Organized Home

Start The New Year Organized!

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By Jerry Lambert

Hello and welcome back to The Brown Parachute Club.  Since this is the time of year when people start to think about getting organized, I thought this would be a good time to talk to you about a website I discovered a few years ago. The name of the website is Organized Home.
Paper in filing cabinetI discovered this website while looking for a Christmas Countdown Checklist. The website had a countdown checklist and so much more.

The website is the brainchild of Cynthia Ewer.  According to her Google+ page, she has been “Helping folks get organized online since 1995”. That’s quite a track record in my book.   I have always considered myself a pretty organized person, but I’ve got nothing on this lady.

Her website is broken down into seven different categories.  I’ll cover each one individually.  Plus, two bonus categories that are just priceless, Organized Christmas & 101 Days to Christmas.

Clean House:  I know what you’re thinking, yuck.  However she breaks it down by season, so it seems much more logical, at least to me.  She even goes into getting your kids or grandkids involved.  Plus, how to tackle cleaning out the refrigerator.  Yuck, again!

Cut Clutter: This is something we all need to learn how to do.  It covers everything from de-cluttering your closet, holiday clutter, room-by-room, creating a storage plan and much more.  I know at our house, any flat surface can become “Clutter-Central”.

Getting Organized: Seems redundant to me, but whatever.  Anyway, this is an excellent area that has articles on starting the New Year organized, kids rooms, yard sales, getting organized on a budget, moving, paper management (Thank God!), plus a lot more.

Kitchenware on wallKitchen Tips: Boy, do I need this one!  This area covers all things kitchen.  Party planning, setting up and organizing a pantry, menu planning, school lunches, organizing your refrigerator, and much more.

Family Ties: This section mainly deals with preparing for back-to-school and the routine of getting your kids out the door, fully prepared to take on the day.  Since my sons are 27 and 24, this is not an issue for me anymore.  However, some of you may be in charge of getting your grandkids moving in the morning.  Lots of good advice here.

Seasonal Spin: This area groups together many of the previous articles by season.  It’s easy to see all of the articles about New Year organization, spring cleaning, daylight savings time, back-to-school, family vacations and so on.

Printables: This category has calendars, meal planners, events and travel, health and safety, crafts and hobbies and so on.  Each section has multiple documents that can be printed out and added to your to-do list.  A really excellent resource.

And last, but by no means least, Organized Christmas and 101 Days to Christmas!  These sections are so big, they have their own websites.  These are indispensable tools in preparing for Christmas.  This past Christmas, I resolved to really dig into the Organized Christmas website and implement the Christmas Countdown.  There are so many terrific ideas and articles, it can become a little overwhelming.  Tabs on the website include Christmas Countdown, Holiday Plans, Simplify Your Holidays, Gifts / Crafts, and (even more) Printables.

Christmas baublesBy following the Countdown Checklist, I was able to complete the majority of my Christmas Planning early and I actually enjoyed a RELAXED Christmas.  I know what you’re thinking, “There is no such thing!”  I beg to differ!

There are 2 Christmas Countdown plans.  Regular and Crazy!  Regular (Organized Christmas) starts on October 23rd and finishes up well before Christmas, so you can actually ENJOY the holiday, which is the whole point!  Crazy is 101 Days to Christmas.  This one starts on September 15th!  I told you, CRAZY!!  However, Christmas Eve is at our house this year, so I plan on going with CRAZY.  101 Days to Christmas has a Daily Message Index and Christmas Planner.  I’ll wait until after Halloween to put up my Christmas Lights, I promise!

Unfortunately, I recently read that Cynthia Ewer is retiring from running the websites.  Hopefully, she will hand over the reins to someone who has the same passion for organization that she does!  If you want your own personal copy of the Organized Home website, get it in book form.  Cut The Clutter is available on Amazon.  I will definitely be ordering a copy.

I hope this article has inspired you to tackle your own “Mountain of Disorganization”.  I know going over these websites in such great detail has inspired me to get my butt into gear!  Happy Organizing and De-Cluttering!!!

