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  • 07/17/2012 2:54 PM | Anonymous

    by Emily Herwig of Tidy Life, LLC

     

    You may have heard the saying, "Clutter is an accumulation of delayed decisions."  We tend to toss our belongings around without care or respect. We live in a disposable society; stuff is cheap to buy and replace. New purchases are shiny, exciting and carefully packaged, yet are soon relegated to the back of closets and junk drawers. Paperwork and junk mail bombard us daily and we can't keep up. Clutter is the symptom of this disease.


    Whether we realize it or not, we're faced with a decision every time we pick something up, put something down, buy something new, get something dirty, break something, use the last thing in a box, empty a bottle, remove a paper from an envelope… you get the idea.  


    This decision is 2-fold:


    1. What will I do with this object now?  Keep it, return or exchange it, wash or clean it, refill, recharge or repair it, put it away or file it, throw it out or recycle it, donate it, sell it or give it away, or put it in storage.


    2. When will I do it? Now, or later.


    Most of the time we don't practice mindful handling of our belongings. We toss something wherever it lands, AVOIDING the 1st decision and defaulting to “Later” on the 2nd one. The clutter grows and so do our stress levels.  According to the Clutter Decision Matrix (below), every time you are presented with a decision, one of 3 things can happen:



    Clutter Decision Matrix © Tidy Life, LLC


    Every little thing you handle is a candidate for clutter. The little things accumulate and clutter turns into a big problem.  Remind yourself that you control the stuff, it does not control you.


    For 1 day, try practicing mindful handling and make decisions as opportunities arise.  Anything you start, follow it through to completion, even if for now that means putting a task on your to-do list. The blissful lack of clutter left in your wake at the end of the day may just motivate good new habits for the future.


    © 2011-2012 by Emily Herwig, Tidy Life LLC.  All Rights Reserved.


    Emily Herwig is the owner of Tidy Life, LLC based in Baltimore. She helps individuals and businesses maximize their limited time and space through organization, productivity, time management, and technology. Emily is currently serving as the Director of Communications & Technology for the NAPO Baltimore Chapter.

  • 06/11/2012 4:36 PM | Anonymous

    by Nadine Sachs of Organized2Succeed

     

    As a young child I always dreamed of leaving for our annual beach vacation early in the morning. Climbing into our car, while still dark, seemed like an exciting way to begin a vacation. But, my father, being the perfectionist that he was, spent hours arranging and rearranging the suitcases before he tied them to the top of the car. Much to my disappointment, we would eventually pull out of our driveway mid morning with the sun shining brightly in the sky. My poor mother had to keep an eye out on my now exhausted father, afraid that he would fall asleep while driving!


    Packing for a trip can be stressful, especially if left until the last minute. While traveling by air versus by car may require different research and preparation, the following general packing tips will provide great ideas to give you an organized start to any vacation! 


    Prepare a packing list ahead of time and eliminate unnecessary items by researching what may or may not be provided by your accommodation. For example, is it really necessary to take a hairdryer when your hotel room provides that item? To avoid having to recreate this, keep a copy for the next time that you travel. Also, remember to get a local weather report a few days prior to departure. Adding a sweater or jacket to your list will prevent you unnecessarily purchasing one at your destination if the weather is going to be cooler than expected.


    Lighten your load by purchasing travel size toiletries and store them in a travel bag. The example below shows one that folds up compactly for travel and then unfolds to hang on a towel bar, hook or doorknob in your hotel bathroom.



    Photo credit: The Container Store


    Reduce the bulk of carrying full bottles of medications and vitamins by using Medicine Storage Boxes that contain seven or fourteen mini compartments. If you are flying, make sure to carry your medications and other important papers in your carryon bag.



    Photo credit: forgettingthepill.com


    Prevent wrinkles by using dry cleaner plastic bags. Pack one hanging item per bag and your clothes will arrive wrinkle free! Use plastic grocery bags to isolate dirty shoes and Ziploc bags for shampoo and other items that may leak. Take a few extra plastic bags to accommodate dirty clothes on your trip home.


