How to Best Prepare for Tax Season

Stasia Steele  The Little Details

This time of year can be particularly taxing – make it easier with some of these helpful tax tips:

Dig up all of your receipts. Whether it’s a business transaction, major purchase, charitable contribution or other notable transaction, these receipts could lead to deductions. Here’s a list of tax deductions for you to reference.

• Some of these transactions may have occurred online, so remember to search for receipts in your email.
• For receipts that are not online, consider scanning them onto your computer to minimize the risk of losing them or having the ink fade away. Make a note on the receipt so you know exactly what type of expense it was. Store them in the cloud in case your computer crashes and you no longer have access to your files. read more

Get Organized for the Holidays

Judy Eisenberg, Clutter Clearer Coach

I remember when I was growing up during the 1950s and 1960s, how our family, especially my mother, always looked forward to winter holidays. My family wasn’t very religious, but liked celebrating the food and customs of the holidays. There was always so much to do; but my mother succeeded, stress free, in organizing the food and gift shopping, cooking, cleaning, and decluttering (I helped with the cleaning, and my father wrapped the gifts) and getting it all done in a timely manner. Everyone marveled at her organization skills. read more

The Simpler the Better

Receiving a thank you note in the mail is pleasant. It’s even more pleasant when you’re being thanked for something you didn’t realize would make an impact on the other person. This happened to me when I offered a simple organizing solution to a Realtor I had met at a networking event. She asked me if I had any ideas how she could keep all her real estate forms portable and organized. I suggested a portable accordion file. The next thing I know, I’m reading a very sincere thank you note that makes me smile. It just goes to show you, sometimes the simplest organizing solutions are the best solutions. In this case, find a good home for paper and things. read more

Getting the Most Out of a Professional Seminar

Whether your attending a professional development seminar for your job or a presentation about a personal interest, I wanted to share with you some of the things I do to get the most out of my investment of time and money.

1. Bring a way to take notes, whether that be a paper and pen or your laptop.  You will be bombarded with ideas and new information during the seminar, and you will never be able to remember it all.

2.  As you take notes, focus on the following:

  • Quotes/Key ideas – Capture the little “nuggets” that you want to take away, remember, and share with others
  • Ideas to Try – You’re not commiting to anything here, but if you hear a new idea that you may want to try back at work (or wherever), write it down.
  • Resources/Products – Hear of something that will make your job easier?  Learn of a new company that provides a relevant service?  Write it down!

3. Bring a drink and some snacks to keep you alert as the day goes on. read more

Cleaning Schedules: Maintaining sparkly surfaces with just minutes a day

I’d like to confess that although I love to organize, I dislike cleaning. My awesome husband usually picks up the slack or I pull marathon cleaning sessions before guests arrive. I don’t like either of these scenarios and right now hiring a cleaner is not an option. So I’m making it my new year’s resolution to get organized about my cleaning.

There are many cleaning schedules online where all the common household chores are spread out over a series of days so that you can work consistently towards a clean home. Here are a few websites that I found with sound solutions: read more

Creating a Home Mail Center

We may not be sending handwritten letters to our friends anymore, but there’s always something still in the mailbox.  I wanted to give you three tips on how to create a home mail processing center.

1. Assign a home for incoming mail.  Whether it’s the corner of the table in the hallway or a paper tray on your kitchen counter, you need a specific, designated spot for the mail once it comes into your home.  Nothing else lives in that spot. Whether you process your mail daily, weekly, or whenever you get around to it, at least you know ALL the mail is right there waiting for you. read more

Meal Planning Card System

My Meal Planning Story

Many who know me well are aware that for years meal planning has been an achilles heel of mine. It always felt like it was too time consuming and burdonsome to make the effort. I’ve tried numerous systems and solutions including outsourcing the activity!

I think, as a single person, cooking in general was something that was a necessary evil in order to end up with food to eat, but I will admit that my relationship with cooking has shifted somewhat now that I have a partner and there’s someone else who might actually enjoy what I make. read more

Create a Strategy for Meal Planning

Meal planning can be a challenge for many people. Do you start to think about dinner when it’s time to eat? By then, you don’t have any food on hand and don’t have time to go to the grocery store. Meal planning is a hurdle that you can tackle by planning in advance and sticking to a schedule.

I cook most nights for my husband and me. I’m a Lifetime Weight Watchers member so eating healthy is important to maintaining my goal weight. I also work full time and have many commitments outside of my work life. Below is my strategy for planning ahead so I have what I need on hand to cook a healthy meal when I get home. read more

Halting the Catalog Flood Starting Today

Is your mail box getting stuffed each week with a growing number of catalogs from your favorite stores to those you don’t remember signing up for? Are they mounding up on your counter/table because you think you might look at them or are theyfilling up your recycling bin (and you feel guilty about all those lost trees)? If you answered yes to either question, then take some time now to cut down on the deluge before you get buried.

First, grab all your catalogs.

Sort into 2 piles – keeping and recycling read more

New Job, New Desk, Whose System? Easy Office Organizing for YOU.

Have you ever started a new job and “inherited” a desk and its previous owner’s organizational system?  It’s like wearing someone else’s glasses. Maybe you can get by for a bit, but then you get a really bad headache.

When you start a new job, there’s lots to learn. Organizing your desk may not be a high priority at first, but the sooner you organize for YOU, the more efficient you’ll become.

Your desk is your command central. You want your desk to be organized according to the way YOU think and work. read more