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2019 August

Organizing your Mound of Paperwork

August 28, 2019 | By | No Comments

This is a quick tip on organizing an office that has not been organized in a while.  If you have a big stack of old mail, go thru it. Divide those papers into stacks that are prevalent and let the mail guide you. 

If you’ve been receiving mail on any subject over the past 6 months you probably will continue to receive that same type of mail in the future.

Divide your mail into personal – business (you may also want to divide personal into stacks for other family members as well if that applies)

Then subdivide personal into several stacks as they apply.

          Home          School                  Health                  Auto

And then subdivide each of those as they apply:

Home   —    Expenses / Repairs / Donations

School   —   Expenses / Records

Health   —   Bills / Info / Insurance

Auto —   Expenses / Insurance

Now personal preference notes: rather than auto – insurance, home – insurance, health – insurance, you may prefer to do Insurance – home   health   auto. Again, this is personal preference, I would ask you how do you look at it, then allow that to be your guide.

There may also be other categories:

          Phone/ Cell, Banking (Checking, Savings), Addresses

          Credit Cards – (Visa, Pier One, Am Express)

If your credit cards are confusing, divide them up. If you only have a couple of cards, you can file all the credit cards together.

For ease of finding things, especially if files get left out on your desk top, they can be color coded by person or as personal documents different than documents for your business.

Here are some some tips to divide items up. If doing the entire alphabet, rather than memorize where each of 26 stacks are, divide by A-H, I-R, S-Z.  Then take each stack A-H and divide by A B C D etc.  Divide I-R by I J K L M N and do the same for S-Z.

When dividing dates do the same for each year. For 2017 divide by quarters January-March, April-June, July-September, and October-December. If you look up and your stacks of paper word aren’t hardly as huge as your envisioned them being consolidate more. Divide the paperwork into January-June & July-December. Filing this way is to help your office because less cluttered and simplified. For the 2016 paperwork do the same thing.

When filing older documents determine how far back you really need your filing to go. If you need your 2016 documents all in a section, then give them one but if don’t really have to grab for 2015-2014 documents simply file 2015-2014 altogether. If you must search for something in five or six months that is in 2015 file, divide it at that time.  Remember do not do extra work.

We once alphabetized an entire private library of paperback books, once we got the first letter of each author (by last name) we subdivided where necessary for second letter, for example, Rogers, Randolph, Regis all the same box, the Ra separate from Re separate from Ro etc.  It feels like subdividing would take so much longer to handle each document or book however, the length and confusion that it dissipates rather than trying to remember where each stack is (when there are more than five to eight stacks) eases the entire job. 

Also, subdividing this way also allows for rest breaks.  If you are trying to remember 15 stacks, you do not want to stop and forget which stack is which.  Remember it always gets worse before it gets better. If you’re feeling overwhelmed just call Design Your Life because we organize your space so that you may design your life. 

The Habit of Downsizing

August 8, 2019 | By | No Comments

There are several reasons people downsize these days. Retirement, divorce, loss of job, the newest one is simplification. People are wanting to leave a smaller physical footprint on this world and for whatever the reason, downsizing sounds easy, and it can be. However, it comes with new thought patterns and habits. Those habits are the tricky ones.

So, let’s start with the mathematics of it all, say you live in a 4,000 sq. foot house and you want to move to a 2000 sq. foot condo. Logistically, that means that half of your stuff must go. 

First things, first. Decide what’s most important to you. Start big. Can you delete entire rooms? Can you live with three bedrooms instead of four? Which beds do you want to keep, which are you giving to family, and what should you do with the beds you’re divesting yourself of. Once you’ve decided on rooms and their furniture, go through each room and decide on items in that room. For example, label what you want to purge and pack. If you want to keep your dresser, then stick a colored note saying yes. Nightstands yes, Desk no. Extra chairs, no. etc. Do the same thing with everyone thing even your linens. Keep that same process going throughout your home.  Do not pack any area without going through it. This is the main reason people get over-junked. 

In, The Lifechanging Magic of Tidying Up, Marie Kondo – continually asks does this item bring you joy?  Is it necessary?  If you are giving up 1 or more bathrooms as you downsize, do not keep all 5 sets of towels. Pick your favorites and move on.  Yes, you may need an occasional towel for a muddy dog, ceiling leak, giant spill but holding onto an item for a what if isn’t helping you achieve the space of your dreams. Clients give the craziest reasons for having to keep some items. Keep in mind your end goal and remember you’re creating a new habit for this downsizing process. Your reasons just get in your way.

When Design Your Life goes through and help someone purge, pack & organize, we work at getting the client to see and/or touch every single item. As we humans move into an area, we envelope the entire space. When we are not organized we continually buy extra stuff we already have. 

One of the main concepts about downsizing is asking yourself if you need it, if you love it, or is it just collecting dust? Once you learn this process and create this habit the world is your oyster. I tell clients all the time, you can pay me to pack it, you can pay me to move it, you can pay me to unpack it, and then throw it away. Or you can save the extra time and money and just get rid of it first. When downsizing, it always gets worse before it gets better. Just remember, if you’re feeling overwhelmed just call Design Your Life because we organize your space so that you may design your life.