“To-Do” doesn’t have to mean “Too much to do!”

Tackling your to-do list can feel empowering and productive, or it can feel overwhelming and stressful. Sometimes both emotions can co-exist when considering the tasks on the list. Having an ongoing, running list of things that never seems to get done and which only grows and grows can sap the energy and positive attitude of even the most productive of people. Read more

It’s Smarter to File than to Pile!

Are you struggling with how to set up a filing system for your important papers? Or are you dealing with one that just doesn’t work, making it difficult for you to find what you need when you need it? Or perhaps you’re just looking for ways to fine-tune a system that mostly functions well? To help things along, here are my favorite tips for getting that paperwork under control and keeping it running smoothly and easily. Read more

What’s Your Time Worth?

Every single retailer these days, whether they sell coffee, clothing, or office supplies, wants your email address. And they offer “rewards” in return. And what do those “rewards” get you? An occasional discount, maybe one free cup of coffee every ten cups, and lots and lots of emails. Sometimes several a day from each and every company. In return for a piece of your privacy, and a lot of your time, you may save a few bucks. Maybe. Read more

Decide to Decide!

An often-quoted phrase in the organizing industry is, “clutter is the result of delayed decisions,” from the wisdom of long-time organizing expert Barbara Hemphill (Taming the Paper Tiger.) Making timely decisions is the heart of getting and staying organized, but many of us struggle with even the most simple of decisions on a regular basis. Read more

Neither Rain, Nor Snow, Nor Gloom of Night

What comes almost every day – without fail? Mail! Paper management is an issue in almost everyone’s home these days. In spite of the increase in electronic communication, the amount of “snail mail” that comes into our homes has escalated tremendously in the past ten years. In the office, it’s even worse, since paper comes from both outside and internally. And, it comes six days a week, without fail! Read more

Four Organizing Traps – and How to Avoid Them

Have you started an organizing project with the best of intentions, only to lose steam before the project is done? Does your beautifully organized space deteriorate into its previous state more quickly than you’d like to admit? Or do you never really get going at all, and wonder why it’s so difficult to get started? Over the years of working with clients to get their homes and offices organized, I’ve encountered four common mental traps that can derail even the most well-intentioned of organizing projects. Read more

Set Your “Clutter Bar” High

Keeping your home or office clutter-free in today’s accumulation-oriented world is a tough job. Several years ago, after hauling yet another trash bag full of stuff to my local Salvation Army, I made the resolution to be more diligent about what I allowed to come into and have a permanent place in my home.  Read more

Staying In Shape

So you’ve finally tackled that organizing project that’s been hanging over your head for days, months, or years! The piles of paper on your desk are all gone, your filing cabinets have been purged and relabeled with categories that are current, your overflowing bedroom closet only holds what fits, is in style, and works with your life, your kitchen cabinets hold only what you use in easy to find locations, and you have established homes for everything. A place for everything, and everything in its place. Read more

The Vital Few and the Trivial Many

In 1906, economist Vilfredo Pareto observed in Italy that 20% of the people owned 80% of the wealth. This concept became known as the “Pareto Principle”, which describes the phenomenon that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Dr. Joseph Juran, a quality management pioneer, coined the phrase, “the vital few and the trivial many” to describe a similar concept. Over the past several years, in dealing with my own stuff and while working with my organizing clients, I’ve found the Pareto Principle holds true when it comes to our paper and possessions, too. Read more

The 5 D’s for Quick Decisions, PT. 2

In my last article, I discussed the first part of my “5 D’s for Quick Decisions” for dealing with the daily paper that comes into your home or office. This month, I’ll cover the second part of the system, which should help you deal with just about any piece of paperwork that enters your space on a regular basis. Read more