Sallie Felton, Life Coach, Weblog

February 26, 2008

Vacation Over, Back To Work

Filed under: Conquering Clutter, Life Coaching, Life Transitions, Uncategorized — Sallie Felton @ 12:58 am

“The fun is over”…time to go back to work. You must think that I have been slacking for the past two weeks. Well, to tell the truth, the first week I was on vacation with my adult sons and daughter…the second week, getting back on schedule.

Accountability: While away, in the back of my head I made a list of what HABITS I WANTED TO CHANGE. The first was:

1. To re-establish a morning schedule

2. To make myself commit to this action, even when disctracted by something that I would otherwise wish to do

Job Done: First thing was simply to make sure that our bed was made in the morning. Simple, yes, but not when I have a husband that likes to plop back on top of the bed to read his book before he heads out to work.

What I Learned: I timed myself, it would take me exactly 3 minutes to make the bed. Why was this three minutes so hard to come by….answer: there are so many other things that I want to do than to make a bed….a lot more exciting things to do. However, there was something that I noticed when the bed was not made, I never felt quite put together. You know the feeling….something is not just right. I have made it a point now for the past week to get up and not leave our room until the bed is made. I have to confess that it does make a difference in my attitude for the day. I am ready to go…knowing that I accomplished something that has been so hard for me to recomitt to. I shall keep working on it and it will become a habit.

Hint/Tips: In changing a habit, start with something small. Make sure that it is attainable. For me just these small three minutes each morning will begin to be a habit, something that I will want to continue to do. How lucky I have been to be able to have another pair of hands on the other side to share the chore….now it is down to one and a half minutes!!

Tomorrow: another look at the goals…and habits, working at whittling away the files.

let me know your thoughts

email me at

February 8, 2008


Accountability: (Goal #2) Last night before I connected with my FREE Conquer Clutter class, I sat in the den with my husband watching the news. Knowing that I needed to keep whittling away at the warranty, appliances, and vacation files, I found the time sitting by the fire to be a masterful way of multitasking. Job done, length of time….one hour. Files back into the file drawer labeled on the outside, “Household, Pets, Kids, Travel, Airlines, Important Documents, Computer.” 

What did I learn: When trying to accomplish a task that I don’t particularly like to do: especially the warranty and appliance folders (can’t get more boring than those), I felt more energized to be in the company of someone else. My husband and dog were there which made the chore less of a drudgery.

Hints/Tips: Throw out all those warranties that are outdated or appliance instructions for the appliance that you no longer own. Time to review what is in there. If you have the appliance, mark on the instruction page what the MODEL and SERIAL number are…if you have the date  when you purchased it (and even better, the receipt) staple those all together.

Recycle: When I came to doing the vacation file, I found I did not need three ski maps of a mountain or a brochure dated 1998. What to do? I use those for wrapping paper! Yup, I put them in the bottom of a bureau drawer which contains all wrapping paper, tags, ribbons, scissor, and tape. Perfect for some of those small presents. I love to see something different and cleverly recycled.

How To Prioritize/Combining Goals:

Pull up “My Goals” blog and take a look at the list. I will share with you how I begin to review the prioritization process of my own. Here is my thinking process:

1. what season are you in…what can be done now?

2. what can you do inside of your house that you can’t do outside?

3. make a notation by your goals of the month  this will be done

4. if there is a repair, which season do you need it for. Ex: screens needing repair? Fix in the winter, ready for the summer

5. paint rooms, do in the winter: less expensive and painters are looking for inside jobs

6. think of spring cleaning: fresh…renewed…go through closets and drawers

7. outside work waits until the late spring, like me if you live in the northeast

I review my list and make a notation of what needs to be finished by a certain SEASON. For example, #15, screens in my office. What a perfect time now to call and have them fixed, as I don’t open up the windows up here in the Northeast during the winter. Therefore, I make a notation of the Month that these will be repaired; March. They will all set and ready to go in the Spring.

Notice that some of the items can be done in the summer (# 12, garage is not going to be cleaned or sorted through in -2 degrees winter weather; I am hearty, but NOT my priority to freeze out there) therefore, I make a notation next to garage, do in the early summer months: May, June early July. # 24 and #25 will be completed with the Garage at the same-time. #13, tool shed to be cleaned out, same method applies, early summer. Again can be done even in the rain. These two jobs can be done one after another. Mark that. In the filing category: #2, #3, #21, #22 all have the same theme…just different jobs to be done. They could all be combined at the same time. For me this is a seasonal priority. I can do this while being snowed in!

