Simple way to save time in the morning

If you take multiple vitamins, supplements or medication every morning this is a great way to save yourself some time… use a pill sorter that you can purchase at your local pharmacy. My favorite looks like this:

When you use a sorter like this one you don’t take up much space on your countertop (or medicine cabinet) and you only have to unscrew one cap (rather than multiple bottles) every morning.

It’s true that it does take a little time to get it setup for the week (or however many days that your sorter holds) but in the long run you will be so happy when you are running late that you looked out for yourself ahead of time. This style works great for travel too, just take as many days as you need & you’re all set to go!

Did this post help get you out the door a little faster?

Honor your dreams?

I made the above statement into a Tip of the Day on our organizing website but I thought it warranted expanding upon with a blog post.

Is there a class that you wanted to take? What about starting your own business or possibly standup comedy? No matter what your dream is, be it large or small, there has got to be something you can do today that will start paving the path towards your overall goal.

As you go about your day today think about what your dreams are and how you might be able to do just a little something today that honors your dream. For me, it might be looking for some new darling file folders to add to our office candy line, yum!  You could get a book from the library or do some research online, or just start a file folder to collect articles as you come across them. Don’t forget about YOU.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we need to remember to put our oxygen masks on first sometimes so consider this to be our reminder.

What is a dream that you have that you haven’t shared with anyone else? Please share, I’d love to hear back from you.

Decluttering 101

When you are de-cluttering and picking up many objects that are taking up a lot of space in your world ask yourself a few questions in order to figure out whether or not it is something you still need (or want):

  1. Do you need this item anymore?
  2. Do you love this particular item?
  3. Does this item make you feel better (or worse)?
  4. Does this object reflect who you are now or is it something you might be striving for?

I’m a firm believer that you shouldn’t keep anything in order to “punish” yourself (jeans that are 2 sizes too small, the sofa table that you hated the minute it was delivered, etc.). Life is too short & you should be surrounded by items that make you happy.

See what you can do today to make your space more comfortable and a true reflection of YOU!

Let me know how it goes, I’d love to hear from you…

Save time, make right hand turns

I put this suggestion in one of our newsletters and it got several mentions from my girlfriends (and even my Mother) as it’s such a simple but “revolutionary” suggestion.  Plan out your errands so that you are only making right hand turns.  You will be amazed at how much time you’ll end up saving.  I’m serious.

UPS implemented this plan several years ago and they plot their drivers route to include only right turns. They save so much time and money by doing it this way it was astounding.  It’s also a heck of a lot less stressful turning right vs. left when you have to cross over oncoming traffic and then waiting  for the traffic going your way (left) to allow you in.

Try it, let me know how it works for you… I promise, you’ll be surprised how much time it saves you….

Foolproof Filing

I am always asked by clients whether or not it is good to have “too many files” and most people “over file” (which means they have a file for everything rather than in general). I advise you to start with the following hanging file folders so here is a pretty simple and somewhat Foolproof system:

Home:

Indoor File (cleaning service, appliance repair, security system, etc.)

Outdoor File (landscaper, Trash company, etc.)

 

Family:

One file for each family member – eventually you might want to break these files down to individual Doctors, Dentists, etc. Remember though, Social Security cards & birth certificates should be in your fireproof safe.

Utilities:

One for each utility company (Telephone, Gas/Electric, etc.)

 

Insurance:

Auto & Homeowners (or Renters)

Taxes:

File by year and then break down into 2 files from there titled:

Year Taxes (Example: 2011 Taxes)

Year Donations (Example: 2011 Donations)

Finances:

Bank

Investments

Expand on this as necessary. You might have another house, you might travel frequently and need one for your frequent flier information. You also might have a boat in which you can add the insurance in your insurance file right away. You could also just have a “Boat” file too.

 

Files are a fluid concept and will need tweaking from time to time as your life changes. Also, now a days we are able to download our bank statements online and therefore don’t need to file years of bank or investment statements anymore (yippee). I recommend downloading and saving anything that you can on your computer and you can use the same system above for your “digital” files as well.

 

I hope this motivates some of you to get started on your filing. It isn’t my favorite task but it is definitely one that is important. I think having my filing done is a really good feeling.

Does this motivate you to get started?

Save yourself a lot of time, read only what applies to you…

It occurred to me as I was catching up on a few magazines over the weekend that I was skimming through the articles that didn’t apply to me(fortunately that means I didn’t need to learn more than I’d ever want to know about varicose veins).  I thought to myself that I’m so glad I learned many years ago that  just because I had a subscription didn’t mean I had to read the entire thing cover to cover every month. Once I started thinking of it that way I wasn’t as overwhelmed by it all so much and it became much more manageable to me as a result. Today I thought I’d share this thought with you so that you could feel less guilt along with me.

Back when my kids were small and I subscribed to Parent’s magazine I tried to absorb all of the information for the upcoming years. As it turned out by the time my kids got to that age not only had I forgotten those nuggets of wisdom but those that I did in fact remember were sometimes no longer applicable! I was amazed that our generation survived with all the new rules and regulations that were changing almost daily, who can keep up?!

So I leave you with this, unless you are relaxing on the beach and have all the time in the world, don’t worry about reading all of your magazines cover to cover, it’s just too much pressure.

What magazines do you read cover to cover or better yet, which ones are you overwhelmed by? 

Organizing Lessons from Toy Story 3

Anyone that saw Toy Story 3 couldn’t leave without shedding at least one tear.  In my case we went with our neighbors and both the Mothers were just shy of sobbing which embarrassed all 5 of the kids between us.  It made for a great laugh for them but she and I were scarred for life!

One of the most important plots in the movie was that the toys thought they were being thrown away rather than stored in the attic.  You see they had used black garbage bags to put the toys in the attic and it was mistaken for trash. This is a #1 BIG organizing NO NO!  You should never use black storage bags for anything in my opinion besides trash.  If you need to store bigger items where it makes sense to use garbage bags (say comforters, outdoor cushions, etc.) use CLEAR bags instead, that way you can see what is in the bag and it won’t be mistaken for trash.

Another thought on plastic bags are the ones you bring home from the grocery store, again, you can’t see into them and they are more often than not used for trash so something important can be thrown away too easily.  Use handled bags from when you’ve been shopping at the mall or anywhere else (even paper bags from the grocery store are better than plastic). It is actually one of my pet peeves to be honest with you, it’s just too easy to lose something important that way.

Although should you mistake storage for trash there would hardly be the drama of Toy Story 3 but why would you want to take that chance?

What happened to your favorite toys when you grew up?