Your Organized Desk

April 16th, 2014

CaptureWhat does your office look like?

Are there piles on the floor?

Are there things on your desk that don’t belong on a desk?

Do you have all the supplies you need and are they handy?

If you want to be productive and efficient then these are the areas that need updating. There should be no piles on the floor from day to day, unless temporarily you are doing a project and need more space than your desk allows. A professional organizer friend of mine wrote a book called, “The Floor is not an Option.” That says it all.

Do you have lots of photos spread all over your desk? Bottle of aspirin? Kids’ toys? Other stuff? First thing to do is remove them. Then you can focus on the work and papers on your desk. Make sure you leave it that way.

Last, you will need a stapler, extra staples, a note pad (several different sizes), paper clips, scotch tape, a couple pens, a pencil and eraser. Unless you use them often, most of them should be in a desk drawer.

Your desk space should be cleared for your computer, your phone, an activity center with your papers in it, and a clear space on which to work or open your mail.

And don’t forget your daily to-do list!

If this brief description doesn’t make sense to you or cover all the issues on your desk that interfere with your productivity, give us a call at Time-Savers Professional Organizing Services, Inc., 954-252-7511. We can resolve these issues, plus more, for you, right away!

 

Bookmark and Share

Eliminate Hazardous Waste Clutter

February 26th, 2014

Hazardous Waste

Attention Broward County Residents

Here is the newest information and dates for eliminating Hazardous Waste Clutter from your homes and garages.

Please mark your calendars for your city and save this announcement.

 

Household Hazardous Waste and Electronics Drop-Off

All events are open to residents of all of the following cities (proof of residency required*):

Cooper City, Dania Beach, Deerfield Beach, Hollywood, Lauderdale-By-The –Sea, Lauderdale Lakes, Margate, Parkland, Pembroke Park, Sea Ranch Lakes, Unincorporated Broward County, West Park, Weston and Wilton Manors.

8 a.m. – 3 p.m.

*Must show proof of residency: photo ID with current address plus a utility bill

March 2 - Deerfield Beach

200 Goolsby Blvd.

March 9 – Lauderdale Lakes

1 block west of S.R. 7 and NW 36 Street

(Parking lot across from Parks & Recreation Sports Complex)

March 23 - COOPER CITY – 10300 Stirling Rd. (Sports Complex)

April 13 - MARGATE – 7055 N.W. 1 St. (Oriole Park)

April 27 – HOLLYWOOD – 2600 Hollywood Blvd. (City Hall)

May 18 – WESTON – 2599 South Post Rd. (Public Works Complex)

Items Accepted for Disposal

Aerosol products*Ammonia*Ammunition*Antifreeze*Auto fluids*Auto batteries*Boat batteries*Boat fluids*Charcoal starter*Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs)*Drain cleaners*Fertilizer*Fire extinguishers*Fireworks*Flares*Fluorescent tubes*Gasoline*Herbicides*Household cleansers *Insecticide*Kerosene*Lawn chemicals*Lighter fluid*Mercury thermometers*Motor oil*Nail polish remover*Paint*Pesticides*Photo chemicals*Pool chemicals*Propane tanks*Rechargeable batteries*Rust remover*Solvents*Spot remover*Tires (limit 4)*Turpentine*Weed killer*Wood stain*Wood stripper

Electronics: *TVs, computers, monitors,keyboards, printers, copiers, and DVD and VCR Players.

Items not Accepted for Disposal

Business-or government-generated waste, explosives, bio-hazardous waste, microwaves, stereos, speakers or appliances.

Containers may not exceed five gallons; limit 25 gallons per visit.

If you need assistance de-cluttering the rest of your office, home or garage, give Time-Savers a call at: 954-252-7511 to arrange a date.

Happy Organizing!
Diane Hatcher, CPO®
President/Owner

 

Bookmark and Share

Have You Taken Care Of All Your 2013 Financial To-Dos?

December 12th, 2013

financial records and calculatorThis information is brought to you by Diane Hatcher, Certified Professional Organizer and Productivity Specialist, owner of Time-Savers Professional Organizing Services, Inc. in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The following information is presented in collaboration with Ramona Creel, former owner of OnLineOrganizing.com.

