Quick Tips to Home & Office Organization!

Messy Desk We all do it, we check our email over and over again throughout the day. Resist the urge to continually check email or voicemail. Instead, set specific times – perhaps once in the morning, once after lunch, and once before you end the day – to do this. You can set the sender’s expectation in your signature line, saying “I check email 3 times daily. I’ll respond to your request as soon I am able.” Find what works for you and your schedule.

Find your desk covered in stacks of paper, sticky notes, and coffee mugs? Reduce waste at the office. Try to generate less paper by printing less and saving more to electronic storage, such as to your computer or a flash drive. Think before you hit “print” and you’ll have less paper to deal with on your desk.

Do you end each day stressed about your next days activities, jobs, or things to do? Plan for tomorrow at the end of the day. Take 15 minutes at the end of every day to create tomorrow’s to-do list. This habit of planning will give you the gift of focus, allowing you to get a jump-start the next morning. In a sense, you’re creating a map for the following day!

I hope these tips help you make it through your day organized and successful!

 

October is Computer Learning Month

Here are some computer and office tips to keep you learning
and organized this month!

Illustration by Ben Wiseman

Illustration by Ben Wiseman

Computers make our lives oh-so-much easier, but they can be a gateway to identity theft, so:

1) install a computer security system and update it often.

2) Don’t open email attachments from unknown senders, and

3) make your passwords hard to guess combinations of letter and numbers/symbols.

Resist the urge to continually check email or voice-mail. Instead, set specific times – perhaps once in the morning, once after lunch, and once before you end the day – to do this. You can set the sender’s expectation in your signature line, saying “I check email 3 times daily. I’ll respond to your request as soon I am able.”

Reduce waste at the office. Try to generate less paper by printing less and saving more to electronic storage, such as to your computer or a flash drive. Think before you hit “print” and you’ll have less paper to deal with on your desk.

Plan for tomorrow at the end of the day. Take 15 minutes at the end of every day to create tomorrow’s to-do list. This habit of planning will give you the gift of focus, allowing you to get a jump-start the next morning. In a sense, you are creating a map for the following day.

Also check out this wonderful article “What a Messy Desk Says About You”

For some time, psychologists and other researchers have been studying how personality traits affect health and health-related choices. Not surprisingly, they have found that people blessed with innate conscientiousness, meaning that they are organized and predictable, typically eat better and live longer than people who are disorderly. They also tend to have immaculate offices. Read more here!

Prep for Fall

Survive yard work this fall with some organization!

The leaves in New England are starting to change color. Before we know it leaves will be falling and the weather will turn a little colder – the autumn season is upon us – which means it’s time again to clean up the yard for winter.

A few simple taskes to do during autumn can ensure a great-looking yard come spring. Most yards require as much attention in the fall as they do in the spring. To make the process faster and easier, rake a couple times a week. Leaves can pile up pretty quickly with the fall wind. Round up leaves in a lawn bag with a great product like the Rubbermaid Roughneck® BagBone™, can help make these tasks like raking leaves little easier by holding open paper lawn bags as you are filling them. The durable frame flexes to fit securely inside paper lawn bags during clean up. Removes easily when you are done. Rubbermaid has the right tools to help you clean up your yard and garage this fall!

Roughneck BagBone by Rubbermaid

Don’t forget to give everything in your yard a trim. Tidy hedges and but back perennials if you live in a mild climate. For colder areas, leave dead stems in place to protect the plant. Prune trees and bushes to neaten and direct tree or shrub growth for the spring.

Clean and stow yard furniture. Choose a dry and sunny day to do this. Clean pillow and seat-cushion covers, wipe down chairs and wash metal furniture. Let everything dry thoroughly before putting away in the garage or in your outdoor storage shed. Store small other outdoor supplies, lights, flowerpots, hoses, garden tools, sporting equipment and more can be stored together in a deckbox or shed. How do you prepare for Fall?

Happy Fall Organizing!

Organizing the Disorganized Child

With school starting, it’s a great time to help kids with their organizational skills. Here is a wonderful book filled with tips to help you and your children as they go back to school!

Organizing the Disorganized Child, Ducks in a Row Organizing

Organizing the Disorganized Child” by Martin L. Kutscher and Marcella Moran is packed with helpful, straight-forward strategies for getting the correct work home from school, planning the work, and getting it back to where it belongs. It also includes tips that will help every child – disorganized or not – improve reading, note taking, studying and test taking.

Find more tips on Facebook from Organizing the Disorganized Child!

 

The Organizing App for the Modern Family!

Looking for a way to organize your family’s busy life? Cozi is a free online service that helps families keep with appointments and lists, and coordinate work and home schedules. Access this service from your computer or download the app and use on your cell phone. Check out www.cozi.com, The organizing app for the modern family!

Fight Procrastination Day!

Why do we put off until tomorrow what we can do today? Because it’s so darn easy to delay! September 6th is Fight Procrastination Day, if you can’t seem to motivate yourself, grab a partner. Sometimes just the camaraderie of a friend can push you through a tough job. If you need a neutral, non-judgmental assistant to guide you through, a professional organizer (like me) can help!

Back to School Time!

Back to school time, ducks in a row organizers
It’s never too early (or too late) to teach kids how to get and stay organized with schoolwork. The skills they learn now will carry over into high school, college, and ultimately, their careers and home management as adults.
For all kids, here are some general tips or rules of thumb for getting the kids back on a schedule:
  • Pick a bedtime, shut off electronics an hour before bedtime to give their brains ” a rest”. Transitions are difficult. Going from staying up late and sleeping in during the summer to walking up early and doing homework isn’t an easy transition. It’s helpful to acknowledge this and try to start the new sleep schedule a week or so before school starts.
  • Pack the backpacks the night before, choose the clothes the night before and do the same for lunches.  Don’t forget to plan out breakfast. I love these Rubbermaid products for easy back to school lunches! Check them out!
  • Mornings will flow more smoothly once you create an out-the-door plan to get everyone on the road with everything they need for the day. Wouldn’t it be nice if you never received another “I forgot my soccer cleats” calls from your kids at school?
  • Going to a new school is very difficult. Remember it may be exciting to you to see your kids advance to a new level of academics, but they may not know the kids, the layout, the schedule, or the demands that will be placed upon them. This is especially true for the move into middle school or high school. Most schools host open houses for new kids and parents, and it may be wise to attend. If there is no open house, you could give the school a call and see about bringing your kid to visit.

These are just some general tips, and every kid is different. One size does not fit all for kids, as they negotiate the turbulent path back into the classroom. Remember that you know your children; remember to separate your agenda from theirs; and remember what you’d expect of someone else the same age.

At the end of the day, there are always good movies to wrap up the year.  A family night out to dinner and a show is great way to ring in the excitement of fall.  Good luck!

Dog Days of Summer

It is the first week of August, and it’s a great time to rediscover time for you! Think about everything you say “YES” to: Community involvement, errands for others, visiting. Think about how they benefit you, your family, your business, your health and your mind. If they do not bring good into your life, learn to say “NO!”

August is Family Fun Month. During dinner this week, brainstorm some activities that your family would like to do during the “dog days of summer.” Narrow down the list to your top five or ten, and then commit them to your family calendar. Remember, these last few weeks of summer always seem to fly by!

Ducks in a row organizers, Anne Lucas

 

Tips & Tricks to Organizing Garages!

Great garage tips and tricks!

The best way start this organizing a space is to empty out the space. Don’t try to move things around in the space, you will just end up moving things around too much. Empty everything out and make piles that make sense to you and your families needs. Sweep up and then put things back. Old latex paint can be thrown in the trash if it’s dried out. So if we’re expecting a few days of heat and no rain open the cans and leave them in the yard to dry.

Ducks in a row organizers, anne lucas

Most towns have specific policies on hazardous waste, in Winchester, MA we have a day in the spring when you can bring your hazardous material to the Department of Waste yard. Check with your town or city for their rules.

Ducks in a row organizers, anne lucas

When putting stuff back in the garage, hang as much as possible. I’ve attached a picture of how we have our bikes hung. Hang the yard tools, you don’t need anything fancy. Hooks, nails, etc. are great to hang things you need easy access to – some frequently used tools, sports equipment, brooms, etc.  Try and keep like things together as much as possible. Gardening with gardening, sports equipment with sports equipment etc.

Ducks in a row organizers, anne lucas, somerville garage

If shelving will fit, the plastic ones are sturdy and inexpensive.

I feel very confident that this is going to make a huge difference in how you use your garage space.  Perhaps will find plenty of room to pull your car into the garage now. It will be so nice  just to have space!
Maybe you feel stuck right now by all the stuff that seems to be closing in on you.  In our culture today it seems stuff reigns supreme. When things are piled up I feel overwhelmed and I just want to bury my head in the sand.  When things are clear and clean I feel relaxed.  How about you?  Do you like stuff or do you prefer space?

Happy Organizing!

Meet Betsy Kelly

Ducks in A Row Organizers has a wonderful team of ducks and I am proud to introduce Betsy Kelly!

Ducks in A Row Organizers

Betsy Kelly has always been an organized person. So when she saw an advertisement for the National Association of Professional Organizers conference in Boston about five years ago, it piqued her interest.

She didn’t attend that particular event, but the idea of becoming a professional organizer stuck with her. A few years later, she reached out to Ducks in a Row owner Anne Lucas for advice. After speaking with Lucas and working with her on a few jobs, Kelly decided to go into business herself.

Read more of this article at Wicked Local, News from Winchester Star


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