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Archive for Work Organization


Favorite Organizing Tools

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Clear View Binders and Page Protectors: Used together, they are perfect to display recipes, organize articles, and safeguard papers

  • Used as a Family Planner, you can add a calendar, phone number and address lists, emergency info., menus from your favorite restaurant, school news letters, and to-do lists. 
  • You can also create a Decorating Notebook to simplify home decorating projects. Store your paint and fabric swatches, and organize torn-out articles from decorating magazines.
  • How about a Home Appliance Manual or Home Inventory Folder for insurance purposes. 
  • As a teacher, they are invaluable for Curriculum.  

I use mine for EVERYTHING!  Don’t forget to label the spines, and for a clean, uniform look get all one color.  

Turnabouts:  Traditionally, turnabouts are used for kitchen utensils.  But, I use them  for Office Supplies, Craft Centers, and a portable Homework Caddy.  My clients LOVE them! 

  • As a Homework Caddy they will hold rulers, protractors, min-staplers, a roll of tape, colored pencils, erasers, markers ,scissors, and the list goes on.  They spin and are light weight and very durable.  I have had mine for over 16 years and 5 children – they are tough. You can even wash them in the dishwasher. Let me know if you want to purchase one, and I can get you a great deal.
  • Other uses: Scrapbook Supplies, Knitting Needles, Classroom Art Caddy, Tool Storage (hammer, screw drivers, etc.).  Leave me a comment and let me know your ideas.


Clear Storage Drawers and Pencil Boxes:  The nice thing about clear-view drawers, towers, and pencil boxes is their versatility.  Drawers can be used separately or stacked, and when you add casters they can roll wherever you need them. The pencil boxes fit perfectly in the med. sized drawer, and they are great dividers for organizing all the little things that get lost in the “junk drawer”. 

  • Use small clear-view drawers in the pantry to contain seasoning packets, powdered soft drink packets, and tea bags.  Use larger drawers for bulky bags of pasta and chips.  
  • Clear-view storage towers are perfect in any craft room.  Use them to organize your sewing, quilting, knitting, or scrap-book supplies.  If you are a stamper; use the large drawers to hold paper, and the small drawers for stamps and ink. 
  • I use them in the garage for grocery bags, umbrellas, vacuum bags and attachments, my husband’s work-bench supplies, and more.
  • They are perfect for storing children’s small toys.  I have a large one under my son’s bed for all of his Lego’s, small ones on the toy shelf for actions figures, and more on his desk for crayons and markers. 

Label Maker:  Next to my husband and children, my label maker just might be my “favorite” thing!  I have had my (Brother P-touch Label-er) for over 10 years, and it is still going strong.  It is my #1 organizing tool.  I use it to label everything in my home, my office, and my client’s homes.  

  • Label your notebook spines, storage containers, luggage tags, kid’s school supplies, your pantry shelves and containers, and all the misc. electronic cords (chargers, cam-corder, etc.). It will help you to designate specific homes for your items, and your family members will know where to find things, and more importantly, where to put them away!

There are so many wonderful organizing tools, and these are just a few, but before you run out and purchase them, make sure you have an organizing action plan in place.  You need to get rid of the clutter first, and then give your important belongings a home.


Get Organized at Work: Part Two

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Plan your day the night before

Plan your day the night before

How effective are you at using your time wisely at work?  Do you feel stressed because you waste time throughout the day and have to make up for it later?

Here are some tips to help you deal with distractions, stay focused, and get more done with the time you have.

  • Keep a time log. For a few days, keep a very specific and honest log of exactly how you spend you time.  Record time you spend on the Internet, making personal calls or being interrupted.  After a few days of this, check and see if there are minutes or even hours that you may have wasted without noticing it.
  • Make a priority list. In Stephen Covey’s book, “First Things First”, he writes, “The key is not to prioritize your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”   For instance, you might make a list for the day and categorize your items by importance (A-B-C).  A – being the most important or urgent, B – next, and C tasks would be the ones you get to only if all others get done first.
  • Plan ahead. Every Sunday night, sit down in front of your paper or digital calendar and make sure all of your and your familiy’s appointments are down for the week.  Now that you have your weekly calendar, sit down each night and set your priority list for the next day.  When you start work in the morning you won’t have to waste time trying to make decisions.  You are ready to go!
  • Schedule tough tasks during your prime “energy” time. Some of us are “morning people” and some are “night owls”.  Some of us might even hit our peek performance time in the afternoon (not me – I am usually ready for my second cup of coffee or a nap).  Tackle your most difficult or important tasks when you’re feeling the most sharp and energetic. Save more simple or repetitive tasks for when you’re feeling less focused.  Of course, if you are a night owl, who works during the day, you may have to adjust.
  • Be Flexible. Allow time in your schedule for delays or surprise meetings.    
  • Group your tasks. This is also called “dovetailing”.  Instead of walking to the copy machine every time you need a copy, plan ahead so you can bring all of your documents to the machine at one time.  Go when the copier isn’t busy, so you’ll cut down on waiting and socializing.  Use this rule with other tasks, as well.
  • Stick to and complete one project at a time. “Dovetailing” is very different from “multi-tasking”.  Studies now show that attempting multiple tasks simultaneously makes you less productive.  It takes longer to get things done and your final product is not the best it could be.
  • Designate specific times to check email. When you continually stop what you are doing to check your email, you waste a lot of time switching your focus from one task to the other.
  • Delegate when appropriate. If it makes more sense for someone else to take care of a task, and you have the authority to delegate it, then go ahead.  Just make sure the person you pass it onto can handle the the responsibility.
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Get Organized at Work: Part One

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office lady picDo you want to create more balance and less stress in your life by being organized?  You can!

For the next few weeks I am going to give you some great information on “Getting Organized in the Workplace”.

Just imagine:  A calm work environment, with a clean desk, and organized papers.  Wouldn’t you feel more productive and creative in that kind of environment?  Whether you work outside your home, from your home, or you are the CEO of your home, a calm, organized space will help you focus and get more work done in a shorter amount of time.    

We have all heard it, “A place for everything and everything in its place”.  Guess what?  It really works!  If your workspace is organized, you will improve your efficiency and feel less stressed.

Follow these steps and you will be on your way:

Keep your desk clear of clutter.  Your desk should be the blank canvas where you create brilliant ideas and tackle your to-do list.   If you are staring at piles and knick-knacks, you are constantly distracted.  Keep your books, files, and supplies in cabinets and drawers when not in use.

Group like items in storage spaces.  Keep your drawers and cabinet spaces organized.  Make sure you only keep the items that you really need.  Remember one type of item per container and don’t forget to label everything for easy access.

Use a bulletin board or magnetic board.  Put information that you use regularly onto your board, within arms reach of your chair. This keeps your information easily accessible and off your desk.   A list of co-workers’ phone extensions, an important reminder, or an inspirational quote might be the type of information you’d keep here.

Keep frequently used items close to you.  Organize office supplies according to how often you use them. Keep items you use all the time, nearby, and store items you use periodically, where they’re not always in the way.

Organize your computer files.  Your computer can become cluttered, and bog you down. Make files for your email and computer documents so you can easily locate them.  Regularly delete emails and keep your in-box cleared out.  Frequenlty back up your important information onto a jump drive.

Regularly get rid of stuff you don’t need.  Just like you weed your garden so it doesn’t get too out of control, you need to weed out unwanted stuff consistently.  Ask yourself if you use it regualry, or if getting rid of it would affect your work performance.  If not, get rid of it! 

These items might include:

  • Outdated newspapers, magazines, and books
  • Multiple drafts or copies of documents
  • Printed material that you can easily find on line
  • Computer files older than two years (delete or save them to disk if necessary)
  • Junk mail
  • Broken or outdated office supplies 

Want more tips on staying organized and feeling less stressed at work?  Come back for part two.

Categories : Work Organization
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