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Entries in Marcia Ramsland (12)

Wednesday
Nov012017

5 Tips to Strategically Simplify Your Holiday Season

Because Marcia Ramsland is one of the most organized people I know during the holiday season, I asked her to prepare us for Thanksgiving and Christmas with some helpful strategies.

This Holiday UPGRADE is based on her practical book, Simplify Your Holiday Season, and it includes a free download!

“If you do anything more than once in life," Marcia says, "organize it and simplify it. That’s especially true for the holidays that come year after year like clockwork. “  

I (Dawn) totally agree with the "organize and simplify" concept. Along with walking in the Spirit and experiencing His peace in our hearts (Galatians 5:16, 22), one of the blessings of being properly prepared for the holidays is the peace that flows into our celebrations and activities!

Marcia continues . . .

There is ONE DATE that signals it’s time to launch your holiday planning every year—November 1st.

Knowing that, you can be ready and sail through the holidays by taking these five action steps early. These five steps—and my free 8-Week Holiday Planning Calendar—will get you ready early and make it the peaceful Thanksgiving and Christmas season you’ve always dreamed of.

1.  Mark Your Holiday Dates for November and December.

Thanksgiving is “early” this year on November 23, which means Christmas is a little over four weeks after Thanksgiving. That’s really good news!

But you still need to follow a good Calendar Plan so too many details don’t mount up at the end to cause you holiday stress.

2.  Write A Master Gift List.

List the names of people that you are planning to give gifts to. Better yet, FIND YOUR LIST from last year and follow that same order early in November.

Can’t find last year’s list? You could download my free Master Gift List.

You can download the 2017 Free Master GIFT LIST and Holiday CALENDARhere.

(NOTE: If you already have my Holiday planner, put the list in the front pocket!)

3. Organize Your Gift Wrap Center.

Right now, you don’t have to wrap any gifts. Just organize your Gift Wrap Center with 7 key items all together, say in an under-the-bed box or drawer. 

Include: holiday wrapping paper, gift bags, gift tags, fresh tissue paper, bows & ribbons, scotch tape and a dedicated pen. Get it organized and ready to use.

4. Plan Ahead by Writing Things Down.

Mark your calendar with family coming to town, favorite concerts, kids school vacation dates, and business vacation days. This forms the structure for your holiday season.

5. Sort Your Holiday Decorations Early.

The best weekend to put up Christmas decorations this year will be Thanksgiving weekend or the weekend after, but not turning on lights until December 1.

That way you can enjoy them for five weeks before taking them down after New Year’s weekend.

Donate what you don’t use early in December. Why?

1) Someone else can enjoy your excess decorations this Christmas.

2) Charities won’t take them after Christmas, because they don’t have room to store them for 11 months.

Free up space by donating this year!

Planning is powerful! And with a good plan and your eye on the calendar, you can simplify your holiday season.

Instead of playing “catch-up” and feeling stressed, you will experience freedom and calm.

With an organized plan in action every week—written out on an 8-Week Holiday Calendar Plan—you can say wholeheartedly like the angelic heavenly host who praised God when they appeared to the shepherds and said, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests” Luke 2:13-14.

Let me share a holiday prayer just for you.

"Dear God, today as I work on preparing my heart and home for Christmas, may I reflect on the events of the first Christmas and find strength in knowing you have a special plan for my holidays this year.” Amen

What holiday activity will you start this weekend to make sure you’re calm and ready to celebrate this holiday season?

Marcia Ramsland, the Holiday Coach, is the author of two holiday books: Simplify Your Holiday Season: Turn Seasonal Stress into Holiday Success” and Simply December Devotions and was a spokesperson for Sam’s Club Holiday Entertaining. Download Marcia's free 2017 Holiday Calendar and Master Gift List HERE

Thanksgiving/Christmas blocks in the graphic available at BuzzingBeesCrafts on Etsy.com, while quantities last.

Tuesday
Mar212017

5 File Folders Save the Day!

Marcia Ramsland, a highly-respected organizing coach for businesses and individuals, sees paper messes everywhere. Fortunately, she knows exactly what to do with those stacks of paper.

“Do you have a kitchen paper pile that won't go away? Is your refrigerator full of reminders? Then,” Marcia says, “it's time to simplify the paper "mess" with a system.”

