Tag Archives: systems

Organizing YOUR Way

There is no one cookie-cutter organizing solution that fits everyone

There isn’t a cookie-cutter organizing solution that fits everyone

In the face of the wild success of Marie Kondo’s The Magical Art of Tidying Up we’ve seen a fair number of backlash articles resisting or mocking a strict methodology for clearing clutter. While we agree with many of Kondo’s philosophies, we recognize that organizing methods and outcomes need to fit the person trying to be organized.

Before you throw out the baby with the bath water, step back and take stock of your own organizing style and values. Why do YOU want to be organized? What does organized look like TO YOU? One of the things we’ve learned through our decades of organizing is that clutter is subjective; one person’s idea of chaos is another’s idea of serenity.

So here it is – The Official Permissions List from professional organizers as a counter balance to the de-clutter doctrines from the media:

  • “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” In organizing terms, if you don’t experience some particular clutter as a pain point, then it isn’t really a problem for you. Move on to something that is a problem.
  • Take a break. Working at your own pace ensures you’ll last for the long haul. Is summer a time for you to be away on adventures? Go for it! Keep your tidying energy for packing a just-right suitcase.
  • Honor who you are and what’s important to you – not everybody wants to live in an IKEA showroom. What does your ideal home look like – and more importantly feel like?

For a quick laugh check out these 3 backlash articles:

Most importantly, we’d like people to understand Marie Kondo’s true aim: have your home support the life you want to be living.

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Filed under Decluttering, General Organizing, home organizing, organizing, Perspective, Strategies

Battling Boredom – Making Organizing Fun

Find yourself procrastinating?  Make a game of organizing!

Find yourself procrastinating? Make a game of organizing!

Does the thought of picking up and organizing your house bore you to tears or completely overwhelm you? Make a game of it to keep engaged!

Timer Games

Using a timer helps maintain your focus. Set a timer for 5-10 minutes. See how many items you can put away before the timer goes off. Note that “put away” actually means that – not just shove out of sight into a random drawer, cabinet, or closet.

Need to purge an area? Set a timer for 5-10 minutes. Focus only on 1 area and see how many things you can get into a donation bag or trashcan. For example, focus on your sock drawer or hanging clothes or board games or colored markers or…you get the idea.

Engage the whole family and create teams! Have a simple reward for the team that gets the most points. The losing team has to do the dishes that night or take out the garbage.

Let The Cards Choose For You

This game requires a bit of preparation but helps conquer indecision.

Take a small stack of index cards and write out regular tasks that help keep you organized. If needed, you can be very specific. Here are examples of general vs. specific tasks:

General Tasks: do dishes, open mail, put away toys

Specific Tasks:

  • Bring dishes to sink OR rinse dishes OR load dishwasher
  • Open 5 envelopes OR throw out junk mail OR mark the due date on 5 bills
  • Put all loose Legos in a box OR gather crayons and markers into a bucket OR put books on shelves

To play the game, pick a card from the deck and work on it for as long as you have set aside to work. Use a timer if that’s helpful. A variation is to pick out 2 cards and then choose the task you want to do.

It’s useful to make task cards for areas of the house that regularly get out of order. If you don’t want to make your own cards, Time to Organize® offers a card deck you can buy.

Keep it simple, make cards for tasks that apply to you

Keep it simple, make cards for tasks that apply to you

Under the Sheets

This tip comes from an article written by Dana Rayburn in ADDitude magazine and works great to reduce overwhelm. For large areas of clutter, such as your desk, a table, the floor, or a counter — any place with so much stuff on it that you don’t know where to start:

  • Drape a sheet or a blanket over most of the area you want to organize, allowing only a small area of the clutter to show at a time.
  • Deal with that bit of visible clutter.
  • Once you’ve organized the first bit, slide the sheet over to expose another chunk of the clutter, and tackle it.
  • Keep moving the sheet, clearing and organizing as you go.

Organizing can be fun and satisfying if you adjust your perspective. Most people agree that housework and filing isn’t a “fun” activity.  But you can make it fun with these tips!  Do you have any games that work in your household?  Share them here!

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Filed under ADD/ADHD, Decluttering, General Organizing, Strategies, Time Management

Overwhelmed with Paper?

Check out our YouTube video!

