Declutter and Organize for 2015

Beth Jones, January 2015
Beth Jones, January 2015

Do you need to get organized and declutter for 2015?

This weekend I’ve been on an organizational roll! FEELS SO GOOD!

I went through my email inbox the last several months, finally finishing up this week with filing or deleting emails. I had 1000’s in there; what a relief to get the emails down to ZERO. My goal is to keep it at that or as few emails as possible in my inbox. I’m also unsubscribing to lists that aren’t serving my priorities this year; my time and yours is precious. Michael Hyatt has a great post on staying on top of your email here.

papers
papers

I bought a new address book and transferred addresses and phone numbers to the new one. Recently I asked our daughter Leah to find an address for me in my book, and she said, “This is a mess, mom!” Addresses were crossed out 3 or 4 times, so I bought a new one to fill out and use. I recorded our checking account numbers and ATM/Debit/Credit card numbers for safekeeping. 

address-book
address-book

I sorted through papers in my black file folder box – important documents, bills that have been paid off, bills that are due, speaking presentations and teachings, pictures from magazines as visual aids for speaking/writing, manuscripts for my books, etc. Each of these are in a separate, labeled, colored file folder. You can buy these inexpensively at Walmart.

folders
folders

I shredded a whole bunch of papers from my files. I love the shredder; it’s a great way to tame the paper tiger. One great book I recommend for organization is Organize Now!: A Week-by -Week Guide to Simplify Your Space and Your Life by Jennifer Ford Berry.

organize
Organize Now! by Jennifer Ford Berry

 I put all the critically important documents in the floral tote below  – copies of our marriage certificate, birth certificates, drivers’ licenses, insurance benefits, passports, etc. This week I’m planning to buy a fireproof-waterproof box to put them in. I also made copies of these to go into the black file folder box.

shredder
shredder

My goals this week are to clean out the fridge (that’s where all the tupperware has disappeared to – uneaten leftovers!) and to clean the stove…major but necessary jobs.  In the next few weeks, I’ll also be going through cabinets and drawers to declutter and organize more.

I love each new year because it gives you a fresh start. I love decluttering and organizing for the new year. It gives me such relief and freedom. It makes room for the new and exciting. It lets you breathe and declutters your mind and soul as well.

Are you decluttering and organizing for the new year?

What do you need to declutter, organize, give away, sell, or throw away to make room for the new in 2015? Share your comments and tips below.

“Own less, do less, and say no.” – Geoffrey Godbey

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random thoughts

www.lightstock.com
www.lightstock.com

I hope you had a blessed Christmas with family & friends. I had one of the best, most peaceful ones I’ve had in a long time!  

This year we had our family Christmas dinner at our oldest daughter Heather’s house. Everyone brought a cooked dish (instead of me cooking everything and hosting it at our house!): Ray’s infamous holiday ham that our kids always request at Thanksgiving and Christmas, my sweet potato casserole, Heather’s green bean casserole, Eden’s creamy mashed potatoes, and apple pie with vanilla bean ice cream. We opened gifts Christmas Eve with our kids and grandkids.  It always makes me happy to see them open presents. 

The best gift of all is Jesus and my precious family.

I am eating too much lately, and Ray buying me delicious chocolate-covered cashews for my Christmas stocking, with other candy bars, doesn’t help. They are addictive. 🙂

chocolate covered cashews
chocolate covered cashews

I’ll have to do a detox to start off the new year. I have a recipe that I found online:

  • 1/2 cup pineapple
  • 2 large cucumbers
  • 1 bunch kale without the stems (4 cups chopped)
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed
  • 1/4 inch ginger
  • 1 bunch mint (1 1/2 cups). Blend together.  

Are you excited about 2015? Personally, I’m so glad that 2014 is almost over. It was a hard, challenging year.

God showed me ahead of time before 2014 hit that it would be hard, and a friend confirmed that when she was praying for me at the end of 2013. But she encouraged me God would strengthen me through it. And He did.

I believe I obeyed what God told me to do and as a result of that, it was a fruitful, productive year. I hope that I’ll obey Him as well in 2015.

