Paper

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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Let’s Start at the Very Beginning

Remember back to last spring when you were preparing your taxes. Pretty annoying, right? Didn’t you hate digging through all your papers to find relevant information, some of which was already more than a year old? I bet you made a vow back then that you were going to be more proactive in the future. January is a great time to get things set up for a smooth tax process. As I described in Reducing the Pain of Tax Time, setting up some…

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Ephemera

One of my daily pleasures is doing the crossword puzzle in the New York Times. In yesterday’s puzzle, the clue for 9-down was “Things meant to be used and then thrown away.” I knew the answer right away: ephemera. I use this word frequently with my clients because I want to help them decide which paper items they should save and which they should let go. Dictionary.com further defines ephemera as “items designed to be useful or important for only a short time, especially…

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