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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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Why Your Organizing System Is Still Not Working

So you’ve bought all these great organizing supplies, done some purging, created a space for everything and everything is in its place, but you still can’t stay organized. What could possibly be missing? The problem is, life doesn’t stand still and neither do your organizing needs. There must be a plan for movement.

Organizing Lessons From the Boutique

After we have purged the excess stuff from a client’s home, we have a conversation about how best to organize and store what’s left. This involves a discussion about the showroom vs. stockroom approach, which I have written about before. This time, I want to revisit the showroom vs. stockroom approach, with the aid of two useful images.

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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Can Getting Organized, Bring You A Vacation Every Day?

Are you attached to your stuff? I hear this from clients all the time. It’s provided as an explanation for why there is too much stuff in their homes. There’s nothing wrong with being attached to something. Attachments bring us comfort. However, it is important to be aware of what we are attached to. If we are attached to too much, we get weighed down, and we can’t go anywhere.

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Good Organizing Means Good Sharing

We’ve all heard the classic organizing mantra “a place for everything and everything in its place.” That may be a good place to start, but to truly benefit from being organized, it’s necessary to push that goal a little further.

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5 Places to Learn the Lesson of Less

Overwhelmed with too much stuff to do? Get rid of some stuff you own! Why? It comes down to this very simple rule:
The more stuff you have, the more stuff you have to do. Here are five examples:

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Organizing Advice From Tio Sancho

There was a TV ad that ran in 1983 for Tio Sancho Tacos, in which Tio himself boldly declares that his tacos “don’t fall apart, so they taste great.” A schlubby guy from off camera says, “I don’t see the connection.” Tio invites the schlub over to try his (inferior) brand taco on camera while Tio tries his (superior) taco. They each take a bite and the schlub’s taco explodes all over his shirt. He tastes nothing. Tio smugly asks “How is yours?” The schlub answers “I don’t know. It fell apart.” Tio gloats, “Really? Mine is delicious.” So what does this 31 year old taco commercial have to do with organizing?

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A New Theory on Tossing Old Clutter

There are a lot of reasons for why it is hard to toss our excess stuff, that I have discussed in this blog. For example, there’s clutter from the past that holds sentimental value and there’s clutter for the future that we might need “someday.” Today, however, I want to share a new theory on why we keep clutter, that I don’t believe has ever been addressed before. I call it the check register theory. Here it is.

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Organizing Social Media For Action

A while back I wrote a guest post on my friend, Brian Bish’s blog about organizing social media. Most of what I addressed was how Brian got my social media more organized through Hootsuite. This was great for establishing a manageable, weekly foundation, but I discovered I wasn’t good at the next and most important step: social interaction.

Again, I needed a simple, manageable plan, so I had Brian return this morning to help me with one. What struck me is how much his advice for effective social media is the same as the advice I give for staying organized. Here are some examples.

January 2014, Greenwich Magazine

Need help getting organized for 2014? Clutter has a way of creeping up on us all. Whether it be tackling the closet, your basement or files sometimes it’s best to call a professional.

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Organizing Fairy Dust

In my last blog post, I gave some examples of the science of organizing. I explained that what we do is not magic, it’s science. This time, I thought it would be fun to look at some of the magical ideas I have encountered over the years about organizing and professional organizers. I call these ideas organizing fairy dust.

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Thinking Inside the Box

Thinking outside the box, of course, means thinking creatively outside of conventional constraints. I’d like to make a case for thinking inside the box. I’m not referring to a conceptual box, but an actual physical box. To be creative, you definitely want to think outside the conceptual box, but, to get organized, let’s get back to the box.

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“I’m Too Creative To Be Organized!”

There are a lot of legitimate mental barriers to being organized, but being creative is not one of them. Sorry, I’m not buying it. Why do I say this? I say this because I’m creative. In fact, I am more naturally creative than I am organized. I’m not bragging. Put a spreadsheet in front of me and I’m an idiot. Back to creativity.

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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.