Archive for ‘routines and practices’

September 15, 2011

Procrastination is not healthy…or is it?

by heatherkp

At least not chronic and habitual procrastination.  Honestly I haven’t met anyone who procrastination was good for in the long run…but in the short term, sometimes I think it can be a good thing.  Right now though I find myself severely procrastinating beginning the work to move.  I procrastinate when I am totally overwhelmed and right now, that’s how I feel.  I don’t know where to begin in theory but in reality I’m avoiding DOING what I need to.

My list doesn’t seem to be getting any shorter because a lot of what I’ve accomplished so far is invisible stuff!  Like making phone calls, sending emails, researching, running errands…today though I’m beginning with the deep cleaning we need to do to get the house ready for showing.  Cleaning is usually a good place for me to begin when I’m feeling overwhelmed, it’s physically demanding, task oriented and has visible results!  I know for some people cleaning is a reason for procrastination.  For me though, I’d rather start whatever big job I have to do with a clean slate, so cleaning helps me get motivated.  I’m not saying I love it just that I know what to do to get myself going.

Sure, I’d rather be sitting outside enjoying the remaining days of summer but alas…too much to do and the weather today has turned decidedly fall like today!  I did take a little break today from all the moving madness to swing by my garden and pick a few tomatoes, tomatillos, sunflowers and pull a few weeds.  The garden isn’t done yet, summer isn’t over yet and we are where we are for the moment.  In the midst of the chaos of moving I am making a promise to myself to stop, procrastinate a little (as needed) and enjoy the last of the time we have living where we are.  The packing and moving will get done!

What tricks do you have to motivate yourself when you find your in a procrastination zone?

September 12, 2011

Moving Monday::6 Week Countdown

by heatherkp

It’s official and I have not announced this in person to several of my clients but we found out today that we will be able to leave the DC metro area by the end of October.  This is about a month sooner than we anticipated but honestly it’s PERFECT!  It seems like things are really falling into place, that this move is meant to be.  I can’t wait to move forward but right now I’m looking at all OUR STUFF thinking, “I hate moving”.  That is not going to be the case, this time I’m embracing it and I’m going to love it!  I’m going to try to love it at least.  I’ll be checking in each Monday here on the blog telling you about the process.  So this week being the first week here is what we are doing to plan and organize for our move:

  1. Start a “Moving” binder or file folder to keep all the important information in one location.  Keep everything related here.  I’m opting for an expandable file folder with several tabs to keep things sorted by category (i.e. the moving info itself, donation, sale and give away, storage, lodging and other information for the destination location).
  2. Use up food, cleaning supplies and any other perishables or consumables that you don’t want to move.
  3. Check pricing on moving companies, moving trucks, storage facilities and be ready to book in 1-2 weeks.  There are several options here, DIY, hire a service or a hybrid (you pack, they move).  In our case we have done all of the above in past moves and we are opting for total DIY this time.  We made this decision to save money and we’ve had quite a bit of moving experience.
  4. Make decisions about large items to sell, donate or give away. Collect items to get rid of (for donation, sale or throw away) throughout daily routines; keep an empty box and bags in one location and place items to get rid of here.
  5. Research hotels or other temporary housing and book as needed.
  6. Enlist or hire help for the day of the move.
  7. Locate and purchase boxes and other packing supplies.  Determining the quantity of boxes needed is a bit tricky but an moving supply company can help you calculate this based upon how many household members and how large your home is.  Supplies will include the following:
  • Boxes in various sizes as well as specialized wardrobe boxes, china and silverware boxes, flat boxes or cardboard for artwork.
  • Equipment such as dollies and hand carts will make moving large items much easier and safer.
  • Packing tape (and guns), markers, labels, box cutters (or other such knives), bubble wrap/packing peanuts and newspaper (or unprinted newsprint which is much less messy).
  • Packing pads, blankets,  sheets (the old one’s you don’t need anymore) and plastic shrink wrap (which is not very eco friendly but sometimes is VERY helpful!).

Since the move is going to be taking up a lot of my time I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to commit to blogging but I’ll be popping in to share our progress and any other helpful or interesting things that come up.  I am SO excited!!  Can you tell?


