An Alternative to Marie Kondo’s “Spark Joy” Approach

PRE-ORDER LISTFUL LIVING: If you’re inclined to buy a copy of my new journal book, Listful Living: A List-Making Journey to a Less Stressed You,” please do it now.

The book will be out in the fall of 2019 but pre-orders are a big deal for authors and it would help me out tremendously.

Pre-orders tell the publisher and the media that this book is going to be a big deal. And I’m offering some great pre-order bonuses that you’ll be eligible to receive. All you have to do is send a copy of your receipt to my assistant at Tabitha@paularizzo.com and when they are unveiled you’ll get them! Thank you!  

———————————————————————————————————————-

Clutter – thanks to Marie Kondo is the in thing right now.

Everyone is trying to reduce their amount of stuff and live more minimally.

But living by her ‘spark joy’ principle doesn’t always work for everyone. So how do you finally clear clutter once and for all?

Tracy McCubbin has the answers for you and I interviewed her via video recently.  
Read more

Carve Out Space to Get More Done

The biggest issue with writing (or any creative task really) is finding the time to sit down, distraction free, and put your ideas to paper.

We often put it off and never get to it.

I interviewed Karen Rizzo (no relation) author of “Things to Do, Sh*t to Bring” years ago and in her book she kept saying she wanted to learn Italian.

And guess what – she never did. She didn’t give herself the space and time to do it. Maybe you have tasks like that.

For me – I had to jump on a plane and travel across the world to give myself the space to write. I just returned from a writing retreat in France and it was divine. It was in Paris and it gave me time to focus on my creative side. (I started writing a novel! Who knows where it will go but it was so fun to start writing.) Read more

Creating The Minimalist Kitchen

BONUS FREEBIE: Want even more ways to stay organized, productive and less stressed? Click here to get access to my List-Making Starter Kit. It will boost your efficiency and get you back to doing more of the things you love.

As you know, I like to consider myself a minimalist, but there are certainly areas of my life where I am not necessarily practicing  what I’m preaching. In fact, Melissa Coleman, author of The Minimalist Kitchen,” has shown me that when it comes to cooking and organizing, I have a lot to learn.

I first met Melissa when she was one of my private media training clients.

We got along straight away, as we’re both productive and practical people. Melissa’s speciality is helping you really think about the ingredients that your using as well as cutting back on an overflowing pantry. She’s like the Marie Kondo of the kitchen.

We spoke recently about all of her best minimalism tips in this video interview:

How it all started

Melissa had always been a competent cook but, after the birth of her daughter, things started to unravel:

“I had my daughter about … she’s five now, and the kitchen completely broke for me. I did not know how to get dinner on the dinner table. It was mind-blowing, and it got to the point that I looked over at my husband and I said ‘I’m going to either quit this space or fix it.’”

A big life change can often leave us having to re-evaluate the systems we have put in place.

What worked before will not always work forever.

So how did Melissa turn it around? She invented her own system.

“The Minimalist Kitchen was born. I love food, I love to eat, and so I wanted to preserve the dinner table. And getting back to the dinner table took a long time. It took making over my pantry. It took changing my shopping habits. It took convincing my husband to change his shopping habits.”

Of course, it’s important to not just find a style that works for you, but for those you live with too. Melissa saw her kitchen like a restaurant that needed to be managed.

“I’m the restaurant owner and I need to build the system for my employees. I don’t like that hierarchy, but just for an example. And it needs to work for my employees. Like, the snack bin for my five-year-old needs to be at a place she can reach it or she’s gonna scale the pantry and it’s gonna all fall apart.”

 

Fixing What’s Broken

When she was looking at what wasn’t working, Melissa started with her pantry.

“I had spilling bags of pasta and rice. I had every variety of rice, because different recipes call for different varieties.”

How many different types of rice do you have? How can you combat this? Melissa explains you have to pick just one.

“What you use most, or an ingredient that you really like how it performs. I imagine if you looked in your pantry there would be one rice that you pick up every time. Or when it runs out you replace that rice, even though you’ve got five other bags. Or, the same with pasta. There’s a bunch of different varieties of pasta, and I imagine that you go pick the same one.”

As much as I hate throwing stuff away – it’s true. There’s no point keeping things we never use.

Melissa recommends getting rid of everything at the back of your pantry and learning to work with what’s at the front – the items we use most.

 

The Concept of Negative Space

Melissa’s background in graphic design has inspired her minimalist quest.

“I am a graphic designer by trade and before that I was a painter. A technique or a philosophy or a tool that I always grabbed was negative space, and then when I became a designer they called it white space. I realized that what I’m doing now is what I was doing then. I am trying to minimize what’s around me in my physical space to create physical white space and mental white space. Just a space to breathe and think.”

Melissa also uses a lot of lists, like I do, in order to plan her meals for the week.

“I have to write down a meal plan. I have to not only write it down, I have to see it, so we have this huge chalkboard in our house that I write the meal plan on for the week. So as I’m going throughout my week, I see that list and then I make that list.I used to loathe dinnertime, and when I see that list, I know what to do, I know what to buy at the store. I just make dinner and it feels light. It feels easy and really doable, but prior to not having a list, trusting my brain, it was not working so well.”

If you feel like you need more help, be sure to check out Melissa’s book, “The Minimalist Kitchen. It features loads of great recipes that all use the same core ingredients -the kind of stuff you already probably have lying in your pantry. So you can spend less time shopping and more time cooking! My personal favorite is the take-out cashew chicken.

Melissa has something special coming up in the New Year. In January, she’s launching a deeper pantry cleanse tutorial. It’s taking the same concepts of the book, but taking a deeper dive, doing worksheets, really making it so practical so that you can completely makeover your kitchen. I’ll keep you posted on that because it’s something I need to do as well! We can do it together.

BONUS FREEBIE: Want even more ways to stay organized, productive and less stressed? Click here to get access to my List-Making Starter Kit. It will boost your efficiency and get you back to doing more of the things you love.

4 Ways to Organize Your Closet With Ease

I am a huge Marie Kondo fan, I love how she know how to make decluttering look so simple. In reality though I sometimes find decluttering and ongoing and tiresome task. Besides what exactly do you do with your wardrobe once it’s decluttered? How do you make it work for you?

Monisha Kapur is a stylist and wardrobe consultant – so I figured why should I try to tell you how to organize your closet when I can just defer to her expertise. Plus she was a student of mine in my online course teaching experts how to get media attention.

In my latest video interview, Monisha reveals her favorite app for organizing your closet. You can watch it here!

Here are some of Monisha’s top tips: Read more

How To Be More Productive This Fall

It’s September, which means colder temperatures, warmer drinks and the leaves are going to be changing color. It’s also the time when kids go back to school and everyone at the office is done with their summer vacation.

Many  of us will probably have to wait until Thanksgiving or Christmas for our next vacation days. Looking at the long months ahead can mean feeling blue about the status of your career or how much enjoyment you get from your job.

In August, we were all treated to the wholesome tale of Cassie Semyon, also known as the “blue dress girl” seen sprinting out of the Paul Manafort trial to deliver the verdict to her newsroom.

The NBC News intern’s eagerness caused her to become a viral internet sensation. As I watched the video my first thought was, “Wow! Remember when you cared that much about your job?!”

It’s not that long ago that I was a fresh-faced enthusiastic intern, excited by the world of news producing. Reigniting that passion I once felt was one of the reasons I quit my job to start my own business  and help experts get better at being interviewed whether is on camera or in print.

Your message deserves the media’s attention. So how do you get out there in a bigger way? I’ve got you covered. Sign up here to get my free “Checklist to Become a Go-To Media Expert.”

If you’re feeling a bit down about your job you too can reignite your passion for it! It’s simple.

Look at your job through the eyes of your intern

It’s one of my most classic pieces of advice. I always encourage people to think about how excited they were on the first day of their job.

One of my favorite things to do during my time at Fox News Channel  was to show my interns around for the first time. They are always in awe of all the equipment in the control room, the buzz in the newsroom and the energy in the studio.

It’s easy to forget these things when you’re walking in there every day. Make sure you don’t take your awesome space and career for granted. Take a moment to be more like Cassie Semyon and get excited about it. (Although if space in your workplace is limited I wouldn’t recommend running around!)

Maybe it’s time for a change

If you’re still struggling to find any enthusiasm for your workplace, it might be time to start looking elsewhere. Dust off your resume  and start checking in with your contacts for any good openings.

Or maybe, like me, you could think about making the step into entrepreneurship!. Becoming my own boss has been one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced, but also one of the most rewarding.

What are you doing this fall to re-energize or rejuvenate yourself?