Subscribe today and receive a FREEcopy of best-selling author Carol Posener’s
Get Organised In Your Office’ eBook. Learn the secrets from the leading Professional Organiser in Australasia! Get strategies, techniques, tips and resources to get your home-office organised!
Hello Yellow Pages...WHAT A WASTE OF PAPER...why not use your resources to run a survey to find who actually uses and wants these books now, then send them only to these people...It will save lots of money and trees...
I don't use them anymore and many of our clients don't either. I see them stacked in foyers of apartment blocks and many just go straight in the bin.
The internet is far easier and quicker to access this information today...via Yellow Pages online...
DigiFrame A4 Rechargeable Scanner is an amazing new product that will change the way we handle paper and documents.
Copying and storing information has never been this easy! Get rid of all you paper overload (or make digital copies of the things you really need) effortlessly, stylishly and skilfully with one portable, rechargeable and easy to use product!
Copy Photos, Documents, Invoices, Receipts, Credit Cards up to A4 size
Takes seconds to setup & seconds to scan. Your choice of JPG or PDF output
Built in Rechargeable Battery for scanning on the go... Watch the TV Ad here...
Easy to Use - Multi-Purpose Rechargeable Photo Scanner
* Convert Your Print Photos & Documents to PDF or JPG... in SECONDS!!
* Scans Directly to Memory Card, USB and PC
* Connect and Scan to Smartphone, iPad or Android devices
* Take it anywhere to Copy Photos with Family & Friends
* Built in Rechargeable battery - Perfect for Business use!
* Scans from a small 2"x 2" up to a huge 8.5" x 16"
* Photos, Documents, Business Cards, Credit cards etc - A6, A5, & A4 std sizes
* Supports SD/SDHC & MMC memory cards, USB drives (to 16GB) or direct to PC
* Connect & Scan documents & photos to Smartphones and Android devices (using the USB cable supplied with your phone) or your iPad (using Apple® Camera Connector kit - not supplied)
* High Resolution: 300dpi (image) @ 48bit colour depth
* Long Life Rechargeable battery (over 200 colour pages between charges)
* Choice of two File formats - JPG (24bit colour) or PDF (8bit Grayscale)
* Super Fast scanning speed - less than 12 seconds per page
* 4 x transport rollers for smooth scanning & super sharp imaging
* Auto Cropping feature
* INCLUDES: 2 GB USB Flash Drive, USB cable, Power Adaptor, Travel Bag, Cleaning Tool & 5"x 7" Scanning pouch
We don’t particularly propose talking about recession or being tight with money – after all, where is the abundance consciousness in that? However, it does make sense when dealing with personal finances to be AWARE of where your money is going and how to husband your resources so that you have more insight into the nuts and bolts of your lifestyle.
We’ve hunted down some great tips on how to thrive financially whilst still keeping up with your usual lifestyle. Let us know if you have any more tips in ‘Comments’ and we’ll post them!
Start by being aware of your budget and expenses. Groan, I hear you say, but working this one out – at least quickly – will give you a first-class insight into how you are running financially. Don’t forget to use your NETT income as the bottom line, and include expenses like credit card interest and repayments.
Take it easy with the credit card. Things aren’t quite as rosy as they were during the worst of the recession. Did you notice the interest rates creeping up? Use a zero or low-rate honeymoon offers. Is the rewards program actually worth the annual fee?
Visit www.phonechoice.com.au for up-to-the minute phone cap deals in Australia. Mobile phone debt is HUGE in this country!
Consider transferring high-cost debtinto a low-interest option such as a home loan. But, for goodness sakes, don’t use this as an excuse to spend more on your zero-balance credit card...leave it at home!
Go Op-shopping! Remember when it used to be fun? Retro is so cool these days...and cashmere just isn’t what it used to be!
Do you know how much bottled soft drinks and juices really cost you? Physically and financially? Yes, the kids CAN drink...water!
Source a bank account with low account keeping fees. Consider a term deposit for high interest savings. Mind you, not much point in this if you have credit card debt...leave it at home! (Did I say that already?)
Don’t shop when you’re hungry, seriously...blows the diet and the budget. Scoot past the deli when you can, shop to your list (don’t forget it and leave it at home...) Consider some home-brand items – I find single ingredient products (sugar, flour and even salmon_ work fine.
I can’t believe I’m saying this –deep breath – cut out your morning coffee on the way to work and save around $1000 a year! OMG! Take your lunch, too – don’t even WANT to work that one out, but you get my point.
Late afternoons are good times to buy perishablesat supermarkets.
You’ll be amazed how successful direct-debiting a fixed amount into a savings account can be...you adjust to the lower budget very quickly and save remarkably fast. $50 per week (remember that coffee/lunch?) amounts to $2550 over a year...that’s a trip to Bali!
Save on petrol by finding the cheapest days in your area (usually Tuesday) or, seriously, catch a bus or walk! If you have affixed place of work public transport can save you money, headaches and you can catch up on everything whist you’re in the ‘zone’ – plan that trip to Bail on the smartphone that you secured on your low-cost cap plan!
Changing your take-away habits to once a fortnight instead of once a week could pay for an upgrade on that trip, or put it into your mortgage and save twice that much!
Are you ever going to win lotto?
Smoking...well...need I say more? A pack a day (and an extra one over the weekend with the wine) well, that’s at least $16,000 a year – was that a wheezy gasp? No, you know that already. Sorry.
Sell your second car – they cost a fortune to own. Remember the bus?
Visit the library, swap DVD’s with friends...look for classics at the store – always cheaper. In fact, I donate old books to the library now because giving them to the op shop only means another person will have exclusive use for them, need to store them and keep them clean. Spread the love!
Look, there’s heaps you can do. Stop smoking, ditch half the morning coffees (gulp!) and get rid of your credit card and you could be on your way to Europe in a year!
In 2010, I was interviewed by Emily Chantiri for her excellent article on – you guessed it! – ‘How to de-clutter your life’.
Emily has authored a book called 'The Savvy's Girl's Money Book' and has grasped the roots of the issue of disorganisation and the unwillingness of many people to part with items in their lives; she poses questions and looks at solutions about how to deal with this.
What I really like about this article is that it cites real-life examples of people who are no different to many of us - to varying degrees. But no matter how far along the scale we are, everyone can relate to aspects of our relationship with our ‘stuff’.
Emily states ‘de-cluttering your life is one of the most positive and affirming things you can do’, and of course we love that sentiment.
Reading Emily’s blog is more like the recounting of the very real feelings that come with the process of becoming more organised, and certainly doesn’t feel like the usual ’12 tips to…’ style. If you are interested in an enjoyable, insightful and informative read, visit her blog .
I enjoyed meeting with her and certainly enjoyed reading her blog. Thanks Emily!
This elegant meditation timer times your sittings, provides a beautiful journal for sitting notes, and displays graphical tracking giving you clear feedback on your meditation practice. It's carefully designed to be the ideal companion for anyone who meditates.
The journal is comparable in quality to many standalone note-taking apps. It allows you to optionally take notes after your sittings, and lets you browse through your meditation history as either a visually annotated log or textual journal.
All of your recorded data can be exported - as a nicely formatted email that you can print, or as a table that you can load into a spreadsheet if you want. You can also email individual journal entries - useful for posting them on a blog.
Easy to read graphics let you know at a glance how regularly you are meditating, and how long your daily practice has been going. A chart illustrates your progress over the course of the year, and a bar graph shows the total number of hours you have meditated.
As a reminder if you forget to sit, the application icon optionally counts the number of days since you last meditated.
It's much easier to keep going with a routine when you can see so clearly how you are doing.
The timer shows time passing using clean graphics that allow you to see at a glance where you are within your sitting period without being unduly distracted.
If your meditation routine incorporates different stages within a single sitting, you can set chimes to ring at the appropriate points using straightforward controls.
You can turn off the ringer and the gongs will still sound, so you don't need to worry about being interrupted by phone calls or SMS. If you do need to attend to a message briefly, you can carry on from where you left off. For people whose meditation practice involves chants or prayer, you can also now switch to other apps and the timer will still run and the chimes will still ring.
Because the timer is intended to be used every day, the design provides a calm and clear experience without unnecessary clutter'. Try it!
As a follow-up to our blog on the safe-keeping of makeup products, we have had enquiries around the subject of skincare items.
Skin care, of course, is just that – care of the skin – and outdated or contaminated skin products will damage the skin and likely cause breakouts or other signs of unhappiness for this most vital organ of the body.
Most people have a collection of old, outdated or little-used products or backup supplies and multiples of their favourite, or not-so-favourite brands. ‘No, no, no!’, we cry! Skincare is one area where hoarding is really quite common and also totally inappropriate. Even our most organised clients often have a collection of various creams and potions lying forgotten in the deep recesses of the bathroom cabinet.
New laws in the States and the UK have made it imperative for companies to post use-by dates on their skincare products, which only serves to back up what we’re saying here. Even your fave body lotion in that neat pump-action bottle is probably out of date if you purchased it more than a year ago. Oh, no – and I’ve been ‘doing a granny’ on that Estee Lauder fragranced lotion! Quick! I need a date!
Here’s a guide to help you decide!
Cleansers contain active ingredients which may become MORE potent in time. This isn’t good news - it won’t save you money. It may however cause breakouts or skin damage. One year at most.
Sunscreen – One year. If you haven’t used it by then, you’re working too hard!
Moisturiser – One year. Pumps are better (more hygienic – read below). If you can smell it and it’s not good, bin it. Particularly if it contains alpha hydroxy acids. Do you really want that on your skin, being absorbed into your body? Face it; you should be using it all up.
Acne treatment – Two years. You get a bit longer on this product. Look for expiry dates on products with benzyl peroxide and use your common sense. Does it smell? You know what to do…
Natural products? What do you think? Yep! Look for changes in smell, colour and consistency (you know, that dark, sticky ring around the top of the jar?). Natural products happily don’t contain much in the way of preservatives so that makes them vulnerable to spoiling. Use them. No saving.
It makes sense to look after your skin care products by keeping them in a darkened place (that’s why they can get lost below the sink…), use clean hands when dipping your fingers in the jar and close the jar tightly between uses.
Use pump-action products where possible, to keep bacterial contamination to a minimum – they’re easier, anyway. Don’t keep you make-up in the bathroom – perfect areas for bacteria and mould to flourish, and – this must seem obvious (be we all do it – admit it!) don’t leave make-up or skincare in the car. Forget sharing if you haven’t already got that message.
If you do buy doubles of your body lotion or moisturiser when they are on special – yes, they do last longer if they haven’t been opened. But do put them in a place where you regularly keep a stock of bathroom supplies and check if you need more before you hit the shops.
Make it a job, today, that you can complete in a few minutes, and which will truly make a difference to your sense of order and clarity of vision. Go to the dark den of the bathroom cupboard.
Look through your supplies. Smell, touch and check use-by dates – these will become more common in time.
Make three piles: Keep, discard and multiples. Store the multiples where you can find them easily, discard the out-of-date or unloved skincare items, clean the cupboard and return the remaining products with confidence.
One small task accomplished! Ten minutes. If it takes longer - wow! How much do you own? You really do need to do this! Well done.
If you’re anything like many women, your makeup drawer houses a selection of your latest purchases, old favourites and, well, very old ‘not-so-favourites’.
For some reason, most women have an issue surrounding letting go of 'past-it' makeup and skincare purchases – something, no doubt, related to cost, label or sentiment.
But either way, the reality is that even your rarely-used Estee Lauder eye shadow has a life-span, and using it next year for the office party may actually be a poor choice for your skin.
So, let’s have a realistic view of how long you can hold on to old makeup and when to bite the bullet and sweep away the cobwebs accumulating on that dusty foundation you never wear:
For foundations: oil-based formulas last around 12 months, cream a little longer at 18-24 months and powder style products around 2 years. Consider this when purchasing you next jar if you don’t wear it that often.
