Hands up who’s got a wallet chock-full of loyalty cards? We have the answer for you!
Stocard, a free app from iTunes and Google Play, allows you to select from hundreds of pre-set loyalty cards (or input your own) capturing your loyalty details simply and effectively, ready to be used immediately. The Wall Street Journal enthuses that it’s ‘a clever way of turning a smartphone into a virtual wallet’.
Use your phone’s camera to quickly scan your loyalty cards, and store them in your phone. As technology moves forward, many stores can already scan your smartphone to access the card information. No registration is necessary, so you can start using Stocard as soon as you have uploaded your cards. No login is required either…your information is safely kept on your device.
We believe many people underuse their loyalty programs because they have too many cards in their wallet, lose track of what they have, or just find the process messy or time-consuming. We LOVE this idea as a way to get organised and stay organised.
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Courtesy of our Guest Blogger This Month - Melissa Fallon
WHO DOESN'T LOVE SHOPPING?
Giving in to the occasional impulse buy is normal. After all, the majority of people enjoy shopping. The problem occurs when you or someone you know has succumbed to obsessive shopping. When it happens to you, a negative change in your spending habits is noticeable. For instance, you are likely tempted to dash off to the mall to buy items you don’t really need. Being constantly exposed to shopping ads on TV and the Internet makes things even worse. If you think you or a loved one is showing the telltale signs of compulsive buying or shopping addiction, you should seek treatment before the situation worsens.
Understanding Compulsive Shopping
The irresistible desire to shop is known as compulsive buying disorder or oniomania. According to a research by World Psychiatry, 5.8 percent of Americans are afflicted with the disorder, with women comprising 80 percent of the total number of affected individuals. Commonly known as shopaholics, these people are overly focused on buying and suffer from disruptive anxiety that can only be relieved by shopping. People with compulsive buying disorder are also likely to have other mental issues, including mood disorders, anxiety and substance addictions.
How to Diagnose an Addiction to Shopping (or Shopaholism)
Ruling out normal buying behavior is important. Given that the US and other wealthy industrialized countries have citizens whose leisure time is often spent on shopping, spending a lot of time shopping does not necessarily mean a shopping addiction. The holiday season, for instance, is often a common time for people to splurge on things that are normally outside their budgets. Shopping sprees are also common among people who have recently acquired a large inheritance or won a significant sum of money. As such, the apparent impulsive buying done by these people does not necessarily constitute an addiction to shopping.
How to Recognise a Shopaholic
Identifying if someone is affected by a shopping problem can be achieved by referring to the signs listed below. Manifesting four or more of these behaviors possibly points to shopaholism:
- Spending over your budget
- Buying more than what is needed
- Keeping the excessive buy a secret from friends and family
- Returning bought items because of guilt
- Alienating relationships due to a shopping preoccupation
- Preferring the use of credit cards to cash
- Shopping in order to eliminate feelings of anger, depression or loneliness
- Arguing frequently with other people about your shopping habits
- Experiencing guilt and shame after a spending spree
- Mulling over money matters
- Delaying paying bills and opening new credit accounts to allow more shopping
Steps You Can Take to Help Someone With Compulsive Buying
When you recognize that someone is dealing with shopping addiction, several measures are available to help manage the disorder. Your presence and advice are very important during the whole process, especially when you’re a parent trying to assist your teen in overcoming addiction. The road to recovery isn’t an easy path, which means patience is needed.
Talking to a Shopaholic
One essential step to curb compulsive buying is to avoid scenarios that can lead to shopping binges. Indiana University professor Ruth Engs compiled a list of these possible situations. For instance, convince the shopaholic to enter a store with a shopping list in hand, instead of arriving unprepared. All credit cards must be paid off, cancelled and destroyed, save one that must only be used for emergencies. Furthermore, talk the affected person out of carrying a wallet all the time. After all, without financial means, the temptation to shop cannot be fulfilled.
Adolescents and Teens
If you are a parent or responsible adult helping out a teenager, the first step is to get the child to acknowledge the problem. You can expect the teen to deny the addiction, hence the need to be persistent. Convincing your child to open up is usually the best tactic. You can also point your teen to other activities that do not involve shopping. Exercising, jogging, reading and listening to music are just a few examples of healthy ways to keep your child occupied.
