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Cheat Sheet

Organizing For Dummies

From Organizing For Dummies by Eileen Roth, Elizabeth Miles

Avoid organizing nightmares and save time every day with these easy organizing tips like. Learn to purge, reduce clutter, and find the right spot for your things to tidy up your space.

Timesaving Tips for Getting Organized

If you keep these tips handy (by your desk, on the bulletin board, on the fridge), you’re guaranteed to save time everyday and be more organized. Practice makes perfect!

  • Set goals. Prioritize. Plan.

  • Make lists.

  • Avoid procrastination.

  • Handle interruptions.

  • Use a tape recorder, especially when driving, to dictate notes.

  • Use deadlines wisely: a) Impose them for every project. b) Plan backward to meet them.

  • Follow routines and time them to your personal rhythms.

  • Learn to say “No” when you have too much to do.

  • Take an early or late lunch and work through the usual lunch hour to avoid interruptions.

  • Make appointments with beginning and ending times.

  • Use the telephone or e-mail as much as possible, matching the medium to the message.

  • Keep supplies on hand.

  • Keep active files within fingertip reach.

  • Clean off your desk every night.

  • Put away a project before beginning a new one.

  • Continue learning how to use your computer better.

  • Carry a “To Read” file.

  • Be prepared.

  • Reward yourself.

  • Plan today for tomorrow.

Helpful Hints for Organizing

Getting rid of unwanted clutter and getting organized is easy if you remember these acronyms to keep you on track when it comes to tossing things, cleaning up your space, and organizing your stuff.

Using the W-A-S-T-E way to decide whether something’s worth keeping

Are you consumed by clutter? Deciding what to pitch or keep is simple if you work through these questions, and be honest:

  • W Worthwhile? Do you truly like the item?

  • A Again? Will you use it, really?

  • S Somewhere else? Can it be borrowed or found somewhere else if you need it?

  • T Toss? Will the world end if you get rid of it?

  • E Entire? Do you need the whole thing or just part of it?

Using R-E-M-O-V-E to clear off your desktop

Do you have a desktop disaster? Clear your desktop and get your desk set up for success by looking at the items on your desk and using these simple steps:

  • RReduce distractions, like knickknacks.

  • EEveryday use items stay on top of your desk.

  • MMove items to the preferred side, like the right side if you’re right-handed.

  • OOrganize together, keep similar items grouped together.

  • VView your time, keep a clock on your desk.

  • EEmpty the center so you have a clean workspace.

Putting everything in its P-L-A-C-E

Is there stuff everywhere? Use these tips for de-cluttering, getting items organized, and making your space nice and neat:

  • PPurge: Get rid of it, especially by making a donation.

  • LLike with like: Create a center for things, such as sewing or tools.

  • AAccess: Create a spot that is easy to get to your things.

  • CContain: Use containers to create space and keep things together.

  • EEvaluate: Does this organizational layout work?

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