Tag Archives: Cindi Maciolek

KonMari Method – My Tidying Journey #13 – Books Part 1

KonMari Method – My Tidying Journey #13 – Books Part 1

As a writer, I tend to read a lot, which means I own a ton of books. However, as I continue in my KonMari journey, I wanted to use my bookshelf in my office to not only house books but display items that bring me joy as well. And, my project binders.

Several years ago, I was all about accumulating as many interesting books as I could, to one day have a dedicated library in my house. I envisioned myself drinking tea beside a huge window, surrounded by floor to ceiling books. However, every time I moved, there were more and more super heavy boxes of books that no one – including the movers – wanted to lift. The more books I had, the more bookshelves I needed. It was an endless cycle.

A couple of moves ago, I decided not to take three bookshelves with me to my new home. I donated over 500 books to the library, followed by another 200 once I settled into my new place. Some books I read. Some I would never read. Almost all of them nonfiction.

Basically, what was left is what I now have, and it’s still too much. In fact, at times I have forgotten I own a particular book and buy a second or third copy. It’s frustrating that there are so many books on the shelves that I can’t get to the ones I want. It’s time to purge!

I also wanted to bring some light and air to my bookshelf, which sits behind my desk in my office. When I walk into my office, I want to be inspired and happy to look at the bookshelf, not be distracted or annoyed by the mess.

Marie Kondo, in her book,  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizingsays to put all your books in one pile and purge from there. I couldn’t do that. I had to take it shelf by shelf, which was organized by topic. Even cleaning through my books that way I’ve had stacks on the floor for several days while I decide on the new layout for my bookshelf. It would have been a nightmare with all of them on the floor at the same time!

As I touched each book, I determined if it deserved a place in my home. If so, it went into Pile A. If not, Pile B, whereupon I noted all the pertinent information (title, author, ISBN, price) onto a handy dandy spreadsheet. I always keep track of books I donate or sell. That way, I won’t buy them again – hopefully. Then, I checked Amazon to see if they were worth selling. Most were not. So, they were put into a box and packed into my car to deliver to the library.

However, there were some that didn’t fit into either category. They didn’t deserve to stay, but I really wanted to read them before I sent them on their way. I know, Kondo says to just give them away, but I truly believe I will make it through this pile. Alas, Pile C needed a home.

As I worked through the shelves, I had to decide what I wanted where. So, I did my usual – I drew a quick sketch of the bookshelf on a piece of paper, identified what I knew and listed the book categories that still needed a home. (I use this same method for kitchen cupboards, bedroom closets/furniture and anything else that can be put on a grid. It helps me to think things through.)

I’m about halfway done, and it’s been a challenge. I cannot believe how many books I can squeeze onto a shelf! (These are really deep.) I’ve always been good at organizing things, I guess to the point where I have far more than I need of some items.  

So far, I’ve donated about another 100 books, added about as many into Pile C, with many more books to go. However, what I’ve done I’m thrilled with! I just love walking into my office and seeing the clean shelves, lights and words of inspiration.

Here are some tips for cleaning through your books:

  1. Bit by bit. If you have a lot of books, take it a bit at a time. It gets too confusing when you have books all over the place. When you want to put them back on a shelf, you won’t be able to find it. If your books bring you joy, there’s no reason to toss them, but be realistic.
  2. Decide on the use. Do you just want to pile your books on your bookshelves, or do you want to use the shelves for other things as well, such as display items, awards, photos, or office items. You have to make that decision before you start to put things back.
  3. Make a grid. I find it’s best for me to make a list of all the categories I need to put into a particular space, make a grid, then decide where they go. Sometimes it’s decided on the grid. Other times I put the item away then note it on the grid and cross it off the list. It just helps to keep you organized so you don’t forget anything crucial.
  4. Clean it! Once the shelves are empty, do a good beeswax dusting and let it sit overnight before you put anything back. Let the beeswax do its job. It’s not often the shelves are completely empty, so take advantage while you can.
  5. Feel the energy. I’ve changed the layout of some of the shelves several times, until I felt it was right. I even changed the location of two or three categories because, while they looked good on my grid, I didn’t like the way it felt on the shelf. 
  6. Light it up! I’ve had so much fun using the inexpensive LED fairy lights on timers to light up my bookshelves. I’ve even used flameless pillar candles and lighted candle bases. It’s so exciting to walk into my office and see everything lit up. It increases my energy immediately.