Concealer, for those that use it, 12-18 months.
Similarly, powder blush and bronzers last about 2 years, so these may be the better choice for the ‘natural look’ ladies.
Cream blush falls into the same category as cream bases, 18-24 months.
Powder eye shadow and eyeliner pencils – 2 years
Liquid liner – 3-6 months. Damn! I’ve only worn mine 3 times. How does that fare in the old ‘cost-per-wear’ equation?
Mascara – 3 months. Well, I’m lucky if it lasts this long!
Lipstick – 2 years. Some of the ones that come with the 'gift-with-purchase' promos are real bomb shades – get RID of them unless you love them!
Lip liner – 2 years.
Gloss – 18-24 months - I’ve eaten so much of this stuff in the last 2 years (ahem...read 'lifetime') it never gets outdated...
And fragrance – 18-24 months. If you haven’t finished your fragrance by then, try to get over your granny’s ‘keep it for best’ mentality and get spraying! (I sometimes put a little on before I go to bed, for the sheer pleasure of it!).
So, in a nutshell: powders and pencils last the longest, but for many of the drier-skinned ladies out there, creams feel delicious and just need to be used that bit more quickly.
Really, as much as anything, what we’re on about is clearing the decks, dusting off the clutter and paring down to the essentials that you really use! That would be the products that you take with you when you are up for a 2-day trip. If you have doubles of skin care products, use the oldest first and keep spares in a basket. Know what you have so you’re not out buying extras you don’t need!
We’ll get onto the subject of disposing of skincare products in our next post. Out with the old..!
Are you a half-empty type of thinker or a half-full kinda person?
By now, everyone on the planet understands this concept but are we really ready to take responsibility for our own way of being and square up to our subsequent experiences?
In my line of work, I often hear accounts of the difficulties that people have in their efforts to stay organised and in control.
I don’t doubt that staying or even becoming organised is way difficult for many people (hence the fact that I can earn a living from it and operate a successful business) but I feel for my clients who are drowning in a sea of helplessness.
More than the experience of being messy or disorganised, what people often suffer from is the feeling of being unable to do anything about it. This can be associated with shame, lack of control, dismay, self-loathing, avoidance and even a victim-mentality.
This, in turn, creates a language and way of seeing the world which results in more of the same. I’m not going to go into the belief that we create our own reality – not in a short blog post – but there is little doubt that we have a degree of control over our reaction to circumstances and our way of dealing with the things that present to us in life.
When I am presented with Tarot card readings, daily horoscopes or meaningful quotes, for example, I am often more caught by what they bring up for me more than what they are supposed to be about.
I know of one woman who commented that she was thrilled to have passed on two things which she valued to her child – good manners and a sunny disposition. She valued these qualities and not surprisingly they became infused in her offspring. Good manners bring out the best in others and a sunny disposition creates goodwill as we move through life.
I can’t advocate ‘make-believe’ happiness, but I do feel strongly about being conscious of the way we operate, the things we talk about and the goodwill we share with others as vehicles for crafting a better experience of life.
Avoiding complaining, looking for our role in the way things turn out and ending the habit of making excuses in our lives goes a long way toward shaping our experiences and giving us control - by way of taking responsibility.
Imagine the feeling of success when you make a choice about something which, in the past, you have given over to another person or event – and then perhaps complained about.
Or, the triumph of experiencing control over a habit which has plagued you for years because you have always thought it was ‘in’ you. And yes, the sadness or heartache (read ‘embarrassment’, ‘foolishness’, ‘anguish’) when you have made a mistake or a poor judgement call. It’s yours. No-one else’s. Warts and all.
Try to look inside of yourself and see your role in the experiences you have in life. Take responsibility – even some, to start.
Consider how to make changes – small or large. Develop a new habit. It can be done. I have a friend who, at 50, suddenly started keeping her bedroom immaculate. All her life she kept it messy. One day, that changed. She made a clear decision.
Start talking differently about your experiences, or don’t speak about the things you don’t want. Be mindful of how your behaviour is influencing your reality. Read Steven Covey’s ‘Seven Habits...’ and value ‘proactivity’.
