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:Read more →
Being organized requires a balance of three limited resources. The first two are time and space. Much has been written about how to work within the limits of time and space, but there is a third resource that attracts less attention. That resource is energy.
It is possible to clear your space, organize your time, and establish sensible systems for both and still not be able to stay organized, because you lack the energy to maintain those systems.Read more →
If you are a true minimalist, toss all your owner’s manuals. You can get that information online. End of post. The rest of us are not so comfortable with that approach, but would still like a simple solution for organizing owner’s manuals. In my experience as a professional organizer, I tend to see one extreme or another. Either there is no system and owner’s manuals show up in any room in the house OR there is an overly organized system. I guess I don’t have to explain what’s wrong with the first extreme, but what about the second? Is it really possible to be overly organized? What’s the harm? One of the benefits of being organized, is the ability to prioritize and make decisions more quickly. This benefit needs to start in the process of GETTING organized. The less time and energy you spend organizing less important things, the more time and energy you will have for organizing more important things. Owners manuals are one of those less important things. They basically fall under the category I call Sleeping Files, […]Read more →
If keeping a tidy home or office seems hopeless, part of the reason may be that not EVERYTHING has a home. Some categories are obvious – clothes go to the closet, books go to the bookshelf, and used coffee cups go to the kitchen sink – but what about that spare switch plate? After years of organizing homes and offices, I have come up with a checklist of consistently overlooked storage needs and solutions for them. Here they are: 1. Bills to pay. This might be the most important one and no, that pile of mail on the dining room table does not count. Solution: A small dedicated structure with slots like the 31 Day Bill Organizer keeps the bill paying challenge limited and that’s a good thing. Reserve it ONLY for bills to pay, not other to-do’s. Discard the outer envelopes and inserts as soon as the bill comes in. If you pay online then you can discard the return envelope as well. All you need is the reminders to pay. That will visually limit the task of bill […]Read more →
Originally from Matt Baier’s Organizing Works Newsletter, February 2007
It often takes 50% or more of the total effort to squeeze out the last 10% or so of quality or whatever it is perfectionists want out of a situation. Not a good investment of time. -Jeff Olson, The Agile Manager’s Guide to Getting Organized, 1997Read more →