How To Create Room In Your Life For What You Really Want…

IMG_2953

Caption: Earlier this week my husband & I wrote down five intentions, tied them on sticks and then stuck them in our plants. Whenever we water our plants, it is a physical reminder to water our intentions. 

When you ask yourself what do you truly want, what comes to mind?

Perhaps you want to be a full-time entrepreneur. Maybe the photo of a lifetime love popped up. It may not be that deep for you. Maybe you’re up for a promotion at your job? You’re trying to muster up the courage to ask for a raise? Perhaps life is good and you’re looking for less… less stress… less pain… less struggle.

Either way it goes, I truly believe that if we are to get the things we want (or remove the things we don’t want) we have to create room; literal space to welcome the thing, the person and/or the energy into our lives.

PHYSICAL SPACE

If your physical space is cluttered, you don’t have room to add anything. I’d strongly suggest doing a deep clean – physically removing trash, papers you no longer need and dust to give whatever you are looking for a landing strip in your life. Have you ever lost something and went on a rampage to find it only to discover that it was hiding in plain site? Here are some additional ways you can make room physically for what you want:

A. A dedicated journal or notebook. – Writing things down takes it out of your mind and brings it into the real world.

B. Space on a shelf. – The simple act of creating space on a shelf, is a dedicated action to your desired outcome.

C. A basket or container – Similar to the idea of creating space on a shelf. This may be an option for those who are limited in space. This is also great if you find you need to be mobile. I have containers for my scrapbook stuff, containers for my jewelry making, and even containers for my spiritual tools – incense, essential oils, etc.

D. A Room – I know people who have prayer closets or prayer rooms. Craft rooms, etc. Dedicating an entire room to your work, or to something else that you care about is symbolic of how much something means to you and the priority it has in your life.

MENTAL SPACE 

The human mind is powerful. Did you know that your body cannot tell the difference between an action it performed in real life and an action it simulated or visualized. It is what made Muhammad Ali one of the greatest to ever do it. Our minds are the gardens that either grow (or kill) our seeds. Here are some ideas to create mental space for your desired outcomes:

A. Time on your calendar. – Dedicated 15 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour a day, a week or a month to your dreams. Protect that sacred time and honor it. Even if you are just spending time with yourself, add it to your calendar like you would any other appointment. Show up for yourself. Show up for your dreams.

B. Mastermind conversations – A mastermind conversation is strictly focused on meeting your goal. Meet with your mentors. Meet with the experts. Spend some time with the people who can help you move the needle.

C. Seminars/Workshops – If you want to start a business, attend workshops and seminars. There are SBA’s in every state that provide free programs and workshops that can help you actualize your dream. Go on Eventbrite and search for free events connected to your dream. Find others who share similar passions, subscribe to e-mail lists, etc.

D. Read books & listen to podcasts – The time you spend reading a book and listening to podcasts can really make the difference in helping you to “level up.” You can often filter podcasts by topic – lifestyle, business, etc. Often the people who are the leaders of a particular field host podcasts.

EMOTIONAL SPACE

Moods are magnets. If you feel motivated, you will attract more motivational energy. If you feel like a loser, you will attract loser energy (be careful with that one, because the energy may come in many forms – personal or professional). Do whatever you can to manage and move your moods. Here are my recommendations:

A. Affirmations – write your own or find them online. Repeat them at least a few times daily. Carry them in your purse. Say them when you first wake up or before you go to bed.

B. Mood Boards or Vision Boards – Create a visual of your desired outcomes and display the board somewhere you’ll see it everyday. I’ve written extensively about vision boards. Start here. I collect things all year that resonate with me and that represent what I’d like in my life the following year. I spend New Year’s Eve (or the last week of the year) taking down last year’s Vision Board, and putting up my new vision board before midnight. I also keep the contents in my old board in a scrapbook, because I believe that even when I take them down, I am still holding space for those things to come into my life.

