Too Cold Outside? Clear Catalog Clutter!

catalog clutter

Clear Catalog Clutter now that it’s so cold outside. Why not stay indoors, and accomplish a bit of clearing and organizing of your stuff. Particularly reviewing the  catalogs you currently receive. Pull together the ones that have been laying around taking up space. Do you truly enjoy all of them? Are they a good use of your time? Or, do you let them pile up thinking you’ll read/review them when you have the time, but never do.

If not, call the catalog subscription office today to cancel any magazines you no longer want.

Or to cancel your catalogs go online to: http://www.catalogchoice.org/

For each current catalog you still want to receive, review it, and be sure to recycle old issues.

I think you’ll feel a bit lighter when you do this. Let me know the progress you’ve made on letting go.

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

Organize Your Home Office

organize your office

Organize Your Home Office – a disorganized office

Organize Your Home Office: More and more people are setting up home offices. They may work virtually, manage their own business, or just take care of basic bill paying and other finances from home. Like any other room in the household, the office can get cluttered, messy, disorganized and dusty.

End of March 14, 'National Clean Out Your Office Day'.

Organize Your Home Office – an organized office

‘National Organize Your Home Office Day’, observed this March 12, 2019 (the second Tuesday of the month) reminds us to stop, take a look around our home offices, and take some time to straighten up. Imagine thousands of people, including yourself, getting motivated by this national holiday! It could be like a secret national club, or even a real group of friends and neighbors who take on this task simultaneously. ‘Organize Your Home Office Day’ is a good excuse to clear your desk, throw your trash away, recycle the empty soda cans, wash coffee mugs, file those stacks of papers, wipe away the accumulated dust, and more.

Here are some tips to organize your home office on/before March 12:

1. Clear your desk and other surfaces.  If paper, office supplies,  dirty coffee cups, or other items cover your desk,  you need to clear them off.  Paper usually piles up on any flat surface if it has no designated storage space. Getting all of this stuff organized can be overwhelming, so focus first on removing it to another surface for sorting, before you take the next step.

2. Sort, shred, recycle and purge.  Bring the items to be washed and recycled to the sink and recycle bins. Throw out the trash,  pick up the scattered office supplies, and put them back into their proper containers. Then sort the papers into categories to be filed.

3. Dust off the newly clear surfaces, before you put items back on the desk. Notice how big your desktop looks? 

4. Allow  plenty of storage space in your filing cabinet. You need to have enough room to store regularly used files, and reference/archival files (papers that you don’t need to deal with on a daily basis).  If you don’t have this type of storage, invest in a two level clear plastic file drawer cabinet on wheels for convenience, or in some attractive covered boxes for keeping documents. Be sure you have enough filing room so your papers do not end up in piles, but in organized files. And, keep personal and business documents filed separately.

5. Leave plenty of room on your desk to work. Decide whether you have room on the desktop to keep all of your electronic equipment such as your computer, printer, scanner, landline or digital phone, calculator, etc. If your desktop computer takes up too much room, replace it with a laptop if possible. Transfer some of this equipment to another table top if needed. Designate areas on the desk for doing paper work, and for keeping your desktop folder holder, your pens, stapler, paper & binder clips, and other supplies.

5. Purge files regularly. Look through your files at least once per month, every quarter, or twice a year to get rid of outdated paperwork, and to make room for the new. Doing so, will keep those papers from piling up on your desk, and even your floor. Do the same with your computer files, getting rid of old email, digital folders, or programs you don’t use anymore.

6. Are you happy with your office environment?  If not, make some changes so you enjoy being and working in the room. Is your desk and other furniture including shelving functional?  Buy a new desk with drawers if working on just a flat desk surface is not sufficient, add more shelving if needed, get a more comfortable ergonomic chair, hang new curtains, bring in photos, artwork, plants. Make this a pleasing place to be.

Following the tips mentioned above, you will have less on your desk and work area, will feel better, think more clearly, and be more productive. If you need assistance, you can contact me for help.

Be sure to Organize Your Home Office again before March 10th, 2020!  

(Let me know if you, friends and family decide to organize your home office this national holiday – and the steps you take to create a clear, comfortable, enjoyable office)

If you live in the Boston area, and would liker a FREE 1/2 hour telephone consultation to discuss your clutter issues or need help to organize your home office, contact me at clutterclearercoach@comcast.net

 

Procrastinating? How to Make Chores or Organizing More Pleasurable

dish washing

Do you procrastinate, and put off the daily organizing tasks that you need to accomplish because it’s just not fun doing them? 

I used to put off doing the dishes after a meal because I didn’t like doing so, and was too busy in my life. I didn’t and still don’t have a dishwasher to clean them. Before my move, the dishes used to pile up in the sink. It’s not a pretty site to see them sitting there with the food sticking to the plates, pots and silverware.

Sometimes it’s easier to ignore what needs doing until the next day, or the next day, or…… If, like me you care about your home, and really dislike the clutter (e.g.  dishes in sink, clothes piled on the floor, too many papers on the desk) I bet you’re thinking, how can I find pleasure in doing so?

Plan something fun/enjoyable to do during or after you’ve finished the chore.

  • Create a ‘chore reward chart’ to stick colorful stars, flower or animal stickers on after each task is completed.
  • If you wash the dishes right after eating or load the dishwasher, there will be less to take care of, and it will be quick. Leaving you more time to do fun things.
  • Once the task is done (or while doing it), listen to your favorite music, book-on-tape, or talk show to educate and inspire yourself.
  • Reward yourself with a pedicure or manicure, or sit down and read a favorite book or magazine.
  • Ask a friend or family member to help you, tell you some jokes, sing with you.
  • Call a friend you enjoy talking to, and brag about your accomplishment.

If you choose some of these practices while doing these tasks, and take care of them regularly (making them a habit) you will feel really good when you get up in the morning and the sink is clear of dishes, or the clothes in your bedroom are hanging in the closet instead of piled on the floor. I know I do!

Try some of my suggestions to make doing tasks and getting organized fun. Do you have some other ideas?  Let me know.

________________________________________________________________________________

NOTE: I will be teaching a ‘Free Yourself from Paper Clutter’ class

Tuesday, 7:00-8:30 PM – March 5, 2019 – $28 

And same class on:

Wednesday, 7:00-8:30 PM – April 24, 2019 – $28 

Contact – Brookline High School
115 Greenough Street, Brookline
https://bacep@brookline.k12.ma.us/   617-730-2700

To register: http://register.asapconnected.com/courses.aspx?coursegroupid=6373

______________________________________________________________________________

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

Make Files not Piles

 

Piles on desk       Make files in file cabinet not piles

Are you wondering where that piece of paper is that you are looking for?  You are sure it’s on your work desk. But where? Are your papers/documents filed where you can find them easily? Or, are they in lots of piles on your desk?

There are two ways of thinking about this. Filing vs. Piling. You either File or you Pile. ‘Pilers’ will say that they know just where everything is. (I’d be surprised if they did). Piles are not a method of organization. Sometimes, I let papers become one pile on my desktop. When I notice this happening, I immediately sort through them and put them where they belong. My office work becomes much more stream-lined and I get more accomplished.

If you’d like to find an important document quickly, File it! Otherwise, you will shuffle through those piles and make more of a mess.

Do you think that keeping papers filed is complex & finding them takes too long? It shouldn’t. Once you’ve got everything filed into a filing cabinet, or movable filing box, you will save time and increase your productivity.

Below, I’ve listed Seven Simple Steps to ‘Stop Piling and Start Filing’ your papers.

