21 Apr

Get Organized Mission #1: Fill a Hu-u-uge Trash Bag
Step 1

Get a giant trash bag. (If you don¶t have one find 20 small ones, or ask a neighbor, or go to the shops, or use boxes, or pile things up on a rug until you get to the shops tomorrow. There are no excuses!)
Step 2

Set a kitchen timer (or your clock radio or iPhone alarm, etc) for 30 minutes.
Step 3

Start filling the bag and continue doing so as you move through your house, until either the timer goes off or your bag is full. Throw into the bag anything you don¶t use, don¶t like, that has negative associations, is broken or tatty, or is no longer your style. See below for room-by-room examples.
Step 4

Take it straight out to the trash or even the tip if you¶re so motivated. Just be sure to remove the temptation to look in the bag or to rescue released items.

Dos & Don¶ts
y y


Don t try to organize rooms, cupboards or drawers at this stage. This mission is about getting rid of stuff so do keep an out-it-goes mindset. We ll have another organizing mission for charity items, so don t get bogged down with that now. I don t suggest giving lame stuff to charity decent, usable stuff: yes; crapola: no. So do feel fine about ditching all the dross. I want you to move fast so don t overthink it. If your gut feel is to release something from your life, then do toss it into the bag.

Examples of Items For Your Bag:
Living Room
y y y

Old magazines Tatty rugs and cushions Old/no-longer-used videotapes, DVDs, CDs

y y

Unloved ornaments, gifts, vases, etc Dead plants

y y y y y

School/college notes and texts (unless you just graduated they re probably out of date) Old paperwork, bills, mail (keep if needed for taxes or reference; shred if sensitive or confidential) Excess stationery you won t use this decade Knickknacks that provide no meaning, beauty or inspiration eading piles you know you ll never get to

y y y y y

Tatty dressing gowns, slippers, and anything you d be embarrassed to answer the door in Tatty bed linen Ancient pillows harboring various non-human life forms Anything on bedside tables that detract from a comforting bedtime sanctuary Anything in your closet you hate (we ll tackle closets in detail in another organizing mission)

y y y y y

Chipped or stained crockery usty or mismatched cutlery Expired food and condiments in the pantry or fridge Cookware, plungers, teapots, gadgets, utensils or sundry infomercial purchases not used in the past 12 months Cookbooks and recipes not used in the past 12 months

y y y y y

Tatty towels, bathmats, etc Expired or old toiletries, hairbrushes, combs, etc Empty or mildewed bottles Yucky bathroom accessories eg rusty shower caddies Unloved bathroom ornaments

Kids Stuff
y y y y y

Tatty, no-longer-used toys Outgrown clothes Torn posters Outgrown CDs, DVDs etc Outgrown back-packs, drink bottles, etc

Extended Organizing Mission Options



y y

If you run out of time or your bag fills up and you want to keep going, then do. Put on some music and have fun with it. But your basic mission is only to fill one large bag or keep going for 30 minutes. If other household members want to participate give them their own bag and encourage them to let go of stuff. If you want to tackle extra, unneeded items that are in good condition, do a second run with a charity bag. (I guarantee you ll still have plenty to do when we get to our charity-bag organizing mission.)

Ready, Set, Go!
Remember ± move quickly, act fast, don¶t overthink.

Get Organized Mission #2: Detox Your Briefcase/Tote/Bag
Step 1: Empty

Empty everything out of your bag (I¶ll use this generic term for simplicity). Dust out any lingering detritus over a sink so your bag is lovely and clean.
Step 2: Wallet

If you have a separate pocketbook/wallet, start there.
£ ¢ ¤
y y y y

emove old business cards, receipts, paper scraps, tissues, post-its, random hairclips, etc. emove other items that don t deserve the real estate eg loyalty cards for stores you rarely visit, coffee cards you never remember to use, etc. Place the regularly used credit cards, store cards and ID in convenient locations in your wallet. Check any photos of loved ones are current and in good condition.

Step 3: Keys

Next, streamline your keys.
y y y

Use a neat, functional keyring or case. emove any keys you don t need. If you don t remember what they re for, put them on a separate Mystery keyring for later investigation. If you re always fumbling with keys, consider putting them on the ring in the order you use them eg, car, garage, mailbox, top lock, bottom lock.

Step 4: Make-Up Purse

Next, let¶s tackle your make-up purse, make-up compartment in your bag, or for guys, any toiletries you carry with you.

cell phone. small mascara and small fragrance bottle? If you streamline the contents. Dos & Don¶ts y y Don t keep floating tissues. Make use of compartments to help keep the contents organized. indecipherable notes. ancient mints and gum. return the streamlined items to your bag. small blush with built-in mirror and brush. unneeded receipts. Consider streamlining your daily essentials. . Discard anything old. Set. Extended Organizing Mission Options Want to go beyond this 30-minute organizing mission? y y y If your bag or briefcase lacks compartments. small tissue pack or handkerchief. Ready. If you have other bags and briefcases you don t love.y Step 5: Organize Finally. is in poor condition or out-of-touch with your current likes and lifestyle. loose coins. don¶t overthink. If other household members want to participate let them get their backpack/briefcase/tote and join you. consider downsizing your make-up purse too. Do keep your streamlined wallet. small tube of SPF hand cream. paper scraps. if not. Go! Remember ± move quickly. keys and make-up purse. in poor condition or funky smelling. If they re lovely. ditch. random pens. take yourself shopping and invest in a better performer. attractive notebook. take this opportunity to discard them. Could you limit yourself to. Get Organized Mission #3: Organize Your Bill Payment Step 1: Gather copies of all your regular bills Your regular bills might include: y y y Mortgage/rent Utilities Internet ¥ y y y emove items you don t use regularly enough to justify their real estate. donate. iPod. a neutral lipstick or lipgloss. nice-to-use pen. act fast. say. and diary/PDA (the target of a future organizing mission).

