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Tuesday, August 30 2011

I don't know about you, but I am an avid reader.  I have always loved books and get a real sense of comfort from holding one in my hands and flipping through the pages.

You might call me "old fashioned" but I prefer holding a book in my hands as opposed to a Kindle or other type of electronic reader.  There is just something cold about holding a piece of plastic as opposed to turning pages of a book. 

If you are an avid book reader, chances are you have quite a collection of books in your home.  If so, are they organized?  If not, here are some suggestions on how you can organize them so you can find what you want when you want it.

When it comes to non-fiction or reference books, it's best to organize them by category and then alphabetically by author.

When it comes to fiction, it's best to organize them by author and then in alphabetical order by book title.  Organize your hardbacks separate from your soft backs.  That doesn't mean they necessarily need to be on separate shelves.  I put my hardback books in the back of the bookcase with paperbacks lined up in front of them.  This makes it easy for me to read all of the titles and find just what I am looking for.

Personally, I have numerous bookcases for various types of books throughout my home.  I have my non-fiction books on a bookcase in my upstairs hallway (there is plenty of room so it does not interfere with navigating to and from my bedroom), I have my fiction books in my guest bedroom/sitting room and business related books (marketing, organizing, etc.) on a bookcase in my office.  I also have a cabinet that was specially made to store my cookbooks which sits just outside my kitchen, in my dining room.

Because I have an extensive amount of fiction (I love to relax at the end of my day by sitting down and reading a good fiction book.), I have taken the next step and created a small three-ring binder with alphabetical tabs in it, listing each author on a separate page with the titles of the books I currently have in my collection.  This might seem extreme to some but I recognized the need to do this as I carry this binder with me when I go to the bookstore, the library or purchase books online.  I do not buy duplicates because I know exactly what I currently have or have read in the past from that author.  This works well for me as I tend to read books from the same general group of authors.

The other point I want to make is that when I am done reading one of my fiction books, I donate it or pass it on to a friend.  I DO NOT keep fiction books after they are read.  Life is too short and there are too many books out there to read so I don't want to go back and read the same book again.  The non-fiction (if they are more of a resource) are kept after they are read.  Biographies or autobiographies are passed on after they are read, as well. 

Organizing your books is so important so that you know what you have and you can enjoy your collection.

I intend to continue to purchase books well into the future and am happy to say that I can locate what I want when I want it because my collection is organized.  Yours can be too.

If you need assistance in sorting through the books, donating those that you no longer need or want and getting the restorganized, contact me.  I'll be glad to help you out.

In the meantime, have a great week! 


Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 04:52 pm   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, August 23 2011

I have no idea where the Summer has gone.  As it seems to do every year, it flew by and we are now looking at getting the kids back to school, resume our normal routine and put the lazy days of Summer behind us.

The change of seasons is a great time to evaluate and perhaps re-evaluate what we need to do in order to get organized.  Sometimes things tend to fall by the wayside (especially during the Summer months). 

Perhaps you had a project that you meant to get to this Summer but you never got around to it.  It could have been something such as decluttering and organizing the storage room, trimming the hedges, painting a bedroom, evaluating your wardrobe and eliminating items that no longer fit or that you don't like, getting rid of toys your child no longer plays with, organizing the pantry or organizing your desk area where you pay bills.

Before you get too inundated with the responsibilities that the new season will bring, I suggest that you take some time to walk around your home and make a list of things you want to declutter and organize and then get started on that list.

If you are feeling overwhelmed with the prospect of getting organized, let me know and I will be glad to help.

In the meantime, enjoy the rest of your Summer! 


Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 12:35 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, August 11 2011

Since I am such an advocate of organization and know first hand what a positive effect it can have on you, your home and your life, I hate to admit there might be a downside to being organized.

In an effort to free up my time, which is so precious to me, I made arrangements recently for my new health insurance carrier to automatically withdraw my monthly premium from my checking account.  I thought this would be the most efficient way to make sure that my payments were received on time with minimal effort on my part. Great idea, right?  Wrong.

Unbeknownst to me, my efficiency backfired.  As a result of what I thought was the best option, I was basically giving full rein to my insurance company to tap into my checking account and take what they wanted.  And, they did.

Not only did they deduct one month's premium from my account, they removed two!  This was done without my knowledge and without my consent.  

Of course, when it came time for them to reimburse me for the extra month (as soon as I discovered what they had done and confronted them about it), that was another story.  Suddenly, they were unable to deposit a refund back into my checking account electronically.  (I did not know it was a one way street.) They advised that they will be sending a check in the mail to me in the next few days.  That is not the resolution I was looking for and, needless to say, I was extremely upset that this occurred to begin with.  What gives them the right to do what they did?

The end result is that I have now elected cancel the "automatic withdraw" option which would have saved me time and effort and I will now have to send the payments to the insurance company manually on a  monthly basis.  (All because of their incompetency.)  I will now be setting up electronic payments with my bank instead since they are the entity I can trust to do the job right.

Lesson learned - as much as we attempt to be organized and efficient, it does not always turn out that way.  Sometimes, without the cooperation of other entities, the best laid plans do not pan out.

This will not stop me, however, in my quest to get and stay organized in not only my life, but those of my family, friends and clients.  Why?  Because it's the right thing to do!

Have you had any experiences where your attempts to be organized have backfired?  I would love to hear from you.

In the meantime, I am taking off for five days to enjoy the Jersey shore and wishing you an organized week.  

Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 07:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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