C. Convos with loved ones. My best girlfriends and my husband are my greatest cheerleaders. When a seed starts to sprout I speak to them because they share in my excitement and my joy. Most of all, they encourage me to go for it, and that’s the kind of emotional energy you need when your goals and dreams and ideas are in their infant stages.

D. Remove the barriers. Get rid of the excuses. Turn down the volume of the naysayers (not those offering constructive criticism, but those who are just negative and haters for no other reason than to be petty, shady and ugly). When I decided to start pursuing a healthier lifestyle 9 weeks ago, I knew that if I had to leave the house I’d be less likely to work out. I purchased a treadmill and set it up in the basement to remove that barrier or that excuse.

SPIRITUAL SPACE

I believe that our desired outcomes must align with the energies and the realities of the universe. We work in collaboration with the universe and all of the things and the beings that are a part of it. For example, if you are pursuing a promotion, you often aren’t the only one being considered for that promotion. It is usually you and at least one other person. If you don’t get it, it just means that it wasn’t for you and it was for the other person. You are not lacking in any way or wrong in any way or undeserving in any way. Your path is just different and that particular thing was not for you at least not at the moment. If you get the promotion, the other person has to remember that same. Entitlement is a helluva drug. The more that we can detach our personal egos, feelings and lives from something, the happier, freer and lighter we become. The only thing that belongs to you is your body. Anything else that you receive is a gift from the universe. Here are my recommendations for how you can be in better collaboration with the universe.

A. Prayer – Prayer is the language that spirit speaks. Write your prayers. Say them out loud. Send your desires and your hopes and your dreams to the spirit world with love and humility.

B. Meditation – I see prayer as sending messages to the universe, to God, to our ancestors. Meditation is for them to speak back. Meditation is when we focus ourselves. It is when we are still enough to align and realign our energy with the flow of the universe. Guided meditation is super helpful when you’re just getting started. There are tons of apps that can help you with this if you need assistance. Also if you are on Spotify, they have a host of meditation playlists and guided meditations that you can listen to.

C. Open your heart and open your mind. – Open your heart to the gift of friendship, the gift of love and the gift of abundance. If you are feeling paranoid, distrustful, bitter or fearful – you need to process that. Talk to a counselor or therapist. Write in a journal. Release those energies. It is said that fear and faith cannot occupy the same space at the same time. The same goes with your mind. If someone is sharing information or resources for you and all you can do is interrupt them or think about the millions of ways of why you can’t do it or it can’t be done, your mind needs to be opened. I am not saying that any of this is easy. When I first met my husband as my boyfriend I had a laundry list of the reasons that marriage was a mistake and a bad idea… and I shared it with him! I was carrying the baggage of abuse and of a failed marriage and thank God that he saw past all of that fog to my heart and true desires. He and I will be celebrating 9 years of marriage next year!

Every day I try to remove those things that are no longer serving my highest good out of my life to make room for those things that I truly need and want in my life. I hope this was helpful and I hope that your dreams are a little closer to being real today than they were yesterday! You are a powerful being with the capacity to transform your life. Transformation is not easy and it is certainly not always fast. Be patient with yourself. Give yourself some grace. Take it one action at a time and before you know it, it will be done!

How To Practice More Self Love

According to the National Science Foundation, “the average person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those, 80% are negative and 95% are exactly the same repetitive thoughts as the day before.”

What this means is that every single day, the average person is thinking the same ugly, disturbing thoughts about themselves, other people and the world. This also means that we are basically repeating the same cycles, living the same life and going through the motions every single day.

I am here to interrupt my regularly scheduled program, and yours too. The human brain is a POWERFUL mechanism… think about all of the things that exist because of its brilliance! From the time I turned 25 until about now, I’ve been on this intense path of rewriting my script. I am now 6 months away from my 35th birthday, and now more than ever, I have this intense desire to share what I’ve learned.

