Do you have Post-its everywhere? Are you a "back of an envelope" kind of note-taker?
If you are looking to get your paper organized, one key place to start is to record all notes and to-dos IN ONE PLACE. If you shy away from smartphone apps that promise to do this or just prefer paper, check out FocusNotes. They have various sizes to choose from but I recommend selecting a size that will fit in your purse, briefcase, or backpack easily so you can TAKE IT EVERYWHERE YOU GO.
The format of each page reminds you to date your notes and provides a "cue column" where you can later jot down action items or summarize the important information. It provides structure and flexibility to help you get your notes organized.
Fall is quickly approaching and if you have a garden, it's almost time to pull out those mason jars!
Here are a few ideas for using mason jars for organizing small unruly items:
-In the bathroom for cotton balls, q-tips, make up sponges, and make up brushes
-For art supplies such as crayons, pom poms, and buttons
-In the kitchen for cooking utensils on the counter
-In the pantry for pasta, rice, oatmeal, and quinoa
-In the office as a pencil holder
-For cupcake wrappers
-In the bathroom as a toothbrush holder
-In the kitchen for spices
-In the workshop for screws, nails, and nuts/bolts
-For sewing supplies like spools of thread, needles, and ribbons
-As a match holder with a piece of sand paper secured above the lid for striking
-As a keepsake holder
-In the basement for leftover paint
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I am not a card keeper (unless it includes a heartfelt message) but a word of advise.......hold on to birth announcements you get in the mail! They will come in handy when you are about to visit a friend and can't remember his/her kids' names.
You might be wondering where you should keep stuff like this?!?! I have a photo box with memory stuff in it. It includes souvenirs, concert tickets, notes, birth announcements, etc. When the box gets full I go through it (which is actually fun) and purge anything that doesn't drum up positive memories. If I can't remember where I got it or why I kept it, in the trash it goes!
Consider having 2 folders for your manuals, one for household equipment that stays with the house and one for equipment that goes with you. When the time comes to sell your house, you will be able to leave all the appropriate manuals for the new owners.
My daughter has more books than a small library. The good news is that she loves to read. I (of course) love this. The flip side is that I am faced with a plethora of books strewn about the house. To encourage her to put her books away when she is done reading, I made a few magazine holders out of cereal boxes. I made each one a different size to demonstrate the size of the books that go into each box. I lined them up on a shelf and taught her the "new system" for organizing her books. She loves it because she enjoys looking at the pictures on the sides. I love it because it has encouraged her to put her books away. A win-win. The best part is that they are put away nicely and not heaped up in a "leaning tower of Pisa" pile. To learn how to make a magazine holder out of a cereal box, click here.
What I recommend to my clients for dealing with magazines is to first sort the magazines you receive by those that you "love to read" and those that you "never have time to read."
For those that you "never have time to read," consider calling and asking to cancel or switch your subscription. Often magazines have affiliations and you can simply select another title. Alternatively, you can donate them to a local dentist, doctor, or other practice with a waiting room until your current subscription runs out. (It's great to recycle them but better to reuse them first!)
For those that you "love to read," organize the magazines that you have not read yet in a magazine file, only keeping the last 1-3 issues. As you read a magazine, tear out articles of interest and organize them by topic in a binder or expandable file. Topics may include: Health, Recipes, Mommy Tips, Crafts, etc. Once you are finished reading that magazine and have selected (and filed) your articles, recycle it.
Elizabeth Bremer, CPO®