Two weekends ago I decided I was tired of looking at my unorganized jewelry drawer and determined it was time to clean and spruce it up; then came last weekend when I made the spontaneous decision to pull my entire wardrobe from my closet, go through it all, wash everything I own and make the painful choice of determining what was going back into the closet and what was being purged. As hard as it was to actually decide what to get rid of and what to keep, it helped knowing that they’re going to a worthy cause and to people who really need them.
Unfortunately I didn’t get around to my stack of magazines that I for some reason have felt the need to keep? I mean, they look so pretty and functional in my vintage Coca Cola wooden box! As painful as it is to get rid of something I haven’t seen in years, it’s something that has to be done!
Thankfully for me, and my not-so-organized counterparts, organizational expert and See Jane Work creator (love her website!) Holly Bohn-Weiss joined me yesterday to dish on her favorite organizing tips, tricks and products. If she can get this girl to think of purging and clearing out clutter, imagine what she can do for you?! 🙂
Candace Rose: Why is now such a good time to get organized?
Holly Bohn-Weiss: “Well, there’s a couple different reasons- January is ‘Get Organized Month’ so there’s a lot of great tips going around, a lot of great products, so that makes a it a good time. But also, to accomplish your goals and objectives for the year you really need to be organized and one thing that people forget or they don’t think about is that if they know where things are, they think that they’re organized. But new studies are showing that even visual clutter can lead to a decrease in productivity and an increase in stress and anxiety; so there’s no time like the present to reduce your stress.”
Candace Rose: What is the first step we must take in order to get organized?
Holly Bohn-Weiss: “Well, the first step is to sort of organize yourself for your mind to get mentally organized, and what I like to do is take a few minutes each morning and write my objectives and goals for that day. You can do a simple note pad, to-do sticky notes, a two column pad- whatever works for you. The most important part is that you have that visual list. There are two ways that, that helps you- first is that you have that feeling of satisfaction as you’re crossing things off your list, so it keeps you motivated. The second thing is it keeps you on track. We have so many distractions; the day happens to you and you think ‘Where did I leave off?’ This gives you a few minutes to regroup. Having a list that says this is what I’m doing, this is what I need to accomplish today, and you’re going to have a much better day and you’re going to get those goals accomplished.”
Candace Rose: What are some ways to control clutter?
Holly Bohn-Weiss: “Well, going back to that visual clutter that you need to get rid of, is identifying where it happened. So a lot of times we think we need to put everything away and shove it in a cabinet. Sometimes things, especially when you have kids or you have coworkers, you can’t control all the people around you so it’s important to recognize where is clutter happening? For instance the reading materials are building up next to my bed or on my coffee table, so you’re going to have some attractive storage bins and boxes, they’re going to immediately reduce that visual clutter and you’re going to put those things in them or a simple basket and it’s just going to tidy up that space.
And then going into visual clutter, our counter tops and incoming mail. That’s always a problem, it can be on your entryway table or on your kitchen counter, but if you can control your incoming mail you’re going to (in general) have an easier time controlling clutter in your house. So what I recommend is you get three wall pockets or three stacking letter trays and keep them in a convenient location. As you come in with your mail, you’re going to want to recycle or shred anything that you don’t need to keep, the rest is going to go into those trays or into those wall pockets, and they’re going to be labeled: To Do, To Pay, and To File.”
Candace Rose: How do you know what to keep, what to throw out and what to file? And it’s funny you mention reading material, because that is my downfall. I have so many magazines that I need to do something with, and there they sit!
Holly Bohn-Weiss: “I understand, and I have that problem too. We all struggle, we have our things that we want to hold onto. I think the most important thing is first of all recognizing what you can get online so that you know ‘I can access this another time, I don’t need to file this or I don’t need to keep this out; I can access this online.’
And the second thing is speaking with your CPA or going to the IRS website; and being really clear about what you need to keep as far as records are concerned. Also, regarding your home, you can talk to your real estate agent. They’re going to give you clear understanding of what you need to keep and make sure you get that information in writing. That way as the mail comes in you know, ‘I don’t need to keep this, I can shred this.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share with us?
Holly Bohn-Weiss: “I think if you visit the Office Depot website: OfficeDepot.com/SeeJaneWork there’s a lot of great products, and I designed these products. I’m a working mother of three kids so I understand the complexities of life, so these products are great. But also on the website you’re going to find inspirational offices and you’re going to find a ton of great tips. You can also visit OfficeDepot.com/OrganizeMe, there’s more videos and there’s also an organizational type quiz and that’ll give you tips specific to your style. So you take that quiz, it’s really fun. So visit OfficeDepot.com/SeeJaneWork or OfficeDepot.com/OrganizeMe and you’ll have access to those videos, tips and products that will make your life easier.”