January 2012 - Posts

Work-Free Weekends
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 9:32 PM

Think homework is just for kids? Too often, work creeps into the weekends, cutting into downtime with friends and family.

If work projects and emails are eating into your weekend time, we have some tips for getting your workload back on a Monday-through-Friday schedule.

Take a Load Off: If a crushing workload demands weekend hours to keep up, it's time to talk with your boss about redistributing the load. Your boss may be unaware that you are shouldering a disproportionate burden. Before talking with your higher ups, spend a few days or weeks logging your time so you can demonstrate how your time is being spent. For more advice, read How to Talk to Your Boss about Being Overworked. 

Set Boundaries: If your boss or a work colleague is emailing or calling you at all hours and on weekends for non-urgent matters, take time to set boundaries. Calmly and professionally let your co-worker know that you are happy to respond to emails and work calls during the week, but unless the matter is urgent, you will not be back at work until first thing Monday morning and will respond then. Most people will get the hint and limit their outreach appropriately. For more advice, we like the advice in Set Boundaries at the Office to Balance Work, Family.

Stop Time-Wasting: Sometimes it's you, not them. Are you prone to procrastination? Too chatty at the office water cooler? Taking longer lunches than you should? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, it's time to make an honest assessment of time spent in the office, so you stop taking the office home with you on weekends. Read 13 Common Work Time-Wasters  and take a good look in the mirror: change what you don't like seeing.

Practice Better Time Management: In a fast-paced, demanding work world, effective time management is key so if your skills aren't up to snuff, make 2012 the year you overhaul them. Our past posts on time-blocking and effective time-management  are great places to start.

How do you keep your weekends free of work demands? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook and Twitter pages.

 

 

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Recognizing Opportunity When it Isn't Knocking
Monday, January 30, 2012 9:23 PM

When opportunity knocks, most of us are quick to answer the door. But are we as fast to spot opportunity when it isn't insistently banging? Recognizing opportunity - be it a new business prospect, a smart career move, or any high risk, high reward gamble - can often make the difference between status quo and a status upgrade. Is it possible to hone one's ear to better hear opportunity's knocks?

We've collected some insightful reads on recognizing opportunity:

How Entrepreneurs Identify New Opportunities: Listen and emulate is the advice from this Forbes.com piece. Listening to customers-that is truly hearing their needs-allows investors and entrepreneurs to identify untapped markets and unmet needs. Similarly, existing business can serve as models for what's working; consider franchising or building upon the ideas of those that have come before you. 

CEOs Need to See Through Walls:  Fascinating Harvard Business Review piece about how to channel your inner "Superman" and successfully "see through" the conventional limitations of an existing business to create value by meeting unmeet social and environmental needs. Bottom line: don't limit your vision to what's right in front of you, the big picture is out there waiting for you to spot it.

31 Innovation Questions (and Answers) to Kick off the New Year:  Innovation is created when opportunity meets action. This list of questions and answers on innovation creates a useful lens through which to measure and vet opportunity.

Truth be Told, There's a Business in Spotting Liars:  Interesting profile on how one Harvard Business school grad spotted a business opportunity-coaching businesses to spot deception-at her 20-year class reunion. First came a book on the topic, next a coaching business: pretty good for someone whose "aha" moment came while listening to a lecture.

How do you spot opportunities? What has been your most unlikely (or most regular) source for recognizing opportunity knocking? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook and Twitter pages.

 

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Where to Find the Apps You Didn't Know You Needed
Friday, January 27, 2012 9:05 PM

Got a Smartphone and looking to get more out of it? Tired of being the last to know about the newest apps? Sick of Angry Birds and in search of new games? Staying abreast of all the latest apps is like trying to drink from a fire hose: the Apple store alone has a staggering 500,000 available apps with thousands more arriving each week.

We've marshaled some resources to help you stay current.

Android Market

Android users can head to the Android Market  to tap into five new features to keep up on the latest; apps are now sorted into top app charts, editors' choice, top developers, trending apps and a category making use of related apps (shows other apps often chosen by people who pick a particular app.)

Apple Store

The Apple Store  sorts its hundreds of thousands of apps into categories such as travel, family & kids, business and games and also provides lists of the top free apps, top paid apps and top grossing apps.

