JERI DANSKY professionalorganizer

September 2008 Newsletter

Tip of the Month: Organizing - Have It Your Way!


How should you organize your garage? Your files? Your clothes? Your time? While there are some general principles that often apply, there is simply no one right answer to any of these questions.


The trick is to find the answers that fit your particular work style, your values, your aesthetic sense, the space you have to work with, etc. What you don't want to do is pick an organizing approach because it was right for your mother, or your best friend, or anyone else - except for taking into consideration the needs of those you currently share a space.


Here are just some of the areas where different people quite rightly make different decisions. And your decisions may change over time, too, as your life evolves - or as you get a better sense of what works well for you.


Paper or electronic planners, calendars, to-do lists, address books: There are advantages to each; it's your decision as to which works best for you. A combination of paper and electronic systems works for some people, too.


Color coding: Some people love it; many others find it's just more work. (And you can use color without doing color coding.)


Favorite containers: Aby Garvey loves her buckets; you might prefer baskets, boxes, or any number of other organizing products.


Scrapbooking and photo albums: You might like to create traditional paper albums, or use digital tools for creating the albums. Or maybe you'd just prefer a photo box and/or a memory box.


Hangers: You might prefer wooden hangers, slim flocked hangers, the crystal plastic hangers with the swivel heads, or something else. You might want all your hangers to be the same, or you might not care about that at all.


Papers: Many of us have files with bills to pay, correspondence to answer, computer data entry to do, etc. Some people need to have these sitting out on their desks (which can be done in an organized fashion); others prefer a clean desk approach and keep these files in a nearby file drawer or something similar.


So don't worry about whether you're organizing the "right way"; if it works for you, it's right!



Organizing Quote of the Month


There is a story about a man who approached Gandhi and said that he'd been thinking about living a simpler life, but he didn't feel like he could give up his collection of books. Gandhi is said to have replied, "As long as you derive inner help and comfort from anything, you should keep it. If you were to give it up in a mood of self-sacrifice or out of a stern sense of duty, you would continue to want it back, and that unsatisfied want would make trouble for you. Only give up a thing when you want some other condition so much that the thing no longer has any attraction for you."


- From The High Price of Materialism, by Tim Kasser; found on The Consumerist



Organizing Product of the Month


to do list on green paper; includes call cat psychic


I am totally enchanted by Lesley Ruda's hand-painted boxes and chests.



Reuse/Recycling Suggestion of the Month: Support Your Local Animal Shelter


Echoing Apartment Therapy, I'd like to point out that your local animal shelter can probably use many items you might be ready to part with. Apartment Therapy lists these items that shelters often need: blankets, plastic bags, heating pads, cleaning supplies, batteries, baby food, latex and rubber gloves, office suplies, bathroom linens, and cell phones. Commenters have noted that newspaper and shredded paper are also useful to many shelters.


Other possibilities:


Some shelters run thrift stores and will take a wide range of products to sell there. My local shelter, the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA does just that.


My local shelter also mentions that it would like tennis balls, golf balls, ping pong balls, and film canisters. The shelter's wish list also includes large shoeboxes (without lids) for the cats to sleep in.


Humane Society Silicon Valley wants can openers and digital thermometers.


In New Zealand, the Aukland SPCA has a group of knitters who make mice toys and blankets for the SPCA, so it is looking for donations of wool.


Each shelter's needs are different, so please check with yours.



Highlights From My Blog in August


There were 30 entries in my organizing and de-cluttering blog in August. Some of the most popular entries were:


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