Thursday - December 8, 2022

The \’Stuff\’ of life and the chaos it creates

July 7th, 2010

I\’ve spent more than twenty years helping people eliminate the \’excess stuff\’ they\’ve accumulated. But it isn\’t just \’stuff\’ that needs to go from the physical environment. From time to time it\’s also people, places or jobs. We sometimes hold onto relationships for years after they have ended. We all know one sided friendships or marriages that are dead. We witness destructive relationships that seem to go on forever. What\’s the old saying? \’The devil you know is better than the one you don\’t.\’ I think someone... Read More

The Organized Way to Entertain

June 11th, 2010

For too many of us throwing a party is just that … throwing a number of elements against the proverbial wall and hoping enough of them stick to make the party a success. Let\’s not, as they say, go there. Take a few minutes to answer some questions in your Zen Organizing Journal. Do you like to entertain? If the response is ‘yes,\’ when was the last time you gave a party? Was it a success? What were the key elements that made it successful? If the answer is ‘no,\’ where did you fall down? Are these correctable mistakes? We all learn through trial and error. Do you do... Read More

Uncle Sam and Ye Olde Junk Drawer

April 13th, 2010

As beautiful as spring, Easter and Passover are with their messages of renewal and hope, in the back of your mind is one date: April 15th. Remember you have to pay by the 15th but you can file an extension if you simply can’t make time to tally up those columns for your tax preparer. The secret to an easy tax time is to have a Cracker Jack file system. There must be a place for every tax-deductible receipt that comes your way. Yes, I know, your mother told you that when you were 5. She was probably talking about your toys but the advice holds true for all the ‘stuff’ in your life. (Next... Read More

How to Relieve Tax Time Stress

March 15th, 2010

Nothing I have to share is going to make your date with Uncle Sam on April 15th pleasurable. There is something about preparing for one\’s taxes that is the emotional equivalent of being called to the principal\’s office when you are in grammar school. (I presume you let a pro do the actual return.) Let\’s take some of the sting out of the process. If you have all of your receipts and papers organized, the process is reduced to a few hours of mechanical arithmetic. Let\’s get started with these easy to follow steps. You will find detailed instructions in all of my One... Read More

Nine Tips for Getting Organized in 2010

January 14th, 2010

It wasn\’t until New Year\’s Eve that I realized the importance of this particular holiday: not only was midnight ushering in a New Year but a new decade as well. This is an opportunity to change your life for the better. Don\’t allow yourself, however, to get swept up into media hype. In other words, you don\’t have to revamp your entire life all at once. That endeavor is a sure fire invitation to fail! Now that I have the first three books out in the ‘One Year to…\’ series covering an Organized Life, Work Life and Finances, I thought I\’d share three tips... Read More

Ask the (Zen) Organizer ™ – Looking Ahead to the New Year

December 14th, 2009

Ask the (Zen) Organizer tm Newspapers, magazines and the airwaves will be filled this month with ways to save this holiday season. In “One Year to an Organized Life,” I devote the lion share of instruction in December to just these issues. In this forum, I\’d like to take a peek at something else that may be on your mind: looking ahead to the New Year. It beckons to us like a blank piece of paper, inviting us to create something fresh, new, nurturing and inventive in place of our current reality. While it\’s easy to dream about a fresh start, it\’s very often difficult to... Read More

Ask The Organizer . . . How can I have a more conscious and relaxed Thanksgiving?

November 11th, 2009

As if it were yesterday, I can vividly remember Thanksgivings at my Brooklyn, New York brownstone. My mother didn\’t fancy herself a cook or a great hostess. She also had no interest in learning any new skills in this area. The holiday was therefore always marred by her negative energy. She made no bones about letting my dad and I know what a big project this holiday was and how little she enjoyed it. In retrospect of course I understand that she was run by her fears and sense of inadequacy. Too bad my mom missed the era of self-help books, Dr. Phil and the Food Channel. Who knows what might... Read More

Ask the Organizer. . .

October 13th, 2009

What is priceless, irreplaceable and fleeting? Yes, that\’s right…time. As I write this month\’s column I am home in New York City on business. Time is on my mind for many reasons. I\’ve changed time zones. I have work to do and friends to see. And it feels like there isn\’t enough time to do it all. I spent a day traveling and observing people at airports. So many had too much luggage! Why, I wondered, did they not take a little time and do some planning? This month I have some advice on time management, especially for those who are chronically late. Why would some have... Read More

Ask The Organizer

July 15th, 2009

This month\’s premier column is in response to Nancy in Schertz, Texas who wanted tips on de-cluttering the house. Too much ‘stuff\’ seems to be a common cause of stress in most American households. Let\’s see if we can\’t pinpoint the possible cause. Once you know ‘why,\’ you will be better equipped to resolve the issue. Here are five common culprits. Which one represents you and your home? This month we identify the underlying issue. Next month we\’ll discuss some of the common cures. Lack of storage: some of my clients feel guilty because they have... Read More

Zen Organizing: Understanding the Basics

February 13th, 2009

People ask me if I prefer organizing homes or offices. They are surprised when I tell them there is no difference. The principles remain constant. What changes are the objects I hold in my hands. One day it’s paper for a new file system and the next it’s suits and dresses in a closet. I follow the same Zen organizing guidelines. What are they? Well, there are three steps and two concepts to master. Let’s take a look. The first concept is simple: ‘The whole of anything is overwhelming.’ There you are ready to tear your office apart. You are so gung ho, your friends and family stand in... Read More