    Roll your non-hanging clothes to save space and reduce wrinkles. For jeans, fold them lengthwise, so that the legs are stacked on top of each other. Starting from the bottom, roll them all the way up. For t-shirts, place them face down, fold the arms back so that you have a long rectangle, fold again lengthwise and then roll up. Another option is to plan ahead exactly what outfit you will wear each day and roll or hang an entire outfit together!   


    Use a nylon mesh bag to store your under garments and lingerie. Stuff your socks or other small items into your shoes to save space.   


    Pack your suitcase as if it is a clothing jigsaw puzzle, with no empty spaces. Lay your bag flat and pack the heaviest items like your toiletry bags on the end of the bag that becomes the bottom once it is standing upright. In this way, it won't crush your clothes and it will prevent your suitcase from becoming top heavy and falling over.


    Consider using a portable packing system (see below) that will allow you to unpack in seconds since your clothes are already organized on “shelves”. The shelves collapse when packed and then unfold as you hang the system on a closet rod or on the top of a door.



    Photo credit: Clever Container


    Plan ahead for the security line at airports by wearing easy to remove shoes, as little jewelry as possible and store electronics in an easy to access pouch. To eliminate a sore shoulder or back while walking around the airport, consider a carryon bag with wheels.

    I wish you safe, memorable and organized travels this coming summer season!

     


    © 2012 by Nadine Sachs, Organized2Succeed.  All Rights Reserved.


    Nadine Sachs, owner of Organized2Succeed is a Professional Organizer and Custom Closet Designer. She is currently serving as Secretary of NAPO-Baltimore and enjoys helping her clients achieve and maintain a less stressful and simpler lifestyle. 

  • 05/15/2012 2:16 PM | Anonymous

    by Rachel Jenkins of ScrapMyPix


    If you're feeling a bit overwhelmed by the mounting numbers of photos that you are collecting on your computer hard drive, you might want to read on.  It doesn't take a great deal of research to know that our generation of digital picture takers probably takes more pictures at a single event like a birthday party or vacation than our parents took in 30 years or maybe even a lifetime. I don't have to look far for affirmation when I see how many pictures there are of me as a kid compared to the number of pictures I've taken of my kids. It's not a reflection of my parenting. I'm not saying I love my kids more than my parents loved me. Or at least, I don't think so.


    It's become so easy to take 100's of pictures in just a few hours, and it feels free doesn't it? Until you have to spend the time to sort through the photos and figure out which ones to keep and how to organize them. Our parents (and those of us that have spanned both the film and digital generations) had to pay for film and to develop the photos whether they were good or not. There were limitations of 24 or 36 pictures per roll, and we took just one or two pictures of a particular subject. There was a time we exercised self control when it came to releasing that shutter button because each click cost us money. My, how things have changed.


    When I work with clients and their photos, my main goal is to help them let go of the guilt they feel about "neglecting" their photos.  It's my goal to help clients enjoy their photos again and not feel overwhelmed by them.  We take photos to remember our family and friends and the feelings those times elicited.  It's hard to remember those events when they're hidden on the memory cards, so I'm going to give you some tools to reclaim those memories. 


    It's time to start some new habits.

    • If you've got a box of flash drives and memory cards, get them downloaded onto your computer.  Then start with the most recent and work backwards.  Trust me, you'll feel better about what you accomplish. How can you feel behind if you're working on current pictures right? Before you reformat that card, make sure your pictures are on your computer. When you are ready to clear your card, use the reformat option on your camera and don't just use the delete button on your camera. It's better for all those new pictures you're going to take. 
    • Moving forward, commit to downloading your photos after each event or at a maximum at the end of every month. Don't wait until your memory card fills up. By then you potentially have 400+ photos to sort through.  We know what happens right?
    • Set up a rating system and stick with it.  It will help you determine what pictures to keep, what pictures to display and share, and which pictures to delete, delete, delete. Yes, it's okay to delete. Most photo organization software applications have a star rating system you can use. Here's what I do:
    • 5 stars = Pulitzer Prize  (I don't have any of those)
    • 4 stars = My favorite and worthy of the wall or special display
    • 3 stars = I want it in an album
    • 2 star = I like it but not enough for an album (eventually I may delete these too)
    • 1 star = Delete. Once you've gone through your photos for a particular event, then you go back and run a search on all your "1 stars" and delete them. Ah, purging...it feels so good.
    • Set up a time at least once a month to move your pictures from your camera to your computer. 


    Finally, put together a backup strategy so you safeguard those precious memories and maybe practice some self control with the shutter button! You don't really need 10 pictures of the same pose. It will save you time in the end game of taming the digital photo monster and give you a chance to be part of those special memories instead of always being behind the camera and at the keyboard.


    © 2012 by Rachel Jenkins, ScrapMyPix.  All Rights Reserved.


    Rachel is the owner of ScrapMyPix based in Columbia, Maryland. She specializes in preserving and organizing both printed and digital photographic materials. She is a Certified Member of the Association of Personal Photo Organizers and an Associate Member of NAPO Baltimore.

  • 05/01/2012 2:29 PM | Anonymous

    by Jacquie Ross of CastAway the Clutter!


    Regardless of whether you’re a busy working parent or stay at home parent, if you have kids, you probably have some clutter in your home.  Everyone has stuff.  The problem occurs when the stuff begins to take over and gets in the way of living in a comfortable and functional home.  Here are some quick and easy ways to keep your home clutter-free while setting a good example for the rest of your family.

    1. Ask yourself what you use on a daily basis in your kitchen and bathroom.  If you find you only pull out your pasta strainer or hair dryer once every couple of weeks, store these items neatly in a closet or storage pantry.  Make more room for the things you use on a daily basis.
    2. Keep the things you always use within arm’s reach.  Cooking items like spatula’s, spoons, and pots should always be easily accessible.  Look out for items that take up a lot of space, such as unused coffee mugs and dishes.
    3. Clean up as you cook.  When you’re cooking, clean up as you go along.  Put extra leftovers immediately in the refrigerator, and clean your workspace before you sit down.  Put items back in their place when you’ve finished using them.  This will also make for fewer clean-ups after dinner!
    4. Utilize wall space.  This may seem like an obvious way to de-clutter, but wall space is often underused!  Look for where you can add shelves in the kitchen or bathroom to make cupboards and cabinets less cluttered.
    5. Organize with your kids.  Take 20 minutes or so and go into your children’s bedroom.  Get rid of old clothes that no longer fit and bag them up for donation.  Too many unused toys?  Get rid of those too. Do this every few months as your children grow, and you will find it easier to keep their rooms and other spaces clutter-free.
    6. Clean out the medicine cabinet.  Are your bathroom cabinets filled with junk that has expired or is half empty?  If you don’t have room for your bathroom items, you may find yourself shoving items anywhere, creating more clutter.  Get rid of expired prescriptions, make-up and toiletries.
    7. Get rid of extra paper.  If possible, try to use online bill-pay for your monthly bills to decrease the amount of paper you receive in the mail.  Un-subscribe to junk mail and keep a folder in one place for important papers.  Any paperwork that is not a necessity should be recycled or shredded.
    8. Use the one in, one out rule.  Whenever you buy something new, remember that something old should go.  Donate, sell or give it away to a friend.
    9. Store unused items in storage or in the basement.  Do you really need to have 5 sets of dishes in your kitchen cabinets?  How about those 20 pairs of sheets?  Ask yourself, if I haven’t used it in 3 months; am I likely to use it anytime soon?  While you needn’t throw these items away, you can store them away to create a more clutter free environment.
    10. Always think about donating your items to a charity.  Pick one or two charitable organizations that are meaningful to you and it will be a lot easier to get rid of things you no longer need.  Talk to your children about donating toys and clothes they no longer use, and remind them that they are helping out another family.

    While de-cluttering and getting rid of things can sometimes be hard, the end result is always more fulfilling.  Getting rid of clutter will help you to lead a more stress-free and happy life, so start today!


