14 January 2010


We had a timely 1st Relief Society meeting of the new year. Christine Vick, co-founder of the website, Store & Style, came and spoke to us about simplifying and organizing our lives. If you came to hear tips on organizing your closet, you definitely left with a whole lot more. Here are my notes (feel free to add to them in the comments)....

Christine asked us to list a few places in our home that are cluttered, that we'd like to organize. She offered the following tools to help us get started....

1. Trash bags. Christine uses a black trash bag in a lidded aluminum garbage can in the garage to toss unused items. If they aren't missed after 6 months (or so) then they are donated or tossed.

2. Markers. Label piles you're making as you declutter: Donate. Toss. Wash. etc.... whatever works for you.

3. Tags or Stickers. This may sound radical, but think about this.... Attach the tag or sticker to everything you own (or as near to that ideal as possible). As you use or wear an item, remove the sticker. After a few months assess what items in your home still have stickers and seriously consider whether you need it or whether it can be tossed or donated.


1. Start with a workable space such as your purse, your refrigerator, your junk drawer, etc. Being able to quickly clean and organize a small space will motivate you to move on to bigger and more difficult areas in your home.

2. Dedicate a little bit of time each and every day to organizing. Just like grooming, cooking, cleaning, make this a part of your day, even if for just 15 minutes. Those minutes will add up over the course of a week and month. You'll see progress before you know it.

3. De-clutter for 15 minutes each day.

4. When deciding whether to keep or toss an item, as yourself: Is it beautiful? Do I love it? Is it useful? Do I use it regularly? Some thoughts to be mindful of that can keep us from de-cluttering: I paid a lot of money for this. I might use it someday. [Aunt Edna] gave this to me.

5. Places to donate: WHEAT Community Services in Clinton and Abby's House in Worcester.

Christine offered the reminder that when it comes down to it, none of the things in our lives really matter; we can't take them with us when we pass on from this life. What will matter most is our relationship with the Lord and our relationships with others. When you close your eyes and take a moment to envision your perfect day in your home, what is it like? What is your home like? What is your relationship with your family like? When you open your eyes, ask yourself if the way that you choose to spend your time aligns with the day you envisioned.

To get a quick idea of how you spend your time, keep a "TIME" journal for a day or two. Write down everything you do in your day. You may be surprised to find a few minutes here or there that can be reallocated to fit more with your goals and life you envision.

What keeps us from de-cluttering this aspect of our lives? Christine suggested the following stumbling blocks....perfectionism, unreasonable expectations, insufficient time allocated to a task. To overcome these roadblocks we need to set realistic goals and be realistic about allocating time we need to succeed.

Suggested reading:

"Good, Better, Best" - Elder Dallin H. Oaks

When we simplify our lives and schedules to where we are nurturing the things we value most, we will be able to hear and follow the promptings of the Spirit which is our never-failing guide.

Thank you, Christine for a wonderful presentation; lots of food for thought & action!

If you'd like to add anything, please leave a comment by clicking on "sisterly notes" below...

09 January 2010

Compassionate Service (& a goal for 2010)

Last Sunday church was canceled due to the poor quality of the snowy/icy roads. Kayla was supposed to teach Relief Society, and sent out a note with the following thoughts and challenge:

The Visiting Teaching message for December was on Nurturing through Compassionate Service. My testimony is that this message is true. "...In the end, the number of prayers we say may contribute to our happiness, but the number of prayers we answer may be of even greater importance. ...Let us be an instrument in the hands of the Lord to answer those prayers."
Sisters, may we keep the spirit of Christmas with us throughout the year of 2010, and throughout our lives. I would encourage you all to make a goal to read the Ensign each month, cover to cover. I know that as you do so, you will be blessed and your testimonies will be strengthened.
Thank you all for your diligence. Let's continue to strive to recognize the divine inspiration of Visiting Teaching.

Love, Kayla

Click HERE to read the January Ensign online. Have you started reading the January Ensign yet? If so, what article(s) did you enjoy? Here are a few that I've read and enjoyed so far:
How We Learned about Happiness (short and very sweet)
Hold on a Little Longer (includes a helpful personal assessment)