You’ve Got Mail

July 23, 2009

Now what?

Don’t let that mail pile up! Attacking your mail each day only takes a few minutes.  Really…follow me!

#1 Pick up mail

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#2 Open mail, separate by category (55 seconds)

Here are my categories:

  • recycle (all envelopes, marketing stuffers, junk mail)
  • shred (credit card offers)
  • publications to read
  • bills to pay

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#3  Place piles in their “homes”  (1 minute, 5 seconds)

I traveled to:

  • paper recycling bin in laundry room
  • magazine basket in living room
  • “to shred” box in office
  • “action, bill ” center in office

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See, literally minutes.

Having “homes” and a process set up will help you do this in minutes as well.  Clutter is delayed decisions.  When people don’t have a system, they will tend to leave items, like the mail, where they land.  Entry tables, stairs or kitchen counter tops become overwhelmed by mail piles.  Take a few minutes to set up a system.  It will be worth it!

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Freedom from Clutter

July 3, 2009

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Happy 4th of July!

4th of July weekend is perfect to spend quality time with friends and family and celebrate our country.  Celebrate the people who  have sacrificed for us and our democracy.  The “land of the free”…free is such a powerful word.

If clutter or disorganization is a cause of distress for you, you can start now, in the spirit of freedom, to declare your independence from clutter.  Taking the time to tackle these challenges will help free you not only from physical clutter, but emotional clutter as well.

  • Commit the time
  • Create goals
  • Make decluttering a priority
  • Enlist the help you need
  • Refer to this blog for tips on specific areas

Remember…

Organizing is a Process not an Event

You can start small with  1 drawer, the kitchen counter or the bathroom vanity.  Edit out what no longer benefits you and create a home for what does.  Free yourself from the clutter.

But first, have a great weekend…I am wishing you and yours a very happy and safe holiday weekend.

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Cable Clutter

June 23, 2009

Cord Control

I just found a unique, decorative way to hide cables.  Very creative, very cool, but not for everyone.  See link to post below…

There are much more basic, easily purchased options at your local office supply store or on line.  It is great to use these cord covers for aesthetic purposes.  Having cords here there and everywhere under your desk or by other equipment can be distracting and you can feel the stress of the “clutter.”  Click on these links to see how to control that cable clutter:

Above baseboard

Cable Zipper

Cable Control

Decorative Covers

But you don’t want to just hide them.  You want to mark your cords so you know what they belong to.  You can do this with a sticker or a label.  Just make sure it will stick well.  If you want sturdier pre-made option, see these products below.  You can also look at these as examples and see what you have at home that you can use to get same result.  You don’t have to spend a lot of money to do this.

Kable Flags

Cable Id

Picture Id

Have fun wrangling in all those cords.

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Old news is No news…

June 16, 2009

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Last night I had a good newspaper catch up night.  I was bound and determined to have all the newspapers that were backed up be in the recycling bin by end of the evening.  Last week was a busy week and I did not get through them all.

Many people keep their newspapers  for weeks and months on end, thinking that they will get to them.  But even if they did, the information is old.  Do you want to spend your precious time in June reading about the Inaugural (happened in January) or who won the Kentucky Derby (last month)  about the Swine flu outbreak (a month or so and it changes every day?)

Many people I know just keep getting the daily newspaper because it is just something they have always done.  But it adds pressure to the day.  The stack sitting there saying “read me, read me.”  Here are a few tips to make getting the newspaper a less stressful experience:

  • Think about how much you really sit and read it.
  • Consider subscribing to less days per week.  Perhaps Thursday – Sunday.
  • Each day remove sections you know you will not read and put in recycling right away.  For me it is auto, sports and classified.
  • At the end of the week, recycle anything you have not read.

I still enjoy flipping through the newspaper, especailly the “local” one.  I hate the thought of newspapers coming to an end as we know them.  But that said, narrow down what you read, and spend quality time with it.

Off to the recycling bin….

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Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start to Summer.  In my head Summer is Memorial Day through Labor Day, not the actual seasons on the calendar.  Are you “ready” for fun?

  • Find, try on and wash bathing suits.
  • Consolidate all sunscreen in one area. Throw away any lotions that have expired and re-stock.
  • Take a tour of the garage, basement or shed. Put like items (beach chairs, bikes, summer sport equipment) together for easy access.
  • Toss or donate any summer equipment you will no longer use or is broken, rusted, etc.
  • Create a beach bag – place toys, first-aid items, even fresh towels in canvas carry bags. Keep in car,  garage or other handy, easy access space.
  • Check current supplies of any first-aid items – band aids, Neosporin, sunburn remedies.

Many clients ask me if suncreen lotion expires.  Take a look at your lotion and see if it has an expiration date.  If it does, great the answer is right there.  If not, here are a few suggestions:

  • Some lotions have a number “12, “24” which indicates how many months it is good for.
  • If it is just about gone, be safe and get a new one.
  • You can try when you are going to be in the sun for a limited amount of time and check to see if it is still providing protection.
  • The Mayo Clinic says it should last 3 years…learn more about what they have to say about sunscreen here.

I am wishing everyone a wonderful holiday weekend.

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Lately I have noticed  that more and more spam is coming into my in-box.

I scheduled 1/2 hour today to address it.  I had not updated my email rules in quite a while.  For some reason it looked like some rules had disappeared.  If you already don’t know, you can set up “rules” in your email for all sorts of things.

Today I am talking about flagging an email that comes in with a certain word in the subject line, so that it automatically goes into your Junk Mail folder.  Although it does not completely stop it from coming in, doing this does save you time and decreases clutter in your in-box.

If you do not have any “rules” set up, do so right away.  It is easy.  Look to your email help section or microsoft.com to learn how to set up (PC.)  Once you learn, and for those who already have it set up, go in and review the words you are currently flagging to go to Junk Mail.  See if there are any you need to add.  I keep a list next to my computer and write down new ones as they sneak in.  And then, when I schedule time to update my rules, I use this list as a guide of what I need to add.

It is a good idea to regularly take a look at all of those on-line shopping, newsletters, promotion reminders emails you get.  If you don’t read them, don’t just delete them, unsubscribe to them.  If the info is not benefiting us and we are not reading it, then it is just more clutter.

Schedule some time to work on this sometime soon.

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May 7, 2009

doublecornershelf_mI am working on a kitchen organization project tomorrow.  I can’t wait!  It is like putting a big puzzle together.

I’ll be brining a few supplies with me in case we need them.  Of course I will only use what makes the space more efficient.  So what are some of my favorite kitchen organizers?

  • Drawer separators.
  • Clear bins –with and without covers.
  • Under sink shelving.
  • Wire racks to add more vertical space to your cabinets.

The key if you have small space is to house what you use most of the time.  We all have appliances, serving dishes, etc. that we only use from time to time.  Store those in another part of the house, garage or basement.  Be realistic about what you really use.  And, we need room for food!  Most don’t have the luxury of having pantry space.

You want to keep like things together.  All baking together, all spices together and so on.  Many times I put some of these categories into a container.  This way when I am going to “bake” (my family reading this is probably laughing right now) then I can pull out the baking bin and all of my supplies are right there — sugar, vanilla, food coloring, etc.  I can use the items and when done, easily put back into the cabinet.

There are so many things that end up at the back of the cabinets that never see the day of light.  Take time every now and then and edit out what you are not using.  Kids not using certain types of cups any more — bu-bye.  Got a cabinet full of give-a-way mugs? Ok, how many do you really need?

The kitchen is one of the most used spaces in our house.  Make sure the space is used efficiently.

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