Your Household Is a Container: How to Organize Your Home

Your Household Is a Container: How to Organize Your Home

My beautiful friend, podcast guest, and student Tia (of episode 1) asked me how I kept my household organized without it becoming a cluttered mess or a giant pain in my ass. How can it be organized, stress-free, easeful, etc. This was my response.

Your household is a container full of smaller and smaller containers.

And though I love the Container Store as much as the next organized person, I don’t mean physical containers – although they can be – I mean spaces to contain your life.

Your dresser is a container for your clothes, your under the bed bin for your blankets, or your pantry for your food. You might have a box you keep favorite cards or letters you’ve received, or a place for your jewelry.

Containers.

I think that keeping healthy containers in your life – both physical space and boundaries – help increase your capacity or energy and allow you the space you need in your life to create.

You might have a container around your bedroom – no work happens in there, only sleeping! (Studies support this as a wise move, btw.) You might use a virtual Zoom background as a container to keep your work life and home life separate during the unprecedented pandemic. (If someone gives you shit about doing this, please email me and I will be your workplace advocate.)

All of these are containers! And household containers can support us or hurt us as much as boundaries can.

First and most importantly, please know that it is much harder to return things to a container if it’s not easy for you to do so. For example, short folks who have divorced their tall partners report taking years before they realize they don’t need to use the top shelf. Or in my case, I had a very complicated under the kitchen sink organizing system that was fine when I was single and sent me into a rage at 4 am with a very awake baby. Life changes, containers need to change, and assessing how they affect us can make our lives easier.

However, you can sometimes choose to make the container not easy for you, and if you do, the reason must be more important than the ease. For example, my father gave me an antique pitcher and basin when my husband and I moved in together. The basin is large. The pitcher is heavy. The whole set needs to be – dusted! Dusted, folks, I am not known for my dusting. I have always loved that gift though, and since my father passed away in January, I will *cut* anyone who gives that pitcher set even a side-eye. The pitcher and basin – they’re love. They don’t need to be ease filled because they are love-filled.

But on the flip side, I had a box given to me by a friend who ditched me and then burned me in the rona times. And that box got donated, thank you very much. It made me angry or sad every time I looked at it, and now, it’s bringing someone else joy. This was an effective container change for me.

If you too need to create more effective containers, most likely because the clutter of your household is getting to you when you cannot leave it in a worldwide pandemic – this is how I would tackle it.

Household Container Clearing Steps

1. Get real about your possessions.

No, I am not Marie Kondo. (Her drawer method is life-changing though, it really is.) American capitalism is always pushing you to need and want more and more and more, to the point that most people’s homes can’t even fit everything. If this is you, you will have to do some pairing down to fit into the container of your home. Or move into a new home, I’m not telling you what to do, just suggesting that this part is physics. Mary Poppins’ bag is sadly not available on Amazon.

This doesn’t mean you need to get rid of everything you own! It means you need to be intentional about what you own. Do you have clothes you hate? A hat too small for your head? Books that you read and hated but are still holding on to? Donate or sell, but clear the space.

And be honest with yourself. People tell themselves all sorts of crazy stories about everything under the sun, but no more than they do about their stuff. This blazer makes me a real executive (even though the button can’t close over my giant post baby breasts). This leather skirt makes me a real artist (even though I am scared to wear it because what if I spill?). Etc etc. Don’t bullshit yourself. If you need help, Zoom a straight shooter friend of yours for help.

2. What do you have that can pull double duty?

Ottomans! Shelves! Hooks! Drawers! All the natural containers you already have might be able to fill a dual purpose. I wanted a place to sit down at my front door and put my shoes on, and I had an ottoman that I had been using for toys for my Bean. I organized the toys in his room in a different way – on shelves installed in the closet – and took the ottoman for the door. Now I could sit to put on my shoes and store items near the door. Didn’t need to buy anything, didn’t add something new to the space, plus it serves dual purpose in its new role.

Do you have a need and an item that can be matched? For me, I had these shelves I loved but didn’t know where to put them and couldn’t find bedstands I liked that were in stock in the pandemic. Need, meet your match!

3. What can you replace with something that can pull double duty? Or even triple duty?

Do you have a chair that you don’t really like but an ottoman you do? Could you donate the chair, replace it with the ottoman and store the vacuum in there?

