Benefits of Getting Organized

A system designed just for you.
• Create a home that make sense to you for each category of items.
• Keep track of appointments.
• Make decisions about how to handle routine tasks just once, instead of every day.
• Free your physical and mental spaces.
• Feel more relaxed about your responsibilities.

Take care of the world around you.
• Teach your kids valuable life skills.
• Develop easy systems for donating unneeded items.
• Create a simple process for recycling.
• Save resources by knowing what you have and avoiding over-purchasing.

Save time and money.
• Run errands faster.
• Stop spending time hunting for lost items.
• Never again pay a late-payment fee.
• Have time to bargain-hunt.
• Identify tax deductions because you can locate your receipts.
• Deduct charitable donations of items you no longer need.
• Avoid buying duplicate items you know you have but can't seem to find.
• Stop paying for storage space.
• Cook simple meals at home and pack lunches.

Even make money.
• Recognize and deposit checks received in the mail.
• Find checks and cash that have been buried.
• Pursue unpaid invoices.
• Make time for publicity and marketing.
• Enhance your professional image.

"Do" Tips for Organizing

Do: Tackle Toppling

Contain tiny things so they can be moved as a unit & 
won't topple when you reach for one. Medicine
cabinets are big culprits: plucking out the right bottle
feels like a game of Operation. But corral them in an
open bin on the shelf & grabbing the whole group or
just one is a snap. Works everywhere -- for tea, 
vitamins, small tools, art supplies -- & so simple.

Do: Declutter on the Sly

I've spoken about "Stealth Purging" before, & here's a new spin: when you're retrieving a supply (eg, Advil, drawing paper) & have 2 minutes to spare, go through that box or drawer & hunt for unneeded items. I found a load of expired meds & a stack of paper to recycle just this week! Declutter little by little.

Do: Clear the Decks

Now that decking the halls is behind us, I'm excited to clear the decks. Empty that garage, take back those returns, deliver those hand-me-downs. I put this off; there are more important things to do! But the ripple effect is brutal - so for 1 day, ignore those other important things. The rush of ACTION is intoxicating. 

"Don't" Tips for Organizing

Don't: Squeeze
Next time you think, "I can squeeze this one last task
in before I go," just don't. Recognize it as an example
of false efficiency. Cramming the task in when you
don't truly have time will cause you to: do it badly, be
late for your next appointment, & stress about both. 
Leave the task undone for now & enjoy being on time.

Don't: Load Up Your List    

Ask, "if this task were the only thing I accomplished today, would I be satisfied?" Find a "yes," put your head down, & do it. Avoid the temptation to reflect on more to-dos. I first read this in Timothy Ferriss' The 4-Hour Work Week -- full of great productivity tips even if you like your 40-hour work week just fine.  

Don't: Keep Goofs     

Reader Tip: "If you have a piece of 'Goof!' clothing (something you wish you hadn't bought & don't wear), get rid of it. Those things me feel guilty every time I open the closet. When it's gone, no more reminder & guilt." In the words of Peter Walsh, Goof! clothing "exists only to mock you." Donate that sucker!

"Get" Tips for Organizing


My favorite way to store jewelry is in a hanging
organizer like this one. You can see everything at
once, & it's usually easier to hang this on a closet rod
or a hook on the back of a door than it is to make
room for a jewelry box. (I suppose if you have very
fancy jewelry you might need something more secure,
but I don't have that problem!)

Get a Big Calendar & Use It    

A big wall calendar with plenty of writing space is great for those who need to see the month on a scale larger than a screen, & especially for families who can't go digital for their shared calendar. Whatever calendar you use, sit down regularly with your "teammates" & preview the next few weeks: Is everything there? What prep & reminders are needed? My family couldn't function without these talks.

Get a Handle on Your Money     

You know how the financial gurus say you need a budget as if it's easy, but making one & actually sticking to it IS NOT? I've tried all sorts of methods & YNAB is the best. It simplifies money. And with very little set-up needed, free online classes & support, & a $60 one-time fee after a free trial, it's a bargain.

"Give" Tips for Organizing & Doing Good

Give to End Poverty    

I'm excited about a poverty-fighting program with a
new chapter in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area. Circles 
has a proven (30-year!) track record of ending
generational poverty, attacking it from all sides & 
involving whole communities. Email me or go here if
you'd like to get involved, & go here if you'd like to
donate funds!

Give Cards Guiltlessly    

Sometimes it's hard to recycle greeting cards that friends & family have put the time into sending, but once you've received the message - "We wish you well!" - most can go. Sending them to St. Jude's Recycled Card Program , which helps abused & at-risk kids, lessens lingering guilt.

Give Women a New Start     

"Let's figure this out together," says the Women's Center of Southeast Michigan.They provide services that "build confidence, strengthen connections, and create positive change," from helping overcome divorce or unemployment to navigating community resources to offering affordable counseling. Donate here!