Really stuck with sorting? Scribble today's date to help out your future self.

Really stuck with sorting_ Scribble today's date to help out your future self..png

Just this week I came across the box pictured here in a client’s home. That’s my handwriting from December.  We had run out of time in our session and I knew I wouldn’t see her again for probably a couple months. 

I had gathered some papers from the floor and some surfaces that we didn’t get to and put them in this box. I wanted so desperately to leave her with clear surfaces, but didn’t have time to do it thoroughly and properly. We knew that nothing in there was on a deadline or imminently important, so it was “safe” to gather them like this.

I see this done quite a bit in a not so “safe” manner. In an attempt to tidy up *right now,* people throw things into boxes but get it wrong in two ways:

  1. They throw in very important papers, such as bills to pay, thinking they’ll remember they’re in there.

  2. The don’t label the box at all and therefore, never get to it.

“To Sort” isn’t a genius label, but the date is a game changer. I knew that if months later we found that dated box that we’d be near certain that everything in there had magically turned to trash. It had!  Back in December we thought there might be some keepers in there, but when four months later we knew for sure that the contents were four months old, it became one of the easiest and quickest parts of her home to sort. It took about 15 minutes and nearly all of it was trash.

Can you benefit from putting today’s date on a cursory collection of items to sort? Can you see how weeks or months from now you’ll be better able to trust that it had magically turned to trash? Where can you use this super simple dating technique? Please share in the comments.

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Office Organizing Expert Kacy Paide loves to do what most people hate: organize offices & paper.

She works with folks who are desperate for a more functional, more beautiful, more inspiring office. Kacy has been a Professional Organizer since 2001 and has worked with over 500 clients. Call her crazy, but she loves a good mess and wants to fix yours. Learn her time-tested solutions in her eBook, The Inspired Office: Organize Your Life One Paper at a Time. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking.