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.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Clutter-Free Reading on Chrome and Firefox with iReader

I learned about iReader from Maboot and love it! It allows you to read web articles without all the ad clutter. Plus it takes that pesky article with multiple pages and puts it on one page. Here's Maboot's review (sorry about the grammar and punctuation):

"Readability has now long been used to get a simple reader friendly article out of all the crap found in the form of web links and graphics on the web pages. However catering to additional much better requirements and demands highlighted by the users, such as restoring pages to normal much easily and also the ability to loading multiple pages simultaneously. I have tested an extension that delivers just the same.

The web’s is just not as reader friendly place as it should be. For instance unnecessary glowing screens and moreover the advent of innumerable ads, unnecessarylinks and the articles divided into more than one pages, make reading annoying for the reader rather than a pleasure.

The app named iReader, is just what we were searching for. This app is from a company named Samabox and distinct from Readability, the iReader which is for Chrome and Firefox offers to handle multiple pages at one time. Moreover similar to Safari’s ‘Reader’ function, it can also be closed with the hit of a button. We should rather take a look now. 

Via iReader
For instance you have found found an exciting article on a jumbled page. In such cases you address bar will show an iReader icon. Now on clicking this icon you will simply get the same article free from all the clutter offered to you on a fresh white background .... Its that simple, however for accessing more features you can simply follow the remaining article. 

Scroll over the button bit of your article and you will notice this bar. Starting here you can:
Create text bigger or smaller.
  • Take a Print of the clutter-free copy of the article.
  • Share the article via email
  • Share via Twitter/ Facebook
  • Remove all the pictures
  • You can even configure iReader, as required.
Features also include setting up the black color’s opacity to cover the clutter, whether you want the article to be emailed from Gmail or your default email application, how presentable you want your article to look and even if you want a smooth scrolling, you can just set it accordingly.

While you are configuring your iReader you will also be having an instant preview of the changes you are making, enabling you to make better judgements according to your taste on the way.

You can download the iReader now, selecting chrome or firefox as the source. 

As mentioned earlier, after you install iReader, the readability icon will appear on every website displaying an article. Just click on it and iReader will take on from there. Though its been observed that it takes a little longer on some heavily cluttered sites but you will soon realize that its worth it."

More reading tools:

Planning for Your Child's Reading Success - A Book Review of "Anytime Reading Readiness"

100 Free and Essential Web Tools for the College Bound

 More Tips for Helping Your ADD Child Stay Organized


Friday, February 25, 2011

An Organizing Tool for Bags, Briefcases, Luggage and More!

I've discovered a new organizing system for your bags and purses, drawers, backpacks, luggage, briefcases: GRID-IT! It organizes all kinds of gadgets, tools, and more. What I like is that you don't have to search through pockets, zippers, etc. to find your stuff. And it's great for traveling through airports, too! There are all different sizes starting from $9.99. Click "products" on the Cocoon site.
"The GRID-IT! organization system is a proprietary patent pending object retention system. A unique weave of rubberized elastic bands made specifically to hold personal objects firmly in place.

Designed to provide endless configurations of objects, digital devices and personal effects, GRID-IT! is as versatile as life itself!"

More on organizing your bags/purses:

Pouchee Purse Organizer

Get Organized Month - Declutter Your Purse/Wallet and Briefcase

Cherry Blooms - The Perfect Organizing Bag!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Organizing for Taxes - Deductibles

 We have been on a roller coaster ride this last week. We got a call saying my husband's mom was at death's door. We scurried around and left the next day. Over the four days we were with my mother-in-law, she rallied. So we drove home in six hours of rain, sleet, snow and fog. The next day we got a call saying death was likely. My husband packed up again and called the doctor to find she had improved! It's so difficult caring from a distance! On the bright side, I worked some on my taxes during the trip, the subject of our post today ...

If you compute your deductions on your income taxes, Salvation Army's Value Guide can help you determine amounts to deduct for those physical items you've donated to non-profits. It provides a range from high to low for clothing, dry goods, furniture and other items.

In addition, TurboTax and H&R Block tax programs have built-ins that help you determine what may or may not be deductible on your taxes. 

FYI: even though I've heard experts say that you need to keep your tax returns for only 5-7 years, I'm hearing more and more that you should keep them indefinitely.

More on taxes:

Taxes - Knowing Which Papers to Keep/Toss

Organizing for Tax Season

Organizing Tax Receipts

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Organizing Your Pet's Medications

Need some advice on organizing your pet's meds? Here's some advice from veterinarian Dr. John Beck:

"... there is the non-technical way of handling these problems. Getting a pill sorter and pre-sorting each pet's medications once a month, including their preventatives, can help you remember. Writing it on your calendar or planner is also helpful. Some heartworm and flea preventatives come with stickers in the box to place on your calendar to remind you to give your meds. I always check it off the calendar once its complete so I don't look back in a few days and wonder if I remembered to give it or not. 

Modern technology has made some things a little more convenient. One heartworm preventative has an application that can be added to your smart phone that will remind you to give your preventative on the day you choose. Some animal hospitals can also send you an e-mail reminder or text message when it is time to purchase your next six or 12 month supply of preventative. 

Some drug companies have even attempted to make things easier by combining flea and heartworm preventative into one topical solution or one pill (available late February). Another option for heartworm prevention is an injection given once every six months. The injection has to be given in a veterinarian's office, but will protect your dog from heartworms for half a year. Then you don't have to worry about that for half a year."

More on organizing for your pets:

Peace-of-Mind Vacation Check List - What to Do Before You Leave

National Preparedness Month - Evacuation Plan

Spring Cleaning the Garage - Storing Hazardous Materials


Monday, February 21, 2011

Save Time by Paying All Your Online Bills in One Place

Tired of going from one online bill site to another? Now you can pay all your online bills in one place: Doxo.com.

"With doxo you organize and manage all of your bills, statements and other important documents in one place. Scan through your incoming mail; quickly identify things you need to take action on; set up reminders; and file everything important, forever.

The average household has 22 businesses that send mail each month. That’s about 21 more account logins and passwords than most of us want to deal with. With doxo, you keep your account details safe and secure on one website—logins, passwords, customer support numbers—whatever you need."

And it's free!

More on going paperless:


Friday, February 18, 2011

More On Storing Your Kid's Art Work

I know I've written some previous blog posts about storing and displaying your child's artwork. Here are a few more ideas: 
Pandigital PAN7000DW 7-Inch Digital Picture Frame (Black) 
- Load digital photos onto a digital photo frame and create a slide show of the masterpieces. 

- Use small notebooks to keep notes and small drawings. 

- Make a scrapbook of artwork for each school year.

- Slide artwork into a binder with page protectors, storing two pictures back-to-back in one page protector.

- Scan the artwork and burn it onto a disk or memory stick.

- Turn the favorite pieces into a calendar by taking digital pictures of the artwork. Instead of using photos of people to create the calendar, use your digital artwork. 

- Take a digital picture of each picture and keep them in a photo album.

- Frame some of the special artwork for yourself and/or grandparents.

- Have one piece professionally framed each year - with the child's name, age, and description of the artwork on it

- Create a digital scrapbook of the school year.

- Scan them and turn them into cards or wrapping paper.

- Make a digital collage - as a picture, mug, calendar, blanket, mouse pad. 

- Use framing mats as a rotating gallery on one wall.  

- Create a hardcover photobook through a photo site and display it as a "coffee table" book. You could have your child write a note about each piece of art.

- Store artwork in school years booklets ... the ones that have a folder and pages for your child to record memories each year. 

- Take pictures of the art work or scan it, and print it out on T-shirt iron-on-transfers.

- Decoupage a wooden toy box, small keepsake boxes, or a piece of wood, using several art pieces.   

- Scan them and make magnets for family members. Different sites offer free ones for various holidays - Father's Day, Mother's Day, etc.  

- Take art to a nursing home for their rooms - to brighten their day. You get rid of the extra "art" and have a lesson in charity.

- Take a picture of your child with the artwork and put the picture in a scrapbook. It records not only the art but the age at which your child created it. 

- Post them on Artsonia, an online kids' art gallery.

- Use black frames and white mats, several on one wall - looks like custom art.

Dynamic Artwork Frame - Large, BLACK- Store your child's collection of artwork in a Dynamic Frame, swapping out artwork in a jiffy.

- Take photos and make them small enough to fit charm bracelet frames/charms. Tie a ribbon on each and hang them as a decorations on your Christmas tree. 

Helpful websites: 
Big Art Blessing
York Photo

More on artwork storage:

Getting Organized for School 2010 - Organizing Your Child's Artwork and School Papers

Magnetic Paint - An Innovative Space Saver!

Organizing Your Keepsakes into Bins


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Donate Your Bikes to Youth Bike-Refurbishing Programs

With spring approaching (hopefully!) our thoughts turn to the outdoors, and for some, biking. There are many programs across the country that teach young people how to refurbish bikes and gain biking skills. To find such a program near you, go to I Bike.  These organizations will accept your donations of bikes and parts.

These organizations cover "a range of programs involving young people and bicycles: teaching young people cycling skills, a vocation, personal management, business management and community consciousness, and giving them self-esteem, while promoting bicycling and diverting good bicycles from the land fill." 

If you have some bikes you're no longer using, put them to good use by donating to one of these programs. If you don't find one of these programs on the list at I Bike, call a local bike shop to see if they know of a similar program near you.

More on donating:

Donating Business Clothing for Job Interviews

Get Organized Month 2009 - Decluttering Your Electronics

Tackle the Clutter before Christmas


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tired of Automated Phone Responses? Here's How You Can Talk to a Real Person!

Are your questions not being answered by the "press 1 for ..." maze? Would you just like to talk to a real person?

Stop wasting your time!  I learned from Monica Ricci, organizing pro, that you can get phone numbers for many companies at Get Human. They have some companies listed, but you can also type in a company's name to search for their number. 

Some questions can't be answered by an automated system. What a time saver and great resource!

More on saving time on the phone:

The "Do It Now" Mindset

How Efficient is Multitasking?



Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Organize Your Smart Phone for Safety

I watched this alarming video about how your smart phone pictures can give others the exact location of your home, your child's school, etc. The video includes instructions on how to turn off the gps option for your pictures.

More on safety and security:

An Emergency Entry on Your Cell Phone

National Preparedness Month - Emergency Kit #2: Landline Phone

National Preparedness Month - Making a Plan


Monday, February 14, 2011

Organizing for Tax Season

Happy Valentine's Day! Last night I made heart-shaped pumpkin muffins for the girls for breakfast this morning. I'm trying to figure out how to carry the theme through dinner. In the meantime, here's our post for today ...

It's time to think about taxes again! I'm going to try something new this year - expandable files just for my taxes. I found these DiVoga files at Office Max for $9.99 - one for this year's taxes and one for next year.

They are 13-pocket files with snap fronts with two snap options: the one shown for fewer documents and another snap higher up if you have more documents making the file thicker. I got them in different colors so I could distinguish between tax years. I couldn't find this exact file online, so I don't have a link for you. 

I did find similar ones from Smead. The All-in-One Tax Organizer also has 13 pockets with an elastic closure. It has pre-printed and blank labels for your convenience.  

If your taxes aren't very complicated, you could use Smead's 6-Pocket Tax Organizer. 

For that matter, you could use any expandable file. I saw several that were different colors and textures for around $12-18.

I'm going to set my open file near where I sort our mail, so I can just drop various papers into their slots without having to open a file folder or file cabinet! I'll do the same with receipts. When tax time comes, everything will already be categorized. 

How do you organize your tax documents?

More on taxes:

Taxes - Knowing Which Papers to Keep/Toss

Saving Money by Being Organized

Three Steps to Organizing Your Office

Friday, February 11, 2011

Kick Your Clutter to the Wall


Here's a clever idea from Apartment Therapy - clipboards on the wall that hold your clutter!


"You know all of those papers that pile up on your desk and make it difficult to get any work done? They often get tossed there in haste, but here's a solution that takes barely any more time yet keeps your desktop pile-free:

Hang a few clip boards on the wall and clip papers into them anytime you need to keep them. You don't even have to sort and organize the papers right away: just clip them up and sort once every week or two. Or, if you're a tad more organized, assign a category to each clip board ("inbox", "outbox", "bills to pay", etc.) to keep your papers sorted from the get-go."

More on using your wall space:

Magnetic Paint - An Innovative Space Saver!

Shadow Boarding Your Tools

 This is What I Call Using Wall Space!

Linear Storage 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Shoe Storage Options

I'm ready to reorganize my shoes. My current system is not working. So I did some research on shoe storage options to see what might be out there that I'm not aware of. 

I figured you might like to know what I've found, so I'm listing what I thought were the most reliable options, based on reviews. I divided the options into over-the-door storage, hanging storage in the closet, and stand alone storage. Each one is linked to product and purchasing information for your convenience.
Over-the-door shoe storage:

Hanging shoe storage in the closet:


Stand alone shoe storage:

I haven't decided on which storage option I'll choose. Which one would you choose?

More on shoes:

Get Organized Month - Organize Your Shoes

Organizing Your Shoes

Organizing Your Mud Room

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Recycle Stuffed Animals for a Cause

What kid doesn't have an abundance of stuffed animals? I know ours always did.  

If your child has too many, she might be willing to give up some to children in war-torn areas and war zones. Beanies for Baghdad will send Beanie Babies, stuffed animals, and other items to service units in Iraq and Afghanistan who will distribute them to local children.

Loving Hugs sends stuffed animals to children in war zones, refugee camps, orphanages, medical facilities and elsewhere. 

In both cases, postage is on you.

Check with your local animal shelter as many will accept stuffed animals to comfort puppies. 

More on recycling:

Recycling Electronics and Appliances

A Refresher on Recycling Plastics

More Eco-Friendly Recycling

Monday, February 7, 2011

Want to Sell Your House? Get Organized Now!

Kathy Jumper's article contains helpful pointers for getting your house ready to sell, and sell quickly. Here's an excerpt:

""Do you want to put a sign in your yard, or do you want to sell your house?' That's the first question Marcile Sims of Oracle Real Estate in Mobile [Alabama] asks her sellers.

'It's so competitive now, and price is everything,' she said. 'We're having to turn down listings because some sellers are asking crazy prices. They would be wasting their time and everyone else's.'

In today's buyer's market, it's up to the sellers to bring out the best in their homes in order to stand out amidst the glut of inventory, agents said. Translation: Refresh or revive a house before it goes on the market.

The house may not be old, but often it can look worn. Local home inspectors, house stagers and Realtors offer tips for updates that help attract buyers with some curb appeal.

Walk around the house and look at the condition of the all the wood structures, seeking any minor damage that could be repaired prior to the house being put on the market, said James Elder of Elder Home Inspections in Mobile.

'A Realtor will say stand out on the street and look at the house, see what it looks like when somebody pulls up to the house,' he said. 'Are there cosmetic repairs or touchup things that can be done to give the house curb appeal?'

Heating and cooling system should also be maintained on a regular basis. Home inspector Bob Grafe of Daphne said that during a recent inspection, neither of the house's two air conditioners had filters.

'Putting in clean AC filters doesn't cost much money,' he said. 'When I see that they are clean, I know the owners care enough to do the maintenance.'

A big problem ... is water intrusion, Grafe said. When water leaks in, it decays and rots the wood.

'Homeowners should clean out the gutters. They are there to drain water, but when they get full of trash and have trees growing in them, it will start to rot out the wood.'

Leaky faucets, running toilets and those type of interior things are easy to fix, he said. 'The messier the house, the more difficult it is to inspect,' Grafe said. 'Pick up and clean up the house and have it ready to go.'

A house that isn't clean and looks worn out automatically make a potential buyer think upkeep has gone lacking, Sims said. 'Get the carpet cleaned, get rid of the smells and get your air conditioner serviced. If you have a septic tank, get it cleaned and inspected. Any blinds that don't close properly or burned out light bulbs need to be replaced.

'Take all of your pictures down and store them. Get rid of anything that makes the house yours -- they don't want to think of it as yours.' ...

If the house has furniture in it, make sure you declutter, said Angela Blankinchip of Showhomes Mobile/Baldwin. Often it's just a matter of updating the accessories and rearranging the furniture to make the rooms look bigger, she said. ...

'Staging works,' said Blankinchip. ... 'In today's market, everyone wants a model home, and that's usually the one people want to buy.'"

More on getting organized to sell your home:

Realtor: Key to Selling Your Home

Tips for Staging Your Home for Sale

Declutter Any Room in 3 Weeks

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Survey: Disorganization at Work is Costing the Economy Billions

Rieva Lesonsky reveals a new survey that shows how much our disorganization at work is costing us. Here's an excerpt:

"Turns out your messy desk just might be hurting the U.S. economy....
January was "Get Organized" month. So how did you do? Are you and your employees now ship-shape and clutter-free? Chances are, not so much. 
According to Brother International's "P-touch Means Business" survey, each one of us loses an estimated 76 working hours each year due to disorganization in the workplace. That adds up to more than $177 billion annually in lost productivity.
Does this sound painfully familiar? Most of us (66 percent) spend up to 30 minutes a week looking for misplaced items. Office supplies, file folders, computer files and mobile phones are among the most commonly misplaced items in the workplace, according to survey respondents."

More on the cost of disorganization:

Three Steps to Organizing Your Office

Get Organized Month - How to Save Money by Being Organized

The Effects of Disorganization at the Office

Clutter in Your House or Office Means Clutter in Your Mind

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Zero Trash in a Year - Could You Do It?


USA Today's Wendy Koch reports on family that lives with almost no trash each year. Here's how they do it, could you?

By Thomas J. Story/Sunset
"How much could you live without? In upscale Mill Valley, Calif., a family of four lives in a stylish home with modern amenities but with only a tiny bit of something else: trash. It throws away only a few HANDFULS of non-recyclable waste each year.The Johnson family doesn't buy and keep unnecessary stuff, and most of what it purchases has either recyclable wrapping or no packaging at all. They take their own jars and containers as well as canvas totes to grocery stores and farmers' markets.

'The less I have, the richer I feel. Stuff weighs you down,' Bea Johnson tells Sunset magazine in its January edition. 'When we started getting rid of things, it was kind of addictive,' she continues. 'In a recession, people are inclined to keep things, but I feel the opposite.'

Bea and Scott Johnson are among a growing number of Americans trying to lighten their landfill load in a country where the average person generates 4.5 pounds of trash each day. Another example is Amy and Adam Korst, a young married Oregon couple that lived almost entirely trash-free for a year. "It was actually a lot easier than we expected," Amy Korst told Green House.

By Thomas J. Story/Sunset

The Johnsons started their quest three years ago when they downsized from a 3,000-square-foot home to their current 1,400 square feet, reports Sunset. Béa Johnson said a neighbor called their uncluttered home "futuristic and alien-like" and, peering into closets, asked: 'Where's all your stuff?' She offers tips for living simply on her blog, and here are a few as excerpted from Sunset:
  • The Johnsons go to the grocery store with their own jars and buy bulk snacks and other pantry supplies. 'Some of the kids' friends came over recently and said, "You have no food here,"' says Béa. 'They didn't recognize this as food since there weren't any boxes.'
  • The family shops with glass jars, fabric bags, and canvas totes, and returns containers for a deposit. Even cheese and meat go in jars. Cheese is purchased when it is cut, to avoid plastic wrap.
  • Clean up is done with microfiber cloths. 'People are really attached to paper towels,' Béa says. 'But they're the easiest thing to give up.'
  • In the playroom there are four bins of toys. The rule is simple: If the boys want something new to them, it needs to fit in the bins.
  • One medicine cabinet in the bathroom holds toiletries for the entire family... Béa uses only four beauty products: face powder, eye cream, mascara, and eyeliner....The family uses no Q-tips, cotton balls, or tissue (handkerchiefs sub in here). Toilet paper rolls come wrapped in paper, not plastic.
  • The house closets are enviable for their lack of clutter. Shopping is done only twice a year at a thrift store and replaces items that are stained, worn, or outgrown.... Everyone has a set number of items. For example, Béa caps out at 6 pairs of shoes, 7 tops, 7 pants, and 2 skirts (1 also wearable as a top)."                                                                                                                                                      More on living green:

    Decluttering Any Room in 3 Weeks

    Declutter by Becoming Package-Free

    Recycling Electronics and Appliances

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Peter Walsh's Advice for Secret Hoarders

"How to pull it off: It's not quite the stuff of "Hoarders," but your collection of old Vogues is teetering - metaphorically and physically - in that direction.

And honestly, if it were just the Vogues, you could pass it off as a sign of your discerning taste in fashion editorials. But you've got that closet full of sweaters that are older than Justin Bieber. And the drawer - OK, drawers - full of old postcards. And then there are the ceramic bunnies.
The Faker knows better than to suggest you get rid of it all. That would be futile. (Not to mention hypocritical, coming from the gal who has surrendered three kitchen drawers to mystery gadgets.)

But unless you're looking to land on an A&E reality show, it's time to get the stuff in check. We turned to author and organizational guru Peter Walsh, host of the new show "Enough Already!" on the Oprah Winfrey Network, for advice on appearing to be one of those organized, detached types, even if you're actually one of those Beanie Baby types.

1. Strategically declutter. Two areas will give away your hoarding tendency faster than you can say porcelain figurine. The first is your entryway. 'The moment you open the front door of your house, the first impression sticks with visitors,' Walsh says. 'If there's a sense that this isn't an orderly house, you're doomed from the start.' The second is any large, accessible flat surface. 'Kitchen table, counters, coffee table. The moment you can't see your flat surfaces, you've lost the battle with clutter.' Keep those areas relatively neat, on the other hand, and you're halfway home.

2. Surrender a space. Lasso your clutter into a bounded space so it doesn't take over your whole home. When Walsh speaks to groups, he often poses the same question: 'Does anyone have that spare bedroom that as soon as the doorbell rings you yell, "Close the door to the spare bedroom! Quick!"' And? 'Eighty percent of people always have that room.' For others, it's the hall closet. One home Walsh recalls visiting had a dining room table with a very generous tablecloth that touched the floor. Under the table cloth? Yep. Stuff.

3. Artfully display. 'The line between a collection and clutter is razor thin,' says Walsh. 'Just because you have a whole lot of things the same doesn't mean you have a collection.' If you truly appreciate an item and want to surround yourself with multiple variations of it, do yourself - and the items - a favor. 'Display them in a way that brings you pleasure, that doesn't cause stress and that says, "I honor and respect these items,"' Walsh says. 'Anything can look great displayed well.'

4. Edit your clutter. Assign homes for your items - Tupperware, books, kids' toys - and don't let the items outgrow their home. If the container designated for magazines fills up, don't add a new one until you get rid of an old one. 'I'm not about telling people to get rid of all their stuff,' Walsh says. 'My thing is, does the stuff you have create the life you want?'

5. Reality check your collections. If you're holding on to stuff because you think it will appreciate in value, make sure it actually will. 'A good reality check is eBay,' Walsh says. 'If you think your Madame Alexander dolls are worth $1,000 and you go on eBay and realize they're worth $4.99, then you can decide: Is this investment in the future (messing) up your ability to enjoy and live in your home today?'" 

More on hoarding:

The Psychology Behind Hoarding

Hoarder or Collector?

Self-Help Books for Hoarders and Their Families


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Experts Give Advice for ADHD Adults

Margarita Tartakovsky's article 12 Tips for Getting Organized for Adults with ADHD cites advice given by ADHD coach Laura Rolands and ADHD expert Ari Tuckman:

"Organizing is a challenge and a chore for most people. But when you have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), symptoms like distractibility, forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating can make getting organized seem impossible.

