Declare Independence From Clutter!!!

Have a yard sale this summer to get rid of clutter in your home. Here are 5 basic things to know to help plan your yard sale.

 

Firecracker

 

What is the purpose?

First, decide on the purpose for having your yard sale.  Is it to declutter your home?  Or, are you trying to make money?   Whatever the reason, any items you don’t sell should not go back into your home, garage, attic or storage space. Donate or give the remaining items away.

Know the legal stuff.

Your community may require a permit to have a yard sale which will include how and where you can place signs. Check with the appropriate local governmental agency in your community.  You are responsible for what you sell, therefore, make sure items such as sports equipment, toys and baby items meet federal safety standards.

Clean up, then price.

Inspect everything carefully and clean it up – dust, wash, launder or vacuum everything that’s for sale. Most dirty items do not sell well or at all.  Also clean what you use to display your items.    If an item needs batteries or inexpensive repair, let the customers know by putting a sign on it. A good notation would be “selling as is.”  Yard sale items are generally priced at 10-40% of the original price depending upon condition. Price low if you are trying to get rid of everything because of clutter.  Check the Internet (eBay, Craigslist, etc.) and other yard sales to get an idea of what you may be able to get for certain items.  Valuable items may require a little more research.  Yardsalesearch.com will give you some guidance also – http://www.yardsalesearch.com/article-garage-sales-pricing-guide.html

Know the competition, then decide on a date.

Check the Internet and newspapers for competing yard sales in your neighborhood.  You may find neighbors to join forces with you to have a multi-family sale. Try to avoid having one on holiday weekends.  People travel or spend their money on holiday activities.

Preparation! Preparation! Preparation! 

  • Look in every room of your home and storage areas for items you no longer want or need or take up too much space.
  • Put a price sticker on everything – don’t let your customers put an item down because there’s no price. Also, you want have to spend time answering the question, “How much does this cost?”  Of course, you will have someone bargaining a lower price.
  • Have enough cash, shopping bags, and other essential supplies on hand.
  • Decide beforehand if the early bird will get the worm – will you meet and greet people who show up before your start time?
  • Arrange for charity a pick up as soon as possible so that you won’t be tempted to put things back into your home. Itemize the items you donate to add to your tax deductions.

The only thing left to do is to let the customers buy you out and set you free from clutter!

National Organize Your Home Office Day – A Gentle Prodding

MeshDrawerOrganizerSlvr2512G_xThis is where my expertise shines – organizing offices!  I think it has been devine intervention in that most jobs in my career working in nonprofit or the corporate environments required me to organize or re-organize the work spaces.  I’ve worked with some brillant business professionals who happened to be a little disorganized or held onto to much paper, therefore, I was a complement to them because I was organized.

For my own business, I spend a lot of time in my home office, of course. I keep less paper in my office as permanent documents but that doesn’t mean there are not temporary or permanent files in my office.  Some are paper, some are digitized, some are computer files.   I’ve always liked my desktop to be organized. Items on my desk that I use daily are within reach such as my tickler file, my telephone, pens and small reference books. My utility items such as my stapler, tape, paper clips, etc. are in my top desk drawer. I remember one of my professional colleagues commenting that my desk was always clean. That was because everything was in order. At night, I cleared everything from my desktop so that I could come back to the office with a fresh start.  I still do that now.

I like mesh desk drawer organizers.  You can line your desk drawer and dirt and trash will fall through the mesh then you just wipe the inside of the drawer, instead of having to always clean the drawer organizers. The ones shown above are from Container Store and range in price from $2.49 to $5.99 each.

http://www.containerstore.com/shop/office/drawerOrganizers?productId=10000148&N=74533

Most of my organizing business has been helping clients organize their home offices.  Most of their offices were organized in some way and only needed to be refreshed or tweaked.  The biggest challenge for most of them was keeping way too much paper in sight which was a cause for clutter in the brain.  Too much clutter equates to less functionality.

Here’s the link to 4 Steps to Make the Most of Your Home Office from Smead.

http://smead.com/Director.aspx?NodeId=2249 and Quick Tips to organize a home office from HGTV.

http://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/clean-and-organize/quick-tips-for-home-office-organization

Today is National Organize Your Home Office Day. I want to encourage you to do start the process, even if it’s only to clear off your desk.

Bouncing Back!

