Monday, October 09 2017
With the holidays just around the corner, it's time to start organizing those recipes. Over the years, I have used various methods for organizing the various types of recipes I have gathered.
I sometimes tear recipes out of a magazine or print out recipes I find on line. I also have an array of recipe books.
First, I have a cabinet that is specificially used to organize my recipe books. Years ago, I had one custom made by the Amish because I had the need to store a lot of recipe books close to the kitchen for easy retrieval. I placed it against a small wall that divides my kitchen from my living room in my dining room area. (I am not suggesting that everyone needs to do this, but I have never regretted my decision to do so.)
Within my recipe cabinet, I have various forms of recipe organization besides the books.
I use an index card box for my "go to" recipes which I typed onto index cards and which I use on a regular basis and have been family favorites for years, including during the holidays. I divide them up with alphabetical index dividers A-Z. (They could also be divided up by category, i.e., desserts, casseroles, vegetables, pasta, etc.)
I use an accordion expandable file for the recipes I have gathered from magazines and online which I need to test out before they become part of my permanent collection. (These are divided up by category as described above.)
Another suggestion I have is to put your full size (8-1/2" x 11") recipes that you have into a 3-ring binder, divided up by category, using sheet protectors to store them. I like this suggestion because you can pull out the sheet from the binder when you want to use it and it will be protected from splatters and spills.
Of course, you can always use your phone or computer to store recipes digitally, but I strongly suggest that you weed through it from time to time to get rid of the recipes you have tried and failed or decided you are no longer interested in them. Otherwise, you are creating digital clutter.
Depending on how much you cook or bake can depend on what type of system would work best for you.
For me, there is not one solution but several that work best.
What solutions can you think of in order to organize your own collection of recipes? Share you ideas here and let's learn from each other so you can have a more organized holiday cooking experience.
In the meantime, if you are simply overwhelmed with your clutter and would like to discuss your particular situation with a professional organizer, don't hesitate to contact me.
As always, I am here to help.
Monday, August 21 2017
Today I am privileged to welcome a guest blogger. I don't often discuss digital clutter because I am not known to be too tech savy, but I do feel that it is an important aspect to decluttering your life and this was written in a way we can all understand.
Let's face it, our digital world has grown by leaps and bounds in the past decade and we all struggle to keep on top of our incoming mail, photos, important documents, etc.
This post is the first of two I am publishing. Please welcome Abby Quillen of ereplacementparts.com and I hope you find her information on this topic insightful and helpful.
DOWNSIZE AND ORGANIZE YOUR DIGITAL CLUTTER
by Abby Quillen (guest blogger)
Physical clutter can damage your health. In a study done by the University of California, Los Angeles, women who described their houses as cluttered, disorganized, disordered, or haphazard had daily patterns of the stress hormone cortisol that are normally associated with post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic fatigue, and early mortality. These women were also more likely to feel depressed.
If you’ve ever spent a morning trying to track down a lost file on your hard drive or searching through a decade of email, you know that digital disorder can also take a toll on your well-being. Most people handle a constant flow of text messages, emails, photos , videos, and other digital information. When all that digital data piles up, it can slow you and your devices down. Keep reading for a step-by-step guide to downsizing and organizing your digital clutter.
Does your documents folder or email inbox resemble a junk drawer with everything tossed in together? Do you usually rely on your search box to help you find files? An organization structure can help you declutter, share, synchronize, move, and easily track down files. Follow these simple steps to get your digital life organized:
Browse through your files and emails and determine the major and minor categories they fall into. For instance, you may be able to divide photos into “work photos,” “family photos, “head shots,” etc. Within those categories, you may have subcategories.?
Once you’ve determined what categories and subcategories you want to use for each type of file, make folders or subfolders for them.