End of Year To-Do’s Checklist

The first of the year is a great time to get your house (and/or your business!) in order — and we’ve put together a checklist of very important but often overlooked year-end “to-do’s.” Run through this checklist and make sure that you’ve taken care of everything from 2013 before you get too far into 2014. Be sure to contact Time-Savers at (954) 252-7511 or go to our website at www.timesaversUSA.com and contact us by e-mail at diane@timesaversUSA.com for professional assistance with any of these activities:

  • Clean out your 2013 financial records (utility bills, credit card and bank statements, etc.) and other outdated documents from your active files — either shredding or archiving as appropriate — making room for your 2014 paperwork. Don’t know what to save and what to shred? We do. Contact us before you toss or shred.
  • Gather all of your tax paperwork for 2013 — business receipts, medical and child care deductions, year-end bank and credit card statements, etc. — and update your accounting program for the year. (Is your accounting program the shoe box type? It needs to be organized for your accountant. We can do that, too)!
  • Discard the supporting tax documents for tax year 2006 (7 years from the date you filed) and earlier except for income related W-2’s and 1099’s (storing the actual tax return in a permanent file) to make room for your 2014 paperwork. Store any tax-related supporting documents for 2013 in your archive files, labeled “SUPPORTING TAX DOCUMENTS 2013 — DESTROY IN 2020” (Note: If fraud is suspected, the IRS has the right to audit you as far back as they choose to go).
  • Update your household and business property inventories to include photos, receipts, and appraisals (if necessary) for any new purchases made in 2013 — and upgrade the replacement value of your homeowner’s or property and casual insurance to cover those items.
  • Update your wills and powers of attorney to take into account any changes in the tax and estate laws in 2013 — or a life change like a move, marriage, divorce, birth of a child, etc.
  • Update your list of account numbers (banks, credit cards, investments, insurance policies, etc.) and your list of important contacts (attorney, investment broker, doctors, CPA, insurance agent, executor of will, etc.) to include any changes in 2013. Advise a close friend or relative as to where to find this info.
  • Make certain that copies of your most important documents (will, power of attorney, list of account numbers, list of important contacts, insurance policies, birth certificates, household inventory, etc.)  are protected in a safe, safe deposit box, on a disk or flash drive.

These suggestions are intended to get you on your way to an organized new year and make your tax filing a bit easier. They are not intended to replace the advice you should get from your personal attorney, financial planner and accountant as they know your situation best. Please check out any of our recommendations with them prior to shredding or tossing any documents about which you are unsure.

Have a wonderful and well-organized 2014! We look forward to hearing from you and assisting you in any way to help simplify your life.

Happy Organizing!

Diane A. Hatcher, CPO®
Time-Savers Professional Organizing Services, Inc.
www.timesaversUSA.com
(954) 252-7511

photo credit: adamthelibrarian via photopin cc

Bookmark and Share

Kitchen Organizing for the Season

November 12th, 2013

organized kitchen cupboardHoliday season is upon us and for many that means increased time in the kitchen.  When things are organized, they just work better. Organization means functional, efficient use of space and things, with the added bonus of neatness. If your kitchen isn’t arranged just as you like it, and you are unsure of how to fix it, these tips will get your organized kitchen underway. Your newly organized  kitchen will serve you well, so you can serve family and company throughout the holiday season and beyond.

1)    To begin, put items nearest to where they are used, in zones. For instance, pots and pans are best stored near the stove. Plates go in cabinets nearest the dining table or eating area, cutting utensils are best  stored near the cutting board/counter area, which should be near the sink.

2)    Sort food items in areas according to similarity: spices in one cabinet or drawer, baking items together, canned goods on one shelf, pastas together, etc.

3)    If you are short of space, nesting pots and pans (largest ones on bottom) lids separately, saves space. There are various types of lid holders available depending on the size and shape of space you have available.

4)    Excess clutter causes difficulties locating things easily and affording room for the commonly used items. If you are short on kitchen space, seasonal items such as large serving platters and holiday dishes can be stored elsewhere in the house or garage while not in use.

5)    It is common for many of my clients to own an abundance of glassware, taking up valuable cabinet space. A good rule of thumb is to keep only what you need between dishwashings. Donate the remainder or store the excess or specialty glasses, such as crystal in an area not in your prime everyday kitchen space.

