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Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Organizing Winter Clothes

Winter is almost over. Even though it still gets cold here in Chicago its time to start packing up those heavier clothes and start looking into spring. Soon you will be wearing shorts and flip flops!
It can be difficult to determine what you should put away until next year and what to keep out. If the temperature drops you want to be prepared.
Here are a few items that you can put away that will jump start your closet organizing.
Heavy wools
Heavy coats
Velvets
Bulky sweaters
Winter sports gear-hats, gloves scarves or ski pants
Winter boots
Organizing your heavy winter clothes now will make the change of seasons a little easier next year. Also, by opening up space in your closet you can start adding a few of your warmer weather clothes like rain jackets, lightweight materials and cottons.

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Organized Vases = Cheap Flowers

Yesterdays post I talked about organizing flower vases. Donating them or giving them back to the florist where they can be reused. But did you know it can also save you money? I had a dinner party and wanted to order flowers instead of trying to make the arrangement myself with the store bought flowers. I also wanted to use one of my existing vases so I did not start collecting vases again. I brought my vase to the florist, told them what I wanted and how much I wanted to spend and viola! A beautiful arrangement for half the cost because I brought my own vase. It pays to be organized!

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Organizing Tableware And Collectibles

When organizing your china cabinet, its common to have several different patterns of china, odd number of stemware or even a few broken figurines. The problem with all of these extra pieces is you cant have a dinner party for 8 if you only have 7 plates. One way to work with the odd number of dishes is to add another pattern that will compliment your current set. Or go to Replacements,Ltd a China, Crystal, Silver and Collectibles supplier to replace those hard to find patterns! If you are ready to let go of your current set of dishes to make room for a new set you can even sell your pieces to Replacement, Ltd!

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Monday, March 30, 2009
Save Energy, Save Money And Get Organized One Computer At A Time!

At the end of the day, take a few minutes to organize your office space. Put everything away, make a "To-Do" list and please turn off your computer! Computers eat up a lot of energy when left on over night. Try about 2.8 billion a year and that is just the U.S! Computers that are kept on overnight and on the weekends omit 20 million tons of carbon dioxide. Yikes!
So please, start a new office organizing habit this spring and turn off your computer at the end of each day. Your computer will run better, you will save some money and get organized at the same time.

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Sunday, February 15, 2009
Organize Your Entertainment?

We are all busy these days and dont have time to waste or money. So the next time you are unsure about how to spend your entertaining dollars make sure you do a little research. We like to watch movies either at the theater or at home on netfix or our cable channel. But I must say there is nothing worse then wasting time and money on a flop of a movie. Make sure you check out At The movies for movies in theaters now or Rotten Tomatoes which also gives feedback on older movies out on DVD.
Just like organizing your closet you must organize your entertainment!

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Monday, January 19, 2009
Organize A Swap

Here's a quick way to get rid of items you no longer need. Organize a themed swap party where everyone brings items they no longer need. It could be kitchen items, home accessories or even clothes. Its a great way to get rid of items and give them a new home. If you pick a theme its easier to look at one category at a time and makes the task of organizing a little easier. If the theme is kitchen cooking equipment all you have to do is go through your pots and pans and weed out a few that are not getting any use. This also is a good time to toss out those scratched, burnt and broken pieces too and reorganize your cabinets!

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Sunday, January 18, 2009
Organizing Leftovers


Want a quick way to get rid of leftovers and keep your fridge organized? Make a list of all leftovers and keep on your fridge door so you know what is available.
Make a section in the fridge only for leftovers that is visible and easy to reach. If you like to take leftovers to work, store in ziplock bags or disposable containers so you don't have to transfer to another container when you are rushed for time.

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Sunday, January 11, 2009
One Day At A Toy

Kids get a lot of toys at the holidays, birthdays and other occasions. Instead of adding them all to the current play list, keep existing toys organized by putting new toys away until they are ready for them. Some toys are not age appropriate and your kids wont be ready for them for few months or a even a couple of years. Some toys have too many parts and pieces or are just plain messy! These toys might be better off used in the summer outdoors or not at all. Make it easy on yourself and limit the amount of toys your kids have to choose from. Give away toys your kids have outgrown as much as possible so you can keep current toys organized. Rainy or snow days are great times to beat old toy boredom. So pull out a new toy (or overstock of existing toys) out of your extra box of toys and make any day a celebration!

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Sunday, December 28, 2008
Organize Your Gift Cards For 2009!

One of the best ways to save money in 2009 is to organize and document your gift cards. We have a lot of gift cards that go unused because we cant find when we need them.


49% of Americans have an unused gift cards worth an estimated $8 Billion!

Put all your gift cards in one place, such as manila envelope or even a Ziploc bag. Write down expiration dates or any other restrictions. Put in the glove compartment of your car or somewhere in your home where you won't forget and use them.