At the end of 2014, I had a couple of great things that happened in my life.  In November, I went on my first cruise to Central America. In December, my second granddaughter graduated from University of Tennessee-Knoxville and immediately got a job and moved to North Carolina.  I was on a natural high.  However, life started unraveling, quickly.

I got the flu and was sick the entire holiday season from Christmas to New Years.  I didn’t get to visit family and family did not get to visit me. In January, I started some contract work for a client and it has been very time consuming.  There have been many days for the last two months that I found myself in despair.  Behind a door was my life vision board that I created in 2006. It now hangs on the wall near my desk and I read it daily. Words cut out from a magazine and pasted on my vision board reads in part, “Many things knock you out…Like a good neighbor, friends and family are there (State Farm is crossed out).

It is crudely made, tattered, but offers the best advice I can give myself.  Dees vision board in 2006

I read blogs about what interests me just like everyone else.  I ran across Janine Adams’  blog on her website (Peace of Mind Organizing) that reinforced that I’m headed in the right direction to bouncing back. You can read this blog and see that she found a digital way to create a vision board.

http://www.peaceofmindorganizing.com/blog/an-easy-way-to-create-a-vision-board

Even if you choose not to create a vision board, remember everyday encouragement, uplifting and goal setting help comes from all sources–your faith, your family, your friends, your colleagues. Sometimes just a simple smile helps propel you forward to doing something that you desire to do.

 

Tools That Help Me Plan My Day

A typical weekday starts with me entering my home office to turn on the computer and my Anytime Organizer screen opens up.  This inexpensive organizer is the center of my time management regime.

Computer desktop for Edited Places

Computer desktop for Edited Places

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • I create appointments – business and personal.
  • To Do Lists are colored coded by business, personal, community, etc.
  • I can Journal my day’s activities.
  • Contacts are entered.
  • I’m reminded of birthdays.
  • And, I can keep track of expenses.

I can sync the Anytime Organizer calendars with my Android phone and tablet.

Just below my computer screen is a color-coded desk calendar that helps feed my creativity.  Appointments and notes are doodled here also.

Then there is my trusty companion for many years – The Tickler File!  It has been all over my home – the living room, kitchen and bedroom. It allows me to chronologically file paper documents  that go along with the appointments or tasks for a particular date until action is necessary.

My Tickler File!

My Tickler File!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is the use of modern day technology and the “old paper system” overkill to help me plan and manage my time?  Perhaps for some, but it works for me. There are so many tasks a self-employed person has to do. There is so much information that has to be gathered and processed to help make decisions to run a business and manage your personal life. To balance my work and life priorities, I can focus on what I have planned for the day with these aides as reminders.

6  rules I follow to get things done in a day are:

1. I decide what needs to get accomplished based upon commitments and responsibilities.

2. I list and prioritize tasks and activities according to my capabilities for that day.

3. I avoid interruptions that are counter productive to my completing tasks.

4. I delegate tasks that I don’t have the capability of handling myself.

5. I leave some time unscheduled.

6. At the end of the day, I evaluate if I’ve been productive.

Whether you utilize the old paper planners or modern day technology, I think it’s liberating to purposely plan your day (however, there will always be those unexpected events on any given day). On the flip side, I know some people think it’s liberating not to plan and just go with the flow.  The world functions with both types of people.

How do you plan your day – Outlook, Franklin Covey, Paper Calendars, Tickler File, icalendar, Smartphone, Tablet, Computer…?  Help me count the ways!

How to Get an A+ in Back to School Organizing

I know, I know, school has probably already started for most of the country, but were you on top of everything that very first day?  Even if you were, I have found some tips that will help you throughout the rest of the school year.  It’s been a while since I’ve had children in school but I do remember all the before, during and after preparations for the school day.

Back to school checklist by EP

 

Here are 5 links to web pages  that I found that will help you get an A+ in keeping you and your children organized all year long.