Check out our YouTube video!

The start of a new year is the perfect time to set up a new way to handle the constant flow of incoming paper. If you often feel frustrated or overwhelmed with paper and wonder where to put things, you aren’t alone!

For years now we’ve been using FreedomFiler® with clients. We love this system because it really teaches clients what they  need to keep and for how long.

The beauty of the FreedomFiler® system is that it does the work of making these decisions for you. It is designed to cycle papers OUT of the files – forever eliminating the need to set aside time to “purge the filing cabinet”.

FreedomFiler® is made up of 4 color-coded sections:

  • GREEN for monthly miscellaneous transactions
  • BLUE for tax-related transactions
  • RED for permanent family and property records
  • ORANGE/YELLOW for current policies, agreements
  • You may set up an optional fifth section in PURPLE, for saving literature, articles, and notes

When filing papers with FreedomFiler®, you only have to figure out what kind of paper you are holding; that determines which color group it gets filed in and the color group will determine how long it’s kept.

To use the system ask 4 simple questions

  1. Does this paper require immediate action or follow-up?
  2. Can I use this paper for taxes?
  3. Is this a vital record belonging to a person or an asset?
  4. Is this a newer version of an existing document?

Click the graphic below to see how it works:

Freedom Filer makes filing easy

Could it be that easy?  YES! Check out our short video intro to give you a taste.

If you use FreedomFiler® share your experience.  If you have a question, share that too!

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Filed under General Organizing, Office, Paper, Work

Paper: to Keep or Toss? Problem Solved

Using Freedom Filer® takes the guesswork out of paper filing

Your Filing is Finished!

“What do I need to keep and how long should I keep it?”

This is one of the most asked questions we get from clients around their papers.

For years now we’ve been using FreedomFiler® with clients. We love this system because it really teaches clients exactly that – what do you need to keep and for how long?

The beauty of the FreedomFiler® system is that it does the work of making these decisions for you. It is designed to cycle papers OUT of the files – forever eliminating the need to set aside time to “purge the filing cabinet”.

FreedomFiler® is made up of 4 color-coded sections:

  • GREEN for monthly miscellaneous transactions
  • BLUE for tax-related transactions
  • RED for permanent family and property records
  • ORANGE/YELLOW for current policies, agreements
  • You may set up an optional fifth section in PURPLE, for saving literature, articles, and notes

When filing papers with FreedomFiler®, you only have to figure out what kind of paper you are holding; that determines which color group it gets filed in and the color group will determine how long it’s kept.

To use the system ask 4 simple questions

  1. Does this paper require immediate action or follow-up?
  2. Can I use this paper for taxes?
  3. Is this a vital record belonging to a person or an asset?
  4. Is this a newer version of an existing document?

Click the graphic below to see how it works:

Freedom Filer makes filing easy

Could it be that easy?  YES!

If you use FreedomFiler® share your experience.  If you have a question, share that too!

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Filed under General Organizing, Office, Paper, Work

Making Time for Fun

 

 

Find a balance for work and play.

Find a balance for work and play.

Getting organized is all well-and-good, but there needs to be a reward for all your efforts.  Remembering that the point of being organized is to have a rich life created with intention. Don’t forget to set aside time to enjoy that life you are creating! Should you delay your reward until all the work is done?  We think not!

How do you make time for fun in your life?  Do you always feel like you’re “taking care of business?”  Try these tips to keep clutter at bay while leaving space and time for enjoyment.

  • Use a ten-minute timer to track your organizing sessions
  • Give yourself rewards for time spent “being productive”
  • Commit to a friend or colleague that you’ll limit the time you are working on your home improvement campaign
  • Schedule events, buy tickets, make dates – to create a balance of work and play
  • Block out a regular times each week to work your organizing projects
  • Make a game out of the organizing process. The FlyLady.net recommends a regular session of the 27-fling boogie.  During this session you flit around the house, finding 27 things that can be jettisoned…put them aside in a box to bring to donation and then you’re done!

Structuring your organizing time can help you stay motivated and make progress you can see.

And, when you’re out, having fun, enjoying the view from the top of the Ferris wheel, you’ll get a perspective on your life that will enrich you.

What do you do to balance work and play in your life?

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Filed under General Organizing, Perspective, Strategies