Conquer Your Paper Clutter
Virtual Clutter Support Group for Individuals with ADHD
Paper clutter overwhelms us in many ways. We do not know what to keep, we don’t know how long to keep it and we have so much of it coming into our homes and offices. In addition, we need to know how to triage it, file it and find it again.
Join me in February for Professional-Organizer.com’s Virtual Clutter Support Group for Individuals with ADHD. This fee-based group is the starting point for creating solutions for your paper clutter.
Register by February 7, 2021.
For information and to register, call 281.360.3928 or
Have you seen the Netflix show, The Home Edit? It’s real life organizing in celebrities’ homes. The show depicts organizing with a glossy final product.
This show gives a new spin to organizing.
What’s not new are the basics of organizing.
Having a new organizing show on Netflix is a happy thing for everyone!
Emergency preparedness goes beyond organizing your stuff. It starts with a will, durable power of attorney and legal documents and moves to online passwords and your digital life. We all have important documents that we need access to during our lifetime and that our loved ones might need access to in the future. With the time we have, it’s a great time to organize these papers and more.
In an emergency, the last thing that should be an obstacle is locating paperwork. We need easy access to health insurance details, medical information, and advance directives. Estate plans, financial and insurance information, property and business interests should be documented and organized. Your digital life and passwords are also key to ensuring that information can easily be accessed.
Clients have often asked me how to do this and what is easiest to accomplish what seems like an overwhelming accumulation of data. There is a comprehensive system called My Life Packet (www.mylifepacket.com.) It is an organizational tool that walks you through what you need to collect, record, and share. (Note I have no financial gain from sharing this tool.)
In My Life Packet, you can pace yourself to consolidate the documents you need. By taking inventory of what documents you have and where they are located can save everyone time, money, and stress. It is about peace of mind to have all these documents ready.
Like all projects, take a big picture on organizing your important papers.
Documents like these are a gift to yourself and your family. Take this project on, like all big projects, as a way to share important conversations. According to Real Simple, there are 4 important family meetings all families need. These include the “Senior Summit” to discuss life documents, care and more. Having a Senior Summit is for all ages, not just seniors. It’s not a one and done conversation in that as decisions can change and be updated. Set a date as a deadline to start your first conversation.
Here is a basic list of what you will be needing to get started.
Family together has taken on a whole new meaning. Families are together 24/7 with home schooling and work at home. How does that impact family communication? Is a family meeting necessary if we are all together all the time? What’s important to share at a family meeting? Using your Family Meeting to connect and communicate remains an important resource during this time.
Family meetings are a part of great communication. Meeting once a week gets everyone on the same page with calendars, family activities and ongoing family planning. It’s also a great way to discuss important topics like your family values. In this time, there are many responsibilities being communicated that are new and different. Home schooling with learning menus and Zoom calls are new additions to family life. Your family calendar can look busy even with most activities canceled.
Like all meetings, there are some small tricks and tips that help.
Now let’s share what we know with each other to keep up to date all the time.
Dry erase boards are the most popular way to share Family Meetings agendas. You can pair two calendar dry erase boards and a blank dry erase as a complete command center for your family.
If your calendar is digital, you can share the calendar on your devices for everyone to view.
Each of us has our favorite reminder app on your devices. Set these to maximize the actions you determined at your meeting. You can include multiple family members with some reminder apps too.
Your family meeting is the time to support and nurture your family. Bring out the best in each of your family members by addressing concerns, sharing important information. and being available together. At the most anxious of times, setting aside a specific time to address routines and new information makes a difference for everyone in your family.
Search COVID-19 for all my Professional-Organizer.com posts on my blog.
Letting go of stuff is hard work. Besides your every present thought that “I might need this,” there is a pull at your heartstrings of an emotional attachment and a pull at your purse strings for what you paid for that stuff. As I meet with clients, we are sorting through their items and asking questions to help them make decisions to edit. Asking yourself questions to help you declutter makes this task easier.
Questions about use help you determine how often you use an item and if so, whether to keep it.
Do I love it or use it?
When was the last time I used it?
If it is less than $20 and it takes less than 20 minutes to get it again, can I let it go?
If you could fit in this right now, would you wear it?
Questions about quantity help you let go of excess.
How many of these do I need?
Would I buy this again today?
Where do I store it to find it again?
Questions about lifestyle help you acknowledge your feelings about an item.
Does this help me be my best self?
Will my future self use this?
Is this holding me back?
Questions about emotional attachment define whether to keep an item or let it go.
Is this something that makes me sad or reminds me of a sad time?
Does this make me smile?
Do I honor it as a keepsake?
Does this have value greater than $50?
Should I sell this or donate it?
Can it be a blessing to others who have great need?
As you are decluttering and editing, think about this question, will your life be better for editing your stuff? At the end of the day, less stuff means less to take care of and more life to experience.
Keeping your team up to date is a critical communication strategy. There’s always more information, more to say and more to update than we can communicate easily. As team leaders, we want to be transparent, efficient and effective in communication. To be transparent, we strive to update all our team members simultanously on the current initiatives, tactics and operations. It’s all about what’s the most efficient way to do this, rather than a blanket email. Being effective encompasses both of these values as well as doing our work as a thought, vision and strategic leader. Here are 3 team strategies that I use routinely for effective communication.
It all started because there are so many details and so many emails in my work as NAPO President. Rather than email daily with an unconsolidated list, early on my Executive Directors and I determined that two calls a week could cover what we needed to cover with strategies and tactics. These calls have an agenda that we complete as we gather information. The agenda has a spot for actions that we can refer to and complete. Our Executive Directors value this since our conversations are high level, strategic and succint. We allow 45 minutes for the calls, talk at the beginning of the week and end of the week. It’s brought us and our work together.
Google docs has become our most strategic tool for communication. Google docs are an array of possible documents including spreadsheets. This is a free option and we can access on all devices. We have several google docs that are used for different agendas. The President and Executive Director doc includes topics that are most important to discuss, FYI (not discussion, just for your information), and the list of Requests for Action (RFA) for our next meeting. The Executive Committee google doc is an open agenda. As a leader of your team, determine what is required for weekly discussion. This tech tool is one of many different tools I recommend for leadership for many different actions.
There are several factors important to communication. It’s what you are sharing, how frequently you share it and who you share it with. A monthly update, posted to a community internal board, keeps everyone apprised of strategic work. The update can be an excel spreadsheet chart with a column for completion or a narrative update. Posting these with a year then month gives your team the option to see several months and review progress. This all starts with your annual strategic planning, leading to initiative throughout the year. Posting this monthly offers the opportunity for updated projections, updated tactics and assessing success.
Start your communication with a discussion about options. Set a routine time to meet that offers everyone a time to do their most important work first and then update at a least productive time. Be sure everyone updates their planner at the start of your collaboration. Be open to flexibility when needed and be on target enough to keep the boundaries of your work together. Fortune favors the prepared leader!
More leadeship ideas here!