July 26, 2011

What do you believe?

I was reading on Facebook today catching up with a a few friends and Heather Madder said: 

"Most of our little social rules & customs are not that useful. They have meaning because we ATTACH meaning. Then we ASSIGN REWARDS...keep our rules and we accept and praise you. BREAK our 
rules and we punish you, shame you, and separate you. 

I'm not suggesting disorder--simply inviting INQUIRY Do you KNOW WHY do you BELIEVE what you do? (because someone else said so or is it truly useful?)"

I have been pondering belief today.  Beliefs shape actions, but more importantly, beliefs shape reactions.  Subconsciously, I will go out of my way to prove that what I believe is true.  

For example, If I believe that all food that has been refrigerated is poisoned, I will go out of my way to prove that.  I will mention all the times I have gotten sick after eating something that was refrigerated. If someone tries to convince me that refrigerated food is not poisoned I will discount what they have to say.

I then create a cycle of false belief - search for proof - proof  - reinforcement- false belief.

To break the cycle I get to examine WHY I believe something.  WHEN was the first time I started believing it?  Is it really true or is there PROOF that what I believe is False?

Sometimes I get stuck in my life...A challenge keeps presenting itself again and again.  That is when I know I am bumping my head against a belief.  That is also when I get quiet and listen to what I am saying to others about that challenge.

The easiest way to find out what someone truly believes is to listen to them.  Some of the things I have heard lately...see if you can pick out the false beliefs:
"Women over 40 can't change the way they do things."
"I can't...(sing, dance, stay organized, sew.)"
"It would just kill me to do that."
"There is never enough money."
"You must be really late if you are coming in with me, I can never be on time."

Most of the time these things are said off the cuff, but that doesn't mean that the person saying them doesn't truly believe them.

This week I am going to watch my words more closely and find some more false beliefs that are holding me back.  I'll let you know what I find.

July 21, 2011

When Good Food Goes Bad

This week my major appliances have decided to rebel.  The dishwasher handle broke off, the deep freeze has an ice-slick and the microwave has decided not to turn off unless we unplug it.

We are not the only people on our block having these types of issues either...I got a call from one of my girlfriends at the end of the block.  Her deep freeze stopped freezing and she was giving away meals and ice cream.  I think it is an appliance uprising!

The good news for my girlfriend is that the food in her freezer could be covered by her homeowner's insurance policy. Most insurance companies will not cover what caused an issue, but they will cover the replacement of anything damaged because of the issue.  So in my girlfriend's case the replacement of the freezer will not be covered, but all of the food that went bad (or had to be given away) because the freezer went out is covered.

The biggest thing for her is to prove the value of the food that needs to be replaced.  So she took some pictures before she gave away the food.  Now she can file a claim with her insurance company and have them cover the cost of what was in her freezer.

Unfortunately for me, the appliances that broke are not eligible for a claim, but the great news is that I will be getting a kitchen full of new appliances!

July 20, 2011

July 13, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Blog Party

 Yay!  It's a Blog party and Karlene Browning and friends (including me!) are giving all kinds of stuff away this week. Be sure to check out the Inksplasher blog to have fun playing games and winning prizes.  There are multiple chances to win some pretty amazing stuff. (Check out Inksplasher for all the details.)

The contest is like a scavenger hunt, and a ton of fun to play.  The answers are really easy and you will be checking out some really fun blogs in the process.  I am one of the sponsors today and I’m giving away this:
To enter to win this fabulous key rail you get to do a few really simple things.  (Think of it as a quest!)
First--Become a follower on my blog.
Second--Email your answer to question #1 and your mailing address to kbrowning59 [at] gmail [d0t]com. 
Third-- Answer question #2 in the comments on this blog.
Fourth--Comment at inksplasher and let Karlene know that you have been here.


The Gemino curse in HP makes useless copies of items and generally creates knee-deep clutter.  What are the four main causes of clutter in our world?

(Hint: Go to Tuesday's post for the answer)


Harry does some pretty scary things in all of the HP movies.  What is the hardest / scariest thing for you to organize?

Once again---

  • E-mail the answer to Part 1. Please include your name and mailing address (so we can mail your prize to you if you win.)
  •  Leave the comments on both blogs for Part 2 to be entered to win.

DEADLINE: Midnight, July 15th, 2011.


All correct answers will be entered to win the prize. Winner will be chosen using www.random.com and announced Saturday, July 16th.

Correct answers will also be entered to win the Grand Prize, to be awarded Saturday, July 16th.

Good Luck and May the Force be With You May You Vanquish Evil and Save Wizards Everywhere!

July 12, 2011

Clutter's Most Notorious Villains

Clutter is persistent and sneaky.  Fortunately, there are only four main reasons for clutter.  Sometimes they hang out together and sometimes they work alone, but at least one of them will be present where there is clutter.

Mechanical Clutter can be spotted when your storage container or the item itself is broken.  Mechanical Clutter is particularly good at breaking glass, screens, hinges, and locks.  It loves to warp wood making doors hard to open and close. It is also present when the storage container you are using is too small or too big for the item you are storing.

