September 2012 - Posts

Tame the Back-to-School Clutter Explosion
Wednesday, September 26, 2012 8:02 PM

If back-to-school is adding up to a clutter explosion in your home, you'll love our easy-as-ABC lessons for taming the chaos.

Designate a Drop Spot: Backpacks and sports gear can easily engulf a home; pick a convenient drop spot for off-loading when the kids arrive home. Make it easy to make it stick: a simple hall bench; set of cubbies or even wall hooks can do the trick. Offer simple rewards when all items are stowed away regularly.

Kitchen Command Center: Deputize a bulletin board or white board to track all family commitments, sports schedules and major tests and projects. When invites and event notices come in, log the date on the calendar, then toss the paper.

Homework Helper: Corral pens, pencils, glue sticks and other homework supplies in a portable homework caddy. Keeping study tools close at hand will prevent students from wandering off in search of needed items and individual items from migrating all over the house. Consider color coding your kids so you can tell which child is leaving supplies scattered around the house.

A Look Ahead: Model good organizational habits for your kids by spending the end of the day planning for the next morning. By taking just 15 minutes to round up school supplies, paperwork and special items such as snow boots or umbrellas, you can minimize stress during the morning rush.

Weekly Clean Ups: Keep chaos at bay with weekly clean-ups. Update the family command center calendar, restore missing items to their rightful place and restock school supplies that are running low. Revisit your children's personal planners or calendars and provide feedback on how they managed their schedules and workloads for the week. Praise successes and offer suggestions for improvement where necessary.

What are your back-to-school clutter-busting tips? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook and Twitter pages.

 

 

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Expanding Mobile File Cases Free You Up
Tuesday, September 25, 2012 7:16 PM


13 Pocket Expanding File

Slim smartphones and wafer thin tablets let you work on the go. Make sure your other work tools are equally mobile friendly.

Maximize your ability to work from anywhere with a portable expanding file cabinet. Yes, you read that right. Take your "cabinet" on the go with a Pendaflex Sliding Cover 13-Pocket Expanding File. 

The slim lines of the expanding file case expand to 13 separate letter-size compartments, perfect for sorting and securing must-have documents. Use the self-adhesive blank labels for simple printer-free labeling and sorting. The rugged poly construction resists wear and moisture; the elastic closure keeps contents secure.

Don't let the professional, black-on-black case design fool you; this tool is also perfect for home use. Keep one in the kitchen to capture school papers; designate another to house all your bill-paying needs. Savvy time-pressed cooks can use the case to ease daily meal-planning. Keep shopping lists, recipes and coupons sorted and ready to go. And students will far prefer to tote this streamlined case over heavy binders any day.

The smart design offers a wide, expanding bottom for maximum stability and a unique sliding cover that hides completely away. No more flopping files or slithery covers that repeatedly slide shut. Keep one on your work desk for active files, and another on your kitchen counter for your active life.

To purchase the Pendaflex Sliding Cover 13-Pocket Expanding File, visit our Facebook shop.

 

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Why So Glum? Beat the Back-to-Work Blues
Thursday, September 20, 2012 7:12 PM

Saying good-bye to summer, and buckling down once again to a full slate at work, can be bittersweet. But consider that it takes just as much effort to have a good day at work as bad one. Looking to love your work day? Read our round-up of look-on-the-bright-side-of-life advice for making the most of your days.

10 Tricks for a Fabulous Workday:  Fabulous sounds good doesn't it? This article ticks off ten tips for making your day more enjoyable (and productive too!). Ideas include: staring your morning with inspirational reading or tapes and ending your day with 15 minutes of gratitude. And the eight excellent ideas for the hours in between will also put some pep in your step.

Happiness at Work: 12 Simple Steps to Make it Happen:  Delegate, take breaks and switch off when you leave work, are just three of the concrete tips in this Lifehack.org piece, which posits that specific steps to increase daily enjoyment are well within our own control. So seize the day!

Top 10 Ways to Be Happy at Work: In a nutshell, this piece reminds readers that they are in charge of their own destiny. Seek out the information you need to work effectively, take charge of your own career advancement, and tend your own flame of energy, making sure not to burn your candle at both ends.  At the end of the day, you are your own boss.

What are your tips for enjoying each and every day? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook and Twitter pages.

 

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Hello Sweaters! Time to Organize Your Fall Closet
Wednesday, September 19, 2012 7:08 PM

Shorter days, cooler nights: fall's sweater weather is here. Create room in your closet for bulky cold weather clothes and boots with our simple steps for a well-organized wardrobe.

So Long Summer: Free up room for cold weather fashions by saying good-bye to seasonal items until next summer. Retire flip flops, sundresses and bathing suits from your closet into off-season storage. By editing your closet to house only seasonally appropriate items, it'll be easier to dress each morning.