online. too. all your bills will be automatically payable. pay it. Do keep any passwords for phone or internet banking safe and secure. Step 3: Set up internet banking or phone banking Ideally. You can generally set up automatic payment by phone. money and hassle. diarize the due date. These 30 minutes of personal organization will save you time and possibly money every single month. Check for details on the back of your bill or look up your account online. Ongoing When a bill arrives. If you use something like Outlook you can set a reminder. Step 2: Set up automatic bill payment where available Many of your regular bills may be automatically payable each month from your back account or credit card. Phone.y y y y y y Cell phone Landline Car loan payments Credit card payments School fees Subscriptions. Be organized and smart! . visit or get online to set up your accounts. you might prefer to save time and batch the tasks by paying them all at once. (Don¶t fight it ± whatever effort you make now will be worth the saved time. Alternatively. But I¶ve said it anyway. And on the due date. The bill will say something like: µPayment of $287 will be made by autopayment from your credit card on 28 November 2009. Please ensure funds are available on this date. or by using an ancient type of admin called µa form¶. set up internet banking or phone banking to pay these bills at your convenience. if you have several bills that aren¶t able to be autopaid.) It goes without saying that you need to be able to cover these bills from your credit card or bank account. If so. Dos & Don¶ts y y Don t procrastinate on organizing your bill payment. For any bills that aren¶t automatically payable. check whether it will be autopaid.¶ If it¶s a pesky one that can¶t be autopaid. your organizing mission is complete and you can spend any remaining time tidying your financial papers. online or by phone ± but before the earliest due date.

the easier it is to get organized and stay organized. most often it¶s not. this is an excellent mission to complete with them. learn how to use it. Go! Remember ± move quickly. including time. assemble it. Set. they always cost you in other ways. consider shredding them now. pay them off in full in each month if you can.Extended Organizing Mission Options Want to go beyond this 30-minute organizing mission? y y y Since credit card payments are at the higher end of interest charges. if all you really want is the $60 free lipstick. Teach them valuable financial and organizing skills all in one go. The problem with freebies is that although they may not cost you money. Your mission this week is to adjust your mindset so that before you accept any freebie into your busy life. invest time to get value from it? . Ready. Get Organized Mission #4: Forgo The Freebies One of the fundamentals of the Get Organized Wizard philosophy is: The less of anything you have. Do simply buy and enjoy the $60 lipstick! Q2: How much time must I spend to use the freebie? y Do I have to read it. Occasionally a freebie is worth the cost. If you have ancient bills and receipts you no longer need for tax or accounting reasons. If you have high-school-age kids. don¶t overthink. act fast. you ask yourself four questions: Q1: How much money must I spend to get the freebie? y y y Do I have to buy particular items or spend a certain amount to qualify for the freebie? Is the qualifying purchase something I need? Is the qualifying purchase worth the price independently of the freebie? Case Study: y y Don t spend $100 on beauty products you don t need to get a free $60 lipstick. added clutter and greater barriers to personal organization.

Do enjoy the feeling of freedom and clarity you get from saying no to things that don t earn their place in your life. and fill your life with only things that you love. . it s cluttro. reports or PDFs on topics that aren t already top-of-mind for you. Do borrow or buy a good book or magazine if you want quality information. slather on your face. It will waste your precious time. Dos & Don¶ts y y Don t fret over losing out on stuff. if necessary for highly relevant. Do search and pay. Keep your focus on what s important now to save yourself distraction and concentrate your precious mental energy. Q3: How much mental clutter will the freebie create? y y y Will I feel pressured to use the freebie once I have it. It will be worth it in terms of saved mental energy. Unless you will use/love/enjoy it. Do let someone else with a yen for Lladro enjoy it. read. office or life? Is the benefit of having the freebie worth the physical and visual clutter? Case Study: y y Don t accept your friend s discarded 237-piece Lladro collection just because it would be a shame to let it go .y y How much benefit can I expect from investing that time? Is the benefit worth the time? Case Study: y y Don t pick up the magazine at the gym or department store just because it s free if the information quality is poor or the articles are disguised advertorials. Take a look around you probably already have more stuff than you can use. Q4: How much physical clutter will the freebie create? y y y Will I need to store the freebie? Will it create visual clutter in my home. or enjoy. More will come. even if it s not something I m immediately focused on? Will it add an item I don t genuinely care about to my mental to-do list? Is the benefit of having the freebie worth the mental clutter? Case Study: y y Don t sign up for newsletters in exchange for free e-books. good quality information when you re ready to use it.

well. Try it and see for yourself! Note: The sample messages are only for ideas. why not take this opportunity to let it go. Your challenge this week is to spend 30 minutes creating simple templates or scripts for routine communications. talking. teaching children to assess the value of things means equipping them with a useful skill. If you have a cache of free stuff languishing in drawers. Remember ± you only have to spend 30 minutes to complete the basic mission. Compare the sale price with the total cost: TOTAL COST = MONEY COST + TIME COST + MENTAL CLUTTER COST + PHYSICAL CLUTTER COST. If you have kids.Receiving messages (your own voicemail) . 1: Streamline your own voicemail message (10 minutes) Circumvent time-wasting telephone tag by recording a smart message for yourself.Leaving messages (other people¶s voicemail) . Get Organized Mission #5: Become a Smart Verbal Communicator This week¶s task will help you save time and increase productivity every single day ± simply by being smarter and more proactive in your routine verbal communications. this is an excellent mission to discuss with them. The important elements are: y y y Identify yourself -> Avoids messages not for you Ask the caller to specify what they need from you > Lets you have the answer/info ready when you call back Ask the caller to clarify if you need to call them back > Avoids wasted calls if their message is information only . too. Of course you¶ll want to come up with something that suits your role and personality. If you want to go further check out the Extended Organizing Mission Options below.Delegating It may feel a little foreign at first to be so clear-headed about something as squishy as. such as: . but the benefits will convert you. space and clarity for yourself.Extended Organizing Mission Options Want to go beyond this 30-minute organizing mission? y y y You can apply these principles to things on sale. the garage or your hard drive. Create some extra time. In this age of excess.