Valorie Burton
Valorie Burton

In speaker/author Valorie Burton‘s ezine today, she wrote: “Every year, we are bombarded with “Year in Review” headlines. The best dressed, the top songs, and most fascinating people of theyear. But I like to do my own “Year in Review,” a self-reflective recap that helps me see how much richer I am at the close of another year. “Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding. For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold,” Proverbs 3:13-14. So at the end of eachyear, you ought to find yourself a little richer. Whether you view the experiences you’ve had this year as good or bad, each one offers an opportunity to become richer in wisdom and head into the New Year better prepared than ever to live wisely and be resilient.”

She then asked what you learned in 2014. I think it’s very important to reflect back on your year at the end of each year. See what went well and what didn’t. What you learned. What mistakes you made.

What successes and accomplishments you achieved. How you grew.

What things you checked off on your bucket list. You do have a bucket list, don’t you? If not, then start it today!

Maybe one thing on your bucket list is to write Morning Pages. While I don’t agree with all Jennifer Blanchard or Julia Cameron say, Jennifer writes about the benefits of Morning Pages in her post here.

Or maybe in 2015 you want to write a fiction book (my client and friend Dana Arcuri just wrote the first chapter of her fiction book, whoo hoo!). Start writing!

One thing I am doing is decluttering: going through my email inbox, closets, and drawers. Making room for the new.

I believe God has shown me that 2015 is a pivotal year (of crucial importance) for me and His people.

Do you have your “one word”, your “theme,” and/or your scripture for 2015? I encourage you to pray, asking for His protection, wisdom, and blessings in 2015 over your and your family and loved ones.

I’m taking the next few days to just pray and get God’s wisdom and direction for 2015.

Do you have your yearly planner/calendar yet?

I found one at Walmart with these beautiful yellow daisies on the front cover and this scripture, “My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.” (Exodus 33:14)

Vision Publishers planner/calendar
Vision Publishers planner/calenar

We don’t know what the year ahead holds. Let’s approach it prayerfully and with an open, trusting, faith-filled heart. Sometimes God does unexpected things in our lives.

An entrepreneur friend of mine recently took time out to fill out her yearly calendar, scheduling teleseminars, local live events, and quarterly coaching programs, and was so excited about these plans…then she was hired for a J-O-B she’d applied for (outside the home, due to financial pressures). I believe the J-O-B is just temporary. Sometimes for a season we may do something that we don’t want to do, but God has us there for a reason for His unseen purposes and glory. 

Sometimes we are shaken. Right now my father is experiencing health issues. He’s been fainting. His diagnosis: syncope (fainting), which may be caused by irregular heart beat or blood flow.

 Last year he had a 92% blockage in his aorta, and this year he had a 83% blockage in his aorta. They just put in 3 stents and did an angioplasty. This past week after he returned home, he fainted at dinner time, and had to be taken back to the hospital. He was just released yesterday. 

Here is a picture of me with my dad several years ago.

Daddy and me, Valdosta, GA
Daddy and me, Valdosta, GA, a couple of years ago

It’s unsettling when your parents are aging and/or have health issues. It’s an acute reminder of your own aging and mortality. None of us like to think about these kinds of things, especially around Christmas time when it’s supposed to be fun and full of joy. But these things are part of this drama called life.

I saw a sign in town today which read, “Collect moments, not things.” Wise words. Make precious memories with those you love. Never taken anyone or any day for granted.

And enjoy it, and use our gifts for God’s and others’ joy. For Christmas, one of the gifts our daughter Leah requested was watercolor paints. She is an amazing graphic artist, but wanted to try her hand at watercolors.

This week she painted a sun and blue mountains picture. I think it is beautiful and am going to frame it and hang it up on a wall.

Copyright 2014 Leah Jones
Copyright 2014 Leah Jones

One of the gifts I received, that I’d requested from Ray and our daughters, was a Blue Snowball mic to make better audio quality podcasts, webinars, telecalls, etc. Ray said, “It’s a strange looking thing.” But I’m so happy I got it!

You can subscribe to my podcast here at Itunes. The “No Place For” podcast series from Galatians 5 is wrapping up soon.

me and Snowball mic
me and Snowball mic

 I’m also booking speaking engagements for 2015 and 2016. You can contact me here if you’d like me to speak at your event, or know someone who needs a speaker.  I love encouraging women to fulfill their purpose and use their gifts. I will go wherever God wants me to go. 

