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Posts tagged 'Organizing'

You always ask me what my favorite organizing products are:  Which bins, containers, gadgets and tools I love the most to help you tame the chaos in your home, office and life.  To fill this need, I'm collaborating with an exciting new website called OpenSky- a shopping site that spreads the word about great products recommended by the experts! Each week I’ll hand-pick one special favorite that I know everyone will love and send you an email with info on the product-- including the inside scoop on why I love it (and how to use it!).  As a bonus, OpenSky and I will get it for you at the ultimate VIP price, up to 50% off!   Each discount will be available for a special limited time offer that you can only get if you follow me on OpenSky.  Signing up is totally FREE!

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Even in this age of advanced technology, I find papers can build up quickly on people's desktops.  Printouts from the internet, multiple versions of documents and reports, projects that are easier to work on hard copy, meeting notes, business cards, the list is endless.  A disorganized desk is intimidating, and steals energy and focus.  Take quick control of your piles with the following tips.
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Struggles between parents and children about getting organized are common, but altogether unnecessary.   Use the following strategies to avoid battles, while helping your child become an organizing whiz:

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Have you ever felt stuck?  Like there’s something more, but you don’t know what it is? You might feel tongue-tied, indecisive and paralyzed. When something stops working, we are pulled in two different directions: one is to hold onto and fix the broken and familiar, the other is to make a fresh start.

 

We’ve all been there one time or another.

 

Often this feeling of paralysis is spurred by a natural life transition (like graduation, marriage, a new baby or a new job), an unanticipated change (the sudden loss of a loved one, a divorce, a job loss or move), or simply an inner drive for self-fulfillment and a need to shake things up.

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Does your organized home office look more like a corporate cubicle than an energizing environment where you track your household information?  It is easy for an organized space to feel sterile when it isn’t created around your vibrant personality.  When you get organized from the inside out, your space should be a reflection of who you are and a catalyst for your creativity. 

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Most people regard piles of paper, an overstuffed closet and boxes in the attic as nothing more than your regular old run-of-the-mill junk. If these items inhabit your space, it’s merely more evidence that you are indeed a packrat – a hopeless, helpless collector of stuff. But if you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a clutter crusade, you know how hurtful (and intimidating) it can feel when people pressure you to trash it all.   

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The holidays are coming, and you dream of filling your home with the aroma of baking cookies, simmering wassail and roasted goose. But 30 frustrating minutes of clattering pots later, with no sign of the roasting pan or cooling racks in sight, you’re already reaching for the catering menus. 

 

Stop! Before you throw in the dish towel, seize this holiday opportunity to create an efficient kitchen that encourages cooking and makes clean-up a piece of cake. Invest a mere 6-8 hours organizing now, and you’ll reap the benefits all year long. 

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It takes different people different amounts of time to do the identical task.

 

Once you know you how long it takes you to do something, you may decide it’s a better use of the world’s resources to have someone else do a certain task. A “do-it-all-yourself” mentality can be a big time trap.

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Good time managers calculate how long things take and build the time they need into their schedules. This is not a mysterious talent that some people are born with and you lack. It’s a simple skill anyone can learn.

Good time managers make a conscious decision to figure out how long a task will take. They simply ask themselves that question. This is a big missing link for the rest of us who say, “Okay, I’m going to do these twelve things tomorrow,” without ever pausing to consider how long each task will take.

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In figuring out where to start, it's important to determine whether you are organizing (setting up systems so you can find what you need when you need it), or SHEDing (decluttering, which is a process that helps when you are in transition, and unsure of where you are going next).
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Do you feel like life is racing by and you’re running in circles but not getting to what’s important?  Does it seem as if the harder you work and the more you do, the less time you have for what really matters in life?  Take a minute, take a deep breath and make a resolution that will allow all the others to come true:  to take control of your time.
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It’s November. And along with cold weather and shopping trips, this is the month when all the parties begin. When time is tight and you have guests coming for a party you don’t want to exhaust or stress yourself by trying to make your house perfect.  But you do want your home to be welcoming, and to feel confident having people over. The best way to achieve that is to focus on spot organizing key areas of your home which your guests are most likely to see—each area should take no more than 30-60 minutes to get in shape.

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Nothing piles up faster than the paper in our lives, nor is anything more satisfying to clean out. Make it easier on yourself by following a few simply rules to do a quick-sort and weed. Purging Paper: Speed up the process by getting a shredder and follow these simple rules.

