Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you find some helpful hints for organizing your time and space. My passions are to help you make home a refuge instead of a crisis center, and to help you function in peace rather than chaos - at home or at work. I have switched my main blog to 1-2-3 ... Get Organized on WordPress, so please visit me there.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Get Organized Month - Declutter Your Jewelry

The last day of Get Organized Month! If you haven't had a chance to do all the organizing tasks we've talked about this month, just use them as guides as you get a chance or have an urge to declutter. I know it was a lot of info to digest, but use it as you have need or desire.

Today let's organize some jewelry. If you have a large quantity of jewelry, just attack one area - rings, for example.

I've used jewelry boxes, standing necklace containers, hooks, plastic needlepoint canvas for earrings, and many other systems. There is no right way to organize your jewelry. If your system is not working, you may investigate another one.

I'm currently using divided plastic boxes usually used for embroidery floss for my earrings. I take the top off and can stack them in a drawer. Then I organize according to color and/or season. I use small containers for other categories of jewelry and keep them in the same drawer, so everything is together.

First, take out all the jewelry in the category you are organizing. I had a "decluttering emergency" when I dropped one of my earring containers on the floor and everything went flying! One of those forced decluttering tasks. :-)

Remove everything you don't like, don't wear, is broken, or doesn't have a match (in the case of earrings). If you will repair your broken jewelry, place it in a container to take to the jeweler or put it by your TV chair if you're going to do it yourself. For the rest, repurpose:
- if you make jewelry, take apart jewelry and re-use beads
- if you know someone who makes jewelry, give him/her your old jewelry
- or donate your jewelry to family, friends, or charity.

Toss anything you can't repurpose.

When you've purged your jewelry, organize according to category, color, season, etc. Take inventory - are you missing a color or type of jewelry? If you still have excessive amounts of jewelry, go through the above process again until you have a manageable amount.

Accessorizing your outfits will be so much easier!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My Organizing Playground Interview on Radio Sandy Springs

I had fun yesterday during my interview with Allison Carter on her radio program, Organizing Playground. She and her co-host Sara had three guests regarding meal prep and kitchen organization. I was a bit nervous, but I guess that's normal for my first radio interview!

If you missed it, you will be able to listen to it on their archives eventually. It wasn't up this morning when I checked. I also hope to have it available here on my blog and on my website at some point.

Thanks to those who listened and offered encouragement and support - even though my voice was faint. I'll try to fix that before I put it up.

You might want to put Allison's show on your calendar for every Tuesday from 12 noon to 1 pm (ET) - I think you'll enjoy her ideas on organizing. There are a number of other interesting shows on Radio Sandy Springs which you might enjoy as well - parenting, interior design, pets, health and fitness, etc. (www.radiosandysprings.com).

I put up a special sale in honor of the radio program - a meal prep package: Hassle Free Dinners CD plus Three Steps to Planning Dinner workbook (www.1-2-3GetOrganized.com).

Get Organized Month - Declutter Your Linen Closet

Choose one linen closet or one area where you keep your linens - whether towels or sheets, it doesn't matter. If you're feeling extra energetic and you have more than one place where you keep linens, go on to another area!!

Take all the linens (and anything else) out of the closet, drawer, shelf, etc.

- Sheets. If you store sheets in the area you are decluttering, match sheet sets. In order to keep them together, you may want to tie a ribbon around each set and attach a note stating its size (king, queen, full, twin, crib), especially if they are sheets you don't use often.

If you end up with mismatched sheets because you let your child use one as part of a costume, decide if you want to keep them. They might go with other mismatched sheets to form a set (wouldn't that be amazing?).

If they are in poor shape, you can recycle them as rags, kite tails, for tying up tomato plants, or for other uses. If you have an excessive number of sets, determine which ones you will let go.

With the sheet sets you have left, make sure they fit the beds in your house. If you no longer have twin beds, get rid of those sheets! Put them in your sewing cabinet, give them, donate them, but get rid of them! If you sew, sheets are wonderful assets - great for curtains, quilts, and other sewing projects.

- Towels. Do the same thing with your towels - match sets. Determine if you have
too many, enough, the right kind and color for your "philosophy of towels" :

- use a different towel each day philosophy
- use one a week philosophy
- leave the pretty ones up for show and use other ones philosophy
- use them until you can see through them philosophy
- who cares if they match philosophy.

If you enjoy having matching towels, here's a hint to get more mileage out of them: when you purchase towels, buy extra hand towels and wash cloths. They wear out faster and can be replaced without replacing the bath towel.

Now that you've sorted and discarded unwanted linens, arrange them in the linen closet, drawer, etc. in like stacks - all queen sheets together, for example. Place the ones you use most often in the most accessible place and the ones you use least often farther away.

Doesn't that feel good? Is your house feeling lighter?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Get Organizing Month - Decluttering Your Bathroom Storage

Shall we look under the bathroom sink? If you have additional storage, put it on your calendar for another day. Let's just take one small area today - under your sink, a drawer, or a shelf in the medicine cabinet.

Take everything out and clean the area. Toss anything that is outdated, you're not sure what it is, or it hasn't been used in a year.

Organize according to categories and replace your remaining items. Are there things you threw out and need to replenish?

That was quick, wasn't it?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Get Organized Month - Declutter Your Music

Whether your music is on am mp3 or ipod, your computer, cds, records or 8-tracks - it's time to declutter! Look through your collection and ask yourself if you use it and like it. Get rid of anything that doesn't interest you. If it's in tangible form, give it to a friend or donate it.

Now arrange your music in categories to your liking - style, artist, date, etc.

Do you have enough space to hold your tangible collection? If not, look around for something that works for you. Think outside the box - look around your house and see if you can find a workable solution with what you have - a bookcase, shelves, a dresser.

If nothing works, determine what features are important to you and look online. It will save going from store to store to store - and the selection will be endless.


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Radio Interview on Meal Planning

Just wanted to let you know that I'll be interviewed on the radio program Organizing Playground by host Allison Carter on Tuesday, January 29 at 12:20 (ET). This is an internet program as well as a regular radio station.

You can listen via internet by going to www.radiosandysprings.com and clicking "stream radio live". For those of you in the Atlanta, Georgia area, you can listen at 1620 AM radio.

If you're not familiar with internet radio, you may want to go to the radio station website ahead of time to see if your computer has the software you need to enable you to listen. If not, there is a button you can click to install it.

The radio show will have a format including questions and answers if you want to participate. The show is from 12 noon to 1 pm and there will be another segment before mine. Allison's show airs weekly on Tuesdays during that time slot, with lots of great organizing ideas!!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Get Organized Month - Organize Your Receits

It's a good time to start getting your receits in order for taxes and closing out 2007. If you have been filing your receits in separate categories, you are way ahead of the game!!

If not, and your receits from 2007 are in a box, a drawer, a file or a paper bag, it's time to take them out and look at them. Anything that doesn't relate to taxes, a product receit you might need in the future, repair/improvements to your house, or other categories you deem important can be discarded once it has cleared your credit card statement successfully. Make sure you shred anything with sensitive information on it - credit card numbers, social security numbers, account numbers, pin numbers, banking info, etc.

Separate your important receits into categories that relate to your life. Total categories that relate to taxes and list your totals - on a spreadsheet, on your computer, on a piece of paper or in another way you prefer. This may take you a while to complete this task, but if you start now you won't be stressed when tax time comes around.

If you haven't filed your receits for this year, create a few hanging files, file folders, or use an expandable file to store your receits for 2008. Use a software program to track your expenses, if that is something you feel comfortable doing.

Good job done!!

Friday, January 25, 2008

A review of the 1-2-3...Get Organized Series by The Organizing Junkie

If you'd like a very thorough review of the 1-2-3...Get Organized series by the Organizing Junkie, go to:
http://orgjunkiereviews.blogspot.com/2008/01/1-2-3get-organized.html. Made me want to buy them!!

