Simplify your life in under 4 minutes

July 15th, 2009

Dishwasher, open and loaded with dishes
Image via Wikipedia

We are always trying to find time to get organized or simplify our lives.  If you want to stop waiting for free hours that never seem to appear, try taking advantage of small chunks of free time you didn’t realize you had.

The average commercial break takes between 3 – 4 minutes.  Rather than sitting through the commerical break, take advantage of that free time.    We’ve created a list of 10 things you can do in 4 minutes or less.  It is amazing how much you can accomplish when you know the clock is ticking.

  1. Throw a load of laundry in the washing machine.
  2. Fold a load of clothes from the dryer.
  3. Wash a sink full of dishes.
  4. Load or unload the dishwasher.
  5. Change the sheets.
  6. Sync your PDA.
  7. Cut flowers from the garden.
  8. Vacuum one room.
  9. Delete SPAM from your email account.
  10. Write a grocery list.

While these micro-tasks may seem insignificant.  Typically there are four commercial breaks in an hour long program.  The average American female watches between 18 – 20 hours of TV per week.  If you could knock off four of these tasks per hour of TV watched, you could accomplish all of the items on this list in just a few days.

What other tasks can you accomplish in under 4 minutes?  Please comment below.  Let’s help each other be more productive while simplifying our lives.

Kim Oser, Certified Professional Organizer®

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What’s New in the Organizing World? – Part II

June 9th, 2009

So I had hoped to post Part II a little sooner but they products and services are still worth mentioning.   Last Monday,  I attended the National Association of Professional Organizers, Washington, DC (NAPO-WDC) meeting.  The meeting topic was “What’s New?”.

The “What’s New?” meeting shared products and services the “show & tell” format.  Manufacturer’s donated samples(s) to share their latest & greatest product or service.  The samples were given away to chapter members as door prizes.

Here is the Part II run-down of the products and services shared.

time-timerTime Timer – Don’t we all wish we could create more time. What if we think about how are we actually spending the 24 hours we have in a day? Like most other things, when you measure time or set limits, you are likely to accomplish more. The Time Timer can help solve time perception problems at all ages and time telling ability levels. The graphic face gives you a visual understanding of time elapsing. Set the timer for the desired amount of time. When the Time Timer‘s colored portion disappears, you are out of time and an audible alarm sounds. (1) 8″ Time Timer and (1) 3″ Time Timer was given away at the meeting = up to $65 value combined.
Time Timer

recipenest2Recipe Relish – The first new thing I have seen in ‘cook books’.  What amateur cook has not pulled a recipe from a magazine or printed one from the internet?  We end up with recipes of all shapes and sizes, some single sided, others two sided.  The Recipe Nest enables you to keep all of those recipes in an organized manner.  It has been designed to not only be a recipe storage device, but it’s built-in easel holds the recipe you are cooking/baking wipes clean.  When you are done, tuck the recipe back inside in the appropriate category and the Recipe Nest neatly stacks on your bookshelf.  The Recipe Nest comes in colors to match any kitchen.   Recipe Relish donated (1) Recipe Nest as a door prize = $38.95 value.

Family Facts- I met Family Facts creator Pam Socolow shortly after starting my organizing business Put It Away!.  Turns out Pam is a cousin of a close friend.  I became aquainted with Family Facts when the product line was just in it’s early stages.  The Family Life Organizer & Planner’s popularity spawned an entire line different organizing binders.  They include Family Facts On The Go, Family Facts Pregnancy Planner and Family Facts Wall Calendar.   The Family Facts line provides tools to help you manage your personal information and achieve harmony and balance.  Pam kindly donated (1) Family Facts Wall Calendar, (1)Family Facts On The Go & (1) Family Facts Peace of Mind Organizer = combined value of close to $48.

Have you had experience with any of these products?  We would love to hear your comments below.

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What's New in the Organizing World – Part I

June 1st, 2009

Tonight I attended the National Association of Professional Organizers, Washington, DC (NAPO-WDC) meeting.  The June meeting has always been very popular.  In the past, the June meeting was titled “My Favorite Things”.  NAPO-WDC Chapter members brought their favorite things and shared them in a “show & tell” format.  This year things were changed up a bit and the meeting was renamed “What’s New?”.