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Waking up late on a Sunday morning, you brew coffee, grab the paper from the front door, and head for your fluffy couch. But first you need the perfect music--ah, maybe the gently energizing, velvety voice of Norah Jones. You open the CD case and ... it's empty. Where on earth is that disc? Still in the changer? In your car? In the wrong case?
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What other people call junk, I call rafts.  Stagnant, never used items are in your life for a reason….. providing clues to an attachment you’re struggling to release.  They may represent an old belief system, obsolete need, or unexpressed part of you that needs to be discovered. A wedding dress can represent a happy time in your life—or the hopes you had for your marriage; a shelf piled with your grandparent’s old dishes honors your family or the special love your granny had for you; a box of dusty, never opened action figures represents a dream you had of starting your own business.  Uncovering the reasons why you’re clinging to certain possessions can help you release the attachment—and find a better way to fulfill the goal conquer your clutter. Here’s how.
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With the school year starting, you want your child to be successful from the beginning and your child’s bedroom is the best place to start. Create a space for everything in the room (e.g. a spot for reading, homework, creative arts, dressing/clothes, etc) and make sure that the space is defined and easy to identify. It’s important to remember that you are helping your child, follow his or her lead and what makes sense to them.

Struggles between parents and children about getting organized are common, but altogether unnecessary.

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Between homework, after-school activities, friends, family, cleaning, errands and a zillion other events competing for your time, yours and your child’s life can be shockingly full of activity. It’s not easy fitting it all in, but you’d be surprised how much you can get done when you learn to organize your time.

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Bill paying is not for the faint hearted -- who wants to part with their money? Sometimes it's dread--do I have enough in the bank? Complicating matters, bills have a highly erratic personality, arriving at various times throughout the month, offering staggered due dates and a myriad of payment options. 

 

Regardless of income, honest folk have been known to come home to no lights, or destroy their credit because they can’t keep track of dates and account balances. Try explaining that to the cable company! 

 

Swashbuckle the onslaught with a simple, reliable system that minimizes the torture and maximizes your confidence in the information you are working from....

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There is nothing more frustrating or disheartening about organizing than investing hours and hours of effort but seeing absolutely no improvement in your space. This kind of discouraging experience is really the result of poor organizing techniques, which are easily fixable. To see visible, dramatic results each time you work, avoid common mistakes such as “Zigzag Organizing.”

            Most people make the mistake of scattering their organizing efforts, working back and forth between several rooms at once. This is what I call “zigzag organizing,” a method that is guaranteed to provide the minimum results in the maximum time. You start with a drawer, find a book inside that belongs elsewhere, go to the bookcase, and discover the shelves are so messy....
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I’ve been an organizing and time management consultant for nearly 20 years, helping individuals and companies to improve their spaces, systems, schedules, working relationships and lives so that they can achieve their goals.

No matter where I go in the world, or who I’m working with, everyone feels overwhelmed:  we live in a too much to do, not enough time, blackberry saddled, can’t turn off, can’t quite squeeze it all in world.  That applies equally to the philanthropist in New York trying to change the world, to the Midwest professor balancing work and kids, to the author (Fannie Flagg) preparing for a move, to the entrepreneur in Stockholm trying to take control over her business.

One of the problems I run into all the time is that while people have a deep desire to make their lives better – they just don’t always know exactly what they need. When you feel overwhelmed, you want quick relief, and reach out for solutions-- but it\'s often the WRONG thing....
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This week on CBS Sunday Morning, I had the privilege of working alongside organizer Fern Silvernagle to help contributor Nancy Giles, have an “aha moment” in taming the chaos in her house.  As she confronted the mountains of clutter that had overtaken her hallway closet, she observed that “organizing is a process…it’s a lot like therapy.”  It was fun to work with Fern, a protégé of my inside out method, who believes in helping people find their own motivation for clearing out the chaos.


I’ve always been viewed as more of a clutter whisperer, than a clutter buster.  I don’t advocate the “tough love” approaches  that make for entertaining TV—or that people hear from genuinely well meaning friends, family, and even from inside their own heads: “Don’t think, don’t hesitate, get rid of that junk!  Come on….it’s time to move on! What good is that stuff doing you?!  Throw it all away!”   ........

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Several years ago Life Magazine conducted the Great American Weekend Study, and discovered that 47% of the people surveyed wait until Thursday night or later to plan their weekends.  I don’t even need to tell you what happens when we wait too long to plan---the weekend slips through our fingers and before we know it’s Sunday night, and we didn’t do anything fun or refreshing....

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Eight days ago I plunged into the world of Twitter.  I didn't know a thing about it, but I trusted the advice of multiple friends and colleagues that this phenomenon was worth checking out.

So far so good...
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Welcome to my newly launched blog!  In addition to news from Julie Morgenstern Enterprises, I’ll be posting entries here on a wide range of topics including organizing, time management and decluttering and their relation to current events and reader feedback.  The best part is the ability for you to weigh in, ask questions and share your own perspectives...

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