Some things you may think or say if you have been ambushed by this reason for clutter:
"That cupboard is too hard to open, I'll just put this here."
"The drawer bottom is always coming off."
"This ____ never fits in here!"
"When are we going to fix that "!@#$%" thing?"

Emotional Clutter loves to prey on the emotions of its owner.  Its favorite emotional food are overwhelm and guilt.  It also thrives on scarcity and fear.  Emotional Clutter is always looking into the past or forward into the future and completely gumming up the present.

Some of the things you will  think or say if you are under this clutter's spell:
"My mother/ uncle / roommate gave this to me,  I HAVE to keep it."
"I am going to keep this for a SPECIAL occasion, I don't want to ruin it."
"I'll just keep this until I am _______ size again."
"There is too much to do, I will just put this here for now / until later."
"I better keep this, I spent a lot of money on it."

Situational Clutter comes to visit when there is a change.  There is not much you can do to keep this clutter at bay, but if not taken care of in a timely manner, Situational Clutter can turn into a permanent houseguest and become Emotional or Mechanical Clutter.  Some of it's favorite hangouts include: natural disasters, family vacations, new babies, remodeling projects and celebrations.

Some things you will think or say when this clutter is near:
"I will be so glad when this is over and life can get back to NORMAL."
"Wow, I can't believe how much stuff we got for Christmas!"
"Is it just me or is there more to do when we get back from vacation?"
"I had NO idea babies would take this much work!"

Systemic Clutter wanders in there is not system in place to take care of things coming in or when the system in place doesn't work.  You can usually find it around unfinished projects, paper and laundry.
Systemic Clutter is pretty sneaky, but it likes to create piles.

Some of the things you will hear when your clutter is systemic:
"I can never find my_________."
"I know it's in this pile SOMEWHERE."
"Why are there always piles of laundry?"
"I am planning on doing that SOMETIME."
The good news is that when you know what kind of clutter you are dealing with the remedy is easy to find.

July 11, 2011

Harry Potter Party!

This week is going to be so much fun!  My good friend Karlene Browning with LibrisPro is throwing a blog party and I am giving away a nine inch key rail!

Check out her blog for a chance to win all the fabulous prizes including a GRAND prize that is amazing.  There is lots to do including Harry's Horacrux Hunt, Daily Prophet Party Game and Ron's Read-aThon
There are fun prizes available and really awesome blogs to check out.

Remember to check back here on Wednesday to enter to win the key rail :)

July 6, 2011

5 Minutes to Tame the Summer Clutter

I love summer!  I love the thunderstorms and the fireworks.  I love having my children home from school.  What I don't love is the dishes, extra laundry and other paraphernalia floating around my house.  Luckily I have a couple of magic wands that keep the clutter at bay.
My favorite magic wand is the 5 minute clean-up.

Here's the recipe:

Turn on some rockin' music (optional)
Call the children into one room - the messiest room in the house
Set the timer for 5 minutes
Split the room into areas or functions
Everyone moves as fast as possible and puts away whatever is out of place.
When the five minutes is up everyone returns to what they were doing.

As I am typing this three of my children are handling the kitchen...
One child is putting away dishes
One child is wiping counters
One child is putting away food
I am sitting at my computer typing and just keeping my presence in the room.

Tonight there is no rockin' music playing... but two of them are singing wildly off-key.
As I type we are at 7 minutes and my son is putting away the last of the pots he just hand-washed.
He is going the extra mile because my birthday is tomorrow. :)

The kitchen is clean.  Time to Play!

May 2, 2011

Does This System Make My Butt Look Fat?

Last week I was staffing an AMAZING Women's Training at Impact Training and deserved to have some new clothes.

So, on Wednesday I got to go shopping just for me.

In the past I have hated clothes shopping.  It was something a kin to torture.  I would have to psych myself out, pep myself up, and breathe heavily a few times before I went into a clothing store.  Once inside, I would grab the first things I saw, try on one or two items and leave frustrated with my body.

Self-esteem in the toilet, and more aware of my physical "flaws" than ever before, I would cry all the way home. Sometimes swearing to NEVER shop again until I had liposuction and a tummy tuck.

This time was different.

This time I didn't blame or hate my body.  I pulled tons of options off the racks.  I noticed that there were some clothes that fit well, some that fit okay, and some that just didn't fit at all.

This time I changed my question...not, "Does my BODY fit this?" but, "Does THIS fit my body?"

Organizing is a lot like clothes shopping.  Some of the gadgets and systems will fit and some will not.  Many of my clients have blamed the organizational failures of their system on themselves and give themselves labels like "Lazy"or "Stupid"  Most of them will argue that the system or gadget works fine for                    so it should work for them. Some are so frustrated that they cry, become overwhelmed and convince themselves that they are a "Hopeless Case" It just breaks my heart.

If you are there, all is not lost.  You are not "Stupid" or "Lazy"  The question that deserves to be asked is not, "Why can't I make this work, what is wrong with ME?" but "Why isn't THIS working with me?"

The answer will always uncover a flaw in the system.