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Our daughter Heather bought me the Cinderella glass slipper that I saw and asked for, to use as a visual aid when I speak at conferences in 2015. (My signature talk is The Cinderella Story: The Power of Shoes about women walking in their unique purpose.) You can see the glass slipper on the right in the pic below. 

Glass slipper
Glass slipper

This post was just some random thoughts.

me - 2014
me -2014

 I want you to know how much I appreciate you. Thank you for coming by my website and joining me on this wonderful, sometimes scary and uncertain, but always adventurous journey called life.

I’m looking forward to seeing the great things God will do in 2015. He is good. He is worthy to be praised.

I’d love to hear how your year went and what your plans are for 2015. Leave your comments below.

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My work space and tools

Ultimate Blog Challenge
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Today is Day 18 of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. The suggested topic for blogging is what goes great with your product or service ~ a list of what works with what you do. I thought I’d blog about my work space and tools I use that may help you as a speaker, writer, and/or coach.

Work Space

First, my humble work space. Yes, that is a black card table I’m using as my desk. Eventually I may get a new desk.

But I am THRILLED because I finally have my own room for an office. The 2 black bookshelves I bought from Walmart were the perfect size for my office. They required a little assembly. 

My office desk
My office desk
My new office
My new office

I’m a Hello Kitty fan, and I found some Hello Kitty decorations for my desk. The crystal rose is a precious Mother’s Day gift that I love from our daughter Leah.

Hello Kitty decorations
Hello Kitty decorations

I like fresh flowers on my desk, like these which my friend Liz blessed me with for my birthday.

fresh flowers
fresh flowers

I found 2 black bookshelves for my books and decorated them with little things I love. What are some of your fave decorations for your office?

  • a Curious George given to me by Florence Littauer at UpperClass professional speakers’ training in Connecticut;
  • a “Wish upon a star” ceramic knick-knack container;
  • a yellow “B” paper weight given to me by our daughter Heather;
  • a “Hello Kitty” photo holder, that has pics of my precious friends Shelley Valasek, Kimberly Ehlers, and Kimberly Weber;
  • a pink stone that was a gift from my friend Liz Zacharias;
  • A Maine lighthouse souvenir when I was a flight attendant and flew to Maine for a fun weekend trip;
  • a little unicorn;
  • a gecko lizard knickknack, from the short time I lived in Florida (they were everywhere!);
  • a Florida tiny coffee cup with a green alligator holding onto it;
  • some sand from a beach that my friend Shelley visited, thinking of me (I love the ocean).
bookshelf
bookshelf

Here is a picture of God the Potter and a woman as the clay (Isaiah 64:8), and an ocean picture painted by our daughter Leah

The Potter & The Clay (Isaiah 64:8) and Ocean picture
The Potter & The Clay (Isaiah 64:8) and Ocean picture

My husband Ray bought me this cute chocolate pic. (He knows my heart!)

Chocolate pic
Chocolate pic

I found this baby blue pic and love what it says. Are you using your voice?

bold voice pic
bold voice pic

Tools

This year is flying by and 2015 is around the bend. Today I bought a Vision Publishing 2015 desk calendar for booking speaking engagements and for my daily to-do’s. 

It is pretty and has cheerful yellow daisies on the front cover. I love it because it’s compact enough to carry in my purple sketchy dot Thirty-One Gifts purse/tote that I ordered this week.

It is divided into planning sections:

  • Year
  • Month
  • Week
  • Tasks
  • Projects
  • Info (address book)
  • Shopping

It has task lists and a small section for a menu item on each date page, and includes encouraging scriptures and quotes, such as “God’s faithfulness means that God will always do what He said and fulfill what He has promised.”

Vision Publishers planner/calendar
Vision Publishers planner/calenar

A tool I use frequently for online speaking at my webinars and for coaching clients is a headset with a mic. This frees up my hands for the chat room or to surf the net while talking.

 I’ve tried different brands of headsets, and have found the inexpensive Logitech ones at Walmart work great. Eventually I’d love to buy the Snowball blue mic.

Logitech headset
Logitech headset

I often use Skype to save on long distance charges, along with Free Conference Call for my webinars and virtual trainings, as well as for coaching clients.

I love a small shredder to tame the paper tiger. This one by Auroracorp.com was under $30.

shredder
shredder

This is where I work each day and are some of the tools I use. I like an atmosphere filled with things I love. 

What does your office look like? What are some of your most helpful office tools? Leave your comments below. 

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