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Posted May 10, 2013on:
Part 1: De-clutter – Spring Cleaning of the Home!
With spring, a season of nature’s renewal, well underway, it is a good time for us to renew ourselves with what I like to call the three D’s; De-clutter, Detox and De-stress. Very important to our overall well-being but too many of us do not get round to doing any one of the three.
Why De-clutter, Detox and De-stress? They all mean the same thing but address different areas of our lives; we De-clutter our homes, Detox our bodies and De-stress our minds! It is a wonderful way to rejuvenate our bodies, free our minds and create spaces (spiritually, metaphorically and physically) for the wonderful things and people we want in our lives. Besides, your junk could be another persons’s treasure, why hang on to things you do not need or use?
Here are some ways you can achieve all of the 3 D’s.
De-clutter – Spring Cleaning of the Home!
Our immediate environment often reflects the state of our minds. Do you have a store of ‘treasures’ you seem to never get the time to sort? Are there items still in (a) box(s) from your last move, well over a year ago, that you have not and don’t seem likely to get to anytime soon? Are there appliances and ‘important’ papers that you never seem to need or use but are taking up precious counter space? Is your closet full of old or fairly new clothes that you never wear but think you must have? If you answer yes to any or all these questions, then you are not alone and there is a way out.
Trying to tackle this issue can be overwhelming, especially in the case where items have accumulated over years, but it is achievable. It is one of those things that you really do need to approach in a very systematic way. For those who have the resources who can hire a professional organizer to come in and work with you to get this done, by all means do so! it is money well spent. But those who cannot afford this or would rather channel available funds elsewhere, this is for you. Follow these tips; they will help you move forward.
- The first rule is, do not despair! This is one problem that definitely has a solution.
- Designate a donation box where you will put everything you think still has some use in them and could be used by others even though you may no longer have any use for them. This will cover from clothes to shoes, books, appliances, crockery, linen and even furniture. Granted you cannot put furniture in a box but you can put it aside
- If you have the space, create a designated area, either in the basement, shed or garage, to keep all these items together as you accumulate them. I however prefer to keep a donation box in each bedroom to be readily available throughout the length of this exercise.
- Start off by time-blocking at least half an hour every day to de-cluttering. Note that it does not matter what time of the day you schedule this in but make a firm DECISION to complete everything on your ‘to do’ list. Have a ‘Task-Consequences-Rewards’ mechanism to keep yourself on track. This creates a sense of a commitment and accountability. Regard this as an appointment or ‘contract’ with yourself. Keep it!
- How do you decide what goes into the box? Here’s a simple rule of thumb: If you have not used the item for 6 months or more, you are most unlikely to need or use it; it is a sure candidate for donation or trashing. Either way, decide to get rid of it, today!
- Get the family involved. This can be difficult, especially if they are not usually involved with chores. It is necessary for all other members of the family to take responsibility in de-cluttering the house. It is also a great way to create some family bonding time.
- Pace yourself and put things away methodically. This is easier said than done! And if you have the attention span of a gnat like I do, after a while, it becomes tedious and boring. Switch it up by alternating chores and taking breaks in between.
- Play some good music as you organize your stuff. Choose “Pick-me-up” tunes that would keep you feeling like dancing, it does incredible things to your energy level. By all means sing along if you want.
- Keep at it till your box is full. At this point take a look around, could you still do with some more clearing? If yes, then do so.
- Take the reusable items in your box to the nearest donation centre and throw away all unusable items. Consider having a garage sale. It’s a fun way to meet people in your neighbourhood and get some extra cash too! And remember to reward yourself for your efforts and make sure you have lots of F.U.N in the process!
P.S: There are many wonderful organizations that you may donate your gently used items such as furniture, clothing, utensils to. Examples are Value Village (www.valuevillage.ca), Salvation Army (www.salvationarmy.ca) and Goodwill Stores (www.goodwill.on.ca). Visit their websites for any additional information.
