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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Living Simply: The Ultimate Guide to Conquering Your Clutter

Reprinted with permission by Leo Babauta.

First: Why Should You Simplify?

What’s the problem with clutter? Well, nothing, if that’s the way you like things. Everyone lives differently, and I’m not saying the decluttered lifestyle is better than the cluttered one.

However, I’ve found some benefits of decluttering from my decade or so of experience with this issue:

* Less stressful. Clutter can be a lot of visual distraction and mental stress. It’s basically a bunch of things you have to do (put away clothes, file papers, pay bills, get rid of junk, etc.) that you’re procrastinating on. While you don’t want to think about them, in the back of your mind you know they’re there.
* More efficient. I don’t know about you, but I work much better in an uncluttered home or workspace. There aren’t as many distractions, which means I can focus better.

* More peaceful. I can really relax in an uncluttered home. It’s just serene.

* More attractive. When you’re trying to sell your home, real estate agents will tell you that decluttering a home will really increase your odds of selling at a good price. That’s because people think uncluttered homes are more attractive. The same applies to when you have visitors — they will think your house is nicer just because it’s uncluttered.

* Saves time. Clutter comes with a time cost — you have to look for things, move things, store things, take things out of storage. Decluttering takes up some time, but in the long run I’ve found it saves a lot of time.

* Saves money. Clutter comes with a price tag as well — you need a bigger home and bigger closets and other storage space for all the clutter. Sometimes people buy extra storage space in other facilities to store all their stuff. Moving is a big hassles too, and costly. Other people will buy or build a shed or other storage structure in their own home.

* Frees up space. Less clutter means more space for living and playing and working. A garage is a good example — some people have so much clutter that their car(s) don’t fit in the garage, meaning they have to park outside. But declutter your garage and you have room for the car, or maybe a home gym instead.

Fundamental Simplicity Principles

Before you tackle your clutter, there are four basic steps to decluttering to keep in mind. Let’s take the example of decluttering a single drawer. These are the fundamental steps:

1. Collect. Take out everything and put it in a pile. Empty the entire drawer, and pile it all on a counter or a table. Take everything out, down to the last paper clip.

2. Choose. Pick out only the few things you love and use and that are important to you. Just sort through the pile, picking out the really essential stuff. Be very selective. Put the important stuff you pick out into a separate, smaller pile.

3. Eliminate. Toss the rest out. You know you’ll never need those manuals again. Don’t be sentimental with this step. Either throw everything into a big trash bag, or find a new home for some of the items if you think someone might have a use for them — donate them to charity or give them to a friend who would love them. And yes, you have to toss out all the chopsticks.

4. Organize. Put back the essential things, neatly, with space around things. Clean the drawer out first, of course, and put the very small pile of things you chose back in the drawer, grouping like things together and leaving space around the groups. Having space around things makes everything look neater and simpler.

This process is repeated for every drawer, shelf, table top, counter space, floor, closet, or any other area you’re trying to declutter.

10 Ways to Get Started

When you first decide to tackle your clutter, things can be overwhelming. Don’t let that intimidate you! Just get started, and tackle one small thing at a time. Don’t worry about the entire mess — focus on one area. Just that one area. It could be a countertop. It could be a drawer. It could be just a little corner of a room. It doesn’t matter what you choose — just start small.

Here are some different strategies for getting started — choose one and give it a try. If it turns out to be too hard, try another. It doesn’t matter which one you choose — what matters is starting.

1. Start clearing a starting zone. What you want to do is clear one area. This is your no-clutter zone. It can be a counter, or your kitchen table, or the three-foot perimeter around your couch. Wherever you start, make a rule: nothing can be placed there that’s not actually in use. Everything must be put away. Once you have that clutter-free zone, keep it that way! Now, each day, slowly expand your no-clutter zone until it envelopes the whole house! Unfortunately, the neighbors don’t seem to like it when you try to expand the no-clutter zone to their house, and start hauling away their unused exercise equipment and torn underwear when they’re not at home. Some people don’t appreciate simplicity, I guess.

2. Clear off a counter. You want to get your house so that all flat spaces are clear of clutter. Maybe they have a toaster on them, maybe a decorative candle, but not a lot of clutter. So start with one counter. Clear off everything possible, except maybe one or two essential things. Have a blender you haven’t used since jazzercise was all the rage? Put it in the cupboard! Clear off all papers and all the other junk you’ve been tossing on the counter too.

