The Eyes of An Organizer: Two Things I See My Clients Do (That They Really Shouldn’t)

As a professional organizer, there are two common organizing mistakes that make it difficult to maintain order. These two actions are often the root cause of a messy office. No office (at home or otherwise) is perfect, but if you have one of these two habits, the process may be more difficult than it needs to be.

#1 – Setting things aside ‘temporarily’: Almost everyone has a pile of stuff. You know exactly what pile I mean. It’s the random paperwork that’s been sitting on top of your desk for six months, or maybe the file folder that you haphazardly throw everything into.

More often than not, a ‘To Do Later’ pile means that you simply don’t have a home for things or a system for managing your stuff. By setting those items aside rather than creating a system, however, you create clutter that distracts from your daily tasks and impedes productivity.

Photo by Jesus Hilario H. on Unsplash

#2 – Delaying decisions: Just like setting aside a pile of stuff ‘temporarily,’ many people postpone making decisions or stop just short of drawing an answer. It hurts our brains to stop and identify a specific scenario in which we’re going to use something. Often, that’s because we know, realistically, that we’ll never use it, but we just don’t want to give it up.

Photo by Xu Haiwei on Unsplash

When working with clients to declutter an office I use Barbara Hemphill’s Art of Wastebasketry questions to help determine what to keep (and more importantly, what NOT to keep) and lead them toward making a decision rather than promoting the habit of  ‘I’ll set this aside to think about later.’ You too can use these questions to help guide your decision making.

  • Does this require any action on my part? Is there a physical action you need to take (email, call, add to calendar, give to my spouse, etc.) to get the ball rolling? If the answer is ‘no’ – then you need to ask more questions. If the answer is ‘yes’ – how do we get closer to actually performing that action?
  • Does this information exist elsewhere? Do you already have this information stored on your computer, or can you find it on the internet? If so, you may want to think about if keeping a physical copy is necessary.
  • Can I identify a specific use for this? SPECIFIC being the key word here!  Really think about when your future self is actually going to use this information.  So many of us keep ‘good information’ that we never actually put to good use.  If you can’t identify a specific circumstance when you’ll refer to something, you’re likely going to toss it into your ‘miscellaneous’ file and never look at it again. That just creates clutter. It will stay there until it becomes outdated or irrelevant.
  • Are there any tax or legal implications? Does your business have a retention policy for certain types of documents or forms? Is there a legal reason you may need this paperwork at a later date – for instance, is it a signed document from a client? If not, it may not be necessary to keep it.

Clutter and disorganization can creep up on us if we don’t stop it in it’s tracks.  One day you have a clean desk and then six months later you’re apologizing for the mess and clearing a spot for someone to sit.  Think about if these two habits are habits you’re in the habit of making – they could be the culprits.

This is just some of the value you can get when partnering with GetReorganized.com™. If you’d like more tips, advice or suggestions on how to be more productive and organized, book a 15-minute productivity assessment.

______________________________________________________________________
Be Well. Be Organized.
Make sure you are following GetReorganized.com™ so you don’t miss out on fresh organizing tips, ideas, and inspiration!
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No More App Hunting – How to Organize Your Apps

According to a 2017 study, the average smartphone user has more than 80 apps on their phone and uses more than 40 on a monthly basis. With thousands of apps available, they can quickly crowd our screens and become overwhelming. And if you’ve spent more than 30 seconds hunting for an app on your phone, you know how frustrating it can be.

Just like clutter in our home or office, clutter on our phone screen can cause stress and anxiety. But with a little organization, you can make things easier to find, save time, and reduce aggravation.

With just a few minutes out of your day, you can quickly solve this problem and create an organizational system that works for you. Note: on Apple devices, users can create folders to store their apps, while on Android devices, they can be sorted onto different screens–but the organizational methods I suggest will work either way.

Here are my favorite ways to easily organize your apps for a more orderly mobile device:

  • Organize by functionality – This is the best, most popular (and most logical) option.  Categories could be: Finance (bank apps, stock market apps, Venmo, Paypal, Square, Apple Wallet, etc.), Music (Spotify, iTunes, Pandora, etc.), Shopping (Amazon, Etsy, Target, Poshmark, etc.), Social (Facebook, Pinterest, Hootsuite, Mailchimp, etc.), Travel (Air B&B, Lyft/Uber, Southwest Airlines, etc.), Home (Alexa, Simplisafe, etc.)
  • Organize alphabetically – As long as you always know the name of the app you’re searching for, you can easily find it in a list arranged by name. If you have folders of apps, you can arrange the folders alphabetically. If you’re like me, however, sometimes you’re just looking for ‘that app that edits photos,’ and in that case, this probably isn’t the greatest method (refer to “organize by functionality” tip above).

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

  • Position apps based on color – Maybe your brain remembers visuals rather than words, and you know that you need ‘the app with the green icon’ or ‘the one with the red square.’ If this is the case, arranging apps based on color can be a winning solution. Warning: Apps update their icons and this can really mess you up if you are accustom to visually locating an app.

Photo by Joshua Eckstein on Unsplash

  • Organize by frequency – Whether you have an iPhone or an Android, you can put your most frequently used apps on your home screen and lesser-used apps on subsequent pages. It’s best to limit your pages to no more than three, or it can become overwhelming. If necessary, you can organize apps on the second and third pages into folders, using the methods listed above.
  • Don’t be afraid to eliminate! – For some reason, people seem to collect apps and hold onto them forever (we also do this with digital files, paper, emails…) – whether they use them or not. All of those unnecessary icons on your screen can lead to time lost and poor productivity. Take a quick look through your apps and eliminate anything that you haven’t used in the last 90 days. If it’s been more than three months, it’s likely you don’t need it anyway!

At the end of the day, organizing your apps is great, but despite the best classification of information, we can still forget where we put something – no matter how logical it seemed at the time. Learn to use the keyword search functionality on your phone – this is the best and easiest way to find what you’re looking for on your mobile device. If you don’t know how to do this, you can check out one of these tutorials for iPhone or Android users to teach yourself how.

Photo by Tinh Khuong on Unsplash

Have you used any of these methods to organize your apps? Perhaps a different system? How did it work out for you?

This is just some of the value you can get when partnering with GetReorganized.com™. If you’d like more tips, advice or suggestions on how to be more productive and organized, book a 15-minute productivity assessment.

______________________________________________________________________
Be Well. Be Organized.
Make sure you are following GetReorganized.com™ so you don’t miss out on fresh organizing tips, ideas, and inspiration!
Be #InstaOrganized! Follow us on Instagram
A pin a day keeps the organizer away! Check out our boards on Pinterest
Tweet us and follow our Twitter
Like (or love) our Facebook Page
Prefer the professional approach? We’re also on LinkedIn
Learn more about Professional Organizing and Productivity Coaching at www.GetReorganized.com
Stop the procrastination and BOOK A FREE PHONE CONSULTATION

44 Ways to Prepare for the Week Ahead (on Sunday) for a More Organized 2019

Benjamin Franklin famously said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Planning ahead is something almost everyone can agree is important. When done right, it can help you execute projects, meet goals, and still have time left over to have fun and enjoy life.

Yet, many people ignore the benefits and argue that planning takes too much work. I’m here to tell you: that’s not true. Keep reading for 44 simple ways you can prepare for the week ahead, with minimal time or effort:

  1. Plan your fitness regime for the week. How often will you work out? Where will you go? Schedule this time into your calendar so that it is an appointment, not a task.
  2. Go ahead and pack that gym bag and get it ready with the necessities. Workout at home? Same idea, but pick a place near your exercise area to stash what you need.
  3. Sunday is a great time to prep some healthy snacks for the week. This will help you avoid just grabbing something from the kitchen or fridge when you need to munch.
  4. Double check your calendar for the upcoming week and make notes of deadlines, assignments, appointments, and events. If you have them written down in several places, move them to one central calendar.
  5. Grab your purse, briefcase or work bag and do a purge of any unnecessary items. Do you still need it? Can you file it away? What’s missing that you need to replenish or add?
  6. Pull out your device and check the weather for the week. What’s in store and does it impact anything on your calendar?
  7. Coffee drinker? Great! Set-up a space in your kitchen and make sure that everything is ready to go for Monday morning. Ideally, all you should have to do is push the start button to get going.
  8. Grab your planner or just a sheet of paper and make a list of action items that you need to get done this week. Also, add some tasks you’d like to get done if you have time.
  9. Go ahead and clear out all the unnecessary voicemail messages so you start the week fresh.
  10. Create a music playlist for the week. If you know you like upbeat music or working out or need some focus jams to help with productivity, get those lists ready to go on Sunday.
  11. There’s nearly nothing better than starting out the week after a bit of self-care. Get your nails done, grab a pedicure or see your hairstylist so you go into the week looking (and feeling) great.
  12. Drop off those dry clean only items at the cleaners.
  13. Go grocery shopping for your weekly staples and meal ingredients.
  14. Grab the trash from around the house and go ahead and take it out.
  15. Get your laundry done so your favorite items are ready for you.
  16. Time to declutter and tidy up the house from the chaos of the previous week. Don’t drag any of that into your new week.
  17. As you’re doing the laundry, throw in the sheets and towels so you have a fresh set come Monday morning.
  18. Hop on Amazon and order that book you’ve been meaning to read.
  19. Prep your lunches for the week. Not only will you eat better but your pocketbook will thank you!
  20. Wash your car (or even better go through the local drive-thru car wash after you’re done shopping).
  21. Fill the car up with gas so you aren’t worried about being out-and-about with an empty tank.
  22. Dream up and schedule some fun plans for the following weekend – you’ll have something to look forward to all week.
  23. Take the time to shave (great time to get a bath in as well if you are a bathtub person).
  24. Clean out your car: If it’s just another place for you to keep junk, all of that clutter might be draining your energy.
  25. Pick out your Monday outfit before going to bed.
  26. Got kids? Make sure their school bags are packed and ready to go for the week.
  27. Clean out the fridge and toss out questionable or expired items.
  28. Determine what your three priorities for the week are so you can tackle them early.
  29. Planning your next vacation? Go ahead and request the necessary time off from work so it doesn’t slip by.
  30. Print out a motivational quote that you love and will help you get through to Friday.
  31. Take a few moments to visualize how you’d like the upcoming week to go.
  32. Self-care is important. Pamper yourself.
  33. Declutter just one drawer in your kitchen. Be careful – you might get carried away!
  34. Take 5 to 30 minutes to catch up with an old friend.
  35. Clean out your make-up bag and throw away anything you no longer use.
  36. Clean up your electronic cords. Phone jacks? Yes, you can probably throw those away.
  37. Write a thank you note to someone who impacted your life in a positive way in the previous week.
  38. Throw some stuff in the crockpot so you don’t have to worry about dinner Monday night.
  39. Clean your computer’s desktop – filing away any documents you are done with.
  40. Set your DVR to record your favorite shows.
  41. Make an appreciation list: Write down five things you’re grateful for and start the week off in a positive place.
  42. Got a birthday party or other special event coming up? Purchase and wrap the gifts.
  43. Set an intention for the week: be braver, be kinder, be more productive. Select a theme word to support your energy.
  44. Take some time to reflect on the first month of this year. This act of mindfulness will help you with direction this week.

This is just some of the value you can get when partnering with GetReorganized.com™. If you’d like more tips, advice or suggestions on how to be more productive and organized, book a 15-minute productivity assessment.

______________________________________________________________________
Be Well. Be Organized.
Make sure you are following GetReorganized.com™ so you don’t miss out on fresh organizing tips, ideas, and inspiration!
Be #InstaOrganized! Follow us on Instagram
A pin a day keeps the organizer away! Check out our boards on Pinterest
Tweet us and follow our Twitter
Like (or love) our Facebook Page
Prefer the professional approach? We’re also on LinkedIn
Learn more about Professional Organizing at www.GetReorganized.com
Stop the procrastination and BOOK A FREE PHONE CONSULTATION