I’ll do a final blog post once I’ve finished, and post photos on Instagram, but I thought I’d share what I’ve done so far. This is such a tough category for me, particularly if you’re an avid reader like I am. And, I keep my cookbooks and art books in other rooms. So, more mess to make!

I’d love to hear your comments on how you’re using KonMari to sort through your books. Leave your comments below!

Next up, Books Part 2. Join my feed on Bloglovin’ or catch my Instagram posts to keep up to date.

Enjoy!

Cindi

 

This post contains affiliate links. It is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. Thanks!

 

TTPD – June is for Vendor and Contractor Review

June is Vendor Contractor Month

Greetings Sparklers!

Summer is inching its way towards us, but work goes on year-round and it’s time to take another peek at our monthly topics. We’re up to June!

In my book, Tame Those Pesky Details: 12 months of business tips and tasks (Aunti Cindi Presents), June is devoted to vendors, contractors and consultants. Now is the time to double check all your current agreements to see that you’re getting the best service for the best price while considering which vendors you no longer need or others which you do.

This can be a tough month for some people while others enjoy the challenge. Some people like to negotiate. Others will pay full price no matter what. Some business owners will nickel and dime their suppliers to the tenth of a penny but balk at their own customers requesting a discount for early or all cash payment. Other business owners are afraid to call for service or necessary meetings because they know a sales pitch will accompany them, forgetting that their own businesses depend upon the same such sales calls. I think most of us fall somewhere in between.

Here are a few steps to getting through the month and hopefully saving some money.

  1. Review all current vendor/consultant agreements. Are you paying for something you don’t use? Are you unhappy with a particular supplier? Are you receiving the best price for what they have to offer? Make a list of questions for when you contact the vendor.
  2. Pull out your June folder and review others who have contacted you and piqued your interest. Is there someone in the folder you’d like to interview and request a quote?
  3. Pick up the phone and call all your current vendors. Tell them you’re doing your annual review and you’d just like a few minutes to chat. Then, ask all the questions you have and remember one of them should be, do you have any new services or packages that might better suit my needs?
  4. Gather the results of your research and decide who you plan to use for the next year and at what price.
  5. Work your new figures into your budget for the next 12 months, or the terms of the contract.

It doesn’t take much effort to save money. In the last few weeks, I received a sizeable credit from one vendor just for doing an annual review with them. I didn’t change my contract because they no longer offer the package I have and any changes would incur higher fees. However, just by calling them and doing a review, they give me an invoice credit for being a loyal customer.

Another vendor has reworked their offerings and, with a few minor tweaks on my part, I saved $50/month on my agreement. Might not seem like much, but it only took a few minutes and it resulted in saving $600/year. If I can do that with five vendors, that’s $3,000/year savings just for a few simple phone calls. It all adds up.

I’ve also replaced one vendor with another, finding one that does an excellent job for my needs at a lower price.

One of my pet peeves is not offering a discount or perk to a long-term, loyal customer. Many businesses only offer them to first time customers, hoping to build their clientele. While I think that’s a good strategy for them, there should also be some reward for those who stick around a long time, something like an Anniversary Discount. I talk about my own experiences in my book, How to Screw Up a Good Idea: Insights for Entrepreneurs (Aunti Cindi Presents). I’ve been on both sides of the equation and hopefully, I’ve learned.

It’s nearly impossible to be successful in business by yourself. Whether you have your own staff or a team of vendors, contractors and consultants, it’s important to have the right people at the right price providing exactly what you need.

Sparkle On!

Your Aunti Cindi

This post contains affiliate links. However, all opinions are our own.

Why Aunti Cindi Presents?

Aunti Cindi Presents

About a year ago I released my first books in the Aunti Cindi Presents series, including How to Screw Up a Good Idea: Insights for Entrepreneurs (Aunti Cindi Presents)
and Tame Those Pesky Details: 12 months of business tips and tasks (Aunti Cindi Presents). People have been asking me, Why Aunti Cindi Presents? So, I thought I’d give you a little background.

Over the years I’ve had several ideas for small non-fiction books that were not particularly related subject matter. I would jot thoughts down here and there but never took the time to write entire books because I felt if I released them individually, they might get lost in the vast universe of bookdom.

One day I was looking through my cache of domain names and realized I owned AuntiCindiPresents.com. I purchased it, along with AuntiCindi.com, long ago for one reason in particular. I’ve been called Aunti Cindi since I was a child, having been blessed with my first nephew when I was a mere eight-years-old. Even in business I used the name to differentiate myself from other Cindis, Cindys and Cyndees in a company. People would remember Aunti Cindi and actually got a kick out of calling me that. I felt, eventually I could put those domains to good use.

Aunti Cindi Presents opens up the opportunity to become a series of much shorter informational books than something like the Dummies, and potentially allow different authors to have books published in the series. In fact, I’ve been talking with two authors already who are interested in sharing their sage wisdom in such a manner.

The goal of the Aunti Cindi Presents series is to offer sage advice for a fulfilled life. Its tagline, Sparkle On! means to find your inner gem and shine it out to the world. Who could resist that?

The first two books in the series are business topics, but others will fall under a variety of subjects, even those I write myself. I’m busy working on two novels right now, so I’m not sure when the next in the series will debut, but keep an eye on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates.

Sparkle On!

Your Aunti Cindi

This post contains affiliate links but all opinions are my own!

Cindi’s Thoughts – Where to find me in 2016

binoculars

I like to think that everything we do somehow sets a foundation for our future life. We might not always see an immediate correlation, but somewhere along the line, our decisions today will affect our future tomorrow.

in 2015, I decided to consolidate my websites and to be more active on social media. The websites were easy; social media I’m still working on, although I have improved.

Previously, I had a separate website for each project under my creative hand. It just got too unwieldy to maintain an ever-growing list of projects and their accompanying sites. I finally got things down to what I hope will be a manageable four.

I’ve also tied my blog posts to Facebook and Twitter, so every time I have a new post, you’ll be alerted if you follow me on either one. So, I wanted to provide a breakdown of what you can find on each site.

www.CindiMaciolek.com – This is my main blog site. Here, you’ll find out things about me, my KonMari journey notes, recipes, favorite things and so on. It’s an all-encompassing Cindi Maciolek overview.

www.GrandArborPress.com – This is my business site. Anything related to my books, CDs or products can be found here.

www.Divatiel.com – Anyone who knows me knows I loved my little birdie so much I wrote a book about her. I have plans to do a few things with this down the line, so I’ve decided to keep it a separate site. That may change in the future, but for now, blog posts will be updated on my Facebook page but on a different Twitter account.

www.AuntiCindiPresents.com – This site is dedicated to my latest non-fiction book series. You’ll find blog posts here related to topics in my Aunti Cindi Presents books including business, caregiving and emergency preparedness tips. Emergency Preparedness was originally on my CindiMaciolek.com site, but I’ll be transferring  the content here. As other books are added to the series either by myself or other authors, the subject matter will grow.

You can also join my email list. I currently do not send regular updates via email, but I welcome you to add your name to my list.

Social Media

As I said, I’m not a social media expert while I understand its significance. All my blog posts will also post on Facebook and Twitter. In addition, in the last year I’ve opened Pinterest and Instagram accounts, both of which I hope to build on during 2016. I’m also toying with the idea of YouTube. Maybe somewhere down the line.

So, there you have it! If you’re looking for me, I’ll be on my laptop, fingers traveling a mile a minute, keeping you posted on random thoughts and somewhat useful information while I continue to focus on my books and other outlets for my writing.

See you in cyberspace!

Cindi

 

Closet Confidential is here!

September is the fall fashion issue for Luxury Las Vegas Magazine, and that means I have the opportunity to interview some local notables in their closets and find out what interesting treasures they possess.

This issue, I had the pleasure of meeting Cara Clarke, director of communications for the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce; Diane Boyle, marketing director for Liquor Library; and Jaymes Vaughan, Chippendales star at the Rio, and MORE Access weekend host.

I truly appreciate these fine folk offering me an opportunity to share their style sense with our readers, and to Jim Decker, illustrious photog, who always takes amazing pictures!

See the entire article here.

Vegas Vision

Happy July, y’all!