If you like what you’re reading on TBPC, please leave a comment and share the website with your friends.  Also, if you would like to be notified of new posts to this blog, please click on the “Follow” button in the lower right corner.  Until next week, may your parachute fully deploy, and may you have a soft landing!

Being George Bailey

Remembering What’s Important At This Time Of Year

By Jerry Lambert

(This is an article I wrote last year on another blog.  I thought it was appropriate to repost it.  I hope you enjoy it!)

its-a-wonderful-life-010

While walking my crazy dog Skittles this morning, I was struck by the character of George Bailey in “It’s A Wonderful Life”.  As I’m sure you know, the character of George Bailey was played by the master of understatement, Jimmy Stewart.  What I thought about this morning was that George Bailey was a man who always did the selfless, generous thing, and he resented it.

George throws a couple of “Fits” during the movie.  The first one is when he confronts his bride-to-be, Mary.  He loves her, but realizes that life with her will be the end of many of his goals and dreams.  This conflict within him results in a rather rough treatment of Mary before he finally breaks down and confesses his love for her.

George’s initial bad attitude that evening stems from the fact that his brother Harry, who George was counting on to take over the Bailey Brothers Building & Loan, has come home from college with a wife, and a job.  That, in addition to an embarrassing conversation with Violet Bick, has gotten him into a foul mood before he stops by to see Mary.

George gives up his dreams for others’ benefit.  While this results in George wedding Mary and living an exemplary life, it also increases George’s frustration that he was meant for “Bigger Things”.  Mr. Potter catches George in a weak moment and offers him a job as his “Right Hand Man”.  George considers the idea for a minute, thinking about the money, travel, and fantastic lifestyle that he and Mary would have if he was working for Potter.  Then reality hits him and he realizes that “his ship would come in” but everyone else in Bedford Falls, who depend on him, would be destroyed by Potter.  This results in George calling Potter a “Scurvy Spider” as he storms out of his office.

As the years go by, George becomes resigned to the fact that he will never see his big dreams come true.  He is happy that God has blessed him with a beautiful wife, and 4 beautiful children.  He isn’t happy with his job at the Building & Loan, but he realizes how important it is to the citizens of Bedford Falls.

Everything comes to a head when Uncle Billy accidentally gives Potter $8,000 that was meant for a bank deposit.  Uncle Billy and George retrace his steps, but to no avail.  Even though Uncle Billy was the one who lost the money, George is facing prison, because he is the Executive Secretary of the Building & Loan.  He could have tried to throw Uncle Billy under the bus, but he wouldn’t do it.  Instead, after hearing Potter say, “You’re worth more dead than alive!”  George loses it when he gets home from work.  He yells at Mary and the kids and storms out of the house.  Then, George is standing on the bridge contemplating suicide.  Why was this happening to him?  Hasn’t he been selfless and generous his whole life?  This is his reward?  Realizing the economic and social catastrophe he was about to inflict on his family, George utters the immortal words, “I wish I’d never been born!”

It is only after this statement, that George sees the positive impact that he has made on the lives of his family and friends.  This realization hits home as the whole town shows up to rescue him and Uncle Billy from financial ruin and jail.  Up until the moment when George has this epiphany, he still has a massive chip on his shoulder.  “Why me, God?  I’ve lived a good life, put others needs before my own, why am I being tortured like this?”  What George had never realized was that God had a different plan for his life.  If he embraced that plan, instead of fighting it his whole life, he would have been a whole lot happier.

I guess for me, what it all comes down to is that George was doing the right thing by living a generous, selfless life, but he was resentful of the life that he could have had.  Living your life by putting others needs before your own isn’t just a noble pursuit, it is the key to happiness in your own life.  This article is entitled, “Being George Bailey”.  Not the George Bailey who feels cheated by life, but the George Bailey who realizes that by putting others needs first, he truly has had “A Wonderful Life”.

This Christmas Season, I resolve to be more like George Bailey.  How about you?  I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

[I am taking off a couple of weeks for the Holidays.  My next post will be Monday, January 9.]

If you like what you’re reading on TBPC, please leave a comment and share the website with your friends.  Also, if you would like to be notified of new posts to this blog, please click on the “Follow” button in the lower right corner.  Until next week, may your parachute fully deploy, and may you have a soft landing!