My Organizing Blog

The Power of Checklists

By Sharon Lowenheim | January 20, 2016 |
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I’m not a big fan of reinventing the wheel. Once I figure something out, I don’t want to have to waste the time to figure it out again in the future. For that reason, I am a frequent creator and user of checklists. When I was younger, my memory was sharp enough that I simply remembered everything. When I was in high school taking geometry, I learned the acronym SOHCAHTOA which explains how to figure out the sine, cosine, and…

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Let’s Start at the Very Beginning

By Sharon Lowenheim | January 13, 2016 |
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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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Dragging My Heels

By Sharon Lowenheim | December 30, 2015 |
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I hate to shop, so the advent of on-line shopping has been a blessing for me. Since I do a lot of on-line purchasing, I also do a fair bit of returning. I’m usually pretty good about packaging up the stuff I don’t want and sending it back the next day, or maybe the day after that. However, there was one package that sat around for almost two weeks. I couldn’t get myself to do it! Usually the visual cue of the box near…

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Ephemera

By Sharon Lowenheim | December 24, 2015 |
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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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Useful Stocking Stuffers

By Sharon Lowenheim | December 15, 2015 |
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I just bought two of the cutest – and most useful – little items that would be great stocking stuffers for those of you who buy such things! The Pocket Monkey is a multi-tool that is small, light, and flat enough to fit into a wallet. It can be used as a bottle opener, flat screwdriver, Phillips screwdriver. micro screwdriver (for glasses and battery covers), phone kickstand, hex wrench in 6 sizes, orange peeler, door latch slip, earbuds cord wrap, letter opener, ruler,…

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The Camera in Your Pocket

By Sharon Lowenheim | November 27, 2015 |
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It’s Black Friday, and on this notorious day of over-shopping, I’m going to tell you a tale of de-acquisition. As you may recall, I’ve been on a kick to get rid of anything I’m no longer using. Back in June, I sold quite a bit on eBay (see Cash for My Trash), including my old digital camera. However, I held on to my most-recently purchased digital camera, which I got in 2012. I used to take a lot of pictures. I’m a…

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Keeping It Off

By Sharon Lowenheim | November 18, 2015 |
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Today marks an important milestone for me. It is exactly one year that I have kept off the 40 pounds that I lost over a six-month period in 2014. I’ve lost weight before on various programs, but I have never been successful in keeping all of it off for one year. What made the difference this time? I have concluded that a successful weight loss program is like an organizing project. These are the key aspects. Having a goal.  I had a clear…

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The Prepared Mind

By Sharon Lowenheim | November 12, 2015 |
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I took a week’s vacation last week. I didn’t go anywhere. But I was directing an off-off-Broadway musical, and it was Tech Week (known more affectionately in the biz as Hell Week). After two months of a more leisurely rehearsal schedule, we had rehearsals every night until 11 pm.  The show opened on Friday night, and we needed to get everything just right — not just the performances but the costumes, sets, props, lighting, et al. — before meeting our first paying…

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Sharing Priceless Family Photos

By Sharon Lowenheim | October 28, 2015 |
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After my father passed away earlier this year, I took possession of his priceless family photo albums. These were photos that he had obtained over the years from his parents. Some of them showed his parents when they were teenagers back in Hungary in the early part of the 20th century. Others were of him and his brothers during their youth in Brooklyn. Some included their young wives, including my mother. I knew that these photos were special and needed to be…

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Thoughts on Time Management

By Sharon Lowenheim | October 22, 2015 |
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I’ve been home recovering from a cold for the last three days, so I’ve had an opportunity to step back and observe myself when I am on an unstructured schedule.  Specifically, I’ve been able to see how I use my time when I have “all the time in the world”. This has been a particularly busy time for me.  In addition to a full client load, I am directing an off-off-Broadway musical which opens in two weeks, which means that free time…

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