Posts Tagged ‘Clutter Free’

I don’t think I have ever had the technique of  “getting rid of something old to make room for something new” work this quickly, ever.  And this time instead of it happening to a client, it happened to me – yeah! (more…)


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I am fascinated by how the concept of ‘good enough’ relates to being organized and our many attempts to be what we perceive as ‘well organized’.  What does being organized mean to you?  Most likely not the same as it does to your spouse, your best friend or your children.  What if, instead of constantly striving to be more organized, better organized or even, heaven forbid, perfectly organized we strove for (more…)

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Here are some wise words from my good friend Georgina Forrest from Smartworks Organizing in Calgary, Alberta from one of her recent newsletters. (more…)

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As I sat in my office yesterday checking my e-mail I looked around my desk area and thought about the importance of the mantra ‘A Place for Everything’.  The key for all of us is that it doesn’t say ‘A Place for Almost Everything’.

In my opinion, this is where we all get ourselves into trouble, myself included.  I find you need to have a place for absolutely everything.  Otherwise,  you put one thing out of place ‘just for now’ and then another and another and before you know it you have many things with no place.

Now, having a place for absolutely everything takes a fair bit of effort.  And my problem is that I periodically change my place for things which means then I sometimes have two places where information could be kept.  Naughty, naughty!

The main problem seems to be all the projects and bits that are ‘in the process’. They are things we have started and not finished.  In my office there are two categories of  ‘in the process’ – client files and business projects.

Here’s what seems to work for me:

1. Clients I am working with over the coming months – their files are all in a binder for ‘current clients’ which stands on my desk at arms reach

2. Clients I am actually doing something with in the current week – their files are in brightly colored plastic 3-hole pouches contained in a nice sturdy silver mesh magazine holder on my desk beside the ‘current clients’ binder. 

3. The tasks associated with #2 are on my Task List

4. My business projects are in the drawer to the right of my chair where I have easy access to them in a hanging file called ‘Projects’

5. Each month when I do my monthly planning I pull out the Projects folder and review it for anything I want to do in the next month and add these to my Task List

6. Paper clips and pens have a home on the desk as I reach for those several times a day

7.  All of my other office items like the hole punch, highlighters, stapler are in the top drawer next to me

8. I have two bulletin boards on the wall behind my computer monitor where I post my focus activities for the year and other inspirational items

9. I have a whiteboard next to me where I track my projects for the month

If you want to see exactly what all this looks like, check out my YouTube site and watch the Home Office video. 

Whew, now that’s what you call having  ‘A Place for Absolutely Everything’!

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Three weeks ago we began a small renovation project in our house on our downstairs laundry and bathroom.  What does that have to do with control you might ask?

Well, I have had a very interesting revelation in the last week or so.  Let me start at the beginning.  As you can imagine, my house is pretty darn neat and tidy pretty much all the time.  It has always been that way and I feel that because I am a Professional Organizer now I am obligated to practice what I preach so it’s just something I work on every day.

As you can imagine, with a renovation going on, chaos has ensued.  The only rooms that are untouched by clutter and things being where they don’t belong are the master bedroom and bath, the kitchen. and my office.  That means that the sitting room, living room, and the entire downstairs are a disaster.  Dirt gets tracked through the entire house every day and we attempt to clean it up.  The downstairs bathroom is completely torn apart down to the stud walls and concrete floor and there is a huge pile of garbage building up outside the house.

So, here’s my discovery.  I am a bit of a control freak – no surprise to many of you I’m sure!  However, because I have no control over my house and won’t for another 2 or 3 weeks I am having trouble concentrating on work and relaxing when I’m not working.  Now I know how many of my clients must feel every single day. Somehow having an organized home and office allows many of us to feel that we have some control over our lives.  And the reverse is also true. When we feel our lives are out of control it tends to manifest itself in the external chaos in our homes and offices.

Therefore, my conclusion is that I feel in control of my entire life because I am able to keep my home and office tidy, have a place for everything, feel more focused and relax when I need to.  If your life is out of control on all fronts, perhaps getting even one room in your home organized or tackling your office, will help you regain control of your life and have a positive impact in many other ways.

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I’ll let the reporter from Metro take this one.  Here’s a link to today’s article ‘Procrastination has its place in cleaning post-Christmas clutter’

Rosalie Maggio, author of The Art of Organizing Anything, says, “So don’t deal with it. Take Santa and the lights down, stuff things under the bed and make your house livable. Then forget about it until February.”

This approach could lead to overwhelm I would think. Imagine if you just kept procrastinating and shoving things where you couldn’t see them?  What would happen?  Would it work for you?  Or would you get to the point where every nook and cranny is full and then the clutter is so voluminous that you have no idea where to start? Or maybe you simply wouldn’t be able to find anything anymore – yikes!

Then again, on the positive side perhaps it will lead to more business for Professional Organizers?

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I’m starting to think about the projects I will be working on over the holiday season to get myself ready for the new year.  As I unwind (with a treatment at the spa on December 23rd), and enjoy the company of friends and family, my thoughts turn to plans for 2010.

Every year between Christmas and the New Year, I go through all the paper files in my office, throw away what I don’t need and remind myself of the information I do have that I had forgotten about.  I also take a look through each of the main folders in My Documents and in my e-mail folders again looking for files I can delete and those that need to be moved to the appropriate folder.

During the holiday season try taking the time to dig through all the drawers and cabinets in your office, clear you computer files, clean house,  and take control of your environment.  Have fun and you’ll be well prepared for 2010.

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