We’ve been sweltering over here in Vegas with more than a few days of 110 degrees plus! Of course, we desert rats can handle it, no problem, but if you’re from out of town here for a visit, be sure to take precautions. Drink lots of water, stay out of the heat as much as possible and know it will be over in just a couple of days.

For my article this month in Luxury Las Vegas, Two of a Kind, I had the pleasure of speaking with several local notables regarding the future of Vegas. I wanted to understand what is the vision for our fair city. I got some great responses and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the read.

Have a happy and safe Fourth of July weekend!

Las Vegas Driving Experiences

I had the pleasure of participating in five different driving experiences here in town, and I have to say it was absolutely the funnest thing I’ve ever done! I had no idea that Las Vegas was such a car town and that people actually come here just to partake in some of these driving opportunities

Growing up in Detroit, I was surrounded by the car culture. Most of the guys I knew could tell you make, model and year of every car that went by, and soon enough, I was a willing participant.

As a teenager, I would buy car magazines, particularly those focused on the exotic or luxurious. I’ve always loved cars and I’ve always loved driving.

You can read all about my recent experiences in my article, I Can’t Drive 55,  for the June 2013 issue of Luxury Las Vegas magazine here, or read the entire issue here. The June issue will be online starting on the 1st.

Enjoy!

May 4th – May the Force Be with You

For Star Wars fans, May 4th is a very special day. You can Google all the reasons, so I won’t go into them here, but as a Star Wars fan, I hold the day in high esteem.

There always seem to be two camps: Star Wars vs. Star Trek. I have to admit, I’ve used that as a dating quiz at times. I just know that if my date answers, Star Trek, I have to look elsewhere. Long term, he and I wouldn’t get along.

Now, I admit, I do love that signature line from Star Trek: Live Long and Prosper. Honestly, who wouldn’t want to do that? That’s exactly what all this Law of Attraction stuff is all about. Trekkies not only wish it for themselves, they wish it for others as well. Not being a Trekkie, I can’t really say if there ever was any evidence of the cast living long and prospering during the show, but I have borrowed the line on occasion.

However, May the Force Be with You from Star Wars, resonates with me on many levels. First off, a guy I used to work with always reminded me to “Come from a place of power” whenever we faced obstacles in our projects. I’ve referred to that often during my life and remind myself that when I need it, I have an inner strength, a force, that will help me to overcome obstacles.

The Star Wars characters repeatedly showed how the Force played a role in their lives. The Force is greater than an individual: it unites us all. There are numerous analyses of the spiritual aspects of Star Wars, so again, I won’t go into them here, but perhaps the beautiful and fun way those points are expressed is what draws us Star Wars fans to keep coming back.

To celebrate the day, I want to share with you two music videos that Phil Maq introduced me to. The Force is everywhere! Enjoy!

Weird Al Yankovic: The Saga Begins

And, the Lego version:

It’s Book Frenzy Time!

Cindi-Book-Frenzy

If you haven’t yet purchased a copy of Divatiel: Reflections of a bird’s companion, today is the day! Well…at least until 2 p.m. PST Tuesday, February 28th.

Purchase an e-book from Amazon or a printed copy from www.divatiel.com/shop and you’ll receive three free e-books after you send me your proof of purchase. You’ll receive: Death Upon Me, Night Secrets, and Immortyl Kisses: Warrior Rising all by B.K. Walker.

If you’re a writer, leave a comment on this post or at www.virtualbooktourcafe.com and be entered to win a free 10 stop virtual book tour.

Take advantage of this great offer today!

Divatiel Virtual Book Tour Begins!


Cindi-Maciolek Virtual Book Tour

February 9th marks the beginning of the Divatiel virtual book tour, thanks to Virtual Book Tour Cafe. Over the next five weeks, you’ll be able to follow my guest blog posts and author interviews regarding my bird book on a variety of spectacular blogs across the Internet as well as Blog Talk Radio.

I’m so excited to have this opportunity to share with you fun details about my cockatiel book, my writing life and myself. It’s a bit crazy as I have a lot of special writing during this time, but I’m so honored to participate in this journey.

Updates and links will be posted on Facebook and Twitter, so be sure you’re following me. The links are on the upper right of this website.

See you in the blogosphere!