Happy Halloween.......how to organize your candy...

Dump candy from bag...put like candy with like candy... label Ziploc bags, place candy in Ziploc bag and throw into freezer! (The freezer keeps it fresh and it's more difficult to eat fast, hence, less calories.) Enjoy!


Organized People Don't Procrastinate

Fifth......organized people don't procrastinate. I'm not sure if this is entirely true. It all depends on what organized people love to do and don't like to do, just like everyone else. Now cleaning the toilet, yes I procrasinate, until I can have my husband or a child do it. Ha! I don't procrasinate when I have to practice my piano, make doctor's appointments, help a friend or family member, things I enjoy doing.

If there is something that has to be done and I don't want to do it, I reward myself for doing it.
There are ways to get things done.
1) Write the "to-do's" on a list and see what you can put into baby steps to accomplish each task.

Making Appointments

  1. Write down the appointments you need to make.
  2. Prioritize the appointments.
  3. Take a slip of paper and list them in priority order, along with the information you need to have to make that appointment and a few dates that you would be able to schedule the appointment.
Start with the #1 appointment. Some time during the day make the appointment. I like to make appointments while sitting in the car waiting for my child during a lesson. You can be creative in using the small increments of time that you do have during the day.

Give it a try and see how many you appointments you can schedule in one day's time! Remember to reward yourself.

Cleaning Projects
I like to do my little cleaning projects, wiping out my cupboards, cleaning a drawer, etc... while I'm on the phone talking to friends or family. I'll open a drawer that needs to be fine tuned (I can't say organized, because I think all of my drawers in my home are organized) and work on it while talking. I also like to sort through files or little projects while watching my favorite television shows. Find a time when it doesn't take too much concentration to multi task to get little projects done.
If you have to schedule a 10 minute time slot a few days a week, that you don't plan anything and just do one thing on your "to-do" list. You'll find more success by accomplishing your tasks in little steps.


Fourth Thing Organized People Do..........

Fourth...They don't allow papers to pile up. Papers to file are filed each day, not left to grow into mountains. Mail is opened over the recycle container so papers not needed don't even have a chance to multiply. Kids permission slips are signed right away and sent back to school with the kids. Bills are tucked into a bill paying system until bill paying day, and paid bill statements are filed away that day. Magazines are read within a week or two and then recycled or donated.

It may sound difficult, but if you start now with the incoming mail, it'll become a habit over time.

There are helpful things you can do to stop unwanted mail from arriving to your mailbox. I have listed links to websites on the right of my blog to help you stop unwanted mail, i.e, catalogues, credit card offers, advertisements, etc.... . It is a good idea to stop the credit card offers from coming to your mailbox to help prevent identity theft. If you want a new credit card you can always go online and request one through your favorite bank.

After I have thrown all the recyclable papers in the recycle bin, I have two piles to bring into the house, 1) To Be Shredded 2) To Be Filed.

I shred the papers and put the "to be filed" in a drawer that I have designated as a holding place before filing. You don't always have time to file right then and there. My holding place is above the drawer that I have my files in. This holding place keeps the clutter down and out of sight. Every few days I go through the paper pile and file the papers, add bills to my automatic bill payer, and file my receipts from the week.

Another source of paper clutter is your children's school papers, handouts that you've collected, fliers, etc... If I have a paper that needs to be filled out and signed for my child, I fill it out and sign it. If I don't have time right then, I keep a clip board on my kitchen counter to place papers that I need to get to and then I can pick up that clip board and take it with me. This allows me to have a hard surface to write on when I'm sitting at an appointment or soccer practice and I try to clear off the clipboard before evenings' end. It's also handy if you're watching tv, to place on your lap to fill out the paperwork.

After I have filled out important papers, I file them. I keep a filing box with a file folder for each family member, in a handy place above my phone in the kitchen cabinet. If I receive a notice of a field trip that is coming up in the following month, I sign it, send it back to school and write the date on my calendar or Outlook and file it in the corresponding child's file. Later when I have a question about the field trip, I can pull the paper out of my file and get the information I need. Also, as I go through the file, while talking on the phone, a good use of time for little projects like this, I can recycle that out of date field trip paper.