Assess the Dress: Give all fall items a through onceover asking yourself three questions: Does it fit? Do I wear it? Do I love it? If the answer to any of these questions is no, the item needs to go.

Move On: Gather unwanted or ill-fitting clothes into groups: one to donate, one to pass along to friends and another to trash. Consider enlisting a friend to help you assess your closet; their unbiased eye will help you weed out what no longer works. Be sure to keep receipts for any items donated to charity.

Identify Transition Items: Find a spot in your closet to house transition items, such as tees or lightweight dresses that can be worn with tights and belted cardigans. While some summer items can transition through a cool fall, they often must be retired during a cold winter. By grouping these items in one spot, you can keep track of them and ensure they eventually make it into storage rather than cluttering up the closet.

Color Code: Once your wardrobe is edited down to seasonally appropriate items, it's time to color code like items. By grouping items by color, specific items can be found more readily. Also, consider grouping items into zones: low rods for shirts, tops and folded pants, and a higher rod for dresses and long skirts.

Embrace Order: Opening the door to a tidy, well-organized closet each morning can be a moment of Zen. Arrange your hangers in the same direction and banish sloppy piles by storing items that require folding draped over hangers. Keep a small trash can to corral dry-cleaning bags and wire hangers. Aim for clutter free calm.

Tame Odds & Ends: Corral accessories and small items which can easily take over a closet. Use bins to capture handbags and larger accessories. Think vertical, using closet walls to display hats or favorite bags. Belts and scarves can be stored on the back of the closet door or in specially-designed hanging units.

Finally, we leave you with two articles that will help make your closet a shining temple of organization: How to Organize Your Closet  from Lucky Magazine and Clothing Closet Organizing Checklist from Real Simple.

Do you do a fall closet reorg? Or do you suffer a closet stuffed with summer gear until next Memorial Day? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook and Twitter pages.

 

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Digging Out After Vacation
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 10:57 PM

Your tan hasn't even faded but you are back to work big time. Hello September, time to get busy.

If your post-Labor Day mojo is in need of a reboot, read our five tips for making your reentry from the slow summer pace painless.

Plan for a Smooth Return: Returning to your office Monday morning from vacation to face a kajillion e-mails is never fun. Take some time Sunday evening to triage your email inbox, deleting what's unnecessary and sorting remaining e-mails into an "immediate action" folder and a "later in the week" folder. Likewise, clear your Monday calendar so that meetings and conference calls fall later in the day or even mid-week. By scheduling in an initial block of meeting-free time, you can catch up on what you've missed before new demands overwhelm.

Schedule an Update: After a vacation, schedule time for key work colleagues to update you on projects statuses, new deadline and other important considerations. By selecting key people to spearhead your update, you minimize information overload and the time-drain or hearing from too many sources.

Build in Fun: Returning from vacation can be a bummer. Ward off the post-vacation blues by booking a lunch date with a good friend or a trusted colleague mid-week. Connecting with friends keeps the post-vacation glow going just a little bit longer. Research shows that the happiest workers are those who feel connected to their coworkers and friends.

Engage in Goal Setting: While returning to work means diving in to must-do projects, take time to focus not just on the nuts and bolts of work but on your career big picture. Passionate, successful employees are those that are always growing and adding new skills or experiences. Look at September as a fresh start, and dive into career building.

Book another Vacation: Saying good-bye to summer Fridays and a leisurely vacation pace isn't easy. So consider scheduling your next getaway now. Knowing that you have a fun vacation to look forward down the road takes the sting out of returning to the 9-to-5 grind.

Finally, we leave you with one of our past posts to help ease the transition from summer BBQs to sweater weather: Top 10 Reasons to be Excited its Fall. 

Enjoy your fall!

How do you ease the post-vacation blues? What are your tips for making your return from vacation as productive as possible? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook and Twitter pages.

 

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Clutter Buddy: Pairing Up to Purge
Monday, September 10, 2012 11:00 PM
Tackling a messy garage or taming piles of paperwork is generally the last thing you want to do when Friday finally rolls around. We get it. Hanging with friends or hitting the park with family is infinitely more appealing than decluttering and cleaning...
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Real Simple Loves Our Divide-It-Up Folders
Thursday, September 06, 2012 10:31 PM

Real Simple Magazine features Divide It Up

We are huge fans of the magazine Real Simple. Their motto of "life made easier, every day" could be our own. At Pendaflex our mission is creating innovative products that let you work smarter, not harder, each and every day. So we were thrilled that the latest issue of Real Simple  features our Divide-It-Up folders as one of their top six products to simplify your life. 

We designed our Divide-It-Up Multi-Section File Folders to do more, just like you do. One folder offers three sections, making it a snap to subdivide files for multiple or large projects. Managing a busy household? Assign each child a section of the folder. Have a student tackling a large project? Teach her to designate the separate sections for notes, drafts and resource materials. One folder, three pockets: endless possibilities.

