How to Use Shelves to Organize Paper

Here's how to use your shelving as a sorting station, using simple sticky notes. The simple wall I show you in this video helped us sort through paperwork so much quicker:

We used it to create categories such as:

Past trips and vacations 

Financial archives 

Family business 

Family history 

From there you can then create micro-categories.

Have you done something like this? Comment below if so. I would love to know.

 

kacyRoundOffice 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. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking. Reach her at 202.262.1207 and kacy@theinspiredoffice.com. Learn about Skype consultations here. Watch video lessons on office organizing here. Receive your free list of 100 Ways to Organize Your Office at www.theinspiredoffice.com

[VIDEO] How Much to Toss When Organizing

I get asked this question all the time so I thought I'd answer it for you! "How much should I really be throwing away?" 

Grab a piece of paper and write down what percentage of things in your office you expect are trash. Do this right now! There's no right or wrong answer.

But whatever answer you wrote down, you will most likely exceed it.

So I don't actually have a set rule each client should stick to.

The number I want you to start with is the one that just came to mind, bumped up a little.

So please tell me in the comments - what number came to mind for you?

 

kacyRoundOffice 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. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking. Reach her at 202.262.1207 and kacy@theinspiredoffice.com. Learn about Skype consultations here. Watch video lessons on office organizing here. Receive your free list of 100 Ways to Organize Your Office at www.theinspiredoffice.com

I Just Rediscovered My Most Heartwarming Testimonial Ever

As I was sorting through my books last week, I came across a book that a past client (and gifted intuitive & healer), George James, had authored and gifted me back in 2013.  I flipped open to the front page and found these words:

"Know you are doing God's work so humans can spend more time with God." 

kacy testimonial

I share this because it is a lesson for all of us.

Why does organizing matter?

So we have time to do the things that matter the most.

 

kacyRoundOffice 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. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking. Reach her at 202.262.1207 and kacy@theinspiredoffice.com. Learn about Skype consultations here. Watch video lessons on office organizing here. Receive your free list of 100 Ways to Organize Your Office at www.theinspiredoffice.com

Notebook Hack - The Analog Evernote

Evernote too techie for you? Still need to put pen to paper?

Check out this clever notebook hack that organizes bits of information (not as well as Evernote, but) better than a wad of notes at the bottom of your bag.  Click here to learn this simple system over at the HighfiveBlog.

notebook 2

 

kacyRoundOffice 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. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking. Reach her at 202.262.1207 and kacy@theinspiredoffice.com. Learn about Skype consultations here. Watch video lessons on office organizing here. Receive your free list of 100 Ways to Organize Your Office at www.theinspiredoffice.com

How to Organize a Desktop with File Boxes

Do you know that simple file boxes can create miracles in your office? This is a system I've done time and time again with clients who don't want to use filing cabinets. It's a great alternative and works well as a mobile, accessible filing system.  Read the first comment below for an update from my client who let me film this at her desk!

Purchase boxes here.

Are you an 'out of sight, out of mind' person like my client?

Please comment below and share your categories that would be better accessible in a file box!

 

kacyRoundOffice 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. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking. Reach her at 202.262.1207 and kacy@theinspiredoffice.com. Learn about Skype consultations here. Watch video lessons on office organizing here. Receive your free list of 100 Ways to Organize Your Office at www.theinspiredoffice.com

Q&A: Kacy, have you become overly reliant on technology?

A few weeks ago someone posted a question in response to my post on donating my cookbooks after I Evernoted my favorite recipes, wondering if I felt I was too overly reliant on technology. I sat with it for a few days and then put my reflections into words, and learned a great deal about sentimentality in the process: Best Digital Organizing 1

Q:

I'm hearing all sorts of great things about Evernote! I especially like your use for the recipes tear-outs or print outs. But, do you get the impression that you're getting perhaps overly reliant on technology? I only thoughtfully buy cookbooks that I view as an investment for my family. I write in the margins, remember the sauces spilled on them, and fully intend to pass them down to my daughter when she becomes an adult as a treasured heirloom. There's just something special about having that tangible cookbook that my husband and I used when we were just figuring out how to cook together as newlyweds in college. You can always send those books my way! Mm, World Vegetarian and Indian cooking?! Yum! :-) - Kati

A:

The first thing that came to mind when reading your question was this quote by Stevie Nicks (posted to Austin Kleon's blog):

“You want your journals written by hand in a book, because someday, if you have daughters — I don’t have daughters, but I have fairy goddaughters, thousands of them — all of these books are gonna go to them, and they’re gonna sit around just like we are now, and they’re gonna read them out loud, and they’re going to be able to know what my life was.” Then, pointedly, to Este: “And they’re not gonna find it in your phone.”

Yours and Nicks' sentimentality had me wondering if I am too quick to digitize, but after doing a bit of repatriated anthropology on my own stuff, I settled into an assuredness that I don't.  Thank you for that!  I guess only time will tell if I've become overly reliant on technology.  However, I can't recall any moments where I wish I hadn't digitized or tossed a hard-copy version of something, which I hope bodes well for my future-self.

As for donating all of my cookbooks, I cook, but I'm not a cookbook person, so it's not important that cookbooks are ever attached to memories of me.  Unlike Stevie Nicks, I'm not a journal person either, so journal entries are #2 on the list of "things that I won't pass down one day."  For the recipes that cannot be replaced, such as my grandmother's recipe scribbled in Estonian, Evernote serves as insurance that her memory won't be lost if the piece of paper ever is.  And so it sits both in my parents' kitchen and in my Evernote.  I use technology to keep safe items of sentimental value, not to replace them.  Her recipe is meaningful and my Indian cookbooks were not.

When I help clients minimize their things, I like to focus on keeping the "best of," instead letting go of the "worst of."  Looking around my house right now, I see a collection of "best of" objects that I hope are enjoyed for generations to come, much like your cookbooks.  I see leather pouches that my sister gave me from her time in Niger, the vintage Bertoia Diamond chair that I painstakingly de-rusted with my own hands, and a metal batik stamp that I picked up while studying abroad in Bali.  So, your question also had me asking myself what do I honor enough to pass down?  What physical objects - that feel like a part of me - cannot be digitized?  I discovered that there actually is a collection of things that are infused with my memories, and none of these can be Evernoted.  For everything else though, I want it out of the way and on my computer so these seeable, touchable gems can shine.

I also use technology to store memories that originated in the digital world, such as the swarm of "love texts" from my boyfriend when we first met.  Without a digital system, these would be lost forever.  Since we don't generate shoeboxes full of letters anymore, I want to ensure that memories like these are still treasured and kept safe.

I like that you point out that you only "thoughtfully" buy cookbooks that are an "investment" for your family.  My cookbooks weren't thoughtfully acquired, but my furniture, family memorabilia, and travel treasures were.  My mission is to show people the joy their space can hold when they invest in it thoughtfully, as you have done.

Where are your stories?  In cookbooks?  In journals?  In saved text messages? In furniture?  Wherever they are, care for them.  Care also requires you to eliminate the superfluities as you go, so that both you and the next generations only get the "best of."

Please share thoughts in the comments!

 

119 CircleOffice 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. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking. Reach her at 202.262.1207 and kacy@theinspiredoffice.com. Watch video lessons on office organizing here. Subscribe to the weekly newsletter & receive your free list of 100 Ways to Organize Your Office at www.theinspiredoffice.com/subscribe.

Video: Organize Your Desktop With Clear Plastic Folders

I LOVE these clear plastic files and always try to keep some with me at all times to use with clients.

I've found that people like to use manilla files but 'out of sight, out of mind' means that important things get forgotten.

So instead I encourage them to use these files.

They can also take a beating that manilla files cannot.

Where do I buy them? I buy them in packs of 6 at Staples.

Simple as that!

Do you use clear plastic folders? Which of your categories will be better accessible in clear folders?  Please share in the comments!

 

New Headshot w_posterOffice 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. Based in Silver Spring, MD, Kacy is nationally available for consulting & speaking. Reach her at 202.262.1207 and kacy@theinspiredoffice.com. Learn about Skype consultations here. Watch video lessons on office organizing here. Receive your free list of 100 Ways to Organize Your Office at www.theinspiredoffice.com