Crash course in De-cluttering your life
are smart. You are talented.
You have big dreams and lots of energy…
... But if you’re not organized, every step is a
- and you’re unlikely to accomplish much. You have to work
twice as hard as other people simply because you never
basic principles of organization.
Sound familiar? Well, you’re
not alone. According to the American Demographic Society,
waste more than 9 million hours each day looking for lost
Here’s a crash course in
1. Make the time to organize
your house and home office.
2. De-Clutter any clutter-magnets: desktops,
drawers, closets and cabinets.
3. Decide what you can do without...and where to
the things you really need.
4. Use your calendar to budget your days better and
more quality time for the things that really matter.
5. Learn which products help you stay organized -
which ones just get in your way.
6. Decide the fate of every incoming piece of
7. Aim mail and other documents to their final
8. Put time-sensitive documents, like invitations,
you will be sure not to forget about them.
9. Develop files that are easy to keep current and
10. When you set up your home office, take traffic
11. Pre-plan your trip to the office supply store.
organizing products help you, not just get in your way.
12. Get things you seldom use out of your way, but
keep them within easy reach.
13. Use a rule of thumb to decide what stays, and
14. Have a mini-agenda. Use it to shorten business
few minutes each. It can add up to hours per week.
15. Make reasonable estimates of the time you’ll
for any task.
16. Consider using post-it‘s for your things to do
17. Consider what clutter is costing you, and
you don’t need.
18. Store things at or near the point where they
are to be
19. Establish a place for everything, and put
20. Use the last 5 minutes of your workday to
This will allow it to look nice when you walk back in the
Article reprinted from:
The Miami Herald / January 1, 2006
BY JODI MAILANDER FARRELL
Organizing our homes
for 2006 is a primary goal for a nation of hoarders and
around you. Clutter,
clutter everywhere. We are a nation consumed with the joy
stuff -- and the agony of getting rid of it.
Tossing out junk is now the
at least five home improvement TV shows -- including Clean
(TLC), Clean House (Style Network) and Mission:
-- and dozens of self-help books. There are online message
magazines, blogs, 12-step programs, support groups,
organizers and container stores to help us get our lives
''It's all about postponed
says Marsha Sims, owner of Sort-It-Out professional
which is based in Miami Lakes, but organizes homes from
to Vero Beach. ``Everybody is swamped all the time and
to make a decision: Do I spend time with the kids or make
or sort mail? If your priority is not sorting mail, it's
back burner, which can turn into weeks or months.
'We're all so overwhelmed. Barbara Hemphill [a
known organizing expert] was the one who first pinned it
delayed decision making. We put something down and think,
put it here for now.' '' Then the time to put it away
Sims says the majority of her
are professional women, small business owners,
successful career types -- in other words, people who
have it all together. ''You get to a point where you can't
all and there are some things you don't want to do,'' Sims
``That's my real clientele -- people who could do it, but
don't want to.''
Some purging tips from people who are tops in the
• Have a strategy. Be
and grab things in categories. Snatch up everything that
the bathroom, for instance -- brush, lotion, hair spray,
-- and make one trip to put them in their place. ''One of
people do wrong is that they'll pick up eight items and
around the house to drop them off,'' Sims says. ``They're
motion and they never finish the job.''
• Start small. Don't try to
your home in a day. Focus at first on a closet or room
(or embarrasses) you most.
• Work on surfaces first. A
naturally looks more organized when things aren't piled on
desks, dressers and floors. Mentally divide the surface in
or quarters and clean it off little by little. Once it's
off, nothing can go back on it. Dust it.
• Sort it out. Put things in
such as things you love or use, things you could give away
and things that can be trashed.
• Look for hidden spaces. Try
to find new storage spaces. It could be your grandmother's
or under a bed. Williams, from the Container Store says
hanging organizers are popular for storing everything from
to pantry items. Divide large shelves into smaller spaces
can easily be seen.
• Pare down. If you have more
than one of an item, be honest. How many do you really
you have an exorbitant number of pens or rubber bands, ask
how many are enough. Keep what you can use.
• Make it a daily task. Spend
15 minutes a day on decluttering (15 minutes a day adds up
hours a month). Write it in your daily planner and honor
as you would any other, advises Donna Smallin, author of
Plain & Simple.
• Multitask. Use TV time to sort out
a drawer. During commercials, dump the drawer and
contents into four categories: throw away, give away or
somewhere else and put back in the drawer. When you're
put back what goes in that drawer and get another drawer.
end of the evening, throw away the trash, put give-away
things to sell in a box for distribution and put away what
Turn kids into organizers.
toys at kid level so children can put their own things
- Mark your calendar for a time to finally clean off your
Be realistic about how long it will take.
A - Always have supplies on
R - Re-arrange equipment,
and files in your work space according to their frequency
S - Stack all loose papers in
pile to create the illusion of order.
H - Have a designated
in a convenient location. Encourage others to use it.
A - Allow time in your daily
for meeting preparation and travel time between
S - Sort all papers and
"to-do" "to read" "to file" "to
I - Identify the supplies you
often; keep close by only what you use regularly.
M - Make time to clean off
S - Set up a simple desktop
mail to be sorted each day.