Learning to Cope With Shopping Addiction
To successfully deal with shopaholism, knowing what goes in the mind of an affected individual is important. Contrary to popular belief, shopping addicts are not always easygoing young women who are only concerned about the latest shoes and handbags. Truth be told, the shopaholic often suffers from emotional problems, has low self-esteem, and desires the approval of other people. Positive encouragement is a great way to help the addict follow constructive advice. Let the person realize that self-worth is not related to the items that they buy.
A shopping addict also has trouble controlling impulsive behavior, which can be addressed by dealing with the underlying issues. Finally, the shopaholic often has a profound sense of materialism, with the assumption that affection and admiration can also be bought. A real social connection with other people helps to reduce this problem.
How to Treat Shopping Addicts
According to WebMD, the origin of addictions remains unknown, although some evidence indicates that the addictive behavior may be partially exacerbated by genetics. As such, no standard treatments for shopping addiction are available, and current treatments involve a couple of sophisticated approaches. For instance, antidepressants may be prescribed to shopping addicts who have also been diagnosed with underlying depression. Therapy, on the other hand, involves addressing maladaptive behaviors and cognitive processes. Support groups and credit counseling are also used in dealing with shopaholism.
Deciding Between Shopping Addiction Solutions
Different people respond well to different therapies. For changing unproductive thought patterns, such as negative thoughts that influence the behavior regarding money and shopping, one approach may involve cognitive behavioral therapy.
Sharing experiences with people in an empathetic atmosphere is available via Debtors Anonymous, an organization that offers a free 12-step program for people who want to stop acquiring unsecured debt. If you prefer self-help, you can buy books or join online support communities. For help in managing debts, you can try credit counseling. Companies who offer this service also have debt management plans to help you create reasonable payment arrangements with your creditors.
Where to Find Shopping Addiction Treatment for a Friend or Family Member
If your own efforts are not working and you want to seek outside help, you can consult professionals or organizations to treat shopping addiction. Remember, recovery begins with acknowledging the addiction and seeking help.
Given all the personal and professional measures available, overcoming shopaholism is entirely possible. On the other hand, breaking free from this insatiable need to spend requires time and effort. You can’t expect recovery to happen in a few days. In fact, temptations and relapses can happen while attempting to change for the better. Patience and perseverance are essential when trying to defeat your addiction.
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I recently decided to downsize my own home-office space, because I realised that a BIG office isn't absolutely necessary now. This advice is something I 'impart' to my customers regularly, but in running my own office from my home, I was adamant that I wanted a big office to run my business from.
It's time for change - for a shake-up. It must be in the planets, as I feel like changing my life completely, and in feeling that, like synchronicity, many things are happening. My business is reshaping and being refined, my attitudes are transforming and adjusting and therefore I don't want the same things. I want my whole life to change - now.
I live in a 2 bedroom apartment, so making the switch between bedrooms was going to take some energy and organising knowhow...
I planned it for about a week prior, whipping out my tape measure a number of times to ensure it would work, and I drifted off to sleep each night visualising my new office space and new larger bedroom.
I lined up a friend with a trolley (and his handy mate) to help me and was SO excited all week.
When my friends arrived to move the big furniture, they both commented..."gee you're organised", I think without realising what they were saying…Of course I was organised! I wanted it to run like clockwork! My friend had already told me he only had an hour to help, so I had to maximise the use of their time and this meant being totally ready when they arrived.
I vacuumed, cleaned, wiped skirting boards and dusted after I had taken out all of the small items from both rooms - all before they arrived, so all they needed to do was to move the furniture.
It took them half an hour to make the move, and within a few hours I had both rooms back to normal - fully functioning and operational again.
It felt wonderful to make this change, shifting my life, ready for some new energy to unfold. I think it is important to change things around a bit - as they say, change is as good as a holiday and now I feel like I've moved to a new home and that also feels amazing.
Of course, the key is having the right storage for filing, paper and resources - and then you definitely don't need a large space to operate a business from. My 3 staff members are all virtual assistants so I don't need a second desk space, nor to rent another office space - just yet anyway.
It was a revelation (even to me) to realise that I could fit my large desk and my lateral filing cabinet into this smaller, compact space, and be happy to juggle all the tasks needed to run this company in this smaller environment.
If you have recently made a shift in space, realising it was for the best - send me your comments and I will share some stories...
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Can you imagine my client's delight (and mine also) when I found a $5,000 diamond ring this week that had been missing all year!
I LOVE it when we find valuable items that have been lost during our sessions. The story unravelled with my client excitedly telling me 'the ring' had slipped off her finger and she hadn't known where, and had searched and upturned every area of her home trying to find it.
She was resigned to the fact that it was now lost, and was about to make a claim on her contents insurance, (it had been added to the list of things to do this year).
Finding it during a de-cluttering session this week, saved her the hassle, and the time-consuming process of completing application forms, not to mention paying out the insurance excess payment to make this claim.This was all saved as well.
She is ecstatic and is proudly wearing this beautiful ring again…3 diamonds (I believe about 2 carats in total), imbedded in 18 carat gold. It was her mothers ring that she had redesigned, so it is extremely sentimental.
I feel like a fairy god mother when this happens, and it brings me GREAT JOY to share in the delight of my clients.
I have found SO MUCH MONEY I could start a bank! Well almost, but over the years the amount of money we have found during our organising sessions is astonishing. People forget what they have - and where they've left things, so it is vitally important to de-clutter and remind yourself what you have in your home or office. "Out of sight - out of mind", so the saying goes, and often people simply forget what they put away - wads of money in coat pockets, in drawers, or lost in amongst paperwork that they haven't looked at in months of even years.
So it is our pleasure to uncover it all for you. Book a session today, to see what we can uncover for you. 1300 881 384 and visit www.getorganised.com.au to find out more about our services and to make an enquiry.
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Today, I got thinking about what creates positive energy and a lasting impression in a space.
Have you ever walked into a room and instantly felt that it didn't feel right? It may have been a friend or colleagues home or office, or it may be your home-office every time you walk into it. You notice that the energy just feels wrong.
I remember participating in a personal development course many years ago, and being incredibly impressed with the organisation of the room, and the way the staff managed the event throughout the 3 days. Chairs were in perfectly straight rows, handouts were centred and facing the right way on seats after each break, there was no clutter under 'crew' or registration tables - everything was managed and attended to, so that we were not distracted by anything.
When people enter your space, they build an impression of you and your business and you want to create a positive energy that leaves a lasting impression.
If you get this wrong, people feel unsettled and it may detract from what you are trying to represent - or trying to deliver with your product or service. People will lose confidence or respect for you if your home or office is in disarray.
TIP # 1 - The Right Way to Display Items
If a space looks 'thrown together', then your visitor or potential customer will perceive that your business has no real structure either. When files, books and anything on display are 'shoved' into the storage space, not neatly placed or perfectly straight, then this sends an underlying message that you don't care what the room looks like.
Simply lining up books, magazine boxes, storage boxes, files, and even crystal tabs in straight lines within your file drawers, will make the spaces look tidier, less cluttered, and more organised.
TIP # 2 - Minimise Your Clutter
Blocks of one colour, for example with a row of magazine boxes, helps to reduce visual clutter. Storing the magazine box so the main side of the box is displayed, eliminates the view of the paperwork it stores - and reduces visual clutter.
Labelling the magazine box clearly, with one category word, using black label tape and a white font, will allow you to identify the contents quickly.
Line up magazine boxes so they are exactly straight on a shelf or desk. Push them all the way back on a shelf, or bring them forward to sit neatly in line. Walk to the door and view the difference.
Quick tidy ups...Next time you have visitors about to arrive, a quick 10 minutes to do a tidy-up will improve the look and feel of your home or office space. Make time to put items left out, away where they belong, fluff the cushions on the lounge, style them like you see in magazines, put away dishes and anything left out in the kitchen, and then take another look before your visitors arrive. It will make you feel better knowing that you took that time to do a little bit to improve the look (and feel) of your space and this will help you relax and enjoy their company.
TIP # 3 - Organising Displays for Impact
Organising books are an entirely different story. Most often, books are simply placed on shelves and not organised or styled, as we love to do for our clients. Over the course of time, books are removed for reading and replaced, usually not in the same spot, and this creates an untidy impression.
Some clients like books organised by colour, or genre. Others like them organised by size, or by laying them flat in piles. Sometimes they appreciate a mix of both styles, and we add their small collectables to the display for greater impact. Check out this living room space for ideas.
My preference is to organise books by size - giving the shelves an ordered feel, but I also love the idea of laying books flat, to alternate the style. How your books are organised depends on the storage space available for the all the books you own.
These jobs don't take long to do but have a major impact on the way your room looks.
For inspiration on styling displays - visit my Display Board on Pinterest for some gorgeous ideas.
So there you have 3 simple, effective ways of creating a more positive energy into your space. Next time you walk into a space of a colleague or friend, take notice to see whether they have applied these tips and how the room feels as a consequence.
Do you consciously take notice of the energy in the room of the spaces you visit? Do you make the time to ensure the energy of your space is positively spot on? Please leave me a comment below and share your thoughts.
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I got to thinking the other day about how many home-offices I had organised, and the fact is, I have reworked my magic in countless home-offices over the past 19 years.
Organising home-offices is one of my favourite things to organise, especially if the client wants to set up new systems (get rid of old products and outdated filing cabinets), buy new products (by saying goodbye to their tattered, outdated grey and dark green products), and possibly even buy new furniture. What delight!
Believe me this doesn't cost an 'arm and a leg' either. I am extremely resourceful when sourcing products and new furniture for my clients, and manage to get some really stylish pieces for very reasonable prices.
In these situations, after my work has been done, the result is enhanced
because of the new storage products and furniture. It gives clients a fresh, updated look, it feels clean and ready for work, and their productivity has also skyrocketed.
After the room reveal, I get rewarded too because the new space looks so good, works so efficiently now, and I am very proud of what I've achieved. So it's a win-win all around.
Now, it doesn't always work out like this. Sometime I arrive at my clients home-office ready to begin my work and they have been shopping. Of course they're excited to get the ball rolling. I understand that.
They've bought new products in a range of colours, new hanging files in multiple rainbow colours, and all different sized storage boxes (bought as a pack from Ikea or the like), and a new desk that doesn't suit the room, nor the layout.
They are excited, but haven't yet realised that the multiple colour look may become distracting, even confusing to the eye, the style of desk just won't work in their space, and the boxes may be wasted because they haven't worked out what to store in them first.
I personally love a block of one colour to calm a space. White, blue, red, or yellow can instantly improve the look and feel of a room.
The trouble is, sometimes the storage boxes they have purchased are not the right sizes for the items to be stored, so we swap and rebuy more appropriate products to ensure the storage works properly, and also looks good.
The 3 Things NOT TO DO When Organising a Home-Office are:
1. Don't buy the first 'new product' you see. First assess what you need, then go shopping for the right size storage containers. You also need to work out if the products you want to buy will fit on the shelves or in cupboards in your space. Check dimensions before buying anything. If you don't, you could end up wasting your time and money.
2. Try to visualise your new office with a new colour and style. You may have seen an idea in an interior design magazine or on a TV show. Start the process slowly.
You may like to update and buy a new desk first, and this will dictate the theme or style that the rest of the space will follow.
Decide on a colour that you resonate with, then go looking for this colour in stores like Officeworks, Ikea, Kikki K, or other home wares stores. You may gravitate to natural rattan textures, or french duck egg blue, so this will give you focus when shopping.
3. Don't purchase a range of hanging files in different colours unless you've planned how the colours will work for your new, revamped filing system. There are better ways to store paper today, so consider whether you want to keep your filing cabinet. 2-ring binders take up enormous amounts of space, so I have a space-saving solution that I highly
You can free up space, by replacing it with lateral files that can sit on shelves in a built-in wardrobe instead. You will gain more space which will give you a greater level of calm and order. (See my online store for our Lateral Filing System pack). You can also purchase small, medium and large lateral filing cabinets if you don't have inbuilt wardrobes in your space.
I often recommend converting filing cabinet systems to lateral filing because of the space-saving pluses and because it is easy to use and manage and looks stylish too!.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to enquire how Get Organised can transform your home-office from jam-packed to an office that you'll love working in.
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Change: [cheynj] - ‘to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc. of something, different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone’.
How does that make you feel, the idea of change. Excited? Scared? Ready to go?...and hide under a rock? I remember, when I was younger, being told that the greatest skills that anyone would need in the 21st century would be communication and flexibility. No, I don’t mean chatting up that guy at the yoga class…well…
I love change: to me, change is freshness, vitality, stretching, exciting, humorous and sometimes very challenging. Of course, the challenging parts are scary, sometimes hurtful and are very often hard to understand when I am in the thick of the moment, but on the other side I am a better person for it.
