Last post I talked about my favorite methods to avoid "churning", or shuffling things from one spot to the next without making decisions on what to do with them. While the hula hoop is fun to use, a utilitarian white sheet or tarp works equally well and can be used two ways.
When there is a lot of visual clutter in a space I will cover the areas we are not working on with sheets or tarps. This physically defines the space we are working on much like the hula hoop does, as well as decrease the opportunity to bounce around to other areas. The second way to use the sheets or tarps is to lay them down, often on the lawn, to sort large items into different categories. Particularly useful when there are multiple people sorting and the person who needs to make the decisions can see the quanitity of items they have in each category as well as duplicates, etc.
There are many different methods to organize with - I encourage and help my clients to find the ones that work for them and stick with it. Aim low and achieve, or overachieve!
P.S. Can you guess why I recommend a white sheet instead of a colored or printed one?
Ever walk into a room with the intention of getting it organized, start moving things around but never really make a decision on what to actually DO with the stuff? Organizers call that "churning", or shuffling things from one place to another. It can be anxiety producing and lead to frustration - expending energy but not achieving organization.
How do we avoid churning? There are multiple methods, but I'm going to share my two favorites - hula hoops and white sheets. Personally I like the saying "Aim Low and Overachieve" - sometimes I modify it to just ""Aim Low and Achieve" and both these tools help us do that. For example, we want to organize our entire craft room....that's a very large goal. To avoid churning, we are going to lay a hula hoop on a horizontal surface and only deal with what is within its circumference. Being confined to that space not only helps set an achievable goal, but it is much less overwhelming than organizing the entire room. Once we've made decisions on what is inside the hula hoop we can move it and repeat the process.
Next week I'll explain how I use a white sheet to organize. Stay tuned!
P.S. Can you hula hoop? I can't! But, it's on my bucket list to learn how.
My knee surgery was two months ago today. While physically it didn't slow me up like anticipated, mentally my head felt like it was filled with stuffing and Every. Single. Decision. for several weeks was agonizingly hard. But that's a post for another day.
Today I was reflecting on ALL the paperwork that comes from medical issues. I've had my share of surgeries; this one was minor in scope, yet there are sheafs of papers on my desk to deal with. Here are the guidelines I used for filing, purging and organizing them.
1. All medical correspondence gets seperated into a basket when it comes in the mail. Once or twice a week I spend 15 minutes opening the envelopes and categorizing the contents.
2. Anything that requires action I do immediately if it will take me less than 2 minutes (ie confirming an appointment matches what I have in my calendar); if it will take longer than 5 minutes I schedule a time to take care of it. This strategy was particularly handy when requesting a copy of medical records for disability insurance - turns out there is a 14 week back log at the records office - the longer I put off requesting them the longer I have to wait to file for disability.
3. File File File! This is part of the 2 minute or less from above - if the piece of paper is in my hand it needs to be put in its proper place, or I'll end up having to deal with it again. No one, and I mean No One, likes to deal with piles of papers (unless, of course, I'm with a client - I love working with other people's piles!). Clutter is delayed decisions - if the paper is in your hand and you know what to do with it - DO IT! I also take files with me to my appointments - all the medical history is in one place and easily referred to.
4. Every time I sit in the reception area waiting for an appointment I go thru the file I have with me. Any non-pertinent papers go OUT (ie old appt. confirmations, expired prior authorizations, etc). It was surprising how little I am left with when I purge frequently.
Medical correspondence can be overwhelming, especially if one is suffering from a chronic condition - using the above steps will help you regain control of the situation and stay on top of your health care. If there are others involved in your care it will help them have a clear picture of what you are dealing with.
YESSSSSSS....you can almost hear the collective exhalation of parental relief as the kids head off to the start of another school year. Don't miss my article at Smead Organomics on how to get the year off to a smooth start, and how to keep it that way. And while you are there, check out all the other cool organizing stuff they have - it's a great resource!
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Tammy Schotzko is a Certified Professional Organizer who