Organized & Productive 
February, 2013


Lisa S. Griffith
Lisa S. Griffith 
I recently received a monthly organizing newsletter from office supply company Smead entitled, "It's so easy to fall in love...with organizing!" I chuckled to myself, thinking that there aren't very many of us around who can really say with a straight face that they "love" organizing! For some, it's a necessary, somewhat tedious chore. For others, it's a stress-inducing, overwhelming, negative force in their lives. Wherever you are on the "organizing love" spectrum, I hope you take a few minutes on this day that celebrates love of all kinds to tell those important people in your life how much they mean to you. Resist the pressure to spend, spend, spend on symbols of love, like flowers, candy, and stuffed animals. Instead, take a few minutes to pick up the phone, write a card, or look into your loved one's eyes and really tell them that they matter, that they are important to you, and that their presence in your life makes it better. Flowers die, candy ends up on your hips, and stuff just fills up your spaces and is forgotten, but sincere, heartfelt words are remembered forever.

I wish you a day filled with love, light, and laughter with those you love!



Change Is Good -
You Go First! 


 If you've been working your way through the IN ORDER™ organizing process with me for the last several months, you have:

  • Made the commitment to INVEST  your time, energy and money in the organizing process.
  • Established the area of greatest NEED for organization.
  • ORGANIZED all items in the space, like with like.
  • REDUCED what you decided to keep.
  • DESIGNATED a home for every item in your space.
  • ENCLOSED all items in an appropriate container.

Your space is beautiful - clean, spacious and organized. You can find exactly what you need when you need it. So, you're finally finished, right? Not so fast, bucko! While getting organized requires all of the above, staying organized requires just a bit more. The last step in the IN ORDER™ organizational system is:



Keeping your space organized requires a long-term commitment to maintenance. You may spend a great deal of time and energy getting your space into organized perfection, but if you continue with the old habits that caused the disorganization to begin with, in a very short time you will find yourself back where you started. Staying organized requires RE-VISITING your space and its organizational systems on a regular basis. While this may sound daunting and time-consuming, in reality it only takes a few minutes each day, slightly longer once a week, and a few monthly and yearly updates to keep any space organized. Now that you have pared down your papers and possessions and designated a specific home for every single item, putting things back where they "live" only takes a few seconds. Sorting the mail each day, hanging clothing up, putting toys away, getting dishes back into the cabinets only takes a few minutes each time. Yet, it keeps your space organized and enables you to find what you need when you need it the next time.


As you put things away in their designated home, take note of what items are used on a regular basis and what items are not. Set up a "Donation Station" - a large basket or box in an out-of-the-way corner or closet. This is the home for items that have been outgrown or have been replaced with an updated or new version, or are simply not relevant to your life the way you currently live it. When the "Station" is full, drop off the contents at your local charity. (Remember to only donate items that can be of real use to others - if it's broken, stained, or otherwise unusable, just throw it out!)


A regular organizing maintenance program might look like this: 



  • Sort incoming mail, discarding junk and putting papers that require action and filing in a designated spot.
  • Update your calendar and to-do list.
  • Hang up clothing or place in hamper and put accessories away.
  • Clean up the kitchen, putting dishes and other utensils away.
  • If you have children, a before-bed toy clean-up not only keeps your home organized, but teaches them good organizing habits, as well.


  • Take action as necessary on pending paperwork, file any paperwork that needs to be saved.
  • Put away clean laundry (you may do laundry more than once a week if you have a large family - make sure it all gets put away at least once a week!)
  • Walk through your home with a basket or bin and gather up any items that are not in their designated "homes" and put them away in their proper place. This should be a family-wide task, not just mom's responsibility!


  • Assess your desktop/countertop, closets and other storage spaces and remove any paper or other items that no longer remain useful in your life as you live it today.
  • Take any items that have accumulated in your Donation Station to your favorite charity.


  • Clean out your paper and electronic files - keeping in mind that 80% of what we file away never sees the light of day again!
  • Take a good, hard look at the organizational systems you currently have in place. Are they still working? Are they easy to maintain? Has your life changed in any way since you put that system into place (new job, new baby, new home?) If the system is not working, or is too burdensome to maintain, you will need to RE-VISIT it and spend a little bit of time re-working it so it does fit your lifestyle. Organization systems are not set in stone. They need to be flexible and individual, changing with you as you change.


Staying organized requires a commitment to changing old habits. Yes, change is hard! (You know what they say: "Change is good. YOU go first!") But taking just a little bit of time to maintain your systems each day pays off handsomely in the long run. It requires much less time to invest a few minutes each day staying organized than it does to dedicate enormous chunks of time undoing disorganization. You've already done that - probably more than once, right? Letting it go, and go, and go, until it all becomes overwhelming again? Why not try a new way? Once you get there, make that investment to stay there. Think of the time and money you will save. Think about how good it feels to have the stress of disorganization removed from your life. That feeling can be yours forever if you make that commitment to change those old ways and follow the IN ORDER™ system!


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Organized & Productive



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Women's Winter
(presented by W.E.B.O.N.D. - Women's Empowerment Business Owners Networking Development)   
Every Tuesday in Jan. - March 

 12:00 - 1:00 pm  

 (Weekly Brown Bag Lunch with 

20 minute speaker/discussion/networking)

Lisa wlll speak on March 12th on
"Organize Your Way to Happiness in 5 Easy Steps!"

For more information on other speakers, monthly topics and registration, go to: East Bay Chamber  and  W.E.B.O.N.D. Facebook page


East Bay Chamber of Commerce
16 Cutler St.  (facing Child St., next to Tom's Market)

Warren, 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