  1. Decrease the Paper – Keep the incoming papers to a minimum and unsubscribe from magazines, catalogs and newsletters you don’t need and never look at.
  2. Use a Desk – Top File Sorter – As soon as inbound papers such as bills, notices, statements, etc.. arrive, organize them by category into a desk-top file sorter. Stacking papers on top of one another in an inbox can lead to piles. (See cluttered desk image above)
  3. Throw it Out if in Doubt – (Recycle is really what I mean) Of all the papers you keep, you most likely need only 99% of them. If this information is available on-line or elsewhere, there’s no need to keep it. You can always look it up.
  4. Shred and Recycle – Shred those important documents that contain pertinent personal information, and recycle the rest.
  5. Photograph Reference Items – If you are holding onto an item for reference, use your smartphone/iPhone/digital camera to take a photo of these  documents, printer cartridges, used up pens, etc… Recycling these items will get rid of some of your desk clutter.
  6. Get a Scanner – Your printer may already have a scanner as one of its features. If not, purchase a small portable scanner for your desktop, or even use your iPhone for scanning. Save these documents as PDF’s on your computer or laptop.
  7. Paper Management – Process your papers regularly, or they will ultimately become piles again; sooner than you think!  Schedule  a consistent time, such as every Friday at 9:00 AM for 30 minutes to do your filing.

Do you File or Pile your papers?________________________________________________________________________________________

NOTE: I will be teaching a ‘Free Yourself from Paper Clutter’ class

Tuesday, 7:00-8:30 PM – March 5, 2019 – $28 

And same class on:

Wednesday, 7:00-8:30 PM – April 24, 2019 – $28   

Contact – Brookline High School
115 Greenough Street, Brookline
https://bacep@brookline.k12.ma.us/   617-730-2700

To register: http://register.asapconnected.com/courses.aspx?coursegroupid=6373

 

‘February is National Time Management Month’

Organize Your Time

Organize Your Time

I know I have the best plans to be on time. And, I’m sure many of you do too.
Yet, even in the best of circumstances, we mess up again and again.

Here are ten helpful tips to be on time:

  1. Set all of your clocks, manual and digital, to a standard time that you’d find on your phone, computer or radio. And, keep all of your clocks at the same time. Don’t have one clock be 5 minutes late or 5 minutes early, as this could ultimately confuse you, and cause you to be late.
  2.  Make preparations for the next day, the night before. Double check your calendar, choose the clothes you’ll wear, pack your work bag and put it near your exit door, make your lunch, and charge your phone.
  3. Set up a schedule for getting ready in the morning. This includes eating breakfast, packing lunch if you haven’t already, showering, drying your hair, and gathering things you need to take with you when you leave the house. If you know it takes you more than an hour to accomplish these tasks, give yourself extra time.
  4. As a reminder, set an alarm to go off 15 minutes before you have to leave.
  5. Keep track of the time lapses that could make you late; such as, filling your gas tank, dropping off the dry cleaning, or mailing letters.
  6. Gauge the amount of time it will take you to reach your destination; be it by car, subway, bicycle, or walking. Then add on a cushion time of 15 minutes to be on the safe side. You never know when traffic or weather may delay you.
  7. Set a limit for last minute tasks just before you leave for an errand, or for the day. Don’t take that last minute phone call, or check your emails. Having done this before, I know that it will stress me out and make me late.
  8. If you are early to an appointment, or early to pick someone up, bring a book to read, or check your emails while you are waiting. Double check your to-do list, or confirm scheduled appointments.
  9. If you know you are going to be late, let the person/s you are meeting know so they won’t be counting the minutes before you arrive, and can accomplish a last minute item on their own to do list.
  10. Practice, practice, practice! If you mess up, be kind to yourself and keep trying. Remember, practice makes perfect. OK, we’ll never be completely perfect, so if you do slip up, be sure to get back on track immediately.

Do you have any tips to add to help us all be on time?  Let us know!

If your home or office needs a ‘clutter tune-up’  
contact me at: ClutterClearerCoach@comcast.net or call me at 857-919-4735

Ask about Discount Package Plans! 

 

 

JANUARY: ‘National Clean Out Your Closets Month’

clothes in color order

Not only is January known for making New Years resolutions, but it is also ‘National Clean Out Your Closets Month’

Is your closet a jumble of clothes, shoes and accessories that are hanging disorganized on clothing rods, and also piled on the closet floor?

If so, try the following suggestions for cleaning out your clothes closet:  

• Before you begin this process, gather up some large bags or cardboard boxes, some grocery sized bags, and clear plastic containers with lids for distributing the extra closet clothes you’ll be storing elsewhere or giving away.

