clean off your desk day 2017

desk-by-patpitchaya

photo by patpitchaya

Out of curiosity, I looked up the last time I posted about Clean Off Your Desk Day, in 2015. I built the cart shortly after that post and am glad to have it. I rearranged furniture so I could use the space more productively, but I still struggle with keeping clutter off my desk.

Having a clean desk lets me think more clearly. I get distracted when there’s a lot of stuff around. My desk is small and I tend to drop things on it when I’m not working, so I can address them the next day. When paperwork isn’t urgent, I usually put it in my file organizer so I can find it on a particular day.

Products I want to review and pieces for my etsy shop are too big to fit in the organizer, so they perch on the corner of my desk until I get to them or get tired of seeing them there.

Monday was Clean Off Your Desk Day, and this year I’m committed to keeping my “pending” items off my desk. They can go on the shelf behind me, in a designated area. When I look back at this post in two years, I’d like to report that I’ve been able to keep my desk clutter free.

Do you prefer to have a tidy workspace or do you feel more comfortable when it’s cluttered?

Marcie Lovett, Organized by Marcie
Find more organizing and productivity tips on twitter, facebook and pinterest

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

reader question – how do i live through home repairs?

xconstruction-by-khunaspix

photo by khunaspix

Clients often call me after they experience a crisis, like a flooded room, or after they start a renovation. Both situations cause chaos.

Being surrounded by boxes of stuff, piled up furniture and building supplies can be miserable, especially if it follows a calamity. When you take on a home renovation – or are forced into one – planning is key to making the process slightly less tedious.

You are going to be overwhelmed with paperwork, so set up a file or a binder to keep track of all the bids, contracts, receipts and insurance claims. Don’t rely on your memory or someone else’s recall of a conversation. Get a notebook and write down details so you can refer to them later.

Make a list of things people can do so that anytime someone asks if they can help, you’re ready. Taking a bath, eating in a dining room, watching TV from someplace other than your bed, bringing over a load of laundry – these are small things friends can help with that will make you feel better.

While I believe that renting storage is a waste of money in most cases, this is a good time to consider it. Before you store anything, offsite or at home, make sure everything is clean and dry, to prevent the growth of mold and insects.

If you are living at home during the renovation, create one space that is calm and clutter free. The space may need to function as your kitchen, living room and bedroom, so divide the area into zones for sleeping, eating and storage. Keeping the space clean and organized will make things feel more manageable.

When you’re living in a construction zone, sweep or vacuum at the end of every day and ask the crew to dispose of trash daily. They might not be accustomed to working with the client onsite, so remind them that their job site is your home. Yes, it’s going to get dirty again the next day, but you’re going to get tired of seeing piles of trash and construction debris.

Although it probably will take longer than you thought, remind yourself that it is a temporary setback. Some planning and daily maintenance will allow you to get through it so you can enjoy your refurbished spaces.

Marcie Lovett, Organized by Marcie
Find more organizing and productivity tips on twitter, facebook and pinterest

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

the organizer comes clean: magazine amnesty

xmagazinesI love to read.

I read books, newspapers, magazines, the backs of cereal boxes. Sometimes my reading material gets out of control, though, and I have to let go of things without reading them.

I have a rule about newspaper, for example. Like it or not, if I haven’t read the previous day’s newspaper, it goes in the recycle bin when the new one comes in the house. I know that newspaper clutter is something I don’t want to live with, so I don’t let them accumulate.

Start with the clutter that annoys you most

Last night I culled 10 magazines from the towering pile on my nightstand. Although I was disappointed that I wasn’t going to read them, I was tired of seeing that stack every day. I know I’m not going to read all the back issues before new ones start flooding in, so it was time to let them go. I also know that I not a failure because I haven’t read those magazines. In fact, it was a bit of a relief to see the magazine mountain leveled.

The question most people ask about organizing is “Where do I start?”

You can start on the easiest project or the most difficult, but my favorite place to start is the one that’s annoying you the most.

Clearing the magazines was not a big project, but the impact was huge.

Is there a small project you can finish this week so you feel motivated about creating an organized and productive year?

Marcie Lovett, Organized by Marcie
Find more organizing and productivity tips on twitter, facebook and pinterest

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

recycle day

xamerica-recycles

Yes, there is a day set aside to celebrate and promote recycling. November 15th is National America Recycles Day. Learn about recycling efforts in your jurisdiction and, if your community doesn’t provide recycling services, learn how to get them started.