The “What’s New?” meeting shared the “show & tell” format.  What made this meeting different is manufacturer’s could share their latest & greatest product or service.  The manufacturers donated a sample(s) to be given away to chapter members as door prizes.

Here is a run-down of the products and services shared tonight, Part I.

Who doesn’t like roll out shelving?  Shelf Improvement states only four screws are needed to install a Shelf Improvement roll out shelf.    Their roll out shelving comes in various sizes.  The cost is $79 +$10 shipping regardless of the size ordered.  One roll out shelf was given away = $89 value.

ClearlynotedClearly Noted – A new line of greeting cards designed by Pittsburgh Certified Professional Organizer®, Jill Revitsky.  I met Jill in 2005 and was very impressed with her.  That is why I was not surprised by the premier product Jill recently launched, Clearly Noted. Clearly Noted Cards are meant to encourage, motivate and congratulate anyone who is on a journey to a simpler and more organized lifestyle.  Great product for every professional organizer to keep on hand.  Jill donated a six pack of Clearly Noted cards as a door prize = $15.30 value.

savemypix
OK, admit it.  We all have a shoe box of photos, at least one.  Oh, so yours is in a pretty ‘photo box’.  Most of the boxes sold as ‘photo boxes’ do nothing to preserve the quality of your photos.  Philadelphia based, SaveMyPix.com offers economical, professional digital transfers of your precious memories for easy viewing.  They offer scanning of photos, transfer of slides, negatives and video to DVDs.  Owners Maxx & Monica Messinger donated (2) ScanMyPix.com prepaid boxes = $149 value each.

brother-pt-1230Label makers are an organizers best friend.  Brother is a leader in label makers.  Their newest product is the PT1230.  This label maker uses the familiar TZ tape.  It hooks into your PC’s USB port and operates off of Plug & Label technology.  Uses your PC’s keyboard and monitor.   Unlike other label makers in the PT line, the PT1230 enables you to print True Type font and logos.  There is no software to download to your computer.  When you are done, turn the PT1230 off and there is no software left on your computer.  One lucky NAPO-WDC member won a PT1230 as a door prize = up to $49.99 value.

Check out these products and stay tuned for What’s New in the Organizing World – Part II.

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Organizing Your Linen Closet

May 13th, 2009

What does your linen closet look like? Are there towels, sheets and blankets just tossed in? Do you keep reusing the same sheets, they go from the bed to the laundry, back to the bed? If this is you, you are not alone. Below are pictures of a small linen closet we organized. There were w-a-y too many sheets and towels for the number of beds and bathrooms.

Pulled from linen closetOrganized Linen Closet

Our guideline is up to three sets of sheets per bed and up to three sets of towels per person. This allows for the one in use, the ones in the laundry and a spare set for emergency. We used Shelf Dividers but hung them upside down to prevent the stacks from tumbling over.  We also used the FlipFold® to keep everything the same size.

If you have towels that are used to mop up leaks or spills, store those with the extra blankets and comforters on the top shelf or that spot that hides behind a wall.

Wondering what to do with the sheets, towels and blankets you no longer need? If the sheets and towels are in pristine shape, you know the ones you bought that are just a shade off? You can donate them to a shelter. If they have a little wear but are still usable, the local animal shelter is happy to take them. If they are completely worn out or have stains, check with your local county/city recycling program. Many recycle textiles. Any of these manners of disposal will prevent adding them to our landfills.

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Need Inspiration?

May 13th, 2009

If you want to get somewhere you have to know where you want to go and how to get there. Then never, never, never give up.”  Norman Vincent Peale

Want to organize your life? Organize your space? Remember appointments and be on time? Find things when you are looking for them? Improve your credit rating and lower interest rates by paying your bills on time? Find the dining room/kitchen table and the tools to prepare and serve a meal on the table?

The first step is envisioning your life or your space in your best case scenario. Then set goals to help you get there. It may be getting up one-half hour earlier or cleaning out one shelf or drawer at a time or it may be hiring a professional to help you through the process. If plan A does not work, go with plan B. Look at road blocks as challenges and opportunities. You may find your initial plan was not the optimal plan. The process of setting your goals and following through to get there will help you achieve self-satisfaction and a more rewarding life.

kim-signature-small-angle2

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It's here! My eBook 50 Ways to Use Technology to Increase Productivity & Profitability is here! Don't let the name fool you. It actually contains over 80 resources. Check the special pricing for Need Another You readers.

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