Friday, January 9, 2009

Resolving to Change

Expert Advice to Eat Healthy and Get Organized

Local experts are leading workshops to help organize your life and improve your health, two New Year’s resolutions you can keep with effort and determination.

Get Healthy

A professional nutritionist will give a free health lecture at Henry’s Market on Wednesday.

Nutritionist Janet Little will introduce “Whole Body Rehab,” a six-week program to naturally cleanse the body and teach participants about healthy eating habits that can be followed for life.

The lecture takes place on Jan. 14 at 6 p.m. at Henry’s Market, 820 N. Western Ave. See the web page for more information.

Get Organized

Consultant Nancy Miller recently taught a workshop on eliminating clutter and organizing your home and office.

Miller’s workshop, held at the Palos Verdes main library, was geared to helping people simplify, clean, neaten and organize the stuff in their lives.

Miller defines clutter as “anything that is excess for you.”

Here are some of the tips and insights Miller shared to eliminate clutter:

Clutter is a byproduct of stored fear and postponed decisions. People are so busy doing things, buzzing from one multitasking moment to the next, that they don’t have time to catch up. One solution is to create deadlines for yourself that once came naturally. For example, think back to the days when most people worked in an office. People would clear their desks before going on vacation. Nowadays, for purposes of the self-employed, retired people and home organization, the goal is to schedule a day of the week to simulate the pre-vacation ritual.

What you own owns you. “Whatever you bring home, you have to babysit for the rest of your life,” said Miller, using the theatre program as an example. Miller’s solution is to be brazen and shameless in pitching clutter. Efforts to be environmentally sensitive and recycle are admirable and should be made, said Miller, but sometimes “good intentions become junk. Throwing stuff away is wonderful. You have to get your head above the clutter before you can save the world.”

Most people wear the same 20% of their clothes 80% of the time. To clean your closet almost effortlessly, turn all the hangers around so they’re facing backwards, towards the inside of your closet. When you take something out to wear or wash it, face its hanger normally when you return it to the closet. The clothes that are still backwards after six months are evidently not being worn. Bid them farewell and get rid of them!

When filing something, ask five questions: why do I want it; is it in another file; is this material timely; how long should this be kept; and what would happen if it were lost? Miller’s premise here is that most things are kept on a discretionary basis. If it’s not critical to your basic livelihood and lifestyle – that is, if it won’t get you fired or divorced – then keeping it is a choice.

Miller suggested several exercises to help change habits. Pretend to go paperless. Pay all your bills online, for example. Also, don’t replace your printer’s ink cartridge right away; pretend you don’t have another cartridge on hand. Pretend you have to move tomorrow. Pretend you’re moving into a dorm room or nursing home. Pretend you have five minutes to evacuate your house.

Miller advises an annual ritual to go through the house and toss, relocate, give way or repair things that are out of place, out of use or just plain clutter. For this annual event and all other organizational efforts, though, Miller cautions not to devise a system that’s more complicated than the original problem.

A self-declared “clutterologist,” Miller has authored a book, CD and DVD on “clutterology” and makes house calls to “defeat clutter where it lives.”

Visit for more information.

Be Further Resolved

See this recent Daily Breeze write-up for more ideas on “making – and keeping – your resolutions.”

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