Monday, January 31, 2011


Organizing your financial information is a crucial part of every household. Unfortunately it’s one thing that most people just don’t do.

It’s time consuming. It takes a lot of thought. It’s very personal and emotional. It’s a reality check that most people don’t want to think about.

But you can’t just leave your finances to chance. Well, at least you shouldn’t. Running a household is not much different than running a business.

Having an organized system in place helps things run smoothly.

Let’s start with your space. You need to pick a place that is going to be command central. Whether you have an office in your home, a desk in a corner or the kitchen table… it doesn’t matter. Just pick a place and make that your command center.

If you don’t have a separate office space you still need to have files. You can have a file cabinet or a file drawer or a file basket….it doesn’t matter as long as you have files for all of our finances (bills, receipts, tax related information…).

You need to come up with a system and a plan that works for you. Decide what that is and stick to it. It could be that you set aside a certain day each week to pay your bills and go through your finances or an hour a week or every other week. Whatever works for you ….that you will stick with. That’s what’s important.

Some simple tips for dealing with bills:

  • Go through your mail each day and put all of your bills in one spot (a basket, a folder…).
  • Record the date due on the outside of the envelope when the bill arrives.
  • On the day that you decide is finance day, go through your bills and pay each one.
  • You can pay your bills by: Check Pay Online Automatic payments
  • Record your payments (in a check register, a spreadsheet, accounting software….).
  • Decide when the payments will be sent out. You can put the “mail on” date on the envelope in pencil. Put a stamp on it and mail it.
  • File copies of the bill with payment info.
By coming up with a system that works for you there will be less of a chance of missing a payment and getting hit with late fees. Whatever system you decide to use, the important part is that you have a system and you stick with it.

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, January 24, 2011


Being organized is not only about having an uncluttered and orderly space. It’s about having an organized life and about having less stress in your life.

By having “a place for everything and everything in its place” you are saving time and money. I’ve said that numerous times before. And it’s true.

What I’ve found is that a lot of people think that money grows on trees. Because I seem to find it wherever I go. Not only do I encounter a lot of loose change all over the house, the floors, counters, couches and everywhere else I also find $5, $10, $20 bills in piles everywhere and on the floors. And I seem to be the only person that notices this. But it all adds up! Even the dimes and quarters add up to a lot of money. Once I had a client make fun of me for handing them the dimes and quarters that I found throughout the house. But I found at least $20 in just a couple of hours. That’s not peanuts. It pales in comparison to another client where I literally found over $200 in change and small bills on the floors throughout the house.

I guess it must be nice not to have to worry about money and to just walk over it and not care. But not everyone has that luxury.

Another example of wasting money is by not having a system in place for your bills and then accruing finance charges and ruining your credit rating because you don’t pay your bills on time. And the number one reason is because the bills are just thrown in a pile somewhere and then just overlooked. Or accidentally thrown out and forgotten.

Disorganization costs you money. A professional organizer can help save you money by showing you how to make some minor adjustments in how you do things. Some people can benefit by using a life coach to teach them skills that they don’t have. Stop throwing away your money. Get organized.

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, January 17, 2011


People don’t like to think about emergencies. Not in their personal lives and certainly not in business. But as a small business owner you can’t just stick your head in the sand.

If you own a small business (in terms of people, not sales) it is imperative that you are prepared for all emergencies.

Let’s start with thinking about you as the business owner. If something happened to you or a member of your family and you could not be involved in your business for a few days, weeks or months…. could the business survive without you? Do you have someone in place that can run things or take charge while your gone?

You may be the healthiest person on the planet….but a car accident or a medical crisis with a family member can have your spiraling out of control and the last thing that you are going to be thinking about is your business.

Do you have a back up plan?

Do you have a manager or key employee that can handle things while you are gone?

Do you have an operations manual? Do you have anything documented? Those are a lot of things to think about. And unfortunately I have seen too many businesses where there is no documentation of any kind.

Now let’s say that you are just fine but that your key employee leaves. Can your business survive? Have you given one employee too much power that if they left they can cripple your business?

Do you have job descriptions for all of your employees? Including yourself?

Is everyone trained in everyone else’s job?

Let’s go one step further. What if your building burns down? I’m just saying…..

Do you have everything documented and taken OFF SITE ???? Do you have backups of your backups? Have you tested your backup system lately? Have you tried re-storing your backup tapes to be sure they work?

As the old saying goes “been there…done that…”. Yes, my backup tapes said they were “just fine”. They weren’t. And then came the crash. Of course it was two weeks before the end of the year when I usually run every single report with data from January through December. Two more weeks and I would have been fine. But I wasn’t. And it couldn’t have come at a worse time.

Are you starting to get a bit nervous because you don’t have a backup plan and I’ve made you think about things that you never wanted to think about?

Don’t stick your head in the sand. Accidents happen. Emergencies happen. Loyal long time employees leave you hanging. Stuff happens.

Be prepared. Get your business organized. Start today.

Organizational Consulting Services

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


As a Professional Organizer and a member of NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) January has been designated as " GET ORGANIZED " month.

So take this time to sit down and come up with a list of things that you would like to get organized. In your home, your business or your life.

Break it down into smaller, more manageable projects. Plan it out, put it on your calendar and start on your way to a more organized life. One small project at a time. It took you a while to get disorganized, it will take you a while to get organized.

If you have any organizing questions that you would like to ask... now is the perfect time.

Or if you have a great organizing idea that you would like to share.....we would love to hear from you.

Send your questions / ideas to: with "organizing question" in the subject line and we will post your questions with our answers in a future article.

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, January 10, 2011


It’s the start of a new year so why don’t you start the year off right by making a commitment to be more organized with what counts most, your important papers.

Most people have a lot of important paperwork. Scattered all over the house.

Do you have a “will” ? A “health care proxy” ? A “living will” ? A “power of attorney” ?

Does anyone know where these documents are?

Do you have your medical history documented somewhere? Do you have a list of your doctors ? Do you have a list of your surgeries ? Of your medications ? Of your allergies ?

Stuff happens…… Are you ready ? Do you really want to take that chance ?

If you have a family….is it fair to them ? If you have kids…thinking about protecting them with a “will” is not only important…it’s down right necessary !!!!

Don’t wait until something happens to try and find all of the papers that you need. Be pro-active and have everything in one place. Make sure that someone knows where that place is and had access to it if you can’t get to it.

What happens if there is a disaster and you had to evacuate the house? Would you be able to gather your important papers quickly?

Start the year off right by gathering all of your information in one place. It doesn’t matter where. As long as you do it. One central place. That’s the first step of being organized with your important papers.

If you do that, then you’ve accomplished more than most people.

The second step is to organize your paperwork into some type of system. There are a variety of systems out there. Pick what works for you and get started. Some people like a paper system and some people like a computerized system. Whatever works for you, your budget and your organizing personality. As long as you do it.

There is a great system out there called “Vital Records Portavault”. It’s a portable system that houses all of your vital records in one case. There is room for storing CD’s/DVD’s, flash drive and hundreds of pages of vital documents. It comes with a disaster planning guideline and is endorsed by the American Red Cross. The Vital Records Portavault has been awarded the Parent Tested Parent Approved Seal. The PTPS Media Seal is an international leader in certifying consumer products for quality, effectiveness and value. For more information visit “Vital Records Portavault”.

For a great computerized system there is a product called “CareBinders”. It tracks your personal data (education, events, passwords, resume), your medical data (allergies, immunizations, doctors, medical history), your financial data (account #’s, credit cards, insurance policies, legal documents) and your “fun” data (favorite music, photos, restaurants…)

CareBinders™ is the secure, offline, personal recordkeeping software for today’s busy people. Keep track of all your data—personal, medical, financial and fun! Enter data once and CareBinders™ instantly puts it in all the right places. Track anything and everything that is important to you: from your cholesterol to your wine collections and trips! Output medical intake forms to resumes at the touch of a print key. Start simplifying your life—start using CareBinders™ today.

Both systems are also available through my website. For information on available discounts check out my website on the "links / more products page" or email me.

Those are just two great options for organizing your important information. It doesn’t matter what system you use… as long as your start organizing your information and getting things in place.

Be organized… get your affairs in order….. and go about your life knowing that if a disaster struck you would have all of your information at your fingertips. Or if anything happened to you, your family would know what you wanted and your kids would be protected.

Organizational Consulting Services

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year - Fresh Start

It's January. A New Year. A new start.

January is “get organized” month.

Decide now that you don’t want to feel stressed and disorganized this year….by making a resolution to become more organized.

And then….. do it !

Make a plan. One project at a time. One room at a time. One closet at a time. One drawer at a time.

By breaking things down into small projects you will be able to manage them more easily and will be more likely to follow through.

As you start putting away your Holiday decorations and presents remember a few basic rules:

* One in - One out >>> if you received some new clothes get rid of some old ones that you never wear or are worn out

* A place for everything >>> find a spot for those presents, don't just put them any old place

A New Year = A Fresh Start. Now is the time to start organizing your home and your life. Take a look at what takes up your time and stop doing things that don't bring you joy anymore. Life is too short to waste.

You have an entire year to get organized. Start now.... a little at a time. And soon you will wonder why you ever waited so long.

Happy New Year !

Organizational Consulting Services