Get Organized Month - Decluttering Your Kitchen Utensils

Do you have a drawer or two of kitchen utensils? Take a few minutes, take everything out, and wash the drawer. Examine each utensil and ask yourself if you really use it, if it needs to be replaced, and if its present location is the best place for it.

I have a couple of utensil drawers - one by the sink and one by the stove. I keep the utensils that have to deal with cooking, measuring, etc. near the stove and the ones that deal with grating, peeling, zesting, melon balling, stirring pitchers of drinks, etc. near the sink. Knives would go near where you chop, if possible.

Replace each utensil in the best location for its use. I don't recommend the on-the-counter utensil holders because it adds cluter to your surfaces - horrors!!

Won't meal prep be more pleasant with less clutter? Great job!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Get Organized Month - Decluttering Your Suits/Coordinated Outfits and Jackets

Look over your suits or coodinated outfits. Do they fit, do they look good, are they in good repair, do you wear them? For those that need a button or a seam mended, take them to your TV chair and mend while watching your favorite show this weekend. Get rid of the clothing that doesn't make the grade. Look through your jackets, including outerwear and give them the same scrutiny.

Organize the remaining suits, outfits and jackets according to style - casual, dressy casual and dressy. Then arrange according to color. Are you enjoying your uncrowded closet?

Now that you have decluttered your hanging clothes in your closet, you should be able to calculate what you have and what you need. You may find that one critical item could multiply your clothing options tremendously. By having your clothes organized, coordinated and in good repair, you reduce your stress level when you get dressed in the morning!

Are there some items that need dry cleaning? Take them out to the car, along with your donatable items, and get it done!

Consider donating appropriate clothing to an organization that provides clothing for job interviews to people who are getting back on their feet. Make a list of the items you're donating for tax purposes. Some possible charities: Dress for Success (www.DressforSuccess.org), Career Gear for men (www.CareerGear.org) or Suited for Change in the DC area (www.suitedforchange.org). Check with shelters in your area for suggestions of where you can donate your suits, etc.

Fabulous job!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Get Organized Month - Declutter Your Kitchen Linens

How about those kitchen linens? Hopefully this will be a quick and easy task, unless you have massive quantities of linens.

Let's start with kitchen towels and dishcloths. Are there any that are unacceptable - holey, stained, etc? Toss those in your rag bag and use for washing the car and other cleaning tasks. Do you have enough left to make it through a week? If not, make a note on your shopping list. Arrange neatly in your drawer in like-sized piles, with the items you use most often most accessible to you.

What about potholders? They live a difficult life - getting burned and soiled. Toss what is unusable and take stock of what's left. Is it enough? I keep my potholders in the drawer under the oven for easy access. If you don't have enough room, consider getting some magnets with hooks on them.

Do you use aprons? Take inventory to see if you have what you need and get rid of anything that isn't working for you. I have my aprons on a hook rather than in a drawer - saves my precious drawer space.

That wasn't too bad, was it?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Get Organized Month - Declutter a Bookcase

Choose a bookcase in your house or office that needs help. Before touching it, determine your vision for that bookcase. What is its purpose, what do you want to belong in that bookcase? Once you have determined your vision, it is simple to sort through the books to see if they fit your vision.

As you sort, if you find books that don't fit your vision, ask yourself if they are more appropriate somewhere else or if you want them at all. Are there people or organizations you know who would benefit from your unwanted books? If so, bag or box them up and label them accordingly.

For those books you want to keep, determine if they belong in this bookcase. If they do, how will you organize them - according to topic, author, something else?

If there are books you want to keep but not in this location, decide where they need to live and take them there, even if it means making that location a little messy for the time being. If you have the time and energy, declutter that location, starting with your vision and repeating the process.

If you have very many bookcases, this could take on a life of its own!! Stop when you have run out of time, energy, or vision. Add it to your to do list on a day when you think you'll be ready to tackle it again.

Stand back and admire your handiwork - a bookcase with vision! How special.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Get Organized Month - Declutter Your Night Clothes

Whether you wear flannel, silk, or an old t-shirt, let's declutter! Are there things you no longer wear? Don't fit? Excessive? Otherwise unacceptable? Look over your summer stuff, too. Toss the unacceptable. Bag up the donatable.

Take inventory - do you have enough to get through a week's laundry? If not, take note of what is missing, and put it on your shopping list.

Arrange your night clothes with those you use most often most accessible. Put those summer things in the back or on the bottom.

Anything that is donatable, document and put it in your car and drop it off!

Nice work!!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Get Organized Month - Decluttering Your Sock Drawer

Let's try the sock drawer today. If you have other drawers for hose and panty hose, do those, too. First let's just dump the whole drawer out. As you begin replacing them, examine them for holes. I like to put my black socks on one side and my blue socks on one side and other colors in between (I have a wide drawer). That way, I don't end up wearing the wrong color of socks one day!

Go get those unmatched socks from your laundry area and see if there are matches to the strays in your sock drawer. If you have other people in your household and they are of the age to do this task, have a family sock day!! Let everyone clean out their sock drawers. :-) Then celebrate by doing something fun.

But I digress - back to the socks. Either toss unmatched socks or put them in your cleaning supplies or painting supplies. We use old socks to rub down our fence to remove the dirt before we paint it. Or I guess you could make puppets with them if you're extremely creative! Maybe you have other uses for unmatched socks, too.

You can get one of those sock organizers if you wish.

By now you have an idea of what you have left. Do you need to replace any of the socks you tossed? Do you have enough socks to make it through a week of laundry? Are there colors missing you need to add?

Now wasn't that delightful!?!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Get Organized Month - Declutter Your Pants

Today let's attack the closet again - this time your pants. Start with discarding pants that you don't like, that don't fit, that are stained or worn, and that are excessive. Toss those that are not worth giving and put those that can be donated into a bag or box. As you are donating, make sure you keep lists of donated items for your income tax records. Take your bag or box out to your car immediately so you will get rid of it quickly.

Arrange your pants into categories: sports, casual, dressy casual, and dressy. Arrange by colors. And if you have different lengths of winter pants, separate according to lengths.

Take note of gaps in your pants wardrobe. Are there tops that have no coordinating pants? Vice versa? Think outside the box - are there combinations you've never thought about that work?

Is your closet becoming more peaceful? Your shoes, tops, and pants should be organized according to color and category now. Getting dressed in the morning should be a quick and easy task rather than a treasure hunt.

Enjoy the peace!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Get Organized Month - Decluttering Your Tops/Blouses/Shirts

Take a look at your tops/blouses/shirts. Get rid of those you no longer wear, that don't fit, that are excessive, or that are stained or worn. Toss those that are not worth giving and donate the rest. Put that bag or box in the front seat of your car so you will deliver it to your charity quickly.

Categorize your tops: sports, casual, dressy casual, and dressy. Then arrange them according to color. And finally, arrange long-sleeved tops together and short-sleeved tops together.

This allows you to select your clothes at a glance without going through your entire closet trying to find a match. It also allows you to take inventory quickly when needing to shop. You can see exactly what you have, what you need, and it prevents duplicate purchases.

As you purge, your clothes will not get wrinkled because of an over-stuffed closet. Consider storing your off-season clothing elsewhere if you don't have enough room for both in your closet. Keep a few items from the opposite season for those unseasonable days.

Don't you feel lighter and leaner?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Get Organized Month - Decluttering Your Underwear Drawer

Time to tackle the old underwear drawer! Start by tossing anything you don't like, that is holey, doesn't fit, or excessive. What's left? Do you have enough underwear to make it through a week's laundry? As you are taking stock, are there items you need?

Organize like items together and place those items you use most often in the most accessible location. Place those items you use less often is less accessible locations.