September 7, 2011

At Work in the Studio With::Penland Artists

by heatherkp

For quite some time now I’ve been contemplating how to merge my love of art and design and my passion for organization.  While I was away at Penland I found a little seed that’s germinated and has been pushing it’s way slowly to the surface.  In that wonderful nurturing and creative environment I spent a lot of time walking around and observing other artists, their “studio” (albeit temporary for most) spaces and the work being created.  One particular evening we were visiting the Resident artists studio’s and the idea really struck me to start a blog interview series with artists about their sense of or lack of organizational skills and how that affects their work.

Above and Below::Studio space of Jewelry Artist Jeong Ju Lee

Above and Below::Studio space of Daniel Marinelli

Below::Studio space of Textile Artist and Weaver Robin Johnston

Today I’m bringing you the introduction to this new series.  I can’t promise how frequently I will be doing interviews, much of that depends upon who I’ve come across and their willingness to share their organization or lack of.  For many artists and creative types being organized is just not a big priority and often staying organized is a struggle.  Revealing this to the world may not be something many artists are willing to share.   So many people continue to feel embarassed or asshamed about being disorganized but I am here to say that EVERYONE struggles with organization in some area of their life (or has in the past).

Above and Below::Studio space and workshop of Woodworker Tom Shields

Upon speaking with many artists though I’ve come to realize that for all of us there is a cycle to the way we work.  We carve out a space, gather the materials we think we might need to begin and we dig in.  For some creators they need to end each work day (or session) with a bit of re-organizing and tidying up.  Others will continue to work right along side the ever growing piles of detritus, materials, abandoned projects, dishes, tools and whatever else accumulates.   Some artists can go days, weeks or months before they feel the need to stop and tidy up again.  What prompts this action?  Is it the completion of a big project or a feeling of distraction or getting stuck?

Above and Below:: Iron Forging workshop

Above and Below:: Woodworking workshop and workbenches of student artists

I wonder for each of us, how does the order or chaos of our working environment impact the artwork we create?  When you look at someone’s artwork is there any clue as to their working methods?  Could you venture to guess if they are organized or dis-organized?  How does our environment help or hinder our creations as artists?  These are all questions I am interested in exploring further as we meet other artists and discuss their working methods, see behind the scenes into their working spaces and perhaps learn some organizing tips from some of them.

Above and Below:: Metal Casting studio workbenches of student artists and the instructor

Above and Below::Studio workspace of Bookmaking student artists

Above and Below::Studio work spaces of Letterpress student artists

Above and Below:: Studio work spaces of Encaustic student artists and instructor

As I wandered from studio to studio observing and speaking with artists about how they work and taking photographs I found that most of the time people tried to tidy up when I asked if I could photograph them and or their spaces.  “No” I said, I want to capture you the way you really work.  I really appreciate the willingness of all these artist to allow me to share their working spaces with you here.

Above:: studio workspace of fellow surface design artist Kathleen Bennett Bastis

Call to action::If you are an artist and feel you are particularly organized or dis-organized and want to share your working practices and space I’d love you to comment here or email me.

Above:: studio work space of my instructor Jason Pollen;>)

June 20, 2011

25 Random Things

by heatherkp

Since I haven’t been very faithful to blog lately I thought I’d pop in with something fun to share.  I love to learn random things about people, don’t you?  Here are 25 Random things you may not know about me:

1. I have a good sense of direction.
2. I believe in ghosts.
3. I was born in the Philippines.
4. I loved living in the South and want to live there again someday.
5. I don’t forgive others as easily as I probably should.
6. I have a sweet tooth (inherited from my dad).
7. I cherish my friendships and will work to keep the good ones.
8. I am naive (see #2 & 9:)
9. I saw god when I was little.
10. I once swallowed a thumbtack (I was about 8).
11.  I forged my dads’s notes to skip school in HS (I already confessed this to him).
12. I LOVE sitting on my deck for morning tea or dining alfresco.
13. I don’t pay for mani-pedicures so I indulge in lots of nail polish.
14. I do not love mopping floors (I love the look of hard floors but not the maintenance!).
15. I have a loom that’s not assembled that I purchased 5 years ago!
16. I bought my wedding dress and shoes in Italy.
17. I spent a month in Asia for my previous job.
18. I’ve practiced Yoga for 8 years now (usually 2-3x per week).
19. I love to try new things, thus starting a totally new career feels great to me!
20. I became a Master Gardener while living in GA (I was bored I guess?) where I had a half acre yard.
21. I stopped drinking coffee regularly about 6 months ago (I have it on occasion still).
22. I’ve been writing in a journal again every AM for almost 5 years now (what am I going to do with all those journals?).
23. I believe in therapy and coaching to live more mindfully, become more self-aware and I’ve used both therapists and coaches to do so.
24. Green is my favorite color.
25.  I signed a contract agreeing not to complain (gossip, criticism or whining) and have had to resign it 3 times in the last 3 months.