I (Dawn) wondered for a moment whether Marcia took a sneaky peak at my office… or saw the papers all over my kitchen counter!

I am organized in so many ways. But that paper stuff? Ugh.

Marcia continues . . .

My 5 File Folder System will clean that right up for you just as it has for hundreds of women across the country!

5 Files Can Turn a Pile into an Attractive File!

Did you know an average of fifteen pieces of mail arrive in your mailbox? If you flip through first and deal with only ten of the fifteen pieces, you are left with five dangling pieces a day. 

That’s why stacks of mail can appear from out of nowhere—they're waiting for you to come back "later," which usually never happens.

At the rate of five pieces of mail per day, that means 150 pieces a month or 1,565 pieces a year—sixteen inches of guilt piled on your countertop, refrigerator or desk.

Let's clean that up right now!

Five File Folders will clean up any mail piles from scattering across your kitchen countertop.

A portable file holder is a key ingredient to set up a “Personal Organizing Center.”  Every home needs one to conquer paper piles.

These Five File Folders Handle Daily Paper:

  1. Calendar
  2. To Do
  3. To Decide
  4. To Pay
  5. Your Name (and their own file for each additional person)

File #1: "CALENDAR"

Put an item in the CALENDAR file only after putting it on your monthly calendar. This cleans up “refrigerator clutter” and includes invitations, schedules, & upcoming events.

File #2: "TO DO"

Write it on a Master List in front of you and then put it in this file.

If it would take less than 5 minutes to do, don't even write it on the list—do it now!

Calendar your Master List items to the 3 days you can most control: Today, Tomorrow or the next day.

File #3: "TO DECIDE"

Place items that you are thinking about doing, ordering or following up on in here.

Then when you decide to do it, you know right where to find it!

The last day of the month, toss the unused items for a fresh start next month.

File #4: "TO PAY"

If you don’t have one place by your checkbook to pay bills, keep them in a designated file folder so they don’t get lost. Important!

File #5: "PERSONAL"

Keep your papers—each person's papers—in their own file. Go through it daily yourself or on the weekend with each person.

If something needs immediate attention, don't file it! Show it to the person that day. This should take care of the visible paper clutter.

Regular filing should be in another room beyond the "Personal Organizing Center" portable file.

Can you do that? Of course you can!

It easily applies to organizing your office, too.

Proverbs 13:4 always inspires me to be diligent in organizing paperwork.

“The sluggish crave and have nothing,
but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied!”

This five-file system is so simple, but it works. TRY IT!

So... which pile of papers are you going to tackle first?

Marcia Ramsland is The Leading Online Organizing Coach for Business & Life Success and coaches busy women to maximize their time and minimize their stress. Her “21 Day Total Office Cleanup” gives women the confidence and control that their work, email, and paperwork is all in order with personal coaching. Details at www.OrganizingPro.com/OfficeCleanup.

Thursday
Nov172016

5 Tips to Jumpstart Your Holidays

The first thing I learned about Marcia Ramsland is, she cares about people. The second thing I learned is, because she cares, she creates constructive ways to help them. In this Christmas UPGRADE, she encourages us to jumpstart our holiday preparations so we can experience peace at Christmas and not stress.

“If you do anything more than once in life,” Marcia says, “organize it and simplify it. That’s especially true for the holidays that come year after year like clockwork!”

I (Dawn) have learned so many things from reading Marcia's books, and appreciate this approach ... because they work!

Marcia continues . . .

After staying up late Christmas Eve to wrapping presents for years, I finally figured out “The Holiday Plan” to simplify the whole season! Now we all get a good night’s sleep at Christmas.

You can, too!

To get you started on the right foot for the busy Holiday Season, here are “5 Tips to Jumpstart Your Holidays.”

1) Look Ahead and Mark Your Calendar.

Mark family celebration dates, guests coming, vacation days, holiday parties, church concerts, plays, and annual holiday events you enjoy. Post the calendar where you can see it regularly—like in your kitchen.

This is a unique time of year you need especially good planning skills.

2) Schedule 2 Hour Segments of Weekly Holiday “Prep” Time.

Schedule weekly shopping time online or in the mall, cleaning house, decorating. Schedule Thursday nights for shopping, Saturday for baking and decorating, and Sunday afternoon for wrapping presents.

