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Paper Management

Good Organizing Is Not About Hiding

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

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

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!”

“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.

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My Case Against Bulletin Boards

My Case Against Bulletin Boards

OK, how can I possibly take issue with an organizing institution as common as the bulletin board? It’s because a bulletin board is a nice idea for organizing, that doesn’t actually work.

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Getting Organized for 2014

Getting Organized for 2014

Getting organized is a very popular New Year’s resolution, but like so many resolutions, it can be a very difficult one to keep, without some simple guidelines. Here are some simple guidelines.

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Why You Have More Space in Your File Cabinet Than You Think

Why You Have More Space in Your File Cabinet Than You Think

The term “thickening agent” generally refers to paint and food products, but you might be surprised at how many thickening agents are in your file folders. Unlike gumbo, however, your files are much better off without these thickening agents. Here are six examples:

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Creating Calm from Chaos

Creating Calm from Chaos

A Guest Post from Arline Melzer

I’ve seen firsthand how Matt Baier Organizing works to create calm from chaos. He helped a client sort through a desk piled with papers, notes, wires, calculators, and bills, some that were time critical to get her children into summer camp.

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What’s Missing From Your Organizing Systems

What’s Missing From Your Organizing Systems

Actually I have no idea what’s missing from your organizing system, but today I want to talk about a couple of likely candidates: a shopping file and a pending file.

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Why the Only-Touch-a-Piece-of-Paper-Once Rule Isn’t Working For You

Why the Only-Touch-a-Piece-of-Paper-Once Rule Isn’t Working For You

Are you familiar with the only touch/handle a piece of paper once rule? Many professional organizers and time management experts recommend it. I don’t. Their thinking is that, you don’t get anywhere by shuffling papers from one pile to another. True enough. Their answer is to make a decision on one piece of paper at a time before moving on to the next piece. You may decide to read, act, file, delegate, or toss, but you MUST decide!

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