6)    How many cookbooks do you need? As with most organizing, you must choose between hanging onto things “just because,” or having more space. Keep only the most used cookbooks in the kitchen. Others can be stored with holiday items, on a bookshelf or given away. With the advent of the Internet, cookbooks could be obsolete. For a fresh repertoire of recipes, check out www.epicurious.com or www.recipes.com. You’ll find a huge variety of recipes, including reader comments. Resist the urge to cut out or print out recipes you may never make.

7)    Many people complain about the lack of counter space in their kitchen. Keep only appliances on your counter that are used often. This also makes for simpler clean up.

8)    Don’t neglect your drawer space. A wide selection of drawer organizers are available that improve accessibility to your often-needed cooking tools while also neatening the drawers. Resist the temptation to own more than one of every utensil, or conversely, to own every gadget ever invented. (Yes, some of my clients do that).

9)    Maintaining an organized kitchen is as easy as going back through each shelf, cabinet and drawer periodically to make sure items are where they belong. Clean out the refrigerator and freezer weekly, on trash day. Get rid of what you aren’t using.

10)  When you see an area getting crowded, tight or overflowing, use that as a visual cue that it is time to repeat tip number 9.

Why not let the upcoming holidays motivate you to get your kitchen more organized in the next few weeks?  As with organizing any space, the time you spend organizing it, will save you time and stress in the future.

Interested in more tips? Check out www.ineedmoretime.com, www.flylady.com, and www.timesaversUSA.com. You can even sign up for our free monthly e-zine including tips on various organizing topics year round. In the meantime, Happy Organizing!

 

Diane Hatcher-CPO® owns Time-Savers Professional Organizing Services, Inc. in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  She has been organizing paper and clutter in offices and homes since 1998. Diane can be reached at (954) 252-7511, or on the web at www.timesaversUSA.com.

photo credit: Pieter Pieterse via photopin cc

Bookmark and Share

Halloween Survival Guide

October 15th, 2013

candy cornHalloween is just around the corner – and that’s enough to throw any parent into a fright. What treats to buy? How to limit candy consumption? How to juggle everything?

We just don’t get those crisp, fall temperatures down in South Florida, so your carved pumpkins need an extra bit of TLC. After you buy your pumpkin, store it indoors in the air-conditioning. Refrigerate, if you have the room.

Remember, it’s a piece of dead fruit, so what you’re doing is trying to slow down the decaying process.

Wait to carve your pumpkin until you need it – the day before your party or Halloween. For best results, keep your carved masterpiece in the fridge or in the AC until show time. Then light your candle and enjoy the spooky results.

What are the best treats to buy to not jeopardize my diet or harm my kids?

Start by NOT buying your favorite candies to distribute, said Donna Kinney, a dietician and nutritionist for Gordon Food Service in Miami.

When offering treats yourself, select snacks that provide some nutritional value, such as dried or fresh fruits, fruit Newtons, Newton crisps, popcorn, pretzels or whole grain chips. Mini-size candy like Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Kisses or Special Dark Miniatures have less sugar, plus some fiber, protein and antioxidants.

Researchers have found that children ages 3-14 were just as likely to choose a small toy instead of candy. So think about passing out Halloween temporary tattoos, bouncy balls, bubbles, or other inexpensive items from the party or dollar store.

How do I cram in dinner, costumes and trick-or-treating when Halloween falls on a weeknight?

Here are some tips from Certified Professional Organizer and Productivity Specialist Diane Hatcher, owner of Time-Savers Professional Organizing Services, Inc.:

  • Keep a normal schedule as much as possible. Give kids dinner before they go out trick-or-treating. This way they will not be grouchy and won’t be so hungry for candy (but they will probably want it anyway.:)
  • Start out early so you can end with enough time for your kids to wind down and get to sleep.
  • Set guidelines and boundaries in advance. Let them know that you will trick-or-treat for a certain period of time, or a predetermined number of houses or blocks.
  • Establish in advance how much candy they are allowed to eat that night and possibly each day going forward.
  • Establish in advance that they need to go to bed at the usual time (or thereabouts) to be ready for school in the morning.
  • Have the next day’s school clothes laid out before bedtime. (This is a good idea for every school night).
  • If you expect resistance, strike a bargain. For example, tell them that if they come home and get ready for bed without an argument, offer them a reward. Rewards can be: allowing them to eat their three favorite pieces of candy that night, or take a piece of candy in their lunch box the next day, or have a treat every day after school for a week. (Warning: If they are anything like my grandkids, any sugar at night makes them immediately hyper, so that one would not be my choice!)
  • The most important thing is to allow candy consumption in moderation and be sure to brush and floss kids’ teeth carefully after a night of sugary treats.