January 27, 2011

Superman Lives!

Ok...I had someone ask me if I practice what I teach and if I ever have "normal" stuff happen to me.  If you are doubting, here is what happened this morning...

My husband had a crown that fell off while he was brushing his teeth.
The crown went down the drain.  He turned off the water, then...
  1. Took out the toilet paper rolls stored in the plastic container under the sink.
  2. Used the container to catch the water as he opened the trap.
  3.  Fished out the crown.
  4. Disinfected it. 
  5. Put the trap back on. 
  6. Wiped out the TP container with a hand towel that was by the sink.  (Yuck!)
  7. Put the extra toilet paper back in the container.
  8. Changed out the used hand-towel with a new one.  (Thank you Love!)
  9. Checked to make sure the trap was on tightly and... 
  10. Went to call the dentist to bump up his appointment to next week.  
Under my Bathroom Sink

The whole process took about 5 minutes and he got to his meeting (the reason he was brushing his teeth to begin with) on time.

 The point of organization is not to have a model home that no one can use and everyone is afraid to touch, but to be able to handle the stuff that happens every day and not have it derail your day.

Every day we get to plan for the unexpected, because the unexpected happens every day!

I am off to do a load of laundry, We are running low on towels! :)

January 20, 2011

Insomnia and Guiding Principles

Tonight is a full moon.  I almost always have insomnia when there is a full moon.  I don't mind it though, it gives me time to ponder in the still of the night.  Lately I have been pondering the guiding principles of my life.

Some of my guiding principles I learned from those who have come before.
From my Grandfather, Sheldon Lowry, I learned to be honest and praise God in everything.
From my  Uncle, Kenneth Knapp, I learned to work hard and play hard.
From my Great-Grandmother, Orrilla Groneman, I learned grace and forgiveness in every moment.  Almost every person who has touched my life has shown me other principles of life.

1. A fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning.

2. A rule or belief governing one's personal behavior. 

From guiding principles all action, inaction, and rules for behavior flow. 

My family has a commitment statement that guides our interactions.  It is a contract really.  It is hung in our living room by the door to remind us about what we are to be about.  From that contract we create rules, and from those rules, natural consequences flow.   

Have you ever pondered why your family was brought together at this time?  There is a purpose behind why your bunch of personalities reside together.  What was it that you were meant to learn, create, or be from the family you have?  Do you know what your guiding principles are?  Does your family?

I have a template for the Family Contract.  If you would like a copy, email me at (sherah at createspace.us) and I will send one to you.

January 10, 2011

Tow Trucks, Agents and Doctors - Oh MY!

After a long hiatus, I am FINALLY feeling like myself again.

So the long-awaited second installment is here.  Insurance Companies, Hospitals and Specialty Doctors...What can I say? They are time consuming, EXPENSIVE and not much fun to deal with.  There is one thing to keep in mind when working with them...THEY WORK FOR YOU!

Here is a brief (incomplete) list of people I employed when I was in this car accident:

  • Insurance Adjuster
  • Insurance Customer Service Rep
  • Insurance Agent
  • Police Officer(s)
  • Tow Truck Company and Operator
  • ER Doctors 
  • Hospital Administrators
  • Nurses 
  • Radiologists
  • Chiropractor
  • Massage Therapists
  • Neurologist
  • Dentist
  • Endodontist
  • Pharmacy Tech
  • Pharmacist
  • Attorney

Just like real employees they like to be paid.  (They each sent a bill to prove it!)  Just like real employees they like to be told when they are going to be paid.  Unlike most employees, most of them are working with me and even waiting months to be paid in full.

So if you are in an accident and your Personal Injury Protection runs out-- It will only last about half way through your first ER visit-- let them know what your plans are for paying or not paying them. Oh - and DOCUMENT every conversation - you are entering into a verbal contract almost every time you speak with one of your "Employees."

Here is the organizational tip of the post: 
The easiest way to keep track of everything is with a file divided by provider.  That way, if you have multiple visits to the same provider you can keep track of the billing, payments and any contact you have with them.

When you have a conservation with a provider, note the date, time and who you spoke with.  Bullet point the main topic of conversation, details from the conversation, and be sure to write down any payments or arrangements that were made.  If you have a bill from the provider, make the notes right on the bill. If the conversation was about anything else mark the information on a paper attached the inside cover of the file.

If you have health insurance, match the Explanation of Benefits you receive from them to the bills they go with.  It will make it much easier to track down what has been paid and what hasn't when it is time to settle your claim with the other driver's insurance.

This is one of the files you will have for ten years, so you will want to color code it as a "Permanent File"

One more note: You hired your providers, you pay for them, and if they are not working for you, listening to you, or returning your calls, you can FIRE them.

I recently fired my pharmacist and my insurance agent.  I got tired of having my prescriptions shorted and my calls ignored.  It only took a few minutes and my new pharmacist and insurance agent are taking good care of me and are happy to be paid by me!

Just for clarification, I LOVE my insurance company.  Bear River Mutual is wonderful to work with.
Thank you Jan Shaw!  YOU SO ROCK!