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Turn Down Heat on Clutter this Summer

by Kristin White del Rosso
(Charlotte, NC USA)

We all have summer fun on the top of our mind, but it is still important to stay on top of organizing tasks and know how to use your time wisely so you can create a good balance of staying productive while enjoying the longer days of summer.

The following tips will help you turn down heat on clutter and effectively manage your time so you can make the most of summer.

  • Keep Your Work Space Simple. Simplifying your surroundings helps save time and fosters productivity. It's easier and faster to dust off your desk if there are just a few essential items adorning it versus a lot of clutter. More important, having a clear space allows you to focus on the project at hand rather than letting your mind wander about how and when to tackle a pile of papers or other clutter.

  • Go Paperless. Put away the sticky notes and think paperless. Manage contacts, tasks and time with a paperless system by using software and electronic organizers. They are invaluable tools for everyday life and are the road map to organization and time management right at your fingertips. The key is capturing contact information, to-dos and task lists and keeping them in a system that allows you to instantly access it when you need it. The bottom line is that keeping in touch with the right people at the right time is essential to business success. A paperless system gives structure in your life and at work while providing peace of mind.

  • Omit File Pile. Are you among the 25 percent of workers who save things in piles rather than in files? Rather than waste a lot of time looking up papers you need regularly or sorting through mounds of clutter, establish a good filing system. Designate ample file space and schedule time each week for filing. The best solution for breaking down what is in each file drawer is to create an electronic file index. Before creating a new file, you can check the file index to see if an appropriate file already exists.

  • Stick to a Schedule. Start your day off on the right step. Get organized the night before to avoid morning madness by laying out your clothes and children's clothes, making lunches, and putting your briefcase and other items you need for work near the door. Add a buffer zone of at least 15 minutes for errands on your commute to avoid getting overscheduled and feeling pressured. Prioritize your tasks and recognize that you do not have to complete the entire job in one sitting.

  • Create a Useful Garage. Give your garage a thorough cleaning and sweep or vacuum away any dust and cobwebs. Stow away your winter gear supplies and cold-weather items. Put summer items within easy reach and be sure to store any garden tools and fertilizer products out of the reach of children. Your goal should be keep the floor clear and safe, and to provide shelter for your car by making room to park it in the garage.

  • Stay Clutter-free. The decision-making process is the No. 1 problem to getting organized. Visualize what you want a cluttered space to be before tackling it. Dedicate 10-15 minutes daily to stay on top of paperwork and other items to avoid mounds of clutter. Involve your children in the organizing process by encouraging them to make their beds and tidy up their rooms and play areas on a daily basis.

Copyright © 2009 Kristin White del Rosso
More organizing tips are available at


Kristin White del Rosso, President of Pea Organizing Services, Inc. is Certified Professional Organizer (CPO®) from the Board of Certification for Professional Organizers. For more information, call 704-344-0210 or visit

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