I was delighted to recently be interviewed by Women’s Forum –
Tell me a little bit about yourself as a professional organizer/your personal life.
Thank you so much for asking; I appreciate the opportunity to be included! I am a former teacher and mother of two boys with a busy life inside and the outside the home.
I started Sane Jane because organizing and simplifying processes comes natural to me. I’m good at it, I love people, their stories and making their life simpler. Once I understand how my client spends their time, and what frustrates them I can come up with easy and convenient systems that will work to help them do what they do best -with a practical and simply functioning environment to support them.
In terms of your desk at work, what sort of essentials do you need there? What sort of things do people have on or in their desk at work that they don’t need?
It all depends on the type of work the person does, for example an architect’s office would need something different than a stay at home mom who works from home. That Mom generally needs a separate space for the kids to keep their homework, projects, forms etc. separate from her work.
For her desk she will want to have:
• her computer and printer
• stamps and white envelopes of varying sizes
• pads and post it notes
• a few pens and two colors of highlighters
• a shredder, file cabinet and recycle bin
• a stash of paper, empty file folders, and designated sharpie for file labels or a label maker
• Her phone and charger, perhaps wall pockets.(I usually stay away from baskets as they can quickly become catch-alls!) Things-to- read get their own wall pocket, Priority to-do items have the first position of wall pockets, and a to-file pocket is essential. Until those items get filed, at least you always have them as a quick reference in one place. I suggest the wall pockets be reviewed weekly or they will fill up quickly.
• Post-its because there is great satisfaction in crumpling it up and throwing it away when the task is accomplished!
I like to keep things simple and effective, based on what that person will actually use and enjoy!
In terms of your desk at home, what sort of essentials do you need there? What sort of things do people have on or in their desk at home that they don’t need?
I use all of the systems I’ve described above, and what I don’t do is keep books I no longer need at work – they get donated or returned or if they are so valuable for future reference, they go in the bookcase. I also don’t collect an endless array of pens, or give-aways and feebies from conferences as they only end up as clutter.
I suggest we bring our un-needed cords, chargers, old phones, and non-working technology to a nearby Best Buy store; they welcome the turn in! Check out this link which highlights what they accept – http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Global-Promotions/Recycling-Electronics/pcmcat149900050025.c?id=pcmcat149900050025
Also, get rid of ripped open envelopes and junk mail as soon as it comes in, perhaps a recycle bin at the mail collection point? I love the OHIO rule: only handle it once!, and encourage folks to stop shuffling the paper and deal with it right off the bat.
How come the desk, whether at home or at work, becomes such a cluttered and disorganized place?
Realize that this flat surface becomes our stopping and unloading place. This is not a problem; unless you don’t have the habits of spending a little ‘maintenance’ time each day going thru a simple exercise. Give yourself a daily gift. Just like we set a timer when on a treadmill, try this exercise in your office. Set the timer for 15 minutes – and straighten up your desk; recycle or shred those papers you no longer use, file away some documents that are piling up, put supplies away and review your “to do” list. Completing this exercise will allow you to have a fresh start tomorrow. We just need to ‘strengthen’ that particular maintenance muscle, instead of the drop and ignore muscle!
What are some steps become can take to get their desk organized and decluttered? What types of tips do you have to achieve this?
When I organize a space I like to start with a clean slate. This means whether it’s a pantry, a closet or a desk, I empty the space completely. While doing this I will be making decisions by asking myself some questions—Do I need this? When was the last time I reached for this? Can my child’s school benefit from these supplies? Perhaps a colleague could use them?
Organizing can sometimes be overwhelming, set yourself up for success and start small. Perhaps you empty out one drawer or cabinet at a time. Be sure to have boxes or trash bags on hand so you can group items that should be discarded vs. donated.