Save Time

key holderDo you feel that being organized could save time?  When I ask this question in the classes I teach on organizing, everyone says, “yes”.  They go on to say that one of the major time saving benefits of being organized is being able to find what they want when they need it.  They feel that being organized would mean that they would spend less time hunting for things, less time putting things away, less time stressing over misplaced items.  This is true.  In fact it’s been proven that organized people save themselves time every day.

So, how can you make this happen for you?  You can make it happen by following a two step process.  Step one is to have or create a designated home for things, and step two is to consistently return things to their designated home.  For example, if I have a designated home for my keys (mine are on a hook by my back door), I know where they belong, and can put them in their designated home quickly and easily.  This encourages me to put them away, instead of just tossing them on the counter or burying them in my pocketbook.  Also, if  I consistently return my keys to their designated home, I know where to find them when I need them, and there is less chance of me misplacing them or loosing them.  This 2 step process works with everyday items like groceries, eye glasses, and receipts, as well as one-of-kind items like your passport, camera, and title to your car.

Although being organized can save you time, getting and staying organized requires time.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t just happen all by itself, but if you practice the two step process of creating a designated home for things, and consistently returning things to their designated home, it might feel that way.  What I mean is that once an action becomes habitual, less effort and brain power is required to preform the action.  So, it seems as though it is happening all by itself.  I’d recommend starting with just one items and one action, and see how long it takes for you to save time every day.


©November 2014  Janine Cavanaugh, Certified Professional Organizer®  All rights reserved


Proud member of NAPO

Motivation to Organize

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Helpful Organizer Newsletter – October 2014
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***    I’d like your input on my Helpful Organizer Blog.  From now till December 31, 2014, each time you comment on one of my blog articles you’ll be entered into a drawing for two free hours of organizing with me, Janine Cavanaugh, CPO®.  Thanks in advance for your input and good luck.


***    I’ve taped another tip, Combating Clutter, for DoubleACS, a public access TV station in Attleboro, MA.  The tip is my best advice to combat clutter.  Please view and comment.


***  Small Business Saturday is the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  This year I’ll be offering a special on that day on gift certificates.  Look for more details to come in November.



***  We spend about 93% of our day indoors, 5% of our day in transit, and 2% of our day outside.  Why not have our indoor space be organized, stress-free, and peaceful?  Need help?

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Hi  Janine,

Happy autumn!  Do the chilly temperatures motivate you to organize the garage so your car will fit in during the winter months?  Or maybe they encourage you to venture into the attic, and reduce some of the items that have been collecting?  If so, I’d like to see your before and after photos and hear about your project.  Please share.

Motivation to Organize

If however, you need more motivation to start an organizing project or to spend more effort organizing, I’d like to offer a few suggestions.

Suggestion #1:  Make an organizing appointment with someone who will hold you accountable.  Someone who will sincerely help and not criticize or bully.

Suggestion #2:  Schedule time to organize when you’re at your peak.  If you’re not a morning person, schedule time to organize at 8:00PM, not 8:00AM.

Suggestion #3:  Give yourself a deadline.  This works for me when I need to clean my house.  If I schedule a get together at my house for Friday night, I know I’ll get my house cleaned before then.

Do you have a motivation tactic that works for you?  Please share.

Preparing for Cold Weather

Chilly temperatures always prompt me to make seasonal changes.  Listed below are a few I thought you might find helpful.
1.  Make a clear path to the furnace, boiler, or oil tank.
2.  Swap out summer clothing for the cold weather gear.
3.  Pack up the beach items and pool toys.
4.  Stow the bicycles securely and safely.
5.  Air out the winter blankets and warm lap quilts.
6.  Make room for hats, mittens, scarves and winter boots by the back door.
7.  Pack away the grill tools and cover the grill.
8.  Clean out the garage so the cars fit inside.
9.  Stow deck furniture in the shed or garage.
10.  Make sure outside lights are working for the long winter nights ahead.


Janine Cavanaugh, CPO®
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    If you’d like to share this email message with someone, please click on the Forward email button below.  Thank you and happy organizing in autumn of 2014!

Clutter Aerobics

timerHave you ever heard the term clutter aerobics?  Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?  For some, I’m sure the term evokes two of their least favorite things, clutter and aerobics.  For me, it evokes a desire to crank Katy Perry on iTunes and take action.  Clutter aerobics is when you set the timer for 20 minutes and zoom around and de-clutter.  This is an inventive way to get two benefits from one activity.  As you de-clutter, you’re also getting an aerobic workout by zooming around.  The idea is to work quickly and without interruption for 20 minutes daily or at least 3 times a week.   This schedule will allow you to keep the clutter at bay and get your heart pumping, to Katy Perry, if you so choose.

Your de-clutter activities may include, putting items back where they belong, picking up items from the floor, shredding and recycling as many papers as you can, taking care of dirty and clean dishes, removing items from the kitchen counter and finding a home for them, taking care of dirty and clean clothes, picking up items from the front and back entryway, clearing off the desk, finding a place for everything that has collected on the bathroom counter tops, and clearing the kitchen and dining room tables.

One way to really make progress is to schedule your clutter aerobics on your weekly calendar.  Make a list of the de-cluttering activities you’ll work on each day or week.  The more clutter aerobics you do, the more progress you’ll make, the less cluttered your home will be.  Isn’t that worth pursuing?  Another way to really make progress is to get the whole family involved.  You may have to change your music choice to One Direction, but that’s not so bad.
©  November 2014  Janine Cavanaugh, Certified Professional Organizer®  All Rights Reserved


Proud member of NAPO

Storage Options

When trying to find the best storage option for items ask yourself these 3 questions.

1.  Where do I use the item?  Store it where you use it.

2.  How often do I access the item?  Store items used frequently in easily accessible containers and locations.

3.  What is the best technique for storing the item?  Consider whether the item should be stored in a container, and if the container should be open or have a lid.