Develop Naming Guidelines
Librarians who manage large digital collections use consistent, meaningful, and descriptive names to identify what’s inside each file. Follow suit, and you’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to track down specific files and photos when you need them. For documents, designate a naming structure such as “descriptive keywords-type of document.” For example, this article might be named “digital-decluttering-article.” For images, create a structure such as “descriptive keywords-month-year.” For example, vacation photos might be named “Hawaii-vacation-March-2017. For emails, use descriptive subject headings.
Automate Email Organization
Email in-boxes can become unmanageable quickly. Depending on your email provider, you can automatically filter incoming emails into certain folders. For instance, all newsletters can be sent to a “newsletters” folder, and emails from colleagues can automatically be sent to a “work” folder.
Make a Plan
Digital clutter builds up quickly. Get out your calendar, and schedule regular recurring dates with yourself to keep your data in order.
(Original Source: eReplacementParts blog)
Let me know how you make out with this plan. As always, if you are in need of assistance when it comes to your clutter, don't hesitate to contact me. I am always here to help.
Tuesday, March 10 2015
Being a professional organizer and having a home office such as I do, I know how important it is to keep it clutter free and organized.
Paper clutter as well as computer clutter are both problematic for most people. It is vital to feel good about your home office environment in order to be productive.
Here are some tips you can use to get and keep your home office functional and enjoyable to work in:
1. Clear your surfaces. Paper tends to pile up on any flat surface such as a desk if it does not have a home. It can be overwhelming to get it organized and under control. So, the first step is the clear the surfaces of all paperwork and office supplies. Start with a clean slate.
2. Provide yourself with sufficient storage space in your filing cabinet. You need to have enough room to store active files and reference/archival files. If you do not have enough space for a good filing system, your paperwork might end up piled on a desk or even on the floor.
3. Keep it separate. Do not co-mingle your personal paperwork with business-related paperwork. They should each have their own zone. If it is not possible to have separate filing cabinets, then designate certain drawers in the cabinet for personal and for business.
4. Create sufficient room to work. If your PC is taking up a lot of space, consider using a lap top computer instead. Designate a portion of your desk for computer work and another portion for spreading out paperwork. Be sure to designate space for your printer, scanner, etc. A good option is to purchase a multi-functional printer/scanner/copier to save space. Make sure your equipment is placed where you can easily reach it from where you are sitting.
5. Out with the old and in with the new. On a regular basis, you should go through your files to clean out old, unused paperwork to make room for new materials either monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually. This is vital to staying organized as your paperwork will always have a good home. This applies to your computer as well. Eliminate old email, folders or programs you no longer need or use.
6. Create an environment you enjoy spending time in. It is important to have the furniture, lighting and items that reflect your personality in your home office space so that you enjoy being in the space. This will help you to be more productive. Create a space that is functional and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Be sure to incorporate items that will not only be functional, such as a desk with drawers as opposed to just a desk surface and select a comfortable office chair to sit in. Add artwork or photographs to the walls that you enjoy looking at. Incorporate bookcases or shelving for added vertical storage.
The less you have out on your desk and work space, the better. You will be able to think much clearer and be much more productive when there is a place for everything and everything is in its place. Of course, you know, that is how you create A Better Space!
By using the tips mentioned above, you will be well on your way. If you are just too overwhelmed and need assistance to get it under control, I invite you to contact me. I can help.
In the meantime, Happy National Organize Your Home Office Day!
Monday, May 16 2011
I am working in my office today and decided I wanted to focus on reducing the amount of mail in my email "in box".
Just like everyone else who has a business and a personal life, I get lots of emails on a daily basis and sometimes it is a true struggle to keep them under control.
But I am determined to clean up my act today and get back on track. In doing so, I had an epiphany!
My emails are always listed with the most current at the top, like most people, so you can see the latest activity.
However, today, I decided to flip it around so that the earliest e-mails are at the top and the latest at the bottom of the list. This worked so well for me today and I am excited to be able to share this with you!
Since I could not see the new entries coming in during my designated period of time that I set aside for this project, I was not getting distracted. It helped me to focus on the task at hand and get through my list a lot faster.
Another idea is to shut off your notification so that every time a new email comes in, you don't hear a bing, a dong or a bell or whatever sound your email makes to indicate a new entry.
If you try these tips, I assure you that you will be able to remain focused for a longer period of time and will be able to greatly reduce that in-box.
Let me know how you make out.
If you need any other assistance in order to get organized, please feel free to contact me. I am here to help.
Have a great week!
Friday, March 18 2011
Lately I have been presenting a lot of seminars on various topics concerning organization. Last week I did a seminar with a certified public accountant and we talked about the tax benefits if you have a home-based business. I spoke on how to best organize your home office space so that you can locate your paperwork and keep accurate records for your business.
The major theme of that seminar was "Document, Document, Document". It cannot be stressed enough as to how important it is to do; whether you have a business or not.
A perfect example came to light for me personally this week when I received documentation in the mail from Wachovia Bank which is soon to be changing over to Well-Fargo Bank officially in my area in mid-April.
The packet of information that was sent included the changes to the various types of accounts. In reviewing the information, I came to the conclusion that, after decades of being with Wachovia, formerly CoreStates, formerly First Union, formerly PSFS, I did not like what they had to offer and decided I would be closing out my accounts and moving them to another bank.
In the old days, this was no big deal. You went to the bank, spoke with the bank officer, closed out your account(s) and took your money with you.
Today, because of on-line banking - which I love because it saves me so much time - the transition will be a bit more complicated. I have not spoken with any representative of the bank as yet but plan to do so within the next week or so prior to the switch over.
I am not sure what their policy is as far as record keeping for accounts that are closed out. I have been doing online bill paying with Wachovia for the past 3 years and want to preserve that information.
This will be much easier for me to transition because I have kept good documentation of all of my bill paying activities.
I always urge my clients to print out the confirmation after they have directed the bank to make the payments for a certain amount on a certain day because they provide a Confirmation Number.
I am comforted by the fact that I have always kept good records of my transactions with the bank, not only on line, but by printing out a paper confirmation to attach to the back of each bill that I pay. I have taken the steps to create a list of the entities involved, their address where the payment is electronically sent and their account numbers so that my transition will be so much easier. I do not feel I am leaving anything behind but just moving forward towards a better fit for my financial needs.
The moral of the story is to document, document, document. You never know when you will need to put your hands on important information that might not be accessible at some point in the future.
Just some food for thought...
If you should find that you need assistance with this or any other type of organization, contact me. I will be glad to help.
In the meantime, have a great and organized week.
Sunday, March 06 2011
Spring is coming soon and it reminds me that it will soon be time to do some weeding. However, that doesn’t necessary mean your garden or other outdoor space.
You can begin to weed out your computer today! You heard me. It’s time to weed out your computer.
There are many people who come to me and ask how to do this. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Now granted, if it hasn’t been done in a while, it could take a good bit of time, but, like everything else, breaking it down into small manageable steps will get the job done.
So, let’s get started...
Just like physical clutter can wreak havoc on a home, virtual clutter can clog up your computer and make searching for files a bit chaotic.
Start with your files on your hard drive. Get rid of old reports, documents, spreadsheets and databases you no longer need. Once the unnecessary files are gone, uninstall the programs you don’t intend to use again.
When this is done, tackle your email contacts and email folders. If you are you no longer in contact with a company or a person, eliminate them. You want to leave room for the ones that are in current use and important to you.
Finally, browse through your Internet 'favorites' and delete any sites you don't plan to visit in the future.
I suggest that you schedule just 15 minutes a day for this task. Do this every day until the job is done. By keeping your time to a minimum each day will ensure the job doesn't become too overwhelming. This way you are still being productive and before you know it, you will have done the weeding; just in time for your outdoor weeding!
Good luck! Wishing you a great, productive week!