Bloggers Note: This blog post is part 1 of 3 in my spring cleaning series: “De-clutter! Detox! De-stress! Spring Cleaning for Your Home, Body and Life!” Visit WWN’s blog for subsequent posts #2 (Detox – Spring cleaning for the body!) and #3 (De-stress – Spring cleaning for your life!)
The preceding is a guest post from Diana Barikor, M.Ed- Program Manager at Whole Woman Network. Diana is an Educator and Community Developer with over 15 years experience. She’s passionate about facilitating conversations on growth and empowerment for women both personally and professionally. She engages life with a deep sense of curiosity and an understanding that development issues are dynamic and always evolving. Follow Whole Woman Network on Twitter @wholewomaninc.
- spring cleaning with a health focus… (revampologist.com)
- A Short Guide to Spring Cleaning Your HEART (thelifemeblog.wordpress.com)
- How to Spring Clean…Your Mind! (justjennee.com)
- It’s Time For A Social Media Spring Clean (fliptop.com)
- 3 Steps to Turn Spring Cleaning into Charitable Giving (community.ally.com)
“Let us go forward with courage, conviction and commitment, with the message that women’s issues are global issues that deserve urgent priority. There can be no peace, no progress as long as women live under the fear of violence”. ~Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director, UN Women.
The future for women looks brighter than ever as we celebrate another international women’s day. Over 160 countries around the world have enacted laws that address the issue of violence against women. In the past decade alone, more than ever before in our modern history, more women have risen to positions of authority in different countries around the world. This has helped to break down some of the traditions and stereotypes that often support violence against women.
It has also placed women in a unique position to both enact and influence policy that will hopefully address and eliminate violence against women. It is clear that much has been achieved since the UN declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women in 1993. Although, we should be proud of how far we have come, we must also be aware that a lot still needs to be done. Different women’s organizations and agencies along with governments and businesses will be engaged in a variety of events and activities to mark 2013’s International Women’s Day.
In Canada, the White Ribbon campaign is focusing on engaging Men and boys in the elimination of violence against women. The UN programme for gender equality in collaboration with UN Women is releasing a one-off single called One Woman. Even Wall Street (along with the Dow Jones), is joining in on the celebrations by recognizing female Executives of the past decade.
All over the world women will be coming together to acknowledge the successes and some of the challenges facing societies moving forward. What will you do in solidarity with other women on this important International Women’s Day? You do not have to be a Malala Yousafzai, battling aggressive ignorance in a hostile environment. Recognize that in your day-to-day lives as mothers, lovers, wives, sisters, daughters, friends, bosses etc., you too are on the front lines and can contribute to the story of women.
Do something to acknowledge yourself, where you have come from and what you have achieved. It is the efforts of individual women and men that make up the foundation of our collective success, so own your part of the story. If you are a mother, you can work with your young children to build a ‘Society Tree’ with the roots made up of the traits that you believe underlay a violence-free and equitable society for women; for older children it can be getting them engaged in a discussion about the issues of a safe, violent-free world for all women.
If you are a wife, lover or friend, take your significant other through a journey of some of your challenges, triumphs and successes. Show them the beautiful, confident and loving person you are. Even if you start this as a one day activity each year, for that one day in the year, you would have created a sphere of positive energy for yourself and those around you. Try to expand this for more than one day in small ways, believe me, it becomes a deep-seated habit where you and those around you develop an awareness that makes violence harder to spread.
Remember, the most important person in your life is YOU! As the bible states and other major religions also espouse, treat your body as a sacred temple; this requires self-love and self-respect. Love and value yourself; learn to recognize signs of potential violence; remove yourself from a potentially violent situation or environment and do not be afraid to ask for help. This is a challenge we can only win individually and collectively, together! Happy International Women’s Day!
The preceding is a guest post from Diana Barikor, M.Ed- Program Manager at Whole Woman Network. Diana is an Educator and Community Developer with over 15 years experience. She’s passionate about facilitating conversations on growth and empowerment for women both personally and professionally. Her mission is simply to engage life with a deep sense of curiosity and an understanding that development is dynamic and always evolving. Follow Whole Woman Network on Twitter @wholewomaninc.
