home tips speaking resources about contact

Monday, January 9, 2012

Blogging to be continued on my personal site

It has come to my attention that I actually have limitations.  Who knew?  (smile)

After having the best, most optimistic, intentions to maintain two blogs, I have discovered in fact, that it is too much for me at this time in my life.  I held off on making this announcement in hopes that I could make it work, but I can't. 

And so, I'm temporarily suspending blogging at Her Organized Life.  However, the good news is that frees me up to post more on my personal site at www.GlynnisWhitwer.com. 

My passion is all things surrounding home, organization and productivity.  And so that's what I'll be writing about on my site.  Hopefully some day I'll have an assistant (that's my goal) and I can maintain two sites.  Until then, thank you for subscribing to Her Organized Life. 

If you haven't visited www.GlynnisWhitwer.com, today is a good day to start.  I'm hosting a 15-Day Clutter-Free Challenge and today is Day 1.  I hope to see you there.

Grace & Peace,


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Are you always late?

For some reason, I take longer to run errands than my husband does. If he and I had the same exact list, and went into the same exact store, he would sure finish at least 15 minutes before I would.  If not more.  I just take longer to do everything!  I stroll, consider options, compare prices, chat with someone I meet, etc. 

This relaxed approach carries over to most things I do.  Knowing this about myself, I've learned to schedule less that I think I can do. 

Did you catch that?  I always think I can accomplish more than I actually can.  I tend to be an optimist - which is good in most areas, but not when I'm trying to accurately assess how much time it takes to get something done ... or show up on time.

So here's what I've learned to do:

1.  Order my errands or tasks from highest to lowest priority.  That way I can shorten my list as I'm running out of time.

When my kids were younger, I always asked: "What do we HAVE to get done before we leave?"   Then we did that first.

2. I add on 10-15 minutes minutes more than I think I need to do any errand or local driving trip.

3. I start gathering items to take with me the day before. 

4. I've started identifying one significant task a day I want to accomplish ... then if I can add on minor ones, I'm happy.

Even though I always said I value being on time, aligning my life to reflect that belief has been a work in progress.  I'm still working on it!

Grace & Peace,


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My favorite online shopping & saving sites

Last week I mentioned the idea of creating your Christmas shopping list now, so you can get a head start on shopping ... and hopefully reduce stress and save money.

Today I wanted to share some ways I have saved money when I shop ahead.  That's clearance pages on my favorite online stores.  Sometimes, you can get deep discounts online, even up to 90%.  And you can buy unique items, rather than things you can find in the malls.

From Signals.com
Here are a two of my favorite places to find unique and affordable gifts:

Victorian Trading Company    http://www.victoriantradingco.com/index.html

Signals   http://www.signals.com/

Also, don't forget personalized gifts.  Even though these are not usually clearance items, they can be affordable, and make a big impact.  Who wouldn't like cute Mary Engelbreit address labels for under $10? (except someone who doesn't do "cute")  Check out sites like:

Current:   http://www.currentcatalog.com/

Colorful Images: http://www.colorfulimages.com/

What are your favorite online places to shop and save? 

Grace & Peace,


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Seasonal organization tips

In some areas of the country, fall is actually in the air.  Do you know how I know?  It's not because of the temperature, because here in the desert Southwest our high was 109 today. 
No, I know it's fall because Starbucks is offering Pumpkin Spice Lattes.  That is the ONLY sign of fall here in the Phoenix area.

Whether it feels like autumn or not, September marks the beginning of a new season.  It got me thinking about some fall organization project you might want to consider:

  • Create your Christmas gift-giving list now.  That way you can shop sales during the next few months.
  • Go through your gift box and include some of those items on the Christmas list if appropriate.
  • Start cleaning out your refrigerator so you have room for holiday foods.  Plan menus around items that have been in there awhile. 
  • Make a list of birthdays for the next three months and buy cards all at once. 
  • Steam clean carpets.
  • Clean windows, inside and out.
  • Sort through summer clothes before packing away.  Plan to sell or give away.
  • Have a fall neighborhood yard sale. 
That's a start.  What are your favorite fall organization projects?

Grace & Peace,

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back-to-school tips

As of last Monday I have children in elementary school, high school and college. We've been going back to school for many years.  So I thought it would be good to share some of the back-to-school tips that have helped keep our family organized and sane as we shift schedules drastically from the relaxed summer months.

Here are a few of the habits I've developed over the years:

1)  Establish a place for each child's classroom informational paperwork.  I use a VERY low tech system to keep track of class lists, syllabus's, classroom rules and welcome letters: an inexpensive solid-color pocket folder.  Each child has a different color, and their name written in permanent marker.   I store these folders in one drawer in the kitchen, for easy retrieval.

2)  Establish guidelines for what you will keep throughout the year.  When my children were small, I decided I would only save those papers that showed my child's unique personality or skills.  So the cotton ball bunny was NOT saved.  But Joshua's self-portrait (a rainbow) was.  What criteria will you set?  And where will you put those papers and art work?

3)  Use the weekend to plan breakfasts,lunches and snacks for the week.  In the past, I've made a list of options for all of the above and put it on the refrigerator.  That helps avoid the complaining about nothing to eat. 

4)  Pack bags at night, and put by the front door.

5)  Pick out clothes for the week, and put in a hanging organizer.

6)  Read everything the teacher sends home, and transfer important dates and information to your calendar.  Those letters really do have important information in them. 

I hope this helps.  I'd love to hear your favorite organizing tips for going back to school. 

Grace & Peace,


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

When are expectations unhealthy?

Today I've got an article running on At the Well about how to say "no" with grace.  If you have a problem saying "no," I hope you'll read my article.

I've taken it from my book that has just been released, "I Used to Be So Organized."  And this section on saying no is tucked in a chapter about increased expectations.  I see increased expectations as a major reason why many women struggle with gaining control over their lives. 

Here's just one example. Back in the day (whenever that was), if a message needed to be communicated, the burden was on the initiator of the message.  That meant writing a letter, or calling until the person got through.  Now this is reversed.  

The burden to communicate is on the recipient. People can send me a text, email or message on Facebook.  They can leave me a voice message on my home or cell phone.  I won't even try to figure out instant messaging because that's just one more way people can toss the ball to me.  Then, the burden is on me to respond.  And if I don't respond promptly, it reflects badly on me.

I can spend so much of my day trying to respond to others that I can't accomplish my priorities.  This is a problem for many women I know.  So what can we do?

If this is a problem for you, perhaps it's time to reduce the ways people can get in touch with you until you can catch up.  Turn off your answering machine,  take a social networking fast, or set up an automatic response on your email letting people know you'll respond within a week to non-urgent requests.  Make sure you give key people in your life a hot line to reach you during this time.

I know this may seem challenging in this culture, but the truth is we don't need to be controlled by the request of others.  Sometimes we just need to give ourselves permission to NOT respond immediately to every request.

Grace & Peace,

Monday, July 25, 2011

Simplify life in the little things

Last week I wrote about getting rid of extra items before you can focus on organizing.  Those items don't have to be big to make a big impact.

Often, I find the greatest satisfaction in getting rid of the little clutter in my life. It's really just simplifying life in the little things.  Here are some examples on how I apply this to my refrigerator.  Keeping my refrigerator uncluttered actually increases its productivity as cold air needs to circulate.

*  Throw away old, mildewed, rotten food.  I know you probably hate to waste anything.  That's how I grew up too.  But using questionable food can make you and your family sick. And it won't get fresh again by leaving it in the fridge ... really ... so throw it out.

*  Combine like items with similar expiration dates.  Condiments, sauces and salad dressings can multiply  in my refrigerator.  When safe to do so, I combine items and recycle the extra bottle or jar.

*  Design menus to use items in your refrigerator.  For example, right now I have pesto and mango chutney in my fridge. They are taking up space, and if I don't use them soon, they'll go bad.  So I plan recipes using those items.

*  Use clear storage containers.  You'll be able to see what's inside, and it will make your fridge seem more open and organized. 

You can apply some of these tips for every cluttered storage space in your home.  Well, maybe not create a menu around them.  But you might plan some craft days using extra art supplies, do some home repairs you been delaying or plants flowers in the pots that have been accumulating in your garage.

Just tackle your spaces one by one and start by simplifying your spaces.

Grace & Peace,


My book will soon be available! You can pre-order at Proverbs 31 Ministries or Amazon.