Archive for Organize Your Office

Are You Organized for Tax Time?

Organized for Tax TimeWhether you do your own taxes, or have them done by someone else, it’s hard to prepare for tax time if your paperwork is a mess!

It will take only a few minutes to gather up the pertinent documents if you have good year-round paper management habits. Here’s what I mean:

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3 Tips for Clutter-Free Business Networking

Rather tidy, color-coordinated, networking clutter.

Unrealistically tidy arrangement of color-coordinated networking clutter.

Are your desk and office cluttered with promotional items? You know, the stuff you bring back from business networking events, seminars, expos, conferences, luncheons, and meetings? Don’t know what to do with it all? Here are my top 3 tips for controlling networking clutter:

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It’s All About the Labels (not the label makers)

keep tryon donate bags

Use of labels in the organizing process. Black Sharpie on white bags.

I was sorting clothing with a client. Rather, she was sorting and I was managing the rapidly growing piles. We used white kitchen trash bags to contain categories, clearly labeled by me with a black Sharpie, such as: Keep; Donate; Repair; Try On; Wash. We talked about how, in this case, the labeled bags doubled as a To-Do List. Then she observed, “It’s really all about the labels, isn’t it?” Yes. Yes, it is.

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Don’t Let Your Containers Overflow!

Recently purged magazine and catalog basket. Still plenty to read, and room for more.

Recently-purged magazine and catalog basket. Still plenty to read, and room for more.

Containerizing is the art and science of deciding which container will be a good home for your stuff. (Perfectionists take note: I said “good”, not “the very best imaginable”.) A container can be a box, bin, jar, or basket. But it can also be a shelf, closet or room. Containers provide structure for your things so that you can find them when you need them, and put them away easily.

There is nothing that can’t be “containerized”: (more…)

10 Easy Steps to a Clutter-Free Office

Staples storage box

Staples Economy Storage Box

A quick, easy decluttering of an office space does not make you organized, but it does set you up for successfully finishing the project at your own pace, while simultaneously allowing you to experience the freedom and focus that a clutter-free space can give you. You still have some sorting, purging, organizing, and filing ahead of you, but you can start enjoying your clear desktop and work space immediately.

Here’s how: (more…)

What is Your Clutter Costing You?

dreamstime_xs_30424420You know you have clutter. We all do, in one form or another, and to varying degrees. But have you ever thought about what it is costing you? Sometimes the cost is obvious, such as late fees incurred for an overdue bill that was lost in a mystery pile of paper, or that you couldn’t find the time to pay. Other times the cost is mental or emotional, such as the embarrassment of having others see your cluttered space. Or, missed opportunities. Or, time you could have spent doing something else.

Why do I care so much about clutter? And about helping people to declutter? Well, here’s what I believe: (more…)

The 80/20 Rule is Your Friend

One of my favorite concepts in life is the 80/20 Rule. What is it? A.k.a. the Pareto principle, it comes from Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto having observed, in 1906, that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population.

But why do I like it so much, and why it is your friend? Because it can help you make decisions, and not worry so much, and get stuff done!

Here are some examples: (more…)

3 Steps to Falling in Love with Your Home Office

Home Office AFTER

How does your home office make you feel? If you have the sort of business where you have clients in, are you embarrassed to let them see it? One of my organizing and redesign clients said, about her cluttered, drab room, “I feel like I’m going to prison every morning.” Oh no, that’s terrible! Depending on how you use it, you might be spending more time in your home office than you do sleeping in your bedroom! (Which, by the way, is the other most neglected room in the house for décor, but that’s another story.)

So, what can you do? Here are 3 steps to falling in love with your home office:

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How to Live and Work by Design, not by Default

Living and working BY DEFAULT means choosing the easiest path, either by unconsciously resorting to bad habits, or by maintaining the status quo. Sometimes we seek to avoid the conflict that can come with making a change. Sometimes we feel we have no choice in the matter. But I’m with Henry Ford, who said, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you are right.”

Those who live and work BY DESIGN notice when things aren’t going well, and make adjustments accordingly. They live more calmly, purposefully, and mindfully.

Here are some examples: (more…)

Are Your Bookshelves Full of Friends? Or Strangers and Houseguests?

Just a few of my favorite books.

“Friends, Acquaintances and Strangers” is a popular method of de-cluttering, introduced by Judith Kolberg in her book Conquering Chronic Disorganization.

This game can be played with any category of clutter, but I most often use it with clients whose bookshelves are overflowing. (Not to mention their floors and other surfaces.) Readers are loath to part with their precious books! And, as a reader myself, I can totally relate. But readers desire more space, and peaceful surroundings too. What to do? (more…)