Recycling is important because it reduces the amount of garbage that gets incinerated or buried in landfills.

Although people often refer to “recycling” as giving new life to an object, it is just one way you can keep trash from accumulating. Notice that the slogan Reduce, Reuse, Recyle ends with recycling; when you reduce what you buy and reuse what you have, you don’t need to discard as much.

Some of the things you can do:

  • Reduce the amount of packaging you bring into your home when you shop
  • Reuse worn-out clothes as rags
  • Donate items that are in good condition

Find an event near you  and learn more about the lifecycle of stuff. You might be surprised at what can be reused or recycled.

Would you like to increase recycling at home or work? Leave a reply, below.

Marcie Lovett, Organized by Marcie
Find more organizing and productivity tips on twitter, facebook and pinterest

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

living with chaos

Red umbrella with reflection in waterEveryone experiences some turmoil regularly. When chaos takes over your life, however, you might want to look at what you can do to tame it.

You can’t control how other people drive, but you can choose not to react angrily when someone cuts you off.

You can’t control the flood of paper that comes home with your kids every day, but you can decide what to keep and toss the rest.

You can’t control how long you have to wait to pay for a purchase, but you can use that time to focus on your breathing, catch up on some reading or check messages.

You can’t control the results of medical tests, but you can write about your fears or talk to someone who understands.

November 9 is Chaos Never Dies Day, a reminder that chaos is a part of life. Many of my clients struggle to manage daily tasks, which leads to a chaotic environment. Learning to accommodate small setbacks and prepare for delays will ease your stress levels and reduce the chaos.

You can’t control how other people behave, but you can focus on your responses. What can you do to reduce the amount of chaos in your life? Leave a reply, below.

Marcie Lovett, Organized by Marcie
Find more organizing and productivity tips on twitter, facebook and pinterest

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

what’s in your refrigerator?

refrigerator-by-patpitchaya

photo by patpitchaya

November is National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Month.

If you find yourself throwing away food because you overbuy or because you just don’t know what’s in your refrigerator, this is a great time to clear it out.

Start by taking everything out of the fridge and washing the inside to remove bacteria and odors.

Before you put anything back in, decide if you’re going to use it. The mustard dip that was a gift three years ago that no one likes? It’s okay to let it go. The salad dressing with two drops left in the bottom? It can go, too. Wipe off jars and bottles before putting them back.

Food in foam containers or wrapped in foil is often forgotten and goes bad. Use clear containers for leftovers, and you’ll see what’s in there, making you more likely to eat it.

Group like items so you can quickly grab what you want and avoid buying more of what you already have.

Go into the holiday season with a clean fridge and it will be one less chore to do later. You’ll have room to store food in advance of big dinners and there will be space for leftovers, too.

Do you have anything mysterious in your refrigerator or freezer? Leave a reply, below.

Marcie Lovett, Organized by Marcie
Find more organizing and productivity tips on twitter, facebook and pinterest

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

holiday stress

pie-by-apolonia

photo by apolonia

Yes, it’s that time of year again. Once Halloween hits, the great marketing machine starts pitching Christmas. There’s Thanksgiving to consider, too. Can you feel your stress level rising?

In a study conducted by Wirthlin Worldwide, approximately 52% of women and 40% of men ages 35-54 said their stress levels go up during the holidays. The American Psychological Association reports that Americans list the following as causes of holiday stress: lack of money (61% of people surveyed), the pressures of gift giving (42%), lack of time (34%), and credit card debt (23%).

You can approach the season differently this year by deciding what you can let go of.

Reduce your stress level immediately by letting go of the idea of a “perfect” holiday. You’ll save time and money when you use what you have and ignore the appeals for the next new thing.

Adjusting your expectations may lead to other people feeling disappointed, so let them know about your plans to cut back on obligations. If you enjoy baking cookies, work it into your schedule so you’re not icing hundreds of snowflakes the night before the office party. If you love a festively decorated house, consider hiring someone to help you deck the halls. If you really want to entertain sometime between now and January 1, start planning now and think about brunch or dessert instead of dinner. If you want to give gifts to people but are unsure what they want, ask them.

Conserve your time and energy so you don’t end up resenting the people you care about. They’ll recover from the surprise of your doing things differently, and you’ll head into January feeling calmer, and without crushing debt.

What can you let go of this holiday season? Leave a reply, below.

Marcie Lovett, Organized by Marcie
Find more organizing and productivity tips on twitter, facebook and pinterest

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment