Organizing Your Receipts

My plan for organizing receipts is actually a perfect example of my ultimate organizing approach.

Your #1 Annual Organizing Habit

I posted this video about this time last year, but it’s worth repeating. I have since come to the conclusion that rotating your files is the number one annual organizing habit.

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Organizing Files By Temperature

Our clients often get ahead of themselves. I mean WAY ahead of themselves. We may be looking at 30 bags and boxes of papers and the client will ask, “Do you recommend color-coding my files?” What I’m really hearing in their voices is “CAN we color-code my files PLEASE?” It’s as if a magical rainbow of colors will make the 30 bags and boxes disappear.

When to Organize to 100%

I have written a lot on the subject of perfectionism-as-a-barrier. People often confuse organizing with a quest to be perfect and that’s a mistake. Organizing is more about managing priorities effectively. That said, although we usually don’t have the time to be perfect, there are times when managing priorities benefits from pushing things to 100%. Here are three examples.

Points Of Compulsion To Stay Organized

It is impossible to stay organized without action. If there’s no action on paying bills, the mail will pile up; if theres no action on the laundry, the clothes will pile up; etc. Certain points of compulsion are necessary to ensure that these actions happen.

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Organizing A Wider Cast, To Last

We usually get called in for organizing help over a fairly limited problem: a cluttered garage, a pile of papers, or to-do’s not getting to done. It’s good to have a starting point, because it means that you have chosen a priority. However, to make the organizing last longer requires reaching a little further.

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Organizing Your Way Out of a 3 Ring Bind

There is a time and a place for three ring binders. Simply put, when you need to bind reference material, you should use one and when you don’t need to bind reference material you shouldn’t. So what would be some good examples?

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Organizing a Path Beyond Creativity

Much has been written recently about a study done by Kathleen Vohs, at the University of Minnesota, that finds a messy work environment promotes creative thinking. Here’s my two cents.
I’m a fan of evidence through science, but I am skeptical of these results. Furthermore, I would argue that creativity is rarely the biggest challenge.

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3 Filing Supplies I Hate and Why

On the whole, I try to avoid negative posts, but I’ve had it these guys. The organizing solutions we provide, mostly come down to editing and approach, but sometimes they are purely structural. It could partly be that you are just using the wrong supplies. Over the last ten years of organizing, we have found these three culprits used in hundreds of homes, as indispensable organizing conventions. Indispensable they are not.

Good Organizing Is Not About Hiding

Does the bag, in this photo to the right, look familiar? I see so many bags like these in client’s homes that I have a name for them. I call them make-it-go-away bags. Mail and other junk tends to pile up on the dining table or on the kitchen counter and when company is coming over, this stuff is hastily swept into a bag, which is hidden in a closet, a cabinet, or a more remote room. While there is an impetus to create these make-it-go-away bags, there is no impetus to process them. The problem is, of course, these bags have a way of accumulating and important things can go missing.

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Back To School Organizing, Z to A

Over the weekend I made the mistake of going into Staples for some boxes I needed. As I should have anticipated, the store was overrun with back-to-school shoppers. As I waited in a very long line, I couldn’t help but notice how similar the stacks of new spiral notebooks I saw awaiting purchase resembled the stacks of used spiral notebooks I see in my clients’ basements and attics.

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Finding Space in Your File Drawer

One of the many factors that compromise productivity is an overwhelming pile of papers on one’s desk. Often the cause of this excess, is a lack of space in one’s file drawers. That’s a pretty easy problem to solve. Here are three tips to create file space.

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“You Wouldn’t Believe How Much I Have Already Thrown Out!”

I’m in my tenth year as a professional organizer and clients have told me this statement more than any other. You wouldn’t believe how many times people have told me, “You wouldn’t believe how much I have already thrown out!” First, I would. Second, it’s roughly the equivalent of a smoker telling me, “you wouldn’t believe how many times I quit smoking.” It’s irrelevant. Unless you analyze the reasons for the bad habit and develop a realistic plan for maintaining a good one, the bad habit will most likely return. Here are 7 tips to make your next decluttering efforts really count.