JANUARY IS “GET ORGANIZED” MONTH

As most of you know, I have been a member of The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) since starting Organizing Concepts and Designs in 2010.   For those of you who are not familiar with NAPO, NAPO is The Organizing Authority®!


Since forming in 1985 as a nonprofit professional educational association, NAPO has grown to nearly 4,200 members.  NAPO leads and advances the organizing and productivity industry and is dedicated to serving its members and the public by providing professional educational opportunities, industry leadership, productive partnerships and expert information and solutions to foster growth and fulfillment for all who work within the organizing and productivity industry or benefit from its service.

 

      NAPO established GO Month in January 2003 to focus national attention on how getting organized empowers people to take back control over their time, in-boxes, paperwork and possessions.

     

     For businesses wishing to implement a more organized and structured system, NAPO offers these tips:       

 

  • Create a list of priorities for your business and determine what needs immediate action. A professional organizer or productivity specialist can review your priorities and recommend a plan for getting started, without interrupting your daily business workflow.
  • Practice better time management! A NAPO member can help both you and your staff hone time management skills and increase productivity in the workplace.
  • Evaluate your space. Does it feel productive and calm? Physically setting up better-functioning spaces can help employees reduce stress and feel motivated. A professional organizer or productivity specialist will help create the ideal balance so your workspace feels energizing, yet relaxing.

      Employees report feeling more satisfied as a result of a supportive employer providing the tools to improve productivity and reduce stress.

Organizing does not end in the workplace. Families are busier than ever before, and being organized can help reduce stress which helps lead to better health and an overall feeling of well being.

 

NAPO offers these tips for organizing yourself, your routine, and your family calendar:

  • Decide that you deserve it! Understand that you deserve to have more control over your time, your surroundings, and less stress due to feeling overwhelmed. Commit to adding structure and stability to your life.
  • Create one calendar for scheduling  the activities of everyone in your household, and daily/weekly/monthly checklists for each member of your family. Display the lists and calendar in a central location of your home, like the refrigerator or mudroom.
  • Prioritize your organization wants and needs. What room or space needs immediate attention? Talk to a NAPO member about your organization or productivity needs. He or she can help you get organized, but teach you skills to keep you that way.
  • Set realistic goals for organizing. With the help of a NAPO organizer or productivity professional, you can reach your organizing goals in a systematic way that will keep you motivated and empowered to success. You can achieve your organizing and productivity goals by creating a plan and sticking with it over time. 

  So, jumpstart January feeling powerful, productive and organized!

 

KIDS, IT’S TIME FOR SCHOOL

Unbelievable! August has just begun and everyone is already talking about “back to school”.



When I was growing up, school started just after Labor Day and we enjoyed a full 8 weeks of summer.  Obviously much has changed since then.

What hasn’t changed is what we have to do to prepare ourselves and our kids for going “back to school”, whenever that is.

Here are some great tips to help you and your family get ready to get “back to school”:

 

  • Get back on a schedule two weeks before school starts:   Routines are good as everyone knows what to expect.  Get your kids back into the groove by reintroducing the ground rules.  That means getting to bed earlier; having them read and/or write a little bit every day; taking a few minutes before bedtime to clean up and get organized for the next day.
  • Make sure that everyone is getting enough sleep:  Getting your kids to bed earlier at least two weeks before school starts is a great way to reset their internal clocks.
  • Have them read:  If they haven’t been reading all summer, have them start again.  It is one of the best ways to keep a child’s mind sharp. 
  • Make it fun:  Take them shopping to get their school supplies and some new clothes. There are a lot of sales right now so take advantage of them.
  • Get a calendar and put it in a place where everyone in the family can see it and have access to it.  Check it every morning before school to make sure everyone knows what the activities of the day are.  Check it again at night to make sure that everyone knows what’s going on the next day so that they can prepare accordingly. 
  • If your child is attending a new school, visit the school before the first day so that he/she can get a feel of the surroundings.  This will definitely alleviate some anxiety as the first day in a new school can be a bit scary no matter how old they are.

The following are some more tips for when school actually starts:

  • Have them pick out their clothes the night before.  Make sure they have the appropriate attire for the next day’s activities.
  • Showers and/or baths should be done the night before as well.  The less they have to do in the morning, the better it will be for everyone.  The warm water will also help them unwind and sleep better.
  • Check homework and make sure that assignments have been completed before bedtime and especially before TV time or any other leisure activities.  Get backpacks ready the night before as well.  
  • Stick to your morning routine. When the same things are done the same way, as much as possible, kids will automatically know what they are expected to do.  There will less fighting and fussing and the mornings will be more pleasant for everyone.  
  • Make sure that going back to school is something your children look forward to!

