Monday, June 29, 2009

Your Biggest Organization Dilemma

I'm always curious to learn what people's greatest organizational dilemma is. Please comment here with the answer or send me an e-mail at: with what your biggest organizational dilemma is.

1. Time Management

2. Home Organization

3. Office Organization

4. Planning Ahead/Being Prepared

5. Clutter Management

6. I'm a Hoarder

7. Need Motivation

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Those are two of my favorite words! Many of the national department stores, home stores, and specialty stores are now reducing prices on products store-wide. I just received a Pottery Barn catalogue with their summer sale merchandise, Target's weekly ad had an entire page of organizational materials on-sale for incredible prices! Pier 1 and Crate & Barrel are having 50% off summer sales right now, too. If you're in need of purchasing home/office/kid organization materials - now is surely the time! Happy saving :)
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Organized Moms

I stumbled across a great website designed to keep moms organized! Check it out: There are agendas, mom-specific products, babysitter pads and home organizers. Worth a look!
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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Under the Bed Storage

Those of you who have ample room under your bed to store things should consider yourselves lucky! Especially if you can keep it out of sight with a cute bed skirt. I love that I can store things under my bed - it's easy, accessible and no one knows what's in this storage space. If you're considering purchasing a really nice wood bed frame, you aren't necessarily out in the cold on this one.

I have a lot of scrapbooking supplies/crafty stuff (not enough to warrant a separate scrapbooking table or area), extra office supplies, sewing supplies and a whole bunch of old scrapbooks and photo albums, as well as photo boxes. These go under my bed. They could go in a closet on a shelf, but I don't have any more room where they can be easily accessible.

How I do it: I went out to Target and bought a whole bunch of small clear plastic containers with lids (see picture), one for each type of belonging, and arranged my miscellaneous items inside. Each container has a neatly written label for easy searching, and I only go one box deep under the bed, meaning that just the perimeter of the bed has things under it, again to allow easy access. When I need something from under there it is exceptionally simple to locate it and grab it.

Why under the bed storage is great: the obvious point here, being, that it's hidden, plus it's incredibly easy to find - if your under the bed area is organized well, there's a lot of square footage under a bed which translates into a lot of storage space and it allows you to be creative by using your space creatively.

Other ideas: I personally love the clear plastic containers with lids, but some other ideas are: cute baskets if they fit under your bed, any other type of bucket or bin as long as it slides under your bed and won't tip over and spill, reusable food storage containers, small boxes, shoe boxes and customized under the bed storage systems (mainly for shoes).

For those of you who are considering purchasing a wooden bed frame, think about one that has storage built in. If I was to buy a new wood bed I wouldn't buy one that didn't come with any type of storage. That's not allowing you to maximize your space.

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

My Questions for YOU

I'm always curious where people stray from being organized. In what way of your own life are you the least organized?

1. Frequently running late (time management)
2. Frequently forgetting things (planning ahead)
3. Messy buildup/clutter in home/office/car (clutter)
4. Putting things off until the last minute (procrastination)
5. Disorganized storage
6. Lack of motivation or follow through
7. Other

What about the opposite - where do your strengths lie with regard to being organized?

Feel free to comment or send me an e-mail, -- I'm always willing to answer any personal organizing questions or dilemmas you may have!
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To Do Lists

Ah, my favorite organizational technique: the to-do list. I think that creating and sticking to a to-do list is the first step in becoming more organized. Creating a to-do list seems pretty self explanatory, but since it is my all-time favorite organizational practice I wanted to write a little blurb about why I love to-do lists.

I am probably the most forgetful person I know. If I don't write things down I will forget them. Guaranteed. I have tons of lists, most importantly my personal to-do list. Usually this list is quite long, but it is important for me to keep track of what I need to get done - or I will never accomplish the task.

Each week I block out a chunk of personal time and a separate chunk of work time to think about what I need to do and I create my modified to-do list. Throughout that week I take some time just to get stuff done. Sometimes that's what it takes to get things done - making time to do the things on your list.

My favorite to-do lists: I love, love, love Post-it notes - thank you 3M! My favorite are the 3x3" square lined notes. Anything with a sticky back on it is great. I also really love small notebooks (4.25x5.5"). They're great for toting along in my bag and whipping out anywhere to see what I've gotta get done.

When I go to the market it is vitally important for me to bring a list, otherwise I will walk around aimlessly and certainly forget half the things I intended to purchase. The same goes for running errands - I write down each stop I need to make, otherwise I'll go home without going somewhere I needed to go. Lists like these really help keep me focused and on top of things and they certainly keep me more productive
When it comes to to-do lists the options are virtually unlimited. To-do lists are really my savior - without them I would not be anywhere near as organized as I am.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Time Management

To be a whole-heartedly organized person, one must master the skill of time management. I come from a family where about half of us have that down, and the other half is "still working on it." I have learned that it doesn't make the situation any better when I get irritated when people are late or don't schedule their time adequately. It's up to the other person to change his (or her, of course!) behavior and correct the situation. I firmly believe that for those of you who struggle with managing your time, constant procrastination and tardiness that in order for you to effectively manage your time you need a complete mindset alteration.
A positive mindset is the first step towards becoming more organized with your time. If it's any consolation - think of how much time you'll save yourself by planning efficiently and effectively. This is something you'll have to figure out how to do on your own - all I know is that you need to become more aware of planning ahead and managing your time.
Once you've gotten a new mindset about time management the rest is downhill.

The important parts of managing your time are:
• Planning ahead and thinking ahead
• Scheduling your time - make an outline or a plan if really busy
• Being prepared and factoring in uncontrolled situations, like traffic, forgetting something or just running late one morning

I've written about scheduling your time and making an outline several times, so I'll just touch on that. Use a planner, a regular calendar, Outlook or other computer calendar/scheduler, an application on your PDA/iPhone or something else that you can think of that allows you to adequately plan your days. Use this scheduler to account for meetings, lunches, get-togethers, social activities, and other things you need to get done that don't necessarily have a timeframe - create monthly budget, send e-mail to your staff, sign the kids up for their summer sports, etc. In my Outlook I reserve a huge chunk of the day on Friday for my "catch up" or basic administrative work. I block off a set amount of time to accomplish specific tasks. It works really well - I don't schedule appointments then, it's my time to get things done. It works really well!

Being prepared is really important, not just for the sake of time management, but for the sole purpose of being fully and completely organized. With regards to time management, it's vital to factor in things like traffic, getting lost, an unexpected phone call as you run out the door, etc. - give yourself an extra 5 minutes or so to get somewhere as a buffer to make sure that you're on time. Set your watch 5 or 10 minutes fast and forget that you did. What's the worst that could happen? You arrive early! Your tardiness doesn't just affect you - it makes an impact on whomever you are meeting and their mood, as well as their tardiness later on in the day.

The whole planning ahead and thinking ahead aspect goes back to your mindset. If your mindset isn't there yet, this isn't going to work for you. Know what you need to get done in the future and plan for it, budget, allocate your time appropriately, plan a party or dinner with enough time to get everything ready, don't allow yourself to run out of something at home (toilet paper, dishwasher detergent, tissue, coffee...), be efficient when running errands, print out directions and confirm them the night before... The list goes on - but again, this is all on you. You've either got it or you don't. And if you don't, I think you've at least got it in there somewhere!

This is all about changing your mindset. I wish you well -- be on time today! :) **If you aren't going to be on time, have the decency to call - that's all I ask.

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