Files with labels

Small business owner? Entrepreneur? Stay-at-home parent? On sabbatical?

There should be a designated area inside your home that can ensure your administrative tasks and business management procedures are streamlined, efficient and orderly.

Take a tip from Feng Shui practice – have your work environment reflect respect for you and your work.

If you implement a few ideas with the way you like to work, you’ll be much more likely to use them.

Take time this month to set it up properly once and for all, and then the future will simply require simple maintenance.

Managing Your Paper

Design a filing hierarchy or have one created for you by a professional organizer that makes sense to your work and company.
Use the language you would normally use, with familiar names. Keep it simple and use categories that summarize the nature of the file.

The simpler the system, the quicker and less taxing it is to use. Give your brain a break – don’t store information with one system for paper, another for electronic and yet another for emails. Constantly using the search function wastes your day, 30 seconds at a time.

Understand your document retention obligations:

Ask your lawyer and accountant for a list of the documents you are legally obligated to keep.

Many people are afraid to throw away items. Set a clear policy for what needs to be kept, and what can be safely discarded. A clear retention policy lets you edit with confidence and avoid a build-up of obsolete documents.

Aim to handle everything only once. When you are holding or looking at a document, determine if it is necessary to be kept. Otherwise, toss it immediately.

 Managing your Space

Your work space is the command center for your work: Is there a logical flow (think of an assembly line) of work through the office? Do you have a place to work comfortably and efficiently on your projects?

A comfortable chair, an uncluttered workstation, drawers or file cabinets, adequate shelving and lighting are essential elements.

If you are short of space, think vertically. Is the area above your desk unused? Install shelving or a cabinet to maximize your storage space.

Choose the products, efficiency tips and time management tools that appeal to you. If you have a favourite brand or colour – use it and be consistent.

If you like things visible, use products to make them accessible while keeping them neat, such as a vertical sorter for files or a magazine holder for the items you use frequently.

Eliminate anything in your workspace that doesn’t relate to your work. Don’t let your desk area become a dumping zone. Provide an in-box for others to use if something needs your attention.

Experiment, if something doesn’t work, try something else.

When in central Mexico recently, I discouvered a fairly common phenomenon in many of the restaurants.  They provide a mini-sized coat rack beside each table for patrons to hang their handbags, scarves, jackets to avoid putting them on the floor or draped around their chairs.  I thought it so practical and considerate.  Here is a photo of the kind of thing:


I was humbly awarded the 2015 Ambassador Award from Professional Organizers in Canada in recognition of mentorship to peers and  community, as well as upholding the principles of the industry.Ambassador Award

Keeping Counters & Surfaces clutter-free

November 8, 2015

And remember, once you’ve determined homes for all your things – Don’t just put it down, put it back. [houzz= w=200]

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New Year? Clean Sweep!

January 14, 2015

Posted and quoted in University of Toronto’s newspaper The Medium this month.

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Clutterless Gift Ideas

December 15, 2014

am an advocate for giving gifts that won’t clutter up your friend’s and family’s homes Sometimes we put in a lot of thought into gift giving; other times we fall victim to the pressure of giving ‘something’ for the sake of it. This of course, can lead to clutter! So, before buying gifts this Christmas, […]

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Institute for Challenging Disorganization

August 11, 2014

I’m pleased to have become affiliated this highly acclaimed organization (ICD) and have been taking many of their educational classes. ICD’s mission is to provide education, research and strategies to benefit people challenged by chronic disorganization amongst professionals as well as the public. If you are interesting in reading more about the issues surrounding disorganization, […]

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More great ideas for up cycling your stuff

July 1, 2014 But as usual, you’ve got to be realistic about finding the time to do these sorts of things.

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4 Reminders. You’ve heard them before – now implement them

February 3, 2014

1. Never buy something new unless you know exactly where its going to go. 2. Bring something new in the house.  Take something out. The one in one out rule. 3. Remove the phrase “for now” in your vocabulary. 4. If someone walked into your house unexpectedly – what wouldn’t you want them to see? […]

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Right Brain vs Left Brain Office Styles

July 17, 2013

The right brained office is actually going to look very different than the left brained office. If you have ever wondered what your office says about you, your right brain or left brain probably holds the answer. If you really think, it’s likely that your office shouts out whether you are a right-brain or left-brain […]

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