August Spring Cleaning 365 Calendar

If you’re new here, welcome! You’ve jumped on board at the exact right time.

If you’re a regular, this is the perfect month to keep following along because we are going to focus on paper overload!

Paper clutter is one of those areas that can make your home – and your brain – feel overwhelmed. When you can’t find what you need, bills get paid late, invoices never go out, and you don’t take care of important matters.

Unorganized paper clutter can cost you time and money!!

So let’s take care of that this month.It will be fun!

Take a look at our new calendar for the month and schedule 5-15 minutes each day on your calendar to work on the daily task!

Conquer Paper Clutter by following along with our Spring Cleaning 365 August daily challenges!

Print the Spring Cleaning 365 Calendar August 2014 and PIN the calendar for later. 

I’m looking forward to going on this month long journey with you!

Hop on over to the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group or Facebook to let me know what you think. I can’t wait to hear from you!

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Cleaning Habit #9: Use the Best Cleaning Tools

A new month means a new cleaning habit. Are you ready?!?! Let’s talk about why we should use the best cleaning tools for the job.

But first, a reminder about the cleaning habits we’ve covered so far:

  1. Cleaning Habit #1: Tackle your problem area,
  2. Cleaning Habit #2: Clean your kitchen every night,
  3. Cleaning Habit #3: Let it go and streamline your life,
  4. Cleaning Habit #4: 5 minute pick up,
  5. Cleaning Habit #5: Put things back where they belong,
  6. Cleaning Habit #6: Wash one load of laundry each day,
  7. Cleaning Habit #7: Do One Thing. Just Start,
  8. Cleaning Habit #8: Conquer paper overload.

Cleaning Habit #9: Use the Best Cleaning Tools

Cleaning Habit #9: Use the Best Cleaning Tools

I don’t know about you, but I don’t usually use laundry detergent in the bathroom or an all-purpose spray to clean the dishes. I mean, it would probably work; but just not as good as products made specifically for the job.

The right cleaning products usually do a better job than random tools. When you use a dusting spray to remove dust, it usually repels future dust accumulation. When you use job-specific vacuum attachments, you can clean baseboards, ceiling fans, door frames, shelving, and under furniture all while you vacuum the floor.

Using the best cleaning tools for our messy housecleaning jobs will reduce the time we actually have to clean. That means we’ll have more time to do the things we actually enjoy!

Just so you know, I’m not talking about green cleaning or homemade cleaning products vs. conventional cleaning products here. The best cleaning products are the ones that you will use, that you feel comfortable with, and that do the job well!

Your challenge for the month.

This month, I want you to take inventory of all the cleaning products you have in your home. Sprays. Solutions. Detergents. Soaps. Scrub brushes. Cleaning cloths. Vacuums. Brooms. Mops. Everything.

Then think about what you’re missing in your collection of cleaning tools. What tool or product would help you clean more efficiently.

Then think about what you don’t need. Do you have duplicate items. Do you have a product or tool that you’ve never used? If so, get rid of it.

By the end of this month (maybe even by the end of today) you could have a full collection of cleaning tools that just may cut your cleaning time in half!

Is there a tool or product that’s top of mind? Let me know in the comment section!

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Practice Your Paper Organizing Process

I don’t know about you, but there have been so many times I excitedly set up a new system, get organized, and then…nothing. I’m back to my old habits. Since you have been working so diligently on your filing system, I do NOT want that to happen to you.

Today’s task seems easy on paper. And technically it is. But it is VERY important.

Today, the goal is to practice your paper organizing process.

As new paper comes in, put it in your inbox (or whatever system you created). Check your purse, bag, backpack, mailbox any any other container that your paper comes home in.

Then process the documents. Pay bills. Sign papers. Review and shred. OR determine when you can process the paper. Then put it on your calendar :)

That’s it!

Let me know how you made progress this month!

Your assignment for today:

  • Continue working on habit #8.
  • Practice your paper organization process.

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you!

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Photo Organization

We spent some time decluttering our digital photos yesterday. But getting your photos off your phone and camera are just the beginning.

Today, let’s spend a few minutes systematically organizing your photos from yesterday. If you jumped ahead, go back to an older album.

Ready? Let’s go!