- International Women’s Day 2013: ‘stop violence against us’ (theweek.co.uk)
- International women’s day: voices from around the world – interactive – The Guardian (guardian.co.uk)
- Happy International Women’s Day To All Women (renardmoreau.wordpress.com)
- Why Do We Need an International Women’s Day? (mombloggersforsocialgood.com)
- 2013 International Women’s Day (willowweddings.com)
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
Bucket List [Definition]: A number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime. (Source: oxforddictionaries.com)
With every new year many people make resolutions, goals, bucket lists of things they hope to accomplish. A lot of these are serious, life-changing, deep and meaningful things they’ve always dreamed of achieving. However, at WWN we wanted to put a different spin on it. We are aware that as women we’re all so busy taking care of everyone around us and hardly ever have time or energy to put ourselves on any ‘to do’ list. So this blog post is about treating yourself to some fun, exciting and enjoyable adventures. Our question for you is simply: ‘What’s on your ‘fun’ list for the year?’
Here are some ideas to get creative your juices going:
1. Go on vacation to places you’d never ordinarily visit. Tour different lands with interesting histories/cultures and meet diverse people. Make sure your travels tell a story worth sharing with your grandchildren. Examples: visiting all the countries in Africa, back-packing through Europe, visiting the home countries of your top three heroes etc
2. Learn a new style of dance (preferably in a group or with a partner) and have a choreographed dance routine/recital for your friends and family at the end of your sessions.
3. Do something that scares the life out of you but also guarantees a good rush of adrenaline such as bungee-jumping, hiking up a mountain, running a marathon, camping, learning how to fly, telling off negative people in your life etc
4. Collaborate with others and start a fun and exciting campaign on any of the social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc) on a burning topic that you’re very passionate about!
5. Get together with some friends, your alumni group, colleagues or family members and have a themed-costume party, reunion or ball (remember to donate a portion of the proceeds to charity or a worthy cause, if applicable).
6. Go on a fun spiritual retreat. Journey into a new awakening of your inner self, your essence and your soul.
7. Have a full-wardrobe and make-up make-over. Do the whole works; hire a personal stylist/image consultant, clear out your old wardrobe, pamper yourself with a weekend-long spa treatment and transform your image.
8. Go for some wonderful live events at home or abroad, such as a tv show, comedy, jazz or movie festival. Or attend a music concert/show by your favourite artiste(s).
9. Learn a new skill. Think of all the wonderful stuff you’ve always wanted to do when you had enough time, enough money or enough courage such as: baking/cooking, writing, learning a new language, swimming or starting an exciting new business.
10. Take risks with all your relationships, shake them up a bit and ask for exactly what you want out of them. Take the time to create the memories you’ll cherish forever by doing fun, sensual and sacred activities together.
As you make your list make sure you actually get to do as many things on it as possible. You only live but once, give it your best shot and make it your duty to enjoy the heck out of life! Remember to send us postcards as you embark on your many, wonderful adventures!
P.S: If you haven’t done so already, watch ‘The Bucket-List’, a fantastic, funny and insightful movie starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.
Live beautifully, live passionately, live freely.
Remember, you are not ordinary, you are divinely unique.
You are WOW (Wonderful One-of-a-kind Woman)!
The preceding is a guest post from Juliet Ume, MBA –Wealth Management Consultant & Lifestyle Coach at Whole Woman Network. Juliet is an avid Life Connoisseur and a passionate advocate of WomEntrepreneurship, Investment & Financial Literacy for women. Her mission is simply to engage women to return to ‘wholeness’ and live Healthier, Sexier, Wealthier Lives! Follow her on Twitter: @wholewomaninc
- Top 7 – Things on Your Bucket List? (myblogexactly.wordpress.com)
- The Beginning of a Bottomless Bucket (hawth.me)
- 2013 Family Bucket List & To Dos. (crazyadventuresinparenting.com)
- An Author’s Bucket List by Guest Blogger Tara Nina (wildandwickedcowboys.wordpress.com)
I recently attended an event that taught me some key business lessons such as delivering exceptional service, generating client engagement and creating a lasting impression. And most importantly, getting those unsolicited ongoing referrals from satisfied clients!
