There are only three ways to store your belongings

When it comes to storage, there are three main ways of organising your belongings:

  1. Fitted or built-in storage
  2. Storage furniture or containers
  3. Or out on view – a method that shades into ‘display’.

Whether it’s 1, 2 or 3, there’s no limit to the style you can adopt, from a sleek contemporary look to a rustic or retro approach. In the following blog posts, I’m going to explore many different types of storage ideas.

Let your individual taste dictate your choice of storage. And if you need a bigger reason to get sorted, my real estate friend tells me that organised homes fetch a higher sales price. So there’s a great incentive for anyone wishing to sell! Share your thoughts and opinions here – I’d love to know your reaction.

The Seven Must Have Features of ANY Storage Solution

Whether you’re shopping at Howards Storage World, The Container Store or the $2 shop, making the right choice in storage makes your life easier and makes your spaces work hard for you.

So you’re all inspired to get organised, you’ve got a 45 minute window and you’re chomping at the bit to buy something! The tendency can be to jump at the gorgeous container on the shelf in front of you but then find it doesn’t work when you get home.

These seven tips will help you choose the best storage solution for your organising challenge and I hope they save you loads of time, energy and money, like they have for me:

  1. Size really matters: Grab that tape measure and always measure your items and the space where the container will need to fit before buying any storage container. (Tip: keep a tape measure in your shopping bag ).
  2. The style factor: Will your containers be on display? If so, what decor do they need to compliment? Consider colour, texture and material (like rattan or metal). If they’re not going to be on display, you’ll have more options of type and price.
  3. Visibility of contents: Consider whether you want to be able to see the contents through a clear container, or prefer them to be concealed. I love clear containers for behind cupboard doors (e.g. in my pantry and ensuite) because I know at a glance what’s in the container. For containers on display, labelling and indexing becomes even more important.
  4. Space saving: Square or rectangular containers use space much more efficiently than rounded containers. I got rid of my round canisters in the pantry years ago for that reason. Also remember the stack-ability of a container and whether you can stack multiples on top where necessary.
  5. Ease of access: Think about how you’ll use the container and make it as easy as possible for yourself. If you don’t need a lid on your container, you’ll have less moves to make to retrieve your items in a hurry. So think about whether you really need the lid. Also, could other features like wheels or handles make the container more portable?
  6. Always remember the UFF (User-friendliness factor): containers get messy and dusty over time, so think about the shape and how easy it will be to clean. It might be pretty but if it has lots of grooves and hard to reach bits, it might be tricky to clean. And if it’s fabric, make sure it can be washed.
  7. Divide and conquer. You might want to separate items in, for example, a drawer, or a vanity cupboard, or a pantry. So consider whether you need divisions within the container for sub-grouping items. The golden rule of keeping ‘like with like’ saves a ton of space and makes things easier to find. If a container you like doesn’t have ‘dividers’ then think about how you can work around that with drawer dividers or other small boxes placed inside, or plastic bags.

Mention: The gorgeous basket above is from www.crateandbarrel.com who now ship to Australia. This image is on my Storage board on Pinterest. Follow it here.

Please feel free to share these tips with anyone you know who’s on an organising spree! I’d love to hear your tips and favourite storage solutions.

Containers To Tame Your Space

craft room storageIn any room of your home or office, keeping things neat, tidy and organised is key to saving space and managing your time and stress levels. Container storage is one of the many ways we have to tame our mess. To keep your home or work space efficient, it needs to be neat and you need to be able to find what you need, when you need it. The golden rule is to keep like with like and give everything a home. Your daily tools; pens, pencils, scissors, labeller etc can be kept together in it’s own box that you can take with you wherever you sit to do attend to your paperwork.

Magazines, recipe books, diaries, note books look great in magazine storage containers – we love the range at Kikki-K. In the kitchen all your cooking magazines or cook books can be stored in magazine boxes, keeping them together and easy to access. Thanks to the many styles, colours and shapes you can colour co-ordinate your room or colour code your books and magazines, all baking magazines in one, all pasta books in another. You need everything at your finger tips especially when time is of the essence.

Rise and Shine – How to get out the Door with 3 kids, ready for work and full of energy!

There is always a noticeable reduction in the amount of yelling I have to do to heard everyone out the door on time in the mornings whenever I use this very simple tool.

It’s such an incredible feeling getting out the door with:

  • My hair done & dressed for work
  • My morning’s workout done
  • A nutritious breakfast served
  • The kitchen tidy
  • Forms filled out
  • Homework completed
  • School bags all packed with lunches, etc
  • Happy, calm kids sunscreened, teeth brushed, neat uniforms, hair done
  • Files and notes for my day’s appointments packed in my bag  
  • Time to chat calmly with each of my kids

You feel like anything is possible. You have a head start on the day.  You laugh with your kids and have time to play before school.  There’s time spare for any mishaps or minor events.

It’s such a good feeling that if ‘Getting Out The Door Calmly’ was a bottled product, it would be bought by millions of mums all around the world and I would retire as a legend.  But you can just get it here for free, cause we’re just so nice like that! 

Mornings are stressful if they’re not planned the night before.   To turn yours around, please make use of this free template – getting out the door on time.  

Getting Out the Door on Time

You’ll find that when you use it, all your mornings will smooth themselves out like a freshly ironed shirt.

Think of it as your tonight self giving your ‘morning self’ a big head start.

Catching Balls at 6am

By far the hardest things to keep track of in my day are my own thoughts and inspiration. Most mornings I get home from the gym, greet my children and then head straight into the kitchen to help with breakfast and lunches and getting everyone ready to go off to school. Whilst cutting carrot sticks and plating up pancakes, I invariably have a stream of thoughts racing randomly through my mind about the things I need to remember to do that day.

I really don’t want to forget these important thoughts and they are usually the most important things that really need to be addressed. While my hands are busy with food and helping, I can’t stop to write it all down, so here’s a quick and easy tool I use to capture those ‘to dos’ before they are forgotten.

I just open the ‘voice memo’ app on my iPhone and literally talk to myself! Here’s an example from today: “Morning B, today you need to remember to…go through Grace’s presentation with her again, make a hair appointment for sat night, send welcome packs to two new clients, go to the ATM to get money for the ironing, pick up the new glasses from OPSM, send the birth certificate to the rugby club for James and help Lachy with his reading.” That’s it.

Then once I’ve dropped the kids off at school, I jump back in the car, play the memo back and write them down. Then looking at the list, it’s a case of the four D’s – what do I DO, what do I DUMP, what do I DELEGATE and what do I DELAY?

See, juggling is simple! xx

Zen and the art of school pickup

This post is for those entrepreneurial mums like me who like to pick their kids up from school.

For years I used to arrive at the school precinct, on time or even a little bit early, only to find that I could not get a carpark for love nor tuckshop money. Every day, the same feeling: “damn! There are no parks!” So then you’re in the mindset of: can’t wait till the kids are older and they can go to the car lineup. Who wants to wish childhood away?

Over the school break the thought occurred to me to turn this whole situation on its head.  Why don’t I get to the school really early? But, instead of just hanging around making conversation, do what I have had on my ‘to do’ list for years (but never seem to get around to doing): meditate.  Yes, meditate! At first it felt a bit strange: being early, and not in a rush and actually meditating in the car.  Probably looks like I’m sleeping! I moved the seat back, pressed play on the Deepak Chopra meditation track and started breathing calmly.

Result: getting up to the school calm and refreshed and ready to enjoy the afternoon shift – my other ‘business’.

Give this instant energy boost a go. You won’t be late to the school gate again! Just don’t fall asleep in the car!! Ommmmmmm.

Stylish Vision Boards

The reason we want to get organised in life is so we can be, do and have what we desire. So it’s important to have a daily dose of inspiration to keep you going through the journey to getting and staying organised.

Sometimes when we talk about vision boards, people recall tacky old high-school collages. Well rest assured, you can leave all that behind. Your vision board needs to be inspiring, beautiful and make you feel amazing.

Busy entrepreneurial mums may initially feel like creating a vision board is a waste of precious time. But it is actually the opposite. A vision board can pull you much faster towards the life you are working so hard for by feeding the subconscious with powerful symbols and messages.

An important tip: don’t clutter up your vision board with too many images. That can be overwhelming and defeat the purpose. After all, this is the year you’re going to be organised,so a cluttered vision board is not what we’re after!

Engage that right brain of yours for some creative ideas on how you want to display your vision board.

I have used a kikki.K vision board.

Follow us on Pinterest to discover some great vision board ideas.

As you can see they are far from boring and actually rather beautiful.

It’s important to create something you love to look at. Remember that through this program, we are going to help you achieve your goals, so really you want to take them seriously enough to find some lovely images. But whatever you do, don’t get all left-brained about it. It must FEEL great. Also, think outside the square. Your images and items are symbols of the things you love and want to attract. They don’t have to be too literal.

This one is so beautiful. I love the pompom trim, the gorgeous wreath and the birds, the different whites and the linen background adds warmth and an earthy tone.

If you prefer more colour and life, check out the one below.

You can also create a digital version of your board so that you can see it any time. We’ve discovered a handy app called Vision Cooker. This displays you vision board on your mobile devices and desktop computers.

How will you display your vision board? What are some great ideas and layouts you have seen?

I’m very excited to announce that we are interviewing Barbara Pellegrino again soon for our 2014 vision board master class. Stay tuned – members will be invited to the webinar.

 

Here’s to Your Success,
Brigitte and Angie xx
Resources – Kikki k Vision Boards

 

It’s as Easy as a Cup of Tea

Welcome to week two of our 2014 Milking it blog. As we said last week, February is the new January (who wants to change the world when they’re on holiday?) so now the kids are back at school, we’re getting down into the business of making this the greatest year of your life, business and home. This week is about your goals: seeing it, feeling it, connecting to it.

Getting the foundations right will ensure that the rest of the year flows. This week, it’s important to carve out some time to look at your 2014 goals (see the last blog) and create a compelling vision for each goal.

Why a vision? A picture tells a thousand words. It’s more efficient to have a picture of what you want than a long essay detailing the kind of house you want. Your mind naturally brings up an image when you think of any outcome you want. So by choosing those images you’re influencing that process. We all need a picture of the end result we’re striving for. When you’re cooking a meal, you start with the end result – an image of the dessert or the special meal we’re creating. You’re in the process now of planning out your life, your business, and your home in detail so you get what you want. You are a whole-brained person. You’re not just a left-brained person. You have emotion, colour, shapes, etc in your mind so you need to engage that thinking. We’re using images to engage our subconscious. The subconscious mind is the driver or the horse that gets us places. How many of us are on auto pilot?

We suddenly arrive at a destination and we don’t remember how we got there? We just get there. That’s our subconscious just driving us. We tie our shoelaces without thinking. The subconscious mind is like our internal GPS system. By feeding it the images we want, ideas will show up, people will show up. It’s all part of the neural conditioning in the brain. So by having a vision of what your heart desires this year, you’ll start to create new neural pathways which will lead to deeper insights and a journey that is aligned with your desires.

Having a vision board engages your reticular activating system – that part of your mind that obediently recalls what you want it to recall at any point in time. For example, you might be looking to buy a new pair of runners, and you decide the brand you want. Suddenly you see those runners everywhere. Yesterday you didn’t notice them, but today you start seeing them everywhere. That’s the reticular activating system at work. Like a periscope popping out from the submarine, it scans the environment and notices the things that are important to us. It’s a survival technique.

So this week, if you can find time to sit and have a coffee, then that’s your moment to create your vision board. Stick figures will do. Magazine clippings, photos, anything that reflects closely the outcome of your goals. Just make sure they are symbols. We’re not looking for perfection here, just progress.

