How do you feel about this: your desk top is not a shrine! As a professional organizer in San Diego I see a lot of desk tops with memorabilia, photos, etc. but not a lot of clear work space! TipOf TheDay: Keep your desk clear of memorabilia to minimize distractions & create space for work flow. 3 Steps: Remove everything from the surface of your desk. Discard trash (old notes, food wrappers, outdated brochures, useless business cards). Sort materials into action items (time sensitive, require a response) & reference (informational, for later use). Action items should be easy to access from your seat. Reference items may be filed electronically or in paper files. Review all files every 3 months and delete/discard ones you don’t need to save. You are on your way!
Here are some great ideas to start your new year in an organized fashion, check out these calendars: http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/organizing/calendars-new-year-00000000050216/index.html?xid=df-12-28-2011
The second step is to PRIORITIZE the mail. If something is due or overdue then act on it now. Set up a tickler system that is chronological. TIP: File these “action” items 5-8 days before their due date. If something is overdue, contact the person or company and agree on how to handle it now. Starting now…check the tickler on a daily basis.
People ask me how they can get a handle on incoming mail. Outside In Organizer & Makeovers supports this basic approach: SORT PRIORITIZE CONTAIN The first thing you can do is schedule adequate, uninterrupted time to sort. Begin with one pile at a time, preferably recent mail, first. Don’t distract yourself and move from one pile to another. TIP: handle one piece of paper at a time, only once!
Decluttered and organized space in your home, garage, office and even the trunk of your car has a calming effect. Sometimes my clients view it as an invitation to fill it again rather than keep it clear. So, how do you keep it uncluttered? First, acknowledge the work that you put into clearing the space and be proud of your accomplishment. Second, identify the benefits of having the space cleared. For instance, you can see the lovely granite countertop or enjoy the beauty of the wood grain on your desktop. Perhaps it’s that sense of knowing where you put things when you cleared the space and feeling calmer because you can find what you need and are less hurried. The key is to create a logical storage area or tickler system for those items that used to be piled up in the space. That way even though it’s out of sight, it’s not out of mind! Start with something simple, easy to maintain and immediately beneficial. Invest in a bill organizer with numbered slots for each bill statement. Use the drawer below for related supplies such as postage and return address labels. You can keep this compact system on your desk or counter so everything is well-managed and organized, or if you prefer more privacy you can store it in a closet that you use on a daily basis. TIP: You can place birthday cards that need to be sent out by certain dates in the slots as well, it’s not just for bills. BENEFITS: Bills are paid on time, no late fees, no clutter.
Everyone can use a little organizing, right? One common misconception is that people think that hoarding is the main reason for hiring a Professional Organizer. That is not the only reason for hiring a professional and in fact, just because someone has a lot of “stuff” doesn’t necessarily mean that they need a Professional Organizer. My San Diego and national clients range from very organized to chronically disorganized and everyone in between. The key factors in considering whether or not you might want to hire a Professional Organizer include: The disorganization that you are observing is adversely affecting one or more areas of the individual’s life. The disorganization is recognizable to the individual and not necessarily to others. The individual is ready to accept help and make change(s). I’ve met people who have desktops and countertops that entirely covered. This situation doesn’t cause them stress because they know where everything is and are able to find it without wasting time. I am not sure that clearing their desk or counter would increase their productivity and provide them with a sense of calm. On the other hand, I am working with office clients who are afraid to put piles of papers away because they will forget to do something with them. The first red flag is that they haven’t done anything with those papers in months, and the piles continue to grow larger. That is someone who could benefit in several ways from working with a Professional Organizer to develop a system with results. I have another client who is very organized and appreciates the aesthetics of an uncluttered home environment. She hired me to assess her home and provide her with ideas for reducing inventory, displaying stored items, donating unused items, and relocating items for improved access and functionality. Working with a… read more →
What functions does your office serve? Do you greet clients? Do you have walk-ins? Is it a home office that doubles as a dining area? Is it shared space? Clarify what work happens in the office and who uses the space. Then determine what you need to make it work for you! There are some great ideas for tools in this article: http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/organizing/home-office/20-home-office-organizing-tricks-10000001738889/index.html
How many times do you find that you move just one piece of paper before you act on it? Do you leave it unopened? Open it then glance at it? Read it and then mark it as unread? Move it to a pile of other items or file it in “to be done”? This pattern of inaction is easier to modify if you ask a couple of questions and then set some boundaries for yourself. IDENTIFY IT: Is it an action item (to be discarded , or responded to) or is it for reference (you will need the information for the future)? ACTION ITEMS: If it requires some type of action establish if it can be done immediately and quickly, or if it needs a deadline. Schedule yourself time to act on it before the deadline. REFERENCE ITEMS: If it is purely information quickly decide if you need to keep it, save it electronically, or can discard it and find it online when needed?
Why would you need a Professional Organizer (PO)? The reasons are as varied as the clients and their needs. Think of a PO as your coach, teacher, and facilitator. If you are considering hiring a qualified PO your need may demonstrate itself in physical and/or emotional ways. Is clutter stressing you out? Are you tired of looking for things that you cannot find easily? Do you feel like you don’t have time for what you want to do? A qualified Professional Organizer listens and observes first. She can assist you in clarifying your goals, establishing your priorities, and suggesting specific ways to address making changes. If it’s difficult to do on your own, your PO can be right by your side helping you and guiding you in how eventually, you can maintain these changes on your own. My goal? To empower my clients and help them feel better inside when they can take control of their outside!
Imagine an office space free of dangling wires and cables!! Despite all of the wireless innovations our offices are often filled with these unsightly and potentially unsafe items. I love the wonderful little multi-purpose, stick on cable clips from blueLounge! They are unobtrusive and yet, come in the cutest colors. It is an easy way to organize your office.