Our members' best ideas
The very best ideas for getting and staying organized from the Members of NAPO South Florida:
Best Bins (Lori Abou www.espaciosorganizing.com)
Organize almost any space with clear shoe boxes and clear bins. I buy Costco's 10 pack of large shoe boxes and the set of 3 clear bins to have in my car just in case. Just make sure you have a labeler and you are set.
Mail Reduction (Tonya Paulette [email protected])
Manage incoming mail by sorting through, looking for any “recyclables.” Before I place the mail in its designated home, I pull out any junk mail, catalogs, or other unwanted material. I am frequently left with half of that day’s mail, so I’ve already accomplished a huge step toward managing paper clutter.
If you no longer want to receive pre-approved credit card offers, the national credit bureaus offer a toll-free number that enables consumers to opt-out of such offers with just one phone call. Call 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688).
The Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) Mail Preference Service lets you opt out of receiving unsolicited commercial mail from many national companies for five years. When you register with this service (for a $1 fee), your name will be put on a “delete” file and made available to direct-mail marketers. However, your registration will not stop mailings from organizations that do not use the DMA’s Mail Preference Service. To register with DMA’s Mail Preference Service, go to www.dmachoice.org.
Curing Procrastination (Patty Ribera, [email protected])
When you find that the need for perfection interferes with even getting started on a chore...and a way to take the first step!
- Remind yourself that it does not have to be perfect.
- Do not allow the pressure to stop your forward motion. for example: Decluttering a room? Start with one corner, or just the top of the dresser....
- Divide the chore into bite-sized pieces, but just get started.
- A written assignment? Make a rough draft....plan to come back and edit later
Maintaining and Recordkeeping of Expenses (Suzy Wilkoff, www.tasksunlimited.com)
- Use different credit cards and checking accounts for business expenses to save time and headaches at tax time.
- If using the same credit card for all your expenses, highlight the business ones on the monthly bill and write two separate checks (one for the business total and one for the personal portion.)
- Use QuickbooksTM or QuickenTM for easy delineation of expense categories.
- Contact your CPA or tax professional for their preferred tax submission format to make income tax preparation efficient.
Stop Unwanted "Charity" Solicitations (Michelle Katzman, www.myprofessionalorganizer.net)
If you dread the calls from the many charities throughout the year, try this handy tip - not only does it make it easier at tax time, it saves you money and eases the conscious of those of us having trouble saying "no": We are happy to have you send your information. We collect Charity requests throughout the year and give all of our donations in December for tax purposes. Keep a file of the requests with your bills and really do your contributions in December.
E-mail Subject Line (Suzy Wilkoff, www.tasksunlimited.com)
In our haste, we often use the last e-mail received from someone and hit respond even when writing about a totally different subject. A business colleague of mine recently commented that it was great that I always revise the subject line to state specifically what the e-mail is about. This makes it so much easier when you need to search for the e-mail weeks or months later!
Take the Stress Out of Traveling (Michelle Katzman, www.myprofessionalorganizer.net)
When many make plans to travel, it seems like there will be plenty of time to get ready; however, often it is a mad rush in days before the trip. To ease the "before trip" stress, visit websites like www.travelsmith.com or ones from your destination locations for suggested packing lists. Stage your complete outfits for each day before you pack (right down to the socks and shoes). Keep a pen and pad handy to list items you need to purchase, include at the last minute (i.e. cell phone chargers) and/or things you still need to do (i.e. cancel the paper).