so let me know if you need me to contact you before then. Write yourself a simple script for leaving messages and leave it right by the phone. you batch-return calls on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons Ask for contact details > Saves time and error Sample message Hi. Please let me know what I can do for you. The important elements are: y y y y y Identify yourself -> Don t expect them to know it s you Specify what you need from them > Lets them have the answer/info ready when they call back Clarify whether they need to call you back > Avoids wasted calls if your message is information only Specify if you need them to call back by a certain day or time > Helps avoid your having to follow up Repeat your phone or email contact details > Saves time and error Sample message Hi Brad ± Michele from Get Organized Wizard here. I¶d like to move the conference from September 12 to September 19. say. please also leave me your phone number or email. if needed > Avoids follow ups from the caller if. Don t try to squeeze in too much. Thanks for your call. Please call me to confirm if that¶s OK with you. If you need a return contact. 2: Write a script for leaving voicemail (10 minutes) The same principles apply in reverse to messages you leave for others. It will be confusing. and bye! Dos & Don ts y y Do smile while recording your voicemail message callers will hear it in your voice. Thanks. All other details remain the same. . I need to book by Tuesday morning so please get back to me before then.y y Give indication of when you will call back. or on a post it to stick on your cell phone. Michele from Get Organized Wizard here. I generally return calls on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.

That¶s 555 5555. . but make life much easier in the future. The important elements are: y y y y y y Specify the task clearly Specify any preferences or special requirements Specify what to do if there are problems Specify the deadline Specify what to do when the task is complete Give them a chance to ask questions Sample message Percy. especially if you re delegating to a new person. If you could email me confirmation that it¶s done by then. Provide a what-to-do-if safety net. Do consider leaving an email address if it s easy to understand and repeat it. If there are any problems get Sam to help ± he¶s well known at the venue. I need this rescheduled and all attendees notified by Thursday¶s meeting. Specify what should happen when the task is complete. It¶s worth preparing a little template script for yourself. but if not make an alternative selection that you like. 3: Write a script for delegating (10 minutes) Streamlining your delegating communication can save time and radically improve the task outcome. It will take longer the first time. Dos & Don ts y y y Do type up step-by-step notes for more difficult delegation tasks. Brad! Dos & Don ts y y y Do batch your phone calls to save more time.My number is 555 5555. could you please move our entire conference booking from September 12 to September 19 and advise all attendees? If possible I¶d like the same menu. Don t leave your email address if it s a mouthful. Don t assume no news is good news. Do address what should be done if problems arise. I¶d appreciate it. Stick to a phone number. Thanks. Delegation often fails because a task gets stuck.

Then you have a starting point for your regular missives. teach them to be informative in their messages and texts by including details like where they are. If you have kids. clothes and whatever sundry items have taken up nomadic residence. Get Organized Mission #6: Detox Your Car Step 1: Car Interior Empty everything out of your car and discard anything you don¶t need there. You ll be showing them how to be proactive communicators. Step 2: Glove Box Empty everything out of your glove box and discard anything you don¶t need there. Use that long skinny attachment to get into all the crevices in the seats.Extended Organizing Mission Options Want to go beyond this 30-minute organizing mission? y y y See if others in your office or business want to join you in planning smarter verbal communications. drink bottles. Return and neatly arrange the essentials. *I rarely recommend buying stuff. If you have items that genuinely need to live inside the car (perhaps a few kids¶ toys or drink bottles) place them in a compact basket and stow it under the front passenger seat. what time they need to be picked up. Return and neatly arrange the essentials. since my philosophy is that less is best ± but this is one tool that makes being organized much easier. If you send many similar emails or email replies. such as: . etc. Seriously. get yourself one. if there¶s somewhere better in your car. Grab your cordless hand vacuum* and whip it around the floor. around the fixtures and along the rear windscreen. This is usually the neatest place. The whole team will enjoy time and productivity gains. umbrellas. prepare a few template emails and save them into your drafts folder. such as: y y y y Vehicle log book Street directory or regularly needed maps (consider storing touring maps with holiday stuff) Torch Other necessary items for your location eg sunscreen. That includes food wrappers. use it. Step 3: Boot Empty everything out of your boot and run the cordless hand vac around the floor.

Step 5: Maintenance Next. y y Is your car due to be serviced? o Book a service now. . etc Gym or sports bag. tires? o Book an appointment now. Have a regular place to put your car keys at home eg in your bag. it¶s time for a quick car health check. so feel free to outsource it instead. Discard any keys you no longer need. clean it! Go to a car wash. Step 4: Keys This is a good time to detox your car keys. This doesn t count as clutter as long as you store them in a neat case in the glove box. you can always make your own raunchy music video with suds and swimwear and wash your own car ± but this option goes beyond your 30 minutes. Choose music that s fun to drive to and avoids fights with other family members. Step 6: Car Exterior Appearance does matter. You might also like to add a selection of audiobooks. Are there other niggling concerns brakes. huh? The final step in the detox will make it an even more pleasant place to alphabet hop. Of course. pay a neighbor¶s kid or recruit your own kids ± perhaps in exchange for driving lessons or by whatever means you negotiate chores in your family. It¶s a strong indicator of self respect ± both to others and to yourself. on a hook by the door. on the hall table. y y Grab some CDs to leave in the car.y y y y y Spare tire and jack Basic tool box if you re mechanically inclined Snow chains or other weather necessities Umbrella. extra sweater. Step 7: Tunes Your car¶s starting to look pretty appealing again. Make this a habit. If your car screams low self-esteem. y y y Keep your garage and car keys together on your key ring. clunking noises.

y If you have an iPod-compatible car create some driving playlists or download podcasts. Now.08 KB) (This list is from our Ultimate To-Do List Pack | Personal Edition. Voila! Your chariot awaits« Dos & Don¶ts y y Don t let your car lower your self esteem. too. fill in the list ± which means coming up with at least 10 things you like to do. Here are some ideas to get you going: . so you can type into the fields and save the filled list on your computer. Make this a habit and your car will never need rehab again. Everyone gets a task glove box. I call tunes! Include your kids in the new habit of removing unnecessary items from the car with every trip home.pdf (96. Extended Organizing Mission Options Want to go beyond this 30-minute organizing mission? y y y If you have multiple cars consider detoxing as a household. Soon it will become a habit for them.) The list is interactive. Do take trash and things that don t live in the car with you when you return home. Respect yourself by choosing to keep a pleasant mobile environment. Get Organized Mission #7: Be Happy! Step 1: List 10 Things That Make You Happy (15 minutes) First. Happiness Strategy Pleasure. Or print and write if you¶d rather. consider making car care part of the learning-to-drive and/or usingthe-car deal. hand vac. etc. Note: Forget anything too relaxing or meditative. If you have driving-age kids. download the Happiness Strategy: Pleasure List.