3. Pick a shelf. Now that you’ve done a counter, try a shelf. It doesn’t matter what shelf. Could be a shelf in a closet, or on a bookshelf. Don’t tackle the whole bookshelf — just one shelf. Clear all non-essential things and leave it looking neat and clutter-free.

4. Schedule a decluttering weekend. Maybe you don’t feel like doing a huge decluttering session right now. But if you take the time to schedule it for later this month, you can clear your schedule, and if you have a family, get them involved too. The more hands pitching in, the better. Get boxes and trash bags ready, and plan a trip to a charity to drop off donated items. You might not get the entire house decluttered during the weekend, but you’ll probably make great progress.

5. Pick up 5 things, and find places for them. These should be things that you actually use, but that you just seem to put anywhere, because they don’t have good places. If you don’t know exactly where things belong, you have to designate a good spot. Take a minute to think it through — where would be a good spot? Then always put those things in those spots when you’re done using them. Do this for everything in your home, a few things at a time.

6. Spend a few minutes visualizing the room. When I’m decluttering, I like to take a moment to take a look at a room, and think about how I want it to look. What are the most essential pieces of furniture? What doesn’t belong in the room but has just gravitated there? What is on the floor (hint: only furniture and rugs belong there) and what is on the other flat surfaces? Once I’ve visualized how the room will look uncluttered, and figured out what is essential, I get rid of the rest.

7. Put a load in your car for charity. If you’ve decluttered a bunch of stuff, you might have a “to donate” pile that’s just taking up space in a corner of your room. Take a few minutes to box it up and put it in your trunk. Then tomorrow, drop it off.

8. Pull out some clothes you don’t wear. As you’re getting ready for work, and going through your closet for something to wear, spend a few minutes pulling out ones you haven’t worn in a few months. If they’re seasonal clothes, store them in a box. Get rid of the rest. Do this a little at a time until your closet (and then your drawers) only contains stuff you actually wear.

9. Clear out your medicine cabinet. If you don’t have one spot for medicines, create one now. Go through everything for the outdated medicines, the stuff you’ll never use again, the dirty-looking bandages, the creams that you’ve found you’re allergic to, the ointments that never had an effect on your energy or your eye wrinkles. Simplify to the essential.

10. Pull everything out of a drawer. Just take the drawer out and empty it on a table. Then sort the drawer into three piles: 1) stuff that really should go in the drawer; 2) stuff that belongs elsewhere; 3) stuff to get rid of. Clean the drawer out nice, then put the stuff in the first pile back neatly and orderly. Deal with the other piles immediately!

The Next Steps

Once you’ve gotten a start, here are some other steps you can take to keep your momentum going:

1. Tackle one spot at a time. After doing one or two spots in the section above, choose another. Just do one spot at a time — don’t worry about the rest of the house. Each time you tackle a spot, you’re making another uncluttered space. Set aside a little time each day to do this, or big chunks if you can find them.

2. Designate a spot for incoming papers. Papers often account for a lot of our clutter. This is because we put them in different spots — on the counter, on the table, on our desk, in a drawer, on top of our dresser, in our car. No wonder we can’t find anything! Designate an in-box tray or spot in your home (or at your office, for that matter) and don’t put down papers anywhere but that spot. Got mail? Put it in the inbox. Got school papers? Put it in the inbox. Receipts, warranties, manuals, notices, flyers? In the inbox! This one little change can really transform your paperwork.

3. Create a “maybe” box. Sometimes when you’re going through a pile of stuff, you know exactly what to keep (the stuff you love and use) and what to trash or donate. But then there’s the stuff you don’t use, but think you might want it or need it someday. You can’t bear to get rid of that stuff! So create a “maybe” box, and put this stuff there. Then store the box somewhere hidden, out of the way. Put a note on your calendar six months from now to look in the box. Then pull it out, six months later, and see if it’s anything you really needed. Usually, you can just dump the whole box, because you never needed that stuff.

4. Create a 30-day list. The problem with decluttering is that we can declutter our butts off (don’t actually try that — it’s painful) but it just comes back because we buy more stuff. So fight that tendency by nipping it in the bud: don’t buy the stuff in the first place. Take a minute to create a 30-day list, and every time you want to buy something that’s not absolutely necessary (and no, that new Macbook Air isn’t absolutely necessary), put it on the list with the date it was added to the list. Make a rule never to buy anything (except necessities) unless they’ve been on the list for 30 days. Often you’ll lose the urge to buy the stuff and you’ll save yourself a lot of money and clutter.