It was a special baby shower for a friend (her first baby at 44 years)! The event planner, who was her 23 year old niece, did a fantastic job of organizing everything perfectly: the venue, décor, food, music, exciting games etc. Some highlights of how she achieved this are:
- Prior to the event, she communicated with the guests (all good friends of the mom-to-be), a couple of times after the initial invite. She articulated her desire to provide an unforgettable and truly special experience for her client and solicited our help. Thus, she was able to get suggestions/ideas from us on what her client values and also got our total buy-in on the project. She did this effectively by creating a private Facebook group where she kept us all engaged, connected and shared updates;
- During the event, she introduced herself to each of the guest individually and shared her appreciation for our input. She made sure that each guest got a personalised gift bag with a thank you note;
- Post-Event, she followed through with an update when the baby was delivered and sent pictures on behalf of her clients to each of the guests who had attended the baby shower.
- She under promised and over delivered-the event itself was a great success but most importantly, she was wonderful in communicating her passion and enthusiasm for her craft;
- She definitely lived the mantra ‘Excellence is a habit, for how you do one thing is how you’ll do all things’. This is because although she was doing event planning as a hobby, she still took it seriously and gave each client her very best;
- The greatest business lesson I learned from her was that she saw the event as a networking opportunity and followed up with an engaging and well written letter. (I have her permission to share an excerpt below):
“It was a pleasure meeting you a week ago at the baby shower of my Aunt. I have a small favour to ask. I’m looking to continually grow my services, and to build awareness and good-will, so I’m looking to do more events. So are you aware of any body that would be interested in my services and who would benefit from and be aligned with my vision of holistic event planning that I shared with you?
I can tailor the event to what they truly value, and still make it very interesting and unique.
If you know or come across someone who would be interested, do let me know. It would help me out a lot. If you don’t know of any group of people, that’s perfectly fine, and it was still a great pleasure meeting you this evening”……
Needless to say, like most of the guest I was enthused by the quality and level of service she provided: her professionalism, creativity, deep respect and understanding of the client and guests. And of course, her fire and positive energy!
We have all become strong advocates for her services and go out of our way to refer clients to her. Unfortunately, she is now back in school for her Master’s degree and has put the business on hold for now. However, I can tell you that she has a devoted group of satisfied clients, ready with wallets at hand, just waiting for her to say the words: ‘Open for business!’
Client Engagement and follow-up can be helped with the use of Social media. Examples of how companies use it today as a PR tool to create awareness, engage customers and drive sales abound all around us. In today’s world, every customer is truly King or Queen and they know it! A misstep to a client may cost you millions especially if that one client has tens of thousands of followers on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr etc.
You must treat every single customer along your entire value chain (both internal and external), as if you were about to lose him/her i.e. that without them your business ceases to exist.
The end result is a devoted client base that is loyal in their patronage and become strong advocates of your brand/products/services.
The preceding is a post from Juliet Ume, MBA –Wealth Management Consultant & Lifestyle Coach at Whole Woman Network. Juliet is an avid Life Connoisseur and a passionate advocate of WomEntrepreneurship, Investment & Financial Literacy for women. This is a post for the YRSBiz Blogging Circle. The York Region Small Business Club helps small businesses in York Region connect online and in York Region. Their goal is to provide free or low-cost opportunities for local businesses to connect and engage with each other and ultimately to help small businesses succeed.
- Personalized gifts make the best baby shower presents (personalcreations.com)
- How to throw the perfect baby shower (personalcreations.com)
- Value Proposition – Engage the Prospective Attendee (eventmanagerblog.com)