Go through your calendar now and make a list of birthdays, anniversaries and other special events that you know you'll be buying gifts for during the year. Use your stash of gift cards to buy other gifts is a double savings!

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Saturday, December 27, 2008
Organize And Label It For the New Year!

As you start thinking about your News Years resolutions, remember that not only making a list of your goals is helpful but putting a label on everything gives you an instant system.
After organizing your spaces. Get a label maker, use file folder labels or shipping labels(you know you have them in your office supplies)and affix to bins, drawers, shelves and files.

Labels keep everyone on track and tells you where to put things away.
Label makers range from $15 to about $200 depending on the bells and whistles.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Making Green Sense

Love this idea from Charter One. The more you get organized in your home or office by paying paying without paper, Charter one pays you 10 cents! Using your debit cards, online bill pay and automatic payment to your checking account helps the environment your bank account and your paper organizing efforts.

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Monday, October 27, 2008
Organizing Your Gifts

Use technology this holiday season to organize your gift giving. Big stores like Target, Amazon and Toys R Us have online wish lists that you can use to do your shopping for friends and family. A wish list is just like a bridal registry where you register for items you would like, but you can use it for other events like holidays, birthdays and graduations. Create your own online wish list to make it easier for your gift givers. Buy gifts that someone actually wants. You don't want to add clutter to someone else's home or your own.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Gear For Good

If you decide to organize your home this fall and you come across any unwanted outdoor equipment like back packs, boots, and camping gear. Send it to the Gear4Good program. Used gear will go youth hiking programs in the U.S. and porter support programs in Nepal, Peru and Tanzania. This sturdy gear can also go to the Search-and-rescue teams teams in developing countries. If they cant find a home for your gear they will list items on online auctions and use money to support programs.



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Sunday, September 14, 2008
Summertime Purge

Summer is a wonderful time of year but it will soon be coming to a close. I know its a sad thing. The seasons change and so does your wardrobe. This means you have to put away your summer clothes and start pulling out the winter clothes. Im not saying you have to switch out all of your summer clothes right now but its time to start pulling out a few bins and bags to have ready for donation, packing or giving away to a friend. Its also a good time to start getting rid of items you did not wear this summer and you know you will never wear again...ever!
Its an even greater time to take a peak at what you stored away from the last winter and see if there is anything you can purge out. If you didn't wear it last year there is a good chance you will not wear it this year. While you are at it pull a few fall and winter items out of the storage you may need them sooner than you think.

Bonus tip! Consignment shops are putting out fall and winter clothes so bring those warmer weather clothes you no longer want and you might make a little money.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Free Webtop Organizing!


I just heard of this great new site where you can organize all those little pieces of paper of random information in an easy to use format. Convert documents into checklists for shopping or keep track of your health information and other personal information like hobbies or goals. Download templates for easy recording and share pages with friends and family. Check out Jibidee.com and it is free to sign up!

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Thursday, December 20, 2007
Gift Cards - An Organizers Dream

I have 10 nieces and nephews ranging from 7 – 22 years old. I can remember only 1 year that I gave them Christmas presents they actually enjoyed. I usually fall into the trap of getting the wrong gifts and I can tell they are really not interested. I don’t buy the coolest or the latest for them because I just don’t know what to buy. So this year they are all getting gift cards to Starbucks and Mcdonalds. I figure its just like money and they will actually use them. It took me all of about 30 minutes to buy for ten people. That was easy for me and I’m sure they will all be happy.
I will keep you posted on the Christmas gift reactions!

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Flip Books Of Today

Remember along time ago when flip books were fun? You could draw a stick figure and then turn the page and draw another stick figure with one arm or leg higher then the other? Eventually the stick figure would be going off the page. You could then fan the corner of the page and make "the running stick figure"! Oh, my gosh I haven't seen one of those in forever! Does anyone even make those anymore? I received this email link to today's version. Wow times have changed.
Instead of using a notebook that has 100 changing pictures that becomes an animated cartoon, this one you just scroll down the page to see the animation. OK, I think I've see it all!

Flip book animation

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Sunday, September 23, 2007
Handiwipes Are The best!

My husband and are secretly fighting over the travel cup, and while we don’t say this out loud, whoever fills the coffee cup first gets to take it on road. We used to have about 6 and they have all disappeared, even the really good one.
Anyway I have the one that dribbles a little and sure enough this week on my way to a client I spilled tea on my white shirt. That is the worst! Luckily I had some handiwipes in the car and clean up the stain and I was good as new. Emergency stain resolved!

