Joshua's chair

Joshua's chair
Happiness is . . .Craftiness & the Old

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Oh, what ever shall I do with my clothes?
 (We're assuming you have already discarded unneeded/unwanted clothing.)

It's not  just a matter of hanging clothes, or placing them on shelves.  I hang my clothes in a particular manner.  But it is rather simple.  Here's the plan I follow.
  1. Off-season clothing goes to the back or hardest-to-get-to area of my closet.
  2. Tops, including blouses, t-shirts and cardigans take up one section.
  3. Pants, slacks, etc., are in another section.
  4. Skirts and dresses are in the third area.
I sort my categorized clothes by color.
(Please keep in mind that I am almost obsessively organized when it comes to clothing.) 
Here is what I do to make my life a bit more simplified:
I organize the tops according to color.  I sort the pants, skirts and dresses the same way.
My shoes are only two or three different colors (less complicated, you know)
Purses can be according to color or by size.    

That's all.  Simple, huh?   Done!

Sunday, January 8, 2012


So many times I hear, "I just can't get motivated!"
  Boy!  Do I ever identify with that!  However, I have come to the conclusion that it isn't about motivation:


First, get a paper and pencil.  (See you're already on a roll!)
Next, with focus on what needs to be done, make a list.
Then, prioritize.  That is, number tasks in order of importance or preference.  (I often throw in an asterisk for things I really want to do or that are really easy.)

After that, take a break.  Go get a hamburger or ice cream cone, or cruise the dollar store!  (or mall!)

Later, choose a task to do:
Assemble the tools and materials you need to do the job.  
Some items might include: 
  •  a trash bag for, you guessed it, TRASH   
  • a trash bag for things to give away
  • a box or two to hold everything from that drawer or closet.
  • vacuum, broom or mop
  • spray bottle of cleaning stuff like windex or 409
  • marker and sticky labels, tape
  • CD player, radio or ipod (gotta do it with music, right?) ((OR your bluetooth & phone))
Now, that you've got your lil' ol' ducks in a row, leave them there and go fix yourself a nice iced drink, put up you feet, and read a lovely decorating magazine or something.  (whatever you do, don't get involved with a TV movie or a soap opera.  They are sooo de-motivating!)

NOW... It doesn't take motivation to do a task.  It takes energy to look at the project and just do it.

Let's say we're gonna clean out the closet...  Ready all?  Let's go!
  1. Take EVERYTHING out of the closet.  (if you have a walk-in closet, this is easier said than done, and you'll want to quit right here and now.)  Walk-in closets require a slightly altered strategy.  Do one side at a time.  Done?  OK, next step.
  2. Sweep, vacuum and clean the shelves and floors.
  3. Now, look at the closet.  Nice, huh?  Yep!
  4. Are you ready for the big motivator now?  Yes?  Here it is:  Look at that big pile of stuff you just put on your bed or floor!  MOTIVATION!
  5. Relax, take a deep breath:  This is the fun part.  Taking one item in hand you get to make an executive decision.  You have three choices = Give away, Throw away, OR Return to the closet.
  6. How do you decide?  Get a grip:  if you haven't worn it in three years, it's out of date and you probably won't ever wear it again.  GET RID OF IT!  (I promise, you'll get used to this!)
  7. If you will wear it in the next six months, arrange it neatly on its hanger and place in the closet.  OR place it on a shelf or on the floor if it is in the category of shoes, hats, purses.
NOTE:  a bedroom closet should be ONLY for clothing items.  ONLY.
If you're not in an apartment with limited storage, do not put storage items in your clothes closet!  Put them in a box outside the room for later placement. 
IF at any time you start to get frustrated, leave the room, take a walk and breathe deeply.
By the time you have to fix dinner you will probably see a neatly organized closet and a couple of bags of give-aways.  Take these bags to the car for your next trip to the store passing a thrift shop on the way.
NEXT INSTALLMENT TO ORGANIZATION:   What do I do with the stuff I am keeping?

Friday, January 6, 2012


After the money management files:

I still have room for more in the file drawer:
Now I know where to put all those warranties 

HANGING FILES with sub-folders

Large appliances (w&d, dishwasher, stove, refrigerator)
Small appliances (vacuum, rug shampooer, toaster, blender)
Computers (printer, scanner, laptop, iPad)
DVD/TV, video players
Audio Players (record players, CD players, MP3s, iPods, recorders)
Office equipment (stapler, pencil sharpener, hole punch, etc)

*REMEMBER to leave room in the drawer for all the receipts you will file during the year.  Around November you will see that the files have more than doubled in size.*

That's it.  My simple filing system.  This is your baseline.  Have fun reorganizing and adapting to your own sneeds.  Happy filing!

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Organize, De-Clutter, Maintain Sanity
*I am assuming that my previous blog today was read before this one.  
This post will finish up with the financial file drawer*

Finances is my greatest despair.  I have been known to get hysterical just assembling W-2s and 1099s for my tax man.  However, I have a filing system that helps keep papers in order.

Here goes:

Alphabetically arranged fundamentals

Hanging FILE with Sub-Folders:

Insurance & Registration
Fuel reciepts (optional)
(Pink slips are kept in a fire-proof safe)

Separate folder for each bank (for transaction receipts, etc)

Separate folder for each credit card (holds statements, cards, user names)

Separate folder for each type of income
Mine includes:
Social Security
eXtra income (like tutoring, craft sales, etc.)
Tithing & Charitable Contributions
Separate folder for each stock, IRA, etc.

Home Insurance 
House Taxes
Mortgage {Deeds are filed in a fire-proof safe} 

Home Improvements (includes receipts for remodeling , updates & other improvements)
Lawn & Garden
Pool Maintenance
Plumbing & Electrical
Pest Control

Health insurance [medical & dental plans, Medicare, etc.]
*Note:  You may want to have a separate folder for each person in the household.
Chiropractic (My personal favorite)
Dental bills, invoices & records
Medical bills, invoices & records
Vision records

PERSONAL (aka General Household)
Food & Household (cleaning/maintenance items)
Gifts (birthday, Christmas, including cards)
Office supplies (printer ink, paper, etc.)

Cell Phone
Electric (may include water and city services)
Internet service

Income tax forms
Tax service information
Last year's tax return
(After taxes are filed I box up all receipts for that year, label the box and shelve it for seven years.)

There you have it.
Next installment:  What to do with warranty info and receipts for appliances, etc.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I love January!
It is so clean and clear and pleasant!
Ahh, SoCal, I love you!
AND NOW:  Onward to the business of the month; that is, DE-CLUTTERING and CLEANING.  Beginning with my weakest point:  Finances

I didn't realize it, but I have already begun!   I emptied out my financial file so I could prepare for income taxes.  I do mean emptied out!  Here is my method:

 *[NOTE:  The first part of the method pertains to all areas of de-cluttering.]*

FIRST:  Take everything out of the drawer.  Yes, I mean EVERYTHING ...  Wipe the drawer out with a soft rag.  See?  Success!  The drawer is completely de-cluttered!
What?  That's not enough?  Sure it is!   
Oh!  Now you want to know what to do with the clutter OUTSIDE the file?  
OK, here goes...

SECOND:  Put back into the drawer only the essential files you will need in the upcoming year.  
For Example:  I pulled everything out, right?  There are stacks of files on my desk.  Now I go through them generally.  This means that I sort by tax, warranty product info and general receipts.

NOTE:  My file system in general terms goes like this:

Front Hanging file holds the folder marked Stress-Relief.  It holds the emergency candy bar.  Ha Ha, Just kidding.  (But don't you like that idea?)

HANGING FILES  with general label (ABC) - folders more specifically labeled (123)

A - Money files
1 - Budget lists:  past lists to compare with new budget
2 - Wish List:  things I would like to save for
3 - Coupons & discounts:  AAA discounts list, Senior citizen discounts booklet, etc.
       [Store coupons are another organizational item for discussion (later)]

B - Address file
1 - Ward lists, neighbors & friends lists
2 - Web addresses, user names, etc.
3 - Pending correspondence (to answer)
4 - Stickers and stamps folder with postage and return address labels
5 - Birthday/anniversary lists of my friends, kids, and grands 

C - General Records file
1 - Veterinary file for pets
2 - Doctor/Dentist list or business cards
3 - Essential prescription information
4 - "File" folder for items  I don't have time to place in their specific folders (clean out monthly)

Next Post:  ALPHABETICAL ORDER files.  (More specific files.)