This step in the Milking it journey will get you out of the dangerous world of negatives which is so common in our every day vernacular. We so commonly use negatives to describe what we want: ‘stress-free’, ‘debt-free’, ‘lose weight’, ‘injury-free’, ‘pain-less’ etc, etc. Remember that our brain doesn’t process the negative part of those phrases, only the key words. So those phrases would simply translate as ‘stress, debt, weight, injury, pain’. I think we’re all happy to move out of that world!

Your vision board is putting things out there that are right for you and everyone else.

There’s just one rule this week – it’s got to feel good. You’ve got to feel AHHH yeah! This is possible for me! I really want this! Yeah! You don’t want to feel like ‘this’ll never happen’, or ‘this is way too hard’. We want to look at the board and FEEL great.

When you’ve finished your board, just run it through what I call ‘The Believability Test’ – if you don’t think it’s possible for you, don’t put it up there. Just put the stuff there that you believe is possible for you. Then as those things happen, you can add to it and improve on it.

It’s so refreshing to embrace a genuinely new start to the year. We have a ton of resources in our membership area to help you with this exercise:

  • A workbook, five videos from me explaining the process
  • An hour long MP3 interview with world leading vision board expert Barbara Pellegrino (that was so much fun)
  • A forum full of Milking it members who are all getting into it and having a great time.

If you haven’t signed up yet, we look forward to having you on board. What are you waiting for?

Brigitte, Angie & the DYRTM Team

Today is the Day

It’s 2014. Can you believe it?? I feel like we were celebrating the millennium just a few years ago. The older I get, the more time flies.

I’m sure you all feel the same.

So speaking of time passing by, I’ve got an amazing talent of multitasking. HAHA! Who am I kidding? It’s really procrastination and avoidance. Life is moving so fast that it’s easy to push those complex tasks to the side. Take today for instance; I got up with purpose and a plan. By the time I finished my coffee I found myself trying for 3 hours to get an online streaming of the New Year’s Eve Ball dropping in Times Square. And, guess what, nothing worked anyway! The internet is such a time waster.

Anyway, wouldn’t it be nice to tackle those plans and THEN reward yourself with an online extravaganza? FORBES has some interesting insight on creative reasons why TODAY just isn’t the right time. Too busy, too broke, too stressed, too risky, too uncertain, too inexperienced, too old, too young, too disruptive. Wow that’s a lot of “TOO’s”. Sometimes those reasons are valid. But at the core of those excuses is one emotion – Fear. A friend of mine posted this photo on Instagram which I think sums of how I’d like to embrace 2014.

Philosopher William James was not understating the impact of procrastination when he said, “Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an unfulfilled goal.”

So, What are you afraid of? There’s no time like the present!

Here are 7 Strategies to get your started.

  1. Write down your goal and give yourself a deadline.
  2. Break your goal into smaller pieces.
  3. Visualize the future you want.
  4. Harness fear.
  5. Build Accountability.
  6. Reward Progress.
  7. Act bravely daily. STARTING TODAY!

5 Ways to Launch a Successful Online Business

  1. Decide and Do. Discover a problem that needs a solution. Instead of letting your ideas slip through your fingers, you decide to create a solution.
  2. Test and Test Again. A big reason why so many entrepreneurs fail is because they invest lots of time and money in their products or services before evaluating whether there is a market for them.
  3. Decide if you’re an entrepreneur or an inventor
  4. Find a Mentor
  5. Use Social MediaSuccessful Online Business

How to Build a Successful Online Business

I love the lifestyle that comes from running an online business. I get to work from home each day, set my own hours, choose my own projects, and enjoy abundant income. It’s hard for me to imagine how I’d feed myself without the Internet. When I think about income generation, I immediately think of the web.

I was talking to a successful entrepreneur recently who pointed out that building an online business is an exercise in personal development. He’s absolutely right. I’ve probably learned more valuable life lessons from my entrepreneurial pursuits than from any other areas of my life. Running a business tests you in so many ways — your self-discipline, your intelligence, your communication skills, your focus, etc. If you’re lacking in any of these areas, your business results will reflect it.