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Saturday, September 22, 2007
Magazine Overload


Too many magazines, too many inserts (subscription cards, perfume ads etc) and how I use those to my advantage. - I use them as page markers and also before I even start reading a magazine I flip through and pull out all extra cards and tear outs. If I want to take it a step further I will take out ALL advertisements - you’d be surprised how skinny your mag gets. Also, you can actually flip through the magazine without getting hung up.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Quick Tip - Cell Phone File

Have you ever been in a store just staring at a rack of ink cartridges, trying
to figure out the model number for you home printer? Or stumbled across a great sale in men's shirts, but can't remember the neck size of your significant other? Here's a quick tip for keeping important information easily accessible. Use the address book in your cell phone to jot down notes!

First, create a name and enter it your phonebook. My cell phone now has
Printer listed in the contact list and under First Name. The last name says
Home Printer with the name, model # and printer colors listed in the notes
column.
Why the cartridge colors? My printer only works if I have all five colors
plus black, but the black runs out first, then the three main colors and
every once in awhile I have to replace the two oddball colors -- light cyan
and light magenta. Those are not typical colors I'm going to think of when I
'm in a hurry to print black and white.

Under my husband's I've listed all his clothing sizes and brand preferences.
Now I can confidently take advantage of sales and not worry about having to
return items - saving time and money!

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Monday, September 10, 2007
The Remote Control Universe

How many remote controls do you own? We have the following in our home:
TV
Cable
VCR
Surround Sound
Tuner
Digital picture frame


I must say it's a little too much to have out on the coffee table. A remote
control for a picture frame? Check out the reviews of universal remotes at CNET.com
These handy gadgets can control multiple electronic devices, from your television and cable to the stereo and video games. Logitech's Harmony 1000 has an easy to use touch screen and controls up to 15 devices. But this convenience doesn't come
cheap. The Harmony 1000 costs a whopping $499. Then there's the programming.
If you don't have a degree in electronics be prepared to hire a professional. Our solution for now?

We are going to store all the remotes, except for the ones for the TV and
cable until they're needed.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Top 10 ways to declutter your digital life

Here is a great article I found on Lifehack about organizing your e-clutter
I especially liked tip #1 cleaning out your inbox. This is such an important task and should be done as often as possible. Every new email pushes the older emails out of sight and they can be forgotten. Cleaning out your inbox on a weekly basis is a good way to review emails you havent acted on. Reply, forward, add to your do-to list or delete those inbox items a.s.a.p. and your inbox will be so much easier to manage.

Have a great day!
Karli

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Finding treasures while organizing your home or office

Would you believe that you could unearth treasures in your own home or office? Is it possible you have been missing something and didn't even know it? Some of the most common items we find organizing homes and offices are gift certificates, gift cards and sometimes important documents. It may seem like a daunting task but it's possible that you too may just find something valuable. Have fun and let me know if you find something you been looking for!

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Monday, January 01, 2007
It's Not Being Perfect

New Year
Here I am at the start of a new year -- it’s "clean slate time," – a fresh start. Like many people, New Year’s Day has me thinking about what I’d like to accomplish in the next 365 days. Some of my goals are similar to most folks, lose some weight, get fit, get a handle on my finances. Others are more idiosyncratic – such as finally getting past Level 2 in French. However, getting organized is not one of goals, though I’m a natural slob. Maybe it’s because I’m suspicious that if I give up my messiness, I’ll also give up some of my creativity and spontaneity.

So then what am I doing blogging on a site dedicated to getting organized? What drew me to working with Karli is her philosophy that organizing is not about being perfect. It’s a tool to help accomplish bigger goals. That resonated with me. I’ll never have a home where everything is always in its place, but I can do without the frustration of wondering around our two-bedroom, two-bath home for 20 minutes looking for my keys. None of my friends have ever said or will ever say, I just love Irene, she’s sooo organized. But I know they like it when I remember birthdays and special occasions. I don’t have to be organized to get on a treadmill, but I do have to make the time to get to the gym.

So that’s what organization means to me. It’s a way to achieve important things, like taking care of my family, and being a good friend, and contributing to the community. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

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Saturday, May 20, 2006

Routine = Efficiency

Do you ever wonder what makes some people more productive than others? Well professional organizers think about it all the time and one common bit of wisdom is routine = efficiency.

When our minds are faced with the same tasks week after week or day after day, they naturally find the most efficient method of accomplishing that task. It is the reason why Henry Ford was so successfully with assemble line manufacturing. If a worker needed to complete thousands of tasks to build a car, each task would require memory recall, a shift in focus and mental and physical setup. But if 1000 workers were each assigned just one task, they would each find the most efficient process making the entire process more efficient.

We too can employ assembly line efficiency in our lives to become more productive by identified all the rote tasks in our lives that we must complete, but are not necessarily enjoyable. And keep in mind - assembly line tactics should not be used on those tasks that are meaningful and deserve thought and attention. Do not mechanically pet your dog three times before leaving for work in place of your meaningful time together. But instead find tasks like sorting the mail, paying bills and doing the dishes and develop a routine that helps you make those tasks as efficient as can be so that you have more time available for meaningful moments.

