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Monday, June 29 2009

This is the fifth (and final) organizing misconception I feel the need to "debunk".

It is the idea that just by writing things down, they will get done.  The truth is, you can write things down all you want, but if you don't act on the items you jot down, they will never get done.

One of my former clients was a stay-at-home mom and loved to make lists.  She had To Do lists, lists of movies she'd wanted to see, lists of chores she wanted to complete, a list of friends she wanted to contact and many other lists too numerous to mention.

The lists were good but here's the problem.  She never got anything done on her lists.  She felt that writing them down was enough.  However, it's only the first step.

I think having lists is wonderful and you should definitely keep them.  They are a great way of getting ideas from your head onto paper and relieving the stress of having to remember everything.  I use them all the time.


I suggest that you schedule time daily, weekly and monthly to accomplish these tasks.  Some things take more time to accomplish so they can remain on a list for the month, with the idea that at the end of the month, the task is completed.  Put several movies on your list to schedule time to see throughout the month.  Don't overload the list so that the task is not achievable.  It needs to be reasonable in order to achieve it.

Some items can be done within the week and you can schedule time in your week to knock them off your list.  I suggest doing similar tasks together - such as running all errands at the same time, returning phone calls at the same time, paying bills at the same time, etc.

Some things need to be done by the end of the day.  If they are urgent, get them done!

Refer to your lists often and knock off as many things on your "To Do" list as possible.  You need to make a conscious effort to work on the lists that you create otherwise they just become lists and nothing more.  That is not productive and will just become frustrating when the lists grow and grow. 

The ultimate goal is to get the tasks done.

With the help of a professional organizer, you can learn how to best utilize those lists and create time to get them done.  As an expert in time management, I show my clients the quickest, most effective ways to best utilize that "To Do" list and other types of lists they wish to have.

If you have any questions about this topic or have any other organizing problems you would like me to address, simply send me an email at and  I will be glad to help.

Have a great week!



Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 11:24 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, June 16 2009

This is the fourth organizing misconception I need to "debunk". 

It has to do with the fact that many people believe that you need to toss everything in order to get organized. 

I once had someone say to me that "There is no way I could get organized because I could never bring myself to toss out everything I have".  I quickly asked where she ever got the idea that she had to.  She advised that "Everyone knows that's what getting organized means." 

I am not sure where she heard this but it is a myth.  You don't have to throw "everything" away; only the things that you don't like or never use.  I don't believe everything that you don't like or never use has to get "thrown away".  I encourage my clients to try to donate or, if there is some decent value to the piece, sell it.  Most times I find that my clients have a much easier time letting go when they know that something is not just being thrown away, but rather given away, either to a family member, friend or charity. 

You want to focus on keeping the things that you love and the things you do use.  There are creative ways to display or store such items.  Depending on the size of the space where things will be stored, you can utilize shelving units, hooks, overhead storage and so many other organizing options. There is no reason to toss the possessions that truly mean something special to you.

Working with a professional organizer will provide you with the opportunity to learn new ways to create functional and aesthetically pleasing options for organizing your possessions.  And don't worry...good professional organizers will never make you throw everything away!

Next time, we will discuss the fifth and final myth...simply writing things down will get them done!

In the meantime, if you have any organizing questions or problems you would like me to address, send me an email at and I will be glad to help.

Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 11:53 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, June 04 2009

This is the third organizing misconception I would like to "debunk" which I am reminded of quite often.  It has to do with being inflexible.

People are creatures of habit.  They tend to continue to do things even if it isn't necessarily working for them just because it's the way they've always done it.  This doesn't mean it's the best way to do it.

I had a client once that described to me how she had set up several trays in her office so that staff members could add paperwork throughout the day that required her attention.

The problem was that the staff members did not feel confident that a high priority project was getting the attention it needed.  They were not sure that it would get handled prior to a lower priority project since everything was added to the tray - no matter what the level of importance. 

Even my client's boss was not at all happy with this system.  He agreed with the staff members that there were going to be some projects that were more important than others.  So, he made a change to the system. 

He decided that all high priority projects were going to be placed in red folders in each of the staff members' trays.  This way, if they had something of high priority, the staff members would be able to place the papers pertaining to that project in the red folder.  Good idea, right?

My client, however, said that initially she didn't want to change her system which she had been using for quite some time.  She was upset.  She couldn't understand why her system, which, in her mind, had been working just fine, had to be changed.  Now, the change was required and she did not have a choice.  She had to be flexible and she had to accept it.  She admitted to me that now that the new system is being utilized, she actually likes it!  She finds she is much more productive.

When it comes to getting organized, you need to be flexible.  Continuous improvement should always be the goal.  No matter what you are doing, there tends to be a better, faster, more efficient and more productive way to do it.

I find sometimes that certain ideas I introduce to my clients are not taken well at first.  I always ask them to live with it for a while and see how it feels.  They tend to find that they like the new way of doing things - they just needed time to get used to it.

Working with a professional organizer will provide you with various opportunities for change that you never thought of before.  It can open your eyes to new ways of accomplishing the same goal.  Give flexibility a might be surprised!

Next time, we will discuss the myth that in order to get organized, you need to throw everything away!

In the meantime, if you have any organizing questions or problems you would like me to address, send me an email at and I will be glad to help.


Posted by: Audrey Cupo AT 03:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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