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

Time-Tackling Tools

Often, my clients have tried and abandoned many different calendars, agendas and planners over the years. While there are certainly some systems that are more effective than others, what is most important is that you find what works best with your learning style, and that you stick with it, at least for several months! Tweaking may be required over time as you work with your time management tools, and you will refine what you do and how you do it as you become more comfortable, but the key is consistent use. If, after a period of very consistent use, you find that your system really isn’t working well for you, then have no hesitation to move on to something else. Read more

The 5 D’s for Quick Decisions, PT. 1

When the mail and other incoming paperwork comes into your home or office, do you just plop it down on the first available surface and forget about it? Do you shuffle through it to pull out the most interesting or most urgent stuff, and leave the rest to pile up, because figuring out what to do with all of it is just too overwhelming and time-consuming? Are you tired of having your counter tops and desktop covered with piles of paper and never really being able to keep it all under control?  Read more

5 Steps to Optimize Your Office: From Frazzled to Free!

Getting your home or business office organized requires considering all aspects of your office and making them more efficient. When you can function efficiently, your productivity goes up and your stress goes down! There are several key areas that, when organized and set up properly, will make your office easier to use and save you time and effort. Read more

Banish Paper Piles Forever!

As spring FINALLY gets underway here in New England, the paper piles in our homes and offices get bigger and bigger with each new mail delivery, each new batch of papers your kids bring home from school, and each office meeting, conference and memo delivery. If you are overwhelmed with dealing with the paperwork in your home or office and want to find a way to keep it all under control, try setting up a Command Center. Read more