How do I get rid of all the leftover candy?

  • Have conversations with your kids about practicing moderation when it comes to collected candy and treats.
  • Talk to kids ahead of time about what to do with all the candy after Halloween
  • Remember: Out of sight, out of mind. One suggestion is to allow them to choose a set amount of candy, three to five fun-size pieces a day, and get the rest out of the house.
  • Talk to your kids about charitable giving, possibly donating some of the collected candy to a local shelter, nursing home or church.
  • Bring it to your office to share the wealth (and the calories) with your co-workers.
  • Unload the goodies through a Halloween Candy Buy Back program. Just go to their website, type in your zip code, and you will be provided with a list of participating dentists in your area. The site recruits area dentists and orthodontists to buy leftover Halloween candy for $1 a pound. The candy goes to Operation Gratitude and other military support organizations, which send the sweets to military troops overseas.

Armed with these tips and a little pre-planning with your kids, this just may be the most fun Halloween ever! (Therefore you may want to keep this article with your Halloween decorations for reference next year).

Happy Organizing!

photo credit: Special via photopin cc

Bookmark and Share

Organizing Valuable Papers for Emergencies

September 16th, 2013

Ready.gov Prepare. Plan. Informed.September is National Disaster Preparedness Month. This article is intended to provide an overview of ideas so that you are prepared for any unforeseen events.

As of 2005, South Florida had been impacted by 8 hurricanes in 13 months. New Orleans, other parts of Louisiana and Mississippi were literally wiped out by a hurricane. In 2008, Hurricane Wilma hit. Superstorm Sandy ravaged the coast of New Jersey. Earthquakes decimated other parts of the world while brush fires threaten homes in California. Floods are ravaging Colorado as this is being written. Besides the aforementioned, emergencies can include tornadoes, burglary and other unforeseen events.

As with most aspects of life, emergencies can be handled efficiently and effectively when done in an organized manner, in other words, if planned for. Organizing instills confidence and peace of mind avoiding that last minute panic and scramble to assemble necessary papers and supplies.

Checklists and supplies arranged in advanced are key to emergency preparation. Supply preparation is heavily covered by the media prior to a hurricane. The focus of this article is for your valuable papers.

Motivation

Is it worth taking the time to make plans and preparations in case everything you own is destroyed? No doubt that the victims of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana and Mississippi (or any of us for that matter) ever imagined losing entire homes and neighborhoods. Being caught unprepared only increases the pain and suffering brought on by the crisis.

Insurance statistics show that policyholders who are prepared with an “inventory” and photos of their belongings recover up to 25% more when their claims are settled, than those not prepared. The claims process may go faster, more smoothly and with less stress. (As a familiar commercial indicates, these benefits are “priceless”).

Check with your insurance agent to determine if you have purchased replacement cost coverage on your home and personal property. Some homeowners’ insurance policies only provide coverage for actual cash valueACV”. Your loss will be adjusted on an “ACV-actual cash value” basis, which means the insurance company will depreciate your damaged items, including your house, depending on their age.

The policy limit for “personal property/contents” coverage is customarily one-half (1/2) the value of your home (structure) coverage. The full value of contents coverage is not paid automatically. The insurance company will investigate to determine if the dollar amount of contents you claim is reasonable and provable. You must be prepared to prove to your insurance carrier that you in fact did own certain property if challenged.

Documents and Documentation

It is recommended that you prepare a written inventory of your contents (room by room) and take photographs or videotape to back up the list. Purchase receipts should be maintained for your major belongings to offer this proof and thus help speed the claim process.