How To Practice More Self Love

  • Write a love letter to yourself.  What do you love about yourself? Why are you proud of yourself? When was a time that you came through for yourself in a bind? What makes you beautiful? What is something that you have or can do that no one else has or can do?
  • Write down affirmations and at regular intervals read them. It is not always easy to just think positive thoughts. Sometimes we need tools. Take some index cards and copy down words of encouragement and positive affirmations. Take them out of your bag and read them at the top of every hour. Read them before meals. Read them when you first wake up and when you go to bed.
  • Listen to music that is affirming. Create a playlist of songs that are inspirational and motivational. I have a few of these playlists and will type them up and share them out later this week. I’ll share three of my favorites. “Flawless” by Beyonce. “Satisfaction” by Eve. “Brown Skin” by India Arie. Make these songs a regular part of your routine to combat the negative thinking that happens.
  • Express love and gratitude to others. When someone does something nice for you, send them an e-mail of gratitude describing what they did and how it made you feel. If someone inspires you online, send them a DM or a message about how grateful you are. Gratitude opens up the portal for more blessings, not because you’re going to necessarily get anything new, but because you will start to realize the many ways that your life is abundant… that your prayers are being answered… that your life today is better than it was yesterday… a week ago… five years ago… Gratitude is like putting on another pair of glasses. It changes everything.

So those are the nice and somewhat easy ways to express self-love. Here are more ways to express self-love that may be more challenging. At least these have been more challenging to me.

  • Saying no. Peer pressure is a motha. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve agreed to something or said yes just because I wanted to save face, not disappoint someone or not hurt someone else’s feelings. No is one of the first words that we learn, but it is also one that as we get older we start to use less and less. You have the right to determine how you want to spend your time. Who you want to spend time with. The other person will live… and so will you.
  • Allowing your self the grace of changing your mind, walking away or opting out. This is an extension of saying no. Sometimes how we feel today is not how we feel tomorrow. Circumstances change. Our energy changes. Our needs change. If something is not right for you, you have to right to exit or leave it alone. Now you have to do this with great sensitivity because everything that we do impacts other people, but do what you need to do. If you are quitting your job, and there is a two week notice, don’t quit today out of spite (unless your safety or health is at risk). Give them the two weeks notice and move along gracefully and graciously.
  • Value what you bring to the table. Don’t undersell yourself or cut yourself short. If your time is worth $1,000 an hour, then that’s what it’s worth. When I am going into a situation where I have to negotiate, I sometimes write out a list of what I’m bringing to the table and a dollar amount for each. I have an idea of what I’m willing to accept at the minimal and why. This is something that doesn’t just work for me in my head. I literally have to write it out in advance of the negotiation and before making a final commitment, I always say, “I will get back to you.”
  • Allowing yourself time. I picked up this tip from Myleik Teele. You can always ask for more time to think about something. Don’t allow people to pressure you into giving them a response or an answer. I often use the terms “bandwidth” or “capacity.” I will tell someone, I’m working on limited capacity. I need time to consider. Time is our most precious commodity. Now it is important that you honor what you say you’re going to do if you ask for more time. At least you are giving yourself the gift of more consideration, the opportunity to weigh out and explore more options, the opportunity to research, so that when you do return with a response or a decision, it is well thought-out and you can live with it.
  • Charting your own path. One of my favorite quotes is “comparison is the thief of joy.” Put two people who do exactly the same job side by side. I guarantee that they will describe very different pathways. Put two people who were born on the same day. I guarantee that their lives will look very different. There are 7.4 billion people on this planet. That means there are 7.4 billion different ways of thinking… of dreaming… of resting… of being fulfilled. Your life is yours alone and you have the right to live it however you want to.
  • Treating your physical body well. This one is probably the hardest one on the list for me personally. I often go with what feels (and tastes) good for my body, not necessarily what is good for my body. This looks like an addiction to sugar. An aversion to working out and a physical body that isn’t worked out enough. I am still working on this one, but I know that it starts with my mind and being more balanced in how I approach what I eat and what I do(in terms of physical activity). If any of you guys have had success with kicking the sugar addiction, please leave your comments below. If you have been able to make working out a regular part of your routine, please let me know how. My goal is to lose my age (35 lbs) before my birthday.
  • Stop waiting for someone else to come along to receive the type of love you want. Take yourself out on dates. Buy yourself nice gifts. Love on yourself (literally and figuratively). Write love letters to yourself. Say nice things to yourself (like “Good morning gorgeous.” “You can do this.”). Wrap yourself in nice fabrics (my favorite is cashmere and satin). Get massages and facials regularly. Eat good meals. Buy yourself chocolate covered strawberries. Buy yourself flowers. This pattern of self love will only be reflected to you when people come into your life. I’ve been blessed with a very healthy and affirming marriage. I have amazing friends who love and support me. I truly believe that is because I started doing all of those things for myself, so when people come into my life, they pick up on the cues. I am totally and completely in love with myself… but that was not always the case. I encourage you to be totally and completely in love with you. It’s not a permanent thing. Every day I have to wake up and first make the decision to love myself and then do actions that confirm and make that decision true.

