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.

 

TOP 10 REASONS TO GET RID OF THINGS

We all have too much stuff.  The fact is, we never use 80% of what we own.  

Below is a top ten list of reasons to help you make the decision to “get rid of it”:

  1.  You don’t need it anymore – You’re over it.
  2.  Someone else does need it – Cell phones, for example, are frequentlly refurbished and  given to victims of domestic violence.
  3.  There’s just too much stuff – If there’s no place to put it, get rid of it!
  4.  It doesn’t work anymore – FYI, chances are the parts can probably be recycled.
  5.  It doesn’t fit you anymore – Whether you’ve lost weight or gained weight, whatever the case may be, get rid of it.  You can get a  tax deduction for donations.
  6.  It no longer suits your lifestyle -You’re moving, redecorating or downsizing or, you’re just ready for a new look.
  7. You can get value from it – Sell it on e-bay, donate it and get a tax deduction, have a garage sale or set up an estate sale.
  8.  Less stuff makes your life easier.  There’s less to clean.  Getting rid of clutter will reduce housework by 40%.
  9. It’s expired -Oh, just get rid of it.
  10. Because “Less is More” -Ludwig Miles van der Rohe

          If you’re still not sure whether you should get rid of it or not, ask yourself the following questions: 

 

Papers 

1. Is the information still current?

2. Can the document be duplicated if needed?

3. What is the worst thing that can happen if I get rid of it?

4. Is it a duplicate?

5. How long do I need to keep it?

6. Do I need it for tax, legal, insurance, or warranty issues?

7. Can I find the information some place else?

 

Clothing

1. Do I love it?

2. Does it fit?

3. Is it too worn?

4. Is it out of style?

5. Do I feel great in it?

6. Does it match anything else?

 

Other Items

1. Is it broken?

2. Do I use it?

3. Will I really need it?

4. Does it make others happy to see it?

5. If I keep it, will I remember I have it?

6. If I was moving, would I want to pay to have it packed and shipped?

7. Can I borrow or purchase another one if I need it?

8. Does it make me happy?

9. Am I keeping it because someone else gave it to me even though I don’t like it?

 

 

          So, get started today by getting rid of the things that either have no value (sentimental or monetary) or no longer have a place in your life.  Ready, set, go! 

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.

JANUARY IS “GET ORGANIZED MONTH” (Really!)

I hope you all got off to a good start in 2011.

If you haven’t already heard, January is “Get Organized Month.”  New Years Resolutions aside, what better time to get organized for the year than NOW.  So, we’d like to pass along a quote which hopefully will encourage you to start: “Done is better than perfect”.  As long as you do something, anything, to get some area in your life organized, it’s better than doing nothing.

Even if you think you’re organized, there is always an area which can always use a little tweaking.

 LET’S GET STARTED

Choose a room, any room.  Then select a small area within that room (a closet, a cabinet, a tool box) .  Give yourself a half hour to go thru that small area, without interruption, and start purging.  First take everything out.  That’s right everything!  First throw away the broken, ripped, damaged items.  Then take those items that you don’t use or need and set them aside.  You can donate these items if they’re in good condition and get a write-off as well.  There are so many great charities and organizations that can make good use of the things that you no longer need or want.  Finally, start to put everything back by categorizing.  For example, if you chose to organize your tool box, separate the tools from the screws. Voila!  That’s it.  It doesn’t have to be perfect.  It just needs to be easily accessible and organized for your own use.

HOLIDAY TRAVEL TIPS

Holiday Travel Tips

  • If you’re traveling abroad, make sure a trusted friend or family member has a color copy of your passport and drivers license, as well as a copy of your travel arrangements and itinerary.
  • If you’re going to be away for an extended period of time (two weeks or more), make sure to notify the post office to hold your mail, and notify one of your neighbors so they can keep an eye out on your home.
  • If you’re going to be away from home for a long period, consider using timers on your interior lights to give the appearance that someone is still home.
  • Since so many bags look alike, consider putting a bit of colored tape or ribbon on the handle to quickly identify your bag at the luggage carousel.
  • Carry important papers with you.! Do not check anything that you don’t want to lose.