JERI DANSKY professionalorganizer

January 2008 Newsletter

Tip of the Month: Bite-Sized Resolutions


The new year inspires many of us to make resolutions, and many people resolve to get organized. But if "get organized" sounds too overwhelming, here are three more manageable resolutions that might work for you.


1. Ponder the big questions.


I like Alan Lakein's questions: What are my lifetime goals? How would I like to spend the next three to five years? If I knew I would be struck by lightning six months from today, how would I like to live until then?


I also like Peter Walsh's challenge: Imagine the life you want to live.


And as Caterina Rando always stresses, you need a compelling vision, not just some words. Your goal may be to have a nicer house, but that's not the same as a "yellow house with a two-car garage on a sunny street lined with trees, with a rose garden in front and a lemon tree and hammock in the back, and with a chef’s kitchen and master bedroom with a view of the ocean."


Once you're clear on your goals and vision, organizing decisions become easier.

  • Should I keep Item X? Well, does it help me create the life I want to live? Is it part of my vision?
  • Should I spend time on Activity Y? Well, how does that fit in with my lifetime goals? Is it part of my vision for how I'd like to spend the next few years?


2. Learn where to donate and otherwise dispose of stuff.


It's easier to part with things when you know they are going to good new homes - or, if they can't be used again, knowing you've disposed of them responsibly. So do the research and figure out where you can:

  • Dispose of toxics such as some cleaning supplies and pest control products.
  • Dispose of old medicines.
  • Dispose of batteries and electronics such as computers and TVs.
  • Donate any items of relevance to you: clothes, toys, books, towels, etc.
  • Easily sell or swap items you no longer want, if that's your preference.


3. Back up your computer files on a regular basis.


Hard drives fail; laptops get stolen; computers can stop working for any number of reasons. Don't lose your critical files because you failed to take the time to back them up. On-line backup services and external hard drives are probably the best options. Personally, I use an external hard drive with my Mac, and it's very quick and easy.


Organizing Quote of the Month


I've been going to the same dry cleaners for years. Every time I go, there are these two lovely people - I think they're from Taiwan - and they couldn't be friendlier. They'll greet me with a really genuine smile and warmth: "Mr. Simmons, how are you?" And me - I'm usually saying, "Here's my laundry and ten bucks and goodbye." Never hello, or asking how they are.


What does it take - thirty seconds? two minutes? - to make contact with another human being? Not to "network," exchange life stories, or tell them all about your work - but to simply make contact. That amount of time won't stop anything in our life. But it will make our days a little richer.


-- Anecdote from Timeshifting: Creating More Time to Enjoy Your Life, by Stephen Rechtschaffen, M.D.



Product of the Month: Environmentally-Friendly Toy Storage



Someone in my local Green Moms group just asked about such storage, and I thought others might be

to do list on green paper; includes call cat psychic

interested, too. Nest makes this storage tower (and a toy cube, toy box, and hamper) from sustainable products: organic cotton, recycled MDF, etc. Another option would be the Via toy boxes.



Highlights From My Blog in December


There were 26 entries in my organizing and de-cluttering blog in December. Some of the most popular entries were:


You can now sign up for daily e-mail updates from my blog; each day that I make an update, you'll get a message. Look in the upper right-hand corner of the blog for subscription information.



My Clutter Control Freak Postings


I also write for another blog, and my December posting was:



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