 

 

Down In The DMs: 20 Ways To Be A Better Social Media Supporter

giphy

People stay in my inboxes (all 10 of them) with requests. My voicemails. My text messages and my DMs.

Requests to post flyers.

Requests for free tickets to concerts.

Requests to make a donation.

Requests to “pick my brain.”

Requests for free consultations.

And there was that one time that somebody requested some Size 10 Yeezys.

I utilize my personal social media platforms to promote causes outside of Donda’s House that I am passionate about and I even employ my hubby to use his massive personal platform to do the same.

Most of the time I oblige, because that’s just the kind of person that I am. Except in the case of the Yeezys, because it was a complete stranger, and hell, even I don’t have any. Plus the message totally creeped me out, but I digress.

I wrote a whole blog rant about reciprocity and transactional relationships here. This message isn’t targeted at any one specifically, it’s more of a PSA because this happens to me and other organizational leaders that I know all of the time.

Before you ask someone to post something, ask yourself if you’ve been “social media supportive (sms).” Have you shared the posts that they’ve asked to be shared? Have you liked posts they’ve posted? 

It doesn’t have to come down to a post-for-post or like-for-like with that individual person, but are you a social media team player, or do you “hog” your engagement?

As a nonprofit administrator/social entrepreneur, I am here to tell you that social media engagement is gold!

Although it only takes a second to “like” or to “share” someone’s post, it translates into so much value for us.

Engagement is converted into influence, and influence equals sponsorship support, it equals access to key influencers and brands and it equals a larger “megaphone” to amplify our events and ultimately our impact.

I’m theoretically petty, but I’m not petty in practice so here are some ways that you can be sms, so I don’t have to smdh:

(1) Like an organization or business page on Facebook.

(2) Follow an organization on Instagram and/or Twitter.

(3) On Facebook, “like” a post.

(4) On Facebook, “share” a post (especially if someone says “please share.”)

(5) On Facebook, click “interested” in an event, and if you’re planning to go click “going.”

(6) On Twitter, click “retweet.”

(7) If you see something that you like or have a positive experience with an organization or a business, leave a comment on their wall, or leave a positive review.

(8) Click “Follow” on LinkedIn.

(9) On Instagram click “like” and if you have a repost app, repost images or videos that you like.

(10) Subscribe to an organization’s or brand’s YOUTube page.

(11) Comments are like social media donations. Leave them! Even if it’s one word like “dope.”

(12) Tag or mention an organization in your post. This attracts other people to said organization.

(13) Help recruit! If you see something that applies to someone that you know TAG that person, so that you can connect them to the organization.

(14) Subscribe to the organization’s e-mail list.

(15) Share the donation link (If I see ONE MORE GoFundMe link…) When you share an organization’s link, it’s like a GoFundUs. It helps lots of people. Please share!

(16) When they ask a question, or ask for help even if you can’t personally help, please share the post or tweet. Someone in your network may be able to help or answer the question/call.

(17) If you do make a request, ask them if there is anything that you can share OR leave the door open for them to reach out in the future to ask you to share something.

(18) Orgs are always looking for funding. If you come across a grant or other funding opportunity, share it with the appropriate organization. When I come across funding opportunities I share it with other organizations.

(19) Sign-up to volunteer if you have the time. Even if it’s for one day or one project, orgs can always use an extra pair of hands.

(20) Donate. Every single dollar counts.

It is generally inappropriate to ask another nonprofit to use their platforms to post fundraisers unless requested, and it is definitely not in good taste when the organization currently has an active campaign (which for most nonprofits is all of the time).

Exhale. That felt good! Please reach out if you have any questions. You are officially qualified to be a Social Media Advocate/Supporter of the organizations, businesses and brands you like. 😉

 

Handling Business Yandy Smith Style…

YandySmith2620480LoveandHipHop-2

I watch Love & Hip Hop . I’ve watched the show since Season 1. For me reality TV shows are like modern day soap operas, the only difference is the characters are personas that actually exists rather than fictional characters.

This past week I was thoroughly impressed how Yandy Smith handled a probable conflict with Rashidah Ali. Basically, Yandy was at an event, and Rashidah approached her because she had heard from another cast member that Yandy’s boyfriend/child’s father had been talking about her negatively. Yandy had been told by her boyfriend that he had a sexual relationship with Rashidah in the past.

Yandy handled the situation very maturely telling Rashidah, “I’m a business woman… I’m gonna handle you like business.” She continued to tell her that it wasn’t the appropriate time or the venue to address her concerns, especially considering that it was Rashidah’s shoe launch event. In an off camera interview, Yandy discussed how she would never allow another person to make her “act out of character.”

yandy-smith-fired

I’m a strict follower of that philosophy as well. Rashidah wanted nothing more than to make Yandy angry or hurt her feelings, because she was hurt. Yandy wouldn’t give Rashidah the pleasure which ultimately protected her reputation and her brand. Not to mention the fact that if you have a verbal or a physical confrontation as a grown woman – the stakes are higher and the consequences are steeper, and unless your life is threatened, it’s really not worth the headache.

Some conversations just don’t belong in the workplace, and when you’re a business woman and a professional, you have to understand that your character and the ability to control your emotions ranks high. You can’t be a PR person and not know how to handle yourself in public. You can’t be an entrepreneur who airs your dirty laundry all over social media. Damage control is so much easier when you’re not the one doing the damage…

Yandy Smith blogs for Black Enterprise here: http://www.blackenterprise.com/tag/yandy-smith/ and she owns an accessories line called Everything Girls love, which you can find here: http://everythinggirlslove.com.

How To Get A Teaching Job – Or Any Job For That Matter

My first year out of college, I was able to obtain an interview at 10 schools and I received job offers at all 10 schools. I started working at the age of 12 (at McDonald’s – long story), and (thankfully) have never been unemployed since. I think I’ve got this job-hunting thing down to a science. While the tips below are geared toward individuals looking for teaching jobs, many of the tips can apply to job hunting in most fields. If you have any follow up questions PLEASE ask!