 

 

 

 

 

6 Back to School Supply Tips from Teachers, Bankrate article

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/smart-spending/back-to-school-supply-tips-from-teachers-1.aspx?ec_id=cmct_01_comm_PF_mainlink

Mom Agenda Back To School Solutions Printables

http://www.momagenda.com/printable/?utm_source=momAgenda+newsletter&utm_campaign=2837652a8d-20140819-Back_To_School_Solutions-FirstRun&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_136f436238-2837652a8d-196691129&mc_cid=2837652a8d&mc_eid=ad026fcb3d

Parents.com – Organizing Tips for a Smarter School Year

http://www.parents.com/kids/education/elementary-school/smarter-school-year-tips/

Avery’s 5 Tips to Get Ready for  Back to School

http://www.avery.com/avery/en_us/Projects-%26-Ideas/Ideas-for-Home/Home-%26-Kids/Articles/Five-Tips-to-Get-Ready-for-Back_to_School.htm?cmp_id=email-201408-Newsletter&et_cid=en_us_2014-08_news&et_rid=2c9080772a8583c4012a86fe159b1820

Easy Organizing: Back to School Prep by Good Housekeeping

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/cleaning-organizing/back-to-school-prep#slide-1

Keep me posted if you use any of the tips and if they helped – or not.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Time Management Good For Your Health?

Is time management good for your health?  Most assuredly!  I ran across the following article written a few years ago but probably more relevant today than when it was written.  What I got most from the article is:

Good time management will help you to:

  •             Reduce your stress
  •             Improve your sleep
  •             Improve your attitude
  •             Improve your stamina
  •             And, extend your life and improve your personal productivity.

 

Here’s the article, in its entirety, “Time Management and Improved Health” by Dr. Donald E. Wetmore.

 

TIME MANAGEMENT AND IMPROVED HEALTH

By: Dr. Donald E. Wetmore

In the United States alone there are approximately 2.4 million deaths each year and 75% of those deaths are from causes within your control. You know what you should be doing to enhance your health and live longer and more productively but a lot of things come along to crowd out what you know you ought to be doing.

Did you know that 90% of the people who sign up at health and fitness clubs today will stop going in the next 90 days? See, what happens is, with all the good intentions, they sign up for the health club and during the first few weeks they attend regularly, feeling better in the process. Then not long after that something comes along keeping them from going, thinking to themselves, “I’ll get back into it next week.” But then something else comes along and they abandon the routine all together.

Could you benefit from a better night’s sleep? 75% of people complain on a regular basis that they are flat-out tired. If you are tired today, your productivity will suffer.

Now, some people have challenges that medical professionals can help with but many are tired because they simply do not get the quantity of sleep that they need. They are overwhelmed with responsibilities and they meet those obligations by spending more time, staying up later, sacrificing sleep time.

Others may get the quantity of sleep but fail to get the quality of sleep their bodies require because their time is not being controlled and their days are filled with stress and crisis keeping them from getting that deep nutritious sleep.

Good time management then is not doing the wrong things faster. That just gets you no where quicker. Good time management is doing the right things, the important things first and nothing could be more important than your health. If you use practical time management tools and techniques to manage your time to keep yourself in peak physical and mental health, you probably are going to live longer and therefore have more time to manage.

So here are some tips to manage your time more wisely to improve your health.

  • Schedule exercise time. Create an appointment for yourself. Appointments do not always have to be with other people.
  • Plan good, nutritious meals so when you rush home you do not default to eating junk food.
  • Plan goof-off/fun time. This is just as vital as the work you do. The most powerful time of your day can be when you give yourself nothing to do but watch the clouds drift by.
  • Schedule maintenance time with your health professionals for your annual physical.
  • And finally, schedule time to read and study health issues and become better informed.

Good time management will help you to:

Reduce your stress

Improve your sleep

Improve your attitude

Improve your stamina

And, extend your life and improve your personal productivity.

 

Remember, you have to take time for health and fitness today or you will have to take time for sickness and illness tomorrow.

Would you like to receive free Timely Time Management Tips on a regular basis to increase your personal productivity and get more out of every day? Sign up now for our free “TIME MANAGEMENT DISCUSSION LIST”. Just go to: http://www.topica.com/lists/timemanagement and select “subscribe”. We welcome you aboard! Dr. Donald E. Wetmore-Professional Speaker Productivity Institute-Time Management Seminars 127 Jefferson Street Stratford, CT 06615 (800) 969-3773 (203) 386-8062 fax: (203) 386-8064 Email: ctsem@msn.com website: http://www.balancetime.com Professional Member-National Speakers Association Copyright 1999 You may re-print the above information in its entirety in your publication, newsletter, or on your webpage. For permission, please email your request for “reprint” to: ctsem@msn.com