Manys ways to get organized

I recently met Elyce Bader and learned about her business as a Pampered Chef consultant. I was very curious to learn more because I love cooking and like to keep my utensils and kitchen tools organized. My favorite product is the mandolin. What a great way to slice those veggies and save time too.  The business aspect is what intrigued me as well.  I know how vital organization is to growing her business and staying on track with all her clients. So, I asked Elyce to give me some idea about how she stays organized in her business. She expressed the following.

“I have a business that requires personal communication and I need to remember facts about each person. How does one do this? Simple, I went to Office Max or Office Depot (I can’t remember) and purchased a few binders and rewriteable tabs. I wrote the names of the months on each tab and placed notebook paper in each tab. Each sheet of paper has a clients name and contact information written on it, along with where I have met them and other pieces of information. After I call or email each person I write a note and move the paper to the back of the month or the next month depending on the conversation. The binder is not to heavy so I can take it with me any where and have access to to my information when my memory lets me down :-) ” . Elyce Bader www.eemaskitchen.com

I meet with many small business owners and one thing that I notice is that each person has their own way to stay organized. I only help them to create new habits if they feel they need help in that area. Otherwise, as the ol’ saying goes…If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. I only will introduce new organizing techniques and solutions if there is a problem with the system they have. For Elyce, she really likes her system and is comfortable with how she can manage it. You go girl!

MOP’s Networking Collaborative

Mercury Organizing Professionals has partnered with LSVDesign for the past two years to bring you local business to business networking events. This month, Neighborhood Networking is collaborating with BTSocial & Sound Bar Group for our March event!

Join us after work at Y Bar to meet and mingle with fellow businesses and sample appetizers from popular neighborhood restaurants.

Complimentary Absolut Wild Tea drinks from 6–8 pm. Stay for the raffle prizes—and more surprises!

The Featured Organization will be The UNICEF Tap Project.

Register in advance for $15 ($20 at the door).
Online ticket sales end at 3 pm. If you choose to pay at the door, please RSVP.
(cash/check accepted at the door)

Thursday, March 10, 2011
6–10 pm
Y Bar
224 W. Ontario
Chicago, IL

Close to the Brown Line Chicago stop. Metered street parking is available. Valet service $12

Forward this invite to friends and colleagues. Bring lots of business cards.

We hope to see you there!

and the Oscar goes to….What, you don’t have quickbooks or quicken either? oh dear.. now what?

Your CPA has requested all your information and receipts from 2010, and needs it fast. You have no idea where you have put your receipts,  or worse, they are scattered in drawers, wallets, office desk and envelopes. The bookkeeping isn’t done either.  Does this sound like you or somebody you know?

This is the time of year when some people wish they had organized their paperwork sooner. There is no going back now is there? You ‘ll have to pull it all together somehow and pronto.

This chore is like pulling teeth and takes many people hours if not days to finish. You feel paralyzed, you want to quit before you even get started so instead you kick into procrastination mode and decide to watch TV to simply escape.  You know you’re watching the OSCARS this Sunday evening,  aren’t you? You won’t miss it, you’ll have to watch the three hour or more affair from the twinkle in the eyes of actors to the rolling credits at the end. Does this sound like you or somebody you know?

Well,  here’s a painless idea to get you motivated and start preparing for your appointment with your accountant. First,  decide to get out of this rut. Then, call it Oscar Tax-time.  On Sunday evening, when they are rolling out the red carpet and gawking at the gorgeous gowns and actors, get moving.

Step one:  start gathering your paperwork: assemble a station on a kitchen table or counter for example. Grab all those receipts scattered to drawers and wallets. Lump them together. Next step, take inventory. Look to see what you have, and start categorizing according to your tax person’s directions. Monthly: Medical, home, business, auto, etc….

We are assuming you don’t have Quickbooks and this late in the game, do you really think you should try to master it for this purpose? that’s another topic.

Lastly, start entering your data. Preferable using excel file sheets  or get a ledger book that will help with columns and data entry.

Notice how three hours can pass by quickly. You’re able to get through what seems like a daunting task and now see how possible it is to not only save yourself some money but gain some control of your finances. All while hearing the latest news of your favorite Oscar contenders. did they win?

Getting a clear picture of what your next step should be is so important to finding financial health, wealth and happiness. Who’s the winner now?

Do you whistle while you work?

Here is a fun song that describes the clutter dilemma. A friendly neighborhood networking pal of mine named Mitch Pravatiner brought it to my attention. While listening to the local WFMT he heard a tune that strikes a chord in my line of work.  He knew that as an organizer, I would appreciate it. He was right.  

Confessions of a Clutterholic; by Lois Morton

I laughed and enjoyed the little ditty very much. So if you are singing this tune, be sure to let us know and we can rewrite that tune to sing goodbye to all your clutter.

Mercury Organizing Professionals

Needless to say a busy person needs an awesome calendar

The best way to accomplish your goals this new year is to make a plan. Look at your tasks realistically. Keep yourself accountable to getting things done, putting them down on your calendar . When you are a busy person with a household to run it is fun to incorporate the whole family on the calendar of events. Here’s a excellent way that Mrs.Darcy McGrath uses her calendar. She is a photographer, mother of two daughters and a wife. Needless to say she is a busy person who uses her calendar well.CalendarLongView

“A Chalk board — Genius!! As things come and go, ebb and flow,   fade and grow…the whole family enjoys adding to, crossing off and taking note of the things that are going on with the whole family. As we are heading up to bed to recharge for the next day — or coming down in the morning, ready for whatever comes our way, this calendar by the stairs works for us!”

Photo credits: DarcyMcGrath

New school year, new triumphs…more collectibles.

MOP_tips_recycletropphies

Now that the kids are back in school you are getting organized and ready for a full schedule of performances, sports and spelling bees. These are wonderful times for you to watch your children grow and achieve something that is special to them. You’re also getting ready to take photos and collect ribbons, trophies, and enjoy the triumphs of these special moments.

The joy of having a young achiever in your household is that you will have many more trophies to showcase. What happens when years go by and the kids have outgrown their toys and these childhood keepsakes?  How do you keep them so that  they don’t “take over” your home? Did you know that you could donate or recycle them?

Being a collector comes with responsibility. Showcase your trophies as long as you have room for them, or for as long as you find inspiration or motivation from them. If there is no reason to keep them, then it is time to store them. Keep them in a keepsake box if it is imperative to keep them. If you are ready to donate then visit Lamb Awards & Engraving. They created a recycle program where you can ship them your old trophies.  This way you are not adding to the land fill while the next generation can enjoy their latest triumphs. Review your keepsakes from time to time and ask yourself if you can donate or recycle any of them.

Make your Labor Day weekend more about relaxing and less about working

Organizing your labor day weekend away can make all the difference to having a great time. Prepare a little in advance and you will spare yourself a lot of work later. Your quick get-away could easily turn into everything else but the fun and relaxation you were hoping for. Plan your time properly and your trip will be more enjoyable with all your belongings and supplies. There is nothing worse than leaving behind any important articles of clothing; for instance, your swimsuit when you were planning to go swimming. Sure, you can buy a new one somewhere, but why spend more money than you have to.

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To Start

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Write down a list of activities you plan on doing while you’re away.

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Make a list of the things you need for yourself and family or companions.

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Give yourself time to pack, you may have a departure time to accommodate so why not have extra time to check over last minute items or tasks. Are there any plants needing water?

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Write down important contact information to leave with someone in case of emergency.

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Don’t forget to smile and let the journey be the adventure.
Check in when you get back and find some tips to get the fall season started on a good foot.

Happy Holiday!