Articles for Clutter

Les Mess Card GameWe’re all looking for clever ways to get our kids to participate around the house, especially when it comes to getting organized and cleaning up clutter.

Well, the Les Mess Organizing Card Game is just the trick to help accomplish these oftentimes difficult tasks.

According to their website, “LES MESS, a fun interactive card game that teaches children how to clean up after themselves and manage their possessions.”

Les Mess recently sent me a deck of these cards to try out and my kids have had quite a bit of fun with these.

The game is set up so that your child draws a card and then does the task in the allotted time.  There are also “Bonus” cards that allow the child a free day or some other twist.  You can then set up the game to offer a prize or reward when the task is completed.

This game seems like a handy way to get your kids involved in tidying up his or her things as well helping out around the house.   Ideally they will then become a bit more aware of keeping things organized and develop a habit of picking up more often.

Organize Your Desk
Whether you use your desk for paying household bills or making multi-million dollar deals, an organized desk will help you function more efficiently with less stress.

    · Clear your desktop and drawers of everything except large items like computers or printers. While you have your desk clear, wipe down surfaces and drawers.
    · Put desk accessories (pencil cups, calendars, desk pad, rolodex) back on the desk where you are able to easily reach or see what you need. Insert drawer dividers or other desk organizers you need to keep like items together and stay organized.
    · Sort the items you cleared from your desk. Set up boxes with categories like: shred, recycle, trash, office supplies, equipment, papers to file, decorations, and elsewhere (items that don’t belong at the desk to be put away later). Place items in these boxes.
    · Put items you have sorted away. Place the things you use daily within easy reach, items you use weekly close enough to reach them with little effort, and supplies you use monthly or less often away from your desk. These can even go in a closet or storage area in another room. Keep your workspace clear so that you have a clutter free environment that allows you to focus on your work and put like items together so you can easily find them.
    · File papers. If you do not have a good filing system, set up simple system for handling paper where you can find the paper you are looking for in less than a minute. Don’t pile—file!
    · Place any decorative items where they can be seen and enjoyed, but not on your workspace. Display items that inspire you most, but minimum the amount of decorations so you are not distracted from your work.
    · Maintain the hard work you have done. Take time to put things in their proper place each time you use them. When you are working your desk can become cluttered, which is understandable. Just make sure that at the end of the day everything is put away and the desktop is clear, ready for a new day of work.

Cathy Bates is owner of Practical Solutions Professional Organizing and a Golden Circle Member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). They offer hands on organizing help for homes and offices. To find out more about how they can assist you, contact them at www.psorganizing.com or call (909)810-3719.

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Guest Post by Lisa Gessert

This is a great time to get yourself organized.
This time of year everyone is switching closets from summer to winter and getting ready for the holidays that always seem to come too quickly…here are some Helpful Hints and Tips and a few Misconceptions to Keep You Organized.
organizedmomlist
Myth #1
My home HAS to be clean to be organized:

There are many days my home could use a cleaning, dusting, vacuuming but I am still organized. People think if their home is dirty or messy that it isn’t organized.

Myth#2
Once I organize my closet, draw, or room it should stay that way:

Your closets and draws need attention a few times a year. the more you use that space the more attention it needs. Clothes closets need to be weeded out twice a year, when you change your wardrobe from summer to winter and then winter to summer.
This is a great time to get rid of the clothes you aren’t wearing.
Draws you use more frequently need to be weeded out more often.

Myth #3
I can do my bills anywhere.
Create a spot where you can have some quiet time.
Make sure you have stamps, letter opener, envelopes, pens etc.
Keep a simple file draw or a file carry case and keep bills for only 1 year and tax papers for 6 years.
A simple file system is all you need to keep your bills under control.

Time management and space management is important to live a stress free life. Remember once you have set up a new system to keep organized, give yourself at least 6 weeks to get accustomed to the new routine.

Lisa Gessert is a professional organizer at Organizing Buzz.

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Last night I spent four hours – YES FOUR! cleaning out my business email box. While doing so I cam across an email from Mary on behalf of Yahoo who provided some tips I should have been using for the last three months.

I thought I’d share these tips on managing your email inbox with you;

Tips for managing your inbox

Filter through the clutter: Yahoo! Mail Filters automatically sort your incoming messages according to rules that you set up. For example, you can create a filter so messages from your family members are automatically delivered to a personal folder called ‘Family.’

Or simply direct all those newsletters and email messages that you subscribe to, but are of low importance, to a different folder.
Rather than sort through each email message to decide where it goes, filters are like a built in filing system that save time and help you stay organized!

Read important messages first: Now you can quickly see important messages from the people that matter most to you. Simply click on the ‘connections’ link in your inbox to view the messages from the people that you communicate with most often.

Weed out the junk email; Use the “Spam” button to report it: If you receive unwanted e-mail or e-mail from an address you don’t recognize, report it by clicking on the “Spam” button in the toolbar at the top of your inbox or message.

clutterdiet

Start to Declutter and organize your home today with Clutter Diet

This will report the contents of the message to the anti-spam group so Yahoo! Mail (or your service provider) can watch out for similar messages in the future and, if warranted, automatically block them from ever reaching your inbox.

Sweep your inbox: Make it a ritual to block out time each day or each week this season to answer email and purge old, dusty messages. Even a few minutes can go a long way to a more organized inbox

There you go – one more way to stay more ‘Almost Always Organized’.

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