How To Not Lose Your Phone Charger

How many times have you heard "Is this my charger or yours?"

Confidently answer next time by putting your name on yours.

Because my sister, friends, boyfriend, and mom all have identical iPhone chargers, I put my name on mine recently.

Spread the word! No more nameless phone chargers!

charger

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.

Face It, These Don't Work

Just yesterday a client told me she just donated a few of these letter sorters. I couldn't be happier.

letter sorter

Not to be confused with a step rack, these are just homes for expired coupons, useless receipts, and other faded bits of paper detritus.

I'm not just mad at it because it's ugly: I've seen chic versions that fail just as miserably.

Got one?  Triumphantly let it go.

Got a rare story of letter sorter success? Share it here!

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.

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 I Personally Got Rid of 17 More Things

I've been tearing through the book that last week I said I wished I had written, but then a brilliant 18 page (free) e-book showed up that immediately had me donating 5 books, 3 DVDs, a candleholder, 8 more pieces of clothing, and stumbling around my house muttering "Everything must go. Everything must go."

The free PDF on Youhavetoomuchshit.com is Marie Kondo's crude, tell-it-like-it-is underdog British cousin - and it works. The proof is in my donations bag. (It also claims the url I wish I owned).

Read now: www.youhavetoomuchshit.com

 

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.

The True Cost of Minimalism

minimalist Strange how this is true!  I don't think it should cost more. Absolutely not!

Want the look for less? Do it yourself (or hire an organizer)! Credit due to The New Yorker, of course.

 

kacyRound

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. 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

The Book I Wish I Had Written

magic tidy bookAdmittedly, I haven't even read it yet*, but everyone is buzzing about Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

It teaches her "KonMari" method which is centered around the simple question - "Does this spark joy?" - Which I like so much more than "How old is it?" or "When is the last time you used it?"

It can be applied to anything from offices to closets, as described in this article and this one.

She swears by holding an object in your hands to feel the energy of it.  I agree that this can be effective, as sometimes I have to hold a paper to generate ideas.  However, sometimes my clients are so overwhelmed that they let go of more when I'm doing the holding!

Either way, this 4 word question is a powerful one that can clear the messiest of messes.

Where in your home or office do you see this method being most effective?

Please share in the comments!

* I wrote this on a Monday night and the following Tuesday morning one of my more intuitive clients gifted it to me!  'Twas meant to be!

 

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

7 things I learned about organizing in 2014

7 KCI've been a professional organizer for 13 years now and continue to learn more about organizing with each project, including my own.  I hope I'm a more effective and influential organizer with each passing year.  As an organizer, I observe as much as I sort.  Reflecting on and learning from the themes that emerged continually bring a freshness to my perspective. I intentionally didn't read my list of 7 Things I Learned about Organizing in 2013 before writing this (but turns out #5 was on last year's list too)!  So, I guess that's in important one!

Here are 7 things I learned about organizing in 2014:

1. Organizing is liberating.

I always knew this, but "liberating" is the word I heard most in 2014 to describe how it feels to let go of the things that no longer serve.  In the fall I heard a client say it in his basement, then everyone seemed to echo it all around me!

2. It's ok if systems need to change.

I started working again with a client who I helped one year previous.  She was frustrated that the once successful system that we had put in place last year was no longer working.  Specifically we crafted a morning routine list at work and masterminded a pretty elaborate to-do list, with color coded paper and start dates for each task.  It made me realize that my own to do lists looked nothing like they did a year ago.  As your life evolves, your habits and systems may have to as well.  It is not a sign of failure!

3. One can reap the emotional benefits of organizing long before the end is in sight.

One day it took 4 hours to uncover about 10 square feet of a client's bedroom floor (sometimes I do take on non-office projects).  I was pleasantly surprised at how enthusiastic and energized she was throughout the session. I asked her something I had never asked a client before: "What did you learn today?  What do you now know that you didn't know 4 hours ago?"  She answered: "That this could be so much fun.  And EASY!  I thought this would be agonizing."  We still haven't finished yet, but even with hours of digging still ahead of her, she's already benefited tremendously.

4. The most important things we keep are the things that tell our stories.

In November someone asked me if I thought I was overly reliant on technology, considering the fact that I had used Evernote to save my favorite recipes and donate my cookbooks.  This question prompted a few weeks' worth of reflection, surprisingly having me take inventory of what beloved objects I will always want to see and touch.  I knew there were indeed many, but I had never before been prodded into asking myself why they matter.  The full answer can be read here.

5. You never get it done. 

Organizing is a process more than it is a state.  You don't reach a point where you declare yourself "organized" and stay that way without maintenance.  As long as you receive gifts, mail, news and ideas you will need to keep at it.  As things flow in, they must flow out.

6. Organizing takes time, no matter who you are.

This year more than any, I've realized how much time I personally spend organizing.  It takes very little for my delicate equilibrium of order to be threatened.  Just one day's worth of mail thrown on the dining table is more clutter than I'm usually willing to harbor.  I don't have a magic wand though, so I endlessly toss, shred, recycle, and donate as much as I buy.  It's hard to quantify how much time I collectively spend per week on this, but it's hours, not minutes.  I do believe that to stay organized, you have to do this, but don't get down on yourself if you don't have the time, or don't love doing it! If you did, you'd be a professional organizer, and the world needs variety!  Go do what you're good at, and hire someone who loves to do what you hate.

7. There's no singular explanation for why people have too much stuff.

Someone asked me at a party: "Why do you think Americans have so much stuff?"  My answer: "I really don't know."  Sure, we can make sweeping generalizations about consumerism and disintegrating values, but that can't be the whole story, considering I organize for a living and genuinely like so many people who are (or were) stockpilers of cheap made in China crap! The answer she expected to hear discounts the unique histories that shaped each individual's current space. When I hear generalizations like these, I immediately see the faces of the people I know who have or had too much stuff.  So seldom (though truthfully, it happens) does the easily accessible explanation of overindulgence come to mind.

If I must call out a common denominator amongst my clients, it's that they all are ready to change. Regardless of their past choices, their tide is receding. Attention to this topic of organizing can either be a disheartening one, further angering ourselves about the Costco-ization of the country, or a hopeful one, showing how we are only ever one less purchase away from liberation.  I always tell my friends that there are two types of cluttered people: those who are willing to change and those who aren't.  If you're willing to change in 2015, let's work together.

What did you learn about organizing in 2014?  Anything goes - the smallest minutiae to the grandest of life lessons.

Comment below please!

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.

How I created a 23 year old's first filing system

23 year oldRecently I worked with one of my younger clients: a client's young adult son who needed help getting organized for a job search.  I've been helping him organize since he was in high school.  We organized for college, study abroad, and moving out of home, so it was fun to see watch him transform into a motivated professional!

We managed to toss everything paper except for those that fit into these folders.Here's a peek, at the system, which is a mini version of systems I've created hundreds of times for folks in every stage of life.  We created a number of files that fall under just four larger groupings. For those of you who are becoming more and more paperless, these four categories may be all you need.

 

New Headshot w_poster

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. 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: 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

Proof that cool organizing knick-knacks don't solve your problems.

organizing Even the cleverest of tools need regular purging, thoughtful categorizing, and clear labeling.

If either of these aren't in place from day one, here's what happens.

Buying products is not organizing.

Do the work.

Have you bought an organizing product that you mistook for a magic wand?  

What was it?  What problem did you want to to solve?  

Where is it now? Please share comments below.

 

Office Organizing ExKacy Paidepert 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

Cheap shredding at Office Depot

shredderMy clients are always thrilled to hear that all Office Depot stores offer shredding for $.99 per pound of paper.

I've had a few report back to me that it is indeed as easy as it sounds.

Knowledge is power.  

As of today you have no excuse for harboring those bags and boxes of paper to shred on a rainy day.

Full details here.

Have you already used Office Depot's shredding service? Let me know in the comments if so.

 

Office Organizing ExKacy Paidepert 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 I used Evernote this week: Eliminating cookbooks

using evernote I eliminated these cookbooks plus a stash of tear-outs of old recipes.

I photographed favorite recipes with either the Evernote app or Genius Scan and saved them into my "Food & Recipes" notebook.

Click here to see how it looks in Evernote (and to get my favorite fall breakfast recipe).

Office Organizing ExKacy Paidepert 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