JERI DANSKY professionalorganizer

November 2009 Newsletter

Tip of the Month: Changing Jobs, Keeping (Some) Stuff


In a cluttered office, I’m discovering, almost nothing is worth keeping. --Stephen Baker, writing about packing up his Business Week office.


How many times have you changed jobs - or changed your entire career? I've worked for three companies (in a variety of roles) and then started my own business - and that's probably less change than many people see in their career paths.


So how do we best handle all the paper and stuff related to our prior work? Here are two suggestions.


1. Shed in phases. You'll quite likely agree with Baker that many things are obviously not worth keeping - but you might need some time before you're ready to part with other things. When I left my last company, it took a while before I felt pretty sure I was not going to work in an Information Technology department again. When I did feel sure of that, I got rid of all the excellent books I had on software engineering. (I gave them away on Freecycle.)


2. Honor the past. If you're keeping papers, file them away nicely, or scan them. If you're keeping objects, they probably bring back good memories of your best experiences. So consider keeping them out where they can be seen.


What kind of objects? You can see three of mine over on Flickr. (Yes, one of them resides inside a medicine cabinet.) Even though I worked at Hewlett-Packard for many years, I didn't keep a single HP mug, or any of the congratulatory plaques. Rather, I kept reminders from one of my favorite projects - and a funny name plaque that was custom-made for me. Your choices might be equally quirky; that's fine.


Judy Shintani writes about taking her awards - her POPAI (Point of Purchase Advertising International) Indians - out of storage and displaying them; I think that's terrific. I plan to add a photo of Judy's awards to that Flickr set soon; if anyone else has some interesting mementos to share, send along pictures and I'll add them, too.


If you have items you want to keep but not put on display, consider creating a memory box: an attractive box that stores important mementos.



Organizing Product of the Month


to do list on green paper; includes call cat psychic



If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know I'm attracted to piggy banks and coin banks of all sorts.

Here's my latest find: the funky sheep money box.



First Organizing Quote of the Month


Happiness to us is family. Being together. Loving each other. That doesn't require stuff.


-- Stefania Pomponi Butler, CityMama



Second Organizing Quote of the Month


Now that I don't have a private garage I've lost a lot of the space I had for long-term parking for all that "put it in a box and forget about it" stuff. Especially holiday stuff. It's not a big deal to stack a few big bins or boxes of Christmas decorations in your garage but move it indoors and shove it into a closet and you start wondering if you really need that much of your home storage space devoted to things you use for a few weeks a year.


I love my stuff because it makes me feel anchored and secure and I loathe my stuff because it makes me feel anchored and heavy.


-- Laurie Perry, Crazy Aunt Purl



Recycling/Reuse Idea of the Month


Have some sentimenal china that got broken? Have it made into jewelry by The Broken Plate Pendant Company.



Highlights From My Blog in October


There were 20 entries in my organizing and de-cluttering blog in October. Some of the most popular entries were:


You can sign up for free e-mail updates from my blog; each time I make an update, you'll get a message. Look in the upper right-hand corner of the blog for subscription information.



My Little Twitter Tidbits


I'm using Twitter mostly for those tidbits of organizing-related stuff I find - little things that will never make their way into a newsletter or a blog post. I also use Twitter to announce new blog posts. Follow me, @JeriDansky, if you'd like.


For those who don't use Twitter, here are some of the things I've written lately, slightly edited for a non-Twitter environment:


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