Tips from NAPO Washington State Chapter Professional Organizers
Linda Deppa, Uncluttered
"Ask yourself questions like, when am I going to use this again? When was the last time I used it? Do I really need this? If you start these answers out with “but it… or if I…” you probably don’t need it. The one I hear a lot is, “but it was given to me by a friend or family member and if I get rid of it that person might feel bad.” But really stop and think about it. Your friend or family member would most likely never want you to feel burdened or weighed down by something they had given you. So it’s time to let it go if it feels like a burden or something you won’t use anymore. In addition, if you donate it, it might be exactly what someone else needs or is looking for at one of the local charities."
Sue Ive, Organize to Optimize
“When you have a pile of paperwork you need to sort through, get 4 containers, label them ‘File’, ‘Action’, ‘Reading’, and ‘Recycle’. Then take each paper one by one and place in the appropriate container.”
Laura Leist, Eliminate Chaos
Use a digital notebook, such as OneNote or Evernote to keep track of information, such as: ideas for your home, things you want to buy, shopping lists, recipes and so much more. For example, I keep one digital notebook in OneNote that is only used for recipes. I have sections based on the type of food and each section ash pages for individual recipes. the notebook syncs to the OneNote app on my iPhone and then when at the store I have access to all ingredients. Using digital notebooks will help you eliminate a lot of random notes and scraps of paper you may have lying around your office. The best part? It's backed up so you will never lose the information."
Alan Regala, ShelfGenie of Seattle
"If your kitchen feels cluttered with too many items on the counters, chances are you're not utilizing your cabinet or pantry storage effectively. You can maximize storage and accessibility by using Glide-Out shelving and placing them close enough together vertically so there's little dead space."
Sheila Taylor, Clutter Controllers
"Keep a basket near the the door that you enter after getting the mail. Put the mail in the basket and set up a weekly time to go through the mail. I review mine on Sunday nights since I am normally home. Allow yourself about 30 minutes to evaluate each piece of mail, placing each in one of three piles: action, file or recycle. Follow through on action items, file what needs to be filed, and place the third pile in your recycling. This will eliminate any chance of misplacing bills and invoices, and their corresponding late charges."
Lauren Williams, Casual Uncluttering LLC
"Do everything you can to figure out how you organize before you start. Pace the floor, play music, imagine everything in big colorful boxes. The more you do to understand what is comfortable for you, the more successful you'll be at designing systems that work for you."