    © 2011-2012 by Jacquie Ross, CastAway the Clutter!  All Rights Reserved.


    Jacquie Ross is a professional organizer, certified life and family coach and award winning owner of CastAway the Clutter! A busy mom/parent expert, Jacquie works with moms, families and busy professionals to clear their clutter, manage their time and run their households more effectively.


  • 04/19/2012 5:28 PM | Anonymous

    by Susan von Suhrke of Timely Transitions


    So what IS it about closets? Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em! 

    Seriously, if you have clothing lying around in your bedroom on the backs of chairs, tossed on the top of your dresser, or even being held hostage in a laundry basket with other clean clothes… quite possibly that’s the stuff you wear the most.  What might be taking up the space in your closet are things you don’twear!  Why not give yourself the gift of stress-free dressing and take a couple of hours to spring-clean your closet?  If you’re procrastinating, get a “fashionista” friend to help - it will go faster and be more fun.


    As you change out winter couture for warm weather wardrobe, take some time to become reacquainted with what’s in your closet. Have some boxes, bags or laundry hampers on hand to sort discarded items by destination. Putting donations into clear garbage bags will prevent you from accidentally tossing them out with the garbage. In Maryland, Giant Foods carries an in-house brand of clear garbage bags. And any damaged, stained clothing can be given to Goodwill IF it is separated out and marked “Salvage.”


    Before you begin, I highly recommend: 

    1. Ditching (recycling) the wire hangers. Do your clothing a favor and invest in decent hangers. I personally prefer heavy dutyplastic hangers; available at Target in both regular size and XL (ideal for size 16+).
    2. Catch up with the laundry AND pick up the dry cleaning.  ALL of your clothing needs to be in one location.

    As you begin pulling items from your closet, put similar types of clothing into stacks on your bed (skirts, tops,  jackets,  slacks, etc.) “Sort Like with Like” is one of the mantras of Professional Organizers and it applies nicely here. As you pull items, “file” anything you’ve not worn (or can’t currently wear) into separate piles for “Donate/Gift” or “Salvage”. If you find things you’d wear but have nothing that matches, then jot down what article you need to complete the outfit.


    The standard "rule of thumb" for outsized clothing is to keep one size up & one size down.  Personally, I recommend storing non-current sizes somewhere else.  If it’s too small for you, why have that negative reminder slapping you in the face every day?  If it’s the next size up, well, that’s just inviting trouble, isn’t it? Either way, non-fitting clothing should not be taking up prime real estate in your closet.  Put out-sized clothing into containers; label it with the size and date.  Then store it elsewhere.  In a year when you haven’t retrieved any of the clothing, cut yourself some slack and donate the container, contents and all!


    We have a saying in Feng Shui: “Release the Old to Embrace the New.”

    If your wardrobe is out of control, then you may have “embraced the new” without having gotten rid of the old!  Your unworn clothing can be put to good use by someone else and your life will be so much simpler with a manageable closet… so what are you waiting for?


    Ready? Set? SORT!!!


    © 2012 Susan von Suhrke, Timely Transitions. All Rights Reserved.


    Susan von Suhrke is a Certified Relocation & Transition Specialist (CRTS) and the owner of Timely Transitions, serving clients in Anne Arundel and Prince George's Counties.  She is a member of both the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM); having recently been inducted into NASMM’s “Circle of Service.”  She specializes in residential organizing, relocation planning, and unlike 95% of the general population, she loves to speak in public.

  • 04/05/2012 11:52 PM | Anonymous

    by Sharon Wanamaker of DVDs 2 Cherish

     

    Someday is not a day of the week. Meaning, if you keep saying that someday you will do something with those family movies, then you may not get the chance. The thing about film is that it tends to break down over time. Videos stored on magnetic tape (such as VHS, BetaMax, Super8, miniDV, etc.) deteriorate over time, leaving the video choppy, blurry or even blank. So, with Spring Cleaning on the horizon, make organizing your family movies a priority! So many of us have a jumbled box of tapes; ones of all sizes, and many without labels. And many of us don’t even have a way to play them anymore! But you know that on those are some of your best memories.