Change is also inevitable, so, in a very real way, it makes sense to embrace it…learn, grow, become childlike again. No, really. Resistance is useless (I’m doing the ‘quotable quotes’ thing today) so why not try to embrace the different and refreshing feelings that can come with new ideas and experiences? The clarity.
As professional organisers, we love change, and we love it for our clients, too. Often we encounter people (or, spouses of people – you know who you are!) who insist on things remaining as they are because they ‘know where everything is’. Actually, many of you know that feeling, I’m sure. However, whilst many have a general idea of where ‘things’ are, locating precisely what you need (in this lifetime) is likely impossible.
Remembering everything that you own (that you think is good enough to give house-room to) is just not an option. Storing items, caring for them, repairing broken things, finishing unfinished projects (oh, that bargain!), using everything – or even some of it, insuring it, cleaning it – nearly forgot that one! – What a huge amount of energy we give over to our stuff!
Wasn’t all this stuff supposed to make our lives easier? More enjoyable? Simpler? More fun? Where did all that go? Why doesn’t life seem easy or fun with all this stuff in our lives?
So many people are getting their lives in order, getting rid of the old, embracing the new with clarity. Most are tired of looking at stuff that blocks them; we have been inundated with calls for assistance to help people move forward in their lives with ease, people changing directions in their lives. Many people are starting new careers and want to fine tune their stories. So, out with the old and in with the new!
What would you like to change in your life? Have you thought about that? Have you made any steps to achieving your mission? Lightening up the physical and mental clutter that we are all subjected to will help pinpoint the things in our lives that we can control, alter, mess up (in fun) or re-arrange. Too much stuff just gets in the way and creates confusion, mist and sluggishness.
Resolve today to clear out 10 things in your life each week that can help you make way for fresh energy to come in. Count them. Make a list. Write it on the bathroom mirror in lipstick, if you need to – kidding! These things can be vast and varied, complex or simple (don’t make them too hard – you may never get there!), quick or life-changing:
- Take 10 items of clothing to charity. (30 mins – maybe less?)
- Resolve to take all your mail out of the envelopes and ditch the glossy ads before you put them down. (1 min a day).
- Have a garage sale. Really (fun actually!). (15 hours to set up and run) ($$$'s – shoes!)
- Clean out the fridge. (20 mins)
- Take the car to the detailers. (Just fun!)
- Tell the kids they can't eat in the car anymore. (10 seconds) (Avoiding fighting with them about it for the next 10 years…uuuum?)
- Find a recipe that you can make 3 of at once, to take to work for lunch. (20 mins divided by 3) Use the spare $50 a week to buy something you'll really love…a massage? Dare I say it – those shoes?
- Get a business coach. (1 hour a week)
- Clean out the top drawer of your desk – be brave, do them all! (20 minutes)
- Clean out your Bookmarks, or organise them, at least. (30 mins max – don't get distracted)
- Buy a plastic box to put all your computer cords and plastic stuff that comes with the electronica and that you just can't quite get your head around ditching. (20 mins)
- Bleach your cups and mugs
- Ring us for some serious change! Not kidding!
Get the idea? Choose a variety of tasks: some cheap and cheerful, some complex and long-lasting. Nominate an anticipated time-frame to achieve the result (very important). Then, when you have those 20 mins (5, 10) free, you’ll feel good about knowing what to do and marking it off your list. Next week, make another list. If it all gets a bit hard, or you are off on a break or too busy at work, just choose simple things that week.
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It is reasonable to suggest that, these days, most people live with a degree of financial debt, whether it be a mortgage, personal loan, credit card or a combination of two or three of these. Many people are also involved in investment properties, shares, stock and the like. All this can be complicated, and without the benefit of a financial advisor at our immediate disposal, the issues involved in maintaining a credit/investment portfolio can be daunting.
The pressures of unemployment, declining share value, mortgage fluctuations, superannuation concerns and the general unease surrounding any financial outlay, make many people feel uneasy about the future. So, this month, I’m going to focus on helping to make sure that you, and your family, are as well prepared for your journey as possible. Let’s look at some measures that you can take to organise your lives in preparation for the coming year.
