Are You the Cause of Your Own Disorganization and Lack of Time?

iPhone with calendar

When not in the field with organizing clients or doing gardening for clients, I work from home on my business paper work, invoices, marketing and my blog. Sometimes I check my emails, Facebook page more than a few times each day.

I am going to work on this habit, and only interrupt my work flow a few times each day instead of every 20 or 30 minutes when I am at my desk. I know by doing so, I will be able to manage my time better.

Do you find that you are addicted to looking at your emails, Facebook page, on-line news, podcasts and videos? How often do you check your smartphone, iPad, or computer for the latest messages from friends, list serves, and cute cat or other animal videos on your Facebook page?  I’m thinking often.

Here are some of the most common time wasters:

– Losing things (like keys, eyeglasses)
– Checking email and Facebook frequently
– Spending too much time talking on the phone
– Not having a daily/weekly plan to follow
– Ignoring the clutter because you are too busy

Here are some solutions that will save you time, and keep you more organized:

– Use an in-basket/bowl in a central place for keys, glasses, cell phone, etc..(it’s nice to find them in the same location all the time)
– Schedule only several times a day to check email and Facebook (it’s not going anywhere)
– Limit the time you talk on the phone (use a kitchen timer, and get to the point)
– Schedule your to-do’s and appointments in your calendar (to stay on track)
– Designate short blocks of time to get organized (like 1 hour, once per week)

Try putting these solutions to the test, and you’ll notice that you are more organized and have more time!  I’d love to know how following these steps changes your life.

If you live in the Boston area, and would like a 

FREE 1/2 hour phone consultation
to discuss your clutter issues, contact me at:
ClutterClearerCoach@comcast.net or 857-919-4735

Ideas for Extra Office Storage

clear container drawers under desk

Does it seem that your home office or business office has no space left to store things? 

Here are some ideas on how to create extra office storage:

Under your Desk or Table:  If you’ve room under these furniture pieces, keep a small file cabinet on wheels for storing items you don’t use regularly.

Around your Window:  There might be space around and above a window where you can install inexpensive shelves. You could purchase wall shelving and brackets to attach on your own, or hire a professional to create built-in shelving. Storing items up and around the wall will make the room look neater and bigger.

Inside your Closet:   If you have coats or clothing hanging in the closet, add a set of stack-able plastic drawers, or low book shelf for storing office supplies and printer paper under the clothing. Hang a ‘multi-pocketed over-the-door shoe bag’ for storing miscellaneous small items.

On the Wall:  If you have a small bookcase with nothing on the wall above it, add a couple of shelves or hang a cascading letter filer tote on the wall near the desk.

If you live in the Boston area, and would like a
FREE 1/2 hour telephone consultation to discuss your
clutter issues, contact Judy at: clutterclearercoach@comcast.net 

‘Chaotic Clothe’s Closet’ – Ideas for Organizing

clothes in color order

Is your closet a jumble of clothes that are disorganized on the clothing rods?

Here are some ideas to change a chaotic clothing closet into an organized closet:

Before I made some order out of my clothes in my own closet, I was very frustrated finding something I wanted to wear; particularly if I was in a hurry. Some time ago, I decided to arrange all of my hanging clothing in a color coded fashion. Kind of like a full spectrum rainbow. I put all the black clothing on the right part of the hanging rod. Then the grey’s to the left of the blacks. The next color-by-number sections were the purples and dark blues. Light blue clothing was hung next, followed by reds, oranges, and then whites. The closet looked pretty as a rainbow after it rains, and it still does.

You can also group your clothing by type and then by color within the type. eg: Place all blouses and shirts together and then sort by color order, then the pants in another color grouping, etc…

Or, you can choose to group all types of clothing together regardless of their color. Pants with pants, skirts with skirts, but staggered so you can distinguish between the groups.

You can also sort your closet by garment type. Do this by grouping work clothes, dressy clothes, casual clothes and sports clothes.

Organizing your clothes closet can result in less chaos and an easier time locating your clothes; thus simplifying your life. Just, be sure you stick to one method!

How did you do with your closet organization? Let me know.

To schedule a complimentary 1/2 hour telephone consultation, contact Judy at ClutterClearerCoach@comcast.net 

Spring Cleaning and Clearing

 

Reuse tiny boxes for storing jewelry

 

With the approach of spring it’s getting to be that time again to clean the home, get rid of items you no longer use or need, and re-purpose things you already have.

 

Here are some tips to help you get started:

1.  Thoroughly clean one room each week. If your home isn’t too big, this should take you to mid May. Vacuum, dust, rearrange furniture, purge, and organize the stuff in each room. This week, I vacuumed the apartment and brought some items I didn’t need to the Salvation Army store.

2.  Sort through one shelf, drawer, box, cabinet and bin at a time. Keep it simple, so you do not get overwhelmed. I just de-cluttered and organized my kitchen utensil drawer that I’d let get out of hand. It’s never too late to take control of your own clutter.

messy kitchen drawer      Organizd kitchen drawer

3.   Practice the age old expression: ‘When in doubt, throw it out’.  If I don’t love, need, use, or want an item, I throw it out! Or, give it away, or recycle it.

4.  Don’t spend money, be creative and re-purpose the containers you already have! Look around and you will most likely find empty boxes, canvas shopping bags, or plastic containers for storage. I’ve been using my plastic covered containers as needed. You can also sort through and purge any full containers you have to make them re-usable. Perhaps you can use old ice cube trays, empty egg cartons for storing jewelry or other small items, or checkbook boxes for drawer dividers.

5.   Take a few minutes before work or after work to recycle plastics, wash a counter, sweep the kitchen floor. You’ll be pleasantly surprised that life will be easier if you take on this task each day. Yesterday, I washed the dish drain tray, which took about three minutes.

6.  Don’t worry about following someone else’s system for cleaning/organizing. Use the system that works for you. My way may be different from yours.

7.  And, make a promise to yourself to not procrastinate. Get it done! I’m a big procrastinator, but when I get a household task or organizing project accomplished, I feel great!

Look around your home or apartment – what can you use in a different way?

And, do you have any TIPS for spring cleaning/organizing that work for you? I’d love to hear about them.

If you live in the Boston area, and would like a
FREE 1/2 hour telephone consultation to discuss your
clutter issues, contact Judy at: clutterclearercoach@comcast.net

 

 

 

Getting Organized: What’s Working & What’s Not Working?

Hanging shoe holder

When I talk to my clients about their disorganization issues, I first ask them what’s not working.  Answers vary from ‘I just can’t get started, I’m overwhelmed by my clutter, I can’t find a thing, I’ve no place to put stuff, my files are a mess, I’ve no system for putting away my clothes, I’ve got too much junk mail.’

So…. WHAT is NOT WORKING for YOU?

Fill in the blanks below, or compose your own statements on what isn’t working:

My clutter ……………………………

I am unable to ………………………..

There is nowhere to put………………………………………….

I can’t……………………………….

I feel………………………………..

Then I ask clients what is working for them in their home, office, lives.

Most of my clients are surprised to discover that there are some systems of order they have created that do work for them. One of my clients was proud to say that she’s attached a shoe holder bag on the back of her closet door, and she no longer throws her shoes on the closet floor.

And….WHAT IS WORKING for YOU?………………………………

I’d be interested in hearing what is and isn’t working for you.

If you live in the Boston area, and would like a
FREE 1/2 hour telephone consultation to discuss your
clutter issues, contact Judy at: clutterclearercoach@comcast.net

 

30 Things to Get Rid of NOW!

hotel toiletries

It can be really difficult to let go of things.
But you say; I might read that book someday, I might wear that
dress someday, I might need that item someday.
You know what? You probably will never wear that dress,
read that book, or use that item again. So be realistic,
and get rid of stuff you don’t use anymore.