10 GREAT REASONS TO GET ORGANIZED

WHY GET ORGANIZED?

  1. TO REDUCE THE FEELING OF BEING OVERWHELMED.
  2. TO ACHIEVE MORE IN LESS TIME.
  3. TO GAIN A SENSE OF CONTROL.
  4. TO SET A GOOD EXAMPLE FOR YOUR KIDS.
  5. TO PROJECT A BETTER IMAGE TO YOUR CLIENTS, COLLEAGUES, AND FRIENDS.
  6. TO REDUCE YOUR STRESS LEVEL.
  7. TO CLEAR YOUR HEAD OF ALL THE CLUTTER.
  8. TO GAIN ENERGY AND CALM FROM YOUR SPACE.
  9. TO MAKE BETTER USE OF YOUR TALENTS AND SKILLS.
  10. TO HAVE MORE TIME TO SPEND ON WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU.

A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING, AND EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE!

DSC05507Meaning: The notion that everything should have a place to be stored and that it should be returned there when not in use.

        The bottom line is, if something you own doesn’t have a place to be stored, it will always be out of place and cluttering up your space.

        We all know that old habits die hard BUT, if you’re ready to get better organized, here are a few small steps you could implement towards your goal.

 

  1. Make a home for everything – Designate a place for everything you own.

 

  1. Designate a place that is easily accessible – Make sure that you can find it (whatever IT may be) and get to it when you need it.
    Note* – The exception to this rule:  If there is something that you will only need every once in a while, it’s okay to assign a home that is not easily accessible, ie., the attic.

 

  1. Put it away – When you’re finished using something put it away (hopefully in the place you designated for it, see Step 1 above).

 

  1. Hang it up – Hang up your clothes when you take them off if they’re clean.  If, not throw them in the hamper or put them in a bag to take to the dry cleaners.

 

  1. Clean it up -Out of respect for others living in the same space, everyone sharing your living space needs to lend a hand around the house.
    Note* –  Every night before bed, everyone in the house can do a quick clean-up by gathering things around the house that  aren’t in their proper place and put them where they should be.

 

  1. Get help – Whether it’s asking your family members to put their things away when they’re not using them, delegating tasks to others in the household or even hiring a Professional Organizer, it’s a good idea to enlist the support of others.

TIPS FOR ORGANIZING IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS

Can you find your important documents when you need them right away?  Are they all in one place? 

 Having your important documents organized and in one place, is, by far, one of the most important areas of your life to have organized.

 All of your important documents can and should be stored safely, in one place, to prevent chaos in the case of a disaster or emergency.  Take control of your important documents and get them organized before something happens.  Put them together in a binder or if you have one, a fireproof/waterproof container.  Whatever you choose, make sure that it is accessible and can be easily carried out of the house in case of any emergency.

 The following is a list of documents that should be kept together and in a safe place:

 

Last Will & Testament

Living Trust

Power of Attorney

Healthcare Directives

Beneficiary Designations

Birth Certificates

Adoption Records

Prenuptial Agreements

Marriage License

Divorce Decrees or Separation Agreement

Child Support Documents

Mortgage Papers/Real Estate Deeds

List of All Tangible Personal Property

Most Recent Tax Returns

Military Service Records/Military Discharge Papers

Insurance Papers (The “Declarations” page of your Insurance Policies including, but not limited to, Homeowners, Flood, Earthquake, Umbrella, Life and Term)

Automobile Leases/Vehicle Titles

Employment Contracts/Business Agreements

Contact Information (Friends, Family, Doctors, Bankers, Lawyers, Insurance Brokers/Agents, Business Associates)

Social Security Cards/Passports/Visas

Medical Records for Each Family Member (Including Pets)

 

Finally, make sure to give someone else, perhaps your attorney or other trusted advisor, a copy for safekeeping.

 

JUST THE FACTS

Being organized can help save you time and money, increase productivity and reduce stress.


In a recent survey, NAPO, the National Association of Professional Organizers, found that:

96% of those surveyed felt that they could save time each day if they were more organized at home;

91% felt they could be more efficient at work if they were better organized; and

71% indicated their quality of life would improve with more organization.

 

As Harry Browne once said, “Everything you want in life has a price connected to it. There’s a price to pay if you want to make things better, a price to pay just for leaving

things as they are, a price for everything.”  (See HarryBrowne.org)

 

So, weigh the price you pay for leaving things as they are against the price you pay to make it better.   If you decide that you want to get organized, you will need to invest some time and energy but it will be well worth it.