  • The front page or “declaration sheet” of your insurance policies, home, flood, health, auto and life, with policy numbers and your agent’s contact information is critical to have available.
  • Other valuable documents and items you could need include: the deed to your home, birth certificates, stock certificates, credit card and bank account numbers, passports, jewelry purchase receipts and of course insurance policies (with policy numbers and company or agency contact information).
  • Should circumstances require evacuation, additionally you may want to bring along items such as jewelry, cell phones, passwords for online accounts, computer back-ups (flash drive, DVD etc.), photographs (especially current ones of your family for identification purposes in case you get separated), personal address book and important memorabilia.
  • If you are forced to relocate, resumes, college transcripts and degrees may be needed. Military records and discharge papers will be useful if applying for military and veteran’s benefits.
  • Immunization records and health records regarding health conditions will be needed for your children to enroll in a new school.
  • Marriage licenses and divorce certificates may be needed to set up bank accounts or establish residency.
  • Instead of carrying bank statements with you, a copy of your credit report contains all your account numbers, names and addresses for all your credit cards and other lenders. You can obtain a free credit report annually at www.annualcreditreport.com.
  • Copies of wills and trusts, power of attorneys and medical directives, in addition to the above documents are safest if kept in a bank vault.
  • Copies of mortgage documents may be necessary as well. Did you know that even if you lose your home, you are still expected to keep up the payments?

Safe Keeping

Inventory the above items on your check list (including location by room) so you can round them up quickly. Even better, all these items, including the inventory list should be kept together in one place, in a zip lock (water proof) bag for easy retrieval, in case of the need to evacuate your home in a hurry. Keep extra copies of each paper in an emergency file in your filing system for easy reference throughout the year.

Since all of this documentation could be too cumbersome to carry along, in case of an emergency, keeping them in a bank vault, or sending them to a trusted relative or friend in another part of the country are viable alternatives. It is suggested to save all this info in advance on a scanner then burned onto a CD or DVD for portability.

Should any of the aforementioned be kept in a safe deposit box (at a bank), no worries. Next best thing is a waterproof, fire proof safe in your home. However, be aware that safes are rated as to degrees of temperature they can withstand from fire and can melt. You will need to remove the contents of the safe to take with you in case of evacuation.

This article is intended to bring your awareness to detailed information and to help you begin the organizing process. Further research or action may be required on your part in order to complete the details necessary to accomplish them. This includes discussion with your insurance agent and Time-Savers Professional Organizing Services to get your business or house ready.

Be sure to take time to “google” emergency preparedness online or go to www.ready.gov or call 1-800-BE-READY and you will be treated to a mass of other articles and lists to use. Some insurance agents provide them or just make your own. Inventory books and lists can also be purchased from several websites. The point is, to quote another familiar commercial, “Just do it!”

Until next month, Happy Organizing! And stay safe.

Diane Hatcher, CPO® is a Certified Professional Organizer and owner of Time-Savers Professional Organizing Services, Inc. in South Florida. Contact her via www.timesaversusa.com or 954.252.7511.

Bookmark and Share

Why “Tips” Don’t Work

August 13th, 2013

to do listHaving started our organizing business in 1998, we’ve now been sending our e-zine via e-mail for 10 years.

We have provided you with hundreds of tips and advice for helping you get organized and options for getting things done. We’ve covered the areas of paperwork, clutter and time management.

Now you may be thinking, why would we do that? Why share our ideas and secrets to help you, at no charge? Aren’t we taking away our own potential business if we tell people how to do it themselves?

There are numerous reasons for sharing this valuable information.

  1. We are very customer oriented.
  2. We are dedicated to your success.
  3. We consider it “Value Added,” giving you more than you paid for.
  4. It helps give you a clue as to what you can or can’t do on your own.
  5. People learn in different ways. Reading, hearing and doing hands-on helps people remember.
  6. We want you to be able to maintain organization.
  7. We want to provide you with new information you may not already know.
  8. It gives us credibility by showing you what knowledge we have.
  9. Because we DO want your business and we want to keep it.

So if you have been reading our e-zine, our tips and our advice, but you are not having the success you had hoped you would, or you struggle with actually making time to get to them, or struggle with applying them personally to your own situation, then you need to call us! What are you waiting for? There has never been a better time than right now!!!

Getting organized should be a priority. It is a stress reliever, a distraction reducer, a relationship enhancer, a productivity model and much more. You will see results in many areas of your life! Join the ranks of the thousands of clients who are glad they made the initial call and worked with us.

We offer various price options to fit any budget. Aren’t you worth a minimal investment in your life?

Diane can be reached at 954-252-7511 in the Ft. Lauderdale area. If you are out of town, e-mail us at diane@timesaversusa.com to discuss our Virtual Organizing option. We are awaiting your contact!

