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.
are your back-to-school clutter-busting tips? Share your thoughts here and on
the Pendaflex Facebook and Twitter pages.
Slim smartphones and wafer thin
tablets let you work on the go. Make sure your other work tools are equally
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
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.
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
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.
are your tips for enjoying each and every day? Share your thoughts here and on
the Pendaflex Facebook and Twitter pages.
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
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.
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 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
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.
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
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
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!
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
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
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.
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.
would you use a multi-tasking folder like Divide-It-Up?
Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook
and Twitter pages.
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.
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.
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
back-to-school app makes the grade in your book? Share your thoughts here and
on the Pendaflex Facebook and Twitter pages.
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.
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.
Maximize storage with creativity. Think vertical
and use your garage or basement walls to hang lightweight items. Mark off the
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
you store summer gear? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook and Twitter
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.