Set Yourself Up For a Smooth 2013

There is no better time than this week to set up your paper systems for 2013. Here is what I do:

  • I start with an empty Bankers Box
  • I pull out all my household financials (bills paid, bank statements, etc.) for 2012 and put them on one side of the box
  • I pull all my (personal) receipts from 2012 and put them in a gallon zip lock bag marking it with Personal Receipts 2013 with a black sharpie and toss those in the box
  • I take out my 2012 business records and put them on the other side of the box.
  • I take all the papers out of my 2012 taxes bin and put them in a 10 x 13 envelope, marking it “For 2012 tax prep” – I lay this envelope on top of the other stuff in the box

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Prep Your 2013 Calendar Now

Carve out an hour to transfer all of your standing meetings and other obligations onto your 2013 calendar. Be sure to include:

  • conferences
  • out-of-town meetings
  • hair, doctor, and groomer appointments
  • holidays
  • family events
  • school and camp schedules

The sooner you do this the better the chance that you won’t double book or overbook yourself. And once it’s on your calendar you’ll have a much better chance at honoring your commitments.


Magazines and Newsletters: Low Hanging Fruit

At this time of year when time and space are at a premium, it’s helpful to clear space quickly and without much emotional investment. Be it at home or at the office, there is ALWAYS too much information around. Imagine the space you can make by doing a quick publications purge. 

Here are some thoughts to help you move them from prime space to the recycling bin:

  • Many of the magazines we have today are freebies that are sent to raise the subscription rates to attract more advertisers…you didn’t ask for them, are they really worth your time and space?   Continue reading »

Cluttered Floor Syndrome

Symptom: piles on floor
Diagnosis: storage areas filled with the wrong things

  • If you have piles of papers on your floor, your files need to be skinnied down – 80% of things put in files are never referenced again. Clear your files and you’ll have room for the new relevant information.
  • If you have clean clothes still in the laundry basket, your closets and dressers are probably filled with out- of-style clothing and things you don’t wear. Clear your closet and you’ll be able to find the things you really like.
  • If it’s hard to walk into your storage areas and extra rooms, it’s a pretty good indicator that your closets and storage shelving need to be gone through and obsolete items moved on. Clear out the old to make room for the new.

With the holidays coming and the influx of new things imminent, now is a great time to invest a few hours into clearing space.

(Note: holiday gifts are excused from the “shouldn’t be on floor” guideline – because this is a temporary situation)