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The Home and Office Organizing Blog
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Organizing Take Out Utensils

Are your kitchen or office drawers packed with plastic utensils from restaurant deliveries? Next time you order out be sure to tell the restaurant not to pack any extra utensils. This will help you keep your space organized and prevent take out clutter. Plus restaurants will save money on delivery extras.

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Thursday, March 11, 2010
Organizing Your Finances using Mint!

Still trying to keep track of your spending but haven't had a moment to spare? Check out Mint from Quicken. Its a online money manager that takes 5 minutes to set up and you can see your account activity in seconds. From Home loans, credit cards, coffee shops and doctor bills. It gives you alerts when something has posted to your account and breaks down your monthly budget.
One of the features I love is being able to split up your ATM withdrawals in order to keep track of that $50 in cash.
The thing I love most about Mint is its free!

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Monday, March 01, 2010
Organizing Old Computer Equipment

Need to get organized and rid your home or office of unwanted computer Equipment? Now you can drop off your old computer working or not and just about anything that plugs into your computer like keyboards, monitors, cables and even software to Goodwill! Go to Reconnectpartnership.com to find a location that excepts computer equipment and see which items they accept.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Organize Your Online Music

Spending too much time changing songs on your Ipod or cd's just to hear one musical genre? How about picking one song you like and have an website find similar music for you? Now thats was I call organized listening! Check out the website Pandora.com to stream music to your PC. The best part about Pandora...its free!

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Saturday, August 08, 2009
Organizing For The Teachers

Are you having a hard time keeping your home or office organized because you have too many supplies? Organize your home or office but dont toss your unused office supplies donate them to a school. These items can really add up and in some schools teachers have to pay for classroom materials themselves. Check out this site donorschoose.org where teachers posts requests about supplies needed for specific projects or list funds needed.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Organizing With Labels

Got some leftover shipping or file folder labels? Use them for labeling shelves, drawers or storage bins. You don't have to use a fancy label maker when you have unused office supplies hanging around.
Printed labels look so much better than handwriting and instantly creates a system. I like to use Avery labels. They have a simple online template where you design and print your project. Just type in the product number, select a design and start typing your labels and print. It gives you the option to change fonts etc and allows you to preview your project. This is really helpful when you only have a half sheet of labels leftover and only want to make a few labels.

Happy Labeling!

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Saturday, June 06, 2009
Organizing Pens

It's amazing how many pens and pencils we have lying around our home or office but manage to have only one single favorite. For whatever reason you cannot write with anything else other than your rollerball, gel or ballpoint pen . You usually know where your favorite pen is at all times and try to keep it in a safe place. You are keeping that one special object organized! Great job!
If you have drawers and containers full of unused pens in all shapes, sizes and colors and you dont think you need them - let them go. Donate them to a a local public school or other location where you think someone could use them.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Organized Greetings

How many times have you purchased greeting cards or birthday cards and never sent them? They were purchased with the best intentions but you just never made it to the mailbox. We forget, get busy and sometimes cant find the cards! A simple way to organize cards is to keep them together in a resealable bag and write the types of cards on the outside. If you have a lot of birthday cards keep them together in one bag. Miscellaneous cards like shower, blank or thank you cards can be kept together but add a list of cards to the bag for quick reference. The bags make it easy to see and they can be stored in other locations other then a file cabinet or folder.

Good luck!

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Monday, April 13, 2009
Improved Cell Phone Photos

Capturing precious moments is priceless! I swore that I would never use my blackberry camera to take pictures because it was not the best quality and the prints never really turned out. But sometimes you don't have a camera available and your cell phone camera is the only option. Every once in a while I would get a great shot but still wonder how much better it would have been with a "real" camera.
Just recently I took some shots and was so upset at the quality.
I started to do some investigating and thought "I wonder if the lens is dirty"? I got out the trusty q-tip and wiped out the lens.
After the cleaning the picture quality was so much better!
I am happy to say I will continue to use my cell phone to take pictures but keeping the lens clean is a must! If you keep your phone in your bag or your purse you might want to pack a few extra q-tips to keep the lens clean. Another option is to keep you phone in a case.
Now if the blackberry could only do action shots!

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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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Thursday, January 29, 2009
Organize Your Magazine Subscriptions

How many magazines subscriptions do you have? Do you know when they will expire? Do you read them all? It is important to keep track of the reading material that is coming into your home so you can keep it organized.
If you are not reading a subscription anymore, make sure you dont renew it when the invoice comes in the mail. Just toss the invoice and dont even think twice about it. You can always pick up a copy and renew again in the future.
As soon as you get a subscription make a note in your calender so you know when the subscription begins and when it will expire.

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Monday, December 29, 2008
Save Money In 2009 By Organizing Your Paperwork

Now is the time to tackle those piles on your desk and get organized. How can that save money? When people struggle with clutter they frequently lose track of their bills, which can lead to late payments. The average credit card late fee is $26! Many are as high as $39.

