Yes, you can have less stress with all your travels!
Some of you have heard about our very humbling and eye-opening experience of traveling to London in 2014 with too much stuff and the sad comments we received regarding all of that stuff. We were so embarrassed to be representing organizers and Americans as a whole. Needless to say, our packing and travels were NOT Clear & SIMPLE…
Through conscious practice each time we travel, we now travel much more simply and LOVE to share about all that we have learned. We still experience the initial freak out when it is time to start getting ready., but then we remind ourselves to do the See It and Map It steps first. This helps us stay present with one thing at a time.
See it – Take a look at what the trip is about. Then you can gather all the details in one place (see the apps below for help).
- What will you be doing?
- Where are you going?
- What is the purpose of the trip?
- Who are you traveling with?
Map it – Make a plan for what you want. This relieves the stress in your body and brain.
- Why not make a Mind Map for your trip? This makes it fun.
- Create your spending plan ahead of time.
- Make the lists for packing as soon as you can.
We have shared about our favorite travel planning apps, including Wunderlist (now Microsoft ToDo) and TripIt for making the planning stages so much easier. We pull our general trip list in Wunderlist and then customize it for each new trip. TripIt keeps all the important details together and on the phone.
Create Organizing Habits to Reduce Stress
In this episode of Wellness Wisdom Camille Kennard interviews Marla Dee, Professional Organizer at Clear & Simple Organizing. In today’s world we are bombarded with information & stuff! So there is clutter everywhere – on our phones & computers, desktops & countertops, bedrooms & basements, closets & cupboards… We crave being free of the clutter and fantasize about being organized, but it feels impossible. Marla Dee is here to change that. As a professional organizer for 18 years, Marla has seen the pain!
Living in chaos has an impact on our physical, mental, and emotional health, and our outside environment is often a reflection of what’s going on inside our minds and our lives.
Marla believes that as we clear the clutter in our lives we will be happier, alive, and connected. When we let go of the clutter, we FREE ourselves to possibilities and open space for something new to come in.
Marla will share with us Clear and Simple principles that are the foundation of her work including how to see it, map it, and do it. You can create a vision of how you want things to look, feel, and function. She will help us learn how to simplify and set up habits to be more organized and present. The habits piece includes the “keep it up” step in STACKS (sort, toss, assign, contain, keep it up and simplify). Tune into this episode to learn systems that can help you make shifts in how you care for yourself and your environment.
Marla believes that living organized and clutter free is a skill anyone can learn. What is your clutter costing you? Free yourself of clutter and be present in your life to what matters most! Listen to the podcast
Camille is passionate about supporting people in their health and wellness. Check out her other blogs for inspiration and support.
Listen to the Podcast
Traveling is FUN, but planning & packing can be stressful. Apps can make it easy.
From Marla – I love to travel but have always put off the planning and packing till the last minute. Of course this just adds to my stress and my belief that I can’t make traveling simple. Well I am happy to share that all aspects of traveling have changed for me and now I get excited when it is time to plan a new trip. I give the credit to the apps below. Planning my first fun trip of the summer has been a blast and quite simple. Instead of being in stress mode, I had fun preparing to visit my dear friend Michelle in CA where we will have 5 days to talk, create, walk, explore, laugh & cry.
I want to thank my business collaborator Kate Fehr for teaching me about these apps and strongly encourage you to check them out and use them on your next trip.
From Kate – For me, the biggest stress around traveling used to be the giant list I would create of all of the projects that just “had” to get done before I left town. THEN I would start thinking about planning and packing for the actual trip. With next to no time left, I would pack way more than I really needed, or even wanted. Now when I plan a trip, I get my itinerary and any related travel information into TripIt. Then I go to Wunderlist and create my plan, from what I want to get done before I leave (like making sure my home is clean) to what I want to take with me. Simple, brilliant, and oh so freeing!
1. TripIt When we first heard about TripIt two years ago, we were ecstatic…but could it really make things that much easier?! We found out it helps more than we imagined. After you book a trip, you simply forward the confirmation emails to email@example.com and the system builds an itinerary for you. If you make changes, simply forward that confirmation email and TripIt updates the plan for you. Once the itinerary is built, you can go in and add, change, and/or delete things. If you prefer to not send your emails, you can input the itinerary yourself or sign up for the Pro Plan where the app will update things automatically. For more details read our earlier blog here.
2. Wunderlist Wunderlist is a life changing app – you can use it for all the lists in your life. We are now running our whole business and our personal lives using this cool tool. Marla loves that it reminds her what to do and when to do it!! Kate loves having one place to dump everything from her brain, then knowing she can access it everywhere she goes. Get more details here.
3. LastPass – When Kate talks about digital organizing, the very first thing she discusses is a password keeper. She has found that one of the number one stressors around our digital lives is trying to remember and/or track all of the passwords our lives require. We love LastPass not only because you can store passwords, but you can also save banking and credit card information and digital records like insurance cards, membership cards and misc. notes. Their app is available on most devices and can be accessed offline. All of that information can sure come in handy while on a vacation, especially if you lose a credit card!
We hope you have a fabulous summer filled with travel of all kinds. We would love to hear about your adventures.
Marla, Kate & Team
Your Right & Left Brain can now work together!
“When sitting down to create a mind map all you need are two things; an idea and a brain. You put your idea in the centre and let your brain do the rest.” Andrea Leyden
Mind Mapping is our favorite tool for the MAP IT. © Step. Remember MAP IT. © stands for Make-a-plan. But often this is confusing and overwhelming. Mind mapping to the rescue!! “Whenever I get STUCK in my day or any project, I whip out paper and do a mind map. It has become an essential tool. I also go to this tool first when planning any new project or for my week and day.” Marla Dee
WHY – No matter what the project or the size, mind mapping makes it simple. And whether you are a left brain list maker or a right brain artist, mind mapping will work for you. You can use mind mapping for planning out:
- Your year, month, week or day
- Any size project, large or small
- A paper, report or any writing project
- A creative project such as a website
- Creating to do or task lists
- An upcoming trip or event
HOW – Here are some simple tips and resources for learning how so you can use this tool all the time.
- The ideal size paper is 11×17 but 8×11 works just fine – grab printer paper.
- You can use pictures, words or a combination of both.
- Draw or write your main image or project at the center of the page.
- Then ask what parts come to mind that are part of this project and draw them around your central theme.
- One by one as the thoughts come to you, expand on each element.
- Keep going until you have dumped out everything in your brain related to your theme.
- If there is one part that turned into a loaded area, you can do a separate mind map just on that.
- You can also do this joyfully and easily on the COMPUTER. There are all kinds of digital mind mapping software; both FREE and PAID. These are just examples. A quick internet search will bring up a lengthy list of options.
Make-a-Mind-Map click here for detailed step-by-step instructions that make it simple! You will also see some great TIPS.
Have fun with this. Make it a ritual that is supportive and rewarding to you. Please share your stories with us!
Marla, Kate & Team
How do I want my space to look, feel and function?
The second step in The Clear & SIMPLE Way is MAP IT.©, which stands for Make a Plan for what you want. When we are confronted with all the stuff in our space, it can feel impossible to know what we really want. Marla Dee defines clutter as “delayed decision and/or holding onto the past.” The stuff seems to pile up because there are just too many decisions to be made. So we need a simple place to start.
Here you go! Choose one room, area or project (like the living room, hall closet or kitchen counter).
The SEE IT. © Step question
How does my space currently look, feel and function? Let your answers be super simple. The point is to get it out of your body and your brain.
Then ask the Magic MAP IT. © question…
How do I want it to look, feel and function?
Here is an example for the living room.
SEE IT. © – Right now it looks ok but also cluttered. It feels like nobody takes care of it because there is stuff everywhere – on the couch, tables and now piles on the floor. It isn’t working because I can’t have anyone over – there is no place for people to sit and I would feel ashamed of the mess. And it is too dark (no wonder I don’t read in here).
MAP IT. © – I want it to look like I live here and everything has a place. I want it to feel warm and inviting. I want some new soft comfy blankets (scary how old mine are). I want there to be a clear area for sitting, reading & relaxing. And I want more light. Ok, now I am ready for the DO IT step.
Isn’t this easier to answer than “what am I going to do with the stuff?” So pick your project and let us know how it goes!
Marla, Kate & Team