5. Learn to file quickly. Once you’ve created your simple filing system, you just need to learn to use it regularly. Take a handful of papers from your pile, or your inbox, and go through them one at a time, starting from the top paper and working down. Make quick decisions: trash them, file them immediately, or make a note of the action required and put them in an “action” file. Don’t put anything back on the pile, and don’t put them anywhere but in a folder (and no cheating “to be filed” folders!) or in the trash/recycling bin.

6. Teach your kids where things belong. This only applies to the parents among us, of course, but if you teach your kids where things go, and start teaching them the habit of putting them there, you’ll go a long way to keeping your house uncluttered. Of course, they won’t learn the habit overnight, so you’ll have to be very very patient with them and just keep teaching them until they’ve got it. And better yet, set the example for them and get into the habit yourself.

7. Set up some simple folders. Sometimes our papers pile up high because we don’t have good places to put them. Create some simple folders with labels for your major bills and similar paperwork. Put them in one spot. Your system doesn’t have to be complete, but keep some extra folders and labels in case you need to quickly create a new file.

8. Have a conversation with your SO or roommate. Sometimes the problem isn’t just with us, it’s with the person or people we live with. An uncluttered home is the result of a shared philosophy of simplicity of all the people living in the house. If you take a few minutes to explain that you really want to have an uncluttered house, and that you could use their help, you can go a long way to getting to that point. Try to be persuasive and encouraging rather than nagging and negative. Read more about living with a pack rat.

9. Learn to love the uncluttered look. Once you’ve gotten an area decluttered, you should take the time to enjoy that look. It’s a lovely look. Make that your standard! Learn to hate clutter! Then catch clutter and kill it wherever it crops up.

Keeping It Uncluttered

Once you’ve tackled most of your clutter, you want to keep it fairly uncluttered from here on out. And trust me, clutter will come back if you let it. You have to make decluttering a continuous process — not necessarily every day or week, but something that you regularly revisit. More importantly, create systems and habits that will keep the clutter from overwhelming you once again.

Here are some ideas:

* One in, two out. Make it a rule: for every new item that comes into your life, you need to remove two. That means gifts, clothes, shoes, books, magazines, anything. It’s great to have a place where you put things you’re going to get rid of … whether to give to other people or to donate to charity or to take to a used book store. Then you can just grab the stuff on your way out to do errands.

* Limited storage. I like this rule because it fits in with my philosophy of self-set limitations: don’t allow yourself to have tons of storage space. The more storage you have, the more stuff you’ll keep. Instead, have limited storage and if stuff doesn’t fit in there, get rid of it. That forces you to make choices. They key is making those choices … if you don’t, you’ll end up with clutter.

* Clear floors and flat surfaces. Keep them clear. A room looks so much cleaner if all flat surfaces, from the floor to tabletops to countertops, are clear of clutter. Remove everything from these surfaces except perhaps one or two decorative items (don’t clutter with knick knacks). If you find stuff making its way here, clear it out. Clearing surfaces once a day or every couple days is a good routine.

* Designate a home for everything, and be fanatic. When you find stuff on flat surfaces, or draping over a chair, it might be because you don’t have a designated spot for that kind of thing. If you don’t, designate a spot for it immediately. If stuff doesn’t have a home in your home, you need to get rid of it, or it will forever wander around the house. The other problem might be that you have already designated a spot for it, but you’re just not good at putting it away. In that case, take a month to build up the habit of putting things where they belong immediately. It’ll make a huge difference.

* Regular decluttering sessions. Put in your calendar. Even the best of us need to declutter regularly. If you’ve decluttered your home, things might be great now, but you’ll need to do clutter maintenance. Put it in your calendar: perhaps once a month, once a week, or once every few months. Experiment to see what interval works for your life.

* Reduce your desires for more. If clutter is coming into your life at a rate that’s too great for you to handle, you might need to look at your buying habits. Do you go shopping for clothes or gadgets or shoes or books every week (or more)? Are you always buying stuff online? If so, is it out of real necessity, or do you just like to buy stuff? It’s important that you take a look at these desires, and see if you can address them. Reducing your desires will go a long way to reducing your need to fight clutter.

