Posts Tagged ‘professional organizing’

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

Thursday, 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 and other outdated documents from your active files — either shredding or archiving as appropriate — making room for your 2014 paperwork.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

Kitchen Organizing for the Season

Tuesday, 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

Why “Tips” Don’t Work

Tuesday, 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

Organizing for the New Year

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

By Diane Hatcher, CPO®

For people who make annual New Year’s resolutions, “Get Organized” always comes in the top 10, sometimes first or second.

While the first of the year is a good time to start, it is like losing weight. Anytime of the year you start is good. The sooner you start, the sooner you reap the benefits.

I was especially pleased to read in Better Homes and Gardens magazine last year that the Editor in Chief, Gale Goodson Butler, addressed this issue. The magazine took a survey which showed that two-thirds of their respondents said they wanted to “get rid of extra stuff.” They answered that it was a change that would make their lives better in the new year. “Out with the old, and in with a new streamlined way of living,” they said.

Gale went on to state my case that “Decluttering is perhaps the most universally attainable, most satisfying way to free up space and bring cool, calm order to your rooms. She notes that this is not the “simplest” thing to accomplish, because “in real life, decluttering is its own special art form, equal parts perspiration and perseverance.” The more you work at it, the more you want to continue doing so, because what stays are only the things you use and love.

I couldn’t have stated it any better Gale. That’s why professional organizing exists, to help people reach their goals faster and easier, simplifying and customizing the process for you. We at Time-Savers Professional Organizing Services, Inc. have been helping people accomplish this since 1998. We love seeing the client’s sense of satisfaction and relief!

So don’t hesitate any longer. Put your fear or shame aside and call Time-Savers at 954-252-7511. Consider it an investment in your physical and mental health. We are here to help! You won’t regret it.

Don’t Agonize, Just Organize!!

Diane Hatcher is Southeast Florida’s first four- year Certified Professional Organizer. She owns Time-Savers Professional Organizing Services, Inc. in South Florida. Since 1998, Diane has assisted clients in organizing both residential and business situations. She is the author of Don’t Agonize, Just Organize Your Office Now! For a free e-zine and more info visit www.timesaversusa.com.

Paper Statistics

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

If by now you still have no interest in at least starting to “go green,” scanning or getting organized, these statistics may get you to start thinking and planning along those lines:

An average organization:

  • Makes 19 copies of each document
  • Spends $20 in labor to file each document
  • Spends $120 in labor searching for each misfiled document
  • Loses one out of every 20 documents
  • Spends 25 hours recreating each lost document

Source: Price Waterhouse Coopers

95% of information is on paper. It is estimated that the average worker prints out 45 sheets of paper per day.
Source: International Data Corporation (IDC)

25% of enterprise paper documents are misplaced and will never be located.
Source: Datapro/Gartner Group

The average employee spends 400 hours per year searching for paper documents.
Source: Datapro/Gartner Group

The typical enterprise with 1,000 knowledge workers wastes $6 million to $12 million per year “searching for nonexistent information, failing to find existing information, or recreating information that can’t be found.” In addition, it is estimated that knowledge workers spend 15% to 30% of their work time looking for information.
Source: IDC

It costs about $25,000 to fill a four drawer filing cabinet and over $2,100 a year to maintain it.
Source: Garner Group

The average 4-drawer filing cabinet contains 10,000 – 12,000 pieces of paper.
Source: Staples

The average American business person loses an hour a half a day, or 40 hours a year, in lost productivity, searching for lost and misplaced items from messy desks and files.
Source: Wall Street Journal

Thanks to E-File Cabinet, a document management company for gathering these statistics. www.efilecabinet.com