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

 

Get Organized for the New Year!

xmas wrap    Suitcase & wrappings    IMG_4847

Make Getting Organized One of Your New Year’s Resolutions:

I stick to a pretty simple New Year’s resolution in regards to organizing. Rather than make it complicated or difficult for myself, I follow three simple resolutions; Clear, Sort, Store. And, I make a list of what task I am going to do first, and when to do the task. Because of my work and social schedule, I allow several weeks in early January to take care of all these things.

Below are the organizing tasks I recommend for the New Year:

– Holiday Gifts: If you know you won’t use particular gifts, and can bear to part with them, either exchange them for something you’d prefer or give them away instead of having them take up space. And, if someone gave you a present that you dislike, perhaps display it for a couple of months, and then give it away.

–  Holiday Gift Wrap and Ribbons: If you’ve got a lot of wrapping paper and ribbons left over, sort through the pieces that are worth saving and using again. Then, put them in a covered container; could be a plastic bin, a trunk, a vintage suitcase. And, if attractive, keep the container out so it can be seen. (as long as its not cluttering up the space).

– Holiday Decorations: Don’t let holiday decorations sit around for too long after New Year’s Day. Avoid clutter by packing them up and putting them back into storage.

Back and front hallway entrances: Un-clutter the vestibules that lead from the house to the exit doors. And, un-clutter landings that lead to the basement or other areas. For good energy and safety reasons, be sure to keep the area behind the doors clear of all things.

– Kitchen Pantry: Go through the shelves and drawers and throw out anything that has past its expiration date. Re-organize those shelves/drawers as they might be out of order.

– Bedroom: Sort through your clothing. Pack away any summer clothes and accessories still in the closet and drawers. Donate or give away clothing you haven’t worn in the past year.

– Living room, Study or TV room: Recycle magazines, newspapers and junk mail that is cluttering these rooms. Magazines can be donated to physician and therapist offices. Take stray mugs, glasses & plates to the kitchen to be cleaned.

– Home office: Tidy up your desk. Test all your pens to see if they still hold ink. If not, throw out. Recycle and re-organize the papers on your desk and in your files. Delete all of those hundreds of emails that are taking up too much space.

– Address book: Update the addresses in hand held paper and virtual address books.

I’d love to know the organizing you plan to do! 

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

Too Many Mugs and Drinking Glasses?

mugs.jpg

How many mugs and drinking glasses do you really need?

I will be moving to a new home sometime in the near future, and have begun to go through my kitchen and pantry cupboards to see what drinking glasses & mugs I can give away.  I’ve got some beautiful mugs and decorative glasses that I’m hesitant to let go of.  The person I am moving in with has lots of nice ones too.  I can absolutely identify with so many of my organizing clients who are reluctant to part with things. But, it has to get done. So how do we make these decisions?

Here’s a suggestion: Pull all of them out of your kitchen cupboard, and set aside 12 of your favorite mugs and glasses. You know, the prettiest, most functional ones. Perhaps a couple of them you feel nostalgic about.

Now donate at least 65% of what’s left. Give them to your local charity, such as the Epilepsy Foundation, Big Brother- Big Sister, the Salvation Army, the Veterans Association, Goodwill, or to a non-profit office in need of mugs and glasses. Once they are out of sight, you’ll most likely never miss them.

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

Car Seat Clutter Control

car seat bag
I try to stay on top of keeping my car seats and floors uncluttered. I’m not always successful though. I have a small car and my gardening business lawn bags, two wheeled dolly, and a few other garden supplies that don’t fit in the trunk of the car, make their home on the back seat floor (a fairly narrow area). Other non garden related stuff sometimes hangs out in the front passenger seat, and when I have a real passenger, I move this stuff to the back, and if not, I distribute the stuff where it belongs.

Do you have to do this too? I’m going to follow my own tips that I list in this post. I hope you do too!

Tips for keeping car seats un-cluttered:

• Purchase a car seat organizer to store the clutter crowding the passenger seat of your car. There’s the ‘Mobile Office’ from the Container Store ( http://www.containerstore.com ), the ‘High Road SwingAway XL’ car seat organizer which can swivel from front seat to back. ( http://www.cargogear.com ) Target stores also carry car seat organizers. These organizers are great for holding cell phones, tissues, water bottles, maps, snacks, music CD’s, and there’s even a place to put file folders. I bought one, and it’s hanging over the head rest for the passenger seat (see photo).

• Plastic storage containers can be placed in the trunk or under a seat to hold items like umbrellas, rain ponchos, tissues or water bottles.

• Children’s toys and games can get strewn all over the back seat. Keep these playthings in a covered plastic container that can be placed either on the floor or in the middle of the back seat.

• Put a travel sized waste can or basket in the car so there will be a place other than the floor to put trash.

• In case of emergencies always keep a pair of jumper cables, a flashlight, ice scraper, small shovel, bag of sand, non-perishable snacks, bottled water, and a first aid kit in the car or trunk.

What does the inside of your car look like?  Or, your bike basket if you don’t have a vehicle?

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

Seven Days of Organizing TIPS – Day # 2 Purge Your Pocketbook Periodically

DAY # 2 – TIP # 2

Cluttered Pocketbook

Purge Your Pocketbook Periodically 

Is your pocket book so full of stuff that it’s hard to locate an item quickly?  When searching through your purse, do you frequently ask yourself; Where are my keys?  I thought I’d put my to-do list in here. Where’s my credit card?

If so, then it’s time to purge the stuff inside your purse! Dump everything out, and recycle expired coupons, old receipts, scraps of paper. Put an envelope in your bag for current coupons and receipts. Throw out used tissues. Then, add a small zippered pouch or zip-top bag to hold personal items like lip balm, lipstick, hand lotion, a comb, clean tissues, and hand sanitizer. But, not duplicates of these things, as they will crowd your purse. (replace any of these items that are out-dated) Keep your keys in one safe location, and your credit cards and money in another.

Or, get yourself a pocketbook that has different sections that zip up. I love my pocket book because it has separate zipped sections for my keys, my ID cards, my cash and change, a slot for my iPhone, and a snapped section for my travel sized hand lotion and tissues, chewing gum, Band-aids, and small comb. And remember, after you use something from your purse, put it back in the section it belongs.

Purging your pocketbook periodically and keeping it organized, eases up on frustration and saves you time.

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

Seven Days of Organizing Tips – DAY # 1 – ‘Shred Sensitive Papers’

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I posted this ‘Seven Day’ blog post just a year ago. However, in case you need a reminder, here it is again for the next seven days!

DAY # 1 – TIP # 1

Shred Sensitive Papers

Papers are constantly coming into your home. You need to make sure they’re leaving your home at the same rate. Invest in a sturdy home shredder, so you can quickly and safely dispose of papers and mail that contains sensitive information, such as credit card offers and bank statements. You’ll feel more at ease when these types of documents are not sitting around for anyone to access. During tax time, it’s important to rid yourself of any personal documents that you no longer need to keep. If you’d like to know how long to keep personal financial documents, you can find out by clicking on either of these links:

http://apps.suzeorman.com/  (record keeping), or – https://publications.usa.gov/epublications/keeprecords/keeprecords.htm

Later this fall, I will be purging the papers/documents in my home office, and taking the personal documents I no longer need to be shredded at Staples.  Staples, at least at Fresh Pond Shopping mall, charges 99 cents per pound to safely shred paper. The Iron Mountain shredding company provides Staples with locked bins. When the bins are full, Iron Mountain picks them up to shred in confidence back at their facilities.

I’d love to know how many bags full of paper you shredded with your own shredder, or took to be shredded safely elsewhere. And, how helpful were the website links?

To schedule a FREE 1/2 hour telephone consultation, contact Judy at

ClutterClearerCoach@comcast.net

Organize Your Manuals and User Guides

user manuals and guides

Are your product manuals stored in various places around your home, thus making it time consuming and difficult to find one if you need it?

I used to keep manuals in drawers in the kitchen, in my study, and in the attic. If I had a problem with an appliance or an electronic gadget, I wasted time trying to find the correct manual. I eventually put all of these documents into one folder in a drawer in my study.

Here are THREE TIPS on  how to keep track of those manuals and guides:

TIP # 1 – Keep all your manuals in one place (in a binder or file drawer). To find them easily, file your manuals in categories such as appliances, electronics, computers, or furniture. Every time you add a new manual, go through and recycle the outdated ones. If you move, be sure to leave the manuals for any kitchen appliances, washer/dryer, garage doors, and anything else you don’t take with you.

TIP # 2 – Create a spreadsheet that lists all of your appliances and electronic items; including make, model, purchase date and serial number.

TIP # 3 – Once you’ve created the spreadsheet, you can recycle all of your manuals. But before before recycling, click on -http://wwwAppliance411.com/ to see if all of your gadgets and appliances are listed there with care and repair needs, plus directions. This site keeps the most frequently requested information on home appliances up to date.

Organizing your guides and manuals in one place, with easy access, simplifies things for when you need to retrieve one.

I’d love to know if these documents are already filed in a convenient location, or which of the 3 TIPS you will use to get them in order.

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