Wednesday, December 17, 2008

For all you regifters out there!

I have just been alerted of the most hilarious idea for Christmas by a fellow Professional Organizer in the US, Alison Spitzer Carter
This is perfect for all of you with excess stuff you do not need, love, like, want or you may even hate. You can re gift it with the help of this RE GIFTING KIT. The re-gift Kit is the perfect idea for those of you looking for an alternative to buying expensive Christmas gifts and needing to declutter at the same time.
As you can hopefully tell my tongue is firmly planted in my cheek and I am smiling at the ingeniousness of "" for coming up with the way to make money out of the business of re-gift. Well done and bravo.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Rudolph threw up on my Christmas Tree.......Bens been decorating!

As I write this it is a cloudy Sunday afternoon here in Christchurch, I am sitting a few feet away from my 9 year old son Benjamin. He has taken it upon himself to be our Christmas Decorator for the 2008 holiday season.
He has collected the decorations from under the house and is enthusiastically creating what is likely to be the most unique tree and decorations. Who am I to spoil his fun and insist on a "Architectural Digest" style of decorations? No chance, for me Christmas is for the kids in our house and he is happily singing as he goes through the decorations and even creates new ones from scratch.
This may surprise many of you who make the assumption that because I am a Professional Organiser I have a home that looks like it jumped of the pages of a magazine, and that I would have colour coded and matching decorations. No chance, I have a family home with family decorations made by the kids and safely stored in one box during the year in our basement.
So often people stress over the duties of Christmas and getting everything done, my advice is chill out and let it happen in relaxed time. Stop and think about the real meaning behind why we are decking the halls. For each of us there will be a difference meaning to Christmas and the holiday season. For many it is about the Birth of Christ a celebration of his birth, for others it is about being with family, maybe it is about helping those less fortunate in the world, in NZ it is often about Summer vacation and for me it is about reflecting on the wonderful family, friends, success and challenges of the year passed.
So when we do really sit and think about why we are "Decking the Halls" do it with the spirit of what this time really means to you. For me watching Ben try and juggle two gold baubles and being free to express his creativity is a much better reward than having a perfectly decorated, color coordinated tree and dressings.
Now he is moving through to the Kitchen with a tinsel tree and going to do his magic there, oh the results will be superb no doubt.
Just remember, enjoy this time regardless of your beliefs and religion, and take time out to just be. Life is not about getting it perfect, it is about enjoying the moment.
At the end of the Holiday season when we return home from 2.5 weeks of camping on the beach, we will pack away Ben's fabulous creations. They will go back into the box and stored under the house, where we all know to find it for next Christmas.
This to me is a truly organised Christmas. Where you can relax and enjoy even if it does look like Rudolph threw up on your Christmas tree.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A little trumpet blowing!

                                                                                   Ralph Brown & Wendy Davie
This is just a quick note to share some exciting news I had this week. Yes I am about to blow my own horn. 
n Tuesday the National Speakers Association NZ Christchurch Chapter gave out their annual awards. Last year I was thrilled to be named "Rookie of the Year".
This year though was an absolute thrill, I had all the hard work of the last 12 months truly recognised by the people who I can only describe as the most inspirational when it comes to my speaking career.
I was awarded the "Unsung Hero" award, "Peoples Choice" Award and one of 4 members who received the "Quill Award" for being published this year.
It was a true honor and thrill to be recognised by my Speaking peers. Thank you to all my friends and life assets at NSANZ Christchurch Chapter.

Other recipients on the evening were:
Presidents Award - Rachel Prosser
Orator                    - Ralph Brown
Shy to Shining       - Jennifer Manson
Rookie                    - Nanny van den Oever
Top Cat                  - Martz Witty
Quill                        - Dr Rodney Ford
                                - Ralph Brown
                                - Anne Howie

Thursday, December 4, 2008

MOvember Update

Thanks to all my blog readers who supported Noel Chambers in his bid to be the highest fundraiser in MOvember
The opportunity to donate closes on the 10th December so it is not to late to support this amazing cause. Here is a pic of the Mo for you to see what you have been sponsoring. Well done Noel!
Visit Noels MOSPACE if you would like to make a donation!

Yes even YOU can have a holiday!

I was recently fortunate enough to be featured in an article in NZ Business Magazine about taking a break from your business. It was a great time to reflect on our place in business and if really are indispensable or not. 
It is often amazing how many people honestly believe that without them the world would stop revolving. I hate to be the one to break it to these people but reality is that, No the world will not stop revolving. Things will continue to tick over with or without you.
The same goes with business to a certain degree. If you have your systems well in place and working there is no excuse for a business owner to not have a holiday. There are things that need to be done to ensure that things continue to tick over and they are easy to put in place if you really are serious about having a break.
* Hire people that can do the job better than you. I am serious, that way you can relax in the knowledge that things are getting done in a way that allows you to stop micromanaging and hand over.
* Have all work and paperwork up to date, if you have fallen behind invest in a Professional Organiser to spend some time with you to get the paperwork up to date. that way there is not a scary pile waiting for you on your return.
* Have strong, workable and practical policies and procedures in place that are easy to follow and make the job easier.
*Train your staff to do the job in your absence. 
* Hire a virtual service, such as Admincorp to handle phone calls and book keeping etc. Well worth the investment.

Yes it is OK to relax and have a break, you, your family and your business will be better for it.
Happy Holidays.

PS: I certainly take my own advice here and have two amazing Organising Consultants in Jane and Clare, and yes I truly believe they can organise clients better than I can. 
our  family packs up and escapes before Christmas and have a beach Christmas without all the stress of a big family day and trying to please everyone. This is a hangover habit from spending many years living away from family. So it is normal for our family to have a Christmas SANS extended family. Now don't get me wrong I love my extended family, however we find a pre Christmas get together far less stressful and meaningful for us. Then we can chill out on Christmas day on the beach or by a river (me, Pete and the 3 kids). I recommend everyone try it at least once in their lifetime.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Yes it is that time again

Ok now is the week that you should be getting your Christmas shopping finished. Yes I said finished. Many of you may not have started yet. 
However if you are serious about having an organised and less stressed holiday season. Try a different tack this year get it done early and don't go over board. Think of gifts that will not become clutter and are easy on the wallet.
Often it is the present buying that gets us into the biggest trouble, so buy stuff that will not become clutter. 
Some suggestions for clutter free and fabulous gifts this Christmas are:
* A new plant for the garden.
* Tickets to an event
* Wonderful home made baking or muesli
* Chocolate - always a winner for me!!!
* Voucher to learn a new skill
* Voucher for a massage, float tank or facial
* Offer to cook a meal and look after kids so someone can have a weekend off

The list of gifts you can give someone is endless, some of them will only cost you time others will help the environment.
I am keen to hear all your suggestions for fun, thoughtful, clutterfree and eco friendly gifts this Christmas.