Make small changes, watch carefully. Above all, be kind to yourself – but don’t hide behind ‘I can’t help it...’, ‘there’s nothing I can do...’ and ‘If only...’.
It's getting toward that time of year again, so we thought we'd give you a bit of a leg-up BEFORE the dreaded cut-off day.
Get Organised and you'll avoid late fees and stress-outs. Lets look at some of the things that you can do to get ready for the Tax Department!
Set aside a few hours of uninterrupted time in your office – try not to allow yourself to be distracted. Paperwork can be messy, so stay focussed!
Create some ‘clear space’ in your work area, and get comfortable!
Begin by sorting your receipts. Keep a pen handy, and circle the date and amount of each receipt as you go, then organise them into months, July 2010 through to June 2011. (This is where that ‘clear space’ will come in handy!)
We find that creating a ‘receipts folder’ can save time and keep your records tidy throughout the year. Use a ring binder, and 12 clear plastic pockets. Label each plastic page with a month of the year, beginning with July, of course. Every time you get a receipt, just circle the date and amount, and pop it into the appropriate page of the folder. This will mean that your records are stored appropriately, and by highlighting the important information, they will be considerably easier to work with when the time comes.
Keep your phone records/bank statement/car expenses etc. in separate folders, putting the most recent bills (marked ‘paid’ with the date of payment) at the front of the folder – that way you can access the most recent information when you need it.
Use an ‘ACTION’ file tray for current paperwork, and a separate tray or folder for ‘Bills to Pay’. However, don’t be tempted to use these places as dump zones for unresolved paperwork –try to deal with paperwork the first time that you handle it!
Invest in some quality software if you are in business.
And remember, the more organised your info, the less you accountant should charge you to process your claim. So, get to it! No excuses!
We de-cluttered and sorted out one clients spare bedroom and it turns out she didn't need most of the stuff in this room (see photo).
One of our consultants recently packed up the majority of her household contents into plastic tubs (labelled, organised, listed and backed up, of course!) because she was undergoing a messy renovation and figured she would rather live without her ornaments, spare clothes, unique linens and grandma’s crockery for a while, than shunt them around the house or continually have to dust them.
The kids even chipped in and let go of the Lego and the like, and her husband finally banished the dusty books and precious (!) paperwork he’d been, er, hanging onto for the last however many years....
A funny thing happened. You know how it goes: renovation = time consuming = more mess + more time + lots of money, etc. The result? 2 years have passed by this 6 month project and she is still living without the things mentioned above.
Whilst she needed to get at the Christmas decorations for the festive season (buried right at the back of her storage room because, well, the job was going to be done by then, right?) she hasn’t needed to get at anything else much since then.
What amazed her, and inspired her (an organised being...) was the truth behind the saying that we all only use 20% of what we own. This especially amazed her, because she is so thrifty and willing to ‘let go’ of outdated, unused or unwanted stuff. Where was it all coming from? How could she, of all people, still have so much unused stuff?
Happily, she also found that she wasn’t doing nearly so much dusting, organising and housework – makes sense, really...less stuff = less work. Now, she’d be the first to admit that she wouldn’t want to live in a house without the soulful kind of energy that the family piccies bring, but it has been a revelation to her to realise just how much ‘stuff’ she lives with that contributes so little to her existence and enjoyment of living. Indeed, it costs her time and money. Remember, real estate (even storage space) is expensive.
Check out this Manhattan apartment where one Professional Organiser lives – real estate is worth a fortune here, so some small sacrifices had to be made. Have a look; you won’t believe it – unless, of course, you had similar challenges at home or at uni!
So, take another look around at your collection of must-haves. Must you? Are those things serving you, or just filling up your life, your time and your closets?
Be conscious when you handle something – look at it, feel it, consider its function. If you’re not certain if it should have a life with you, file it into a plastic tub, date the box and stash it for a minimum of 6 months. If you don’t need it, think of it or lament it in that time, it may be time to lose it – for good!