Crash Course in De-cluttering

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You are smart. You are talented. You have big dreams and lots of energy…
… But if you’re not organized, every step is a struggle – and you’re unlikely to accomplish much. You have to work twice as hard as other people simply because you never learned the basic principles of organization.
Sound familiar? Well, you’re not alone. According to the American Demographic Society, Americans waste more than 9 million hours each day looking for lost and misplaced articles.
Here’s a crash course in de-cluttering your life:
  1. Make the time to organize your desk, your workplace, your house and home office.
  1. De-Clutter any clutter-magnets: desktops, shelves, drawers, closets and cabinets.
  1. Decide what you can do without…and where to put the things you really need.
  1. Use your calendar to budget your days better and create more quality time for the things that really matter.
  1. Learn which products help you stay organized – and which ones just get in your way.
  1. Decide the fate of every incoming piece of paper.
  1. Aim mail and other documents to their final destination.
  1. Put time-sensitive documents, like invitations, where you will be sure not to forget about them.
  1. Develop files that are easy to keep current and to use.
  1. When you set up your home office, take traffic patterns into consideration.
  1. Pre-plan your trip to the office supply store. Be sure your organizing products help you, not just get in your way.
  1. Get things you seldom use out of your way, but still keep them within easy reach.
  1. Use a rule of thumb to decide what stays, and what goes.
  1. Have a mini-agenda. Use it to shorten business calls by a few minutes each. It can add up to hours per week.
  1. Make reasonable estimates of the time you’ll need for any task.
  1. Consider using post-it‘s for your things to do list.
  1. Consider what clutter is costing you, and eliminate things you don’t need.
  1. Store things at or near the point where they are to be used.
  1. Establish a place for everything, and put everything in its place.
  1. Use the last 5 minutes of your workday to straighten up. This will allow it to look nice when you walk back in the next day.

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