• Pull out all your clothes and pile them on a bed or large surface.  Sort these items into separate categories; dresses, pants, blouses, sweaters, shoes, scarves, etc….

• Then pick up one item at a time and ask yourself if you love it, need it, dislike it, or don’t need it. Items that don’t fit any more, that you don’t love or need can be donated. Hang up the ‘keepers’ in the closet temporarily.  (More regarding this step later} or if they are worn during another season, pack them away to store elsewhere in your home.

• If you haven’t worn any items in a year, give them away. (this can be a difficult decision, but be realistic). Chances are you’ll never wear them. Clothing that is torn or beyond repair can be donated as rags for charity if not too far gone.

Try the following suggestions for organizing your clothes closet: 

• If you don’t already have the popular velvet style hangers, invest in some. These are inexpensive, and clothing will not slip off them. They can be purchased at Home Goods, Target,  or any other store that sells household items.

velvet clothing hanger

•  Using your new hangers, I recommend arranging all clothing in the closet in a color coded fashion. Kind of like a full spectrum rainbow. In my closet, I put all the black clothing on the left part of the hanging rod. Then the grey’s to the right of the blacks. The next color-by-number sections are the purples and dark blues. Light blue clothing hung next, followed by reds, oranges, and then whites. You can hang them via color, but in categories.

• Wishing you had a closet organizer? Stop wishing and buy one. There are over the door closet organizers for shoes or scarves.  And containers or cubes that stack.

Hanging shoe holder        clothes in plastic container

• Stack certain categories of clothing such as sweaters, gym sweats, or jeans on your closet shelves instead of in the dresser. I do, and it works very well.

• Keep only one season of clothing in your closet and store the other season’s clothing elsewhere. You could even store seasonal clothing in vacuum-sealed storage bags to free up space.

• Hang just one outfit for the next day on the hook or knob outside your closet door.

• Keep a small bench or step stool near your closet for easy access to clothing on high shelves.

During this January month, cleaning the closet and organizing your clothes closet can result in less chaos and an easier time locating your clothes; thus simplifying your life.

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

 

Too Many Books?

 

too many books

TOO MANY BOOKS

I don’t think I ever had a lot of books of my own. I used the local libraries, borrowed books from friends (all of which had to be returned), and went through phases of collecting some self help, fiction, mystery and fantasy books. Most of which I gave away over the years. I do enjoy buying fiction at yard sales as they are very low priced, and also exchanging books at the Little Free Library ‘take a book, leave a book’ boxes in front of people’s local houses to feed my reading needs.

And, I did have a fair amount of gardening books which I had purchased over the years to further my expertise in my gardening business. The gardening books took up 1.5 shelves in the built in glass door cabinet in my former apartment. With my upcoming move to another home, I sorted through these gardening books, and donated about 20 of them to be sold at the Somerville Garden Club’s annual plant sale. I reviewed the books again, and donated 18 more that I knew weren’t that necessary to keep. I gave away more than 1/2 of these.

Do you love books but have too many? Are they overflowing the bookshelves, taking up space on a chair or couch, or piled on the floor? I’m sure that some of these fiction, non-fiction, art, music, and other book topics you’ve collected over the years mean a lot to you, but most likely many of them are just gathering dust.

Why not share your wealth and give some away! Set aside an hour per week, and sort through at least one shelf on your bookshelf, or a couple piles of books. If you bought it a while back and haven’t yet read it, maybe it’s time to let it go. Fill a box (or boxes) with the books you no longer love, want, or need, and share the joy of reading by donating them to your favorite charity, library, local prison, or to ‘More than Words’.

‘More than Words’ located in Waltham, MA, is a nonprofit social enterprise that empowers youth who are in the foster care system, court involved, or homeless, or out of school to take charge of their lives by managing the organization’s online and retail bookstore and cafe. Check out their website – http://www.MTWyouth.org  or call 781-788-0035. Recently, a client I was working with to cut down on his hundreds of books, had the crew from MTW pick up 84 boxes of books! If you have at least ten boxes of books to donate, the organization will pick them up for you.

I’d love to know how many books you’ve got, and how you let go and distribute them.

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