My Organizing Blog

In Praise of Routines

The word “routine” is often used in a derogatory way to describe repetitive activities that do not delight or inspire. But I’m a big fan of establishing routines. They enable us to free up our brains to concentrate on other things. After I finished graduate school, I moved into my first apartment and started a full-time job. During the first few months, I sometimes stopped myself on the way to the subway and went back home to make sure I had…

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The Power of Unitasking

A few weeks ago, I attended the monthly meeting of the New York chapter of NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers). Our speaker that night was Christine Li, Ph.D., who bills herself as the Procrastination Coach. Her talk was very wittily entitled, “I’ll Procrastinate Later: Getting from Self-Talk to Self-Start”. She shared information that we can use with our clients, and I enjoyed her presentation. I’m guessing that we are not her typical audience, however. She was definitely preaching to the…

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Plan Ahead

As a child, I remember being very amused by a sign that said “Plan Ahead” but on which there was inadequate room for the letter “d” at the end, requiring it to sit on the next line. As a Professional Organizer, I pride myself on managing my time and my obligations, anticipating what needs to get done and by when so that I can meet my deadlines calmly and with confidence. And then there’s last Thursday. I had offered to take…

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The Last Scrapbook

When we adopted our daughter as a 12-month old from a Chinese orphanage back in 1998, we had very little information about her background, and just a handful of photos. I decided that I would compensate for that by making her the most well-documented child in New York City history. Throughout my life, I had always made photo albums of my pictures, but I knew that I needed to take it to a higher level. Fortuitously, through a well-placed brochure…

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Oh, I Was Looking For That!

When I am helping a client organize, one of the statements I always hear is, “Oh, I was looking for that!” Usually it’s after we come across an item buried under a pile of stuff, or else we’ve found it put away in a place that the owner had long forgotten. I’ll ask the client, “Where were you looking for it?” That location is where this person expects to find this item — it’s this item’s “home”. So I’ll say, “Let’s…

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