Friday, January 18, 2019

You Don't Need a File Cabinet to BE organized!

The other day a client was downsizing and was worrying about where to put the large file cabinet that had dominated their spaces for years.  The dread they felt showed on their face as they looked and realized that there was simply nowhere to put it.  Confidently, I assured them that they didn’t need the old, cumbersome file cabinet.  They protested, wondering aloud just how they could become organized without their trusty file cabinet.  They thought they needed it to have any hope at an orderly life.  However, this person had combined an organized life with an organization tool.  Organization comes from within, not from neat bins, sturdy shelving units, or color-coated labels. 

Certainly, a file cabinet that dominates an office is not a prerequisite for organization in all aspects of life, or even in a room.  For those with limited space, big, heavy file cabinets are not even a viable option, as this person discovered.  In fact, tools meant to keep you organized can even have the opposite effect as people become tempted to store more paper or items as they become more efficient at packing them away.  Sometimes, the answer isn’t a big file cabinet, but fewer papers.  Not more storage space, but less stuff.  Not even better time management, but less on the mind.

All too often, people don’t realize that a professional organizer can only do so much.  Organizers can organize spaces and things, but not necessarily people, not always.  Yes, organizers are working with people, but usually only on moving, arranging, and removing items.  No matter how many appointments or tips people are given, they will not be truly organized and have inner peace within themselves until they realize that organization is not just about the possessions, but the process, the mindset.  Order can lead to disorder rather quickly without the right habits and maintenance.  Organization is a way of operating, a way of life.  This is ultimately a person’s own choice and their choice alone.  As they say, you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make them drink.

The lesson here is a simple one: organization comes from within, not from a file cabinet.

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


Saturday, January 12, 2019

Financial Routine

Each year, people make New Year’s resolutions, often involving diet, exercise, and money. While organizing can help you achieve your goals in all three areas, this post will focus on addressing money by creating a financial routine to organize your finances and start off the New Year on the right foot.

The keys to success for any resolution are making it automatic and being consistent. In the realm of finances, this means creating a routine that ensures all paperwork and important information is dealt with and retained if necessary. Simple steps each day, week, month, and year will create a consistent and easy to follow financial routine that will relieve you of stress and help avoid confusion and future issues.


To start, place all receipts, invoices, and payment notifications in a “Bills” folder (or bin) on a daily basis. No matter the importance or amount, doing so will ensure that each piece of paperwork is addressed later and you can get it off your mind for the time being.


Pick a day of the week to deal with your paperwork. Some people find it convenient to do so on a Friday to get a good picture of what happened that week, concluding their week by reviewing transactions and paperwork. Others rather deal with these items on Monday so they can relax at the end of the week. Of course, there are then others who prefer to sort through papers on a weekend when they have more time and things are more flexible. No matter which day you choose, stay consistent, and perform the following tasks on the allotted day.

  1. Pay. It is okay if you can’t pay every invoice or bill that week. However, by keeping them all in one place, bills and payments, including partial payments, become easier to track.

  1. Record Payment in a checking register or electronic accounting system such as QuickBooks. Doing so will give you a good overview of accounts and cash flows while ensuring that everything is tracked and accounted for.

  1. File the paper in a “pending” folder. This is a place to store items so that they may be checked later and then either discarded or filed away.


On a monthly basis, on the same day as usual during the last week of the month, reconcile the accounts. This means verifying that all receipts are accounted for on statements and ensuring that balances of accounts or amounts owed are accurate. If you need paperwork for taxes, expensing, or returns (especially for large purchases), file it. Otherwise, SHRED the paper!


Pull out all of the files and assemble for tax preparation.

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


Thursday, January 3, 2019

The Life Cycle of a Bill

Keeping track of bills and bill payments is often a difficult task.  Managing bills consistently requires a system.  Below is a chart that describes the life cycle of a bill.  This process can be used to ensure that each bill is paid and accounted for properly.

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