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Office Organizing 101

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After spending last weekend organizing a home office I thought it would be helpful to post some of the things that most people have problems with when it comes to organizing their office space and a few tips to help curb those issues.

1) Outdated manuals, binders – What happens here is that you go to a course, you get a wonderful binder full of information, you look at it a few times and then it goes on a shelf and collects dust until you eventually get rid of it. Or perhaps you purchase a printer that comes with a manual but then the printer dies but the manual sticks around. If you can get electronic documents over paper ones it is not only environmentally friendly but easier to get rid of once you no longer need it.

2) Extra office supplies – Most of us have office supplies we never use or no longer work. Case in point, pens/highlighters. How many of yours actually work? And furthermore do you really need 100 of them. Get rid of supplies that no longer work or that you have excessive amounts of. You only have two hands, unless you are really talented and can use your feet.

3) Papers scattered all over the desk – Often when you are working on a project it is inevitable that your desk will start looking more ragged as the day progresses but the trick is to have a place for all the papers you work on. Whether they go back into files, desk drawers, paper boxes, other storage containers or even the recycling so that at the end of the day you have a place to put all of those papers back into. Which leads me to the next point.

4) End of day clean up – When you have completed your work for the day, tidy your work space, usually this only takes 10 – 15 minutes but when you come back the next day you will be all set to get going and won’t be starting the day searching for things, such a stress buster!

5) Continual maintenance – Once a week, friday is suggested, take a look at what you are working on and how you can organize things so that the following week you are starting fresh again. If you have tidied up every day this shouldn’t take long and if you have missed a few days then this is the time to get things in order again.

Remember, it’s not just your office space that needs organizing, your computer desktop icons, electronic folders and email can also quickly become unorganized. Remember to delete things off your desktop when no longer needed, create folders when working on new projects so that documents are easy to access, delete unnecessary emails as you receive them and be sure to implement the end of day clean up to your computer as well.

Lastly, don’t get discouraged, getting organized doesn’t happen overnight. It can take a while before new behaviours sink in and things start to click.

Happy organizing!

Laura


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A perfectly organized Valentines Day

Ah, Valentines Day…a day when we are supposed to feel the love, get into the romantic spirit and surprise your loved one with presents, flowers and other lovely items. A time that everyone maps out months before the magical date of February 14th and organizes a wonderful gift for that special someone.

Umm, not so much!

That is why this Valentines Day is going to be different! Instead of scrambling at the last-minute, by entering my Valentine’s day blog contest you have a chance to WIN A VALENTINES GIFT BASKET WORTH $75 for your loved one(s). Sent straight to you by the 14th, completely organized and stress free! Not to mention, the 3 basket set can be re-used for storage and the giveaway will be shipped in a Rubbermaid Roughneck 53L storage container for even more organizing possibilities!

The giveaway includes:

Hershey’s Kisses, Cherry Cordial Flavoured Creme – 227 g pkg

Hershey’s Minatures, Sweet Notes – 227 g pkg

Hershey’s Huggs – 227 g pkg

Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolate – 227 g

Sweet Notes – 32 g box

McCormicks Cinnamon Teddy Hearts – 44 g

Ferrero Rocher Fine Hazelnut chocolate – 100 g heart pkg

Cemoi, Assorted Fine Chocolates – 600 g

Valentines 4×6 Photo frame

All you have to do is visit https://www.facebook.com/DoubleTakeOrganizing and tell me, what you find difficult organizing? The winner will be drawn lottery style Sunday Feb 10th at 8:00 PM and contacted via Facebook for their address.

The contest is open to all Canadians.

Happy organizing!

Laura

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Healthy eating resolution, are you keeping yours? Meal planning can help!

February is here, slipping in quietly without much fanfare and the first month of 2013 is now over, can you believe it!?!

As I write this, I ask myself if I have stayed true to my resolutions so far this year. Some yes, some no. Every month presents itself with an opportunity to be more organized than the last.

Becoming a professional organizer has really opened my eyes to how much organization plays a vital role in the seamless functioning of our everyday lives. It’s not just closets that need organizing! Every aspect of our lives can benefit from being organized.

If you have made a resolution to eat healthier and lose weight, one of the best ways to keep those resolutions is to plan your meals. Not only does this save time during the week as you gaze into the refrigerator for the thousandth time and try to come up with something to eat but it saves you money!!! I can’t think of a better reason than that.

I remember reading an article once that explained how throwing away food is like taking a bill and throwing it into the trash. Seems crazy doesn’t it! But that’s what so many of us do. We don’t plan our meals and more often than not half the stuff gets tossed out in the garbage.

Here are a few meal planning suggestions to help you stay organized and moving towards your goals.

1) Figure out what you have in the house

Every Sunday take stock of what food you have in the house, while you are doing this, toss out food that has gone bad or is expired.

2) Come up with a weekly list

Once you know what food you have in the house, come up with a list of meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner and healthy snacks for the week ahead. There are a number of ways you can do this. If you are particularly food savvy you can probably do most of this on the top of your head but for the rest of us, try to stick to the Canada’s Food guide and search through recipes that you have in your home or online.

There are a number of sites that make it easy for you to plan weekly meals such as:

The 20 minute supper club

Allrecipes.com Canada

Kraft Canada

Food on the table

Menu Planner

2013 Meal Planning Software

3) Go shopping

When you are at the grocery store try not to buy anything that is not on your list and be sure to check grocery store flyers for deals before you head out. Another organizing tip, store re-usable grocery bags in your car so that you won’t be stuck getting plastic bags at the checkout.

4) Be proactive and plan for the future

If you have some spare time, spend a few hours generating recipes that you or your family love so that the meal planning process becomes quicker every week.

It seems like a lot of work but it will pay off when you have less time, are more tired and apt to pick up something from McDonald’s instead of sticking to your meal plan. Out goes the healthy eating resolution, out goes more money and inevitably all the guilt will make you more stressed.

If meal planning seems like too much, there is ALWAYS the option of hiring a wonderful individual like myself who will come in and do the work for you! Feel free to drop me a line if you are in need of some planning assistance. laurawatts@doubletakeorganizing.ca

Happy organizing!

Laura