Reviewers

Independent third-party app reviews can be found on numerous sites including MacWorldAndroidtapp.com and in mainstream media such as The New York Times, which aggregates all its app coverage and reviews in The App Index: A Guide to Mobile Apps.  Many sites also sort app reviews by niche interest; for example parents in search of apps might like to make use of the review sites listed here. 

Finally, we leave you with Time Magazine's list of the 50 Best iPhone Apps of 2011  and Business Insider's The 15 Best New Android Apps of 2011. 

Enjoy!

 

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Why Scheduling Household Chores Works
Thursday, January 26, 2012 9:20 PM

Tired of arguing about whose turn it is to take out the trash? Commit to a schedule of household chores for less stress, greater efficiency and yes, fewer arguments. Check the chart sweetie - it's your turn!

Not sure where to get started? We have some terrific resources that will have you whipping up a fair, user-friendly division of labor in no time.

Chore Chart by Shift Schedules:  A chore maker spreadsheet that assigns chores to individuals in a random manner for a one week period; now no one can say you're playing favorites. Great for big families, or multiple roommates, the chart is able to assign up to eight people to as many as sixteen chores. 

 

How to Maximize Your Schedule with a Family Chore Chart:  Offers step-by-step advice on identifying, assigning and checking up on chores. Also includes a chore chart template.

 

Roommate Cleaning Issues? How to Split Up Chores without Splitting up Friends: Offers advice on how to manage chores when living with roommates as well as a tips on creating charts for the cleaning-impaired (i.e. specific directions on dusting, etc. for individuals unfamiliar with the domestic arts.)

Finally, we leave you with this About.com link which has not only numerous, customizable chore chart templates but useful articles on the benefits of a chore chart, how to convince kids to follow the chart as well as advice on age-appropriate chores.

Do you use a chore chart to keep your household running? What tips and tricks help you use a chore chart effectively? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook and Twitter pages.

 

 

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Finding Inspiration
Wednesday, January 25, 2012 9:15 PM

If you made a New Year's resolution this January, you were probably inspired to change a certain aspect of your life. But does deciding to lose a few pounds because your jeans no longer fit truly count as inspiration? Or is it just commonsense? No matter the motivation behind your resolutions, one thing is clear: you are taking proactive steps to tackle needed changes.

Can one in turn proactively seek inspiration, or is it a lightning strike that comes when you least expect it? Pablo Picasso famously said, "Inspiration exists but it has to find us working."

In search of inspiration of our own, we came across a diverse array of resources. All suggest that inspiration comes when you set yourself up to be an engaged, active, continual learner, open to suggestion and regularly stimulated by the world around you. For more, read the following items on channeling inspiration:

  • To Achieve Big Goals become a Pattern Thinker:  This Fast Company article shows how pattern thinking, the practice of looking at what's working for someone else and applying it to your own situation, can produce inspiration. Bottom line: actively looking for ideas wherever you can produces results.
  • To Inspire Innovation, Get a Muse Fashion designers and artists are famously inspired by muses; why should they all have the fun? Take time to cultivate relationships that generate a creative frisson. Most of us have an informal "kitchen cabinet" - that is a person, or group of people, that we turn to again and again for advice. Strive to nurture similar relationships with people that get your creative juices flowing.
  • How Secret Found Inspiration in Perspiration: Think deodorant is uninspiring? Good thing you weren't on the team that reinvented the Secret brand. A great read on how even the most mundane topics can be reimagined with the right worldview.

Where do you find inspiration? Do you think bright ideas and insight come more readily to those who look for them? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook and Twitter pages.

 

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Make Smarter Use of Your Smartphone
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 8:43 PM

Wouldn't it be great if using a Smartphone automatically made you smarter? Until science figures out a way to boost brainpower with a magic pill, let's settle for boosting your phone IQ with our tips for making smarter use of that oh, so smart phone.

Safety First

A Smartphone is like a mini computer in your pocket, so it's crucial to protect your sensitive data. Get smart about phone safety by password protecting your phone just as you do your computer. Consider making use of "lock and wipe" technologies that allow you to lock or erase your phone's memory if it's lost or stolen. The last thing you want is a thief trolling through your data.

Also, be wary of downloading attachments on your phone just as you would your computer. Read the fine print carefully before installing apps; many access data you may wish to keep private.

For more safety tips, read Protecting Your Smartphone. 

Phone, Smarts

Texting, games, videos, and apps galore: today's phones do so much we sometimes forget they can be used to make phone calls. Optimize the "phone" in your Smartphone with the tips in 5 Apps that Make Your Smartphone a Smarter Phone.  The apps do everything from managing your call log, to blocking unwanted calls to recording phone calls for transcription.

