Run Away To Organize

How many of you are ready to get organized once and for all? Can I hear a yes? Well sometimes you need to take yourself out of your environment and get away to get organized. One of my favorite tricks is to go to the library.The library is the place that I went to study for the bar exam so that I was not distracted by my 18 month old. The library is where I can truly shut off my brain to all the outside noise and focus on the task at hand. I know this will work for organizing as well. Organizing those dreadful piles of paper that have been slowly gathering height. I tell people they are like geological layers of the earth. You can tell how old something is by how far deep in the pile it is buried.

Here are the basic steps to taming that paper clutter once and for all.

  1. Gather all of the papers in one place and throw them in a basket or box.
  2. Grab post it notes, pens and pretty file folders.
  3. Go to the library and find a big table to work at, by yourself. Leave the children and spouse and pets at home. This is your time to get it figured out.
  4. Start sorting your papers into piles. Look for themes as you go….recipes…car repairs….children’s papers…bills to pay….tax papers….things that make me happy, etc.
  5. Keep in mind that 80% of the stuff you file you will never look at again.
  6. Think about information that you can obtain online now. Reference manuals are a thing of the past for me. I can usually find a YouTube video on how to fix my blender if need be.
  7. Throw away anything that you know is trash and sort out anything that has your personal information on it that should go home to be shredded.
  8. Start putting a post it note in front of each pile as you sort so that you know what is in each pile.
  9. Once you have sorted all of the papers you now know what to label each folder by taking the post it notes and creating the files. Use names that make sense to you. Don’t label it “Resources” if it is  called in your brain “stuff I want to read”.
  10. Celebrate as you now have all of your papers
  11. Go home and file you newly made files!


To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at