Updated: Aug 30, 2019
"This is my experience on using the New York Times best seller, "One Year To An Organized Life" by Regina Leeds to enhance my quality of life and establish lifestyle routines. I admire her take on getting organized one week and one area at a time because I thrive on achieving little accomplishments in moments. I hope this inspires you to get the book, follow along, and establish your own lifestyle routines as well!"
- Cheli Njoku/The Cheli Experience LLC
"It is a law of physics that two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time. If you don’t consciously make room for today, yesterday will fill all the corners of your home. ...
Be Here Now.
Because now is really all the time there is."
- Regina Leeds
As the author eloquently put it, when you let go, a space opens for something else to move into your life. It can feel like a betrayal but that’s just the ego playing emotional tricks on you to keep you stuck. Open up to new possibilities.
Always stay in the present.
Be. Here. Now.
Below I share the action steps taken to honor the past and make room for the present.
Updating My Contacts
In the 2000’s era that gave birth to smart devices (iPhone, Android, iPad...etc),
Our need to rely on a physical address book has lessened over time. The apps on our smart devices do all the work for us by saving our contacts info and physical addresses. I don’t even memorize close friends and family phone numbers like I used to anymore. However, the contacts section of my smart device did get cluttered over time.
People and places have moved in and out of my life overtime; so I finally took some time in January to begin and complete the process of elimination and organization of my contacts.
Be wary of holding on to contacts that no longer fit your lifestyle. As stated earlier that’s your ego keeping you stuck. Also, use the Block feature on your device unsparingly and with great abundance to keep the "undesirables" at bay.
Best. Feature. Ever.
With that been said, how much do we value business cards as a means of contact? Are they a waste to create and share? I like having them on hand to network with at events but I always wonder what becomes of them afterwards? Do the recipients have a space in their home for cards based on categories, or do they get forgotten somewhere in the wallet? The author shared ways to keep cards organized and in specific categories and I’m glad she did because that has always been a struggle point for me - organizing business cards.
Memorabilia - Trash vs Treasure
Its tricky, for me anyway, to decipher between what memory is necessary to hold onto and what I can do without. It’s easy to get sentimental over a memory an object conjures and hold on to it indefinitely. The usual suspects:
Cards and artwork from my children
Digital photographs (PC and smart phone)
College/high school memorabilia
I still have the program from my high school graduation. Crazy right?
I have no idea how it successfully followed me around all these years. 27 years to be exact.
Each time I de-clutter and/or move, it never seems to make the trash list. I have a very strong feeling it’s luck is running out though. Just saying.
As I created my organized files and folders earlier in my “organized life” journey this year, I wondered if my children would care that I was saving so much memorabilia on their behalf - academic awards, sports awards, art work etc. I saved them anyway and I told myself, when they decide to get their own place I’ll present the keepsake box to them and they can decide what it means to them - trash or treasure.
That will always be under my control.
My love for pictures are paramount. I love taking pictures and finding what I call “Kodak moments” to capture on camera. I love saving vintage pictures the most. It’s always fascinating to see what my mom looked like at the age that my daughter is now or how my Dad looked in his youth before he even knew my mom. My Dad turned 80 in July. I was so happy to celebrate the day with him and family. What was most important for me to do was make a memory of it. I wanted to capture the mood, the ambiance and even most importantly - his joy. I did this with pictures, videos and cards for everyone to write a nostalgic favorite memory they had of our Papa.
Creating Albums and Memory Capsules
So how do I manage all my picture memories and videos? Well over the years they’ve grown in number; like a lovable, cuddly monster. Saving them on my PC or smart device has proven to be overwhelming. A couple of years ago I was actually going to close my eyes and delete a good bit of digital memories when a friend suggested I save them on an external hard drive called My Passport. It’s still a work in progress but the goal is to go through a process of elimination, save the surviving memories on My Passport, and with a deadline set for Fall of 2020, print and create actual physical albums and categorize them. There will be one for the early years, vacations, events - a huge undertaking for sure but so well worth it when the work is done. I would highly recommend partnering with someone who can keep you on task while organizing your albums from digital to non-digital. I recall spending more time talking about the memory each image triggered as opposed to staying focused on the organizational aspect.
“Albums are great conversation starters.”
I remember having a lot of albums in my childhood home- from black and white to colored pictures - and asking my family questions about pictures that later turned into stories.
Ah, the stories a simple picture can tell...priceless.
I look forward to when I’m able to sit back, pull out an album I can touch and feel, and take a journey down a memory lane that I helped to create.
"I seek out the good in every experience.
I am open to the fun life offers me daily.
I celebrate being alive." - Regina Leeds
Live Well Explore Often.