We know the back-to-school season puts your need for organization and productivity into overdrive. That's why we made this fuss-free folder extraordinarily simple to use. Each folder offers an oversize tab for easy identification and three smaller tabs, making sorting simple. Heavy-duty documents are not a problem; the folders are sealed on all sides for maximum security. And the deep pockets easily capture and secure multiple or thick documents.

We also designed the folders in standard-letter size to integrate seamlessly into your existing filing systems: use them in either a hanging or desktop system. The folders also come in assorted colors so users can color-code documents for easy filing and quick retrieval. Who doesn't love a folder that works as hard as you do? Yup, Divide-It-Up simply does more.

How would you use a multi-tasking folder like Divide-It-Up? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook and Twitter pages.

 

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Best Back-to-School Apps
Wednesday, September 05, 2012 10:24 PM

Back-to-school used to mean stocking up on new pencils and notebooks. Now you can better your back-to-school organization with apps that do everything from track time logged on homework to providing free access to costly textbooks. See our round-up of A-plus apps for more useful tools.

Top 10 Back-to-School iPhone Applications: This selection of apps features the cost-savings app CourseSmart  which lets you save mucho dinero on 7,000 textbooks, all offered for free. Not ready to read on your iPhone? You might be persuaded after spending time on Stanza,  an app that lets you track reading progress and boosts font size. It also provides links to 30,000 free classic titles such as the complete works of Shakespeare, Dickens and a host of other must-read writers.

10 Best Back-to-School Apps:  Students will like free app MyHomework which lets them track tests and assignment dates and helicopter parents will like iStudiezPro which lets them track all their kids' test dates and assignment deadlines on the down-low. Never be caught off guard by your slacking student again. Other apps include ones to help with note-taking and to make virtual flashcards.

These Back to School Apps Get Straight As:  Put the fun in fundamentals with apps like ChalkWalk,   iStory  and NumberLine.  These apps help grade-school aged kids make the grade and more.

Good luck in school this year!

What back-to-school app makes the grade in your book? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook and Twitter pages.

 

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So Long Summer: How to Store Summer Gear
Tuesday, September 04, 2012 10:23 PM

Back-to-school shopping signs are everywhere signaling summer's end. Before you know it, cool weather will spell retirement for boogie boards, beach umbrellas and other summer gear. Start your fall on an organized note with our tips for storing seasonal summer items.

Beachy Clean

Before storing beach chairs, umbrellas and sand toys, give each item a cold water rinse and a good scrub. Next, allow items to thoroughly dry in the sun to avoid mildew and prevent sand and salt from corroding items during the off-season.

Likewise, hose down patio furniture and clean outdoor pillows with a mixture of water and mild detergent. Scrub mildew stains with a stiff brush; allow all items to dry in the sun, then store indoors in a garage or basement.

Once the summer BBQ season is over, it's time to thrill your grill. Dismantle and clean all the gunk off, finishing up with a light coating of oil spray to repel winter moisture. Then store your grill in an indoor, protected environment such as a garage. The exception to this storage rule? Propane tanks: safety dictates well-ventilated, protected outdoor storage versus indoors.

Store More

Maximize storage with creativity. Think vertical and use your garage or basement walls to hang lightweight items. Mark off the dimensions of

beach chairs, umbrellas, and surf and boogie boards along the wall. Next, add eye-hold screws along the measurements' perimeter and use bungee cords to affix items to the wall. You can also reduce the number of bulky items to store by deflating all beach balls and inner tubes and storing like items in a plastic storage bin.

 

Keep in mind that not all items need to be stored for next season. Kids grow like weeds so don't waste time storing outgrown summer clothes and bikes, etc. Organize a swap with friends whose kids are older or younger to pass along outgrown items and inherit what your family can use the following year. Give all items a careful onceover; sometimes an item is past its prime and is ready to toss. That slip 'n slide that is more slip than slide? Toss. Rusty gardening tools? Toss. Inner tubes that constantly lose air? Toss. You get the idea.

Be sure to free up closet space for your fall goods by storing all beach towels and bathing suits in plastic storage bins in the garage, basement or attic.

If you still don't have a place to store all your summer items, hit the stores: storage items are traditionally on sale in the fall as stores court back-to-school shoppers looking to get organized. Evaluate your current storage needs and stock up on what you're missing.

Repair and Retire

Finally, get a jump start on next summer's warm weather fun by tackling needed repairs and restocking seasonal items now, while prices are at rock bottom. By repairing summer sports gear such as tennis racquets and swim goggles before storing, and replacing must-have items now, you'll be ready to dive back into summer fun the minute Memorial Day rolls around.

 

How do you store summer gear? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook and Twitter pages.

 

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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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