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organized file drawer

No One Loves Filing

Believe it or not there are some Professional Organizers I know who love filing and organizing paperwork. I’m not one of them. In fact, I think the majority of homeowners and business owners would agree with me that the less paperwork we have to file, the better. So how can we file less? The answer is two-fold, reduce the amount of paper that comes in and manage the amount of paper that gets filed.

In order to reduce the amount of paper that comes in, we have to stop it before it gets to our doorstep. What papers can be refused and stopped from coming in? Here are a few simple solutions. Go paperless with credit card statements, bank statements, financial statements, and monthly bills. Get electronic receipts. Remove yourself from direct mail lists and weekly circulars. Have a paper recycle bin in the garage, and toss as much as you can before entering the house.

Once we reduce the amount of paper that comes in, we want to manage the amount of paper that gets filed. There are two actions required to accomplish this. The first one is to educate yourself on what paper is worth keeping and for how long. For your convenience, I have
office and paper messa detailed list in a previous blog with that title. Just remember everyone has their own comfort level on what’s important and what’s not. Please use your best judgement and if you have questions consult another document professional, such as an accountant, financial advisor or tax lawyer.

The second action required to manage the amount of paper that gets filed is to create your own filing guidelines. Here are a few simple guidelines that I use. File, don’t pile. Label files with titles that make sense to you. Some titles I use are Auto, Bank, Medical, Taxes. Store files virtually and alphabetically by titles. Only file information that you know you’ll reference again. Store vital documents, such as passports, deeds, and licenses, in a special place away from your daily files. Continually remove papers that are outdated, unimportant, incomplete, or not relevant to your current life. Shred paper every week.

Let’s all file less. If you have a helpful paper guideline or need help with reducing, please contact me.

©February 2021  Janine Cavanaugh, Certified Professional Organizer®  All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

 

Busy work

Organizing tipSave busy work until the end of the day. It can be tempting to get the busy work out of the way, but you’ll be more productive if you address top priority items first, while fresh and full of energy. Devote time and energy to completing the most important and urgent items then take care of busy work.

jack-o-lantern

10 Not Scary Things to Toss

What can you get rid of?
That is the question I asked myself after reading the article 10Things You Can Toss Without Thinking Twice by Lauren Piro from Good Housekeeping. I realized I thought of a whole list of things to toss without thinking twice. I also realized I wanted to share that list with you.
Does that question scare you?
I’d like to reassure you that the list of things that I came up with isn’t scary. It’s a list of things

scary pumpkin

Organizing Tricks and Treats

In the spirit of October and Halloween I thought it would be fun to share some organizing tricks and treats. Are you wondering what I mean by that? It means I’ll be sharing some organizing tricks I personally use to help me stay organized on a daily basis, and I’ll be sharing the treats (benefits) I receive from staying organized. Here goes.

Tricks:

  • Have a “do it now” attitude. I don’t let things pile up and get out of control. I keep on top of clutter and mess. I do this by reclaiming order often. When I feel the need to reduce and de-clutter I tackle it quickly and thoroughly. It’s also crucial to have a place for things. If there is no designated spot to put things there is no way to establish and maintain order.
  • Look for simple solutions. I create as much order as I’m willing to maintain. For example I don’t color code* my clothes. To me that’s too much fuss. However, I group my clothing into categories and store them together. For example I hang all my tops together in this order, sleeveless, short sleeved,  3/4 length sleeves, and long sleeved tops.
  • Reduce down to manageable amounts. I constantly evaluate the usefulness of my belongings. We all have a tendency to keep things and come up with excuses for doing so, but I challenge myself to weed out the unused, unwanted, unneeded as often as I can.
  • Take time to plan. Have you heard the phrase, those who fail to plan, plan to fail. Planning takes practice and discipline, but I work at it everyday. I plan daily tasks, my work week, my outfits, meals, shopping lists, exercise, and most importantly time for myself. This helps me get things done and prevents me from over-scheduling myself.

Treats:

  • Life without clutter. Don’t get me wrong, I have my piles and messes just like everyone else. However, I keep them to a manageable amount.
  • Less stress in my life because I’m organized. I can find what I want when I need it. Isn’t this what organizing is all about?
  • Ready for guests with just 15 minutes notice. When you have a home for things and don’t let the clutter get our of control it’s easy to pick up quickly.
  • An environment that is calm and peaceful.

*Color coding works great for some people, especially kids, but it’s one more additional step that I’m not willing to do.

©October 2020  Janine Cavanaugh, Certified Professional Organizer®   All rights reserved.

 

4 white ghosts

Conjure the organizing spirit

Organizing tipWhen do you feel the most energized and awake? Is it in the morning, afternoon, or evening? That answer is when you’ll conjure the most organizing spirit, so use that time to plan your most difficult organizing tasks. Match your tasks to your energy level. By doing this your likelihood of success increases.