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Neatness Counts KC

Articles, Blogs, Helpful Hints, and Book Reviews

An ongoing series of informational entries

Oh, those decorations!!! 

How to declutter your decorations while putting them up and taking them down.

December 15, 2018

My Quick Win solutions for packing away the holidays:

Use clear plastic boxes or cardboard boxes.  Cardboard are more ecologically friendly but  the clear plastic boxes are more durable and are not single use items, and are therefore slightly better in the world of trying to live without plastic.

Throw away any decoration that is worn or broken and you know you aren't going to repair.  Wash any items before packing. Consider donating any decorations that you didn't put up this year.  Chances are, you won't put those decorations up next year either.  Why waste the storage room on items your don't absolutely love?  Make your shopping list for replacement items so you can hit the after holiday sales with purpose.

Clearly Label each box as you seal it closed. 

Stack them in the reverse order in which you took the decorations down.  For example, I put stockings up last and therefore, the box of stockings should contain other items that are put up in the final decorating moments.  That box should be the first one in my attic and positioned at the back of the attic.  My artificial tree is the last box I put into my attic so that it is the first one out next Thanksgiving.

Happy New Year.

Where to start when you want to organize for productivity.

15 November 2018 

Start with a list of what you think your boss would write down if he or she was told to prioritize your work.  If you can't guess what he or she would write as your priorities, then go ask him or her for a list.

Post this list where you can easily see it from your most frequent position during your day.  For some, the best location is on your computer screen wall paper, or on your phone, or on a white board, or in their day planner.

At the end of each day make a plan for tomorrow which put's your bosses priorities first and your priorities second, and everyone else's requests or priorities third.  Sometimes, your priorities will be the same as others, that is to be expected. Make sure that this plan includes any email requests sent to you before the close of your day.

Don't open your email the next day, until the boss's priorities are accomplished.  If the boss's priorities are going to take several days, then break each one down into steps to accomplish that day.  Be reasonable in your expectations of how long each step will take.  If one step will take all day, then check email just before your lunch break and again before you leave for the day.

You may want to send out a notification telling others when you will check email so they don't have unreasonable expectations on your response time.

Get Organized Month

January 2019

January is Get Organized Month!

Get Organized and Be More Productive this year.

Many people make this resolution, but then have a hard time getting started. That is where a professional organizer comes in.

Whether you need just an hour to make a plan that you can execute on your own, or you want more personalized and hands on guidance, calling a professional organizer can help you make this resolution happen. From the quick wins to the long-term changes, we are here to assist you achieve your goals with minimal stress.

Some people just need to set an appointment with an organizer to insure they keep their scheduled time to get organized and avoid putting it off. Others need someone who will take the time to observe them, create suggestions which turns to a plan with an accountability coach, and modifications as needed.

Let's start with a quick win.

What is on your desk? Turn off your computer screen and focus on the other items.

As you look at each item, pick it up. Ask yourself three questions for each item.

What is the priority for this item?

How often do I need this item?

If it can't stay on my desk, where should I put it?

Priorities are set by your boss and you. Put the things that your boss thinks are most important to be done in the center of your desk closest to you. Move your key board if necessary. The things are usually those that produce income for the business.

The next priority are the remaining items that you think are important. Put your hands on your desk, one on each side of the boss' priority area. Place the items you deem important to you, next to your dominant hand on your desk.

As you pick up items that are not in the right place on your desk, put them in the correct place. These items might be papers ready for filing, or distracting items like your mobile phone.

Everything else that doesn't have a better home than your desk, goes in an area next to your non-dominant hand.

Leave your computer screen off, or at a minimum close your email and any social media pages. 

Tackle what is in the center of your desk, and work until you have handled every item in that area. Then move to the area of your dominant hand and work to clear that area. Then work to clear that last remaining area on your desk.

If you don't clear all three areas, don't worry. You prioritized your work and got the most important things done Today.

Plan your remaining work for tomorrow adding in items found in your email using the same prioritization you used for items on your desk.

When you come in tomorrow morning, work your plan before opening your email.