10 Reasons Being Organized is Good for You

It actually is. I hear all the naysayers right now: it’s a waste of time! You’re over-complicating things! Organizing makes you anal!
Here’s my favourite (it’s something an ex once said to me): “What’s the point? You’re just organizing for the sake of organizing!”
Well…yeah. That’s kind of the point. Because (say it with me now) organizing is good for you.
Don’t believe me? Here’s some of the reasons why you should:
  • Being organized saves you time and stress getting out the door in the morning.
  • Being organized makes it easier to tidy up, which means you can have guests over without feeling embarrassed or apologizing for the mess
  • Being organized means you can let the dog-sitter/baby-sitter/housekeeper/assistant/house guest know where everything is (and they don’t have to call you in a panic!).
  • Being organized gives you more space to fill your home with the things you really like and want.
  • Being organized means you’ll finally find that thing you’ve been looking for (and saves you from looking for things in the future)
  • Being organized may be the key to finding motivation for that project that you’ve been meaning to take on for awhile.
  • Being organized means you can sail through the holidays with less stress.
  • Being organized saves you money because you’re not constantly replacing lost items, paying for quick fixes, or shopping in a panic.
  • Being organized means being more productive and getting your work done faster.
  • Being organized means you have more time for the people and things that you love.

I’ve found from experience that staying organized is one of the keys to maintain a balanced, more productive lifestyle. I’m trying to figure out the best way to organize my life here, or click here for some of the best methods for managing your time. For more ways to keep it all together, click here.

How do you organize your life? Inquiring minds want to know. Tell us below or send pics of your beautifully organized stuff to keepingbusyb@gmail.com.

The Spring Cleaning Challenge

March is a funny time of year up here in Canada. (Is it like that in your part of the world too?) We spend most of the month in the weather limbo. Some days it feels like warm weather is just around the corner; other days it feels like winter will never end. No wonder we turn our thoughts to spring and start feeling the urge to clean out our houses. It’s this longing for warmer weather that I think drives our need to perform a spring cleaning ritual every year.

Springtime is a great opportunity to get cleaned and organized for the warmer season ahead. It’s also a great opportunity, however, to start from ground zero and give your home a refresh. For some of you this just might mean going through your basic spring cleaning routine. For others it’s the time to get all those little annoying tasks that always seem to get away from you while you’re cleaning. And for those of you who have trouble sticking to a regular cleaning routine, this might the time of year to put one into action.

A spring cleaning ritual doesn’t even have to be confined to the act of cleaning. Going through your things, organizing and purging are also all great ways to refresh your home.

If you’re feeling listless, bored or stuck then it could be time for a spring clean. During the month of March I’ll be posting some helpful tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way to get you and your home cleaned up and feeling restored. (Plus I’ve got a back catalogue of blog posts that you can refer to when you’re embarking on your own projects: I’ve got even more ways to get organized, be more productive, care for your home and manage your lifestyle.)

But for now, my best advice for you is this: take the time to look out the window and daydream about the weather getting warmer. Imagine yourself living comfortably in your clean, organized home. Imagine spending more time on your hobbies and with loved ones instead of constantly trying to catch up on your cleaning. Imagine yourself enjoying the outdoors and leaving your home worry-free, knowing that when you come back to it you’ll feel just as refreshed and relaxed as you did when you left.

This is your spring cleaning motivation. Use it and tag along with me on my journey this month. I hope you’re all in for the ride.

It may seem old-fashioned, but I believe that your home is a reflection of who you are. Having a clean and functional household is one of the best ways to cultivate self-expression and a sense of fun in your spare time. Here’s my best practices on achieving that in your own home, as well as during the holidays and in your personal life.

What are some of your secrets to a clean and organized house? Comment below or send your pictures to keepingbusyb@gmail.com.

The Legend of the Book of Yum

kbb_book_of_yum

When I went away to university it was the first time I had been away from home. I wasn’t sure what to expect: would I love the freedom? Would I totally freak out? Either way I knew that I was going to be really homesick.

My solution was The Book of Yum and it started out as kind of a joke between my university friends and I.

In anticipation of missing my mom’s cooking, I painstakingly wrote out some of our family’s favorite recipes in a small black binder, organized using homemade construction paper dividers. Also included were some helpful cooking hints for myself on how to make the basics; for example, tips on making rice nice and fluffy, and how to make your basic white sauce. I was reluctant to call it a recipe binder because it felt more like a compendium of my mother’s advice, and a piece of my family’s culinary history. So I called it “The Book of Yum”, made some dorky labels for it and took it to college with me.

Anyone who has had roommates knows that it’s hard to keep a secret from them, so it didn’t take long before people started to take note of the little binder I was always toting into the kitchen with me. Maybe it was the colorful labels, or the fact that no one I knew had completed a similar project.

Mostly I think The Book of Yum caught people’s attention because I was one of the few people in my group of friends that could actually cook. And bake.

This was the start of a whole new college culinary adventure. While a lot of kids were out partying you could often find me at home with my roommates attempting to develop a garnish for fish, bake a pie from scratch, or experiment with a foreign food. (Ok, maybe I found some time for partying too.)

In some ways, it was my college years that fostered my love of cooking and food. I tried every kind of food, in every kind of restaurant in town and I always had a hungry mouth nearby willing to try whatever it was I was making that day. It was a time of firsts: my first pastry dough, my first experiment with phyllo, and my first roast.

It was also during these years that I discovered how cooking for others felt like a gift more to myself than a gift for them. Nothing gave me more pleasure than watching my friends enjoy something I had created and nothing made me appreciate food more than the act of making it myself.

More than anything, though, The Book of Yum was a way for me to honor my family; both my love for them and the traditions that we build and maintain.

I still have it too, even though it’s expanded to accommodate my expanded culinary horizons. Even though that little black binder has transformed, it still opens a floodgate of sense memories as soon as I lift the cover. No matter how successful I end up being in my writing career, I’ll still consider one of my favorite books that I’ve written.

You may not know it, but you’ve read part of The Book of Yum too! If you were looking at it now, you’d recognize these Chocolate Brownies, these Butterscotch Brownies, these Banana Muffins, these Chocolate Banana Cookies, these Sugar Cookies, these Maple Syrup Muffins, this Apple Pie and this Zucchini Bread. I hope you enjoyed them as much as my family and friends have!

KBwB-BFlower-50I’d love to hear about your own recipe collection. Which childhood recipes do you still include in your repertoire? Email me at keepingbusyb@gmail.com or comment below. I’d love to try one out!

I try out a new recipe every two weeks or so and blog about the results, so if you need even more baking inspiration, you can find the complete list in alphabetical order here.