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Top Ten Organizing and Time Challenges People Face

By: Janet L. Hall, The Person/Place Energy Mover

Copyright © 2005-2007 by OverHall Consulting and Janet L. Hall

P.O. Box 263, Port Republic, MD 20676 410/586-9440


janet@overhall.com http://www.overhall.com
All Rights Reserved
Permission is granted to print out this ebook and to pass it on (email) to your
friends, family or given as a bonus as long as all information and links are kept in tack.

© 2005-2007 OverHall Consulting · P.O. Box 263 · Port Republic, MD · 20676


janet@overhall.com · www.overhall.com
Page 1
About the Author ............................................................................................ 3
Chapter 1. Paper Challenges: Includes mail, reading material and files ........ 5
Chapter 2. Bedroom Challenges: Includes laundry, clothes, drawers and
closets.............................................................................................................. 7
Chapter 3. Children: Includes their schedules and their bedroom and toys ... 8
Chapter 4. Shopping Challenges: Includes food, gifts and cards ................. 10
Chapter 5. Kitchen Challenges: Includes organizing, meal planning and
cooking.......................................................................................................... 12
Chapter 6. Time: Spending time with family, children, friends and self ..... 14
Chapter 7. Appointments: Includes medical, school, parties and events ..... 16
Chapter 8. Tools:........................................................................................... 20
Chapter 9. Car Clutter:.................................................................................. 23
Chapter 10. Maintaining home systems and cleaning: ................................. 24

© 2005-2007 OverHall Consulting · P.O. Box 263 · Port Republic, MD · 20676


janet@overhall.com · www.overhall.com
Page 2
About the Author

Janet Hall is a Professional Organizer – Certified, Certified Pyramid Feng


Shui Practitioner, Past-President of The Feng Shui Institute International
(FSII), Faulty Member of The Feng Shui Institute of America (FSIA) and
College of Southern Maryland (CSM), Reiki II Healer, Author, and Speaker.

She is the creator of the revolutionary “The 5 W’s of Organizing, a


TEASER, and a “TICKLE”©”.

She has written six books regarding organization and one on how to become
a professional organizer, produced 38 audio CD’s, four training CD's and
two email courses. Janet also writes for a variety of over 20 plus online
publications and web sites. She is the editor of OverHall IT! her free
electronic bimonthly organizing and Feng Shui newsletter (Subscribe at:
http://www.overhall.com/newsletter.htm) and Click Home the Bacon, a free-
quarterly newsletter (Subscribe at: http://www.kickstartwebsites.com ).

In 2001 Janet starting her coaching career to help beginner organizers with
starting their business. As Janet grew, her coaching business grew into other
areas, such as FrontPage and Internet Marketing coaching. To date, Janet has
coached over 100 people in various topics such as starting, marketing, and
networking your business and yourself to creating a web site, starting a
newsletter and creating products to sell.

Besides people just starting out in business Janet has coached owners and
staff of large and small corporations, sole proprietors, realtors, other

© 2005-2007 OverHall Consulting · P.O. Box 263 · Port Republic, MD · 20676


janet@overhall.com · www.overhall.com
Page 3
coaches, and lay persons. Janet specializes in office, home, and computer
clutter and coaches beginner organizers.

She has many organizing tools, which you can read about or order at
http://www.overhall.com/products.htm

Janet specializes in helping others with office, home, and computer clutter,
casting her "magic" on their clutter, life, and environment.

If you need assistance with your organizing challenges or business, Janet is


available for phone coaching for business start-up, organizing techniques,
web site development, Internet marketing, and Organizing By Phone.

© 2005-2007 OverHall Consulting · P.O. Box 263 · Port Republic, MD · 20676


janet@overhall.com · www.overhall.com
Page 4
Chapter 1. Paper Challenges: Includes mail, reading
material and files

1. Know what you need to keep and why. I recommend you


enroll in my email course, 35 Days to Sorting and
Organizing ALL Your Home Papers, at
http://www.paperclutter.com

2. Choose a filing system and containers that fit your lifestyle.


Decide if you are going to store your papers in a filing cabinet,
banker’s box or sectioned notebooks, use hanging folders,
manila folders and if you will file by alpha, numeric, or topic.

3. Purge your files at least once a year.

4. Make a standing filing date and time for daily, weekly or


monthly filing.

5. Get a fire proof box or a safe deposit to store your important


or irreplaceable documents into. I recommend you check out
two of our products to assist you in this: The Safe Deposit
Guide at http://www.overhall.com/safety_deposit_box.htm and
If Something Happens to Me at
http://www.overhall.com/if_something_happens_to_me.htm

© 2005-2007 OverHall Consulting · P.O. Box 263 · Port Republic, MD · 20676


janet@overhall.com · www.overhall.com
Page 5
6. Sort, toss and put away mail as you bring it into your home.