Now that wasn't so bad, was it? Good job!!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Get Organized Month - Organize Your Shoes

Shall we organize shoes today? First, let's get rid of those you don't like or don't wear, that don't fit, are in disrepair, or excessive. Put them in a box and put the box in the front seat of your car to donate to your favorite charity. By having the box in your car (not your trunk!), you are more likely to get rid of it and remove clutter from your home!

You probably have some shoes that are definitely summer shoes, some that are strictly winter shoes, and some that are both. Remove the out-of-season shoes from the area where you keep your in-season shoes. If you use shoe boxes to store your out-of- season shoes, and you use a different method for storing in-season shoes, reduce the number of boxes you need by labeling one end of the box for a summer shoe and the other end of the box for a winter shoe. When the seasons change, swap out the shoes, and you're organized and ready!

You can use a variety of storage methods for your in-season shoes: boxes your shoes came in, plastic shoe boxes from the dollar store, shelves, shoe racks, hanging shoe pockets, and the floor. Whatever you use, arrange the shoes you wear most often to be most accessible. Organize by color and style - black dressy, black office, black casual, for example.

While organizing, take note of gaps in your shoe wardrobe. Do you need to replace some you threw out or have worn out?

A hint: don't wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. By letting them have a rest, they will dry out and be less likely to absorb odor.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Get Organized Month - Declutter the Laundry Area

Let's tackle the laundry area. Go through your detergents, fabric softeners, spot removers, etc. - get rid of items you don't use. Also, get rid of anything that doesn't relate to laundry and store it in a more appropriate place. Group like items together. Take a moment to clean the shelf before putting things back.

As you are decluttering, take a big picture view: do you have enough shelf or storage space for detergents, fabric softeners, spot removers, etc.? Do you have hanging space for dried clothes - a door knob, a pull-out rod, a clothes rod, or another system? Do you have a space where you can fold clean clothes?

It doesn't need to be a large area, just a functional one. What is bothering you about your laundry area? Brainstorm on how to solve your problem. Ask a friend or family member for ideas - the more brain cells the better! As your time and budget allow, solve those dysfunctional problems to make laundry a more pleasant experience.

It's amazing how taking a few minutes to examine irritations and coming up with possible solutions can make a continual chore more efficient and enjoyable!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Get Organized Month - Clean out the Freezer

Today's job is a big one - cleaning out the freezer. It's invigorating to get rid of old stuff and have a fresh start!!

First, take everything out and stack in like piles. Store your piles in dishpans while cleaning out the freezer, if you wish. If your freezer needs to be defrosted, this is the time. Ugh! You can use a hairdryer to speed up the process. (I have also used a hair dryer to unfreeze my ice maker on several occasions! Saves a housecall from the plumber.)

Have your trash can handy while pulling stuff out of the freezer. If it has freezer burn, you don't know what it is, or it's been there for a while - toss it!!

Now to organize. You can use plastic covered wire baskets, which work in both your fridge freezer and chest or upright freezer. You can find these at Stack and Stacks (www.stacksandstacks.com/html/11228_storage-basket.htm) for $11.99 and $17.99 depending on the size. One reviewer said she could fit four of the smaller ones in her fridge freezer.

I used to use crates in my chest freezer to hold like items. But they're too heavy when full to move around easily. If you don't want to spend the money on the wire baskets, visit the dollar store and use dishpans for your large freezer and small plastic baskets or crates for your fridge freezer. Two dishpans fit perfectly sideways in my chest freezer and they're easy to stack and move around.

As you are replacing items in your freezer, make those items you use often more accessible, with the oldest items most accessible so you'll use them first.

That was a big job!! You should give yourself a standing ovation!!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Get Organized Month - Declutter Your Pantry

Wintertime is a nice time to declutter your pantry or food cabinets, especially if the weather is conducive to being indoors.

When you know what you have in your pantry and where it is, you're less likely to overstock. And it's easy to see what's on hand when you're making out your menus and grocery lists.

