Wrap up the year

Year End PartyThe last few weeks of a year always seem to be a mad rush. Last week, we had our company year end party which was such a great laugh. In less than 2 weeks, we’ll celebrate the birthday of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and Christmas. For a lot of expats in Dubai, this will be time to travel to their home countries and many are also thinking how and where to spend New Year’s Eve. I’m so happy that all this is sorted and I’ve some peace of mind!

Yet, as we’re getting ready to celebrate, it’s also time to wrap up 2015. Nowadays, year end is almost forgotten and few people only use it to reflect. Instead, we’re already focusing on the next year. Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s finish this year first. Here’s a list of activities to wrap up in 2015:

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Time to toss your make up

This week has been a fun filled week in Hong Kong. My study buddy Fernanda and I loved our course given by the wonderful Eve. Learning about colours and style during the day was so inspiring! Fernanda and I applied our knowledge in the evening, venturing through the myriad lanes and small shops before stopping for delicious dinner and drinks.

Following the theme of this week, I wanted to write about the expiration dates of cosmetics. Do you know when to toss your make up? The little symbol of an opened jar with a number tells you for how many months you can use a product after its container has been opened.

Make up expiration

Wouldn’t it be great if all manufacturers used it? Unfortunately not all do. This timeline comes in really handy!

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Create your NOW (National Organising Week)

Have you heard of NOW? The National Organising Week? In Australia and New Zealand, the AAPO runs its annual campaign about the benefits of being organised this week and they partner with charities who’ll take any pre-loved items.

About 16,500 km away from Sydney, I’ll be working with clients on their own NOW here in Germany this week. I’ve been approached to organise a basement and am rather grateful for the cold and rainy weather. Moving unwanted furniture or bags full of stuff upstairs can be exhausting.

To start an easy NOW for you, look around your home and get rid of things you no longer want or need. Here are 15 suggestions of things you can declutter within 10 minutes:

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Emotional Clutter – Get a tissue

About 2 years ago, my mother and I embarked on our own little decluttering journey: We went through the storage room which also included some of my grandma’s stuff. Even though my grandma passed away in 2000, it was a deeply emotional process. For my mother, it was a final good bye from the woman who meant the world to her.

There was the manicure set which my grandma frequently used. It had surely outlived its days – it was so loved. It was time to throw it out. Besides, my mom probably had 2 or 3 manicure sets of her own. Yet, she struggled to put it in the bin.

The question asked most often that day was: “How about we give this away? You don’t need and there are other people who’ll enjoy having this item.”

Knowing that she could help other people made the process of clearing the storage room and letting go of my grandma’s belongings a lot easier. She would make someone else happy with things she no longer needed or wanted. And for that, my mom was grateful.

You may have gone through similar experiences. A relationship has ended or loved one has passed away. You don’t want to simply throw out their things. Emotional clutter, just like physical clutter, can weigh you down and pause your life. But what do you do with emotional clutter?

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Is your stuff bringing you down? The cost of clutter

Last week, I was helping a client transform her spare room filled with moving boxes into an arts and crafts haven.

Until then, walking by the room was dreadful for my client. “Where do I start?” was a big question and it was just easier to keep the door shut. Yet, she could feel the impact the room had on her, even with its door closed. It brought her down. You should have seen the smiles on her face at the end of our session. Her spirits are high and she’s now all set to start her first sewing project.

How is your stuff bringing you down? What are you paying while living with clutter?

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Your well deserved closet make over

As temperatures are rising, what are you doing with your wardrobe? You’ve probably read articles on how to change your clothes. But why wait for the end of a season to do so? Now is the time!

I’ve started clearing my closet on a regular basis and couldn’t be happier. We only wear 20% of our clothes. So why do we keep the other 80%? I’ve consciously decided to part from clothes which no longer fit or I don’t like. Remember those Christmas jumpers. Well, they’re gone, too. If you’re in the Middle East, there’s no need to wear them. Not even at Christmas!

This weekend is the perfect time to give your wardrobe the make over it and you deserve! Here are 10 easy steps to create the wardrobe of your dreams:

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Benefits of Being Organised

While I’m no big believer in fate, I sometimes wonder why a certain person would be sitting to me on is trip. During the NAPO a conference, I met some awesome organisers who shared different stories and insights, leaving me invigorated and energised.  On my return flight, David was sitting next to me and what a beautiful conversation we had.

Working at JFK airport, his belongings created stress for him. He hated driving or even more so being stuck in traffic. When he finally made the decision to sell his car, he could feel a load being taken from his shoulders. For him, deposing a number, well, a lot, of his belongings meant gaining freedom. “I’m relieved,” he said. “I’ve space in my apartment and can focus on the people and things that really matter to me.” For him, decluttering his life style clearly have paid off and he described him as a more balanced and appreciating person.

What could you gain from being (more) organised?

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A fantastic NAPO 2015 Annual Conference

What a great event the NAPO 2015 Annual Conference in Los Angeles was!

Over the last 3 days, more than 500 attendees from the USA, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Finland, the Netherlands, Nigeria and Dubai (that’s me!) soaked up the latest trends in the organisation world, exchanged tips and tricks and formed a powerful network. I’m so proud to have become part of this mighty group!

  • Did you know that the average US American household contains about 300,000 items (the average European only has 10,000 items)?
  • According to Joshua and Ryan from The Minimalists, the 3 most dangerous words in the English language are “Just in Case”. You keep stuff for this “just in case” but when will this “case” ever happen?
  • Have you ever thought of taking the Lean Principles from your office and apply them to your home, too? Remember Julia Childs, the famous chef, drew the outline of each pot and frying pan on a peg board. She and anyone else who worked in her kitchen would easily know where everything belonged.
  • Do you account for all hours in your workday? If you’re unable to identify 2 hours per day and are charging $50 per hour, this costs you $26,000 in income per year!

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