The real world of business can be unforgiving. Success is rewarded. Mistakes are punished. The benefit is that it keeps you honest. You can’t settle for weakness, laziness, and bad ideas, or your business will fail. There’s a huge chasm between an idea that sounds good and an idea that actually gets implemented and succeeds under real-world conditions. Anyone can come up with good ideas, but most people can’t successfully implement them.

Some people can’t handle the pressure of running their own business. They worry about the risk of failure. They’re looking at it from the wrong angle though. That risk is precisely the point. Risk is what helps you grow. It makes you stronger. An entrepreneur who fears risk is like a bodybuilder who’s afraid of barbells.

There have been times when I had to deal with tough problems, like having bills due but no money to pay them. These problems made me dig deep inside myself. My business compelled me to grow into the kind of person who could handle these sorts of things. I learned to trust myself to work hard, to stay focused under pressure, and to even enjoy the process.

We all have different levels of risk tolerance. You don’t need to stress yourself out to grow. You just need to challenge yourself in a way that stimulates you. Lift weights that are heavy and which tax your muscles… but which you can still successfully lift. Afterwards you may feel spent, but you’ll also grow from the experience. If you only do what comes easy for you, you’ll suffer from atrophy, and life will become rather boring and pointless.

Why an online business?

In the age of the Internet, I think almost everyone should have an online business… if only for the growth experience. It doesn’t cost much to start one, but it will teach you so much. Perhaps the greatest benefit is that you’ll learn you do have something of value to share with the world, something that can generate income for you for the rest of your life.

In a way I’m jealous of the teenagers and 20-somethings who are growing up so Internet savvy. Any of them could start their own online businesses and get ahead financially at a young age. I would have loved to have been doing this in high school or college. It’s terrific that some people are becoming millionaires at such a young age, but I think the real success stories come from those who find a way to generate just a few thousand dollars per month, enough to cover their expenses.

My kids are only 4 and 7 years old, but I’m already thinking about how I might help them start their own websites soon. My daughter is very artistic, so who knows? Imagine if by the time she becomes an adult, she already has a steady stream of cashflow from websites she created during her teen years.

Building traffic

Running an online business is deceptively simple. Look at my web site, for example. The structure isn’t very complicated. It’s mostly just a lot of content and a lot of ads. But it consistently generates a nice five-figure monthly income. Anyone can do it, right?

Unfortunately, not everyone can do this. People try and fail all the time. The success stories get a lot of attention, but there are orders of magnitude more failures.

The key factor in building a successful online business is traffic. If you can’t build sufficient traffic, you won’t be able to generate much, if any, income. And unfortunately most people are really bad at building traffic. They apply completely inept strategies that don’t work, and they usually give up within a few months after starting.

Building traffic is not remotely easy for most people. This problem isn’t unique to the web though. You see it in every field. Some authors sell millions of books, while the average book doesn’t even sell 5,000 copies. Lots of people can write a book, but relatively few know how to sell a book. Lots of people can create a web site or blog these days, but few know how to attract large amounts of traffic.

If you can successfully build lots of traffic, it’s fairly easy to generate income from it. You also have time to figure it out. If you can grow your traffic, you can maintain your traffic, and that gives you time to figure out how to monetize the traffic.

In the past I’ve written articles trying to teach people how to build successful online businesses, including How to Make Money From Your Blog and How to Build a High-Traffic Website. Those were long, detailed articles, and both have become extremely popular in the blogosphere. I didn’t charge any money for this content — it’s all free. Those articles inspired a lot of people (hundreds that I know of) to enthusiastically start their own websites. Some of those people are doing quite well now, but most that I’ve been aware of have failed miserably.

Why most people fail

Why did most people fail? I think the reason was that the whole process of running an online business is just too complicated for most people. There are lots of ways to screw it up. It pained me to visit some of those sites and notice a dozen glaring mistakes within the first few seconds — blogs that didn’t enable permalinks, cutesy headlines with no keywords in them, bad choice of topics, page titles that still used the WordPress default format, hideously suboptimal ad layouts, hidden or missing contact info, etc. Any one of those mistakes could cripple a site’s results. More than one is a practically a death sentence. Such mistakes cause problems both for human visitors and search engines.

