Top 10 tips to win the paper chase

We were asked to be the guest blogger for Zealous Good; a not-for-profit organization helping others to give and receive donations.  They promoted spring cleaning and asked us for a few tips. We find that gaining control of the unruly paperwork is the top most difficult challenge our clients encounter so we shared our top ten tips.

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“If you don’t have a system you’ll always have that overwhelming feeling that you can’t catch up. Take charge of that information overload because it won’t stop until you decide it stops.

1. First, back up your computer as many times as you can afford. Burn CD’s. Use www.carbonite.com or www.backblaze.com. Back up to an external hard drive.

2. Stop mail. Cancel catalogs, make a request at stopjunkmail.org, use the PaperKarma App to have them stop junkmail for you.

3. Reduce your mail. Have bills, bank statements & financial statements emailed to you instead of snail mail. Banks offer online bill paying services.

4. Don’t Print. Save documents as a .doc or .pdf files & keep in an labeled folder.

5. Take it to the cloud. A cloud is a service that holds your data online. Try dropbox or MS Live.

6. Make time to process your mail immediately separate documents from envelopes.

7. Recycle envelopes as soon as you open them.

8. Remove any shredding piles to either do yourself or take to locations that do this for you.

9. Bookmark it: Try Delicious, Diigo. Save your notes and lists in Evernote, or others like them.

10. Save pictures in Google’s Picassa, or Yahoo’s Flickr. Why not create a book of all your favorites to make as a keepsake.

Now that you will have all this unused extra paper and office supplies lying around, you will be able to create more space by donating your excess to charities. Zealous Good is a great way to give when your business only has these kinds of supplies to offer.

These simple tips are an example of a few online services that are not only time savers but are going to help you reduce your carbon footprint in your home. “

We met somebody fabulous today! updated…

Finding a favorite consigner is like finding your favorite electrician, handyman or something like it. A consignment shop you like can be like finding a new best friend. What a better way to make room for new things in your life then to get rid of old clothes. Some people confess to us that they just don’t know what to do with these unwanted items. They know they have good quality clothes but they may just be tired of them. Giving away responsibly is really their only challenge.

A consignment shop like “The Haute Spot” in Chicago is a great resource to put these clothes in a consignment arrangement.  In addition, if they don’t sell,  The Haute Spot will donate them for you and give you the tax sheet for your records. How cool is that? We find this service to be very helpful to our clients. As an organizer who wants to save our clients time and money, we are happy when they can earn some cash back in the process. Cha-Ching! Did you just get cash back for your next trip to the mall?

The Haute Spot has been nominated this month in the Time Out Chicago magazine. Check them out and vote for your favorite consignment shop.

UPDATE: Reviewing the Oct. 25th, 2012  issue of Time Out Chicago and discovered that our favorite Consignment Shoppe was selected in the Best of Chicago’s Consignment category. Congratulations Haute Spot!

Featured organizer- An 8th grader’s tips for the new school year

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Iliana Elias, a student at Inter-American Magnet School is going into the eighth grade ready and organized! How does she prepare for such an exciting and exhausting grade? She’s here to share a couple useful tips to get you prepared for the new school year. Below are common places for school supplies and materials. These tips will teach your student how to keep their school supplies in place and manageable!

1. The Locker
Place things conveniently in order by schedule, by color, biggest to smallest
Locker organizers can be found at any office supply store, Target® or The container store®. Theses provide more space and also make it easy to take things in and out of your locker.
Magnetic clips are fun locker accessories that can hold important papers and assignments.
2. The Book bag
The “stuff” that is placed inside your book bag should only be “stuff” that will be useful that very day for assignments/projects/homework, etc. Excessive material can make your bag heavy when it doesn’t need to be. Everyone has their own style however, by keeping your things in order of priority makes it easy to find what you need.

3. At home
It’s important to know ahead of time what you’ll be working on so you can be sure you have the materials needed. Having a shelf sorted by baskets or bins for just school supplies and materials will make searching and getting things done a lot faster. I always like to have a little box containing the tools that are necessary for completing my assignment.

According to Iliana, she states “It’s important to me to be organized for the school year because I get things done a lot quicker, leaving me time to do other things like hanging with my friends.”

How to start recycling in three steps.

Start here: How to Recycle.

Click on the link “how to recycle ” above to learn the basic steps. Print it out and use as a resource.  It is easy and you will be happy that you are doing something good for our environment. Recycle, Reduce, Reuse.  If you need assistance call Mercury Organizing Professionals.