3) Write a Master Gift List on One Form.

Pull out your gift list from last year to create a duplicate. Don't have one? Download my annual  FREE Master Gift List  to stay organized with your ideas, purchases, and budgets. Use it every year to keep your ideas organized.

4) Make the Most of Your Limited Time.

Combine your limited social time by inviting friends to an upcoming event and getting together for dinner ahead of time or dessert afterwards.

Create a memory on one night instead of two.

5) Sort Your Holiday Decorations Early.

Sort your Holiday decorations when you put them up the first weekend in December.

Immediately donate what you don’t put up to a charity so you can help someone else have a light and bright Christmas.

Planning is powerful! And with a good plan and your eye on the calendar, you can simplify your holiday season. Every year over 800 people download my week-by-week holiday planning calendars and Master Gift List to put in the front pocket of their Holiday planning book, Simplify Your Holiday Season (see book link, below).

Instead of playing “catch-up” and feeling stressed, you will experience freedom and calm.

This year with your advanced planning you can say—like the angelic heavenly host who praised God when they appeared to the shepherds—“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests” (Luke 2:13-14).

Be sure to bring the Lord into the midst of your holiday preparations.

You might pray:

Dear God, today as I work on preparing my heart and home for Christmas, may I reflect on the events of the first Christmas and find strength in knowing you have a special plan for my holidays this year. I ask you turn my mental chaos into calm with your presence every day. Amen!

What will you do better this year to ease the stress of the holiday season?

Marcia Ramsland is known as The Holiday Coach, author of “Simplify Your Holiday Season” planning book and “Simply December Devotions” devotional. Download your FREE Holiday Planning Calendar and Master Gift List and join her weekly Monday Holiday Class at www.OrganizingPro.com/holidays.

Graphic adapted, courtesy of morguefile.

Tuesday
Jul122016

Never Say, 'Go Clean Your Room!'

Marcia Ramsland is one of the most organized women I know. But those organization skills aren't just for grown-ups. In this Organization UPGRADE, Marcia explains how we can teach our children good habits too.

Marcia asks, "Did your mother ever tell you 'Go Clean Your Room'? If your Mom was like mine, probably 'Yes.'"

Oh, Marcia. Where were you when I (Dawn) needed you years ago with my little boys? I never practiced organization skills as a young mom myself, so it was almost impossible to teach my youngsters.

Marcia continues . . .

Today ia good time to take Mom up on it . . . no matter what your age is!

And after you clean up your own room, it's a good idea to organize your child or grandchild's room with them.

You see, training children is 50% by example and 50% by teaching them how to do everyday chores so they become habits leading to life success. 

Your daily training leads to the goal in Proverbs 31:28: “Her children arise and call her blessed.” That comes by consistent modeling and patient teaching as they grow up in the only world they can can control – their room.

5 Steps to Clean Any Room —   

For Yourself and Your Child

Practice these five steps consistently and eventually it will become a consistent habit. You always get to start over on the weekend with children if they have a particularly busy week.

Step 1: Make the bed first.

Since this is the largest visible surface, the room is now 60-70% clean! Choose a comforter that is easy to pull up without showing wrinkles.

Step 2: Put everything away on the floor.

Start at the doorway and work toward the bed and nightstand until everything is put away.

Step 3: Clean up everything by three categories:

  • Clothes – Put dirty clothes in a hamper or clothes bag in the closet. A trek to a bathroom hamper is too distracting to stay on task.
  • Papers – Start by cleaning up the nightstand and dresser. Arrange books neatly on a bookshelf and organize papers into binders and folders.
  • Collections and Toys: Display collections or toys on shelves, take a picture before changing it to make room for their next interest, and declutter often.

Step 4: Focus on one extra cleaning area.

Organize the desktop, dresser, nightstand, or closet on a weekend or vacation day. The front 2/3 of every surface should be clear.

Step 5: Empty the wastebasket often.

Keep a medium size one near their desk and have the child empty it weekly.

Final Steps:

See their room as they do by laying down on their bed and looking around. Is it a pleasant place including their personality and interests, or does it reflect neglect and disorganization that you can improve?

