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The Spark! Blog by Suzanna Kaye

Do You Know How to Use a Productivity Funnel?

Uncategorized Jul 12, 2019
 
By Ruth Zeman

Hey Beautiful, do you know how to use a productivity funnel?

For that matter, have you ever heard of a productivity funnel?

Let me tell you, this is exciting stuff in the world of productivity and organizing. A way to stay on task, focused, making positive forward movement. You're going to like this.

Now, I frequently offer the video transcript here and I get it, the transcript is a great way to zip past the fluff and get straight to the good stuff but this time you need to see the funnel in action. Just hearing about the funnel isn't nearly the same as seeing its function. So take a moment and settle in. You're going to love this tip.

 

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Is Stuff Taking Over Your House?

minimizing Jul 05, 2019
 
By Ruth Zeman

Everywhere you look there are things that you have but you don't really use them anymore. Why are they still there? Why can't you just give them away or throw them away?

Check out these tips for decluttering!

Don't Hoard Paper Products. If you're not going to use it in a month - don't. Get just what you need. You don't need more than a month of can goods, paper towels, toilet paper. You really don't.

Hangers - put the excess in the laundry room. Get them out of your closet!

Bags. Bags with bags inside. You don't need those. Keep your favorites, toss the rest.

Craft Supplies. You don't need piles of supplies for someday. It's perfectly acceptable to get the supplies the day you need them - then use them and toss the leftovers. (I know.... it's hard but you really can do this.) Don't let crafting guilt get to you!

BOOKS. You don't need to keep books you're not reading or rereading. (Please send hate mail to my facebook page...)

Or DVD's CD's....

Magazine...

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Automate Your Life!

organizing Jul 05, 2019
 
By Ruth Zeman

Do you ever feel like you just aren't getting enough done?

How do some people get more done in their day? Automation.

Setting things in motion and letting modern life take over.

Why it's almost like having personal robots.

So let's get started!

The first thing you need to identify is where you're getting hung up. What's slowing you down? Are you unable to make healthy meals because you didn't go grocery shopping?

Perhaps you're getting slowed down in the mornings getting dressed. Is it because your clothes aren't clean? Do you need different clothes for the life you're living now? What's the hold up?

Could it be your family needs you to make decisions for them?

Taking a moment and identifying where the hold up is can be very revealing.

In my life (As S.K.'s social media ninja/ professor of computer things) I discovered that my biggest hang ups were meals.

I don't want to stop what I'm doing to bother fixing food.

I really don't want to feed my whole family.

I'd...

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How to Gratitude Journal

gratitude Jun 28, 2019
By Suzanna Kaye

Today we're talking about gratitude journals.

I know, I know, I'm one more person talking about being grateful. We do this though because it's so effective. Plus, it's super important to incorporate this into our organizing plan.

When we're grateful for our stuff it makes us more satisfied and content. Able to say no to buying more stuff. You'll be happier with what you do have and be able to let go of what you don't need. Pretty magical right? You'll feel confident with what you have and grateful for what you're keeping.

So Gratitude is even important in organizing. Pretty always important right?

But today I want to cover the HOW of gratitude journaling. There's no right way to do this. One of my favorite ways is with a gratitude jar. Simply put an attractive jar somewhere you'll see it often and add some pretty pieces of paper nearby. When you can, drop a line on the paper for something that inspired you. Then when you need a pick me up, go back and read all the...

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How One Notebook Changed My Work Day!

productivity Jun 21, 2019
 
By Ruth Zeman

You know Suzanna has more than a few notebooks, right?  In a previous facebook live she lets you peek into her closet at her stock (see it here ). I just love a fresh notebook. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for going paperless but the act of writing things down is part of how I think.

Thus, since I do a great deal of thinking, I have many notebooks.

At this point, though you want to know how one notebook changed Suzanna's workday, right?

Believe it or not, a year ago I would plan my events on my calendar but not the details of my day. Don't get me wrong, I'm super organized but scheduling what/when wasn't a priority because I thought I was doing great without it. After all, I'd gotten this far.

However, once I started actually planning out the details of my day, I realized that it was astounding! I was more productive and felt more accomplished at the end of the day. This planning stuff was genius! Life-changing!

So, of course, I want to share it with you!

Start...

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I Want To Get Organized, But Where Do I Start?

organize May 21, 2019
By Ruth Zeman

Organize by taking one step at a time. (duh? right? but seriously, let's break it down together.)

