One Question, One Goal and One Habit for Your One Life…in Twenty Twenty-One

Everyone wants to start 2021 on a positive note. What is one thing you want to happen in 2021?  Perhaps your goal is to shed some pandemic pounds, or to start a new hobby, or pivot a business, or meet “the one”. Whatever you are planning for, keep it simple, and get started with just one thing.

Whether or not you set New Year resolutions, January 1 is a good time to evaluate where you are and where you want to be.  If you are stuck for ideas of how to begin something new, here are three book recommendations from business owners in the mid-Willamette Valley. The best part of each of these books is that you don’t even have to read the whole thing to find something new to try!

Start By Asking Questions

Andrea Beem, realtor and owner of The Beem Team in Albany, Oregon suggests, “start by asking questions.” Great questions cause people to pause, and in the pause, perspectives can shift. A change in perspective allows new thoughts to emerge. She recommends The Book of Beautiful Questions by Warren Berger as a springboard for creative thought.  Asking the right questions, at the right time, can change lives.

In a 2018 blog, Berger suggests first asking the question, “why?”  Children do it all the time. It’s how they make sense of the world, and how they grow intellectually. As adults gain knowledge, we often lose this ability, trapped in feelings of embarrassment at not knowing an answer. To be a “beautiful questioner” you have to be comfortable with not knowing and being willing to learn.

If you aren’t quite ready to start asking why for yourself, try asking questions of others around you. A pro tip from Beem is to not ask just the usual question. Instead of “how are you?,” try asking:

What’s the best thing that happened to you today?

What are you excited about in your life today?

What are you most looking forward to?

The answers might just surprise you and provide you with a new perspective or creative idea.

Find Your Purpose

Another local Keller Williams realty company, Sue Long Realty proposes ways to think differently about what you already love to give your life new direction. Their blog post about the book, The One  Thing by Keller and Papasan, outlines three steps for achieving new outcomes. Changing your habits to change your life is not easy, but it does not have to be time-consuming or stressful.

For example, a change to improve your health, or work-life balance, or get your creative juices flowing could be a 20-minute walk outside each day, or if you already do that, taking your usual walk in a new direction each week. Be open to surprise encounters, new information, and other people’s questions to you. What is just one small thing you can change starting today?

Stop Worrying…and Make a Decision

If you are having difficulty answering a question about your business or your life, Kristin Bertilson, founder of Queen B Organizing, offers this advice: stop worrying and make a decision! Kristin shares her productivity tips in chapter 42 of 1 Habit for a Thriving Home Office. Making a decision, even if you aren’t sure it is the right one, is a productive step forward.

Take a deep breathe. Make a decision. Check in with yourself and see how it feels. If it is a positive one, keep going!  If it turns out to not be the best decision at that time, then you will have the opportunity to change your path. But all staying stuck in indecision will do is keep you from getting you where you want to go.  What have you got to lose?

Your One Life…in 2021

Ask questions. Find what inspires you. Make one decision today to set the tone for the new year.

It’s your one life. The more engaged, and curious, and willing to make mistakes you are, the lovelier it will be. Why? Let that be the guiding question of 2021 and see where you end up.


To learn more about Queen B Organizing and the decisions Kristin made to grow her business, listen to this podcast.








Transform Your Garage Into a Winter Wonderland

Transform Your Garage Into a Winter Wonderland

Don’t let this year’s pandemic derail all your winter plans! Creativity and resilience abound, providing many ways to safely gather and celebrate with a few loved ones this season. If you need more space or are feeling cooped up inside, why not consider transforming a garage into a useable space?

Use What You Have

If a family in chilly Manitoba can transform a garage into a Winter Wonderland to host their Christmas celebration (note: pre-covid-19), then why not you?  All it takes is some creative thought, time, and shared resources to make it happen.

There are three main considerations for revamping garage space: storage, light, and warmth. How you design and decorate it is limited only by your imagination!

Storage – Chances are your garage is a catch-all space for decorations, tools, and household items you don’t use on a regular basis. If you don’t already have adequate storage and shelf space for your things, now is a good time to get them organized and out of the way. Think of it as a Christmas gift to yourself to have items carefully stored away and labelled for easy access.

Shelving is key to eliminating clutter in a garage and having items off the floor will protect them from weather and other potential damage. If you are clearing out someone else’s garage for a small get-together, what a wonderful gift you would be giving them, a gift that will save them time and energy for many years to come!

Light– Chances are, the overhead lighting in the garage is functional, but will not provide the kind of ambiance you want for your new room. This is where Christmas lights, patio lights, and strategically placed lamps help set the mood for your space. Do you want a bright and sparkly space, or a warmer and more subdued environment? There are so many lights to choose from!

If colored Christmas lights are your thing, string them around with abandon. Borrow strands from friends or family if you don’t have enough of your own.  You can choose to have all your lights be the same or mix and match them according to your whim.  Battery operated candles can also provide some light in windows, on shelves, and on tables. Hanging light colored curtains around the garage can make the space feel cozier and will also reflect some of the light.