June 14, 2011

Shadows of Green light

by heatherkp

Apologies for not being more present here on the blog.  This photo symbolizes a few of the things I’ve been doing lately.

  • I visited a friends art show at the Glenview Mansion Gallery where I captured these lovely shadows which reminded me of a scroll rug I recently designed for a new client (yes:) I still do a bit of custom designing).
  • I’ve been cooking and freezing quite a bit of strawberry goodness since the strawberry season is just about over.
  • I’ve also been doing a bit of gardening and a lot of watering since we’ve had basically no rain for the past 2 weeks and record breaking temperatures.

For today’s Texture Tuesday image I used a couple layers of my own photos along with Kim’s Peeling Paint texture (it’s in her textures in 10 gift pack).

This week I’ve got organizing client apointments, will be completing the rug design I mentioned above and finishing a commission art piece for a hair salon (the second of two pieces).  I’ll be visiting the Textile Museum’s Green exhibit with a college friend who’s in town this week, I can’t wait to see him!  And, I am really excited about the business cards I ordered today from I really wanted to go with a local printer but in the end it was more important to find a quality printer that offered me the selection of 100% recycled content paper and eco friendly printing options I wanted at a fair price.  Green Printer did just that and I can’t wait to see them when they are done!

With all this green popping up, I just have to mention another little project I’m playing along with called Project Spectrum.  Last month the color was Red, this month, it’s all about Green.  If you are interested in finding out more visit the Facebook page or the Flickr group to participate in the remaining months of the project (there’s lots to come!).

What do you have planned for this week?

May 25, 2011

Wednesday’s Wishes

by heatherkp

I like the idea of sharing my wishes with you, so here are a few that have been on my mind lately:

  • More Sun Showers like the one above, one of my favorite things about spring(& summer).
  • Approval of our latest health insurance plan (boy am I wishing Hard for this one).
  • More Americans would understand what an unjust sham our Health Insurance industry is with a strangle hold on each of us!
  • Those tentative new clients will turn into sure bets -you know who you are if your reading this:)
  • A couple more weeks before we go into HOT & HUMID DC summer weather, please?
  • Something and someone fun to spend time with this holiday weekend.  Need to make this one happen myself.
  • I could see my friend Julie one last time before she moves back to Australia. I don’t think it’s going to happen though (I’ll miss you Jules!)
  • A future trip to Australia one day with the promise of seeing a long time friend.
  • A couple friends who have been long lost would reach out.
  • An easy time migrating my blog over to launch on my website (soon!).
  • The strength to meet my challenges and the flexibility to handle them with ease.
May 22, 2011

Sorry but I can’t promise…

by heatherkp

I haven’t been around the blog lately and I’m sorry.

I can only say that big things are happening behind the scenes.  My attention is being fully absorbed by the many small and grand tasks involved in launching a new business.

Each Sunday I spend a little time reflecting on all that I’ve accomplished in the past week and this week was quite full!  I also set my schedule and goals for the upcoming week and give myself priorities to focus on.