Get the picture? If you are stuck, email me at

Taking the Weekend off, more next week: #29 schedule and make time for old friend, #30 redesign early morning routine…make habit forming

February 7, 2008

Furiously Finishing


As of last night, I finished our youngest child’s personal folder/files. It felt great to be able to have completed this task. I lightened the load and the file cabinet actually breathes!

What I learned: When first opening the file drawer and seeing all the files dealing with our three kids, immediately I instinctively wanted to shut it. There was so much and I waited this long, what is another couple of years going to do!

Who was talking? My inner critic…the one that we all have. So what to do? Let the inner critic know this is something  you have wanted to tackle and accomplish for a long time. Look to the vision…down the road, visualize what this file drawer will look like, how it is going to make you feel.  Now piles of paper gone…my kids will appreciate it when I give them their own file back someday….very soon!

Hints and Tips: Do a little bit at a time!

Recycle: Don’t just toss those papers: use for kindling, shred them (store for packaging material) or recycle with your plain papers.

What’s next: Warranty, Appliances, Vacation/Destinations

I am scheduling three hours for this one! Ugh…I will do the warranty and appliance files first, then reward myself with looking over the vacation/destination…. “Calgon, take me away.”

Working steadily,


February 4, 2008

Furious Filing

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sallie Felton @ 11:20 pm

And you thought that I was not doing anything!! Never, not me. Want to tell you that the other night I collected all the personal files of two of our three young adult’s elementary schools,  high schools, colleges, etc. When lifting it up, my first thought was, “Oh my gosh, this box is so heavy there is going to be so much to do.” I took a deep breath. This was a choice I was making, and I was on a roll…. to keep going with this project.

Here is what happened: with a cup of coffee, fireplace burning next to me and the news at hand I was able to get through that box. 

 Hints and Tips:

1. Have a title heading “Your Child’s Name” at the top of your folder

2. Have a sub folder for those items that are dealing with your child and title each one

3. Here is an example: school report cards, special essays/letters, college, health, banking

4. Document, Important: copies of  passport, birth certificate, social security, health cards, etc.. (the originals should be in a safe

5. Grandparents: special letters/correspondence, photos

Recycle: Use some of those papers for kindling if needed, shred in the shredder (this is great as package filling), or recycle with your plain papers. As it is personal information, I would either shred or burn.

What did I learned?

I was very aware of how heavy the box of files felt as I carried it. Metaphorically speaking, it weighed on my shoulders as well. It was exciting to see the pile of discarded papers piling up…higher and higher! There was a real jolt of accomplishment and something that I had wanted to finish for such a long time. When all was completed, the remaining folders were lighter…readily returned to the file cabinet for my adult children to inherit. Yeah me!

Tonight I will do the third child’s folders.

February 1, 2008

How To Begin?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sallie Felton @ 1:07 am

Yesterday, I introduced you to the SMART goals. Here is what they mean:

 S stands for Specific. When you are put your goals forth, make sure that you are specific about what you want to get done. I want to #2. Update my personal files what do I mean by that? Being specific, it means that I want to:

1. discard all those papers that are not relevant anymore

2. put those papers that I wish to keep in newer files, if applicable (for example: if I have old report cards that belong to my eldest son, who is now 27, I think it time that he has his own specific box labeled with his name on it and the contents of that box listed. No need for me to hold onto those report cards.

Hint: When I go through his folder, I will sort out all the most important reports and comments from his teachers. I need not hold on to every homework assignment or note that came home. All of those unnecessary papers will be shredded. I have kept up with this task over the years, but sometimes it is best to do a review.

Recycling Tips: The shreddings can go to my daughter’s rabbit for his bedding or can be used for packaging material when I mail out a birthday or holiday present to someone.

M stands for Measurable. Is this a task that can be measured? How will I feel when this is completed? Answer, Great because I am 1/3 the way there going through my adult children’s files. It is important to me to complete this goal. For it cleans out the file drawer of unnecessary material.

 A stands for Attainable. Can this be attained? YOU BET! I can easily bring the file with me to watch the nightly news. Becoming a multitasker is not all bad.

R stands for Realistic. Is it? ABSOLUTELY! This is something I could do each night until it is completed.

T stands for Time Oriented. The big question?  When are you going to do it?  When are you going to start? Well, I guess I start tonight with Corey’s school files. The news is on and I can get started. Time oriented means picking that time and doing a little. Making it happen must mean that you will be specific about the times when this will be accomplished. How can any goal be reached if it cannot even begin? 

Hint: So I have marked in my calendar from 6-7pm “Go through Kids’ personal files”. I am showing up and being accountable.

How long do I think this will take me? Realistically? Two nights. 1-hour each.  2 hours of TV news listening and shredding at the same time. I will let you know the results of one night tomorrow.

Create a free website or blog at