Gaining control of your procedures and understanding your financial situation is a must at this time. Consider the following:
- Firstly, gather together all of the relevant financial information that you can. This includes bank statements regarding your mortgage, credit cards, personal loans, share and investment portfolios and so forth. In the constant endeavour to be organised, we cannot overstate the idea of keeping your records clearly marked in your filing cabinet, dates circled, and in the appropriate order, to make retrieval simple.
- Have a good, long hard look at your debt. If appropriate, consider consolidating your personal and credit card loans into your mortgage, if possible, because there has never been a better time to repay the lowest rates of mortgage we may see for a long time. Credit cards come in at around 12% or more, whereas home loans are dropping all the time – hopefully yours is around 7% or lower, and still dropping, as I write this. Somehow, even although home loans have decreased, I still haven’t received notice that my credit card has fallen also!
- If you do take this option up, don’t use it as an excuse to spend up big on your credit card again, just because you have cleared the debt! Leave your cards at home, and organise a debit card for your savings account.
- Organise to have your paycheck paid directly into your home loan account. Any money resting in there doesn’t attract interest, and can be redrawn at any time. Set up internet banking for this service, and although it attracts a small fee for each transaction (i.e.: home loan into savings account, or credit account) it’s worth it if you minimise these transactions.
- Avoid the temptation to increase your credit limit. I came across a situation recently where I was presented with the opportunity, with the click of one button, to increase my credit limit over the internet – no questions asked! Although this appeals to the ego, be careful! You may find yourself spending up to your new limit!
- ‘In the good old days’ people didn’t buy something until they could afford it. Well times have changed, but the principle remains the same – if you can’t pay cash, well, beware- buy now, pay later – literally.
- Find out if you can pay your mortgage weekly instead of monthly. One of my consultants discovered that she could save, wait for it, $49,000 over the life of a 20 year loan, just by organising weekly payments with the bank! That’s incredible! Or, the overpayments meant that about 3 times a year she could ‘miss’ her usual payments – useful at Christmas, perhaps? Be aware, though, you can’t have both. Personally the savings, overall, would be my choice.
- Consolidate your superannuation into one fund, if you can, as you will end up paying multiple fees for administration if you don’t. Find out if you have any ‘lost’ superannuation by contacting http://www.ato.gov.au, then roll it over into one fund. Makes sense, and it’s easier manage for you, and your family, in the event of being left with a financial tangle if, well, the unfortunate happens. Often these funds have life insurance policies attached to them so, do your research, and find out which one suits you best.
- Make sure that you have an ‘Important Papers’ file, a ‘Superannuation’ file, ‘Insurance’ file, ‘Banking’ files’ and so on, to contain all of your relevant papers and, of course, your will. You can keep copies of your vital documents here (such as passports, birth certificates, wills etc), and the rest off-site at the bank in a safety deposit box, in case of fire. Alternatively, invest in a fire-proof safe and keep them at home. You could consider leaving a document advising your family about what to do, in the event of your death, to point them in the right direction at a difficult time. Advise your partner how to file, and retrieve, these documents correctly.
- Consult a financial advisor for accurate, up-to-date investment information regarding what they now (somewhat enticingly) call ‘wealth creation’. Don’t be put off by the term, or the price (get a recommendation if you can,) because the correct information may earn you dividends. It may make more financial sense to keep your money in your mortgage account than in a term deposit, for example, and that kind of advice is best gleaned from professionals.
- Credit card companies make a killing out of clients who hold several different credit cards, charging annual fees for each account. So, if you can perhaps pay one or two off, increase your credit limit on one of them (if you must...) and save some annual fees, consider it.
- Seriously consider organising a direct debit for your regular payments (i.e. for phone, power, rates etc.) so that you create a true representation of your ‘disposable income’. You have to pay them anyway, and you may as well do it on a regular basis – it will take the sting out of it!
So, some food for thought in these uncertain times. Take the time to evaluate and organise your true situation, get advice where necessary, and above all, be honest with your true situation, and be careful; you will be as prepared as possible to face the coming uncertain times.
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Often enough, we come across clients who have long lists of things that need doing around their home, or who have nagging concerns around seasonal tasks (such as Tax) which drag on their energy far longer than the task itself would take to complete.Think about trying to address each one of these points, even if it’s only one per week. They may only take a few minutes to around 30 mins max. Try to put a system in place for each point so that you don’t have to address it again.
- Consider consolidating all of your debt into your home mortgage. Lending rates are more reasonable now. THEN, reduce you credit limit on your card (notice the singular?) to avoid creeping debt. Don’t be afraid, be aware.
- Organise to pay your salary into your mortgage account. Savings accounts don’t pay much interest anyway (remember your school savings book? It mattered back then…), and you could be saving a lot in interest on your loan.
- See if your employer offers a salary sacrifice scheme, and save tax.
- Organise direct debit payments for all of your regular bills. Your utilities suppliers can help you work out what weekly or monthly payments will be right. Set and forget. Yes!
- Consider a weekly ‘savings’ debit from you current account into a squirrel account for you annual holiday. Save your gold coins in a special place for fun-money while you’re away. $50 per week is $2500 a year. Bali, anyone?
- Organise for email alerts for your bills – get rid of the paper!
- Use that electronic organiser (Outlook, Entourage or Google Calendar. Sync with your phone. Set reminders). Forget.
- Sit down at your computer once a week or fortnight and organise advance payments of your bills. Look for ‘scheduled payments’ in your Bank's dashboard and input regular payments where possible, or ‘pay later’ options where necessary. While you’re there, organise a simple, regular payment to your credit card. Learn to use this facility and become efficient. Easy when you get used to it.
- Organise a receipts folder! – easy! Now you have a place to put those pesky receipts, every time.
- Resolve your Tax
- Go through your bathroom cabinet
- Get Organised and have FUN with your recipes and Foodie dreams!…Masterchef lookout!
- Use folders for organising your iPhone or Android apps, then set and forget. And, really…do you NEED all those apps? Sounds like a great bus-time activity...delete!
Make a list of any tasks that are clouding your well-being. Write down the steps required to complete them, and then nibble at them, bit by bit, if you can. By breaking them down, they become do-able, and that’s half the battle.
If you need help to simplify, call us on 1300 881 384 or email us at email@example.com
Organising this type of lifestyle management is becoming an increasing facet of our business.
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Everybody we know has a stash of mags somewhere in the house that they are reluctant to part with or, at least, don't know what to do with.
Unless you have that certain-something ability to make a stack of mags look like a cool decorator accessory, get organised with them and develop a system for stashing the good stuff and getting free of the mass of dust-collecting journals.
One simple tool you can use to get your newspaper and magazine piles under control, once and for all, is the humble highlighter pen – but with a twist!
3M™ has designed a highlighter pen with Post it flags at the end, and I highly recommend these as ‘the tool of all tools’ for this purpose. (Oprah endorses it – and even spoke about it on one of her shows – so of course it must be good!).
Regularly, I see stacks of newspapers and magazines cluttering up clients’ homes – collections that take up much needed physical and mental space, just creating ‘another job to do’. Clients say the reason that they collect in piles is ‘because there are articles in them that I want to keep’. With no strategy or tool to assist them, they unconsciously create more work for themselves. Most people haven’t marked the pages and if only they had, they would have saved themselves SO MUCH TIME!
A simple way to avoid this problem in the future – is to make a decision to start from now and use the ‘3M™ Post It Flag highlighter pen’ each time your pick up a newspaper or magazine.
- Keep it on your coffee table or in reach when reading through newspapers and magazines to highlight an article, then flag the page with the end tab…to save yourself time searching for the ‘must keep’ articles you wanted to save. You’ll be able to keep everything up to date from then on and only keep the articles you need.
- At the end of each weekend (make sure you have a routine in place for this), or when you’ve finished reading the newspaper and magazine (and of course everyone else in the house has finished reading them), you can go straight to the article, cut or tear it out and file it under the appropriate category in your filing system i.e.: dream home file, politics, environment, etc….This method amounts to a simple 5 minute job if it’s not out of hand.
- When you’ve finished with your magazines, don’t be afraid to pass them on. Doctor’s surgeries and hospitals are just a couple of examples of places which may accept your recent cast-offs (yes, please!) or your local charity shop may be able to pass them on. Any really outdated ones can go into the recycling bin, of course.
Often, a little thought and education is all it takes to change.
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