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.
Just as a doctor asks several key questions before making a diagnosis, so does a professional organizer. In a home office, one of those questions is “where is your trash?” If the client proudly points to a decorative little bin that is overflowing with paper, then I know we are looking at some easy structural solutions and some larger conceptual challenges.
Nothing keeps me busier than paper management. Computer advocates once promised a “paperless society,” but in an age when we are printing out our emails, paper is here to stay for a while. Before I can get to my best advice on paper management, however, I must first stop and have a conversation about SHREDDING. “Why bother?” You may ask. “Shouldn’t you just shred EVERYTHING to be on the safe side?”
It's only natural to want to make a fresh start in the upcoming New Year. Now is the perfect time to clear out your stuff from 2008 and create space for the new possibilities of 2009. This installment of Organizing Works is dedicated to getting rid of those old papers in your home or office. Sure, it may seem like an overwhelming task, but it's surprisingly manageable if you know what to do and what NOT to do. Here are three tips for starters: