Archive for February, 2012
Many people disregard the idea of getting organized because they feel it is just time spent to save time.
The point is in the end the time you have invested in getting organized will be returned to you three-fold if done right.
To do it right, there are 3 key components:
1) Take the time to understand the way you work so the right systems get put in place. (If you need help figuring this out, give me a call!)
2) Practice your new habits for one month before you give up on them.
3) Be sure to “maintain” your systems so they will continue to work for you. This means taking the time to clear out old files when information becomes outdated, etc.
By doing all three of these key components ensures you don’t just set up yet one more system that fails. Instead it ensures you have set up a system that you “trust” and can depend on over time. When you invest your time smartly by practicing and maintaining, you will certainly see the rewards for your investment.
Here are a few comments made by happy clients of mine:
“Jan is so right. Setting up “trusted” systems is so true. I had a lot of systems and I didn’t trust any of them!” -Mona, Manager, Health Clinic
“To get my organizing systems up and running I needed to commit the first two weeks to really practicing the new way of working. After that I started to see a real return on my investment so I was motivated to continue using them. I actually became anal retentive about being organized because it came so easy. I will continue to make it work because I’m motivated to not have it go back to the
way it was.” – Michael, Manager, Food Service
One of the common things I see when helping people downsize or de-clutter is the oversized piece(s) of memorabilia. Memorabilia is especially hard to part with because it brings back fond memories of an event or occasion. It could have been a memorial board put together for grandpa’s funeral or even a good luck poster for a big tournament.
Whatever the case, the end result is that following the event the item ends up taking up way too much space and many times gets damaged along the way because it doesn’t have a proper place or way of being stored.
The best way I have found and my recommendation is to take a picture of the item(s). This allows you to preserve the memory, yet at the same time not have to feel bad or guilty about the item being damaged or continually moved around to get it out of the way. With digital cameras being so advanced and amazing, you can zoom in on the item(s) even enough to read the handwriting on them!
Once the memory has been preserved with a photograph, I have found it to be much easier (and often times a relief) for clients to let go of and dismantle the oversized memorabilia. Many times there are still parts and pieces of the item(s) that can be kept, but now much easier to store.
So when you find yourself with an item(s) that presents an organizing challenge, stop and think if there is a more creative (and easier!) way to preserve the memory without the actual item. When you think about it, there are quite a few options out there!
Some are at the carefree end of the spectrum and don’t shred much at all, while others shred anything with their name on it.
Most people realize they shouldn’t throw bank statements in the trash, but did you know even voided checks can be “processed” by thieves and reused?
I haven’t had a client yet that has been a victim of identity theft, but I have heard enough horror stories that have taught me to be on the lookout for creative ways thieves can steal information.
Those that have been victims and know the pain it takes to get out of the mess go to extremes to guard their personal information. One example is to destroy all evidence of any association to financial institutions. This includes shredding even the reply envelopes that go to the institution.
When I work with a client, it is ALWAYS the clients say in how conservative or relaxed measures are taken when discarding personal information. Unfortunately identify theft continues to be on the rise and it is wise to be cautious.
If you have been thinking it would be a good idea to be more conservative but you haven’t known where to begin, here are a couple of suggestions. For those that don’t have a shredder or just don’t like to shred, consider adding a shred bin right next to your recycle bin and then take it to a shredding service when it’s full. There are also shredding services you can call that will come and pick it up for you. I also noted a new device on my Can the Clutter Facebook page that works well and doesn’t require shredding. It is a stamp that you use to cover up confidential data before you throw it into the recycle bin.
In the end, regardless of where you fall on the identity theft spectrum, just remember it is important to trash your trash safely!