Quarterly Newsletter




This Quarter's newsletter discusses a great way to get and stay organized: Creating rules and routines. While "rules" may sound restrictive and "routines" may sound boring -- they actually free your mind up to think of other things besides how to keep your home and office organized.  They also allow you to keep things in your life running smoothly.  


I've highlighted examples and ideas for rules and routines you may want to adopt in your own home or office. Consider using one that you've read here or create your own. The important thing is to find rules and routines that meet your needs and that you can follow.


Best Regards, Linda







Creating rules can help you meet

your organizational goals.  


Rules help because you don't have to stop to think about how to handle a situation because you've already decided what to do when
it arises. In other words, rules allow you to take the guesswork out of how and when you will get things done. Below are examples of rules to help you meet your goals for organization in a variety of areas.


Bill Paying

billsSome people tell me they pay their bills only when they get a sinking feeling that something is overdue or when they start seeing cancellation notices! It's really helpful to set a rule for when you will pay bills. For example, pay bills as they arrive, or on the 15th and the 30th of the month, or set up bills to be automatically deducted from your checking account or charged to your credit card.

Note: Whenever possible, pays bills online - it's a huge time saver!


Screen Time

For many people, surfing the net, checking Facebook, and playing computer games drains a lot of time. If you spend more time on these activities than you mean to, you may want to create a rule that you will limit your computer leisure time to a particular timeframe or circumstance. For example, you could decide that you will spend leisure time on the computer only from 7:00 - 8:00 pm., on the weekends, or only after your work is completed.


Putting Things Away

Wouldn't it be nice if everyone in your family immediately put things away after using? I've never been in anyone's home (including mine) where that happens. Clutter can build up quickly so use rules to keep things in place. Here are some ideas for rules to help you keep your home in order:

Spend 20 minutes putting things back in place every morning (and/or at the end of the day), set a timer for 5 minutes every night before bedtime and have kids put their toys away, hang up clothes in bedroom every morning before work (or before bedtime or after work, etc.), designate a time over the weekend where everyone works together putting things away.


Newspapers/ Magazines/ Catalogs

magazinesFor some people, getting rid of magazines, catalogs and newspapers can be difficult even when they are not current. Setting a rule for when to recycle these items avoids having them build up in your home. For example, you may want to set a rule to recycle newspapers if they are over 2 days old, magazines if they are over 2 months old and catalogs immediately, unless you are ready to buy.


Clothes Shopping

Is your clothes closet full but you can't find anything to wear? If so, try setting a rule that you only go shopping for new clothes after you omit from your wardrobe the clothes that don't fit, that you don't like or that you know you won't wear.


Paper Work


Paperwork is a necessary activity but one that many people put off. I strongly recommend setting a regular time(s) each week to sit down and do it. Pick times when you know you will be available and have the least amount of distractions. Write it in on your calendar, treating it like any other appointment that you wouldn't think of missing.


messy laundry room 

This homeowner likes doing her laundry much more now that her laundry room has been decluttered and organized.She had the room painted when we were through and now it has a whole new look!  


clean laundry room






 Check in on Altogether Organized's Facebook Page!

Lot's of new "before and after" pictures, great organizing tips and advice. Thanks for all of the great feedback!.

Please click on this link www.facebook.com/altogetherorganized  to "LIKE" the Altogether Organized Facebook page.

 Read All About Us In Angie's List Magazine!

Altogether Organized was selected for the "Super Service Spotlight" for the October edition of Angie's List Magazine. Only one company is selected to be profiled for each edition so we felt very honored! Here is a link to the article that appeared in the online version of the magazine.

 Angie's List Magazine, October 2011




Creating routines can help you to meet your organizational goals. 

Have you ever noticed that some businesses and households run extremely well? That is because they've developed processes that they follow each time they do a certain task.


Routines/ processes/ systems are helpful because you don't have to "recreate the wheel". Instead you establish the way you want to go about a task and then you don't have to stress about how it will get done. Below are examples of routines for several regular tasks.


Grocery Shopping

grocery cartGrocery shopping is not my idea of a good time and I try to only go once a week. Here's an example of a routine you can follow that should allow you to do the same and ensure you don't forget anything.

  • Create a master grocery list on your computer with items you typically buy
  • Arrange your kitchen's pantry shelves so that like items are together
  • Before shopping compare what you have in the fridge, freezer and pantry to your grocery list document to see what you need.
  • Plan your meals for the week
  • Check recipes for these meals and see what items you need and add them to your shopping list
  • Ask family members for any special requests and add to the list.
Sorting Mail

We are deluged with mail on a daily basis. To keep it from building up and to make sure nothing falls through the cracks sort your mail as soon as you bring it in from the mailbox. Here is a suggested routine for doing so.

Bring mail in house and immediately take:

  •  Credit card offers to the shredder
  • Junk mail to the recycling bin
  •  Bills to their designated spot.
  • Coupons to the car coupon organizer
  • Items for family members to their designated spot
  • Items that require a response or action to your in-box
  • Catalogs and magazines to where you read them (recycle catalogs if not ready to buy now).

If you can't sort it right away then put the mail on your desk or entry way table and sort as soon as you are able.  


Tracking To Do's

to do listIt's important to have a system for tracking all of the tasks and projects you want to accomplish. And forget about trying to just remember what you need to do - you will inevitably forget something and worrying that you will is a source of stress.

Here are a few ideas for different routines to keep track of your To Do's :

Write all your "to do's" on a master list

  • Chose the day you will work on each task/project  and notate on your calendar (paper or electronic); Cross item off master list after noting on your calendar; File any corresponding paper that goes with the task so you can find it when needed.

Write a master list & create a daily to-do list from it;

  • File any corresponding paper that goes with the task so you can find it when needed; Each day pick several to do and put them on a daily to do list; Cross items off daily and master list when completed.

Put your to do's in an in-basket

  • Have one or more times a week where you work on your to do's; Do all to do's in the in basket or choose the ones to work on at each sitting.   




Organizing Your Closets, Drawers & Cabinets

October 28, 2011

9:30 - 11:30 a.m.

New Trier Extension



Organizing your Papers

November 4, 2011

9:30 - 11:30 a.m.

New Trier Extension



Organizing Your Home to Show & Sell

January 19, 2012

12:30 - 1:30 p.m.

Winnetka Club


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