7. Get a dated filing system, 1-31 and January - December (a


tickler file) to store date related papers into. Check ours out at
http://www.overhall.com/tickler_file.htm

8. Get a magazine rack or holder for each room you like to


read in and store your reading there as soon as it comes into the
home or office. We've found about 21 different holders, even
for the bathroom. Check them out at:
http://www.overhall.com/organize_living_space.htm and click
on Magazine Organizer.

When it comes down to it paper is never going to go away; however once


you learn how to make decisions on what to keep, where and how to store
the paper and maintain your systems you'll be in better shape then you are
now. It will take some action on your part to do this...so what are you
waiting for? Let's get your papers under control once and for all!

© 2005-2007 OverHall Consulting · P.O. Box 263 · Port Republic, MD · 20676


janet@overhall.com · www.overhall.com
Page 6
Chapter 2. Bedroom Challenges: Includes laundry,
clothes, drawers and closets

1. Know what you need to keep and why. I recommend you


check out my electronic book, Get Honest About You Bedroom
Clutter and FINALLY Get Organized at
http://bedroom-clutter.com/organizing_ebooks.htm or my
newest email course, Get Rid of Your Bedroom Clutter and
Make Everyday a Restful Day, at http://bedroomclutter.com

2. Choose a day or days that you will do the laundry and stick
with your schedule as best you can, washing, drying and putting
away.

3. Purge your clothes, closet stuff and drawers, at least once a


year or when the seasons change.

4. If you do laundry once a week then how many pairs of


ANYTHING do you really need?

5. Shoes: get rid of any that hurt your feet, don't like or are
worn out.

6. Sort, fold or hang and put away clothes as they get dry.

7. Sort clothes in your closet by color, season, or item. Makes


locating an item of clothing a lot easier.

© 2005-2007 OverHall Consulting · P.O. Box 263 · Port Republic, MD · 20676


janet@overhall.com · www.overhall.com
Page 7
8. Get a magazine rack or holder for your bedroom to store
your reading there as soon as it comes into the
home. We've found about 21 different holders, even for
the bathroom. Check them out at my newest site:
http://bedroom-clutter.com/organize_reading.htm

For more bedroom clutter tips and products check out our newest site at
http://www.bedroom-clutter.com

Chapter 3. Children: Includes their schedules and their


bedroom and toys

1. Get your children (and yourself) on a schedule and routine.


Review your child's (and yours) lifestyle, activities and stress
levels (when they are up or down, more responsive or not).
Schedules will include many routines, such as a morning
routine of waking, bathing, dressing, eating, etc., an afternoon
routine and an evening routine. Don't forget to add the adult
routines into your schedule. Developing routines and putting
together schedules will help you and your child put things in
order and know what needs to be accomplished (or expected of
you and them) for the day. Check out my ebook, 70 Tips for
Get Your Children Organized Before and After School at
http://www.overhall.com/organizingchildren.htm

2. Sort through all their clothes and take inventory of what they
have, what can be given away and what they might need. Set up
a daily or weekly "clothes wearing" and laundry day system.

3. Sort through all their toys and take inventory of what they
have, what can be given away and what they might need. Set up
a toy storage area and a toy rotation system if needed.
© 2005-2007 OverHall Consulting · P.O. Box 263 · Port Republic, MD · 20676
janet@overhall.com · www.overhall.com
Page 8
4. Decide what school papers and/or art work will be kept and
where. These types of papers are considered mementos. Set up
a box or file for each child. I recommend placing an under bed
storage unit for these papers to be placed into...easy and
convenient.

5. Decide what is expected of your child, such as making their


bed in the morning, putting their school bags in a certain
location, and putting their toys and clothes away. Create a chore
board or check out I Did My Chores (good for ages 4-8) at
http://www.overhall.com/ididmychores.htm

6. Spend time with your children: eat meals together and plan at
least one relaxing family activity a week, a trip to the park, bike
riding, game night, etc.

7. Give your children some down time each day from you, their
activities and their chores. Take some down time for yourself
too.

When it comes to children one should learn to be somewhat flexible with


routines, schedules, and their clutter. While this takes practice in training
them (and yourself) how, when, and where things should live and be stored
© 2005-2007 OverHall Consulting · P.O. Box 263 · Port Republic, MD · 20676
janet@overhall.com · www.overhall.com
Page 9
or contained. Within a week or two of consistent training (depending on age
of child) your child and you should be well on your way to having less
chaos, clutter and stress in your lives. It will take some action, guidance, and
patience on your part to do this...so what are you waiting for? Let's get your
children and their stuff under control once and for all! For organizing
children products please check out
http://www.overhall.com/organize_children.htm

Chapter 4. Shopping Challenges: Includes food, gifts


and cards

We all shop, some more then others. Many people that have clutter
problems, or even worse, are hoarders or packrats have the 'shop till you
drop' syndrome, whether it's literally going to a store, ordering from TV or
via the Internet. That's not what this article is about through. This is about
working on saving time, money and organizing your "needs shopping", such
as groceries, toiletries, gifts and cards.

Groceries/Toiletries

1. Take inventory of what you currently have in stock in your


pantry/cabinets and freezer/refrigerator. Write it all down on a
list. Remove any items that have expired or you find you never
use, like the special pretty little bottles of jam that you received
for your birthday.

2. Are there 'favorites' or items that you continually run out of


before your next shopping trip? Write those down. Those items
are the ones you want to make sure you stock up on. (Don't
include milk or bread, everyone seems to run out of those...at
least that's what I'm told ;-) )

3. Decide now - would you and can you shop every week,
every other week or even once a month. For instance, if you
have the storage and funds you might stock up once a month
just on your canned/boxed/bottled goods. This would allow for
quicker, more focused trips to the store for fresh
fruit/vegetables/meat. I know, I know; however you'll need to
learn to put your blinders on and just visit those sections of the
store, KNOWING you are okay and have all that you need
already at home.
© 2005-2007 OverHall Consulting · P.O. Box 263 · Port Republic, MD · 20676
janet@overhall.com · www.overhall.com
Page 10
4. If you still don't have enough storage after the inventory and
clearing of your pantry/cabinets look around your home and see
if there is a "different" place you can store your extra inventory.
For example: We have a small linen closet at the bottom of our
stairs. The bottom shelf is used for the downstairs bathroom
linens and the other four shelves are used to store any
canned/boxed/bottled goods - our pantry. When we lived in our
other house we had no extra closets so we purchased a portable
pantry, which I now use to store office supplies in. Click
http://www.overhall.com/organize_kitchen.htm for pantries
and other kitchen helpers.

5. Download my free grocery list at


http://www.overhall.com/grocerylist.htm Customize the list for
your household and tape inside a cabinet door OR go to your
copy center and have them make a copy on an erasable surface,
similar to lamination, that you can use a dry erase pen to circle
items when low or out of. Let others in the household know
about the list and 'train' them to use it.

Gifts and Cards

1. Choose, yearly or monthly (no you don't need to wait until


January if you choose yearly). Get out your calendar or
gift/card list or make a list of all your loved ones and friends
that you want to give a gift or card to. Pick one day a year or
one day a month to shop for those gifts and cards. Store the
cards in the day or month of your tickler file. Look around to
see when you have storage for the gifts and drop a note into
your tickler file where you stored the gift. Get your tickler file
at http://www.overhall.com/tickler_file.htm

© 2005-2007 OverHall Consulting · P.O. Box 263 · Port Republic, MD · 20676


janet@overhall.com · www.overhall.com
Page 11
2. Don't purchase gifts that people don't need or want.
Download my free gift card
http://www.overhall.com/gift_cards.htm and hand them out to
those on your gift buying list, asking them to fill out the card
and return to you.

3. Purchase a few extra cards or a variety pack for the


unforeseen or forgotten cards that seem to pop up when you're
too busy to run out and buy one.

Once you do the work, get into these new habits, and maintain these systems
you'll find you'll have more free time, less chaos and panic, and not only
save money on your purchases yet gasoline too. With the price of gasoline
going up getting organized and implementing systems can only help you.

Chapter 5. Kitchen Challenges: Includes organizing,


meal planning and cooking

Groceries

1. Take inventory of what you currently have in stock in your


pantry/cabinets and freezer/refrigerator. Write it all down on a
list. Remove any items that have expired or you find you never
use, like the special pretty little bottles of jam that you received
for your birthday.

2. If you still don't have enough storage after the inventory and
clearing of your pantry/cabinets look around your home and see
if there is a "different" place you can store your extra inventory.
For example: We have a small linen closet at the bottom of our
stairs. The bottom shelf is used for the downstairs bathroom
linens and the other four shelves are used to store any
canned/boxed/bottled goods - our pantry. When we lived in our
other house we had no extra closets so we purchased a portable
pantry, which I now use to store office supplies in. Click
http://www.overhall.com/organize_kitchen.htm for pantries
and other kitchen helpers.

3. Think about your workstations, how used and what's needed


in or by the workstation. Put back items where you use them
and put items on lower shelves that are used frequently.
© 2005-2007 OverHall Consulting · P.O. Box 263 · Port Republic, MD · 20676
janet@overhall.com · www.overhall.com
Page 12
4. Common workstations are: Cooking Station (stove/oven),
Cleaning Station (sink/dishwasher), Prep Station (near stove or
sink), Beverage Station (coffee pot, tea pot, blender drinks),
Storage Stations (canned/dried goods, serving goods and
perishable goods). Example: Near or around your Cleaning
Station you might have the following: drying racks, towels,
soaps, scrub brush, sponges, and lotion.

5. Post an inventory list inside each cabinet with what is on


each shelf.

6. Double your shelf space, contain your condiments,


wraps and more. Check out these kitchen organizing helpers at:
http://www.overhall.com/organize_kitchen.htm

Meal Planning and Cooking

Besides a disorganized kitchen I've found that many clients don’t


ever have meals together, choosing instead to get fast food or
carry out which can be a waste of money and become unhealthy.

1. When my children were infants and toddlers, while they were


finishing up their breakfast or playing in their seats or banging
on the pots and pans I would prepare the evening meal and get
everything I could ready to go, i.e. peel potatoes, slice and dice,
etc. So prep your evening meal during breakfast or lunch. Keep
refrigerated until needed.

2. When other activities are scheduled for the day or evening


make one pot or pan meals. A crock pot is great for this.

3. You really don’t want to be slicing and dicing when the


children are out of control, need your help or attention or have
to be picked up or dropped off. Those days - plan simple meals.

4. When I know I'm going to have a very busy week I cook all
Sunday morning, such as a turkey, ham and spaghetti. Then all
I have to do is heat up and make a salad or steam a veggie or
two. You can also cook and freeze ahead. One day of cooking
can free up a lot of time during the week.

© 2005-2007 OverHall Consulting · P.O. Box 263 · Port Republic, MD · 20676


janet@overhall.com · www.overhall.com
Page 13
5. Before you do your food shopping, do your meal planning.
Check your recipes, check your inventory, make your list and
then go shopping. Check out
http://www.overhall.com/menuplanning.htm for some fabulous
links for meal planning.

Once you have everything gathered and organized for ease of use then its
time to accessorize or decorate your kitchen. Be careful- don’t clutter the
areas with unnecessary “stuff” that would get in your way or impair you
from the task at hand.

Chapter 6. Time: Spending time with family, children,


friends and self

Time: never seems to be enough does there?

Let's take an honest look at your life and where you are spending your time.

Create a pie chart by drawing a circle, draw a big circle. Now plot out the
different areas of your life and draw a "slice" in your pie chart for each, such
as self, family, friends, children, vocation, hobbies, fitness, spiritual growth,
computer, reading, TV, phone, visiting, shopping,
etc. Each "slice" should honestly represent the
time you spend on each. For instance half your
pie might be for your vocation or children, a
quarter slice might be for your friends, etc. You
can make one for a day, week or month.

Now take a good look at your pie chart. Are your


"slices" balanced? Probably not.

What does your pie chart say to you as far as where all your time is being
consumed and with whom or on what?
What areas do you need to work on - need to change - to gain
better balance of your time? Do you see areas that you might be
devoting too much time to and other areas you might be
neglecting? What's standing in your way from changing?

© 2005-2007 OverHall Consulting · P.O. Box 263 · Port Republic, MD · 20676


janet@overhall.com · www.overhall.com
Page 14
Time Robbers
How much time are you wasting watching TV?
How much time are you wasting on the computer?
How much time are you wasting talking on the phone?
How much time are you wasting visiting the neighbors?

If you reduce just one of the above by one hour per day, in one week you
gain 7 hours. In one month you gain 30 hours. In one year you gain two
weeks. And if you reduce all four of the above by one hour per day you gain
back 4 hours a day, 28 hours (one day and four hours) a week, and 112 hours
(4 and a half days) a month.

Whom or what are your time robbers?

What would you rather be doing with those hours? Hopefully spending some
quality time with yourself, family, children or friends.

What areas of your life are spinning out of control or out of control perhaps
because you don't have routines or schedules in place? Yes I know, sounds
like the military, having to have, create and abide by routines and schedules.
Yet honestly folks, if you can create some routines and schedules you will
find your life running more smoothly and you might even have more
energy, especially if you add 'me' time.

Are you spending time with yourself? Taking care of yourself? I know, I've
heard it all, "I need to do this and that." "I should be doing this or that." "I
have to do this or that." "There are not enough hours in the day for 'me'
time."

Let me ask you this: If you're not taking time for yourself and taking care of
your needs and wants, who will?

If you're not spending time on yourself you will eventually burnout or


worse, lose your own individuality. Maybe this has already happened to you.
I hope not.

We all need 'me' time, alone time. Even if it's a few minutes to an hour a day
or week. A soak in the tub, a walk around the block, sitting outside,
daydreaming by the window, taking a class, what ever it is you are missing
or yearning for, stop and look at your schedule and make a date with
yourself this month for some 'me' time.
© 2005-2007 OverHall Consulting · P.O. Box 263 · Port Republic, MD · 20676
janet@overhall.com · www.overhall.com
Page 15
Finding a balance of spending time for yourself, family, friends and children
isn't difficult if you plan, set boundaries and follow through.

Planning
When is the best day and time for you to have some 'me' time? I discovered
Sunday early evenings was the best day and time to soak in a bubble bath,
my favorite 'me' time.

Setting Boundaries
It's okay to set boundaries. Are you? Or do you say yes to everyone and
everything except yourself?

Saturday and Sunday is generally my family time. The days I spend with my
husband, children and grandchildren. I generally do not turn on my computer
on Sundays, unless nothing is planned or the weather is bad and then I might
'plug in'. And I generally won't answer my business phone on Sundays. I've
set my boundaries, yet sometimes flexible, and it does take practice because
you are developing new habits, same with planning.

Follow Through
This can sometimes be difficult, especially if it's 'me' time and if others want
or need your attention. Put your times on your calendar, as you would any
other important appointment and keep your appointments.

Keep your pie chart in a notebook and do a new one every month to help
assist you in tracking where you're spending your time, what you need to
adjust and watch your pie chart and life become more balanced throughout
the coming months. You'll know you've achieved the balance you're looking
for once your "slices" are more evenly distributed.

Chapter 7. Appointments: Includes medical, school,


parties and events

As you awake in the morning, your mind races ahead of your body with all
kinds of stuff pouring in and out. All your thoughts, ideas, chores,
appointments and worries that you might have. No wonder you’re tired
before your feet even hit the ground.

Before you realize it, you’re up and running here, running there, going
through your morning, unaware of how you even apply the toothpaste on
© 2005-2007 OverHall Consulting · P.O. Box 263 · Port Republic, MD · 20676
janet@overhall.com · www.overhall.com
Page 16
your brush or what body parts you wash first. All the while, stuff is pouring
into your head from everywhere: ideas, chores, appointments, commitments,
relationships, conversations, past events, the future. This self-talk, we all
have it. Random thoughts: worries, fears, negativity, frustration, happiness,
joy, freedom, inspiration, and light bulb ideas.

Many times your appointments, whether with yourself or someone else, get
in the way of your daily routine, especially if it's an unexpected appointment
and you had other plans.

Medical Appointments:
Let's start out with some common appointments we all have, such as yearly
check ups with the doctor, dentist, vision, hearing and vet if you have a pet.

Get out your calendar for this year or next and call the above and see if you
can schedule yours, others in your family, loved ones and the pet’s
appointments. If you have a family see if you can get family appointments,
in which each member goes on the same day with times back to back. If you
have more then one pet see if you can get appointments for all your pets on
the same day with times back to back.

School Appointments:
If you have children going to school, ask the school or teacher for the year’s
calendar of events, teacher/parent meetings and PTA meetings. Put on your
calendar the events and meetings you are interested in attending.

Personal Appointments:
Personal growth appointments or meetings could entail going to the gym,
seeing a nutritionist, attending workshops of interest at your local shops, or
attending conferences. If you are working with someone, such as a trainer,
see if you can set up your appointments on the same day and time each week
or month. Contact your local shops and/or conference places or industry you
are in and see if they have a yearly or quarterly events schedule available so
you can plan for those events that interest you.

Consultants Appointments:
If you're a consultant, such as myself, you must be flexible as you never
know when someone will need your services and on what days and times.
What my business tasks are and works for me is the following, knowing I
might have a client call and being flexible for them:

© 2005-2007 OverHall Consulting · P.O. Box 263 · Port Republic, MD · 20676


janet@overhall.com · www.overhall.com
Page 17
• Monday is web site development day. In the AM I work on my sites
and in the PM others sites if needed.
• Tuesday is my writing day in which I write articles; work on books,
new workshops and my newsletters.
• Wednesday is my phone consultation time in the AM and in the PM
consultation time with boards I sit on.
• Thursday is working on product creation.
• Friday is my research, study and administration day.
• Some evenings and Saturdays I deliver workshops in person or on the
phone.

This schedule has worked well for me in the past year and when a client
calls, I go, no matter what the day.

Taking Appointments:
For those of you in business in which patients or clients call in to make
appointments you might want to check out some Internet based appointment
schedulers. This frees up some time for your receptionist or you and also is
helpful and convenient to many of your clients. I found two services on the
Internet for you to check out at http://www.web-appointments.com/ and
http://www.2setappointments.com/works.html

Business Meetings:
Business meetings, whether by phone or in person can also be set up for the
same day and time quarterly or yearly. This not only helps you yet others
that are involved.

If you are asked to attend a meeting ask the following to help you decide if
your attendance is really necessary:

Ö WHO will be attending?

Ö WHAT will be discussed?

Ö WHEN will the meeting be held?

Ö WHERE will the meeting be?

Ö WHY do you need me to attend this meeting?

© 2005-2007 OverHall Consulting · P.O. Box 263 · Port Republic, MD · 20676


janet@overhall.com · www.overhall.com
Page 18
Often times you might find that you can send someone in your place, send
the information, or only attend at the time of the meeting when your input is
needed. This would depend on the type of meeting it is.

Board Meetings:
Perhaps you sit on a community, business or non-profit board. Generally
when one has a board meeting all board members are required to attend
because there is so much exchange and input from one committee to the next
that can affect all involved. Board meetings are generally set up for the same
day and time throughout the year. So if you sit on a board and the board
doesn't have a regular meeting time you might suggest creating one. Helpful
to you and helpful to others.

Bottom line, do your best to get standing appointments, same day and time,
with those you do business with on a regular basis and don't forget to put
them in your calendar.

Appointment Reminders:
For those of you that tend to forget appointments or might have lost your
calendar you can also put your appointments into some software programs
you might have on your computer. Many programs have appointment
reminders, such as Outlook, ACT and other software. I recommend NOT
keeping your calendar JUST on your computer in case of a crash or you
don't turn it on that day.

Keeping Track:
If you're using a tickle file, you can drop a note of whom you have an
appointment with, plus directions or other paper work if needed, in the
current months date or month in which you have an appointment. Don't
forget to place the date on the note for the appointment if it's several months
in advance.

Oh and let's not forget to add to your calendars birthday parties, anniversary
parties, special family events and special business events.

To help you succeed in keeping your appointments and keeping track of


your to-do's I have two products that might interest you:

Tickle File at http://www.overhall.com/tickler_file.htm and my 3 W's To-Do


Pad at http://www.overhall.com/todopads.htm

© 2005-2007 OverHall Consulting · P.O. Box 263 · Port Republic, MD · 20676


janet@overhall.com · www.overhall.com
Page 19
Now don't forget to make appointments with your self for your "me time" as
we discussed above in Chapter 6.

Chapter 8. Tools:

Even if you don't have a tool problem, read this to


discover what person type you are
Tools come in many forms: organizing tools, kitchen tools, cleaning tools,
craft tools, repair tools, and so on.

Today we'll be discussing some 'ordinary tools' most of you have around
your home: hammers, screwdrivers, indoor/outdoor tools and so on.

Whether you're a woman or a man, whether you use your tools occasionally,
like to hang a picture, or use regularly on outdoor/indoor maintenance, or are
a craft person, when needed it helps if your tools are organized.

First let's determine what 'type' of person you are. (By the way this is great
to determine in any area of your life, not just your tools).

1. Are you a visual person or concealer?


Most creative or right-brained people are very visual and need
their tools (or other items) out where they can see them. If you
can't see it you don't know you have it.

A concealer might be a person that prefers to have stuff 'out of


sight' although their stuff might not be organized yet thrown
into a shed, closet, or drawer.

2. Are you an accumulator or a collector?


Do you accumulate two's, three's and four's of the same item,
perhaps because you don't recall if you already own the item or
can't find the item?

Do you collect items that are similar? For instance, my husband


has nine hammer types in one drawer, one in his car toolbox
and I have one in my toolbox. We have wooden hammers,
rubber mallets, ball-ping hammers, hammers with rubber
handles, etc.
© 2005-2007 OverHall Consulting · P.O. Box 263 · Port Republic, MD · 20676
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3. Are you a returner or dropper?
I think this is self describing: a returner returns items to their
place after using and a dropper just drops the item where ever
they were using it last and let's it live there until needed again.

Discovering the 'person type' you are will assist you in determining where
your storage for your tools (or other items) should be and what type of
storage you might need.

If you are a visual type you would look for open storage, perhaps open
shelves (labeled and organized of course), open bins and containers, or a tool
caddy or belt. A peg board which you would hang your tools on and you
could trace around the tool onto the peg board so you or some else always
knows where to return it. A concealer should look at drawers, closed
shelving and/or cabinets, again labeled and organized. You might even add
an inventory sheet to the inside of the cabinet or shelves so you always know
what you have and where it lives. Perhaps closed containers or bins. You can
label or hot glue a picture or sample (great for different nails and screws) to
the front of the container.

If you are an accumulator you should consider going through the house,
garage and sheds and pool everything together to see exactly what you do
own and decide from there what to keep or not. If you are a collector it's
time to be honest with yourself, such as which is my favorite, the one you
always use, which ones you never use and keep only the ones you use on a
regular basis.

If you are a returner, GOOD for you. To assist others that might use your
tools, label shelves, containers, etc. so they return to the proper place. If a
dropper you are then you would want to work on that habit and practice
returning things when finished using. Or perhaps look at were you are
"trying" to store your tools. Perhaps you need to change storage locations so
it's easier to get things returned. For instance, I have my own small tool box
that lives in a kitchen cabinet, easily available when needed and oh so easy
to return the items when finished.

© 2005-2007 OverHall Consulting · P.O. Box 263 · Port Republic, MD · 20676


janet@overhall.com · www.overhall.com
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Other tool storage tips:

Ö If you find you have vintage tools you can show them off! Display
them in or outside the workshop or the shed, like art pieces.
Ö Don't forget to look for overhead storage. Great for lumber and
piping.
Ö Use heavy duty magnetic strips to "attach" your tools to.
Ö See what types of containers you might already have around, such as
baby food jars, baby wipes containers (holds up to 5 pounds of nails),
empty prescription bottles, or clear hanging shoe bag. These are great
helpers for nails, screws, bolts, etc.
Ö Instead of purchasing shelving you can use milk crates (or attach
these to the wall with shoulder hooks). Store like items with like
items.
Ö Create Project containers, storing the tools you are currently using for
the project you might be working on. 5 - gallon buckets are great for
this.
Ö Extension cords: Wrap them around a hose hanger.
Ö Rolls of tape and/or cord: Install a toilet paper holder to hold the rolls
and unwind rolls.

If you're Pressed for space use one of these to store your tools in:

Ö portable tool box (rent large tools when needed)


Ö tool belt
Ö tool caddie
Ö back of door
Ö back pack

For tools and gardening storage please check out some of the products we've
found that might assist you in finally getting organized at:
http://www.overhall.com/organize_garage.htm

While you're sorting and taking inventory you might come across some
items that could be dangerous and you really should not keep, such as frayed
cords, items that don't work properly, or it's broken or rusty.

For the tools that are still in good use that you might have several of you can
always donate them. Places that you might consider are: Habitat for
Humanity, High School Vocational Classes, Theater Groups (schools or
neighborhood), Boys or Girls Scouts or 4-H Clubs.
© 2005-2007 OverHall Consulting · P.O. Box 263 · Port Republic, MD · 20676
janet@overhall.com · www.overhall.com
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Chapter 9. Car Clutter:

Used car sales people use to be known for "huffing and puffing" used cars
saying something like, "This car was driven only to church on Sundays by a
little old lady" to let the potential buyer know how "good" the car was.

These days I think it would be fair to say that "granny" uses her car to go
more places: bingo, senior centers, volunteering, clubs, work, involvement
with grandchildren and more.

Just like "granny" you probably go many places in your car also: work,
shopping/errands, travel, adult and child activities, school and perhaps you
use your car as an office and maybe.....this might be stretching it...just to go
have fun in!

Statistics show, according to James Gleick, author of Faster, 'Americans


spend at least on an average 1 hour and 13 minutes each day in their car.'
That comes out to almost 8 hours a week, 31.64 hours a month and 379.68
hours a year you "live" in your car! No wonder people have so much clutter
in their car; it's like a spare room or two.

Before you run out or click to purchase organizing products for your car let's
first have you take inventory of what lives in your car and what REALLY
needs to live in your car. Yes, this means taking everything out...well you
might need the room anyway if you plan on traveling for the holidays or are
purchasing a lot of presents to bring home.

Grab a box, a garbage bag, your car keys and sprint out to your car. Tune
into your favorite radio station and do the Toss In Box. Get rid of everything
that you don't use daily (please keep your emergency equipment). Get rid of
everything that you don't need. Don't forget to check under the seats, in the
glove compartment, and the trunk.

Now let's look at some of the ways that you might use your car and items
needed:

1. For Travel: maps, directions, phone numbers, music,


entertainment, work, clothes, suitcases, a cooler, drinks and
trash.

2. For Shopping/Errands: 'spare trunk', drinks, newspaper ads,


© 2005-2007 OverHall Consulting · P.O. Box 263 · Port Republic, MD · 20676
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maps, directions, entertainment and trash.

3. For transporting kids: trash, toys, books, baby stuff, drinks,


entertainment, school stuff, and sports stuff.

4. As your office: maps, directions, phone numbers, music,


entertainment, laptop, work, a cooler, drinks, tools and trash.

Are you seeing some commonalties here?

I think it would be nice to organize and 'house' as many of these items as you
can, don't you?

Ö For maps get a map organizer


Ö For music or entertainment (even VHS tapes) get a "car
entertainment center"
Ö For trash you can use a plastic bag or a litter chute made to
hang on the back of a seat.
Ö For work get a mobile car desk...these are GREAT!

There are many great car organizers out there and many that hang onto the
back of a seat, taking up less space.

I've found some great finds and have created a brand new web site just for
car clutter at http://www.car-clutter.com which I hope you'll visit after
you've cleared out and decided what you need to help you get organized and
stay organized in your car.

Chapter 10. Maintaining home systems and cleaning:

One you've done all the work of getting organized, maintaining your systems
can be easy by following a few simple steps:

Every six months to a year review and purge :


Ö Files
Ö Clothes
Ö Toys
Ö Books
Ö CD's
Ö Videos
Ö Cassettes
© 2005-2007 OverHall Consulting · P.O. Box 263 · Port Republic, MD · 20676
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Ö Closets
Ö Makeup
Ö Shoes

Quarterly review, inventory and purge:


Ö Cabinets
Ö Drawers
Ö Shelves
Ö Medicines

Monthly review and purge:


Ö Magazines
Ö Catalogs
Ö Newspapers
Ö Trade journals

Weekly review, inventory and purge:


Ö Refrigerator
Ö Pantry

Daily review, put away, and purge:


Ö Mail
Ö Countertops
Ö Surface areas
Ö Desk

Then continue to work on your new habits:

1. Put items right back where they belong after using


2. Teach others in the home your systems
3. Keep your 'supply' inventories up-to-date
4. Use one calendar
5. Stop buying stuff you don't need
6. Stop buying stuff you already have
7. Stop bringing in stuff and not letting anything go

Five Steps to Creating a Clean Space

Step 1: Make an Appointment With Yourself

Decide what day, evening and time you will do your clean and organize
AND how long you will work on your spaces.
© 2005-2007 OverHall Consulting · P.O. Box 263 · Port Republic, MD · 20676
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Step 2: Prepare and Gather Your Tools

Gather up your cleaning tools: broom (good for reaching cobwebs), feather
duster, polish and polish rag, window cleaner and paper towels, vacuum
cleaner or mop and pail, garbage, recycling, and donate containers.

Step 3: Set the Mood

Select music to play while you're cleaning and organizing. I like to play
different types of music and sometimes will select music that I haven't
listened to in awhile.

Select some incense or a scented candle to burn while you are working.

1. Two great scents to evoke a clean feeling is orange or lemon.


2. Some scents to help reduce any stress or overwhelm you
might feel while doing these tasks are mint, lavender,
marjoram, melissa, rosemary, and eucalyptus.
3. Lime will help elevate your mood and basil will help cheer
you.

Step 4: Where and How to Start Cleaning

Stand at the threshold of your room and start on the left hand wall. You'll be
working your away around the room in a 'productive' clockwise motion.

Get Rid of the Cobwebs, Bugs and Dust

1. Sweep your broom against the ceiling from corner to corner


and don't forget to sweep down the corners, real good, because
fuzzy little cobwebs like to live in those dark corners.

2. If you have a closet in your space don't forget to sweep inside


that ceiling space and corners.

3. Sweep, vacuum or feather dust the walls, around all your


window casements and sills, under your furniture, and all four
baseboards.

4. If you have ceiling beams don't forget to sweep on each side


of them and in their corners.
© 2005-2007 OverHall Consulting · P.O. Box 263 · Port Republic, MD · 20676
janet@overhall.com · www.overhall.com
Page 26
5. If you have a ceiling fan don't forget to sweep/dust the fan
blades.

6. Remove window screens and wash to remove cobwebs,


bugs, dust, or nicotine, if you are a smoker.

7. Take all window coverings, cushions, pillows, and throw


carpets outside. Shake out or beat them with your hands or
broom (make sure you have gotten all the cobwebs and bugs off
your broom before you do this). If any of the above items need
to be washed (have they ever been washed?) throw them in
your washer now.

8. Dust and polish all your furniture. Clean all your surface
areas, lamps and lighting, and under the furniture. Don't forget
to dust the light bulbs and while you're at it add a drop or two of
the scent you are using. For awhile, each time you have the
light on, the heat from the light bulb will act as a diffuser,
causing the scent to be dispelled throughout your space.

Plants and Fountains

1. If you have plants in your spaces, trim and prune, making


sure you remove all dead leaves, flowers, and limbs. Give your
plants a healthy drink of water with a growth enhancer mixed
in.

2. If you have a fountain, empty all the water and give the
fountain, stones, and pump a good soaking in hot soapy water.
If you have hard water build up place these items in the sink.
Sprinkle baking powder all over and then pour on white
vinegar. The solution will start to bubble, yet it's safe, no fumes.
Rinse completely before using again. Don't forget to clean that
little filter inside your pump.

Vacuum, sweep, and/or mop your floors.

Tip: I highly recommend you do all the above tasks at least every other week
so you and your spaces don't become stuck and stagnant.

© 2005-2007 OverHall Consulting · P.O. Box 263 · Port Republic, MD · 20676


janet@overhall.com · www.overhall.com
Page 27
Step 5: Look Outside

This task I decided to do when the weather warmed up; however I wanted to
mention it now. After all it might be nice and warm where you are...wish I
was there!

1. Look out your windows. What do you see? Can you even
see clearly out your windows. Wash your windows inside and
out.

2. Do you see any overgrowth? Cut it back or down.

3. Do you see garbage, garbage can or recycling? Pick it up,


remove it, or move to a different location where it's not visible
to you.

4. Do you see cobwebs or dead bugs? I have an extension off


my back windows so I have an overhang where I can see all the
cobwebs and spider sacs plus some old bees nests, which I'll
save and give to my grand children. Let's water spray or knock
them down with your broom on the outside of the house.

Don't neglect what you can see and don't like looking at. Take care of those
items as soon as possible.

I hope you liked the collection of articles that I bundled up into this ebook. If
you have any tips you would like to share please email me.

Thank you for supporting me in my work.

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© 2005-2007 OverHall Consulting · P.O. Box 263 · Port Republic, MD · 20676


janet@overhall.com · www.overhall.com
Page 28
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© 2005-2007 OverHall Consulting · P.O. Box 263 · Port Republic, MD · 20676


janet@overhall.com · www.overhall.com
Page 29