* Change your habits. Clutter didn’t create itself. It’s there because you put it there. What habits do you have that created the clutter? There may be many of them, some of them already mentioned above: you buy a lot, you don’t designate a home for things, you don’t put things away, you buy but don’t remove things … you may have other habits that create clutter. Change those habits, one at a time. Take 30 days and focus on a clutter habit, and see if you can create a new habit that will reduce your clutter.

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” - William Morris

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

5 Clutter Personality Types--which one are you?

I recently watched a Nate Berkus episode where Geralin Thomas described five clutter personality types. Take a look and let me know which one are you?
1. Easily Distracted
2. Procrastinator
3. Bargain Shopper
4. Sentimentalist
5. Perfectionist

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lists, my life would fall apart without them.

I find lists particularly purposeful when they can be reused, especially at certain times during the year, like now during the holidays or when I'm planning a vacation. Or, for everyday activities such as grocery shopping and meal planning. Template reusable lists (checklists) are a huge time saver and there are lots of resources out there that provide them. To help you I have collected a list of my top five:

Real Simple Checklists
Printable Grocery Lists
Simply Checklists
Checklists for Parents of College Students

Check them out and save yourself not only time but your sanity!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My son leaves for college in one month…so, what does that have to do with organizing?

A lot! There is more to going to college than packing up clothes and ordering dorm bedding—you do know that you need extra long sheets for dorm beds don’t you?

Even if you don’t have children heading off to college one day, read on for ways you can save money for other reasons or just how to live with less.

For those of you with young children, those planning to have children or those who have a child just a few years away from finishing high school if you haven’t started saving for your child’s college education, START. I thought I was prepared financially but I’m not even close. I thought my insanely brainy boy would be raking in the scholarships—NOT. Don’t count on scholarships, don’t count on great loan rates, and most of all don’t count on family. START saving A LOT of money now.

My son is going to an out-of-state college (not private) and that alone is costing $15,000 more a year just because he isn’t a resident. Yes, $15,000 MORE not total. And, if you thinking obtaining residency is easy—well rethink that idea, it’s not. When I starting saving for him I thought I would be paying $10,000 TOTAL per year for four years. He is studying architecture and it is at least a five year program. I also thought the money would grow, but we all know what happened to the market and college funds in the past two, now you know how far behind I am with my savings plan!

Lastly, don’t let your financial planner tell you to worry about your own retirement first. Because when the time comes that same financial planner will say, “What were you thinking, how are you going to pay for his college?” I’m thinking of firing my financial planner!

Here are a few ideas to save you money that you can deposit into your child’s college fund or just live on less money:

1. Clip coupons and use the Couponizer to organize them. I wish I had started doing this 18+ years ago I might actually have saved enough for college just with clipping coupons.

2. Consign your gently worn clothing that you are no longer wearing. My daughter regularly sells her clothing to the Buffalo Exchange to pay for her new clothing. My son, daughter and I have consignment accounts at Katelyn’s Closet and 95% of what we consign sells.

3. Only pay for something if it is on sale (groceries may be the exception here since not everything you need at the grocery store will always be on sale). But, don’t buy something just because it is on sale. Buy if you need it and buy it on sale.

4. Ok, you have heard this one a zillion times—stop buying your daily latte, mocha or whatever your drink of choice is. Deposit the $3+ into your child’s college fund instead. In one year you will save $1,092+, but in 18 years you will save $19,656 plus interest. My husband and I didn’t give up coffee altogether. A few years ago we bought an espresso machine for a ridiculous sale price and now make all of our lattes and mochas at home. Between the two of us we save $2,704+ year—that covers textbooks.

5. If you are fortunate enough to have someone else clean your home, consider cutting back to once a month instead of weekly or biweekly and do all of the cleaning yourself. I’m not sure exactly what this costs, since I clean my home, but I have heard it is around $100+ a cleaning. So, depending on how often your cleaning crew cleans will depend on how much you save. But whatever it is, deposit into your child’s college fund.

6. Walk or use public transportation more and save the gas money. Consolidate your errands and do them all on one day instead of going out every day. If I didn’t need my car for my business I would seriously consider giving it up. I would save thousands of dollars a year in gas, maintenance and insurance costs. I would probably weigh 10 pounds less too with all of the walking I would do.

7. I can hear my father’s voice with this idea, “Turn off the lights! Stop running the water while you brush your teeth!” These seem like trivial ideas, but believe me you will save hundreds of dollars a year if you are more energy conscious.

8. When you get a raise, save it with every paycheck. If you could live on what you made before, you can still live on it.