Start on one side of the pantry or cabinet you're decluttering. Examine to see if the item is outdated. Toss anything you don't think you'll use - it's just taking up valuable space.

Now sort like items together - canned vegetables, canned fruit, baking supplies (near the oven or mixer), and so on. I like to sort my vegetables according to color, so it's easy to locate them. If you have several of the same item, place the oldest one in front so you'll use it first.

While you're at it, wipe down the shelves if they need it. And if you're really industrious and you don't have shelf lining, do that, too!

If you have shelves that are spaced far apart, consider getting some space savers (plastic-coated wire organizers) to increase your storage capacity. You can find these at Bed, Bath and Beyond (www.bedbathandbeyond.com), Target (www.Target.com), The Container Store (www.containerstore.com and other such places.

Reward yourself for a job well done!!!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Get Organized Month - Declutter Your Cell Phone Contact List

How long is your contact list for your cell phone? Is it time to update it?

Go through your contact list and remove names you no longer need, clean up anything that is incomplete, and add names you need on your phone.

It won't take long and you'll be able to find the number your looking for more quickly!

How pleasant!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Get Organized Month - Declutter Under Your Sink

Let's take a few moments to see what's under the sink in the kitchen.

If you have a carrier which holds your cleaning supplies, clean that out. Get rid of old sponges and outdated cleaning supplies. Wash it out. Check to see if you have everything you need for cleaning throughout the house. If not, add what you need or put it on your shopping list.

Now for the entire cabinet. Start in one corner and work systematically from there. Toss anything that is outdated, empty, or not used in the last year. Remove or combine duplicates.

Sort into like items: dishwashing (liquid soap, dishwasher soap, brillo pads; etc.); general cleaning; and other categories you keep under the sink.

As you are sorting, ask yourself, "Is this the best place for this item?" Maybe your general cleaning supplies would be better under a bathroom sink, in the laundry area, or in another place.

Place items back under the sink in their like-item groups, placing those things you use most often closer to the front.

My own personal bias: get rid of the dish drainer. It's unsightly and makes your kitchen look messy. Or get a wooden fold-up dish rack that takes up only about three inches of space. When you finish a meal, place your wooden rack on a kitchen towel. Wash the dishes and put them away and fold up your dish rack. Store it on one side under your sink. If you only wash an item or two, drain it on a towel and dry immediately. Clean surfaces!!! How refreshing!

If you have little ones, make sure you have a safety lock or a keyed lock on the cabinet door where you store your harmful chemicals.

Good job!!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Get Organized Month - Update Your PDA Contact List

While we're updating lists, take a few minutes to update your contact list on your PDA if you use one. Delete those names that are no longer relevant to you and those "vital contacts" you no longer recognize!

If you categorize your list, categorize those names that are not categorized.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Get Organized Month - Update Your Christmas Card List

Now that you have probably received all your Christmas cards, it's a great time to update your Christmas card list. Whether you use an address book, Outlook, Yahoo, Palm, or a written list, let's get started!

Compare the address of your Christmas cards with the address you have on your list. You may want to add in any personal info you want to remember about your friends and family. For those addresses that disagree with your list, change the pertinent information.

If you received Christmas cards from people not on your list, decide if you want to add them to your list.

If you are revamping your list this year, like we are, it's easier to do it with another person. One person to read the address and the other to write or type. It also serves as a way to insure accuracy if the person writing or typing repeats it back to the first person.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Get Organized Month - Declutter Your Schedule - Take Some Time Off!

Today is Sunday, a day of rest. Take some time off if you can, and do something to refresh your soul - read, take a nap, give yourself a pedicure, take a bubble bath, write in your journal, spend time with God, dream, go for a walk - whatever it is that refreshes you!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Get Organized Month - Declutter Your Catalogs

Let's get rid of all those excessive catalogs. I have a box on a shelf that houses my current catalogs. It's only about five or six inches high, so I must be selective in what I keep. When I get a new catalog, I find the old one and toss it.

