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Showing posts from January, 2009

Organizing Habit #27

If you are an information junkie this tip is for you. Most likely you are surrounded by stacks of unread magazines and books, piles of articles and information you printed from the internet, and more piles of magazine and newspaper clipping of recipes and pictures of ideas. Sound familiar? If it does then Organizing Habit #27 - Weedall information older than a certain cutoff date that you determine - is for you!

Your level of comfort might be for any unread paper information older than 3 months it can be recycled. For others it might be anything older than one year. BE REALISTIC. Accept the fact that you cannot ever possibly digest it all. Just as you can only comfortably eat until you're full, there is only so much information one can consume before you run out of time and capacity. Ask yourself, “How much can you possibly read before new information is added to your current accumulation?”

Whatever your comfort level is; set it and stick to it. Begin by weeding what you c…

Organizing Inspiration

I recently received an e-mail from a client requesting suggestions in figuring out what to do with items that are passed down through families and how to preserve that connection without having to keep everything from Aunt Mabel etc.

My suggestion is if you don’t love it and you are not using it, or it is just taking up too much valuable space then it’s time to let go of it. To preserve the connection, take pictures of the items and place the pictures in a journal where you can write about where and who it came from and how it came to you. That way, the memory will be preserved for future generations and you can regain some valuable space for the items you do use and love.

AM Northwest Debut

Last week I experienced my AM Northwest TV debut launching a series of segments on Solutions for Your Organizing Resolutions. I was a tad bit nervous because I have never been on TV, except for a brief stint on the Heck Harper Show when I was six years old.

Guests of AM Northwest wait nervously in what is called the “green room”. I was fortunate to have a very fun co-guest to chat with and take my nervousness down several notches, her name is Jill Keto and she is the author of Don’t Get Caught With Your Skirt Down a Practical Girl’s Recession Guide. Jill has a different perspective on our economic outlook and offers alternative investment choices to what the traditionalists are espousing. If you want a new and fresh perspective, check out Jill’s segment on AM NW , definitely take more than a glance at her book , and for ongoing economic information follow her blog.

Organizing Habit #26

Place an errand basket by the door. Fill it with books to return, dry cleaning to drop off, items to return to stores, etc. Before you head out the door each day look through your errand basket and think about what errands you could make en route to work, dropping kids at school, or to an appointment. Grab those items as you leave for your day.

Weekly Menu

Product of the Week

Letterboxes – if you prefer piles to files then you might want to consider containing your paper information categorically in letter boxes or document boxes such as this one from See Jane Work. See my January 12th Organizing Habit #25 blog on setting up a simple file system to learn one approach to using this product.

Organizing Inspiration

The second Monday of January is Clean Off Your Desk Day—that’s today! If you have been putting off this task, you have a very good reason to do it today and be done with it! Need some help getting started? Read my Organizing Habit #25 to get you started on organizing your loose papers.
Then celebrate your success!

Organizing Habit #25

Set-up a simple file system. If the thought of organizing your paperwork seems too overwhelming maybe you are making the task or your system bigger than it needs to be.

Make 12 hanging files with labels and find space for them in an accessible file drawer or desktop file boxes. Or, if you detest files, then set-up 12 stacking trays or document drawers.

If you recall your information by categories, label the 12 folders, trays or drawers with these category headings and file your paper information according the appropriate category:
1. Action
2. Projects
3. Home
4. Family
5. Work
6. Medical
7. Dental
8. Legal
9. Credit Card Statements
10. Bank Statement
11. Insurance
12. Taxes

If you recall your information chronologically, label the 12 folders, trays or drawers with a month of the year and file your paper information in date order by when you receive it:
1. January
2. February
3. March
4. April
5. May
6. June
7. July
8. August
9. September
10. October
11. November
12. December

Placing your paper in some form …

Weekly Menu

Monday - Two in the Recipe Box - Balsamic Chicken Breasts

Tuesday - Broccoli and Cheddar Frittata

Wednesday - Two in the Recipe Box - Chicken Wraps

Thursday - Turkey Meatloaf, garlic mashed potatoes, and peas

Friday - Pasta with Alfredo Sauce and Pesto, Garlic Bread, Green Salad

Saturday - Pizza Party: Hawaiian Pizza, Pepperoni Pizza, and White Pizza

Sunday - Grilled Flat Iron Steak and Cheddar/Bacon Potato Wedges, Steamed Spinach.


I love drawers for storing anything. Some of my projects turn in to several hundreds of pieces of paper. To put all those papers in a file folder just wasn’t working for me.

I decided to search for some attractive and functional document drawers or boxes that would match my Pottery Barn office collection, without the Pottery Barn price. I found the Cardinal 3-drawer Document Organizer at Space Savers for $65. That was a bit steep for me, so I decided to Google it to see if another supplier had a lower price. did at a much lower price of $40 (each) and only $1 to ship two. I was stunned. I ordered two. They arrived in three days and in perfect condition. They are very heavy and sturdy--solid wood, so I was again stunned at the $1 shipping.

I previously posted my home office revealed. Since adding my new document organizers I have rearranged things a bit. This is the new configuration (new document organizers are on the right-side of my computer). I love it even more! Ev…

Inspiration Wednesday

While eating my lunch today I watched Robin Miller’s Quick Meals on Food Network. I am newly inspired to plan my weekly dinner menus. It is so much less stressful everyday if I don’t have to stop and figure out what to make for dinner. I like Robin’s approach of cooking once for two different meals.

I spent just one hour searching recipes on Food Network and have over a full month of recipes. If you need inspiration, check back here on Sundays that is when I will be posting my weekly menu with links (if available) to the recipe.

I’m using my Weekly Pads from Mateo Ilasco for planning and my shopping list. They are perfect for that task.

Need more inspiration read 10 Quick Easy Recipes from Your Pantry , 20/20 Superfast Chicken Recipes, and 20/20 Superfast Stir-Fries and Saute Recipes all from Cooking Light.

Organizing Habit #24

Habits are formed by routines and vice versa. Do you have a routine to your day? Do you have a routine for your week? If not, you might want to implement one and see if it doesn’t also create order and organization in your life.

I know the creative types don’t like routines because they feel it restricts their creativity. A routine is not meant to be a regiment or restrictive, it is meant to guide you through your day so you accomplish what needs to be taken care of. If you miss something it isn’t the end of the world. It can keep until the next time you would routinely do it or you can make it up the next day if it is a weekly task.

Give it a try for a week or two and see what differences it makes in your life. Then come back here and post about what you learned and how it changed your life.

Your daily routine might look like something like this:
Wake up
Start the coffee or tea (or better yet, have an automatic timer so you wake up to the smell of fresh coffee)
Go for a morning walk…