9. Have an annual garage sale. I had my first one in 15 years a few weeks ago. I’m great at going through my stuff on a regular basis and donating to charitable organizations. But, with our first tuition payment due I rethought this practice and decided to hold a garage sale. We didn’t make tons of money but we made $550 and we would have given that away with past practice. It may not sound like much, but when you realize it will pay for your child to come home for Thanksgiving or Christmas it is a fortune! For tips on a successful garage sale read my good friend and colleague Danielle Liu’s garage sale tip sheet.

10. Do it yourself! As I write this blog I’m watching my husband wash the windows. Something we in the past have hired to have done. But we’re saving $200 to do it ourselves. In a few weeks my husband is going to demo the master bathroom down to the studs and remodel it himself. We were told by one company it would cost us $25,000. That was a huge motivator to do it ourselves and hire only what we need such as a drywaller and electrician.

I could go on and on with money saving ideas, because believe me I’m implementing them all at least for the next 7-10 years my kids are in college (yes, my daughter starts in two years, that’s when the pain really starts). If you have money saving ideas, please share them with me.

I have implemented a sliding scale plan that will help you to save money when you work with me. And, referrals are always appreciated!

No matter what, start saving for a purpose or to live with less.

So, if you see me and my gray hair roots are showing and my clothes look like they are off the Goodwill rack, please don’t judge because my kids’ college education depends on it!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Get Organized Today!

Personal and professional success is the result of more than talent, commitment and hard work. Success requires you to organize your home, your office and your relationships to meet the demanding needs of each. How efficiently you order these important aspects of your life is your key to finding success with ease and is one of the most important tools you have for becoming the absolute best you can be.

In Get Organized Today!, myself and 18 other top experts have joined to give you insightful guidance and advice learned through years of study and consulting with their clients and colleagues. These experts share their secrets and give you powerful organizing information and strategies. All the organizing professionals you will meet in this book want you to live your life with ease and simplicity.

Get Organized Today
! is the book you need to help you plan, execute and maintain order in your work, life and relationships.

Get Organized Today! Retails for $24.00 and you can receive your signed copy today for only $20.00 plus shipping.

Order Get Organized Today! and Receive my 4 Weeks To Reclaim Your Time e-workbook FREE.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

50 Best Blogs to Organize Everything in Your Life

I'm thrilled my blog is listed among the 50 Best Blogs to Organize Everything in Your Life featured on

Online Degrees is dedicated to helping students find the best accredited online college to pursue their associate's, bachelor's, or graduate degree. They work diligently to find the best online schools which provide the ultimate in schedule flexibility while delivering a high quality education. With so many excellent online colleges to choose from, they will work with you to match your career needs with the perfect online education choice.

If you are interested in pursing a Professional Organizing career online check out my online Webinars and Self-study programs for Professional Organizer business owners.

And, be sure to check out the other 49 best blogs on Online

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Listen to My Clutter-Busting Tips for the Entire Home

I had the extreme pleasure to be interviewed by Matt and Bonnie Dewkett of The Joyful Organizer. Listen to some wonderful organizing tips that you can apply to any room in the home. I also provide and explain some of the benefits of getting organized.

Listen to internet radio with The Joyful Organizer on Blog Talk Radio

Please share with friends and family and feel free to rate the show in iTunes.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Feeling BLIS from NAPO Conference

Last week I was in Columbus, Ohio for my 8th NAPO conference. I always come back re-energized and exploding with new organizing systems, techniques and practices as well as inspiration from fellow Professional Organizers. Here are a few new ideas that I would love to share with you (my clients):

Set-up your power office
Tackle your towering to-do list
The cost benefits of organizing
Strategies to organize individuals with ADD/ADHD
Organizing tools you can find on the Web
How to maximize small spaces

As always, I learned a lot and also met some fun and functional organizing vendors. My favorite is BLIS (Best Life Information System) and I would love to show you a demo of how this Web-based home and life information management system allows you to have all of your important information at your fingertips. You can quickly view your calendar, link to a Web site, pull up your family’s important medical information, plan a birthday party, make a to-do list, or locate the plumber’s number, just to name a few of the 1,000 actions BLIS can do. It is a secure Web-based program allowing users to access important information remotely and conveniently.

Call me today to set up a session on any of these new organizing ideas and products I have discovered. Speaking of sessions, I was inspired to establish a new pricing model—the more hours you purchase, the lower your cost, ask me how I can save you money and get organized.

I can’t wait to save you money and show you some powerful organizing tools and systems!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Announcing...Get Organized Today

I am thrilled to be a co-author of Get Organized Today with so many top-notch and fun Professional Organizers!

Get Organized Today will be available late-Summer 2010.

My chapter is Win at Organizing - Overcoming Chronic Disorganization.

For complete details visit our Web site Books page.

Schedule me to speak to your organization (work, church, club, networking group, etc.) about how to Win at Organizing. Call me for details 503.246.0170.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Taking a fresh look at your business

Sometimes it's difficult to imagine that taking on those organizing projects may save you money instead of cost you money. Getting organized is an investment. Over time you will save money, increase productivity and achieve a better balanced work environment. If people know where...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Art Closet Organizing Makeover Masterpiece

Tried out my new flip camera video taping a client's art closet organizing makeover. Here are the results...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Hear what people are saying about our GO System Webinars

Here's what people are saying about our GO System training:

I thoroughly enjoyed the training and felt that Anne was clear and concise with the information.

I am a new organizer and really appreciated the depth and scope of information presented in the webinar. Having an understanding of underlying issues with clients is essential in providing excellent service. Signe Hill

I highly recommend the Go System as a set of tools to work with in order to become more productive, have more clarity and work more efficiently.

The Go System course was both enlightening and educational. It is unlike any other organizing course I have taken. Knowing why things instead of just knowing that they happen will make me both a better Professional Organizer and a better business owner. I highly recommend this course to anyone that would like some specific actions to take to improve their productivity. Cindy Vanhoff Professional Organizer Reclaimed Spaces, LLC Spokane, Washington

I really liked the multi-tasking exercise! It was a real eye opener.

I set up the file system and did the prioritizing. It felt FABULOUS! Thanks Anne!

I've been using the FOCUS method to get some major projects done.

Register for our next Webinar series starting March 5, 2010.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

4 Weeks to Reclaim Your Time - eBook

Do you know poor organization is often a derivative of poor time management?
Do you often feel overwhelmed?
Are you feeling like you juggle too many tasks at once?
Do you feel your environment is in constant chaos?
Do you feel like you have too much to do and not enough hours in the day to do everything?
Do you often say, “I’m too busy, I don’t have time.”

Then this e-workbook is for you!

For 28 days follow my Four Week Plan to More Effective Time Management and I will teach you habits that will lead to more control over your time and skills to manage yourself within your time more effectively.

There are 24 hours in one day, 7 days in one week, and 365 days in a year. We all get the same exact amount of time. It is how we choose to spend our time that makes the difference. You’ll be amazed at the changes you can make in just four weeks and I’m sure you will be surprised at how easy the changes are to make.

Each week covers a different focus:
Week One (habits 1-7) creating new habits, goal setting (the foundation of effective time management) and prioritizing
Week Two (habits 8-14) time management tools
Week Three (habits 15-21) planning and scheduling
Week Four (habits 22-28) addressing procrastination

Ready? Get started! Full color e-workbook just $9.95.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Your Go System Registration

It's time to register for the next GO System Webinar Lunch and Learn series starting February 12, 2010. The great thing about Webinars is you can attend them without ever leaving your office or home!

The GO System is a training course that focuses on workplace productivity. This course is for those of you who have "had enough" in terms of workplace stress, long hours and unproductive workdays...and are seriously ready to get more focused, organized, and productive. The GO System addresses seven major issues that help significantly improve personal and workplace results including:
1. Establishing strong foundational habits
2. Processing incoming items
3. Prioritizing
4. Using time rationally
5. Effectively managing projects
6. Understanding personality issues
7. Understanding psychological issues

The bottom line - you'll get more done!

The profile of a typical GO System course candidate:
*Unorganized people who have finally "had enough" are excellent candidates.
*Surprisingly, highly organized people respond very positively to GO System training. These people are typically constantly on the lookout for a few more good ideas, or looking for a resource to help others in their workgroup get more organized and productive.
*People recently, or about to be, promoted to management find the GO System very helpful as do others experiencing a significant increase in responsibility.
If you are interested, and I hope you are, grab a sandwich and join me!

For complete details visit our Web site GO System page

Registration closes Friday, February 5th.