So wherever you keep your catalogs, purge those you don't want and keep only the latest issue of the ones you do want. Better yet, sign up to receive the catalogs via email. When you receive catalogs in the mail that you know you don't want, immediately place it in your recycling container so you don't waste time and energy by having to move it again.

The internet eliminates the need for you to keep a lot of paper catalogs around. If you sign up to receive catalogs via email, you're saving trees!

There's a great website that will help you eliminate your paper catalogs in a few minutes. It's www.catalogchoice.org. It has an alphabetical list of catalogs and gives you the opportunity to decline receiving each catalog on the list. I went through the entire list and it took me only about 15 minutes.

It will take up to 10 weeks for your catalogs to stop coming. You just have to be strong and not sign up to receive any of the ones that catch your eye!! I managed to get through the list without signing up for Godiva and Sees Candies. :-)

You can waste a lot of time and money by flipping through catalogs unnecessarily. You can also save a lot of time and money by shopping online. Just have to be discerning.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Get Organized Month - Declutter Your Computer Programs

Today let's declutter our computer programs. Excess programs on your computer slow it down. Click "Start" at the bottom left hand side of your screen. Click "control panel". Then click "add or remove programs." This will list all the programs currently installed on your computer.

Scroll down through the programs and click the program you want to remove. Then click "add or remove" to remove those programs you no longer use - the one for the digital camera you no longer own; for the printer you got rid of; for anti-virus programs you no longer use; and other programs you don't need.

Just don't be too hasty. We had two items listed for a game we love, and I uninstalled the program for the game rather than the one for the free trial!! Ugh.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Get Organized Month - Declutter Your Purse/Wallet and Briefcase

Take a few minutes to declutter your purse or wallet. File all those receits. Get rid of expired credit cards, membership cards, and coupons. Toss all the trash. Remove excess items. Evaluate what's left - is it necessary?

Now for the briefcase - toss the trash, old newspapers, and other outdated material. File receits and other papers you want to keep. Do you have what you need - pens, paper, etc? Replenish anything that has wandered away. Is your briefcase working for you - does it hold all you need it to hold? Or is it bigger than you need? Make sure it meets the need.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Storing Christmas Lights

If you haven't taken down your Christmas lights yet, here's a great bit of advice: Real Simple Magazine (www.RealSimple.com) suggests coiling your Christmas lights on a garden hose holder - the kind you crank. No tangles or knots! Cover them with a trash bag and you're ready for next year!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Get Organized Month - Declutter Magazines

January is "Get Organized Month" as declared by the National Association of Professional Organizers. So I'm going to take a different task each day to help you get organized.

Today let's attack magazines.

1. Go through your magazines and toss those you know you have no use for any more. To double your time, do this task while watching the Rose Bowl Parade or game, a movie, or another activity that lends itself to multi-tasking.

2. As you're going through your magazines, ask yourself if you really want to continue the subscriptions you have. If you don't have time to read your magazines, it's wasting your money and cluttering up your house!

3. For those magazines that are left, cut out articles or ideas you want to keep or read. Keep a file for those articles you want to read and toss.

4. For those articles or ideas you want to keep, make files for each different category or create a binder for decorating ideas, scrapbooking examples, etc. Use plastic protector sheets and just slide the ideas into the sheets. If you place a piece of paper in the protector sheet, you can store an idea on each side.

5. If there are entire magazines you want to keep, get some magazine boxes and label them accordingly. Give yourself a limit on what you will keep. For example, if you decide to keep one year's worth of magazines, remove the oldest one when you receive and have read the newest one.

6. Decide if you want to organize your magazines by magazine titles, topics, or by month (if you want to look at ideas, recipes, etc. seasonally).

7. Keep your current magazines in a magazine rack or box and take them along when you might need to wait for a doctor's appointment. You may also want to take along your file of "need to read" articles.

Now, doesn't that feel great?!