Organized & Productive 
September, 2013  

Lisa S. Griffith
Lisa S. Griffith 

The gradual slide of summer into fall is accompanied by the start of school, cooler weather and shortening days. We always tease my husband (who loves the summer time more than anyone I know) that he remarks every single year about this time that "the shadows are getting longer" when we head from August into September. For him, it's a sign that his favorite season is drawing to a close and I think he feels a little sadness at the oncoming shorter daylight hours. For me, my favorite season is just beginning! Crisp, cool air, beautiful foliage, crunchy apples, cocooning on a Sunday afternoon watching football with my family, all adds up to pure pleasure for me! Whatever your favorite time of year is, make the most of this autumn season by managing your spaces, paper and time more efficiently. Read on for some tips on making those busy days run more smoothly so you can enjoy your life NOW!


falling leaves
Falling Into 



The quickening pace of school, work and home life always takes a while to get used to once the reality of September sinks in. For most moms of school-aged children, the grind of getting back into the routine of early mornings, homework, car pools and after-school activities can be challenging. Having some systems and routines in place helps ease the transition and relieves the stress of busy days. But it's not just moms and kids who need systems and routines to make the day run more smoothly. Adults of all types need them, too. We are all heavily scheduled, with work, community activities, and family commitments. Putting some simple structure into place will make it all easier and less stressful.


Establish a Landing/Launching Pad:

Every home needs a place for people to "launch from" when they leave and "land on" when they walk in the door. Near the door through which you come and go most often, set up a place for backpacks, handbags, briefcases, keys, coats, etc. You can even include a charging station here for cell phones and other electronics. Before bed, gather everything you will need for the next day in this one spot - paperwork, letters to mail, any equipment for the next day's activities - like sports practices, items you need to run errands at lunch hour or after work. This not only eliminates the last-minute morning scramble and forgotten items, but keeps clutter in your home to a minimum, as everyone has a place for their stuff - they know where to put it when they come in and where to grab it when they leave. Consider using individual cubbies labeled for each person, or a set of labeled shelves with labeled baskets or bins, a double row of hooks with a row low enough so that little ones can hang up their own coats with adult coats above, hooks or a bowl designated for keys, and an "in-out" basket or tray for incoming/outgoing papers (some great ideas here.)


Set Up a Homework/Work Center:

Kids aren't the only ones who need to have their work supplies organized and close at hand. Everyone has "homework" these days, and having a place where everything is assembled together and easily accessed is crucial to getting it done efficiently and with minimum stress. If there is no dedicated workspace like a home office, or if your child either doesn't have a work space in their room or prefers to work in family spaces, portable options are great. For kids, a divided crafts box or small tool box will hold pens, pencils, markers, paper, ruler, tape, glue, etc., and is easy to grab and go to any spot they like to do their homework - kitchen table, family room floor, wherever. For adults, a rolling cart with a place for hanging files and drawers for supplies can be pulled out at work time and stashed away when done. A desktop file box that holds hanging folders works for both kids and adults, to keep important papers at your fingertips, whether it's school papers, work papers, or household paperwork.


Prevent Paper Piles:

Having a mail-sorting station near the door where the mail comes into the home every day is crucial to preventing paper from piling up. Key components are a trash can/recycling basket, shredder, "in" basket or paper tray for papers that need action, and a "file" basket or tray for papers that don't need action, but need to be saved for the future. Taking just a few minutes each day to sort paperwork and mail that comes into your home, culling out the junk from the important stuff, keeps those piles from becoming a problem. Having a household command center, like the desktop file box mentioned above, also gives you a place to keep necessary paperwork at your fingertips.


Plan Your Week:

Taking some time before the week begins to plan out the family schedule, or even just your own schedule, helps keep everyone on the same page as to who needs to be where and when, and what stuff they need to have when they get there! Sitting down on Sunday evening as a family, or with your own calendar, and planning out appointments and activities, required projects and tasks, will help you manage your time efficiently and get more done. Knowing what to expect and planning ahead for it won't eliminate all last-minute crises, but will go a long way towards reducing your stress and getting everything and everyone where they have to be on time and with a minimum of hassle.


Establishing just a few simple routines and systems can help you and your family better manage the faster pace of the season, making everything "fall" into place just a little bit more easily!



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The Organized Office:
From Piles to Productivity!

If the day-to-day influx of paper that comes into your home office or business office is threatening to take over your living and working spaces and causing you stress, you are wasting both time and money. In this workshop, you will learn to organize that paper and gain control.   

You will:

  •  Learn how to establish a command 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.
  • Understand how to manage and keep your electronic files and email under control.
  • Reclaim your desktop, filing cabinet, office floor, or any place that has become overwhelmed by paper clutter.
Offered through the
Roger Williams University Professional Education Center

Wed., Sept. 25, 2013 - Providence Campus
Tues., Oct. 1, 2013 - Bristol Campus
6:30 - 8:00 pm

Advance registration is required. To register, click here.

Get Your Space IN ORDER™

Want to get organized, but don't know where to start? Discover the  

IN ORDER™ system for getting your space organized.

You will:

  • Learn Lisa's signature IN ORDER™ system so that you will be able to start the organizing process quickly and easily.
  • Discover how to organize your space so that you can feel confident that you will find WHAT you need WHEN you need it.
  • Stop wasting time and money due to disorganization and start focusing on what's important to you and your life.
Sat., Sept. 28, 2013
10 - 11 am
Center Ace Hardware
Barrington, RI

Advance registration required. To register, click here.

An Organized Holiday:  
Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday Season
Although it's only November, do the approaching holidays fill you 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? It may seem early, but now is the time to conquer those fears and tame the seasonal beast! Come to this presentation 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 Lisa help you create a memorable, stress-free holiday season!


Offered through the Women's Fall Lunch Series of W.E.B.O.N.D.

 (Women's Empowerment and Business Owner's Networking Development)


Tues., Nov. 5, 2013
12 noon - 1 pm
East Bay Chamber of Commerce
Warren, RI

To register, click here.


In order, in joy, 



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