But at the same time, there were teenagers humming along just fine, generating four figures in monthly income after working on their sites for 6-12 months. They didn’t necessarily get everything right, but they were Internet savvy enough to fix the big problems early.

What bothered me most about this was that people were too often failing because of the technology. Many of them had great ideas and very good content. It was a shame to read some of their articles and think to myself, This is great stuff… too bad no one will ever see it.

The cruel and unfair part of online business is that if you aren’t very Internet savvy, you’ll make mistakes on the technical side that you’re totally oblivious to. You may get the content side right, but the technology will bite you and cripple your results.

In my “How to Make Money From Your Blog” Article, I did correctly identify this problem and suggested that 99 out of 100 people would fail because of it. But it’s still a pretty unfair situation. There are people who can write great content who really deserve to be getting a lot of readers, but because they don’t understand permalinks, RSS feeds, pinging, or other technologies, they’re doomed before they start.

Once I saw this happening, I basically decided I’d better shut up about encouraging people to run an online business. People kept asking me for new articles on the subject, but I didn’t think it was a good idea. I was concerned I’d be doing more harm than good.

A new solution

Recently I came across a vastly superior solution to this problem — a way for people to build a successful online business that doesn’t require them to become technology gurus.

What I recommend is a service called Site Build It! – it’s an all-in-one solution for creating and building an online business. You pay an annual fee for the service, and they provide you with all the tools you need to build an income-generating web site. They host the site for you, they help you register your domain name, and they provide integrated tools like point-and-click page generators, built-in blogging, form builders, RSS feeds, and lots more. Many of these details will be handled for you, so you don’t have to worry about them.

You still create your own content, and you use their tools (or your own familiar tools) to create a site based on your unique ideas. You focus on the content side. They help you with the technical implementation side.

I don’t recommend this solution for everyone. If you’ve already built a successful website that generates thousands of dollars a month for you, you won’t need this. I don’t need it myself. But if you’re one of those people that have been held back by the technical complexity, then this is definitely something you should look at. This is the kind of solution I’d recommend in a heartbeat for my non-programmer friends who want to get something going online but quickly become lost in a sea of jargon.

There’s a lot to explain about this service and why I think it’s a great idea for most people interested in building a successful online business. So I wrote a whole separate article about that here:

Build Your Own Successful Online Business

That article is my personal impression of the Site Build It! service, and it contains many links to their site for more info. The most important link is their 30-minute video tour. If you have even a slight interest in running an online business, it will be worth your time to watch it. It starts out mostly motivational, but it becomes more educational as it goes along. Even if you’re not interested in their service, I think you’ll get something out of it. I especially liked the segment on monetization strategies.

If you’re interested, just be aware that it will take some time for you to look into this service and decide if it’s right for you. The Site Build It! site has a lot of detailed information on it. In my article I’ll provide you with some ideas for where to get started to find the most critical pages. If you really like to do your homework before making a decision like this, you’ll find no shortage of detail.

An extra benefit for those who already have successful web sites

Site Build It! also has one of the most generous affiliate programs on the Internet. Some of their affiliates earn more than $10,000 per month. I recently became an affiliate myself after seeing what a great service this will be for people. If you’re looking for new income sources for your web site, just read the last section of Build Your Own Successful Online Business, which will explain why this affiliate program is so strong.

Running an online business can be a wonderful growth experience, and the income and freedom it can provide is certainly nice too. People really shouldn’t be deprived of this opportunity for technical reasons. The self-publishing power of blogging technology has gotten us partway there, but it’s only one piece to the puzzle. I encourage you to take a good look at Site Build It!, since I think you’ll find that their system fills in the remaining gaps, putting online business success within reach of most people.

This is by no means a get-rich-quick program. You’ll still need to put in the time and energy to create quality content for your web site, but at least you won’t have to worry as much about the technical side.