Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tips for Success

After all of the philosophical ramblings of my past few blogs, I am in the mood to deal with more practical information so I took some time to look for good tips to share. In the interest of avoiding plagiarism, I will take ten good tips from particular reference books or sources and share them with you one day at a time. Today’s tips are from Donna Smallin’s book The One Minute Organizer: Plain and Simple (North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing, 2004).

1. You are not the person you were 10 years ago; your interest, tastes and styles have changed. Aim to keep around you only the things that represent who you are today.
2. If something has a layer of dust on it, it is an indication that you haven’t used it in a while – get rid of it.
3. When evaluating what to keep, imagine that you are packing to move across the country. Consider the item in terms of: a) is it worth the time to pack it? b) is it worth the effort of carrying it to the moving van c) is it worth the amount per pound that it will cost to have it moved a great distance and d) is it worth carrying into and putting up or storing in your new home?
4. Establish limits on things that accumulate, like plastic shopping bags, food storage containers, rags and scrap paper for taking notes. Decide in advance what is a reasonable amount to have at any one time and recycle the rest.
5. Give yourself permission to get rid of things. Yes, that old t-shirt would make a good rag, but how many rags do you need? Throw it away.
6. Create the rule: “If it is ugly or unfixable, it’s garbage” and stick to it!
7. Take photographs of sentimental items (preferably with the person with whom you share the memory or the child who created it) and get rid of the item.
8. Get rid of bath and shower items you haven’t used in over a month. Put them into smaller containers for travel or guest baths. Donate the rest to shelters or food banks.
9. Schedule time to go through your closet and try on things that you haven’t worn. If it looks good and you love it, hang it back up. If it doesn’t fit or if doesn’t look good on you, donate it.
10. When organizing, keep a small notebook and pen at hand. When you come across or think of a good organizing project, write it down so that it can be dealt with at a separate session – don’t get sidetracked.

Tomorrow’s ten tips will be from Donna Smallin’s earlier book: Unclutter Your Home (Pownal, VT: Storey Publishing, 1999).

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