Saturday, October 6, 2018

Why Organization Isn’t (Always) Pretty

       Contrary to popular belief, organizing is not always about looks.  Yes, a byproduct of the organization process is the beautification of spaces, but the primary goal of organizing is to make spaces more functional for people.  Having a good-looking place will not necessarily make your life easier or less frustrating, but having a functional place will.  If the kitchen looks pretty, but you can’t find a knife, what good is the space to you?  While making spaces prettier is always a nice benefit of organization and a desire of an organizer, the main focus will always be on customizing spaces so that the users can be more productive and efficient as clutter is minimized and controlled.  After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What’s important isn’t making a space appealing to the eyes of others, but to oneself.

       In fact, some people are able to operate in seemingly disorganized environments very efficiently.  Organizing is the process of making things easier to find and keep track of, not necessarily making everything picture-perfect.  Often, those seeking organization help are those who are not able to operate in messy or cluttered conditions because they become overwhelmed at the sight or the thought of their surroundings.  While this is certainly understandable, such conditions do not cause everyone to be disorganized or inefficient.  Just like people, spaces are unique and the job of an organizer is to make sure that spaces work for people instead of people working for spaces.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

How and Why to Set Up Effective Business Processes

The key to any well-run business is effective processes. Processes are the root of everyday work and determine the effectiveness of a business.  Good processes benefit an organization and allow it to operate smoothly while poor processes can hinder productivity. There are a multitude of ways to go about creating processes, some more effective than others. However, the three most important parts of any business, the ones in need of adequate processes, are administration, marketing, and accounting (or bookkeeping).

Administration ensures the day-to-day work is taken care of so that the business continues to operate.  The purpose of marketing is to get the word out about the business in a meaningful and creative way that drives sales. Accounting processes keeps track of all the numbers and finances with the goal of achieving growth and profitability. Each of these areas must work together for a business to prosper and stay organized. The organization of all the steps to each process into specific folders is the key to remembering to complete each step correctly. The general folders used by Organiz-ER, LLC are listed below, but can be changed around as needed for use in other businesses.

Administration Folders:
1. Process Client Notes
2. Update ACT/Home Advisor
3. Scanning
4. Shredding
5. Photocopying
6. General Administration

Marketing Folders:
1. Update Website
2. General Marketing

Accounting Folders:
1. Prepare Deposits
2. Create Invoices
3. Enter Deposits
4. Credit Card Data Entry
5. Process Expense Reports
6. Write Checks
7. Enter Payments
8. Journal Entry
9. Reconciliations
10. General Accounting

For more information, or to get help with your organization needs, visit


Friday, June 15, 2018

Reclaiming Your Garage for Your Car

       The garage can be a versatile space, but it’s primary purpose is really to house a car. While it is tempting to use the garage as storage by filling it up with boxes and tools, storing a vehicle in a garage is always worth it.  Garages protect your cars from the elements and theft, but they also provide for easier transportation and keep vehicles at a more comfortable temperature.  Yes, there might be a lot of junk and miscellaneous items in the way but imagine being able to pull your vehicle into the garage again!  Many people keep items in the garage and use it as an all-purpose storage area but cleaning it out can help you get rid of unnecessary items while giving your vehicle the space it needs!

       Before beginning a garage clean out, make sure you know what it is you are trying to accomplish.  Envision the clear space to park the car or store lawn equipment.  Whatever your intentions are for the space, make it concrete in your mind so that you are driven to fulfill your goal. Once you know what you want to do, prepare with the right tools.  Put on some work clothes, grab working gloves, and get ready to move and go through all the things you might have been storing in the garage over the years. The key to success is separating the items into specific piles based on what you want to do with them. Trash, recycle, keep, and store are the largest categories, but you can also make up your own based on the things you have. In a garage, you might have categories such as tools, sports equipment, and lawn care items.  Making these categories and deciding where things go, and if you still need them, is critical.  The biggest barrier to cleaning up a space is making those decisions. We often see potential value in items that we may not ever use and decided to keep them, taking up space and occupying our minds.  A good rule to guide you is to get rid of anything that you haven’t thought about in the past 6 months as well as anything that you won’t think about in the next 6 months after remembering you have it.   If you must ponder whether you need or want an item, set it aside and come back to it later. Ideally, this process will help you have “getting rid of piles” that are larger than your “keep” piles!

       When you’ve finally cleared out the space, make sure to do any needed cleaning and maintenance work.  Take the opportunity to sweep the garage, vacuum, or wash the floor.  This way, even if the garage turns back into a storage area, it will be clean and keep any items from getting dirty.  Then, once the garage is clean and able to be used once more, don’t simply store items randomly around your car. Instead, place items into specific areas that they fit well into where you can find them easily. Motor oil should go near car wash soap, which should be separated from grass seed, for example.  Labelling each of the boxes or containers so you know exactly what’s inside them makes for quick item retrievals and maintains organization.  Similarly, outlining tools on the wall for work benches with tape or marker can be useful in keeping things organized and identifying what is out of place.

       When you’re finally done cleaning, make sure you periodically sweep the area to look for anything out of place and avoid haphazardly putting items in the garage.  Every once in a while, you want to go around the area and clean up and cobwebs or dead insects to keep your items in your newly organized garage clean!  Continuing to keep up with cleaning and reevaluating items you haven’t used in a long time will help you to keep your garage clean and your car in its proper place!

Written by Joe Dumais.

For more information, or to get help with your organization needs, visit


Friday, June 1, 2018

How do you spend your 5pm to 9am time?

How do you spend your 5 to 9 time?

It is a known fact that most people in the workforce are at their jobs from the hours of nine o’clock in the morning to five o’clock at night, Monday through Friday. This is commonly referred to as the 9-5 shift, the standard for many businesses. After this long day at work, many workers feel too tired to do anything but relax and seek entertainment.  The thought of doing more work in a day, like housework, is unbearable.

Many people have family members, children, pets, and general household needs to attend to when they arrive home from work. Various chores needing attention may include cooking dinner, doing the dishes, laundry, and preparing for the next day. The idea of squeezing in a little bit of relaxing, while still achieving that highly sought-after full eight hours of sleep, is farfetched on most weekdays.  Meanwhile, the morning requires the completion of chores such as getting the rest of the house up, making and eating breakfast, preparing lunch, and commuting to work.

Some may think that they cannot possibly bring organization into their daily routines to organize their homes and live, yet daily routines before and after work are the perfect times to regiment. Following a consistent schedule of what to do before and after work will keep your home and life uncluttered and allow your day to run smoothly. Doing the same chores everyday may sound like quite a daunting task, but routine is the root of organization. Simply finding 10 to 20 minutes a day to straighten up the house or sitting down to reorganize your thoughts and actions can immensely aid in organization.

So now I pose a question to the workforce: are you using your 5-9 time wisely?

For more information, or to get help with your organization needs, visit


Friday, May 25, 2018

How to Tackle an Attic Clean Out

       As a child, it seems like the scariest of places. And yet, even as adults, there is a taboo surrounding the attic, especially when it comes to cleaning it out. Sure, there might be a lot of cobwebs and embarrassing high school memorabilia, but imagine having a whole new space for storage or a nice hideaway to read a book. The attic has so much potential!  It can provide a new place to neatly and cleanly pack away organized items or give the house an extra place to enjoy.  Even if the progress is slow, cleaning out the attic is a good way to organize and improve your house.

       When first starting to clean your attic, envision the result of how the space will look as clearly as possible so you will feel motivated to get the job done. Next, get on your work clothes, grab your gloves, and get ready to haul junk. The key to a speedy cleanup is separating the items into specific piles based on what you want to do with them. Trash, recycle, keep, and store are the largest categories, but you can also make up your own based on the things you have. The decisions of where everything should go is the biggest barrier. A good rule of thumb is that if you haven’t thought about it in 6 months, nor will you think about for the next 6 months after being reintroduced to it, it’s not worth your time and space. If you have to lull over the artifact for too long, then put it aside and think about it later. Hopefully, your “getting rid of piles” are larger than your “keep” piles!

       After you’ve finally cleared out the space, make sure to do any needed touching up or repairs to the walls and floorboards.  This way, even if the attic turns back into a small storage area, it won’t be the reason for a water leakage two months later. Then, once the room is clean and able to be used once more, don’t just toss things back in randomly. Instead, segregate certain items into specific zones.. For example, Christmas decorations should go near Thanksgiving decorations and not be mixed with summer clothes. Labeling each of the boxes or containers so you know exactly what is inside them makes for quick item retrievals and maintains organization.

       Once you’re finally done, make sure you go up there every once in a while to catch those spiders from creating cobwebs in your newly cleaned and organized attic or enjoy the space as much as possible so that it doesn’t turn back into a storage area again.

For more information, or to get help with your organization needs, visit


Friday, May 18, 2018

Thoughts about Doing Tasks

Thoughts about DOING

The other day, I spent all day doing as much on my task list as possible.  Why? Because I know that for the next two weeks I will be very busy. As I was working on my own stuff, I made some realizations.

1. Sometimes we just plain have too much to do! Because of the complexity of our lives, we have many tasks. We must start asking ourselves questions. Should I spend time filling out my daughter’s renewal for Girl Scouts even though the troop is not very active? Should I volunteer at the library book sales or spend my time reading the books I own?  Our complex lives require us to make choices and we must realize that we can’t possibly do everything we would like to.

2. Certain times are more productive for us than other times. My job as an organizer is to help people be more productive in those times when they have energy and motivation.  We all have to capitalize on those times when we can get more work or tasks accomplished because we have the energy or are in the mood to do it.

3. Task lists are important. When you use them, you don’t have to think about what you have to do until you have time to do it.  Task lists ensures that tasks are not forgotten and everything is completed.

4. It is important to take time each day to do tasks. Some of my clients, as I am sure many people do, keep adding to their list, but never complete any tasks.  The whole point of a task list is to see what has to be done and to do it when you can before it is too late.

For more information, or to get help with your organization needs, visit


Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Seven Steps to Lighten Your Load

Seven Steps to Lighten Your Load

  1. Do a macro sort in which you separate something into broad categories (Zones) 
  2. Take inventory of what you have 
  3. Evaluate what you need. When considering whether to keep and item, determine if it falls into one of the categories below
    1. item is used regularly 
    2. the amount of space it takes up is proportional to its value 
    3. the item has sentimental value 
    4. item is needed for a current or upcoming project 
    5. set rules 
  4. Purge what you do not need: junk/trash, recycle, sell/ consignment/ thrift/ charity 
  5. Create a home or zone to hold what you are keeping 
  6. Rearrange and organize what you are keeping 
  7. Put items away in the space created. 
For more information, or to get help with your organization needs, visit