JERI DANSKY professionalorganizer

October 2006 Newsletter

This month's focus: Strategies for Successful Clutter Clearing and Other Organizing


Tip of the Month


Would you like to start decluttering and organizing, but you just can't seem to get going? Here are a few strategies that might help.


1. Do it in large chunks.


Give yourself 2-3 hours (or more) to tackle a specific project: clearing out a closet, for example. For many people, this works best if you do it with someone else who can encourage you to get rid of things you truly do not need, who can help keep you focused, and who can applaud your success. This could be a friend - as long as it's the right friend - or perhaps a professional organizer.


2. Do it in small chunks.


Give yourself 15 minutes or so; set a timer to alert you to when the time is up. Then use those 15 minutes to sort through the mail, catch up with your filing, or whatever. At the end of the 15 minutes, you can stop or decide to go for another 15 minutes


3. Make it a habit.


Create daily or weekly routines that include decluttering or organizing. For example, you might make it a before-bed habit to straighten up the house and put things away. Or you might have a weekly routine to go through the mail that's come in during that week


4. Use your time effectively


Try to stay focused and avoid distractions. For example, if you are straightening up the kitchen and find something that needs to go to another room, set it aside until you are done with the kitchen.


Quote of the Month


First consider what you want to change. Then consider what you are willing to do to bring about this change.

-- The I Ching or Book of Changes, translation by Master Ni Hua Ching



Statistic of the Month


It takes about 21 days to form a new daily habit. (Since it's generally recommended that you focus on one new habit at a time, that means you could establish 17 new daily habits in a year.)



Product of the Month


I'm not a big fan of paper clips - in many cases, a staple works better than a paper clip. But if you do use a lot of paper clips, here's a cute way to save them: the Dozi Paperclip Holder from Alessi.



Donation/Recycling Idea of the Month


Do you have business clothes you no longer need? A number of organizations collect these clothes and provide them to people entering or re-entering the workplace, Some of these are:



Book of the Month



I just finished reading Finding Your Focus: Practical Strategies for the Everyday Challenges Facing Adults with ADD, by Judith Greenbaum, Ph.D. and Geraldine Markel, Ph.D. - and it's certainly a book that I would recommend. It's a short, practical how-to book that explains six key tools: self-talk, visualizing, routines, checklists, etc. It then provides strategies for using those tools: for example, strategies for remembering where you parked your car. Those with ADD might well be in more need of these tools and strategies, but they could benefit many others, too.


For more reading ideas, see my list of favorite organizing books.



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