Avoid late fees by opening all your mail and put all bills in an action file. Note in your calendar when all your bills are due.


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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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Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Tiny Shredder

Say goodbye to that bulky shredder at home. Check out the smallest shredder in world. Shredding scissors from Sally Foster. I love this tool! Use it when you only need to shred a few pieces of paper each day like a bank statement or credit card application. Its just like using a pair of scissors but this one has 4 blades. No more tossing those personal documents in the trash.

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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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Friday, July 11, 2008
It Pays To Recycle Your Old Phone

It pays to recycle! Isn't that just music to your ears! A company called Greenphone will pay you for your used phone! Go to their website at www.greenphone.com and check the list for your phone. If its on the list it will also tell you how much money you can expect for selling. The next step is sending in your phone (free of charge) and they will check to make sure it is in working condition. If so they will send you payment. If the phone is not in working order they will recycle it safely. No more cell phones in the trash!!!

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Friday, June 27, 2008
Saving Money At The Pump

The cost of gas is at a all time high right now. So joy riding and running errands in the car is becoming a thing of the past. Here are a few tips to getting organized before you step on that gas peddle.

#1 Batch your errands in the same area so that you can drive straight to your final destination. Map out every other location to stop at along on the way. This is how the delivery drivers do it!

#2 Save your errands for one day so you are not going back and forth in the car.

#3 Before running out to buy more of something, check your home for possible replacements or other alternatives. Get creative!

#4 Buy online whenever possible

#5 Walk or ride your bike

#6 Share your ride with friends and family.

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Monday, June 09, 2008
Receipt Madness

Need some help with all those receipts cluttering your life? Check out Shoeboxed where you mail in your receipts and they scan all of your paper making it easier to organize your finances. Information can be uploaded to a spreadsheet or exported to Quicken. This service can be used for your home or business.

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Saturday, May 24, 2008
Mechanical vs. No 2 Pencils

Here's a quick tip on keeping those office supplies organized. Do you have a lot of pens and pencils in your office supply? How many pencils do you have in the collection? Do you have both No. 2 and mechanical pencils? If you dont use pencils that often and you are short on space I recommend switching mechanical pencils only. The reason for this is you dont have to sharpen the mechanical pencils and you dont have to store the extra pencil supplies like the manual sharpener or electric sharpner. Both either take up desktop space or drawer space.

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Monday, April 21, 2008
Cell Phone Memopad

Are you using all of the features your cell phone has to offer like the memo pad? Anytime you have something that you want to write down such as grocery list, idea or anything you need to remember, use the memo pad feature on your phone to record. All of your notes will be organized and ready for future reference.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Tax Day

Just a reminder to everyone that today is tax day. Please keep all of your records organized after submitting your forms and be sure to have your 2008 file ready to go. While everything is fresh in your memory make a list of everything you needed to complete your 2007 taxes.
Do whatever you can do to make compiling next years taxes a breeze.

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Home Office Organizing For The Spring

Here are a few tips on organizing your home office and other papers for spring.
  • Spring also means tax returns, so it's a good time to set up your 2008 tax file. After completing your 2007 taxes, make a list of the documents you submitted. Include a copy of this list for your 2008 taxes as a guide.

  • Lighten your paper load in other areas. Toss magazines and catalogs, old newspapers from the fall and winter. Rule of thumb: only keep magazines from the current season.

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Sunday, March 30, 2008
Earth Hour

Did you help the environment on March 29th by turning off your lights for Earth Hour? Millions of people turned off their lights in major cities to help movement against global warming.
21 hundred corporations joined the movement. 2.2 million people turned off their lights for one hour resulting in a 10.2% energy reduction. This is compared to taking 48,000 cars off the road. We did it in Chicago and it was quite a site to see buildings such as the John Hancock and Tribune building turned off for 1 hour. It was easier than we thought!

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Friday, March 28, 2008
Save The Earth Buy Stopping your Junk Mail


Want to get rid of junk mail and save the earth? Sign up for Green Dimes where they remove your name from mailing lists. Along with your $20 fee they also plant 10 trees on your behalf! How nice is that? We love it!

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Cleaning Out Notebooks

I highly recommend using a single notebook to keep track of notes. Use this instead of writing notes on little pieces of paper. Here is the rule on shifting your note taking to the notebook. You must go through your notebook on a regular basis or your notes will get lost in the shuffle of your 200 page notebook. Please write the date on the top of each page so you have an idea of when you took the note. Dont shift around to the middle and back of the notebook to write notes. They too will get lost. Finally pull sheets out when you have completed the tasks on the page. Your notebook should be out of pages when you are done with it. Then you can go out and buy a new one.

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Monday, January 14, 2008
Getting Organized 2008 - Step #2

Yesterday I posted step 1 of getting organized. Here is the 2nd step to help make organization a part of your daily routine.

#2 Make a plan.
Let’s say you’d like to have more balance in your life and spend more time with your children. So start brainstorming ideas on how you can achieve that. Look for ways to trim wasted time or do things more efficiently. Start with Larger concepts, such as stop wasting time looking for misplaced items, then drill down with specific steps to help achieve that goal. For example, you could determine a specific place to put away your keys as soon as you walk in the door and resolve to do it each and every day. Keep going until you have a plan.

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Sunday, January 13, 2008
Getting Organized 2008 - Step #1

Want to get organized in 2008? Here's how to make it stick.
Every year, getting organized makes the top ten list of New Year's resolutions. If so many of us want to get organized, why is it so hard to achieve? Here's the 1st step to help make organization a part of your daily routine.

#1 Get Perspective
Many people find it hard to stay organized because they don't have the right perspective. Getting organized shouldn't be a goal unto itself. Organization is a tool to achieve life's bigger goals. For example, someone might say they want to get organized but what they're really looking for is more balance in their life. By being organized, they wouldn't waste so much time looking for misplaced items, such as keys and glasses. They wouldn't get stressed by running late so often. The goal is much more than simply having a neat house. It's about quality of life. So before you start trying to get organized, ask yourself, what are the big picture goals you want to achieve? Do you want more balance in your work and personal life, to be more productive at work, or even get out of debt? Those are worthy goals. Your plan for getting organized should be centered on achieving a bigger goal.

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Thursday, November 08, 2007
Don't Forget to Recycle That Computer

Stop! Don’t throw away any computer equipment, cell phones or other electronic device before checking with your local Staples store. They are offering a recycling program for the low low price of $10 at 1,400 store locations. Please do not throw any of theses in the garbage when it can be properly recycled. Items do not need to be purchased from a Staples store and the brand doesn’t matter. Just don’t bring tv’s, mice, keyboards or printers.
Just recycle!

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Techno Trash

Need to get rid of those DVD's, VHS tapes or any other computer related items? Contact Greendisk and let them recycle those items properly. Get their Technotrash box, fill up with computer or techy items and send back to them. Its that easy!

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Sunday, October 07, 2007
Caution! Slow Computer

Is your computer running slow?
How many applications are currently open on your computer? The more applications you have open on your computer the slower it will run. It's just like having too many projects, folders and papers covering your workspace.
Try closing some of the applications you are not working on and see if things move a little faster. It's a good habit to get into. Finish what you are working on and close out of the program.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Email Filing System Part 2

I needed to create a shopping list so I composed a new email and sent it to myself. While waiting for a coffee I remembered a few things that I needed at the store. I went to my inbox reopened the email shopping list added the new items and forwarded it myself. Now the latest email is the most updated. It has the same subject just forwarded.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Email Filing System

Everything in my email inbox is something I need to do. If I need a new email message for a later date I will archive the email.
If the email is a large task than I will create an event on my calender. With this system if I come up with an idea or something I need to do I send myself an email.
I just remembered something I need to do tomorrow for work so I sent myself an email so that it will be in my inbox tomorrow morning.
The goal is to not leave emails in my inbox. Create a system so you empty out your inbox every day. Use your inbox for a tasks you need to address

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Monday, September 24, 2007
Cleaning Before The Cleaning Crew


Do you know how many germs are floating around the typical officespace? I don’t and I don’t want to know. Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital has done studies that show most offices are virtually petri dishes of germs. Working in a corporate environment means you’re likely to get more exposure to the cold that is going around.
You probably know to wash your hands or use the antibacterial solution wheneverpossible. But what about the germs on your desk and file cabinets? Before you leave the office at the end of the day, it’s important to clean yourdesk off at work before the cleaning crew gets there so they can actually clean off the surfaces instead of around your piles of paper. If you can’t do it during the week, at least do it on Friday's! I bet you didn’t think that getting organized would help you stay healthy especially in your office?

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Thursday, August 16, 2007
Whats Your Favorite Planner?

I see a lot of different scheduling tools. What is your favorite and why?
Some people like to use paper planners while others cant's live without their palm pilot. Some use large blotters on their desk or dry erase boards to write a simple note or a "do not forget". Send us your comment about your favorite scheduling tools we would like to hear them!

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Sunday, December 31, 2006
Start the New Year in an organized office

Are you tired of being greeted every Monday morning by a cluttered office? For 2007 why not take a few moments this week to turn your work space around with these three simple office organizing tips.


1. Give yourself plenty of work space by clearing items off your desktop that are not part of your daily work routine. Move pictures and knickknacks off your desktop and hang them on the wall or place them on a shelf.


2. Only keep a small amount of office supplies in your work space. The majority of office supplies should be stored in a supply closet.

3. Place the telephone in a convenient place opposite your writing hand. This way you can answer the phone and have your writing hand free for taking notes.

These three simple tips will help you start to gain control of a cluttered office for 2007. Look for more posts on this subject soon.

Best wishes for the new year!

-Karli

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