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Recognize prime property


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POSTED: Friday, March 27, 2009

"Million-dollar real estate" is how Karen Simon of the Hawaii Association of Professional Organizers describes the space on one's desk where the most important items can be kept at arm's reach. So, "What do you want to live in your million-dollar real estate?" is the question she poses.

               

     

 

GET ORGANIZED

        Set up action files

        » Keep documents in order: Set up file folders labeled with specific actions like "to order," "waiting for reply" or "to file."

        » Keep these supplies on hand: Colored file folders and labels, hanging files (colored ones are optional), portable labeler, file storage boxes (such as Archive or Bankers), paper punch and file folder clasps, binder clips, shredder, wastebasket.
       

Prepare for tomorrow
        » Create a task list: This clears the mind and assures that things will not be forgotten.
        » Group "like" tasks together: This way, things can be done more efficiently. An example is grouping all calls together, or errands.
        » Always tidy up: Put "things back in their homes." Organize papers received that day, preferably in a vertical filing system. "Papers that are lying down are hiding or sleeping," Simon said. "If they are standing up, they are talking to you."
        » Your reward: If a few minutes are set aside to plan the following day, it's easier to relax in the evenings.

       

Source: Karen Simon, Hawaii Association of Professional Organizers

       

 

       

First, she says, consider how often you reach for certain items. Only those used most frequently should be on the desk—that includes items needed on a daily basis or at least once a week.

"You don't want to have to get up and staple things, so the stapler belongs there. If you use the phone book at least once a week, it gets to live on the desk. Other things that are not used as often should go outside of that space," she said.

The same rules apply to the kitchen and other rooms. "If you own a blender but only use it to make margaritas for a party, it doesn't belong on the counter—it should be placed on a shelf and stored," Simon said.

"Shoes are another big one. The super-dressy shoes that are only used for special occasions don't need to be on the shoe rack with your daily shoes. They can be put in boxes and stored on higher shelves."

The "million-dollar real estate" school of thought ties in with Simon's "everything needs a home" theory. "Everything deserves a home. ... Like people, our possessions need to have a place that they can go back to. If you have lots of things in piles, they are considered homeless items."

Keeping like items together helps keep things organized. Assigning them a permanent home makes things even easier.

"The example I like to use is the silverware tray in the kitchen drawer. The trays keep forks, knives and spoons separated. Imagine what it would be like to open the silverware drawer and find all the forks, knives and spoons thrown in there," Simon said.

The same idea applies to a desk drawer: Paper clips, rubber bands, pens and pencils all need to be separated and organized. "Otherwise, we would need to dig through everything in order to find a paper clip. Same thing goes for the closet, hand towels, bath towels, face cloth and like. Bedding should be sorted and stored appropriately," she said.

"Being organized saves time and frustration. Frustration is exhausting, so save the energy for better things. Time is too valuable to be wasted looking for things."