This is also a great workplace training event for your employees.
Call for details 503.246.0170

Thursday, January 28, 2010

NAPO Oregon Presents: 2010 Pacific Northwest Organizing Expo

This is a free event, so come join us! Stop by and see me at the Professional Organizer Training Institute booth. Great door prizes!

For more information visit their website .

NAPO Oregon Presents: 2010 Pacific Northwest Organizing Expo
January 30, 2010, 10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Montgomery Park
, 2701 NW Vaughn Street, Portland Oregon

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

How to Get a Copy of Your Vital Records by Real Simple

Have you ever been frustrated because you could not find an important document when you needed it and then further frustrated because you did not know how to obtain a replacement? It's 'real simple', here is all you need to know How to Get a Copy of Your Birth Certificate, Replace a Passport, and Store Important Documents | How to Replace Your Passport |  Real Simple.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


I’m kicking off GO Month with my GO System Webinar Lunch and Learn series.

GO stands for Getting Organized. January 2010 will mark the sixth year of NAPO sponsoring Get Organized (GO) Month. GO Month is dedicated to raising awareness of the benefits of getting organized and of hiring a NAPO professional organizer.

The GO System is a training course that focuses on workplace productivity. This course is for those of you who have “had enough” in terms of workplace stress, long hours and unproductive workdays…and are seriously ready to get more focused, organized and productive. The GO System addresses seven major issues that help significantly improve personal and workplace results including:
1. Establishing strong foundational habits
2. Processing incoming items
3. Prioritizing
4. Using time rationally
5. Effectively managing projects
6. Understanding personality issues
7. Understanding psychological issues

The bottom line – you’ll get more done!

Many people offer the following advice: They tell you to, “Work smarter…not harder! Few of these people offer any specific, solid, practical or proven suggestions on how to do this.

The GO System addresses 14 specific issues, ideas and strategies to help you learn to work smarter, not harder. People often say, “If I get one good idea from a training course it will be worth my time and money.” You will experience and enjoy at least 14 major takeaways from the GO System course.

You'll be able to:
Ensure that time spent at work is quality, productive time
Decrease productivity-killing stress and anxiety
Improve your ability to follow up and follow through on assignments
Improve your ability to quickly recover from unexpected interruptions
Increase your contribution to the bottom-line results of your organization

The GO System course content is unique, interesting, relevant, easy-to-understand and easy-to implement. Researchers have determined time and time again that people pay attention to, and remember, things that are novel, interesting, relevant to their particular situation and clearly presented.

Now, more than any other time you need to be demonstrating that you are organized, productive, and highly effective either in your workplace, to your customers, for your family, and for yourself.

Register for my GO System Webinar training and learn simple, specific and effective solutions that offer quick relief to workplace and personal stress. Over the course of three one-hour live “lunch and learn” webinars you will learn specifically about:

Your $64.95 registration payment includes:

A 64-page, four-color, high quality, professionally developed workbook to reinforce the course material during the class and document all the main points of the training course for after class review. $19.95 (includes shipping)

THREE one-hour live lunch and learn webinars ($15 each hour):
January 22, 29, and February 5 (12:00-1:00 p.m. East Coast OR 12:00-1:00 West Coast Time), OR

February 12,19, and 26 (12:00-1:00 p.m. East Coast OR 12:00-1:00 West Coast Time), OR

March 5, 12, and 19 (12:00-1:00 p.m. East Coast OR 12:00-1:00 West Coast Time),

Access to a special GO System resources website for 12 months following your participation in the course. This website offers a wide variety of tools, resources, articles and information to help reinforce and implement the ideas presented in the GO System course.

What about the return-on-investment for the training?

In terms of money, compute both the cost of disorganization and the break-even related to your investment in GO System training.

In terms of time, give me 3 hours of your time and I’ll show you how to free up over 10 weeks of available time over the next 12 months. Not a bad tradeoff!

To borrow a tag line from a TV ad, the relief from stress and anxiety is priceless!

Don’t spend one more day lacking focus, being unproductive, or disorganized! Register for your GO System training now! Space is limited--register now!

A bit about me...

I love to organize anything! I love to read anything on the subject of organizing. I especially love helping others learn the joy and simplification organizing habits and behaviors can bring to their lives.

Click here to learn a bit about me and visit our websites (organizing services), (training and education for professional organizers) and my book web site

Anne Blumer

Anne Blumer
Certified Professional Organizer, Certified GO System Trainer and Consultant, and Certified FreedomFiler Consultant

Client Before and After Pictures

Certified Professional Organizer

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