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Before I had children I was very crafty. I was making my own greeting cards, using rubber stamps to make impressions into velvet and then decorating with the fabric, and creating other decor for my home. It has been a few years since I’ve had a chance to pull my sewing machine out of the closet. With little hands and sticky fingers crawling all over the place, it is difficult to begin a project and return to it in tack. There are times when I miss those days…where the craft projects cover the desk/kitchen table for days. My craft room turned into my daughter’s room five years ago. There is a different joy I experience in that room these days.

When I stumpled upon this fun idea for making your own accordion organizer to hold life’s little odds and ends, my creative juices started flowing again! It is perfect for storing business cards, ‘to-do’ list items, stamps, receipts, tickets, photos, and so much more. Keep one in your car, at your desk, and on your night stand to organize your thoughts, notes to self, and action items. Personalize the organizer with ribbons, labels, and a monogram.

If you are short on space and time and looking for a DIY project to help you organize your life, this organizer can be completed in an hour and requires little clean up. Makes a sweet gift too.

Head to http://www.paper-source.com/cgi-bin/paper/howto/ideas/envaccordion.html for instructions on how to create your very own personalized ‘odds and ends’ organizer.

For more organizing tips and ideas, visit my website at www.YourEfficiencySpecialist.com. Gain access to my ‘organizing tool box’ by signing up here. You will receive an email once a month filled with some of my favorite organizing tools and easy tips to simplify life.

These days it is convenient to purchase necessities and luxuries right from the comfort of your own computer/desk/home. Some websites make it even more convenient and save your credit card information right on their secured site. For the websites that don’t save your information (or if you prefer it not to be saved) and the times when you need to renew your membership, update account information, or purchase more organizing supplies, keep a copy of your credit card right at your workstation.

I use to have to get up from my desk, walk into the other room, and get my credit card from my wallet. I was always feeling annoyed that I had to stop what I was doing, get up, and retrieve my card information. It was more of a hassle. One day (years ago), it dawned on me. Make a copy!

I now have a copy of each of my credit cards stored (securely) at my desk. Don’t forget to make a copy of the backside as well. You often need the 3-digit code to make a purchase. By simply making a copy of my credit cards and keeping them conveniently stored at my desk, I can be more efficient and eliminate the interruption of having to leave my desk. It is a simple tip, but can make a big impact in your efficiency and moving forward with a task.

It is also wise to keep a copy of your credit cards in a file or fire-proof safe in case of emergency or if they are stolen.

I sure envy those that have a room spared just for wrapping gifts! I have never been one to take too much time in wrapping gifts. However, sometimes I think if I had a that special room just for wrapping gifts, I could produce really wonderful, decorative presents. (It’s a similar thought to having your room tidy and neat only if you had the fancy closet storage system!) In reality, one could create elegant, jaw-dropping pieces of art using very little space. All you need are the right tools and an efficient storage system for your supplies right at your fingertips.

Now if you are one that doesn’t want to hassle with the rolls of paper, miss-mash of gift bags, and tying your own bows, consider outsourcing the task to someone that can do it for you. Saves you time and space!

Recently, I did some research for a client that needed a place to store her gift wrapping supplies and had limited space. I found a few space saving, attractive, and efficient products that would help in containing and organizing her supplies. Take a look at these great ideas!

(click on the photo for more information on each product)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two of my favorites! (below)

  

mailboxHaving an inbox for each member of household helps to manage and store incoming and outgoing papers. If shelf and counter space is limited, consider hanging baskets, bins, or the typical file holder on the wall to hold items. Add a little whimsy to the overall look and use wall mounted mailboxes such as this one to store documents, books, and smaller items that need to be returned to the bedrooms. You can even hang coats, scarves, gloves, and hats from the hooks. Paint the boxes to coordinate with the rooms color scheme and add a magnetic name plate to the lid.

A must have for managing important documents, utility bills, insurance forms and such is a filing system. I am often surprise at how many households do not have a filing system for all the paper that comes into the home. Some have the excuse that they don’t have anything to file. If you have medical insurance, car insurance, life insurance, utility bills, bank accounts, credit cards, children, hobbies, love to travel, etc., you are in need of a filing system!The secret to an efficient filing system is to keep it system. Whatever filing system you use should make is easy to find what you are looking for and make sense to everyone that uses it. I prefer sorting files according to subject. Keep the primary categories broad, such as ‘Insurance’, ‘Accounting’, and ‘Prospective Clients’. Use whatever categories that pertain to your life and needs. Use a different color hanging file to represent ‘personal’ and ‘business’. Place the plastic tabs to the far left of each primary category hanging file. The subcategories can be placed in manila folders with tabs located to the far right. This keeps things simple, easy to view, and neat looking.

It is important to purge and file on a regular basis. Don’t let the piles of paper grow higher and higher. Get into the habit of filing on a weekly or monthly basis.

There are some cleaver units to store documents. One of my favorite items to store papers in is a ottoman, trunk, or bench that offers storage inside. You can purchase freestanding hanging file folder racks, available in different widths to suit any size storage space. If you are short on space, this is a great way to hide your filing system. Another option is to take a standard file cabinet and cover it with fabric to disguise it as a table. There are also more expensive options such as file cabinets that look like nice pieces of furniture and can be displayed anywhere in your home.

Take the appropriate steps to get your papers under control. It will make life much simpler!

A tickler file is simply a set of 31 numbered files representing each day of the month and a set of 12 files behind them for each month of the year. You may have heard of a tickler file before, but haven’t taken advantage of it. Make a point this month to set one up. It will save you the embarrassment of missing your next doctor’s appointment, friend’s birthday, or girls night out. As invitations, tickets, school projects, permission slips, or anything with date-specific importance make their way into your home, you can file them into your tickler file. When the event draws near, you will have all the information needed. Just make sure to put the information into the file for the date you need to take action on, not when it is due. Keep information for later months in the 12 monthly folders. This is a good place for birthday cards, vacation information, holiday planning, etc..

A tickler file system should occupy prime real estate (such as your household command center/information center). It should be checked daily and works only if used regularly.

The following link takes you to a simple and inexpensive system that can be used as your tickler file. Staples

 There are a few versions out there. Choose one that fits your wants and needs.