Wednesday, November 23, 2016
When utilizing an electronic mailbox, you need to keep it clear so you know what e-mails require your action. If you use your In-Box to store e-mails that have been read and may be acted upon, then you will have to scroll through them when you are looking for a particular e-mail. Keeping your In-Box Full is like taking all of the papers around your house and putting them on your desk. If you don’t have a system to filing them, they are much harder to retrieve.
Here are some quick tips to storing emails.
1. Filing E-mail
ü Create a Completed Folder with sub-folders by subject or topic.
ü Create Work In Progress Folders within In-Box
2. When you receive an e-mail:
A. Decide what task needs to be completed as a result of the e-mail and when you are going to do the task
B. Capture the task on your task list by either typing it or dragging the e-mail to task section of the email application
C. Decide what to do with original e-mail
ü Move it to Work In Progress folder
ü Move it to completed folder
ü Print and delete it
ü Delete original e-mail
Note: If a folder for a project has been created, don’t forget to capture a task and the estimated completion date of the project.
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
When sorting items for getting organized start with the large (Macro) and then work towards the small or detail (Micro). The macro can be large items like pianos and couches or it can be large categories of items like books and clothes.
Large items that are being purged will open up space for you to work. If you have an entire section in your basement or garage that you are storing for someone else, give them a deadline and have them remove it. Or if you have an old piano that you no longer want, get rid of it. The idea is objectively walk around your space and clear the big items that are no longer being used and remove them from the space.
Next use your zone detail worksheet to identify any groups of items that you have in excess. If you can’t make that determination, start with books. Gather them from all the places that they are stored: book shelf, kitchen table, bathroom, floor next to bed, car, office, next to TV, coffee table. You will be amazed at how many you really have when you start putting them in one place. Remember this stage is to SORT. Getting the like items together you will be able to see what you have and be better equipped to purge.
That’s all there is to the macro sort.
Thursday, November 10, 2016
As I was teaching a class on organizing recently, it occurred to me that the secret of organizing is knowing how to SORT. It is really that simple. The first step in that process is determining what zones you will need. Think about the zones in your life and what you truly need to complete the tasks in that zone. See below for some same zones and the location that you do them.
- Eating - Kitchen
- Sleeping - Bedroom
- Exercising - Outdoors
- Cleansing - Bathroom
- Dressing - Bedroom
- Storing - Attic
- Processing Paperwork - Office
- Relaxing - Den
It is the more granular zones that prevent people from being organized. When you are first starting don't get obsessed with sorting to the granular level. Instead of separating pens, pencils, and markers just create the larger zone of "writing utensils". After you get larger categories of like items together you can start sorting to the more detailed level.
I have created a Zone Detail Worksheet with some of the more common zones.
See if you can identify the ONE place that you have the items stored. It may be easier to look at the spaces that you already have in your home and or office. Give a critical eye to look at what the area was originally intended for and what it is actually being used for. Don’t be afraid to obsolete some zones that you may no longer need. If you have a zone for your skiing supplies but have not skied in years, there may be no need to have a zone for that task.
Do you have any items that do not belong in any category shown? Do you need to create a new category? List these new categories at the bottom of the worksheet. Every item should belong to a category, even if it is only a category of one.
Thursday, November 3, 2016
Simple Daily Routine for Children
A step to becoming organized is learning how to set and follow routines. It did not occur to me how important routines are until I had children and how important it is to instill routine in children. Luckily for me I sent them to a Montessori preschool in which routine was a huge part of the teaching. Right from the start they learned to always hang their coats on the same hook and put their lunch box on the same shelf. When I saw how well the children adapted to the routines at preschool, I decided to put routines into place at home.
As an organizer who works with parents of school aged children, I often get statements like: "my little one doesn't listen" or "he just throws the coat right on the floor next to the coat rack". As a parent it is our job to teach them how to be an organized adult.
See the Simple Daily Routine Chart that I have created: Simple Daily Routine for Children
For children that cannot yet read or for those that like more color, you can have them put stickers next to tasks or decorate it in a way that they will remember what the task is. Then laminate it and use an expo marker each week to check off items.
When you are implementing the routine chart you have set expectations. This is the conversation. "Can I go outside to play?"
"I don't know? Did you unpack your lunchbox and your backpack? Did you do your homework? ... " List all the items on the list for that time period. If one is no, then they need to go back and do it. Pretty soon they will learn to not ask until they have completed all of their routine tasks.
I have also had comments that some children need to get out their energy or relax before doing the routines. That is fine. Just set a time limit so they have a set schedule to work on their routine. If you don't they and you will be trying to cram everything a half hour before bed.