Here are some tips on creating routines in your daily, weekly and monthly schedules so that you can get more out of life.

Paying Bills
Very few people like paying bills, and it seems that every year brings more bills and more complications which means less time to enjoy. Setting up automatic payments and withdrawals can really help to simplify your life and even help a family stay on budget. Almost every utility, credit card, mortgage company or bank offers an automatic method of payment, and some even offer discounts when choosing an automatic pay plan. And banks are providing free online access to checking to make the setup simple and pain free. Take a look at the list below of common bills that usually offer auto pay options.

Phone Bill
Cable Bill
Mortgage
Home Insurance
Car Payment
Car Insurance
Cell Phone Bill
Electric Bill
Gas Bill
Credit Cards
Internet Service


The trick to monitoring these payments easily and ensuring you have enough money to pay the bills is to pick a single date or small date range in which all the payments will be made. Then total up the dollar amount of all the automatic payments. Be sure to leave room on this number because some payments may fluctuate with usage, like a cell phone or electricity bill. Some people are surprised to find out how much their bills total which makes this a great step in becoming financially organized. This step provides a reasonable estimate of your fixed expenses each month. In the process you may even discover some expenses that are no longer worth the cost.

Once you know how much each month your expenses total and you have setup all the payments to be taken from your checking account in the same time period, it easy to monitor. Most checking accounts have online access these days so you can log in and make sure the payments went through on time.

The Mail

Come rain or shine your mail box gets paid a visit. If you don't have a daily routine for handling the mail, chances are that you have piles of envelopes stacked somewhere in your home or office.

Handling the mail should be a daily routine. A common time to handle the mail is when you get home from work. Spend just a few minutes at the garbage can throwing out the junk right away. Then have a set place for "To Do's". It is also a good practice to respond right away for items that require a call to action. That way you leave room for tomorrows incoming correspondence.

The little things

We waste a lot of time looking for things on our way out the door. Designate an area for keys, wallet, and umbrellas and get into the strict habit of placing them only in that area. You will find this helps you get out the door on time and reduces the panic of finding your keys when late for an appointment.

Cleaning

No one likes to clean, which is the very reason why cleaning tasks should be routine tasks. Set a schedule for vacuuming, making the beds, laundry, kitchen and bathrooms and stick to it. You find that after a couple of weeks each task actually takes less time because you will have naturally found the most efficient processes.


I hope some of these ideas inspire you to install some routine into your days that will free up wasted time and help you to enjoy each day a little more.

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

How to Say Goodbye

One of the most difficult parts of organizing is saying goodbye to items. It is easy to identify when there is too little space for too much stuff, but agonizing to decide what must go. Here are a few tips and ideas on how to determine the things you get the most enjoyment and use from, and the things that should go.

1.) If you are really undecided on some items, pack them up and put them into storage for a pre determined amount of time. I recommend no longer than a year, and for most items 3 to 6 six months will make the point. After the storage period is over ask yourself if you thought about the item, needed it or missed it. These questions will give you an indication of just how useful that item is to your life, and if it is worth the precious space it takes up.
2.) It is difficult to make decisions on items that hold sentimental value. The general rule of thumb is that you should display items that have meaning. Items with sentimental meaning provide little satisfaction sitting in a box on a shelf somewhere. When going through your sentimental items decide what you want to display. For the items that will not be displayed, think about alternatives to packing it up again. Is there a friend or family member that will display the items? For pictures and memorabilia technology can offer some great solutions. Scan images of those items and pictures into your hard drive, and then make a screen saver, so that you can enjoy them on a day to day basis.
3.) Consider donating items to charities. Sometimes parting with items is easier knowing that it will go to good use. For example, music instruments were made to make music, so shouldn’t they be in the hands of a budding musician instead on a basement shelf collecting dust?
4.) Some of that stuff may be worth a lot of money. Sticking with the music instrument theme, my husband played trumpet in high school. He bought the trumpet at a garage sale for around $50. After college the trumpet moved from closet to closet for ten years getting dinged and more tarnished every year. Then one day he decided it would better for someone to be playing the trumpet, rather than it age in his closet. He sold it on eBay because it had a new case and he thought it might be worth $50. One week later he received a check for over $1,800. He had no idea the trumpet was worth that much money and was very pleased that he could say for that month, that music paid the mortgage.

I hope these tips help you clear the clutter from your home or office. Our spaces should be enjoyed, not enslaved by our things. So decide what you have room for, and what is meaningful, and use those items to create the space you deserve.

For professional help Organized With Style can be reached at 877-447-3697

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