Archive for the ‘Paper Management’ Category

This week is National Pay Your Bills Week

February 20, 2012

I try not to look at these things as “national holidays” but gentle reminders of ways we can improve our lives.

Given the current economic climate, everyone seems to be more concerned than ever about money.  Having systems in place can reduce stress, save time, and save money. Almost every client who contacts me has those 3 criteria listed in their reasons for wanting to get more organized. Getting more organized does pay! Don’t wait; start TODAY!

Payingi Bills

PAYING THOSE BILLS

  1. Have a designated place for all incoming bills.
  2. Decide on a schedule to pay bills and stick to your schedule.
  3. Have a place to pay your bills. Have everything in one place to streamline your bill-paying process: checks, pen and pencil, a calculator or calculator program like Excel, any payment coupon booklets, postage stamps, envelopes, return address labels, and a stapler.
  4. Balance your checkbook prior to actually paying bills. If you have a joint account, this is the time to communicate with your spouse or significant other to make sure all debits and credits have been properly entered.
  5. Have a Master Checklist for all bills. With companies encouraging us all to go paperless, oftentimes if we don’t have a Master Checklist, a bill could be missed; you might incur late fees and/or additional charges. Suggested columns for your checklist: Date of Month Due / Payee / Paper or Paperless Bill.
  6. Automate where possible or where you are comfortable. For example, bills such as your monthly cable bill can be automated to 1 credit card or auto draft to your bank account. You can opt whether you still receive a paper copy of the bill each month. A note of caution: It is your responsibility to review all bills. Phone companies are notorious for attempting to slip through “3rd party” charges to unknowing consumers.
  7. Consider reducing the number of credit cards you actually use to 1 or 2 debit or credit cards. The rewards: less bills coming in; less bills to pay; simplified record keeping; and simplified filing. Those department store and gasoline credit card “rewards” are not truly rewards in the big picture.
  8. Simplify your filing routine. If the bills you pay have no Tax or Legal implication, consider filing them by the month you have paid them (Jan / Feb / March …).

Easy Steps for Reducing Credit Card Debt (okay, I admit it is never totally easy; you first must decide this is something you want to make a priority)

  1. See if you qualify for cheaper credit cards. If you have a credit card at a bank, you may be throwing away money. Simply ASK your current company is you qualify for a reduced rate due to your timely payments and FICO score. If not, check out options at a credit union where reduced rates are often offered.
  2. List your credit cards, with the highest rate card first. Include the balance, the interest rate, and the minimum payment.
  3. Every month: pay extra on your credit card with the highest rate. The goal is to pay that baby off! Keep doing this until all your credit cards are paid off.
  4. Every month: as you pay off your high-interest cards, start paying money into a savings or investment account.
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Safeguard your identity when purging paper

July 8, 2011

Whether you deal with your paper on a daily or weekly basis, as you sort and purge items, be mindful of protecting your identity! This is a must-have tool for me from The Container Store. You can safeguard your personal information from prying eyes with this self-inking ID Guard Stamp. The unique pattern masks your name and address on discarded credit card offers, junk mail or magazines. Use it to cover up account numbers, telephone numbers or other identifiable information you don’t want others to access.

Safeguard your identity. Then, RECYCLE all that paper!

Kespon Guard Your ID Stamp

Happy Organizing ~ Kat Jacoby

Give the Gift of Organization!

December 10, 2010

So often I hear feedback from my clients, “My best friend could really use your services.” “My husband needs your services at his office!” “I have a family member who has expressed an interest in your services, but cost may be an issue; can I buy them a gift certificate for your services?”

The other thing I hear is, “I know you helped to organize my friend. I’d rather have a gift certificate for your services more than anything!SANTA BABY, HERE’S YOUR CUE! 

The Holiday Season is upon us! In these economic times, consumers are looking for interesting, helpful, and wise purchases for their gift recipients.

Rather than buying a gift that may become yet more clutter in someone’s space, consider giving one that will relieve stress and take away the feeling of overwhelm.

  • Instead of making a trip to the mall and dealing with crowds and long lines, why not give something that is functional and useful?
  •  Inspire family, friends, and loved ones to organize their living areas, working areas, spaces, and lives! Give the Gift of Organization!
  • Contact me and we will personalize a Gift Certificate!  

Helpful Guidelines on Giving the Gift – Thoughts from The Organizer


Now that I’ve made the suggestion of giving the Gift of Organization, I do feel the need to share some helpful tips on giving a gift such as this:

  • Folks who look like they could use the services of a professional organizer might be perfectly happy with their current state of affairs. Or they might not be quite ready to think about decluttering. They could be insulted by the suggestion, which is an awful reaction to a gift.
  • It’s not unlike giving someone who needs to lose a few pounds or firm up a bit a gift certificate to a gym. If the gift recipient has been dying to join a gym but just can’t afford it, the gift will likely be received with great enthusiasm (particularly if the gift giver has gone out of his or her way to find just the right gym). However, if that gym membership might be received with a “Are you saying I’m fat?” response from your recipient, think well before giving.
  • If your friend or family member has expressed out load they are ready for change and would love to have some help, then they are the perfect candidate for a gift certificate for organizing.

The Gift of Organization IS truly a gift, but if you want your gift to be received well, and to truly be helpful, be certain it will be welcomed with open arms.

Everyday Strategy: Stop Using Post-Its!

November 12, 2010

Don’t get me wrong; I LOVE Post-Its (especially bright-colored ones) and they have their purposes, but for keeping track of your Master List of tasks, they are not the right tool. If you like to write them down, use a spiral bound notebook you can carry with you everywhere. Personally, I am a huge fan of using Outlook Tasks. There are countless ways you can stay on top of your tasks, calendar items, and contacts.

Tax Time Shouldn’t be Taxing!

April 13, 2010

Keeping orderly records for tax-filing purposes is perhaps just as important as making sure you claim the appropriate tax credit, deduction, or filing status. Without the right paperwork, tax filers could miss out on important money-saving benefits. For example, the credit for first-time homebuyers has been extended, and even increased a bit from 2008. It can now be up to a maximum of $8,000 for the 2009 tax season. But be careful, good documentation is required to take full advantage of this deduction.

There are many tax incentives for businesses, as well. But if you don’t have your paperwork and records in order, likely you will be missing out. You work hard for your money. Make certain you make time to put in place a really good system for filing, maintaining, and staying on top of all your paper tasks. If you don’t have one, help is a phone call or email away – your Professional Organizer can help!