Put up inspiring pictures of your child doing a favorite activity, and add a recent family picture so your child will always know they are special and belong in the family.

Then walk down the hallway to your room and look at what your child sees you model. A child will live like you do, so make your bed, organize your dressers, and put away laundry and other clutter before you start on their room.

A wise woman does build her home starting with her own bedroom. (Proverbs 14:1)

Now you never have to tell your child, “Go clean your room.” Instead give your child one of the five steps above to do before their favorite TV show or computer game and it will get done.

What a great way to help your child succeed in life by having an inspiring, clean room as their “home base.”

Which of the three points under Step 3 is the biggest clutter area in your child's room? In your room? What can you do right now to get that clutter under control?

Marcia Ramsland is the leading Online Organizing Coach for Business and Life Success. A former teacher and parent herself, she is the author of the booklet and online course “Ages and Stages of Getting Children Organized.” She was intereviewed on Martha Stewart radio for this topic and believes any family can get more organized to create harmony at home. Details at www.organizingpro.com/agesandstages.

Tuesday
May102016

The Difference Between Average and Excellence Is Only 15 Minutes!

Marcia Ramsland, the "Organizing Pro," knows the importance of using time to the glory of God. In this Time Management UPGRADE, she helps us redeem our timeespecially our "power hours."

"Did you know," Marcia says, "that if you can invest just fifteen minutes a day into your top priority project, you will reap sixty-five hours of success at the end of the year on that project?"

Wise time managment has always ranked high in my (Dawn's) priorities, but I still learned something new from Marcia's wise approach!

Marcia continues . . .

15 Minutes x 5 Days = 1.25 Hours a Week or 5.4 Hours a Month or 65 Hours a Year!

Likewise, if you lose fifteen minutes a day, you will have lost over an hour weekly and 65 Hours a year of valuable time!

What Will You Gain—or Lose—This Year?

How could fifteen minutes make a difference?

Working smarter means looking for those fifteen minutes to bring your work from average to excellence by doing the following:

  • Carefully proofread a proposal or important e-mail before sending it off, fixing mistakes, and setting the right tone.
  • Confirm a meeting agenda and its attendees a day ahead, saving everyone’s time and creating a reputation as someone who begins and ends meetings promptly.
  • Review tomorrow the night before, writing down your top three priorities so that in the morning you can get right to work.
  • Plan 15 minutes at the end of each day to bring closure to open ended items like emails and cleaning up your workspace.
  • Get to sleep fifteen minutes earlier so that you can think better the next day and stay healthier long term.

People performing with excellence seek out those fifteen-minute advantages to spend on their priorities.

Work Smarter by Controlling Your Power Hours

Everyone has a “power hour” where they can buckle down and produce amazing results in a short period of time.

Controlling your power hours for strategic activities is your secret to getting the most out of your day.

You need three in a day.

Morning Power Hour:

The early bird gets the worm if you are a morning person, but loses it without a strategy.

Plan productive priority projects for the week on Sunday night, and mark them as appointments. Get up earlier, like at 5:00 or 6:00 a.m., to keep those appointments with yourself.

Noon Power Hour:

Noon is a great power hour to meet with clients, coworkers, or friends. Schedule this “people power hour” time for two lunches per week on a weekly basis, such as on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Afternoon Power Hour:

The “wrap-up power hour” is the time to bring closure for the day’s work the hour before you finish for the day, close down e-mail, finish the project at an appropriate stopping point, make final phone calls, and write a list of priorities you will pick up with tomorrow morning.

Strategically utilize the rhythm to your day to always put your best work, your people time, and your closure hour at the same time each day. You’ll realize, “If I don’t do this project at this time, I’ll never get back to it.” So you’ll schedule it and do it.

It’s freeing, and the results will be amazing!

Managing our time well reminds me of the Bible verse that was posted on my childhood bedroom door growing up:

“Whatever you do, work at it heartily as working for the Lord and not for men” (Colossians 3:23).

That inspires me to excellence. How about you?

Marcia Ramsland is well known as the “Organizing Pro,” a Business Productivity Coach, speaker, and author of her newest book, Organize Your Workspace for a Productivity Boost available this week! She coaches individuals and organizations to be highly productive on a personal and professional level. Get free tips at www.organizingpro.com.

Graphic adapted, Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.