Posts Tagged ‘organize’

Clutter Happens…Get Over It & Get Organized!

Posted by Colleen Kennedy on January 9th, 2012

It’s a new year, and like it or not, that means new clutter will soon be upon us. It’s inevitable.“What?!”, you say. “but I’m still dealing with  clutter from last year!” Yea, me too. It’s O.K.  Clutter happens. But we need to get over it and get organized!

This week-end, I took a brave first step. I cleaned out one drawer in my desk that holds all of my bills and monthly statements. Being an organizer, I already had them in chronological order (mostly!). Next, I made a shred pile, a recycle pile and put the keepers into a  shoe box marked “2011″ to be put away in storage. Now the drawer is ready for the new 2012 batch.

That was easy, I thought. So I continued. Next, a shelf that holds copy paper, photo paper, notebooks and anything else I’m not quite sure of where to put. I grabbed some files and a marker and started…….organizing! Yes, me…. an organizer, was organizing for myself!  What a concept! Whenever I came across anything that I knew I wanted but didn’t know where to put it, I created a file for it. Before I knew it, I had files for my loose photos, my current projects, one for articles I wanted to read and even one with brochures of places I want to travel this year. And guess what? It wasn’t difficult. It didn’t take long. And in the end, I had cleared up just one little area in my office but the effect was huge! I feel so much lighter. The room feels lighter. It even looks bigger!

So, how can you feel this good? Easy.

Start Small & Simple

Pick a room ……your home office, for example. Now choose one area. Your desk, one drawer of your desk, a filing cabinet, a closet. Any area,  just keep it small and simple. When you start small and simple and you’ll reach your goal quicker. You reach your goal, you feel good.

Set Yourself Up For Success

Have an area for items to shred (old bills), recycle (magazines), and keep. As you pick up each item, decide which category it falls under. Shred? Recycle? Or keep? *NOTE- there is no “I’ll deal with it later” category. When you have your 3 piles ready, immediately shred your shred items and recycle your recycle items. Now, all you have left are the items your’e keeping. This is where the work comes in! You knew there was a catch, right? What do you  do with it all? Calm down. Let’s not get all excited. No need to be overwhelmed. Put your thinking cap on and get creative.  Group like things together. For my loose papers, I created files. For magazines that I decided to keep, I put them in baskets and put one basket  in my bathroom and one by my reading chair. Putting items where you’ll use them, will keep you better organized. When your better organized, your less stressed. It’s really rather nice once you get used to it!

Stay One Step Ahead

Don’t try to do too much at once. Try to carve out just one hour a week to de-clutter. Also, get in the habit of regular shredding and recycling. That alone will help save you time. If say, you’re all caught up on your shredding, then you can spend that hour you’ve set a side for something else. Maybe even something other than de-cluttering!

It’s all about forming new good habits, having a little bit of discipline and focusing. It feels good  to de-clutter.

Lighten your load, lighten your mess.

Free yourself of clutter and stress! 

It’s all a part of healthy living!




Make Everyday Earth Day!

Posted by Colleen Kennedy on April 19th, 2010

By now, I’m sure you’re aware of the various Earth Day celebrations and events taking place in your community so, I won’t list them here.

Instead, I’d like to talk about how we can make Earth Day a daily celebration and not just something we do one day a year. Earth Day is not just about celebrating the planet but honoring it and we do that by the choices we make everyday. In my last organizing blog, 7 Tips for Better Organizing, I mention how being organized is a process and a matter of habit. If we take that same mentality and apply it to Earth Day, then slowly, everyday will become Earth Day. Here’s what I propose:

LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT OUR HABITS How are we shopping, eating, cleaning, traveling, consuming?  Can we recycle more? Can we consume less? In each of these areas we need to look at our actions and see if what we are doing is helping or hurting our environment. We need to explore alternatives and find eco-friendly solutions. I think one of the biggest change we can make is to consume less. Before we buy am item, we need to ask ourselves, do we really need it? Would my life suffer without this item, or could I actually get along without it? Also, are the things we’re buying supporting companies that are doing good in this world or are we supporting companies that continue to pollute our environment? For example, fair trade products help local families earn a decent living while supporting sustainable practices.

THE LARGER PICTURE What we do today, effects how we live tomorrow. It has been said that it takes 30 days to change a habit. It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible. It takes commitment, dedication and honesty. It’s a process that begins with small steps. Let this Earth Day be a new beginning, like New’s Year Day. What small step will you take today, tomorrow and the next day to make our world a better place? Honor  Mother Earth, our home, by changing habits to support a healthier, happier lifestyle. In the end, we’ll all be the better for it!

7 Tips for Better Organizing

Posted by Colleen Kennedy on April 17th, 2010

Clutter seems to be the ‘it” word these days.  We all have it and we all don’t know what to do with it. Our closets are overflowing and our garages are a mess. Mail comes into the house it gets piled on the table. Clothes get thrown into a heap on the floor in the corner of the bedroom. I even have a drawer in my kitchen labeled “the junk drawer”. Something I learned from my mother. It houses everything and anything that I just don’t know what to do with but could possible use sometime in the near future. Screw drivers, nails, string, magnets, batteries, you name it. If it fits, it goes in the junk drawer!

It’s not easy getting organized, but I’ve come to look at it as a learning process and a matter of habit. Here are a few tips that will help you learn how to de-clutter and change your clutter habits! Being organized is an ongoing process. One step at a time and you’ll be clutter-free!

1. Store “Like” Items Together. Tools in a tool box (not the junk drawer!)

2. Store According To Use. Things you use often should be accessible and put within reach.

3. Store Items Near Place Of Use. BBQ utensils can be stored in a container near the BBQ.

4. Store Items “Up” Using Hooks and Shelving. Bikes, surfboards, seasonal items can all be stored out of the way, yet accessible.

5. Label All Containers!! I can’t stress this one enough. The beauty of being organized is saving time and energy. If you properly label your containers, you’ll do just that.

6. Make Project Kits. Cleaning supplies can be stored in a bucket. Art supplies can be stored in baskets.

Last but not least:

7. Categorize it! Containerize it! Label it!

If you have any great organizing tips you’d like to share, please leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

3 Boxes Away From Living Clutter-Free!

Posted by Colleen Kennedy on January 29th, 2010

The new year has just begun and so has the task of cleaning up your clutter. If you’re like me, you still have a few decorations and gifts lying around the house. I love my winter decorations but it’s time to let them go and get ready for Spring. Here’s a few tips on how to get started.

First, don’t try to do everything all in one day unless you ate a whole box of Wheaties and you’re rearing to go! Set aside a couple of hours per week and you’ll get a lot accomplished. Next, think about which area of your home is causing you the most stress from it’s clutter. Maybe it’s the living room, your bed room or entry way. Start there.

Grab 3 good size boxes for collecting items: a  Throw Away box, Give-Away box and a Storage box. Then proceed with the following steps.

3 boxes

1. Throw Away box: Place any items like broken pens, old magazines, junk mail, greeting cards, etc. here. Some of these items you will later recycle and some will go in the trash. For now, place them all in the box.

2. Give-Away box: Place any item that you no longer want, need or have a use for, like jackets, books, the striped sweater you received from Aunt Mary, in this box. These items can be donated to a friend, family member (not Aunt Mary!) or to charity. Or, save the items for you garage sale, but only if you’re really planning on having one, or  your garage will end up looking like the houses on that T.V. show, Hoarders.

3. Storage box: Place in this box anything you want to keep but isn’t in it’s proper place like, Holiday decorations, tools, shoes etc. You don’t have to put them away right now, just put them in the box.

If filling these three boxes was enough to wear you out, then your done for the day. You are now one step closer to getting organized. Keep these boxes handy, as you go about your business during the week you may add to them. Next week you’ll be ready to start emptying them. Then, move on to the next room and start again! Before you know it, your entire home will be clutter-free and you’ll be stress-free! It doesn’t mater if it takes you a month or more to do this. What is important is that you start. The small steps you take today, will make a big difference tomorrow!