Happy Organizing!

photo credit: petit hiboux via photopin cc

Bookmark and Share

How To Identify a Professional Organizer

July 16th, 2013

(Otherwise known as “You Know You are a P.O. when……”)

Compiled by Diane Hatcher from other P.O.’s nationwide

Books organized by colorIf you have ever worked with, or spoken to a professional organizer, there are some qualities and characteristics that were easy to identify (or maybe you noticed that you were lacking). However, you are sure to be amused by some of the following, maybe NOT so obvious qualities that many professional organizers recognize or share.

YOU KNOW YOU ARE A P.O. WHEN……

  1. You hung Barbie’s clothes according to season and purpose as a child.
  2. You create lists of things you’ve already done so you can cross them off.
  3. Your magazines are arranged in the rack by subject and date.
  4. You draw up a daily schedule for your pets.
  5. You plan (and prepare) an entire month’s worth of meals at a time.
  6. You divide that bag of M&Ms up according to color before eating them.
  7. You straighten the tray of dental tools while getting your teeth cleaned.
  8. Your first action in a hotel room is putting everything “where it belongs.”
  9. You’ve never owned a Tupperware tub with a missing lid in your life.
  10. You create mind maps and flow charts in your sleep.
  11. You carry a spare label-maker with you in case the main one breaks.
  12. You show up at every meeting with a three-page checklist of questions.
  13. You leave every meeting with a half-dozen pages of (indexed) notes.
  14. Your personal library is organized by genre, sub-genre, author, and title.
  15. Your kids’ coloring books are arranged by dominant hue.
  16. You have an organizational system for the magnets on your fridge.
  17. Your mom never got a chance to tell you to go clean up your room.
  18. Your socks are lined up in neat little rows in your dresser drawer.
  19. You schedule your day down to what time you’ll brush and floss.
  20. The staff at The Container Store greets you like “Norm” from Cheers.
  21. You realign the cans and boxes on supermarket shelves as you shop.
  22. You can retrieve any of your 5th grade book reports in 30 seconds or less.
  23. You record the purchase of a 35-cent pack of gum in Quicken.
  24. Even your piles of clutter are categorized and labeled.
  25. Your spices are alphabetized and arranged by country of origin.
  26. Your neighbors ask if there’s anything you’d like to add to their garage sale, and there isn’t because you routinely donate all your good-condition unwanted items.
  27. NOTHING your clients save, keep, or have difficulty parting with surprises you.
  28. You tell the restaurant they are out of toilet paper in the bathroom.
  29. You put store products back into their intended rows or onto the correct peg.
  30. You replace greeting cards into their intended slots WITH the proper envelope.
  31. You group your groceries into categories on the cashier’s moving belt.
  32. You face all your greeting cards back-side-up so the bar code is visible and in the same spot to make it faster for the cashier to scan.
  33. You throw away your car trash in the gas station garbage can while waiting for your gas tank to fill.
  34. You take extra napkins from fast food places to replenish your glove box inventory.
  35. You arrange shopping carts in the “cart corral” if they are messy.
  36. You wipe down the bathroom sink in a restaurant after washing your hands.
  37. You neaten the stack of paper towels in a restaurant bathroom.
  38. You organize the sugar caddy on a restaurant table so the Equal, Splenda, Sugar and Sweet N’ Low aren’t mixed together.
  39. You clean up the coffee station in the Starbucks/convenience store or wherever you buy a cup of coffee.
  40. You have a picture in your phone of your neatly folded t-shirt drawer (thirds).
  41. You turn cans/bottles around so labels face out (wherever you are).
  42. You fold your sports bras and roll everything else in your underwear drawer.
  43. You fold your washed cleaning rags so they fit neatly on the shelf.
  44. You want to give workshops on folding a fitted sheet.
  45. You write stuff down just to cross it off.
  46. You get tingly sending a trash bag down a trash chute in a 3-story apartment building. The sound of it hitting bottom is always very satisfying.
  47. You post a video on Facebook of how to fold a t-shirt in under 2 seconds.
  48. You just CAN’T throw the dirty towels on the floor at the hotel even though the sign tells you to. (This happens to us P.O.’s at conference every year.  A topic of conversation and such a dilemma).

Hope you got a laugh out of this, yet also realize how many intrinsic characteristics make up your p.o., all designed to assist you, the client in every aspect of organizing in creative and thorough ways!

Happy Organizing!

photo credit: chotda via photopin cc

Bookmark and Share

Do You Have a Finding System?

June 18th, 2013

filing foldersNo, it’s not a misprint. A good filing system, customized to your specific way of finding the papers you file, is a FINDING system! Why else would you file something if you may never need to FIND it again?

90% of the clients I see have stopped filing. This could be you. Let’s examine why people stop filing.

1)      Filing is tedious and boring
2)      Their files are already stuffed full
3)      They are afraid they won’t be able to find the paper again
4)      They don’t know what needs to be filed versus what can be thrown out (fear)
5)      They don’t know the difference between active and archival
6)      Their system is too complicated
7)      Add your own reasons here………

Did you know there are many different models of filing systems? The good news is, more than one system may work for you.

The bad news: some ways may not work for you.

So how do you know which one to set up? That’s a tricky question and I know the answer to it. However, I only know the answer after I interview you, do a quick written assessment/questionnaire, and then look at the files you have (or have not) set up already. With this knowledge, and you by my side, answering further questions as we go along, a customized system that works for you will be set up!

What do I mean by “works for you?” You will recognize and understand what each category and file name means. Therefore you will know what papers to file, what papers to toss (or shred), where to file the papers, and thus, where to find those papers when you need to access them again!

Why go through all this trouble?

1)      A sense of order
2)      A sense of security
3)      A sense of accomplishment
4)      A sense of confidence
5)      Elimination of fear
6)      Being able to find what you need in less than 5 minutes
7)      Being able to find what you need if and when you need it
8)      Being able to find what you need if the IRS audits you
9)      Eliminating clutter/distraction/piles from your desk/office space
10)   Add your own reasons……

If you see the upside, the value, the point of taking the time and investing in yourself to set up the right filing system for your needs, that will serve you for a lifetime, whether at the office or home, PLEASE don’t wait! Call Diane Hatcher at Time-Savers Professional Organizing Services, Inc. at 954-252-7511.

Bookmark and Share

Is There Such a Thing as “Clutter Free?”

April 14th, 2013

We are thrilled that Lorie Marrero, CPO® and Creator of The Clutter Diet®, has agreed to let us reprint her article, “Is There Such a Thing as ‘Clutter Free’?” Lorie is a Certified Professional Organizer and member of NAPO, as is Diane. We agree 100% with the content of this article, and we hope all of our clients understand and embrace her advice.

Cutter Free Good Housekeeping CoverWhen I hear someone say the phrase “Clutter Free,” I cringe a little. I am quite certain that somewhere out there I am guilty of referring to it at times, and the media definitely loves to say that phrase. (This cover is from our big 2009 feature story in Good Housekeeping, on the inside entitled, “I Went On A Clutter Diet.”)

It goes against one of the main messages I try to put out there: ORGANIZING IS NOT ABOUT BEING PERFECT.

Not only is “Clutter Free” difficult to strive for as a goal, I am not sure there is even such a thing that exists in the real world. Maybe in a model home or a photograph, but not in a real person’s home. My own home is definitely not Clutter Free– it’s not cluttered, but if you look around there will be something out of place somewhere and a pile of something on some kind of surface at some time or other. I have two teenage sons… and we all LIVE in our homes, we don’t just gaze upon them.

Striving to be “Clutter Free” will set you up for disappointment. The key is striving for constant improvement over your current situation. If you have a room you can barely walk into, success means clearing a path and making the room usable. If you have a pretty functional home office, success means getting that filing finally done. It’s all relative.

Organizing is really a journey, not a destination. There is not some perfect nirvana status of “Clutter Free” that will finally be achieved at some point in time– you will always have areas of improvement to work on.

I really believe I am in the personal change business, and organizing is just my topic. Getting organized is a vehicle to help clear your path for what you want to do in life. When you’re organized, you can spend your time more intentionally and purposefully instead of wasting it looking for your sunglasses or making wasted trips to the store. If you wait to be completely “Clutter Free” before doing what is truly important to you, that day may never come.

As I always say, I preach “The Gospel of Good Enough.” What realistic, incremental goals can you set for yourself today? What area of your life, once organized well-enough, could give you a return on your time and energy that would allow you to do something bigger and better?

If you need help, our online team is standing by, 7 days a week, to support you and answer your questions. Read more here about how we can help you, for about the price of a pizza.

Bookmark and Share