Here are 30 items to get rid of:

  1. Single socks with no mate, or holes in them
  2. Pencils with worn down erasers
  3. Last years magazines that take up space
  4. Checks to accounts you no longer have
  5. Shoes that are worn out, or don’t fit
  6. Clothing you haven’t worn in the past year or more
  7. Makeup that’s expired or you don’t use anymore
  8. Rusty tools and outdoor garden gear
  9. Toys kids have outgrown
  10. All those screws in that jar you will never use
  11. Last years pay stubs
  12. Old cables filling up that box
  13. Single earrings and necklaces with broken clasps
  14. Jigsaw puzzles with missing pieces
  15. Old schoolbooks and college notebooks
  16. Books you know you’ll never read
  17. Expired medications and vitamins
  18. Broken camping or sports equipment
  19. Storage containers without lids
  20. Greeting cards from years ago
  21. Hotel shampoo and conditioner bottles
  22. Unfinished projects’ craft supplies
  23. Torn towels & washclothes
  24. Old, worn out canvas and reusable bags
  25. Or, all those extra bags you hold on to
  26. Dried up magic markers
  27. Cookbooks you don’t use anymore
  28. Expired coupons
  29. Flat, stained old bed pillows
  30. User manuals to defunct appliances

There are many more things you can throw out,
donate or sell. 
Ignore what you want to keep,

Sell what you can, donate what won’t sell, and throw out
unimportant damaged things. Having less stuff makes it
easier to get organized!

I’d love to know what other things you can get rid of now!

If you live in the Boston area, and would like a
FREE 1/2 hour telephone consultation to discuss your
clutter issues,
contact Judy at: clutterclearercoach@comcast.net

Save the Environment: Use Re-usable bags

 

re-usable bags

Did you know that it takes one 15 to 20 year old tree to make 700 paper bags? That’s chopping down a lot of trees to provide thousands of grocery stores, gift shops, and large box stores with bags.

All stores in Cambridge, MA, no longer give out free paper bags, but charge ten cents per paper bag if you haven’t brought your own. (Sometimes, I still forget to bring my re-usable bags with me when I go shopping, and have to pay this fee.) Many towns are now or in the process of banning plastic bags. You know, the ones with that cut-out for handles. This link will give you details of the statewide bag laws in Massachusetts.  http://www.baglaws.com/legislation.php?state=Massachusetts#StatewideLegislation

To do your part in helping to save the environment and conserve resources, use strong reusable bags instead of paper ones for all of your shopping errands (not only food/grocery items). Bags that are manufactured from natural fibers, or 100% recyclable material come in all shapes and sizes. Some are even insulated.

So, here are some tips to help us go greener by using recycled bags:

• Use two sets of bags that can be alternated between your home and your car.

• Assign one convenient and visible area in the home and car for each set of recycled bags. You could keep the bags on the front car seat for easy access and near your home’s exit door closest to the driveway or garage. NOTE: If you travel as a pedestrian without the use of a car, keep the bags near the exit door you use most.

• Jean Bambara is a sales rep for the company ‘Thirty-One Gifts’. You can purchase canvas carry bags in a number of sizes, colors and patterns from Jean. I bought two bags from her; one for gardening tools, and one for organizing supplies.  Cell: (412) 977-9146  jmbambara361@gmail.com

• If you are out and want to make a spur-of-the-moment purchase, carry a fold-able recycled bag in your purse or backpack. ‘ChicoBag’ is an online company whose mission is to help humanity stop the single-use habit. Most of their reusable shopping bags compact into an attached pouch to make them easy to keep in your purse or pocket so you’re never without a reusable bag again. http://www.chicobag.com/. 

• Keep four to five bags grouped together either in one reusable bag, or purchase the reusable bag organizer, the ‘Chalk It Tote Buddy’. It comes with an erasable chalk pen for writing to-do or shopping lists on the outside of the tote. ‘Tote Buddy’s’ help you to de-clutter and stay organized and can hold ten reusable bags. http://www.TheToteBuddy.com/

Do you have re-usable bags that you don’t use? Begin utilizing them now to save those trees! Or, purchase some to use again and again. Let me know what kind of bags you re-use.

To schedule a complimentary 1/2 hour telephone consultation, contact Judy at ClutterClearerCoach@comcast.net