  1. Direct your resume to a specific person & to the right person. In High Schools the department chair is usually in control of the hiring process. In elementary schools, there is sometimes a grade level coordinator or something of that nature. While it is great to send your resume to the principal, you should also contact the school to send a resume directly to the appropriate person – be sure to ask for the spelling of their name and whether they are male or female (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve received something sent to Mr. Donnie Smith because I have a masculine name. I don’t take it personal but it lets me know the person has no idea who I am lol).
  2. A resume is not enough to make you stand out from the crowd. You should also include a mini-portfolio that includes recommendation letters (if you’re new to the field), student work, lesson plans, sample handouts, and a discipline/classroom management plan (especially if you’re new to the field). Also include a cover letter that discusses what you believe as a teacher and why you know you’d be a great match for that particular school. Research the school using the web and include their mission state or other personalized info. Don’t just write a form letter to pass out, make it personal!
  3. Practice interviewing. Most interviews are done panel style so there are multiple people interviewing you at once. I sat in on teacher interviews at my job this year and while I’m sure that each of the candidates were stellar in the classroom that energy and passion did not always translate into the interview. Consider some of the more difficult questions like “What is one of your weaknesses,” or “Why do you want to leave the school you’re currently at” if you’re hoping to switch schools. Mock interviewing allows you to train your body and your mind so that you won’t expose your anxiety or nerves. Think of it as a dress rehearsal for the real deal.
  4. Go to job fairs. There are some schools that hire on the spot at job fairs. This is a great opportunity to find out what schools are out there and to get your feet wet interviewing.
  5. Keep in touch with your professors, your advisors and your dean. You’d be surprised to learn how connected your professors are to schools. Keep a good relationship with them and keep in touch. Let them know you’re looking for employment so they can pull some strings for you.
  6. Get involved in your professional organizations. Kappa Delta Pi, Phi Delta Kappa, National Council of Teachers of English, etc. are all organizations that you can become a member of as a college student. Take advantage of the discounted student membership rate and invest in yourself. If there are conferences happening, attend them. Many of the professional organizations have regional or local chapters – join those. As an active member of your professional organization, you are showing others that you are a serious and committed teacher who is committed to lifelong learning plus you are expanding your professional network.
  7. Be persistent & (humbly) aggressive. It is not enough to mail one resume to a school. You should drop off your resume in person and check on the status regularly. Try to introduce yourself to the principal or other administrative team members. In a world where technology is king, face-to-face interactions go a long way.
  8. You may have to settle. I’ve worked at three schools in my professional career so far. You may have to settle and work at a school that may not be ideal until you work your way up. Look into private, charter, public – everything. Don’t limit yourself. The wider net you cast, the more fish you’re likely to bring in. “Good” schools rarely have openings and when they do, they often look to experienced teachers to hire as opposed to those fresh out of college.
  9. Image is everything. Work with professionals and experienced people on your resume. Get business cards printed. Consider creating a website or electronic portfolio which shows that you value technology. Understand that whatever you do/say will be translated into what you will do/say as a teacher. If you dress inappropriately, administrators will assume that you do that in the classroom. If your resume has grammatical errors, you will be perceived as someone who can’t be taken seriously as a teacher.

10. Be willing to do something else. The skills that you develop as a teacher can be used outside of the classroom. If you can’t find a teaching job your first year, consider looking into youth programs and nonprofits in your area where you can still work with children in some capacity. Consider subbing. Good subs are often the first round of individuals who are looked at to fill full-time positions should they become available because they figure you know the school and you know the students. Start your job search early (January or February) and continue to reach out to schools until you find a job.

That’s All For Now! Good luck this year!

Photo Screen Room Divider… Nice Way to Share Your Pics!

Most people have a few picture frames laying around, but there are some other fun ways to share your pics. I came across this photo screen room divider via Craigslist for $10.00!!!

It looks something like this:

Since my husband works in the music industry, he has a TON of photos with celebs and we were trying to figure out where we were going to put this “Wall of  Fame” in our home. Our photo screen room divider was the perfect solution! All of the photos are printed in a Matte (non glossy) 5 x 7, and I matted them on my own off white cardstock. It lives in the dining room right now. Here is the finished product:

Amazon has a few options:

http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&keywords=photo%20screen%20room%20divider&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Aphoto%20screen%20room%20divider&page=1

These things retail for no less than $100.00, so you may want to try to find one on Craigslist or at a garage sale.