Brainstorm together. Keep your lists on hand for regular self-therapy. Extended Organizing Mission Options Want to go beyond this 30-minute organizing mission? y y y Download extra copies and come up with 20. 30 or 50 things you enjoy. Step 2: Pick One Thing From The List And Do It! (15 minutes) That¶s right ± you are required by the terms of 52 Organizing Missions to finish your 30 minutes doing something that makes you happy. Deal with it. come up with at least one way you can do each item more often. . you ll know where to look. If you feel a little down or need a mood boost. can be a precious life skill. and ways to do them more often.y y y y y y y y y y Take a bubble bath Daggy dance to 80s tunes Read a detective novel Watch a fave TV show on DVD Go for a walk somewhere pretty Listen to your iPod in the garden People-watch in a cafe See an action film Play a computer game Do a jigsaw puzzle Next. and less on external highs. Keep your list somewhere handy ± it¶ll be a good resource next time you want a mood booster. Remember it s not only you who benefits from your happiness. Write down whatever pops into your mind Do give yourself permission to do things you enjoy. Get Organized Mission #8: Declutter 50 Items This week I¶d like you to spend your 30 minutes finding 50 items to flick from your home. Teaching your kids to know what make them happy and to rely more on themselves for happiness. suggesting ideas for each other. Dos & Don¶ts y y Don t labor over your list. Download extra copies for the whole family.

computer floppies. pajamas and t-shirts Old. throws. rugs. cassettes. as long as you can count out 50 of them.It doesn¶t matter where in the house they come from. or will never read Magazines from any month other than this one No-longer needed magazine racks Newspapers Old coasters Videos. camera film any storage device for which you no longer have hardware Photos in frames unless they re genuinely special to you Tatty cardigans. stained crockery Rusty or ancient pots and pans Take-out menus for places you don t order from Declutter the Closets. yucky toys Junk jewelry Old or broken exercise or sports equipment Decorations and seasonal items in poor condition . etc Declutter the Kitchen Get Rid Of: y y y y y y y y y Recipes and recipe books you haven t used in the past 12 months Knickknacks you don t love Anything in the pantry that s old or not used Photos on the fridge unless they re genuinely special to you Broken appliances Old. Here are some decluttering ideas« Declutter the Living Areas Get Rid Of: y y y y y y y y y y y y Books you ve read and won t re-read. yucky utensils Chipped. socks and other apparel strewn around the furniture Knickknacks you don t love Displayed items on shelves that collect dust but hold no meaning for you Dead pot plants Threadbare or stained cushions.Drawers & Storage Areas Get Rid Of: y y y y y y Tatty bed linen Tatty underwear.

Christmas and greeting cards unless they re genuinely special to you Defunct phones. computers. so give yourself a big smile and a pat on the back. Extended Organizing Mission Options Want to go beyond this 30-minute organizing mission? . mail items all paperwork not needed for tax or reference Birthday. storage containers. If your first instinct when you look at something is euw clutter! . receipts. cells. Don t worry about organizing at this stage this mission is about decluttering. etc Old notebooks not needed for reference School or college notes (unless you recently graduated) Old lamps. You re changing now. chairs and other equipment in poor condition Declutter the Bathroom Get Rid Of: y y y y Empty or old/expired toiletries and bath products Tatty towels Old or yucky make-up Old perfumes and lotions Declutter the Garden Get Rid Of: y y y y Rusty. PDAs etc (check for disposal info with your local council) Abandoned craft. Do move quickly and stay mindful of your ticking 30-minute timeframe. scrapbooking and other projects and the various accompanying supplies. then out it goes. Do let yourself off the hook for accumulating a lot of clutter to begin with. knitting. yucky patio furniture Chipped or faded garden ornaments Dead plants Broken lighting fixtures Dos & Don¶ts y y y y Don t be over-analytical about whether something counts as clutter.Declutter the Home Office/Study Get Rid Of: y y y y y y y Bills.

Our filing system is going to have 5 macro-categories ± overarching. The macro-categories are little team captains. If you run out of time or reach 50 items and want to keep going. Turn folders over or inside out if you don¶t have fresh ones at hand. I also color-code my folders ± so each folder in a particular macro-category has the same color ± that way each µteam¶ stays together in their suspension file and with a team color to unite them. each with their team of sub-category members. This is an important step. top-level categories ± as well as a number of sub-categories under each macro-category.y y If other household members want to participate. so I suggest you keep it simple for now and upgrade your system later if you want. Get Organized Mission #9: Filing System Nirvana One of the main causes of a disorganized workspace is paper accumulation which usually happens because the filing system is over-complicated or non-existent. because having easy visual cues will make filing and retrieval quick and easy. and do the mission together. I use hanging suspension files for macro-categories and file folders for sub categories. then do. Step 2: Label Your next step is to grab a pile of folders and start labeling. Step 1: Create Visual Filing Cues Your fist step is to decide how you want to separate your 5 macro-categories. but right now we¶ve got 30 minutes and we¶re going to need them to set up the baseline version of your filing system up ± so no distractions! . Use post-its if you don¶t have labels. Other ways to easily distinguish macro-categories and clearly identify your filing teams include: y y y Inserting a colored divider between macro-categories Using larger labels or stronger lettering for macro-categories headings Using colored markers to create color-coded labels The enemy of action is perfection. If you want to make a trip to OfficeMax later that¶s fine. then assign them a target number of items to declutter (based on how much clutter they have).

Family o Self o [Spouse: __________] o [Child 1: __________] o [Child 2: __________] o [Child 3: __________]. Medical o Health o Insurance o Medical 3. Utilities o Electricity o Water o Gas o Internet o Phone o Cable 5. plus room for extra sub-categories [Filing Categories Index (Suggested)] blank filing-system worksheet for creating your own hierarchy from scratch [Filing Categories Index].and sub-categories) I suggest for general home organization: 1.Home Organization Here are the labels and hierarchy (macro. Both are in the Family & Time Management category of your Library of Resources. Home & Car o Property Documents o Insurance o Warranties o Car 2. Financial o Bank Accounts o Mortgage o Credit Cards o Investments o 401K/Superannuation o Personal Loans 4. etc Note for Design Your Life Members: You have a y y filing-system worksheet containing this hierarchy. .

etc Pending (Waiting on someone else) Personal (Business-related personal items) Archive (Keeping for reference) o o o 2. But from then. it might take a little while to get your papers into their new homes. Home-Based Business Here are the labels and hierarchy I suggest for a home-based business: 1. Extended Organizing Mission Options Want to go beyond this 30-minute organizing mission? y y y Make your system pretty with color-coded folders. 3. 4.You have a blank filing-system worksheet for creating your own hierarchy from scratch [Organizing Document Files] in the Technology & Social Media category. Take the opportunity to detox your filing cabinet shred or recycle any paperwork you no longer need. easy-to-find filing system! Initially. Dos & Don¶ts y y y Don t add a miscellaneous category. subtract or change the macro. . Admin Marketing Accounting Legal Current Projects o Project A: ____________ o Project B: ____________ o Project C: ____________. the works! Ask your kids what they d like to keep in their file. It s also because it s too easy to throw things into a general category and that makes retrieval difficult.and sub-categories to make them work for you. But keep the descriptions short and clear. This isn t (only) because the word is hard to spell. Do stick to as few categories as possible it keeps filing and retrieving simple. 5. and start them on the habit of filing important papers they want to keep. you¶ll find it a breeze to keep your filing up-to-date. And there you have your simple. It becomes a default lack-of filing system. Do customize the hierarchy add. easy-to-file. attractive labels.

etc) Needs constant re-adjustment Has bad memories or associations Hasn t been worn in the past 12 months Doesn t suit your lifestyle Makes you look less than your best You just don t love . sportswear. so one bag will suffice. If you know they ll never come out of the bag. tight. Step 2: Start From the Left As we only have 30 minutes. footwear or nightwear that: y y y y y y y y y y y y y Is out of style Is a color that doesn t suit you Is a shape that doesn t suit you Is in poor condition or looks worse for wear Feels itchy or scratchy against your skin Feels uncomfortable Is ill-fitting (too loose. For most of us. But we¶re going to be very systematic and run each item ± starting from the left of your closet and working across to the right ± through the µcloset clutter check¶. underwear. accessories. lose this bag too.Get Organized Mission #10: Clear Out Your Closet Step 1: Grab a bag You¶ll need: y y y One bag for discarding One bag for cleaning or repair This is only for items that deserve the time and money investment to return them to closetworthy status. Step 3: Run The µCloset Clutter Check¶ Throw into your discard or charity bag any item of clothing. save yourself the hassle and stick with only a discard bag. One bag for charity This is only for items in really great condition and likely to be useful to others. short. Otherwise. we¶ll be getting rid of clothes that are best released into the garbosphere. we¶ll leave everything in your closet.

new buttons. Less is more is the mantra of many a great fashion icon for good reason. new zippers. drawers and shelves first and then run the closet clutter check before you return anything to its place. Get together a group of friends and clear out each person s closet as a group. Then let it go. Dos & Don¶ts y y Don t feel guilty about discarding clothes you don t like. but also be a lot more fun especially if Margaritas are involved. Teach your children the pleasure of getting rid of things that don t enhance their lives. y y y Take the discard bag out to the trash right away Put the charity and cleaning or repair bags into the boot of your car for drop off at the next convenient time Place any items for home cleaning or repair in the laundry Now at this point you may be feeling a bit bereft as you survey your decimated closet. you need to remove the bags so you¶re not tempted to retrieve that Choose Life t-shirt or the jacket you Bedazzled back in 1983. the clothes you have left are the ones you like best and wear most anyway. Take everything out of your closet. Do savor the simplicity of paring down your closet to the items that work for you. Next week we¶ll create your ideal wardrobe wishlist. Notice the mistake and let it make an impression so you don t make the same shopping error again. Extended Organizing Mission Options Want to go beyond this 30-minute organizing mission? y y y Include your spouse and kids and let everyone clear out their closets together.Throw into your cleaning or repair bag any item that deserves the investment to return it to closet-worthy status and: y y y y y Needs laundering Needs dry cleaning Needs alteration to fit properly Needs mending. moving from one house to the next over the course of a day. . talking about shoes and boots here) Step 4: Release The Gowns Next. etc Needs re-heeling. But you only have to survive on these clothes for a week. regardless of what you paid for them. Warning: It can take a lot longer this way. etc (um. For most people. polishing.

modern. headbands. Write down on your notepad anything that¶s missing. etc Headwear hats. etc Colors bright. frilled. camel. neutral. Boots And Accessories Add to your list any of these you need more of: . dark. grey. pastel. etc Necklines polo. Step 3: Things That Suit You Add to your list the things that suit you: y y y y y y Styles and shapes like fitted.Get Organized Mission #11: Create Your Wardrobe Wishlist Get a notebook and pen and get comfortable on the bed or floor in front of your open closet. funky to liven up your look Neutral colors navy. to balance the brights Bold or bright colors to balance the neutrals Fitted tops or bottoms to balance flowing or baggy items More varied shapes to give you a variety of different styles Step 2: Looks And Outfits For All Your Life Roles Add to your list any missing components (as appropriate to your lifestyle): y y y y y Professional/Work outfits each composed of clothes + shoes (+ bag/briefcase) + accessories Weekend/Casual outfits each composed of clothes + shoes (+ tote) + accessories Dining out/Evening outfits each composed of clothes + shoes (+ clutch) + accessories Formal/Special Occasion outfits each composed of clothes + shoes (+ clutch) + accessories Home/Workout outfits each composed of clothes + shoes + sports bag NB Bag. skirts. vee. Step 1: Missing Pieces Add to your list any of these you need more of: y y y y y y Basics like jeans. pants. boat. scarves. etc Hem lengths knee length skirts. etc Items to avoid anything that belongs on your NO WAY! list Step 4: Shoes. tanks for everyday wear Fun pieces beaded. tailored. bold. totes and clutch (probably) applies only to the girls. black. metallic. hip-length jackets. white. tees.

work well with your lifestyle. savings vehicle or investment. Get together a group of friends and workshop each person s closet wishlist as a group. go shopping and start building that dream closet! Get Organized Mission #12: Organize Your Accounts & Credit Cards Step 1: Collect Your Statements Start by collecting the latest statement from every single account you have ± whether it¶s a credit card. Whenever you go clothes shopping. and suit you beautifully.y y y y y y Coats. make a pile for each account type: y Credit and store cards . Dos & Don¶ts y y Don t be afraid to add new. briefcases Sport. jackets Shoes. Do think back on the outfits that have gained you compliments what colors or styles do people comment on? Extended Organizing Mission Options Want to go beyond this 30-minute organizing mission? y y y Include your spouse and kids and workshop each person s closet wishlist as a family. bags. experimental things to your list like brighter colors and more fitted shapes. take the list along to focus your attention on smart closet additions and steer you away from expensive mistakes. Step 2: Separate Statements By Account Type Next. totes. Having your friends input on what suits you and looks to try can be like getting a closet audit from a personal stylist. boots Leggings Purses. bank account. moving from one house to the next over the course of a day. workout or ski wear Sunglasses that suit your face shape Now you have a list of pieces that will make the most of what¶s already in your closet. You ll be helping your children to learn how to present themselves well in the world. If you ve got the time and cash.

so this should take only a few minutes. You ve got the account details handy. y y If you can call them great.y y y y Bank accounts Retirement. Your Simplified Finances Worksheet I¶ve provided you with a Simplified Finances Worksheet for doing this step. And they can undermine your sense of being in control of your finances. Step 4: Take Action Now The last step is to contact each institution that has an account or card you need to cancel. Perhaps something like: Please cancel card/account number: [Account Number] Please send me a cheque for the balance [if applicable]. so you can Type-&-Save or Print-&-Write. This worksheet is from my Life & Goal Organizer Program.pdf (110.26 KB) Be sure to include contact details for each account you¶ll be closing ± you¶ll need that info in the next step. If you need to send something in writing. . 401K. Download it by clicking the link below. Rid yourself of this clutter and boost your financial self-esteem by working out which accounts and cards you can cancel or consolidate. It¶s an interactive PDF. create a quick template you can adapt for each account or card. or superannuation accounts Personal loan or debt accounts Investment accounts Step 3: Decide What To Consolidate or Cancel Now be honest: do you have more credit cards than is consistent with your financial goals? What about old accounts you don¶t use but have never gotten around to closing? These superfluous accounts create clutter in your life ± mental clutter. sometimes email clutter. Simplified-Accounts-Worksheet. paper clutter. Important note: Be smart and talk to a financial adviser if you need to.

. Perhaps it s time to start a savings plan? Take this opportunity to talk to your kids about money and saving. Do be smart and talk to an accountant or financial adviser if you need to. so you can Type-&-Save or Print-&Write. Dos & Don¶ts y y Don t be afraid to let this be about your financial health as well as personal organization. [Your signature] Now doesn¶t that feel liberating! You¶ve put yourself on the road to a more organized financial life. Extended Organizing Mission Options Want to go beyond this 30-minute organizing mission? y y Include your spouse and consider other financial strategies you ve been meaning to implement. Do they have their own accounts for learning how to save? Get Organized Mission #13: Organize Your Emergency Contacts Step 1: Download the Emergency Phone Contact List I¶ve provided you with an Emergency Phone Contact List Worksheet for this mission.Name: [Your name] Address: [Your address] Phone: [Phone] Date: [Date] Thank you. It¶s an interactive PDF.

Dos & Don¶ts y y Don t leave out any of the emergency numbers. house-sitters. This list will be a handy resource for the kids. Get Organized Mission #14: Organize Your Household Notebook Step 1: Assemble Your Materials Here¶s what you¶ll need: y y 3-ring binder (sturdier than a two-ring binder) 3-ring hole punch . Emergency Phone Contacts List. Do update the list when you change locations or preferred tradespeople. Extended Organizing Mission Options Want to go beyond this 30-minute organizing mission? y y Show the list to the kids and explain which numbers to use in which situations. Don t be scary about it just explain that it s a good organizational strategy to have these numbers handy. What other emergency contingencies does this bring to mind? It might be a good time to tackle other seasonal or emergency preparations.02 KB) Step 2: Fill it in It will probably take you most of the 30 minutes to locate and fill in the information. Off you go! Step 3: Place it where you¶ll look in an emergency You might want to make several copies and leave one on the fridge.pdf (87. and visitors too. even if you know them off by heart. one by the phone and one in the study.This worksheet is from my The Ultimate To-Do List Pack | Home & Family Edition. Download it by clicking the link below. And keep an extra copy for next week¶s mission ± we¶ll be creating a home-management binder system. babysitters.

etc ± but only if worth keeping. Christmas & Gifts Entertaining & Parties Computer & Internet Moving If you follow the links you¶ll see titles of suggested Home & Family worksheets/forms that you might like to include in your Notebook. Home & Family Household Notebook Here are the categories I suggest for a Home & Family Household Notebook. and under the take-out menus in your kitchen drawer. you have more than 250 worksheets within these categories. reminders. Write them on the tabbed dividers or make labels. Sort them into lists. y Personal Development .y y y y 12 tabbed dividers Label maker (if you want to make labels for the dividers) Paper for writing or printing lists The Emergency Contact List you completed last week in Get Organized Mission #13: Organize Your Emergency Contacts [With Free Emergency Phone Contact List] Step 2: Collect Your *Important* Information Collect the random bits of paper currently residing in your bag or briefcase. contact info. y y y y y y y y y y y Family & Time Management Household Chores Shopping. If you¶re an Ultimate To-Do List Pack | Home & Family Edition Customer or an Ultimate To-Do List Pack Member. Spending & Saving Meals & Healthy Living House / Apartment / Garden Contacts Vacations & Activities Birthdays. resources. The rest can go into the recycle bin. Step 3: Choose Your Categories Decide on the categories that apply to your life. ideas. on your fridge. Personal Household Notebook Here are the categories I suggest for a Personal Household Notebook.

If you¶re an Ultimate To-Do List Pack | Personal Edition Customer or an Ultimate To-Do List Pack Member. Or use mine! Remember to include your completed Emergency Contact List from Get Organized Mission #13: Organize Your Emergency Contacts. Step 5: Put Your Household Notebook Somewhere Handy Place your Household Notebook in a neat spot by the phone. You¶ll find hundreds of ideas for popular and useful lists to stimulate your thinking. you have more than 250 worksheets within these categories. on a kitchen counter or someplace else you¶ll be able to see and refer to it easily and often. If it goes in a cupboard or on a bookshelf ± it¶s all but useless. Then click on the category links above to see the titles of additional lists and worksheets to include in your Household Notebook. I suggest you put this right at the front or right at the back of the binder so you can locate it fast. and file them under the appropriate category.y y y y y y y y y y y Health & Fitness Business & Career Fun & Recreation Technology & Social Media Home Personal Presentation Happiness Money & Finance Relationships Productivity & Time Management Family If you follow the links you¶ll see titles of suggested Personal worksheets/forms that you might like to include in your Notebook. BONUS Step . You can go low-tech and simply hand-write a heading on a page. or create your own printable version in Word. Step 4: Insert Your Papers & Worksheets Hole punch the papers you decided to keep in Step 2.

recipe books. See how much room all those items take up? That¶s how much space you¶re going to clear in your cupboards. It will keep their rooms tidier too! Be ruthless with your paperwork. utensils. you can download a cover and spine insert for your own Household Notebook. toaster. coffee machine and bread board. . Take this opportunity to recycle anything you won t reasonably be able to use or action in the near future. knife blocks. and position these items neatly. You can add to it over time. Give them each a binder and some tabbed dividers. Do make sure you find a good home for your binder.5 KB) Congratulations you now have a home-management system to help organize all your day-to-day life stuff! Dos & Don¶ts y y Don t feel that you have to organize everything in this 30 minutes. Household Notebook Inserts. Work out what gets a daily workout. The usefulness of your Household Notebook is proportional to its ease of access. Download it by clicking the link below. and help them choose suitable categories for the bits and pieces they collect. Just get your Household Notebook started.If you like the look of the binder in the image for this post. etc. and you ll have completed an extremely useful personal organization step. sundry exotic condiments. Everything else that takes up counter room is going to find a new home ± off your surfaces! Step 2: Gather up the surface usurpers Gather together all the things on your countertops and kitchen surfaces that you don¶t use every day ± including appliances.pdf (97. Extended Organizing Mission Options Want to go beyond this 30-minute organizing mission? y y Let the kids create their own Personal Notebooks. Get Organized Mission #15: Organize Your Kitchen Surfaces Step 1: Decide what you use every day For many people this is the kettle.

Now. Integrate these 2 principles to store things optimally For me the second principle is more important because I like a sense of order. Do this fast and don¶t overthink it. The juicer and ice cream machine that come out rarely can afford to go in less convenient locations. 2. and store your former surface usurpers accordingly.Step 3: Clear cupboard space Now open each cupboard one at a time. and get rid of: y y y any item you haven t used in the past 12 months doubles of appliances. Decide what will work best for you. Step 4: Store the surface usurpers Now that you¶ve created space for all your former surface usurpers. (If you need an item again. a serious cook may ignore it entirely. Here are 2 principles for deciding what goes where: 1. Doesn¶t that feel amazing? Dos & Don¶ts .) Move quickly through your cupboards until you¶ve made room for all your surface usurpers. pop it in the rubbish. utensils. step back and take a look at your newly-revealed surfaces. If the item¶s in great condition. Keep things accessible according to their frequency of use For example: y y y Utensils and appliances you use often should be close at hand these deserve a CBD location. storage containers. and focus only on the most convenient location for frequently used things. if not. put it in a donation pile. Pots and pans you use sometimes should be conveniently accessible these can live in the suburbs. get rid of the other 14). etc excess items (if you only need 4 drink bottles for the kids. like high shelves these belong on the outskirts of your kitchen real estate. It will be worth the peace of mind you gain. you can buy it later. you can put them away. Keep similar things together y Keeping similar things together makes it easy to remember where things go and to retrieve them fast.

If you want to make this into a major mission. Do be ruthless in clearing your cupboards of stuff you don t use. CDs. I suggest having some great music on your iPod to keep you motivated and to add a little fun to the exercise. You ll be teaching them the personal organization strategy of having a home for things they value. appliances and let them help you to store your former surface usurpers. etc) if genuinely meaningful and pleasure-giving. how-tos. etc CDs you listen to DVDs you watch Memorabilia (photo albums. & DVDs Step 1: Keep y y y y y y y Beloved novels you re-read every few years Non-fiction titles you refer to perhaps with your fave sections dog-eared and highlighted Unread books you plan to read (be honest!) Useful reference books such as business.y y Don t feel that you have to organize your entire kitchen in 30 minutes. video or audio cassettes if you have nothing to play them on . if not. Give each child a zone like pots and pans. take everything out of your cupboards in step 3 and replace everything using the storage principles from step 4. You ll feel much lighter with less. or have in re-seller quantities. You can always do more later just do what you can do now. Get Organized Mission #16: Streamline Your Books. utensils. consider letting it go Step 2: Remove y y y y y y y y y y y y Novels you ve read and won t re-read Unread books you re never likely to read Books that contain out-of-date information Textbooks unless you graduated very recently Old magazines (do you ever refer to them?) CDs whose contents have been saved (and backed up) on your computer CDs you no longer listen to DVDs you ve seen and won t re-watch Unseen DVDs you re never likely to watch Photo albums you never look at Photo albums that have negative memories Um. Extended Organizing Mission Options Want to go beyond this 30-minute organizing mission? y y Let the kids participate. Simply clearing your kitchen surfaces will be a wonderful step toward a more organized life.

Step 3: Discard y y y y Give novels to friends with the same taste in literature Offer books. If you don¶t need them. recycle or discard them. Encourage them to go through their own books and decide which ones they d like to pass on to younger friends or relatives. printers. and your non-fiction titles by subject. faxes TV Paperwork Kids toys Exercise equipment . CDs and DVDs to the local library Sell anything you think is worth the effort Recycle magazines and out-of-date books Step 4: Tidy Your Shelves Now you can re-order your shelves to take advantage of the lovely extra space. or can t easily find it online. Extended Organizing Mission Options Want to go beyond this 30-minute organizing mission? y y y Include the kids. or to offer to the local or school library. and remove them from your bedroom: y y y y y Computers. Get Organized Mission #17: Create Your Bedroom Sanctuary Step 1: Remove the stressors You may need to re-locate some of these items. Decide which of these detract from your sanctuary space. Complete this mission with your home office bookshelf. Take this opportunity to categorize your books into helpful sections. Doesn¶t that look and feel better? Dos & Don¶ts y y Don t forget that a great deal of information is readily available online. If you like. donate. Do keep a hard copy if you love something. shelve CDs and DVDs by category too. Perhaps shelve your fiction titles alphabetically by author.

Do allow yourself a sense of pleasure. this could be a wonderful opportunity to do this mission together and look for ways to add spice. It might even motivate them to new levels of tidiness! If you share your bed with someone else. Step 2: Add the relaxers You may have to write a shopping list if you don¶t have your desired relaxers on hand. Dos & Don¶ts y y Don t feel you have to organize everything in your bedroom. sensuality and fun in what you choose to add to your bedroom sanctuary. romance or fun to your relationship. Decide which of these enhance your sanctuary space and add them to your bedroom: y y y y y y y y y y y Enticing bed linen Fluffy pillows Cozy blankets and comforters Soft lamps Attractive window furnishings Pleasant bedtime reading Water glass and bottle A pleasant alarm Sleeping mask if the sun disturbs you in the early morning Ear plugs if you need them Scented candles or oil burner. Extended Organizing Mission Options Want to go beyond this 30-minute organizing mission? y y Let the kids create bedroom environments that make them feel happy. .y y y y y y y y y y Work projects Mobile phone Games consoles Laundry hamper Under-bad storage Too many books Too many magazines Excess furniture Excess clothes Unpleasant alarm. This mission is simply about crating a lovely space for yourself.

If you don¶t have music or images. add them. or file types: 1. If you have additional categories. Pictures 3. Personal 5. Legal Personal (Business-related personal items) Archive (For reference. not needed on a day-to-day basis) . etc 2. Family o Family Member 1 o Family Member 2. Documents 2. Current Projects o Project A: ____________ o Project B: ____________ o Project C: ____________. leave those out. etc 2. Step 2: Create Document Categories Business & Career Here¶s a simple folder hierarchy I suggest for documents on your business or work computer: 1. Admin 1. Household 4. create them now. not needed on a day-to-day basis) Home Organization Here¶s a simple folder hierarchy I suggest for documents on your personal or home computer: 1. Current Projects o Project A: ____________ o Project B: ____________ o Project C: ____________. Accounting 3.Get Organized Mission #18: Organize Your Computer in 7 Simple Steps Step 1: Create Macro Categories Our organizing system has 3 macro-categories. Archive (For reference. etc 3. Marketing 2. Music If these folders aren¶t already set up at the top of your folder hierarchy.

Jack s birthday 09. Step 4: Create Music Playlists Create playlists according to how you like to listen to music. Step 7: Clear Your Desktop Delete what you don¶t need. by: y y y Subject eg family. classical. You¶ll need to work out for yourself where you sit on the delete scale ± but don¶t overthink it. If you have more time. and archive the rest. Decide fast and move on. wildlife. Now doesn¶t that clear desktop give you a lovely feeling of clarity? Dos & Don¶ts . check out the Extended Options. we¶re going to start afresh and file new stuff as we create or update it. relaxed. Step 6: Archive Everything Archive everything that¶s not current. otherwise retrieval may be time-consuming. electronica. and happily take the risk of missing something later (I rarely do) in exchange for the fabulous feeling of clearing computer clutter. Step 5: Delete Unneeded Documents. but you¶ve promised me 30 minutes and we need to take the best organizing action we can in that time. gardens. For instance. file what¶s current. etc A combination. This approach isn¶t perfect. etc Mood or location eg gym.Step 3: Create Picture Categories Create folders for your pictures according to how you like to retrieve the images. motivating. etc Date only useful if you remember things by date. by: y y y Genre eg 80s. For instance. Pictures or Music I¶m a liberal deleter. As we only have 30 minutes. etc Event or location eg Africa trip. Sally s 4th Wedding.

Now that you have a lovely. . It s a way to avoid decision making and you need to make decisions if you want to be organized. If you share a computer with your kids. quickly go through your files and move them to the correct folders in your new organizing system. create a folder for each child under Family. Do customize the hierarchy of files add. clean desktop. But keep the descriptions short and clear. If you ve deleted unneeded stuff and you stay focused. It helps make filing and retrieving simple.y y y Don t add a miscellaneous category. Extended Organizing Mission Options Want to go beyond this 30-minute organizing mission? y y y Instead of archiving everything non-current in Step 6. it won t take too long at all. and show the kids how to save and find their stuff in the right place. you may want to update your desktop background to something fresh and motivating. Do stick to as few categories as possible. subtract or change to make it work for you.

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