Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Can Getting Organized Benefit your Health and Well-being?

Well, it would seem so. It certainly reduces stress for me.

Last night about 20 people met at the Goshen Gourmet Cafe to hear Lisa Montanaro from LM Organizing Solutions share her ideas about the benefits of organizing. Lisa's workshop was sponsored by Linda's Office Supplies in Goshen and was filled with helpful tips on getting organized.
Lisa used the acronym SPACE as a guideline for effective organizing. It goes something like this:
S - sort into categories.
P - purge. Lisa suggests getting rid of anything you don't love, use often, or need
A - assign a home.
C - containerize. This simply means to find a place for everything. It doesn't necessarily need to be a container.
E - equalize / or maintain the system (this is, by far, the hardest part for me)

I just love being organized. It makes me feel in control of things. When my whole life seems out of control at times, I can reclaim that junk drawer or that corner of the basement, and feel like I am so on top of things!

But being organized is a constant battle, because of the whole maintenance part of it. Having two boys, age 18 and 20, living at home sure doesn't make it any easier. And the amount of mail we receive every day can turn an organized desk into a mess in less than a week. It's not even the junk mail that bothers me that much. I have no problem just recycling it. It's the mail that I may need to keep, or the mail I need to follow up on that's really annoying to me.

Lisa suggests keeping a horizontal paper tray, stacked 2 high on your desk, with the top box being an "Inbox" and the bottom box being the "Action Box". She also suggests a portable file for "Reading Material", which is such a great idea! For bills, Lisa suggests keeping them visual in a vertical file holder, in chronological order, with the most current due bills up front. I have to say I was very proud that I am currently keeping a vertical holder with my bills on my desk. I hadn't, however, thought to put them in chronological order. Such a simple solution, but I'd just never thought of it.

My favorite suggestion, and one I can't wait to act on, is a Memory Box. Something you can quickly grab, in case of fire, that contains all the treasures you wouldn't want to lose. Burlington Coat Factory in Middletown carries some beautiful little boxes that would be perfect for a Memory Box. Mine will contain my kid's baby books, their drawings from elementary school, some pictures, and other memories from their childhood. My kids just love looking through this stuff, and it would be great to have them all in one place. Right now they're scattered around the house... in an organized fashion, of course. :) Just not together.

While you're looking to declutter, Lisa has some suggestions for places to donate items. She mentioned a couple at the workshop, like, Safe Homes in Newburgh, the Red Door Thrift Shop in Goshen. But, for more info, check out Lisa's web site at or visit Lisa's BusinessCardContacts listing under Organizing Solutions.

For great food, visit the Goshen Gourmet Cafe
For great gifts and plenty of organizational tools, visit Linda's Office Supply in Goshen.

And have fun getting organized!

June Bisel, Partner
BBGG Advertising and Public Relations

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