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Posts Tagged circulation

Staying Organized with Launch Pads

Staying Organized with Launch Pads

Being organized does not necessarily mean that you accomplish everything faster. Being organized, however, does require that you help yourself by establishing actionable areas to make your finished goals easier. I call these actionable areas, launch pads. Here are some examples of some key launch pads to keep in a typical household.

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Teeing It Up

Teeing It Up

A golf ball is placed on a tee, so that the ball is in a position that it can be struck cleanly. Teeing up is a step that is taken so the next step is easier. Effective organizing systems need to be, not only a series of stages, but a series of stages that are each “teed up” for each subsequent stage.

For example, if your system for organizing the ugly mail is hiding it in a pretty basket, you have not teed up the next stage well.

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The Barrier of Perfection

Several clients have told me, “I’d like to see your house. I’ll bet it’s perfect.”  My home is not perfect and for one very good reason.  I don’t strive for perfect.  I don’t believe good organizing is about being perfect. Voltaire is credited with saying “The perfect is the enemy of the good.” Another version I have heard is “Perfect is the enemy of done.” “Perfection” sounds like a final destination.  Organization is not a destination. Organization is a vehicle that will take you where you need to go, no matter how often that changes.  Good organization doesn’t sit still.  It needs to MOVE.  It needs to move, FLUIDLY.  Circulation prevents accumulation. By circulation, I mean things need to move reliably from one stage to the next.  For this to happen, one must accept that stages cannot always be completed perfectly.  In fact, the more perfection you seek, the less progress you are likely to find.  Just as every environment needs to have limited blocks of space, every schedule needs to have limited blocks of time. The goal of an […]

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What Your Dining Table Has In Common With a Runway In Memphis

What Your Dining Table Has In Common With a Runway In Memphis

Want to make your home more inviting? The dining table is usually a great place to start. If it’s piled with mail, schoolwork, and crafts then it’s not very welcoming. To keep your table clear and inviting, it helps to think of it as a runway at the FedEx “Super Hub” at Memphis International Airport.

The most valuable organizing tool is a clear surface for processing.

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Circulation Prevents Accumulation

Circulation Prevents Accumulation This is the big one.  This is the trunk of the tree from which all my other organizing philosophies branch out.  But what exactly do I mean by circulation? A truly effective organizing system must circulate freely, just as your body’s blood supply must circulate freely.   In both cases, when there’s a blockage there’s a problem.  It’s also important to note that the circulatory system moves forward in stages.  It advances forward to the next valve, then it stops and moves forward to the next and so on, but it is a reliable circular flow forward. Let’s compare this to the daily mail.  When it piles up on the dining table, it can be overwhelming and it can easily lead to trouble like bills not getting paid, opportunities missed, and late fees.  The opposite extreme would be to pay the bills the same day they come in.  I admire people who can do this, but for most of us that’s not practical.   What IS manageable is to move the bills FORWARD to the next stage, the next […]

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The Annual Purge

Originally from Matt Baier’s Organizing Works Newsletter, April 2008 THE ANNUAL PURGE I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  CIRCULATION PREVENTS ACCUMULATION.  What better time of year than spring for a fresh start? Open the windows and let the musty winter out and the clean spring air in.  Open the storage room and let the old junk out and the new potential in.  Here are seven tips to survive and thrive through spring clearing. 1. Start with the Garage.  This may sound counter-priority, but it’s not.  Before you dive into the junk in your closets, clear out your garage.  Consider this analogy.  You may get to the airport in plenty of time for your flight to Rome, but without a passport you’re not going anywhere.  An empty garage is your passport that will get you where you need to go.  Why? Because it is the logical place to establish an exit zone.  For smelly dirty garbage it is almost outside, but protected from the elements.  For items to donate, it is as close to the vehicle (and as visible to the driver […]

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Dedicated Spaces

Dedicated Spaces

Originally from Matt Baier’s Organizing Works Newsletter, March 2008

Dedicated Spaces
I know I’m not the first Professional Organizer to talk about dedicated spaces and that’s for a very good reason. While there are many different ways to GET organized there is no better way to STAY organized than to recognize dedicated spaces.

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Top 10 Golden Rules of Storage

Originally from Matt Baier’s Organizing Works Newsletter, August 2007 TOP 10  GOLDEN RULES OF STORAGE A couple weeks ago Real Simple magazine contacted me, requesting my top 3 clutter control tips in the home office and kitchen.  Now I have nothing against Real Simple and I have no problem giving away my best tips, but I realized I simply didn’t have what they were looking for:  two sentence tricks that are room-specific.  I have found it far more helpful to offer a few good general rules that you can apply to every room in your home or office.  What follows is a list of ten such rules that relate to storage.  Many of them may be familiar by now, but hopefully there will be some new nuggets. Oh and if I’ve missed  anything here then by all means pick up the latest issue of Real Simple! 1. Store Vertically.  Clear surfaces are even more important for staying organized than for looking organized.  Clear surfaces make processing paper and other items infinitely easier.  Therefore, you should always avoid storage on horizontal surfaces like desks and tables.  To make the best […]

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Focus on Filing, Part 2: User-Friendly Filing

Originally from Matt Baier’s Organizing Works Newsletter, May 2007 FOCUS ON FILING, PART 2:  USER-FRIENDLY FILING The AVERAGE executive wastes one hour a day looking for lost or misplaced items.  That’s six weeks a year!      –The Wall Street Journal Last month I discussed the File Cycle, the lifecycle of a file in four stages of activity: Running, Sitting, Sleeping, and Dead.  Understanding a file’s lifecycle is important to staying organized because it helps you think about your files in terms of CIRCULATION, not accumulation. Sleeping and Dead files are easy to live with because they are out of your way.  Running files are easy to track because they are out where you can see them, but what about the Sitting Files?  This is where User-Friendly Filing comes in. It is very easy to make a file go away in a filing cabinet, but it is another matter entirely to retrieve it, instantly, when you need it.  User Friendly Filing begins with the need to RETRIEVE. My recommendation for User Friendly Filing is a system of organizing by CATEGORY […]

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Why is Clutter Like a Vampire?

Originally from Matt Baier’s Organizing Works Newsletter, October 2006 WHY IS CLUTTER LIKE A VAMPIRE? “80 percent of what we keep we never use.” -Barbara Hemphill, Agency Sales Magazine, 4/1/03 Most of us hang on to much more stuff than we need, but few of us want our homes and offices to LOOK that way.  So what do we do?  We get to a point where we can’t take the clutter anymore and we make it go away.  No doubt the idea is that you will get to it later when you have the time, but of course that time never comes, given your busy schedule.   Eventually a collection of make-it-go-away bags and boxes come back to HAUNT you, as your hidden storage spaces swell to overflowing.  You suddenly find yourself without options and no one likes that way that feels! OK, so I used the word “haunt” but what’s this vampire connection all about? Well, like a vampire, clutter is dangerous and frightening in the darkness (of your boxes, bags, and closets), but it is vulnerable when exposed to the […]

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