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Get organized for 2011

What are your organizational goals for 2011? I have so many I need to make a list!!

  • Finally unpack and organize my office
  • Unpack and set up the studio
  • Make a daily checklist to get things accomplished

That is only the beginning. I plan to get the linen closet and kitchen organized BEFORE the new year. That’s only a few weeks away. EEK!

SMEAD Organomics has a nice checklist of ideas to get things ready for the new year:

Start 2011 Organized in your Office
No matter how crazy or chaotic your work life feels during the last quarter, the start of a new year is the
perfect opportunity to clear out the clutter from your office and regain control over your schedule. Here
are a few simple suggestions for starting 2011 out the organized way!
It’s easy for your cabinets and folders to become overstuffed with outdated paperwork, so it’s
important that you take time once a year to purge the old and make room for the new. Start with your
reference, client, and financial files. Ask yourself whether or not those documents will be relevant
to your work in the coming year – completed projects and last year’s receipts should not be living in
your active files! If you might need to refer back to those papers at some point in the future (for legal,
tax, or other reasons), move those items to an archive file out of your office in permanent storage. But
obsolete journal articles and memos that serve no real long-term purpose can be tossed or shredded.
And if you find papers that have no logical home in your filing system, create a new folder with the
appropriate category. When January 1 hits, you should be able to file any new document in seconds!
Office clutter can take over throughout the year – you get busy, create a few piles here, a stack over
there, and suddenly you can’t see a single horizontal surface! Go around the room and collect up every
homeless item you find, creating a set spot for each:
− Supplies and equipment: Only keep what you use on a regular basis at your desk – then store
the “extras” in a cabinet or closet.
− Books and periodicals: Store journals in a magazine holder grouped by title or topic.
− Reference manuals: Keep loose brochures and sets of papers in expanding files or 3-ring
binders with Index Dividers between topics. Try Smead’s durable TUFF™ Expanding File® for
frequently accessed items.
− Multimedia: To save space, remove CDs and DVDs from their jewel cases and store them in
file folders with self-adhesive CD/DVD pockets.
− Blank stationery items: Neatly stored in either stacking trays or a document sorter.
− To-do’s: Set up a desk file sorter or hanging files with categories for each type of action – “to
call,” “to pay,” “to file,” “to read,” etc.
Having an assigned storage space for everything makes it easier for you to maintain order after the first
of the year. Just take a few minutes at the end of each day to put things away (not hard when you know
where everything goes!)
If you’re ending 2010 wishing you had accomplished more, now is the time to take a look at what got
in your way. Endless interruptions throughout your work day? Or did you just have a hard time getting
started on those bigger, more important projects? Decide now what you would like to accomplish in
the next year, then plan some uninterrupted time in your calendar to work toward these goals. Let your
boss know that you would like one day (or a half a day) each week to work on capturing a big account,
implementing a major marketing strategy, or completing a large research project for the company. You
might need to shut your door, turn off your phone, ignore your email, or even work from home on that
day – but your boss will probably be so thrilled at your initiative that she’ll do whatever it takes to help
you succeed!

bzzagent,dymo,labelIf you’d like to view a good post about using labels to organize your office, visit Get Buttoned Up.  Anne Marie talks about using DYMO labelers to get the job done. I have received a DYMO LabelWriter 450 Duo from BzzAgent to review. I have yet to take it out of it’s box, but will do it soon. It prints postage, so I’m hoping to get my Christmas cards done this week and use the LabelWriter 450 to get my address labels and postage printed out!

Scheduling And Time Management At Home
Trying to coordinate your family’s schedule can seem like a monumental task. Work responsibilities
for mom and dad, extracurricular activities for the kids, trying to fit in chores and family time – how
can you possibly manage it with only 24 hours in the day? All it takes is a little advance planning!
There is really only one way to avoid scheduling conflicts and last minute scrambles – and that is
to set up a “family calendar.” Hang a large wall calendar in a high-traffic area of the house (kitchen
seems to work well, because everyone goes there daily). Label each family member’s activities in a
different color (Susie in blue, Jimmy in orange, mom in green, dad in red) for easy recognition. Then
take a second to record every single upcoming activity for each person in the family – meetings, social
engagements, sporting events, doctor appointments, you name it. Every time someone brings home
an invitation to a party or permission slip for a field trip, write it down. Every time the school sends
out a calendar of upcoming days off, transfer it to the family calendar. When your boss asks if you
can work late or your child’s piano teacher wants to switch from Tuesday to Wednesday, change the
calendar. Get in the habit of putting EVERYTHING related to your family’s schedule in one place. To
get started, try out the Smead Organomics Family Calendar.
The next step is to block off a regular weekly meeting with the entire family to go over your upcoming
schedule. Take a look at any activities occurring within the next couple of weeks – address conflicts
(ex: mom’s got to work late and Johnny needs a ride home from the game, so he should make plans to
go with a friend), decide on any shopping trips you need for supplies (so you can bake cupcakes for the
school party or get Jimmy’s diorama put together), and add the week’s chores to the calendar. If you
carry a personal planner or PDA, this is also the time to update your portable calendar with the current
info (it doesn’t do you much good to plan out the week if you can’t see the schedule while you’re
out of the house!) Your stress level will drop by a factor of ten, just having each person’s to-do’s and
responsibilities written down in one visible place.
Get Ready The Night Before (Or Sooner!)
Now that you have your schedule in order, you need to work on your daily routines. Getting ready
in the morning is much easier if you start working on it the night before. Have your children spend
15 minutes before they go to bed packing everything they need for school into their book bags. Ask
each person to pick out the clothes they plan to wear the next day and lay them out on a chair. Make
everyone’s lunches in advance and store them in the refrigerator overnight. Also consider setting up
a “launching pad” – a table, chair, basket, or other container located near the door where each person
can put the supplies they will need the next day. If your kids can never seem to remember what they
need for school, create a standard checklist for them – homework, band instrument, gym clothes, sports
equipment, supplies for any extracurricular activities, library books, whatever. You can even make a
note of where they tend to leave things if that helps – “Gym Clothes: check the laundry basket.” The
goal is to have everything in one place when it comes time to hit the road.

I currently have a family calendar but I don’t think it works the best for our family. I need to come up with a better calendar system for our family. I’d love to hear your ideas for home organization, especially in the kitchen. I feel like I can never get my kitchen and pantry in order. I need help!

For other organizational ideas you can visit SMEAD on Facebook.

Disclosure: This is sponsored content and I have been paid to do this post. That being said, I do not blog about anything I do not believe in and neither DYMO or SMEAD did not edit my post or direct my content in any way.

About Paula

Paula Krueger considers herself a “baby “chef, not because she cooks for babies, but because she’s still learning how to cook. She started this blog after taking Wilton method classes and at that point was more interested in baking. She’s since become more interested in learning to cook as her family has grown. She also covers product reviews and travel as well.