Keeping Up With Creative Projects

Whatever your hobby, you probably have multiple projects going on at once.

I’m a lister, so I keep a list of everything I’m working on. Here are my multiple projects that I’m currently working on:

  1. Project Life 2012
  2. Retirement Gift for Coworker
  3. Motorcycle Diaries (The Adventures of My Husband & I with our motorcycles)
  4. Home Album (Decor/Garden Projects in my new home)
  5. Step Son’s Book (To be given to him on either his 18th or 21st Birthday – He’s 13 now)
  6. Step Daughter’s Book (To be given to her on either her 18th or 21st Birthday – She’s 4 now)
  7. Autobiography (The album where I share my experiences/thoughts)

This list allows me to know what I have going on creatively at all times. My most recent completed projects included:

  1. Graduation Gifts for two Graduating Seniors
  2. Baby Shower Gifts (one was a 12 x 12 Frame and the other was a baby book)
  3. Mother’s Day Gift Album for my mom

This summer I will be trying a few new things including:

  1. Scrapbooking While Traveling
  2. My first 8 1/2 by 11 Album
  3. An altered tray

Of course I will keep you guys posted on my progress! Happy Crafting!

Spring Cleaning – Figuring Out Those Files

First, it started with me looking for a list that I had written last week. Next thing I knew I couldn’t find the replacement debit cards. I was disorganized and when I get disorganized I feel a lack of control and a lack of focus. I’ve also been re-reading one of my favorite books, David Allen’s Getting Things Done which is a great productivity/time management system.Then I looked at the calendar and noticed it was March and time for a little Spring Cleaning!

Caption: Iris Stackable File Box (two came in a pack from Office Max)

Caption: In Place Tab View Hanging Files (from Office Max) What I love about these hanging files is that you can clearly see the label tab on the folders inside. Traditional hanging files “hide” the label tab.

Caption: In Place File Folders (100% recycled) they had a few different typesincluding super heavy/reinforced folders.

Caption: File Folder Labels

I purchased about 100 folders, and about 100 hanging file folders. One of the tips from Getting Things Done is to only use one folder per hanging file folder. That way, folders aren’t overcrowded and you don’t have to worry about re-alphabetizing things. What a brilliant system! The folders slide so easily! Now I’ve had an alphabetized filing system for about 6 or 7 years now so that wasn’t the issue. What wasn’t working for me was actually filing documents on a regular basis so they piled up in stacks all over the house. So I’ve decided that I’m going to file things on at least a weekly basis.

As far as labeling the files, here are some of the basics:

  1. Rent/Mortgage (I labeled mine according to my current address)
  2. Car Insurance
  3. Car Info
  4. Check Stubs
  5. Utilities (I have one for each utility – Electricity, Gas, Cable, etc.)
  6. Work Records
  7. Health Records (one for each member of the fam)
  8. Inactive Accounts (for all accounts that are no longer in existence)
  9. Retirement
  10. Receipts (with one folder for each year)
  11. Cell Phone (label it with the name of your cell phone company)
  12. Student Loans
  13. Taxes (one folder for each year)
  14. Warranty
  15. Banking Accounts (one folder for each account)

So that’s my basic system. I have more files that have more personal labels. Basically, if you are receiving an invoice, a bill or regular correspondence about something or someone, you probably need a file for it. Be sure to keep your folders in alpha order so that you can easily find things. I’m using portable file boxes but eventually I plan to get a file cabinent or credenza. A file cabinet would be easier to use to store things so it will most likely be that solution.

Another step in this process, after you’ve gathered your materials is to collect all loose papers from around your home and put them in one place. For me that ended up being an IKEA Basket that I purchased 10 or so years ago. Here is the final stack of papers to sort through & file:


Be sure to keep a trash can nearby. As long as a document doesn’t include any sensitive info (Social Security Number, Bank Accounts, Date of births, passwords, etc.) then you can toss it in the trash. You may want to invest in a good quality shredder where you can truly get rid of those documents you no longer need without compromising your identity.

It took about 4 hours to gather all of the paper into the basket and sort it into the files. Here is the final product:

Here are a few links to other organization posts I’ve written:

Working Woman’s Time Management System: https://donnienicole.com/2011/07/20/working-womans-time-management-system/

Inbox Zero Project: https://donnienicole.com/2011/06/10/inbox-zero-project/

Tonight, I’m Cleaning Out My Closet: https://donnienicole.com/2011/05/09/tonight-im-cleaning-out-my-closet/

Google Reader https://donnienicole.com/2010/09/04/google-reader/

Getting Organized/Work Edition: https://donnienicole.com/2010/09/04/getting-organized-work-edition/

Project Organization: Home Management/Family Binder (TUTORIAL): https://donnienicole.com/2010/06/27/project-organization-home-management-binderfamily-binder/

Project Organization: Financial Documents: https://donnienicole.com/2010/06/21/project-organization-financial-documents/

Project Organization: Countertop Action File: https://donnienicole.com/2010/06/20/project-organization-countertop-action-file/

Thanks for reading! Happy Spring Cleaning! Daylight savings happens in 1 week!

How To Scrapbook (Free E-Book)

As a reward for completing my first semester final grades I decided to finally put together my free Guide for Scrapbooking: How to Scrapbook. Here is a screenshot of the cover:

 

Over the last few months I’ve come across so many women who ask me “How can I get started?” “Where can I shop for supplies?” or “What do I need to get started?” This free e-book is designed for the novice who’d like to finally take that box of photos and put something together. It is the first of many to come and some of the chapters are entitled:

1. Basic Supply List

2. Advanced Supply List

3. Places to Shop

4. Where To Look For Inspiration

at only 11 pages it’s a quick read loaded with photos from my own collection. Please download it and share it with others and most of all, let me know what you think about it!

To get your free copy of How to Scrapbook click here: https://donnienicole.com/for-sale/

Last Post of 2011…

Hey darlings! I’ve decided to make my last post of the year 2011 about YOU!

I researched the top New Year’s Resolutions & decided to give you some resources to help you accomplish your goals in 2012. The resolution is in bold and then there are some links directly below each heading that will help you out!

Get Organized:

10 Things To Do Everyday to Stay Organized

http://organizing.yourway.net/10-things-to-do-everyday-to-stay-organized/

Org Junkie

http://orgjunkie.com/

Finding Mr. Right/Getting Rid of Mr. Wrong

Is Love The Only Reason to Get Married?

http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2011/12/is-love-the-only-reason-to-get-married/

Humorous/Candid Advice from a group of men

http://verysmartbrothas.com/

Lose Weight

10 Exercises DVDs to Get You Going

http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2011/12/fitness-fridays-10-exercise-dvds-guaranteed-to-get-you-fit-sexy/

A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss (VERY inspirational – the author of this site personally lost a ton of weight on her own!)

http://blackgirlsguidetoweightloss.com/

Dress More Fashionable:

Economy of Style

http://www.economyofstyle.net/

Fashion Bomb Daily (high fashion, but great to get overall trends and translate it into more affordable choices)

http://fashionbombdaily.com/

Get More Spiritual

Kim Cash Tate: http://www.kimcashtate.com/

I’m really lacking in this department in terms of good resources. Please recommend your favorite spiritual blogs or websites! They can deal with Christianity, Islam or Buddhism.

Strengthen Your Partnership/Marriage

5 Trips to Take With Your Lover  http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2011/12/5-trips-to-take-with-your-lover/

Black & Married With Kids http://blackandmarriedwithkids.com/

I am wishing you a prosperous, peaceful and productive 2012!!!

*THROWS CONFETTI*