But there are small steps you can take to organize your space and your life. Below, attention and ADHD coach Laura Rolands and clinical psychologist and ADHD expert Ari Tuckman share their strategies for getting a handle on clutter and creating a clean space. 

1. Start small. When it comes to organizing, one of the mistakes people with ADHD make is to try to work on everything at once, said Rolands, who operates LSR Coaching and Consulting.

The second mistake, according to Tuckman, is letting your space become unbearably disorganized. So the disorganization becomes doubly overwhelming, and you give yourself more reasons to avoid it.
'Pick one area to clean for today and make it an area that is not too large,' such as 'one section of your kitchen counter or one corner of your living room,' Rolands said.

If this is still overwhelming, think of an amount of time that feels comfortable to you, such as 10 minutes, she said. Set your timer, and organize until you hear the ding. Timers also serve as great reminders that you need to move on to your next project. 

2. Work on one small area each day, Rolands said. Again, this helps you avoid getting overwhelmed and easily distracted. 

3. Organize on a regular basis. As Tuckman said, 'We don’t expect one shower to last all week, so it’s the same with organizing.'

Find yourself slipping? 'Remind yourself that although being organized takes some time, it also saves time when you’re able to find things quickly and with less stress,' he said. 

More Attention, Less Deficit: Success Strategies for Adults with ADHD4. Shrink your stuff. 'The less you have, the easier it is to organize what’s left,' said Tuckman, who’s also the author of More Attention, Less Deficit: Success Strategies for Adults with ADHD.

Some items will be easier to part with than others, he noted, while you might hold onto items just in case you need them later. But he reminded readers that 'If you can’t find it when you need it, you may as well not own it.' 

5. Downsize regularly. In addition to getting rid of the things you own, be strict about buying more things and letting clutter in your life in general. 'The less stuff that comes into your life, the less you need to manage, so get yourself off of mailing lists and resist the temptation to buy those unnecessary little items,' Tuckman suggested. 

6. Keep your system as simple as possible. Having an easy organization system 'makes it more likely that [you] will stick with it, which is the ultimate goal,' Tuckman said. For example, use file folders with brightly colored labels, Rolands said. Using different colors makes them easier to find, Tuckman said.

Too distracting? 'Use one folder for all bills related to the house, rather than creating separate folders for each bill,' he said. 

7. Color-code email based on the sender. 'This way, you can see emails from your priority customers, family members and bosses first,' Rolands said. 

8. Create a simple system for your home and office mail. Mail is something that easily piles up and creates tons of clutter. So organize mail every day. 'Give yourself a few options such as File, Toss, Do and Delegate,' she said. 

9. Carve out time to clean the clutter. Rolands suggested that readers 'Make an appointment with yourself to organize.' 

10. Limit distractions, Rolands said. If you don’t want to be organizing in the first place, there are tons of things that can pull for your attention. So turn off the TV and computer, and let your phone go to voicemail. Also, consider other common distractions that stop you from accomplishing your tasks and avoid those. 

11. Ask for help. You don’t have to organize alone. For starters, you can ask someone to simply be in the room as you organize. 'Having someone else present tends to keep us working longer and [with] fewer distractions,' Tuckman pointed out.

If you’re having particular trouble creating a simple organizing system, ask a friend to help or hire a coach, Rolands said. 

12. Check out helpful resources. Rolands likes the National Resource Center on AD/HD for anything ADHD-related and Families with Purpose, 'an organization dedicated to helping busy parents create a meaningful family life for themselves and their children.'

Also, ADDitude magazine offers a variety of free downloads on organizing and other ADHD information.

Ultimately, do what works best for you. 'There is not a one-size-fits-all [system] with regard to anyone, especially adults with ADHD,' Rolands said. Tuckman added, 'Don’t expect yourself to enjoy [organizing], just do it anyway.'

More on ADD/ADHD:

ADHD Organization - Decision-Making

ADHD Organization - Time and Energy

Organizing the ADD Household