Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What's In YOUR Inbox?

Do you frequently find your email inbox stuffed full with junk? Is this junk email clogging up your "e-life"? Many find that they receive countless annoying and useless emails on a daily basis but simply have no idea how to get rid of it. This junk email, or "inbox clutter", can really take its toll on your mental state and cause undue stress. Here are some tips that I like to give to those struggling with this not-so-unique problem:

  1. Every time you receive an email that is, to you, considered "junk email", designate it as such and place it on the "add sender to blocked senders list". If you use Microsoft Outlook, just right click on the intended email and there you will see options. Scroll down until you see "junk email", then "Add sender to blocked senders list". Next time you receive an email from that particular source, it will go straight to your Junk Email Box. There it will remain until further action is taken. At least you will not have to see it right away when you open your inbox.
  2. Periodically go into your Junk Email box and take a look around. Are there any emails that were mistakenly sent there but that you deem as more important and noteworthy? You can then reverse the process as above. Right click on the intended email, scroll down to "junk email" then click on "Add sender to safe senders list". This will insure proper delivery to your inbox the next time you receive an email from the particular sender.
  3. While you are perusing your Junk Email box, look at the emails there that you truly consider to be "junk". If you would no longer care to receive emails from that source, then you need to tell them just that. This can take some time and be a bit annoying but it will keep your Junk Email box uncluttered: Open the junk email and scroll all the way to the bottom of the email. There you will almost always see a statement saying something to this effect: " You received this email because you signed up to receive our monthly e-newsletter. If you no longer wish to receive these e-newsletters, unsubscribe here." In most cases, it is necessary to cut and paste the given address into your internet browser's address bar. This will take you to the web page where you can then click on "unsubscribe" or choose from a list of options.
  4. Another way to keep Junk Email from cluttering your Inbox is to run a spyware/malware scan on a regular basis. This will clear out any junk in your computer as well as junkmail you receive that you never intended to EVER see (like those lovely "little purple pill" solicitations!). Many of the spyware scanning programs are free. Two of my favorites are Ad Aware ( and SpyBot Search and Destroy ( You do need to update them periodically and then run the scans. I run them on my computer about every 3 days. Doing so really cuts down on the amount of junk I receive in my Inbox.

Hopefully these simple tips will declutter your email world and allow you get to the REALLY important stuff!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Consult Me Before You Buy...

As an organizer, one of the common mistakes I see among my clients is excess: buying too much because they don't know what they already have. You know who you are. You go to one of those wholesale clubs for your weekly shopping and come home with another 50-pack of bathroom tissue. Or that extra-large "family size" package of toothbrushes. Or soap. Or ketchup. Or trash bags. You spend the money on all these items only to get home and find (or maybe not if you are not sure where you put the last stash) you have enough bathroom tissue to last you six months!

By taking a "mini-inventory" of your staples each week, you can avoid overbuying and eliminate the excess that keeps your home cluttered. There are two ways this can be accomplished: the "one hour rule" and "in/out rule".

One way to approach organizing is what I like to refer to as the “One Hour a Day” Rule. Take one hour each day and spend that time tackling one small area of your home. This is a perfect way to attack junk drawers, kitchen cabinets, hall closets, and bathrooms. Fill an empty box or storage bin with gently used clothing or toys and drop it off at the nearest donation location. Remember: If you haven’t worn it in two years, get rid of it! Shred old paperwork that is no longer necessary and is taking up much-needed space in your office filing cabinet (see sidebar). Open up your medicine cabinet and dispose of expired or unused medications.

A second way to approach clutter is the “In/Out” Rule. As new items come into the home, other items must go out. This will eliminate duplication and free up space in closets and pantry areas. Deal with junk mail (check out and bills as soon as they come inside from the mailbox. Recycle catalogs and magazines after a quick glance. Did you just purchase a new coat? A new blender? A new book? Get rid of the old one! (sell books on Think about storage for items that you would like to keep but do not necessarily need each day. There are great storage bins and storage bags available at low costs.

January is the perfect time to start fresh! There is no better time of year to check off items on that “to do” list and clear a path for a new you in the New Year!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Is Your Old Medication Making You Sick?

Is Your Old Medication Making You Sick?

How old is too old when it comes to the medications in your medicine cabinet? When the expiration date has come and gone. You should clean out your medicine cabinet a couple of times a year but MUST do it at least once a year. The end of the year is a great time to do this- out with the old, in with the new. This applies to both prescription and non-prescription medications.

Prescription medications in particular need attention. Physicians write these with a specific timeframe in mind. People on medications long-term should be taking them on a daily basis or in some routine way so they are not intended to be sitting around. Some medications like insulin or blood thinners need to be current and up-to-date....If you are not taking it, get rid of it.

One suggestion: If you are not someone who uses over-the-counter meds routinely, buy smaller bottles. You will feel less "bad" throwing it away once it is beyond its expiration date. You will waste less.

Medicine cabinets in bathrooms are probably not the best location either. Medications should be kept in a cool, dry, and high location (away from small children). If you have a linen closet or somewhere that it doesn't get warm and moist like a bathroom does, that's the best place.

Keep those medications current and you will be doing yourself a "healthy" favor.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Like lists? Here's a list you don't want to miss!

Tired of all the junk mail and unwanted mailings in your mailbox? Did you know that to get off junk mail lists effectively, you have to contact several companies? Here's a checklist:

To Get Rid Of:*


Credit card and insurance:

All catalogs, magazine offers,

and circulars from this group:

All coupon inserts that come
from this company:

All phone, mail, or emails that
come from this company:

Unwanted catalogs:

Try these options and hopefully your mailbox will only include the REAL necessary mail!

*From the September issue of Womans Day magazine

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Fall into Organization

As fall approaches, it is time to assess the upcoming organizational challenges that a new season can sometimes bring. This means getting those summer items packed away and preparing for football season, cooler temperatures, and the fast-approaching holidays. How ready are you?

Hot tips for a cooler head:

1) Keep summer gear (clothing, pool/beach items) close at hand until September 15th, depending on where you live. Here in the southern states, short sleeves and jet skis are still worn well into September. Once the temps start to drop some, be ready to pack away those items in airtight containers or space-saving storage bags and label accordingly. This is also a great time to purge clothing and items that are no longer worn or used so they won't hang around to clutter your closets throughout the winter months.

2) It is never too early to start thinking about the holidays. Start thinking about that never-ending gift-giving list when you have a quiet moment. I like to save my list in the front of my December monthly planner or on a memo in Outlook. This way you will know where it is when you need it and you can easily add to it at a moment's notice. Some websites and stores even start having sales on holiday merchandise at this time of year to avoid having overstock when the season approaches. You can find some great deals when shopping early!

3) Fall is also a perfect time to do some "fall cleaning" around the home! Sweep or blow out those dusty garages, donate unused clothing or toys, and purge any old papers in the office that add to the clutter.

4) Is your yearly "daytimer" calendar updated and ready to go? If you use Outlook as your calendar, make sure all computer software is updated so there will be no unexpected glitches. Are you a "list" person? Make sure you have plenty of paper ready for the busy weeks ahead.

5) If you are one who finds it challenging to remember friends' or family members' birthdays or anniversaries, have Consider It Done Services provide reminders! The annual fee is only $10.00 and you will receive reminders via email or text 5-7 days prior to the special occasion so you will have plenty of time to get a card or gift! What could be easier? Email your list to today!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Are you ready for the sizzle?

Don't get burned by all the chaos that disorder in the summertime months can bring. Be prepared so you won't get fried! Try these tips for more order and less clutter to make on-the-go summer fun last:

1) Declutter/ Refresh/ Restock: Toss any old, last-year summer gear that may have sat waterlogged in a closet for the past nine months. Many pool toys, sunglasses, picnic supplies, and sunscreen are easily replaced and it is well worth a trip to Target or WalMart or even the Dollar Store for new ones. Clean out dusty coolers and pool bags, wash those bathing suits and beach towels, and get out the picnic blankets for easy grab-and-go summer fun. Restock up on new sunscreen (your old ones are only good for six months anyway!), picnic supplies, pool toys, sunglasses (consider a pair for the car and a cheaper pair for the pool or beach!), snacks in easy snack-size bags, and reusable water/beverage bottles.

2) Place your recycle bin in a hidden yet easily accessible spot so you can recycle all those plastic bottles and bags and magazines or books you've used at the pool or beach.

3) Consider installing a 6-hook coat rack on the wall in your mudroom or garage. This makes those day trips to the pool or beach less hectic when you can hang your pool bag as you come and go. You will always know where it is! After summer, you can then use this rack to hang jackets/coats and school backpacks for easy access.

Remember: There is not a wrong or right way to organize. There is only what works for you and what doesn't work for you. Being prepared takes the chaos out of those hectic summer outings, leaving you more time to relax and unwind. That's what summer is about afterall!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Wag More, Bark Less.

Wag More, Bark Less. I saw this on a bumper sticker the other day and it reminded me of a neighbor's dog I know. I gave him a "busy bone" one day and I watched him circle around the yard several times until he found the perfect spot of soft, moist earth and began to dig. In no time, he had dug a six-inch-deep hole, buried his new bone for safekeeping, and covered it up. I could tell he was very proud of his work by the quick wagging of his tail. Mission accomplished. His prized possession was now stored away until needed in the future.
Spring cleaning is much the same way. We store our possessions we don't want or need today and put them aside for safekeeping for the future. All the winter bulky sweaters, mittens, scarves, and coats move out and make way for the lighter wear. Perhaps you have old toys, furnishings, papers, or lawn equipment that need to "move out" to clear the way for fresh, uncluttered spaces in your home.
When our home is less cluttered, it is amazing how much more productive and happier we are. You simply feel lighter and all the weight of the winter blues is lifted. Have you "buried your bones" yet? Wag more, bark less.