Maybe you have 3 small shelves that make it hard for you to move around your kitchen, but if replace them with one long shelf with hooks, you could move around freely and hang your apron?

These can either be items you already have or items you can source, including buying. Sometimes I will put a new container on my wish list, and I will figure out another way, and sometimes, a friend just gifts me it in the mail.

4. How can these containers be easy?

If you only use something once a year, it does not need to be in the front of the closet.

If the cat litter box is in the closet, can you store the litter and scoop right next to it with the spare bags so it’s an easy chore?

Where can you store the laundry basket so it’s easy to handle? If you have a bad back, maybe storing it in the laundry room makes the most sense. If you have a bad back, maybe a laundry basket in addition to the hamper makes the most sense. Do what works for you and your life.

I have a basket on the kitchen breakfast bar as a COVID-19 catch all. Masks, hand sanitizer, wipes, etc. live there. My husband hates the basket, and he desires it to move. But it is the absolutely best location for it, and we can easily find these items related to our safety. Practicality combined with safety combined with ease of use make this container more important than the annoyance of having it on the counter.

Is this an overnight process? No. Sadly no. It took my years to find my container balance. But bit by bit, it got better and better, and easier and easier.

My only other tip is that after finding this delicate balance, you must work every day to keep it. I personally prefer to restore items to their home throughout the day. I would not say my husband and son agree. They usually pick up about half their items before bedtime, and I walk through once and finish the job. In theatre terms, I restore the home so when we wake up the next morning, we are ready to go, starting off on the right foot.

Is that emotional and physical labor? Yes. Am I carrying the mental load? Yes. But does it make everything easier for me in the long run, yes, it does. And I think we make incremental progress as a family pack all the time, especially in the pandemic because we get to practice every day.

If you try this process, let me know how it goes for you. May you feel lighter and grounded and ready to kick ass. Godspeed.

STOP Self-Sabotage Summit

STOP Self-Sabotage Summit

Do you have brilliant ideas, life changing, world changing ideas, but… you twiddle your thumbs.

You think about how things can be different, and maybe even pay for that coach or thousand dollar program and then… don’t follow through.

Self-sabotage.

You might have never heard the word before or you might be a card carrying member for the “Self-Sabotagers Anonymous” Club.

Heck, you might even be the president!

There’s no time like the present to battle your self-sabotage so come to the:

STOP SELF-SABOTAGE SUMMIT!

There are 5 amazing speakers:
• Chou Hallegra
• Shannon MacFarlane
• Kathryn Mussell
• Naomi Gottlieb-Miller
• Rosemarie Wilson

Who are going to knock your socks off!

HOW TO WATCH

Please join us by clicking on the link below, which will take you to the summit videos in the Society for Notable Women Facebook group. (You must join the group to see the videos.)

How to Swap Sabotage for Success with Rosemarie Wilson

What’s your version of Self-Sabotage? Are you enjoying it?

No?

What do you want in its place?

Are you wearing your self-sabotage like a badge of honour? Are you secretly proud of it?

No?

Ok, well what do you want in its place?

Join me for this session on ‘How to Swap Sabotage for Success’

We’re all successful in our own right at different things

In this session I’ll focus on:

  • What might be detracting you and getting in the way of you being more of a success
  • What’s stopping you from enjoying and celebrating your successes
  • What you can also do when things aren’t necessarily going your way
  • How can you nurture your mindset to help you on this journey & swap self-sabotage for your version of success.

I’ll guide you through to help you find your answers.

Making Friends with Grief: How Stuffing it Bites You in the Ass with Shannon MacFarlane

Self sabotage often comes from a place of doubt and your own ability to see your worthiness. When you add grief on top of that, and it could be grief from any kind of loss, it’s tempting to stuff away the grief, tamp it down, and walk over it so it doesn’t come back. That grief is going to spring up when you least expect it (with power boosts from your self doubt and feelings of unworthiness) and take a huge bite out of your butt cheeks.

Making friends with your grief doesn’t mean that you love what has happened in your life. It doesn’t mean that the losses you have experienced haven’t impacted you. It means that you accept them, you learn from them, and you soften. You become sea glass instead of a shard.

Blasting through Barriers to Happiness: Conquering your Excuses and Self-Sabotages with Kathryn Mussell

We all have acknowledged reasons why we’re the exception to the rule, or why we aren’t allowed to be happy, healthy, wealthy and successful. This talk is to help you identify, recognize, admit and declare your acknowledged (and maybe some unacknowledged) excuses and self-sabotaging behaviors around why you’re not allowed to have exactly what you desire.

We all have acknowledged reasons why we’re the exception to the rule, or why we aren’t allowed to be happy, healthy, wealthy and successful. This talk is to help you identify, recognize, admit and declare your acknowledged (and maybe some unacknowledged) excuses and self-sabotaging behaviors around why you’re not allowed to have exactly what you desire.

When Self-Sabotage Looks Like Perfectionism with Naomi Gottlieb-Miller

If you’re inclined to be a little more on the perfectionist side of things, often you’ll use “not ideal” or “not exactly what I want” as excuses to avoid self-care.

I’ll share a few ideas on why you need to stop that line of thinking and how to do it!

How neglecting your emotional wellness will sabotage your business and your relationships with Chou Hallegra

Things we don’t pay attention to can become barriers to our personal growth, healing and success. Our emotional wellness affects every area of our lives and not taking care of your emotions will have a negative impact on your business, your health, and your relationships. Come learn how to take your blinders off and start prioritizing your emotional wellness so you can win in everything you do!

Synergistic Living – Eating to Save Your Life, One Trillion Microbes at a Time with Radiance Thompson

Synergistic Living – Eating to Save Your Life, One Trillion Microbes at a Time with Radiance Thompson

CHEF & HEALTH & WELLNESS COACH RADIANCE THOMPSON

The Notable Woman is proud to present the Super U Summit, 30 empowering women speakers over 10 days.

In this Super U Summit Talk, chef and health and wellness coach Radiance Thompson presents: Synergistic Living – Eating to Save Your Life, One Trillion Microbes at a Time.

WHO’S RADIANCE?
Radiance Thompson is a Le Cordon Bleu trained chef, Health and Wellness Coach, and founder of M.E.A.L.S. (Make Eating About Living Synergistic) with Radiance, a company that combines her passion and expertise for science and nutrition by helping people create meals based on food synergy. Food synergy is based on creating scientifically favorable relationships between two or more items of food that work together to increase vitamin content and overall nutritional value, optimizing health and well-being.
 
She defied the odds, graduating from the University of California, Irvine with a B.S. degree in Biological Sciences as a single mom with two daughters. She has received thousands of dollars in fellowships, grants, and scholarships to showcase her research publications at local, regional, and national science conferences and has worked extensively in the biotech industry, with a focus on treating cancer patients.
 
Radiance wants to show people that any and all moments of darkness can be radiantly overcame when they Make Eating About Living Synergistic.
 
TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE TALK TOPIC
Eating foods that are healthy for the good bacteria in your gut is imperative to the quality of your life. Fostering a healthy microbiome in your gut affects all faucets of life, namely your mental, physical and emotional states.
 
When you feed your gut the RIGHT foods, not only does it aid in digestion, weight-loss and physical appearance, but it also decreases the onset of deadly diseases, mental disorders and emotional instability.
 
“Synergistic Living” will talk about the common foods you eat that are increasing your chances of contracting cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, certain types of cancers, mental illnesses and depressive disorders.
 
We will then explore the ways you can strategically create meals with foods that work in synergy. The synergistcally favorable foods that will be discussed are scientifically proven to increase nutritional value, nourish the gut microbiome and facilitate a healthier way of living, increasing lifespan and quality of your life, one trillion microbes at a time.
 
HOW TO WATCH

Please join us by clicking on the link below, which will take you to Radiance’s video in the Society for Notable Women Facebook group. (You must join the group to see the video.)

Conscious Dreaming Framework with Tanya Saunders

Conscious Dreaming Framework with Tanya Saunders

DREAM STRATEGIST TANYA SAUNDERS

The Notable Woman is proud to present the Super U Summit, 30 empowering women speakers over 10 days.

In this Super U Summit Talk, dream strategist Tanya Saunders presents Conscious Dreaming Framework.

WHO’S TANYA?
Tanya is dream chasers, dream strategist and the co-creator and co-host of The Dreamboard Social Club, a podcast about breaking free from living life on autopilot, chasing dreams and living a life without any “could haves,” “should haves,” or “what ifs”. Through the power of visualization, goal setting and an accountability community, she is sparking a “conscious dreaming” movement to provide inspiration and motivation for living a life that is intentional, purposeful and fulfilling.
 
Tanya fervently believes that you are never done dreaming and considers goal setting a vital part of her daily self care regimen. With her partners backgrounds in public relations, branding and social marketing, and her own traumatic experience that taught her the fragility of life, she is dedicated to continuing education for the betterment of their clientele. Her every day trials and tribulations as a mom, wife , and career woman teaches her how to enjoy the present while creating the life she is truly meant to live. Through compelling conversations, valuable insights and resources, Tanya provides a raw, real and relevant approach to showing The Dreamboard Social Club tribe how to consciously dream in order to truly create and live a dream life.
 
Together, Tanya with her partner they merge their strengths and passions into a superpower to lead a powerful movement of conscious dreaming through The Dreamboard Social Club.
 
TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE TALK TOPIC

My podcast I co-host and cocreate is the Dreamboard Social Club. The DSC is a podcast about breaking free from living life on autopilot, chasing dreams and living a life without any could haves, should haves or what ifs. Through the power of dreaming from a placs of abundance, visualization, goal setting and an accountability community of dream chasers, we are sparking a “conscious dreaming” movement to provide inspiration and motivation for living a life that is intentional, purposeful and fulfilling.

FREE GIFT FOR YOU

Tanya’s gift for you is the “How to Dream From a Place of Abundance” guide, which you can get right here.

HOW TO WATCH

Please join us by clicking on the link below, which will take you to Tanya’s video in the Society for Notable Women Facebook group. (You must join the group to see the video.)

Use your voice? Learn how to take care of it with Sarah Chutiangtong Sietsema

Use your voice? Learn how to take care of it with Sarah Chutiangtong Sietsema

SPEECH PATHOLOGIST SARAH CHUTIANGTONG SIETSEMA

The Notable Woman is proud to present the Super U Summit, 30 empowering women speakers over 10 days.

In this Super U Summit Talk, speech language pathologist Sarah Chutiangtong Sietsema presents: Use Your Voice? Learn How to Take Care of It.

WHO’S SARAH?

Sarah is a wife and mom to 2 kids (ages 4 and 7) in NYC. By day she is a full time hospital-based speech language pathologist specializing in voice and swallowing disorders, and in her free time she is a beauty entrepreneur. She also admins a few FB groups mostly geared towards beauty/lifestyle and moms.

TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE TALK TOPIC

Sarah shares voice tips for Notable Women who talk…especially if it’s part of your profession/hustle. Vocal health is important for a good voice. These tips will come in handy for speaking, networking, and videos/lives.

HOW TO WATCH

Please join us by clicking on the link below, which will take you to Sarah’s video in the Society for Notable Women Facebook group. (You must join the group to see the video.)

Who Are You, and What Do You Want? with Mahlena-Rae Johnson

Who Are You, and What Do You Want? with Mahlena-Rae Johnson

EXECUTIVE COACH MAHLENA-RAE JOHNSON

The Notable Woman is proud to present the Super U Summit, 30 empowering women speakers over 10 days.

In this Super U Summit Talk, executive coach Mahlena-Rae Johnson presents “Who You Are, and What Do You Want?”

WHO’S MAHLENA-RAE?

Mahlena-Rae Johnson is an Executive Coach for fellow Overachievers who are searching for Happiness. She grew up on the mean beaches of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. During her senior year of high school, she was named Most Likely to Kidnap a Backstreet Boy. She has published 4 books, 4 web series, 6 websites, and over 1000 online articles for international audiences. As a recent transplant from the United States to Canada, Mahlena is still learning how to navigate the streets of Downtown Toronto, wondering whether to dress for sleet or sunshine during her first Canadian spring, and preparing for inevitable encounters with curious moose.

TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE TALK TOPIC

The talk will focus on: Are you a Top Dog in your career but a Scared Puppy in your social life? A Champion at the office who wonders, “Isn’t there more out there for me?” A Perfectionist who wants to Change, but Fears you will make the Wrong Decision? Then you are in the right place. Mahlena will show you fellow Overachievers how to get out of your own way, stop doing the most, and start living your best life.

HOW TO WATCH

Please join us by clicking on the picture below, which will take you to Mahlena’s video in the Society for Notable Women Facebook group. (You must join the group to see the video.)

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