in your workspace, no problem.  From the door into your workspace, place the plant in the farthest left corner.  Add some red here also.  Plants clean the air, they make you feel good, and they may just increase your wealth at work.  Namaste.

Clear some clutter.

Pick 1 small area in your home or office today that has been driving you crazy.   Spend 10 minutes removing the clutter from that area and reorganizing it.  Set a timer for 10 minutes and be done when it rings.  Stand back and smile at the fact that you just fixed one thing that was driving you crazy! Namaste.