My time is precious to me and so the magazines I read are very limited. I think I subscribe to one magazine that I love to get monthly, "Real Simple". I read the magazine and if there is an item that I find interesting or a recipe, I dog ear the page. When I have finished the magazine, I go back to the dog eared page and tear that portion out. I usually do this later, after a week or so has passed, then I can have another try at the importance of the item I'm wanting to save. For example, if it's a website to look at, I put that website address on my clipboard and next time I'm at the computer I can look up the website. If the website has too much information to take a quick look, I usually tag it under "my favorites" under a category "To Be Read" and save it for later. If I save a recipe, I put it on my clipboard and try to incorporate it into my weekly meal planning. If I haven't used the recipe in a few weeks, I convince myself that I may never use it and if I need to I can find it on the web.

I keep a 1" binder near with 8" x 11 1/2" page protectors divided into different categories, i.e. home improvement ideas, decorating ideas, kids activities, etc... I take the dog eared page and slip it into the proper category's page protector. Every few months when I have a spare minute I go through the binder and do a clean out. I usually date the page so I know how long I've had it sitting in my binder. That is a big help when deciding if you really need to keep it any longer.
I fI receive a catalogue and I see an item that I think I may want to order, I tear that page out and put it on my clipboard. It usually stays on the clipboard for a few days so I can decide if I really need that item, or if I was just thinking I would look like the model in the catalogue if I purchased that item. Or if I'm near the store I can take the photo and show the saleslady and she can lead me to it. I try it on and it usually ends up looking better on the model than on me. Ha! Money saved!

So take a deep breath and just think of one thing you can change in your routine to help clear the paper clutter. Remember, I've been doing this for a long time and it does take time and practice. But there's no better time than now to make one little change.

Good luck, I know you can do it!


Write It Down....

Third... They write things down. Organized people make lists and notes, and keep these in one consistent place such as a planner, notebook or calendar. They don't try to remember things in their heads. They let the pen and paper (or the computer) work for them. They reference their lists and notes on a daily basis.

In this day and age there is really no excuse to not write or type things down. We have PDA's, cell phones, Outlook calendar, and not to mention notepads, post it notes, and calendars in all shapes and sizes.

You need to evaluate the best way for you to keep track of appointments, events and the "to-do's".

PDA/Cell phones are a very helpful tool. We almost all have cell phones. If you don't know how to use the calendaring tool, call yourself and leave a message with an important date or item you need to take care of. You could also text yourself a note. When doing this you are able to listen to the message when you have time to write it down. You can also text the person that needs to take care of the "to-do" and let them know to jot it down and that they'll be responsible for that item. I do this to my teenage children all the time. I text and then forget about it, someone else is responsible. The options are numerous using today's technology.

Outlook calendar is a tool that I use consistently. I'm able to sync my PDA/Cell phone to my computer and add new items to my computer and visa verse. When I receive an email with information on an event, appointment, etc... I immediately add it to my outlook calendar. I sync up my computer and cell phone and have all the information at my fingertips. You are also able to send an email appointment to another person letting them know of a calendaring item. In return they can accept that item or email you back with their reply. Endless opportunities!

Now there are some that like the feel of paper and crossing off items on the list. That's just fine! Whatever works best for you, DO IT! Our goal is to write things down and whatever the system is that works...it works! (Even if you live in Microsoft land like I do, I still print out a weekly paper calendar to have on the counter for my kids to look at what is on my weekly agenda. I can also make notes onthis calendar for my to-do's, grocery items I need, etc...)

Purse size calendars or notebooks are great, as long as you don't loose them. I find this is a big excuse for some of my organizing clients. One of them even tied a cute ribbon on the spiral notebook and tied the other end to her purse. Whatever works!

Post it notes can be posted and then removed when that event or to-do is accomplished. Just keep a central place for the post-it's. You could use different color or sizes of post it's for different items. The small post-it's are great to hurry and write something down and then stick it in your calendar.

No matter what form you use the secret to success is consistency and daily review.