    While many camcorder tapes only held 30 minutes of video, DVDs can hold two hours of video, so you can save yourself money, and space on your shelves by having tapes combined. Another space saver is to use cases that hold two discs in them, so be sure to ask that of your video professional.


    When choosing a good video to DVD transfer professional, ask if they do the work at the same location you drop your videos off, or if they outsource by shipping your videos elsewhere. Old family home video media is often fragile, and more importantly, they are often the only copies. The safest way to get your videos transferred is to use a company or professional individual who performs their work in-house, rather than mailing them out.


    To convert video tapes to DVD takes planning and questioning, but in the end it is a tremendous relief to have all your precious family videos transferred to a modern format. Professional Organizers are available to help ease the burden, and many of them know of companies who provide transfer services. When you transfer video tapes to DVD, you not only preserve the life span of your family videos, but you make it far easier to view and share your home videos with those you love. Some people even order extra copies to store safely, so that they feel even better about getting rid of the original tapes all together. Just think of all the space you can free up by doing just that!


    In conclusion, start going through your tape boxes, even for just 15 minutes a day. Get rid of the VHS movies and recorded TV shows that are not your own material, especially if you no longer own a VCR. Then set aside those tapes that are your personal videos, find a professional video transfer company, and knock this off your to do list. Your memories will be preserved, and your house will be more organized in doing so.


    © 2012 Sharon Wanamaker, DVDs 2 Cherish.  All Rights Reserved.


    Sharon is the owner of DVDs 2 Cherish based in Crofton, Maryland. She specializes in converting non-copyrighted video (from VHS and all varieties of camcorder tapes) to DVD, and cassette audio tapes to CD. She also does DVD duplication jobs for individuals as well as several public schools in Maryland. Sharon is an Associate Member of NAPO Baltimore. 

  • 03/18/2012 10:53 PM | Anonymous

    by Nettie Owens of Sappari Solutions


    Every winter I implore folks to look to the heart of their homes, their bedrooms, to find peace and sanctuary. February was the month of love, a sentiment that can and should be carried over into March and the remaining months of the year. When we love ourselves we provide ourselves with the space we need. Part of that space is a peaceful bedroom. Having a place to retreat to is a necessity in this fast paced world. Often, your bedroom becomes a graveyard for unwanted or misplaced stuff: things that you need to make decisions on; clothes that need to be folded. Really, you want to tackle the living room, the kitchen or even the garage before handling the bedroom. However, doing so is like putting on makeup or getting a new haircut when the problem in your appearance lies in your health.


    If your bedroom is out of control, you may find it difficult to sleep, to focus or to handle the daily stressors in your life. I like to think of a bedroom as a sanctuary. Literally a place where you can get away and hide from all the things that may be weighing on you: A place to sleep and rejuvenate; a place to enjoy your significant other. All of these things are important and require you to place yourself first in your busy schedule.


    How can you improve this space if it is out of control? As with anything we start with a plan. Look around and make a list of all that you would like to change. Then pick the one thing on your list that you could do today in 15 minutes of time. Do it! Next, plan for the thing you could do or change that would take the least amount of time and provide the biggest impact. Work on this space in 15-minute intervals, daily. You may have to change a habit or reconsider the purpose of your room. But if you are diligent and thoughtful in the process you will be making improvements in very little time.


    Reclaim your bedroom and find peace. It is the ‘physical’ your home has been waiting for!


    © 2012 Nettie Owens, Sappari Solutions. All Rights Reserved.


    Nettie Owens is a professional organizer and owner of Sappari Solutions serving Harford & Cecil Counties. Since 2004, Sappari Solutions has provided residential and small business clients organizational solutions that fit their lifestyle, budget and schedule. Sappari Solutions is highly committed to protecting the environment and to sustainable business practices.