Warmth – Depending on whether your transformation is meant to be short or long term, several fairly simple and inexpensive options for heating or retaining heat are available to you, such as insulation, weathers stripping and electric space heaters. Be sure to consider the number and ages of visitors when locating heaters of any kind and be sure to only use an electric source appropriate to the heater.,

Additional heat may not even be necessary if folks wear their favorite ugly sweater or Christmas hat. Be creative with your dress code and laughter will warm the hearts of all.

Setting the Scene

Now that your space is organized, warm, and well-lit, consider placing furniture in ways that best suit your planned activity. Are you hosting a small meal? Or having close family over for cocktails to watch the New Year’s Eve ball drop? Perhaps you want to set up space for gift drop-offs or cookie exchanges or other holiday activities?

Keeping recommended social distancing regulations in mind, plan the amount of seating (if any) you’ll need around the space you have.  Some indoor/outdoor carpeting can help provide both warmth and decoration. You can bring patio furniture in or living room furniture out or set up folding tables and chairs that can easily be cleaned and stored between events.

The Rest is Up to You

Decorating is optional, of course, but why not go the extra mile and make the space special with holiday décor, family memorabilia, a Christmas tree, or mistletoe?  You can do this as a gift to your loved ones, or plan to do something together in your newly arranged gathering space. (Friendly gingerbread house competition, anyone?)

Having an organized and welcoming space to share holiday memories during this unusual holiday season can help bring those “in your pod” together in creative ways.  If you are unable to host any visitors at this time, this project can can help you prepare for the new year when everyone can gather safely together again. Why not plan ahead in hope for 2021?

If you need help planning or organizing this project, or have another year-end need, please reach out to Queen B Organizing and let us bring you the gift of peace that comes with having a project completed. Wishing one and all a safe and happy holiday!

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year….

Rosy cheeks, the awesome smell of pine, decorative lights, and a feeling of anticipation in the air prompt us to think of holidays, loved ones, and hopes for the New Year. But 2020 has been difficult for many, and in the struggle to keep up, many things may have gone undone.

Do you feel overwhelmed by these end-of-year tasks?

  • Creating memorable holiday events
  • Organizing your business or personal paperwork for tax season
  • Finding space for continuing work or school from home

Not Sure Where to Begin?

Don’t let feelings of stress and frustration overwhelm you. Take a deep breath and consider some of these easy suggestions to plan and complete your end-of-year checklist.  To keep it simple, pick just one task and one tip to accomplish. This might be all you need to feel settled, or maybe that success will lead you to tackle more!

Holidays Covid-Style

This year instead of trying to do it all, focus on one specific area you would like to decorate.  Maybe you’d like to have the most welcoming entryway filled with lights, fresh greenery or silly snowmen. Or perhaps fill your home with wonderful scents and place candles or potpourri around your living space. Cranberry, cinnamon, cookie dough, peppermint, and pine can all conjure up a winter wonderland.

For gift sharing, consider making memories. One creative suggestion is sending your loved ones a party in a box, so everyone can share an experience together. Gather favorite songs or recipes from your family and friends and create a digital playlist or cookbook to share. These kinds of activities are limited only by your imagination.

Tax Time

While sorting receipts and collecting paperwork for taxes is no one’s idea of holiday fun, being organized and ready for tax time will give you piece of mind. If your desk is cluttered with bills and mail, the simple task of sorting and filing will make your work easier in the long run. An added benefit is that space will be clear for family zoom-time, gift wrapping, or decorating!

If you’re ready to move your finances online and don’t have the know-how, ask a friend or family member to gift you the time to teach you this new skill.  You will both benefit from the connection.

Preparing for More School or Work from Home

It appears that 2021 will begin with many of us still working or schooling from home. After the last few months, you probably have a better idea of how you’d like to arrange space or activities in your home to be more productive and efficient.  Making this a family project, complete with hot chocolate and holiday music, will create a memory that lasts into the new year.

If it’s chores that need organizing, turn that into a game that assigns family members to complete them. Using an app with built-in rewards might be a way to engage teenagers in household tasks.

If you are alone, you can pick one thing each day (or week) to complete yourself. Then treat yourself.

Ask the Experts

Your holiday can be a little more ‘merry and bright’ with just a little bit of time and planning.  If you find you’d rather have professional help to help accomplish your To-Do list, Queen B Organizing offers all these services and more and is here for you.

If you don’t know where to start, Queen B Organizing offers a one-hour “Pick Your Brain” session with a professional organizer.  In that time, a client can ask questions and get useful tips for how to handle any space, event, or organizing need with ease.  For $100, you could offer yourself, a friend, or family member a useful and memorable gift!

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, Kwanzaa or just reflect on the calendar year ending and the new one in sight, end this year with the feeling of peace that comes from being organized.

And make a New Year’s Resolution to check out this blog every week for more helpful organizing ideas!