It’s About Time

Ruth Wong

20 simple steps
to get organized

When was the last time you were EARLY for something?

Today I am giving you a chance to be early for a change!

"Get Organized Week" is Oct. 5 through 12. Sponsored by the National Association of Professional Organizers (yes, there is such an association, and yes, our conferences are very organized!), "GO Week" is an opportunity to streamline your life, create more time, and lower your stress.

I'd like to give you 20 simple steps to organize your space and make life more manageable.

These steps can be done in any order, and each should take just 15 minutes.

1. Look around and note things that are out of place. Pick up and put away three items.

2. Gather all mail and put in one place, such as a desk tray, box or basket. Toss junk mail, being careful to shred any credit card offers and papers with personal account information.

3. Keep all bills to be paid together in a container. Put stamps, return address labels, pen and envelopes there too.

4. Gather all important household papers together and store in one place, whether it is a file cabinet, plastic file bin or even a cardboard file box. Gradually sort into categories and put into file folders.

5. Put away items that have collected on your bathroom counter.

6. Ditto for the kitchen counter.

7. Gather all those little pieces of paper with names and phone numbers and enter them into your address book, Rolodex, PDA or computer.

8. Put pen and paper next to each phone.

9. Post a large master calendar for the family and write in important events. You can use a different color for each family member.

10. Sort through your pile of magazines. Place those you will read near your reading area. Recycle or toss the rest.

11. Gather all loose greeting cards, stationery and envelopes. Place in a drawer or container near your writing spot.

12. Gather all mail-order catalogs and place in a file, basket or other container. Keep only those catalogs you're likely to order from.

13. Gather all loose photos in one place, with the most recent in front. Write the date and occasion on the back of the photo or on the photo envelope.

14. Install plastic turntables in your pantry, cabinet or refrigerator for small items, i.e. spices, vitamins, condiments.

15. Gather all plastic and paper bags and place in a designated container. Keep only a reasonable amount.

16. Purge and organize your linen closet. Label shelves clearly so others can find items easily.

17. Remove from your closet three items no longer worn, liked or needed. Donate for a tax deduction. Do this every month.

18. Empty one drawer and put back only what needs to be there.

19. Empty your purse, briefcase or backpack and put back only what's needed.

20. Put a collapsible crate in your car trunk to keep store-bought items from spilling and for ease of carrying them into your home.

I encourage you to get a head start on "Get Organized Week" and see the difference these simple steps can make.

Happy organizing! See you in two weeks!

"It's About Time," by Ruth Wong, owner of Organization Plus, runs the fourth Friday of each month. Contact her at "It's About Time," care of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813; or e-mail


E-mail to Features Editor


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Calendars]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2003 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --