Paper

Conversation Piece

The first time my name appeared in The New York Times was in January of 2013. I had submitted an anecdote to their weekly column called Metropolitan Diary, and it had been printed! I had recently worked with a client who had also been included in Metropolitan Diary, as did her husband at another time. Both columns had been framed and hung in their kitchen. So when my story got printed, I decided to get it ready for framing. Rather than cutting it…

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What To Do With Expired MetroCards

When I help my New York City clients get organized, we often find stacks of transit passes known as MetroCards in purses, drawers, and other niches. There is no way to tell by looking at a MetroCard whether it has any value on it or not. What you can tell, however, is whether it has expired, as the expiration date is clearly printed on the back. What should you do if you have an expired MetroCard? The answer depends on…

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The Pile in the Corner

I’ve written previously about how the Broken Windows Theory applies to organizing. In a nutshell, if you have a little bit of a mess, it’s easy for it to become a big mess because your standards are already lowered. Almost three years ago, I started a pile in the corner of my bedroom. Specifically, I placed a box of files there. The contents of the box were my father’s papers. We had just placed him in assisted living, and I was no…

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Marketing Beyond the Grave

When my father passed away last year and we shut down his apartment, I submitted a forwarding order to the post office so that mail coming to anyone named Lowenheim at that address would be forwarded to me. I’ve since learned that the Postal Service makes about $8 million a year licensing its change of address data. Not only am I getting marketing solicitations for my father, I am also receiving junk mail for my mother, who passed away 4 1/2 years…

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Fun Facts about Recycling in NYC

I spend a lot of time with people who are getting rid of stuff. A frequent question that my clients ask me is, “Can I recycle this?” Usually I know the answer. But sometimes I wonder if I’m giving the right advice. I figured that I couldn’t be the only Professional Organizer who faces this issue, so I inquired about doing a recycling program at our monthly NAPO-NY meeting. (That’s the NY chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers). Once I…

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