Phone, Plus

Smartphones are so smart they can help you do what you didn't even know you wanted done. Features such as "swype"  allow you to bypass the old hunt-and peck method of tapping away to produce texts and emails, instead allowing you to glide, or "swipe" your finger over touch-screens.

Tired of managing your own work expenses? Use application capturengo  to scan business receipts and sit back while they are automatically uploaded to your expense reports.

How about never using a fax or a scanner again? Install scanning application Scan2PDF and use your Smartphone camera to scan documents and convert them to PDF files. The app even compresses the output from the camera to improve document quality. Smartphones maximize productivity when used correctly; read 10 Apps to Optimize Your Smartphone  for more smart suggestions.

Phone, Fun

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy so be sure to get your fun on with your phone when you can. Smartphones offer endless options for creativity with camera, video and social networking apps not to mention games.

Looking to unleash your creativity? Try the Top 30 Best Photography Apps for iPhone, or the 10 Best Creative Apps of 2010.  Music lovers won't want to miss 30 New Music Apps for iPhone, Android and iPad Sick of Angry Birds?  Try something new with App Smart Extra: Top 10 New iPhone Gaming Apps for 2011. 

What is your favorite way to use your Smartphone?  Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.

 

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Now, Not Later: Tips to Stop Procrastinating
Monday, January 23, 2012 8:16 PM

If you meant to make New Year's resolutions but somehow never got around to it, we have a resolution for you. Procrastinator, time to kick your habit of putting off must-do tasks once and for all.

Who Me? Procrastinate?

We all know what procrastination looks like: putting off until tomorrow what we should do today. Yet some forms of procrastination are more subtle. Often we busy ourselves with small tasks rather than tackling high priority jobs. Do you ever:

 

  • Sit down to a critical task and immediately get side-tracked?
  • Say yes to unimportant tasks that distract you from high priority tasks?
  • Read e-mails several times without taking action?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, welcome to the I-Need-to-Change-My-Procrastinating-Ways Club.

Why People Procrastinate

Recognizing you are a procrastinator is the first step in tackling a condition that derails productivity and decision-making.

Common reasons for procrastinating include:

  • Disorganization
  • Reluctance to tackle what is perceived as unpleasant or difficult
  • Absence of strong decision making skills
  • Fear of failure (perfectionists take note: this is most often your concern)

Tips to Stop

To begin, set the stage. Visualize the unpleasant consequences of not getting to a task. Empower others to check up on you; positive peer pressure is a motivating force. Reward yourself for accomplishing goals. Take time to notice and appreciate how the mental "stress" of leaving tasks undone disappears once the task is completed.

Get Organized, Get Going

  • Keep a prioritized to-do list
  • Schedule your tasks and your time
  • Break projects into manageable pieces, do it step-by step
  • Give yourself realistic deadlines, reward yourself for meeting them
  • Tackle tough jobs first; they might be less unpleasant then you feared
  • Overhaul your decision-making skills if you can't decide what to do first.
  • Practice your anti-procrastination techniques. It'll get easier.

Looking for more tips? We've collected some terrific resources:

 

2012 is your year to kick the procrastination habit for good. What are you waiting for?

Do you have a procrastination problem?  How do you stay motivated to stay on task? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.

 

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The Only Three Tips You Need for a More Productive January
Tuesday, January 10, 2012 11:12 PM

Don't you just love January's clean slate? After a hectic holiday season, capped off by a late night of champagne and streamers, January 1st dawns as a low-key, fresh start. Looking to make this January a time to reset and rev up for the upcoming year? Kick off your 2012 with the only three tips you'll need for a productive January.

Prioritize:  The ability to prioritize, to assess your to-do list and triage the most pressing, vital tasks, is a must-have productivity skill. Effective prioritization is also a major stress-buster.

Need help mastering this must-have skill? Study up on the three components of effective prioritization:

  • Time-constraints: Determine if a project can be put off or if there's a deadline that can't be missed. Next, asses how long each project will take and decide if tackling the shortest projects first makes sense.
  • Potential upside: Assess which projects or tasks are likely to be more beneficial or profitable.
  • Consequences: Finally, examine your to-do list and determine the consequences of not getting to a certain action item. If the fall-out would be major if a project is unfinished, that item moves up the priority list.

Decluttercize: Clutter creates stress and inhibits productivity and efficiency. January is a time to tackle those piles, streamline your files, and reboot your efficiency with a thorough office and home decluttering.

  • Get tossing: Grab that wastebasket; it's time for Decluttering 101. Broken, out-of-date or stained items need to go. If an item is gently used but unneeded, donate to friends or charity.
  • A place for everything: Asses what remains and find every item a home. Stock up on containers and files to corral items you want to keep. Take advantage of January sales to stock up bins, baskets, closet organizers and files and folders.
  • Maintaining: Commit to a maintenance schedule of 10 minutes each night and morning to keep order. Set aside larger blocks of time weekly and monthly for projects that require more time.

Exercise: Using and moving your body is a must for energy and productivity. Great feats of athleticism or hardcore time at the gym are not required; even a brisk walk taken daily can do the trick.

  • Schedule fitness: Break out that new colander and schedule fitness just as you would any important appointment. Find a block of time that works for you, such as first thing in the morning or midday, and make that your regular exercise time.
  • Buddy up: Partner with a friend or family member and commit to a regimen you both enjoy. Having a buddy keep you honest; it's harder to skip an early morning run when you know your friend is waiting on the corner.
  • Start small: Get off on the right foot by starting small. You don't need to train for a marathon, or hit the gym every day, but a daily routine of simple stretches as well as 20-minutes of light cardio (a quick walk, taking the stairs at work) can reap a boost in energy and vigor. Don't let an all-or-nothing approach derail you; be realistic about your time and ability.

How do you create and conserve productivity and energy? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.

 

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When You Can’t Do It All: Picking One Major Reorg Project for 2012
Monday, January 09, 2012 11:11 PM

January is the month for making resolutions that are too often abandoned by February. This year be realistic and pick just one outstanding organization project that you never seem to find time for and get it done.

Does your messy garage drive you crazy? Or is it the piles of paperwork that have taken over your desk? Are your closets stuffed past capacity? Everyone has a project they really wish they could get to: make 2012 the year you move that back-burner project front and center.

Getting Started

Go for gratification: Pick a project that will really and truly provide a sense of accomplishment. If you feel like you ought to tackle your overflowing attic but would prefer to spend time sorting photos, go with the photos.

Limit chaos: Start with spaces that won't limit your ability to function such as the spare room or attic. Once you have those spaces in better shape, you can tackle future projects in high-traffic zones such as the kitchen or home office. Use the newly organized rooms in your home as staging ground for sorting through paperwork or warehousing kitchen items as you tackle bigger projects in high-traffic zones.

Break down a big project: Determine what steps you need to take to get from the starting line to your end goal. If you want to empty an attic, the first step might be tossing broken and outdated items, next, giving unneeded items to family members and then finally donating the rest to charity. Defining success before you begin allows you to know when a project is successfully completed.

Get equipped: Filing projects require files, moving projects require boxes. Don't overlook the basics when getting started. Carefully consider all your needs before launching a project and then stock up on the tools you need.

Enlist helpers: Many hands make for light work so enlist family and friends. Make the project fun (filing while listening to music! a family reunion garage cleaning!) and you better your odds of getting helpers to pitch in.

Reward yourself: Reward yourself for getting through your project and link your reward to your project if you can. Did you tame a cluttered guest room? Treat yourself to new throw pillows or a duvet cover. Did you tackle a mountain of paperwork? Reward yourself with new desk accessories. Print and frame all those family pictures? Have a party to show off your new home décor.

Making 2012 all about one major project betters your odds of getting it done. Who knows? The glow of accomplishment may even carry you through another project or two.

Good luck!

Do you have a major project in mind? What is the one area of the house you never seem to get to? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook.

 

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This Time I Mean It: Sticking to Resolutions
Thursday, January 05, 2012 11:08 PM

Ah, New Year's Resolutions; easy to make, and even easier to break. This year better your odds of sticking to your goals with our this-time-I-mean-it tips.

Resolve Consciously: Just as impulse purchases lead to buyer's remorse, so too does impulsive resolution-making. Spend time evaluating your priorities for 2012 honestly and then make resolutions that fit in with your objectives. Brainstorm with friends and family and vet your choices by asking trusted friends, "Can you see me meeting this goal this year?"

Say Good-bye to Failed Resolutions: January 1st is a clean slate so leave the ghosts of failed resolutions firmly in the past. Instead, reframe your resolutions for a fresh start.  If last year's "lose weight" resolution never got off the ground, commit instead to "add fruits and veggies to daily diet" and "20-minutes of cardio a day."

Be Positive: Scolding young children doesn't work as well as recognizing and rewarding positive behavior. So turn "stop biting my nails" into "take better care of my hands" and treat yourself to a manicure each week if you stick to a regimen of tender loving care of your hands.

Months, Not Years: A year looms long when you're looking at sticking to a tough commitment. Break the time into shorter chunks and strive to stay committed for a month, than a quarter, working up to the full year. Reward yourself along the way for remaining committed. When you run a marathon one-mile at a time, eventually you cross the finish line at mile 26.

Plan for Speed Bumps: The road to resolution success is never a straight path. Identify possible speed bumps and plan for them. Work travel throwing off your gym schedule? Pack sneakers for a jog. Is a busy party schedule making dieting a challenge? Plan to fill up on healthy eats at home before arriving at the buffet table. Sick kids and the demands of work keeping you from tackling that clutter? Treat yourself to a few sessions with a professional organizer. Identifying possible pitfalls, and working proactively on a Plan B, can prevent challenges from derailing your progress.

Positive Peer Pressure: Trumpet your resolutions far and wide. The more public you make your commitment to friends, family and coworkers, they more pressure you will feel to stick to those resolutions. Positive peer pressure works!

Looking for more advice on keeping your resolutions well into 2012? Read our past posts Sticking to Resolutions with the Buddy System  and Turn Resolutions into Reality. 

Good luck!

How do you stick to resolutions?  Does the buddy system help?  Or do you reward yourself for commitments kept? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.

 

 

 

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The Only Three Tips You Need for a More Productive January
Wednesday, January 04, 2012 11:48 PM
Who doesn't love the New Year's fresh start? After a month of hectic holidays, January is a time of rejuvenation, a time to reset, and rev up for the upcoming year. Kick your 2012 off with the only three tips you'll need for a productive January...
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When You Can’t Do It All: Picking One Major Reorg Project for 2012
Wednesday, January 04, 2012 11:47 PM
Juggling the demands of work, family, health and home, not to mention Uncle Sam (hello upcoming tax season!) can be too many balls in the air. Chances are there are certain projects that get dropped time and time again. This year commit to moving one...
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Empty the E-mail Inbox Once and for All
Wednesday, January 04, 2012 11:05 PM

 

January resolutions are here. Put your chronically overflowing e-mail inbox on your 2012 resolution list: we have tips for getting to empty, and staying on top of e-mail, once and for all. Now that is a resolution worth sticking to!

Why Empty Works

An overflowing e-mail inbox is difficult to navigate; often important messages are overlooked or allowed to linger too long before a response. For many workers, an overflowing inbox creates stress and anxiety.  

Tackling the in-box allows you to manage communications more effectively and creates a sense of optimism, rather than dread, when you open your e-mail each morning.

Getting to Empty

The first step in taming the e-mail beast is setting aside a block of time to triage all critical e-mails from the past two months. Next, move the ones that remain to an archive file. Archiving e-mails allows you to unearth an old message if the need arises while simultaneously freeing up your in-box for new mail.

Staying Empty

E-mails proliferate like after-Christmas holiday sales. Keep the madness at bay by adhering to a few simple techniques.

Unsubscribe: Use an e-mail for online shopping; this way spam and marketing e-mails that can clog an in-box are corralled at a rarely used address. Or reclaim an existing e-mail by unsubscribing from all e-mails from marketers, news outlets, etc.

Time Limits: Schedule your e-mail time and stick to it. Check e-mail no more than once or twice an hour; rare is the e-mail that cannot wait 30 minutes for an answer. Or schedule e-mail free Fridays (or mornings) where you carve out productive time free from the distractions of the incoming ping. When it's time to turn you attention to e-mail, answer it, then archive.

Action, Not Procrastination: Get into the habit of moving through your e-mail, then moving it out of the in-box. If possible, respond to an e-mail immediately, then archive. Often, e-mails require no more than a few words or lines in response. So make time to respond right off the bat if you can.

On Hold: E-mails that require a longer response time can be moved to a temporary folder and handled at a scheduled time. Try to discipline yourself not to let e-mails linger longer than a day.

Do you have tips for dealing with e-mail overload? Share your thoughts here and at the Pendaflex Facebook page.

 

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Making the Most of After-Holiday Sales
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 11:02 PM

If Santa doesn't deliver every wish-list item this holiday season, take matters into your own hands during the January sales. January is one of the best times of year to shop as prices on everything from holiday decorations to winter coats and accessories hit rock bottom.

Take your savings all the way to the bank with our smart shopping strategies for making the most of the January sales.

Clothes: Even as the mercury is still plunging in many parts of the country, cold weather goods hit the bargain rack as stores begin to stock the shelves with spring items. Load up on needed cold weather items at low prices for this year and next. Invest now in new winter coats or snow and ski gear or buy one-size up for the following year for growing children.

Furniture: Did you know retailers typically only restock furniture twice a year and that one of those times is February? Great deals on big ticket items such as sofas, bookcases and dining sets make January a smart time to scoop up existing sales-priced inventory before the newer stuff arrives.

Electronics: Need a new TV or sound system for the big Super Bowl Game? You're not alone which is why electronic retailers offer competitive prices and financing during January to lure sports fan in advance of the big game.

Holiday Goods: Décor, wrapping paper, cards and serving items fall to fire sale prices right after the holidays. Anticipate your 2012 holiday needs now in order to reap big savings. By thinking ahead you can stock up for a fraction of the prices the same items will cost next December.

Do you plan on hitting the January sales? How do you best take advantage of deep January discounts? Share your thoughts here and at the Pendaflex Facebook page.

 

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Tackling Major Messes
Tuesday, January 03, 2012 10:54 PM

There are messes, and there are mountains. Sometimes a mess is just too big to tackle alone. Messes can grow excessively large and out-of-control for a variety of reasons: sometimes a neglected area of the home such as an attic or a garage becomes a dumping ground over the years, other times a move or a major remodeling throws a home into chaos. For others, a form of mental illness creates a hoarding mentality that engulfs a home in clutter and debris.

When a mess is out-of-control, when the clutter interferes with daily functioning and happiness, or is a source of embarrassment or stress, it's time to get help.

Friends & Family: Some messes can be tackled by enlisting friends and family. Empty a full garage or attic in the spring or summer with a garage sale. You might consider working with neighbors to create a multi-family sale; having helpers will make sales logistics such as advertising, set-up and clean up faster and more fun.

Older families can also help empty overflowing homes and rooms by asking adult children and grandchildren to remove childhood memorabilia and unneeded items. Often, as children grow and move out, they leave items behind over the years. Schedule a day for a walk-down memory lane: family members can revisit items, deciding which special mementos should be saved in their own homes and which items can be trashed, sold or donated.

Numerous non-profit organizations are happy to accept donations of gently used goods. So purge your old skis, well-thumbed paperbacks, outgrown bikes and seldom used décor and kitchen items knowing that the items will be happily used by others.

Read here for tips on managing a garage sale and here for help on finding charities that accept donated goods.

 

Professional Organizers: Sometimes an unbiased outsider is the most effective resource for dealing with disorganization, clutter and chaos. Packing up a family for a big move or remodel is a major endeavor; if you are already juggling a job, young children or ill health, doing the work yourself is not always feasible.

 

Outsourcing the work to a pro ensures that the job gets done and done well. Professional organizers can also help defuse some of the emotional upheaval that accompanies organizing; a pro's unbiased eye and professional feedback helps homeowners suss out what makes sense to hang on to and what needs to go.

 

For help finding a certified organization pro in your neighborhood, visit the National Association of Professional Organizers. 

 

Mental Health Experts: Hoarding, the compulsion to collect, and unwillingness to discard items, even those without value such as old mail and outdated newspapers, is rooted in mental illness. Sometimes a hoarder collects only one type of item, other times entire homes can be swallowed in junk. We've all seen the commercials for Extreme Clutter on TV; tackling the major messes of a serious hoarder requires expert intervention. If you, or a loved one, are struggling with a hoarding compulsion, seek professional mental health advice first, and then work with an organizing pro to help restore order to your home.

 

For more on hoarding as a compulsion read here and here. To find a mental health expert, visit The International OCD Foundation's resources on hoarders. 

 

Have you tackled an extreme mess? Share your thoughts here and at the Pendaflex Facebook page.

 

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About Beyond Folders™

Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates passionate about time management, communications, productivity and workplace organization.  Believing in  "continuous improvement" on both a personal and professional level, they share their unique perspectives on subjects of common interest to our readers.

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