Organized & Productive 
September, 2012


Lisa S. Griffith
Lisa S. Griffith 

Today, it felt like fall for the first time. I opened every single window in my home and enjoyed the drier, cooler air, and the crisp, clean scent. Fall has always been my favorite time of year - the cooler weather, beautiful leaves, quicker pace and back to school routine. Maybe it was all those years I spent as a teacher, feeling like everything was new again with the start of a new school year. My kids and I always enjoyed preparing for the start of the school year with new school supplies. After figuring out what they needed (those teachers' supply lists were always eagerly awaited,) we'd make our annual trip to the office supply store and arrive home laden with notebooks, binders, pens, filler paper, etc., etc. Then the annual ritual would begin. Everything would be spread out on the family room floor, packages ripped open, and the organizing and labeling would begin (I know, I know, apples and trees... ;-) Backpacks were filled, first-day outfits were chosen, and they were armed and ready to start the new year. It was fun to witness their excitement, even through high school and college, with the anticipation of new classes, new activities and new goals laid out before them. Even though the luster dimmed quite a bit after the first week or so, and the reality of early mornings and late night homework set in, I believe that this ritual of getting organized for the upcoming school year helped them deal with the anxiety and trepidation that taking on anything new brings.


You may have noticed that the name of this newsletter has changed to "Organized & Productive". In the spirit of turning over my own new leaf, my goal is to provide you with organizing tips and tools not only for your home, but for your office and productivity as well. Hopefully, I can help you make the most of your space and time so that you can focus on doing more of what you enjoy in a space where you can thrive!  


Getting organized is the first step towards taking on new challenges and attaining new goals. Turn over a new leaf and start your own yearly ritual this fall.  

Make a change.  

Tackle an organizing project in your home or office.  

Attend an organizing workshop.  

By the time the leaves fall, you'll have more space, more time,  

and a more productive life as a result!




Turn Over a New Leaf  




For the past few months, we've been exploring the IN ORDER™ system for getting your space organized. I've discussed the mental preparation necessary in beginning the organizing process:

I = Invest - your time, energy and money in the organizing process.

N = Need - determine the area of greatest need where disorganization affects your life the most.


The next step in the IN ORDER™ system begins the actual physical process of organizing. O stands for "Organize", but in a very specific way. You will need to take all items in the space (yes, every single thing) and organize them into categories, sorting things like with like. Why every single item? Until you know exactly what you have and how much of it you have, it will be impossible to decide where to keep it. It's also crucial to find out exactly what's in that space (you never know what you may find!) As you pick up each item, whether it's an article of clothing, a kitchen utensil, a book, or a piece of paper, you need to decide in what category it belongs  and place it with other items in the same category.


For example:

In a clothes closet, categories may include: pants, shirts, jackets, dresses, etc.

In a kitchen, categories may include: items used every day, items used a few times a month, items used once or twice a year.

For office or household paperwork: categories may include financial, medical, insurance, car, leisure activities, etc.


For this step in the organizing process, you don't need special containers. Don't buy anything. Use whatever containers you have - laundry baskets, old boxes, plastic bins. They are only temporary homes for your stuff. Label each bin with a post-it note so you don't forget what goes in which bin as you move deep into the sorting process.


It may take a while to determine what your categories are, and you may need to adjust them as you go along. However, the process will become easier and move along more quickly as you get the hang of organizing like items with like. Just start by picking up an item and forcing yourself to make a decision - in what category does this belong? This is not a life-or-death decision! Don't agonize - just decide and move on to the next thing, until you've touched every single item in the space.


Piles of clutter are the result of delayed or non-existent decision-making. Break that cycle now, make the necessary decisions, and get started.


Next month: R = REDUCE


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 workshopblockWORKSHOPS &


Get Your Home  


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

7 - 8 pm

East Bay Chamber of Commerce

16 Cutler St. (facing Child St., next to Tom's Market)

Warren, RI

This seminar is free, but registration is required due to limited space. To register, click here.



CLEAR™ Your Closet

Saturday, October 13, 2012

1 - 2 pm

 Learn how to clear the clutter, calm the chaos and get your closet organized in 5 easy steps, with Lisa's signature CLEAR™ system.

You will:

  • Reduce "overstuffed closet frustration."
  • Learn how to streamline your wardrobe and make it accessible.
  • Find out how to set up your closet so that everything has a place and is easy to grab and put away.
  • Discover organizing systems for all the closets in your home so that you can maximize your storage space.

Center Ace Hardware

156 County Rd.

Barrington, RI

This seminar is free, but registration is required due to limited space. To register, click here.  



How to Free Yourself from Paper Clutter:

It's Smarter to File than to Pile!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

6:30 - 8:00 pm

Is the day-to-day influx of paper that comes into your home or office threatening to take over your living and working spaces, and causing stress in your life? In this workshop, you will learn strategies that will help you organize that paper and gain control.

You will:

  • Learn how to establish a household information center that will keep important papers at your fingertips.
  • Find out how to manage incoming mail and other paperwork.
  • Discover what filing systems are available to help you retain and retrieve those important documents.
  • Be able to reclaim your desktop, kitchen countertop, dining room table, or any place that has become overwhelmed by paper clutter.
East Bay Chamber of Commerce
16 Cutler St. (facing Child St., next to Tom's Market)

Warren, RI

Workshop fee: $23

Advance registration is required. To register, click here.

An Organized Holiday:

Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday Season

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

7 - 8 pm

As the holidays approach, are you filled with the joy of the season, or with dread at the thought of your endless to-do list? When the big event finally rolls around, are you too exhausted to enjoy it? Come to this free seminar and you will:

  • Learn some holiday organizing tips and strategies that will decrease your anxiety and increase your productivity.
  • Set up a plan to organize your holiday to-do list.
  • Systemize your gift purchasing and giving.
Let me help you create a memorable, stress-free holiday season!

East Bay Chamber of Commerce

16 Cutler St. (facing Child St., next to Tom's Market)

Warren, RI

This seminar is free, but registration is required due to limited space. To register, click here.  



FREE Electronics & E-Waste Recycling

(to benefit Big Brothers of RI) 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

9 am - 1 pm 

3300 Pawtucket Ave. 

E. Providence, RI
For details, go to Big Brothers of RI


In order, in joy, 



Lisa S. Griffith
The Organized Way
Organizing Specialist/Speaker 
Office: (401) 289-0042
Mobile: (401) 529-1674 
Website: www.organizedway.com  View our profile on LinkedIn  Find us on Facebook