This past week I…

  • Attended various networking events with over 450 people!
  • Planted my community garden plot (mostly veggies as well as some herbs and flowers).
  • Joined NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers
  • Attended a class to continue educating myself in Organizing skills
  • Obtained Business liability insurance
  • Located a Health insurance Broker and applied for yet another individual health insurance plan (this is a challenging mission!).
  • Enjoyed some local spring produce (finally it’s back!) from Normans Farm Market CSA
  • Consulted with my graphic designer to finalize business cards
  • Stopped to enjoy the peonies, iris, bachelors buttons and columbine blooming in my garden (there will be photo’s soon!)
  • Ate my first home grown strawberry and chased off a couple squirrels stealing them!
  • Started eating a gluten free diet and thank goodness for the fresh produce.
  • Completed an art commission for a friends hair salon!

    Detail of Blue Swirl Poppies

See, I told  you there’s a lot going on behind the scenes!  Not to mention this coming week our entire main level will be having all the hard wood floors removed (we’ve got termites:( and replaced.  Ughh, the good news is all new floors!  So with all this craziness I’m not going to make any promises about when I’ll be back but I will and I’ll do my best to stop in more regularly!

May 3, 2011

Take a moment today…

by heatherkp

…to enjoy a little clariTEA!

I’ve been practicing better time tracking which gives me clarity about what I need to be doing each day.  I also allow myself a little down time to reflect and enjoy the moment.

What do you do to find clarity?

This week I’m playing along again with Kim Klassen’s Texture Tuesday and have used her textures Chamomile and magic edges.

April 27, 2011


by heatherkp

Dear Universe and Great Creator; I’d like to share a few wishes I’d like to manifest in a BIG way:

  • For two special couples who are beloved family members (& no I’m not related to the Royal Couple!) to have beautiful weather and blessed marriages as they join in matrimony this weekend!
  • New curtains for my Living Room, I know they exist.  Preferably a beautiful linen or line cotton blend (perhaps with some nice nubbly texture).
  • Please let the plants I dug up from my mom’s be Foxgloves and not weeds!
  • A great quality local printer who has some beautiful recycled content paper for my new business cards to be printed upon…
  • A big load of compost to be delivered to my community garden plot.
  • A few new clients.
  • For my landlord to please take better care of our home (paint the ceilings, fix the fence, remove the doggone ivy that’s destroyed the fence)…or pay us to do the work for him!
  • To overcome my fear and ride a horse~silly old childhood incident I want to move past.
  • To live nearer to the ocean one day:) I have this belief you are drawn towards nature inspired by your birth place and I’m a tropical baby!
  • To become a better public speaker.

A big thanks to Moments of Perfect Clarity for giving me the idea for this post!  I may make it a regular part of my routine to share my wishes some Wednesdays.

What are you wishing you could have manifested in your life today?

April 21, 2011

I’m Loving Change

by heatherkp

What does that quote mean?  Have you ever really pondered this and wondered how it works?

If you want something in your life to change, you have to change your actions right?  I’ve announced here that things are changing as I shift over to my new business face for this blog.

It’s scary, it’s exciting, it’s fun…I LOVE CHANGE!  I need to say that a few more times okay?  I LOVE CHANGE!!!

I use to live by this motto and seek out ways to invite change into my life but somewhere along the lines as I got older and more settled into the comfortable life I had created for myself I began to be a little afraid of change.

What?  I’m looking back and saying to myself, HOW, WHERE AND WHEN did this happen?  I don’t like it and I’m going back to LOVING CHANGE!

Part of why I think I’ve been drawn to my new calling as an Organizer that it’s all about helping people through a process of change.  I’m fascinated by what becomes a catalyst for change in peoples lives.  It seems so often that people don’t change something until they HAVE TO.  Why is that?

I’ve always been the kind of person who invites change into my daily life, ask my husband, ask my friends…I re-arrange furniture, artwork and re-organize closets at the drop of a hat.  Then I sit back and observe how one change is the catalyst for another.  I would encourage anyone who is thinking of making a change to consider creating change rather than reacting to something else to allow change into your life.  Creative action will invite the kind of change that is rewarding and lasting.  Allowing things to change as you react to “stuff” happening in your life isn’t a bad way to go either but if  you can decide consciously in action and create an intention for your change then you will shift the change from reactive to creative.  Now that’s the kind of change I want to encourage!

This process is so amazing to watch; once you have laid the ground work you can sit back and let the dominoes follow the new pattern you have laid out!

What is a catalyst for change in your life?   Is it reactive or creative?