Tips & Inspiration for Organizing a Simpler Life January 2012 – Vol. 11 No. 1
“We would be happier with what we have if we weren’t so unhappy about what we don’t have.” ~Frank A. Clark
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Making new year’s resolutions stick If “get organized” is one of your top five resolutions every new year, join the club.

To make 2012 the year you achieve your goal of getting more organized, you need to do more than just make a resolution. You need a plan.

Try this exercise:

* Write down five to ten organizing goals for 2012.

* Now pick three that you would really like to accomplish in the next 90 days.

* Then pick the one you feel would make the biggest difference in your life.

That’s your starting point. The next step is to break this project down into tasks that you can accomplish in a few hours a week or minutes a day.

For example, if you want to organize your office, you could focus on filing papers, setting up a follow-up system, rearranging your workstation, clearing your desk, organizing office supplies, updating your address book, cleaning out your email box, reorganizing electronic folders on your hard drive, and so on. Get it?

Write down all of the tasks required to achieve your goal. Then pick one of these tasks and begin it. When you’re done, cross it off the list and start on the next task.

The key to success is to be consistent. If you make progress toward your goal every day, you will eventually achieve your goal. And then you can begin to tackle Goal #2.

Did you know that writing down your goals is one of the most sure ways to achieve them? A study of Harvard graduates ten years after graduation found that only 3% had written goals, 13% had verbal goals, and the remaining 84% had no written or verbal goals. Those graduates with verbal goals were earning twice that of those with no verbal or written goals. But those with written goals were earning ten times as much.

One of the best things you can do (next to writing down your goals) is to have someone hold you accountable. Show your written goals to a friend or family member and ask him or her to check in with you on a regular basis. You will be more inclined to stick with your plan if you know that someone will be asking you about your progress.

GO: Get Organized Teleseminar January 26, 2012, 4pm ET/3pm CT/2pm MT/1pm PT Got stuff? Get simple, creative strategies to de-clutter your time, your space and your life, including tips for how to turn clutter into cash! Register today for this one-hour phone seminar.
Upon registration, you’ll receive a dial-in number and special access code to join me live.

You’re guaranteed to get at least one tip that you can implement right away and enjoy immediate results – or your money back. This call will be recorded and everyone who registers will receive access to the recording through February 28, 2012.

For more details and to register, visit: http://www.getorganized2012.eventbrite.com

Can’t join us January 26th at 4pm Eastern for the live event? No problem! You have until January 28, 2012 at 11:55pm Eastern Time to register and get access to the recording.

Favorite organizing products and resources As a professional organizer for the last 10 years, I’ve used and recommended a lot of organizing products, services and resources.
Every month, in this column, I share my favorites.

This month, I’d like to introduce you to a line of dry-erase wall planners. Who can use a wall planner? Everyone.

Planet Safe Planners dry-erase wall planners are perfect for keeping track of your family’s whereabouts as well as upcoming events, appointments, vacations, parties, concerts, birthdays and anniversaries.

And if you’re a small business owner like me, a wall planner is an excellent way to track progress toward a goal or deadline.

The company offers more than 45 types of planner to fit a variety of uses and personal styles, including sticky note planners. And I love their motto: Never lose sight of what’s important.

Check out Planet Safe Planners and let me know what you think.

For a look at more of my organizing favorites, visit www.unclutter.com/favorites

Quick tip: What to do with owner manuals Create hanging file folders to corral owner manuals, organized by room. Or store them in one or more three-ring binders with clear plastic pockets. Staple product receipts to the manuals.
Discard any manuals for items you no longer own.

Shameless promotion: I never said that! I was honored to have some of my organizing tips featured in an edition of USA Weekend that goes into Sunday newspapers all across the country.

Unfortunately, I was quoted as advising people to take their threadbare old sweaters to The Salvation Army. Uh, no. I did not say that. If it’s threadbare, it’s not fit for donation. Now that you know where I stand on that issue, here’s the link to the article: Out with the old, organize the new

By the way, just thought I’d mention that this complimentary newsletter is now in its 11th year! Thanks for being one of my 15,500 loyal subscribers. I am honored to support you in creating a more organized life.

That’s all for this month. Until next month, keep it simple.