  • 02/22/2012 2:05 PM | Anonymous

    by Terry Cooch of TLC Home 


    You know you should only keep what you use and love; you’ve read it in every one of your organizing books, but you can't standthe waste of parting with useful items that you spent good money on, and no one will convince you otherwise. However, you aretoying with idea of simplifying and are willing to try it in baby steps.


    These tips are to help you organize what you already own and lessen the need to shop for more. The purpose isn’t to create a more comfortable and efficient station for sitting by the phone to order products from TV infomercials or creating a Favorites List of your Top Ten Email Shopping Sites. You probably have enough stuff anyway.


    Take the quiz below to determine if you are a good candidate for The Shop-at-Home Method of Organizing, or Baby-Stepping it to Organization. Check all of the following that apply to you:

    • You have mega surpluses of useful, practical items: cleaning supplies galore, candles out the... well, you have a lot of candles.
    • You love to collect gifts, but can’t find them when you need them.
    • You have a year's worth of home improvement supplies, new in the package.
    • Office supplies are overflowing from every drawer in your home.
    • You’ve got some cool gadgets; you don’t use them, but you know you will someday.
    • There isn’t a craft you aren’t prepared to make, as soon as you have time.
    • You truly don’t know what some things you own are, but they were good deals.

    Checking even one of the above indicates you are a perfect candidate for using a baby-step method of organization. A slow and steady method to organizing your home is the only way to get back in balance – no cold-turkey for you. If after thinning out your cabinets, closets, shelves, drawers and most of the visible surfaces in your home, you’ve reduced the quantities to amounts that acknowledge the boundaries of each space and create simplicity of use but you still really, really want to hold on to the remaining useful items, read on:


    Categorize your Keeps. Sort your belongings according to where you would go to purchase them.  Set up bins and label with broad category titles such as Bed Bath and Beyond, Office Depot, Sharper Image, Michaels, etc. (Refer to quiz above to determine which are appropriate.) 


    Sub-sort as needed. Bins that contain a large variety or high volume of items may need a sub-sort. Further categorize these items into containers according to the store aisle in which you would find them: Bed Bath & Beyond - Storage, or Michaels - Scrapbooking.


    Make access fun and easy. Select an area of your home that does not interfere with daily activities: an extra dresser in a guest room, a set of shelves in a utility closet, or a wall full of shelves in an unfinished basement. Nickname this area "The Mall or Festival at your name here."


    Add good signage. Assign each space (drawer, shelf or set of shelves) a store’s name. Contain the sub-sorted items separately and label those also. If you have several sets of shelves, each unit is a store, and each shelf is an aisle. You could sub-sort those as well: Office Depot - School Supplies - Writing Supplies.


    Shop at home, not from home. Maintain your system by using it. When you run out of something check out your own store first before making a purchase. Should new arrivals come in, get them to their proper location: Store - Aisle - Section.


    Consider a clearance sale. Be sure to re-evaluate in a year. Examine how much of your inventory has been used. Ask yourself, "Do I have more than I’ll use?" Have any of the items that you thought you might use, been used? Could any of this go to better use elsewhere?


    Share with friends, donate, or sell. Take another step toward organization by parting with what you can. Forgive yourself for the spending mistakes you may have made and enjoy knowing that your surplus stock will be used. Then next year, take another step. 


    © 2012 Terry Cooch, TLC Home. All Rights Reserved.


    Terry L. Cooch is an author, professional organizer and owner of TLC Home. She works one-on-one to help individuals conquer clutter and chaos, eliminate stress, and save time and money by providing organizational solutions that fit their lifestyle.

  • 02/06/2012 3:06 PM | Anonymous

    by Barbara Boone of Productivity Solutions


    Tax time is stressful for most people. However, if you have your information organized ahead of time, it can be less stressful. Follow the directions below to create your own organizing container for tax back-up receipts.


    Once the receipts are categorized, it will be much easier to figure out what each category total will be. Take the totals to your accountant instead of having him/her work with the receipts. That will cost you more time per hour when you can do that part yourself. If you use a computer program like QuickBooks, the totals are already figured for you, if you have previously taken the time to enter all of the information. You are still required by the IRS to keep the hardcopy receipts for at least six years. 

    1. Make a list of all of the deductions that you take for your business.
    2. Check with your accountant or financial person to see if you forgot any deductions. These are some of the common categories for deductions: Advertising/Marketing, Cell Phone, Credit Card, Donations, Insurance, Office Expenses, Books/Magazines, Professional Services, Professional Dues, Training/Seminars, Travel, and Taxes, Internet, Equipment, Bank Statements, Credit Card Statements.  Include a compartment for Mileage and Income. You may have more or different categories.
    3. Buy an accordion file folder with the alphabet labeled. One without a top works better than one with a top. The reason you get one with the alphabet labeled is that you need as many compartments as possible. You will not use the letters, but will instead create labels according to the names of the deductions you have chosen.
    4. If you have an electronic label maker, use it to make the labels for each compartment of the accordion file. If you don’t have an electronic one, hand-write the labels.
    5. Lay the labels out and put them in alphabetical order. It is easier to file receipts this way.
    6. Attach the labels to the file folder.
    7. Place the file folder in a file cabinet next to your desk if possible. It should be close to your desk so that you log in the receipts into your computer files and then immediately file them into the accordion folder.
    8. When it is time to do your taxes, total each category and take the information, along with the back-up receipts, to your accountant.


    © 2011 Barbara Boone, Productivity Solutions. All Rights Reserved.


    Barbara Boone is a professional organizer and productivity consultant for small businesses through her business, Productivity Solutions. She specializes in paper management and file set-up to help business owners save time, money and space in order to be more productive. She is a speaker for small groups and a published author.


  • 01/24/2012 2:10 PM | Anonymous

    By Jacquie Ross of CastAway the Clutter! 


    Have your efforts to get organized failed?  Has procrastination become such a bad habit that it sabotages your efforts to get organized?  Procrastination can easily become a habit and can be a hard habit to break.  However, with some honest self-assessment and an organized and attainable plan of action, you can improve your efforts to be more organized and stop procrastination forever.


    Many people who procrastinate are so used to functioning this way, they don’t even recognize it as procrastination.  Procrastination comes in many forms.  Here are a few clues that you may be procrastinating:

    1. You’ve been talking about decluttering and organizing your guest room for several months now.
    2. You’ve been avoiding decluttering your guest room because you don’t really want to do it, so you make excuses by doing other “busy work” instead.
    3. You feel overwhelmed by the task and don’t know where to start, so you do nothing.
    4. You have tried to declutter and organize your guest room in the past, but always find a way to finish early, leaving the project unfinished with no specific plan to continue the job on another day.

    How do you kick the procrastination habit?  Begin by taking that overwhelming guest room and breaking it down into smaller parts that feel less overwhelming.  Then allocate a certain amount of time to work in the room; and when the time is up, you’re finished for the day.


    Be accountable to someone else about improving your procrastination habits.  Tell them about the room you want to organize and when you’d like it cleared out and clutter-free.  They can help you to set deadlines and also check in with you from time to time to see if you’re making progress.  This will most likely create a commitment on your part to fulfill the expectations they've set for you.


    As you work on your procrastination habits, you will probably begin to notice that you procrastinate in other areas of your life too.  This can affect your overall productivity, so it’s a good idea to sit down and map out a plan to manage your time more effectively.  When a deadline is approaching, be sure to give yourself enough time each day to work on the project so it doesn't sneak up on you at the last minute. 

    When you are close to reaching your organization goal, reward yourself for good behavior.  Don't wait until you've accomplished the end goal, but reward yourself for your successes along the way. 


    By making a commitment to avoid procrastinating, you'll soon be well on your way to getting those organizing projects done.  You will also discover that you will feel more relaxed, more productive and less stressed! 


    © 2012 Jacquie Ross, CastAway the Clutter.  All Rights Reserved.


    Jacquie Ross is a professional organizer, life and family coach and award winning owner of CastAway the Clutter! A busy mom expert, Jacquie works with moms, families and busy professionals to clear their clutter, manage their time and run their households more effectively.



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