When was the last time you saw the counter under that jumble of paperwork?

We're sure at one time we could fit a car in the garage, but how do we get back to those days? 

Where do we even start to get organized?

The hardest part is starting – or deciding where to start.

So, break it down!

get organized 

 

 

Here are six steps and tricks to make the most of de-cluttering and organizing your home:

1.Break it down. Do it the same way you would eat an entire cheesecake – one bite at a time!

Break the job down into smaller, more manageable (and less daunting) parts. Depending on your organizing personality this may mean different things. It could mean tackling one room, one of its areas (just this bookcase or just this shelf) or setting a time limit (work for one hour per day.)

Breaking the larger job down reduces the stress and feelings of being...

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Take the STRESS out of Travel!

travel May 17, 2019

 


Take the STRESS out of Travel!

Author: Ruth Zeman

While we love to travel here at Spark, we have a friend who is literally an expert in the field. Yes, we have friends!

WELCOME our friend: Rachelle from www.thetravelbite.com.

Before you head over to her site and pour over her truly gorgeous photos bookmark this list!

She's made us a list of her very BEST packing tips to take the stress out of travel.  She would know, she travels constantly. Whether you're flying by plane, driving, or cruising, these are the tips you need to thrive.

My personal favorite is her tips on staying healthy.

She understands my desire to eat myself under the table while on vacation but how I also don't want to dread the scale upon returning to normal. Suzanna doesn't feel the same way, she's someone who actually forgets to eat. I don't know if I've ever forgotten....

I digress.

You're going to want to read them all - so do bookmark this list.

Thanks Rachelle for putting this together!

Here's a...

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Paralyzed with FEAR over letting go? Gain Peace with a "wait and see" bin

organizing May 14, 2019
 By Ruth Zeman

When I was a kid, I had a retainer.

Which, I threw away.

More than once.

It was traumatic.

Aside from the fact that I had to go through trash (gross cafeteria trash) I also got yelled at by parents who were ready to pull their hair out trying to make me understand the value of the process that I hated.

This has left scars that you can't see.

Many times a day, I stand at the trash and feel a sense of loss that I can't quite explain.

It's been decades, but I still question if I've thrown out my retainer.

I can be completely sure that I have indeed NOT thrown out a retainer, but I still have a sense of loss that makes me pause.

It's normal. We all do it.

Fear can paralyze us from throwing out items that we truly need to let go of. No matter what the root cause. Letting go of cables that we might need for that thing we can't remember. Clothes that we mean to slim down to again. Shoes we can't walk in, and so many other things. I get it. I have hangers that I'm...

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How to Hire a Professional Organizer

Uncategorized May 12, 2019
By Ruth Zeman

I keep looking in the mirror and thinking I should color/cut my hair. 

Pulling out my ponytail, I fluff my hair around my shoulders trying to remember why I don’t just whack it all off. If you were to hand me a pair of scissors I'd probably do it now. 

Then I’d cry. Then I’d do the right thing, the thing I knew I should have done in the first place, go to a professional.

That said, we’ve all had bad experiences with a professional. Hairstylist that didn’t understand a word we said. The car guy that we’re sure fleeced us.

Miserable experiences we swore we’d never deal with again.

With all that in mind, let me give you my best advice for hiring a professional organizer. Which ironically is very close to how I find a mental health professional….

How To Find a Professional Organizer

Start by asking your friends for a referral but don’t stop there…..

This is very personal so even though your bff loved...

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4 Secrets Most Professional Organizers Don't Want You to Know!

organizing Mar 04, 2019
By Suzanna Kaye

Do you ever feel stuck when you think about organizing?

That point where you walk into the guest room (garage, closet, kitchen….) ready to tackle it and organize the heck out of it, but as soon as you open the door and peer in -you freeze.

All your energy disappears and you just shut the door and walk away instead?

Yeah, I know that feeling!

Secret #1: You don’t need to know how you’ll do it (we rarely do, either!)

My organizing clients think I can walk into a room, look beyond all the clutter and instantly know where I’ll arrange everything. Or even have a clue how it will look when I’m done.

Yeah, I don’t have a clue any more than they do.

The difference between me and them? I just get started!

That’s right.

One main thing that sets me, as a professional organizer, apart from my clients is that I don’t try to figure out the end before I’ve begun. I simply start.

How do you do it?

  1. Pick one corner,...
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