Monday, September 27, 2010

Information Overload

As professional organizers, we often work with people who struggle to let go of magazines and newsletters, typically because they haven’t had time to read them or believe the information might be useful again. I have come to the same conclusion many times - there is so much information out there, and it’s simply impossible to take it all in, even if you limit yourself to topics that are of great interest or use to you. Knowing what your ‘go-to’ information sources are (think quality, not quantity) and not kidding yourself into thinking you need to read the rest can help you avoid information overload!

Time-Saving Tip #10: Downsize Your Inbox - limit your incoming email and mail to items you need or want to receive.

Let’s face it, there’s only so much information we can take in and process. With so much information out there, you will do yourself a huge favor to put some limits on what you let into your mailbox or inbox...especially if you’re someone who feels obligated to read potentially useful know who you are. We all inevitably end up on mailing lists we don’t want to be on or that seemed like a good idea at the time. Next time you get something that falls into that category, go ahead - click the unsubscribe link! If you don’t love it and read it right away, it’s probably not worth your time.

When it comes to snail mail, if you find yourself spending lots of time getting rid of junk mail (or worse, not getting rid of it), it might be worth your time to spend a few minutes getting yourself off the major mailing lists that are contributing to your mail clutter. For more information on reducing junk mail, check out our post Less Paper, Please on our other blog, Get Organized and Go Green. Also take a look at your subscriptions - if you don’t have time to read and enjoy all the magazines, papers and newsletters you get, you are wasting money and paper. Consider paring down what you get delivered - you can always access information on-line or add back in others down the road. And if you find yourself backed up - either with paper or electronic FYI material - cut yourself some slack, declare information bankruptcy, recycle or delete what you haven’t gotten to and start fresh with the new material. Spring gardening tips won’t do you much good in the middle of fall anyway!

Bottom Line: Save time and money by limiting your mail and email to what matters most and cutting out the rest!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sarah Buckwalter on TLC's Hoarding: Buried Alive

Episode: “The Scariest Place on Earth”.
Tune in to TLC on Sunday, September 26th at 8:00pm to watch Sarah Buckwalter transform a hoarding disaster zone into
a clean, comfortable home.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sarah Buckwalter on TLC's Hoarding: Buried Alive

Tune in this Sunday, September 19th at 9:00pm EST to watch Sarah Buckwalter transform a hoarding disaster zone into a clean, comfortable home.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Just Get It Done!

Happy Monday! The fall weather seems to be here in Boston. Just like in spring-time, getting back to the fall routine and thinking about getting your house, yard and storage spaces ready to keep everything safe and warm for the upcoming seasons, fall seems to bring a renewed urge to get things done around the house. If you’re like most people, you have an on-going ‘unfinished project list’ (even if it’s not actually a list). Today’s time-saving tip is in the spirit of just getting things done...

Time-Saving Tip #9: If it’s only going to take a few minutes, just do it!

Sometimes we waste a lot of time thinking about what to do next - this applies at home and at work. Most of the time, we would feel a lot better (and get more done), if we just channelled our inner Nike and ‘just did it.’ Getting things done tends to build momentum. So open the pile of mail, take the trash out, put the donation items in your car, make that phone call. You get the idea. Those small household and work tasks can weigh us down when they start to multiply. Keep them at bay by keeping up with them. Try to schedule yourself 15-30 minutes daily just to tackle some of those little unfinished projects before they turn into permanent fixtures on your unfinished project list. I’ll admit, I’ve got a few of those on my list, so let’s all start a productive week and just get it done...whatever it is!

Bottom line: Tackle those small projects before they add up with just 15 minutes a day of ‘getting it done.’

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fall into Organization with a ‘Playbook’ for Your Team

Hopefully you enjoyed a relaxing and recharging holiday weekend spending time with family and friends. Now that school is back in session and work is in full swing after the summer vacation season, fall is the perfect time to get your household routines and family schedules in line.

Time-Saving Tip #8: Streamline your routine with a simple household binder.
All you need is a small binder- use a spare one you have around or try these eco-friendly binders from greenroom, available at Target - some sheet protectors or a 3-hole punch, and some dividers. Simply hole-punch (or slip into sheet protectors) all those important papers, schedules, pieces of information that might otherwise get lost in a pile on the kitchen counter. This might include extracurricular or daycare schedules, important contact info, including babysitters, tutors, and coaches, upcoming events, and more. You can even step it up a notch and include a family chore chart, a master calendar or extra features like lunch-box ideas so these tasks can easily be shared among family members or helpers. Use the dividers to separate types of information or create a section for each family member - you can customize your binder to meet your family’s needs.

Get everyone involved in the binder - gathering information, deciding on what to call it, and most importantly, where it will live. If everyone in your house knows about the binder, you stand a fighting chance of being on the same page. Now wouldn’t that be nice?!

Bottom Line: Create a simple household binder as a place to store and organize your family’s activities and you’ll have your playbook prepped for a winning team!