Supplies Needed:

Instructions:

Start with one photo and systematically work though the batch.

  1. Make sure your photos are in a descriptive folder. Maybe something like year, month, event.
  2. Name the photos to something other than “img_ooo23.jpg”
  3. Tag the photos appropriately (of course this only applies if the program your using has tags).
  4. Back up your photos. Put them in dropbox (it’s free!), on an external hardrive (not free but totally worth it!), somewhere in the cloud, etc.

If you don’t have time to go though all of the steps, set your timer for 5-15 minutes and get to work. Then feel free to quit when the timer goes off. Keeping your photos in order doesn’t have take over your life!

Your assignment for today:

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you!

Affiliate links included.

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Digital Photo Organization

I don’t know about you, but my phone gets cluttered with photos in a hurry. I’m constantly taking pictures of my kids. I take tons of photos for my blogs. There’s Instagram, twitpic, Facebook albums…

Digital photos can be a major source of clutter!

Thankfully we’ve been spending a couple of days working on photo organization each month this year. Hopefully it’s a habit by now. If not, we’re going to keep doing it until it is! You may find it helpful to officially add it to your cleaning schedule.

As for today, let’s get to work!

organize digital phots

Supplies Needed:

  • Phone
  • Camera
  • Computer

Instructions:

Let’s get motivated to declutter and organize our digital photos. Here’s how…

  1. Connect your phone/camera to your computer and dump ALL of your photos into your photo software program.
  2. Then delete every photo on your phone and camera.
  3. Then….delete any photo that isn’t AMAZING. 

As a reminder, here’s the least painful way to start deleting photos (in my opinion):

  1. Delete duplicate photos.
  2. Compare photos from each event; delete those that don’t convey something special about the event.
  3. Step back and look at the photos from an outsiders perspective. Are there any photos that would be Boring with a capital B to look through?
  4. Keep deleting photos until you’re left with only 2 or 3 of the most captivating photos that tell the story of the event. Of course there may be a few events that you want to keep a few more (i.e. a wedding) but those are the exception rather than the rule.

I know photo deletion is difficult at first. Trust me! I take a LOT of pictures! But it gets easier over time. Mostly because it’s easier – and more fun – to look back at those photos when there are fewer to sift through.

Your assignment for today:

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you!

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Finish Scanning Paper Files

If you’ve stuck with us this month, your paper piles are no more and your files are pristine. Or…something like that :) Whether you’ve completed two steps or twenty, you’ve made great strides in conquering your paper clutter. You set a goal and achieved it. And I could not be more excited for you. Great job!!!

If you still have a few steps to finish, keep plugging along. You’ll get there. Just set your timer for 15 minutes and work as fast as you can today. Then reward yourself!

Finally, to round out this paper clutter series, here are the steps we completed:

  1. Decide.
  2. Get the right supplies.
  3. Collect all of your paper.
  4. Process current mail and documents.
  5. Create a system for incoming mail and paper.
  6. Eliminate junk mail completely.
  7. Clean up your current filing system.
  8. Start filing.
  9. Keep filing.
  10. File again.
  11. Research how to reduce paper from household bills.
  12. Automate household bills.
  13. Magazines. Do you need ‘em?
  14. Organize Instruction Manuals.
  15. Eliminate receipt overload.
  16. Toss outdated paper files.
  17. Schedule ongoing paper processing meeting with yourself.
  18. Shred.

Your assignment for today:

  • Continue working on habit #8.
  • Shred, shred, shred.

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you!

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Scan More Paper

Several of you have told me you plans to go paperless. I’m actually trying to get there myself. But in order to actually make the leap to an (almost) paperless household, we need time to scan all of our paper, right? Well, that’s exactly what you get today! You task is to scan some of those paper files. And then scan some more.

If you aren’t quite ready to go paperless, then don’t worry a bit. Just keep working though the steps we’ve covered during this paper clutter series:

  1. Decide.
  2. Get the right supplies.
  3. Collect all of your paper.
  4. Process current mail and documents.
  5. Create a system for incoming mail and paper.
  6. Eliminate junk mail completely.
  7. Clean up your current filing system.
  8. Start filing.
  9. Keep filing.
  10. File again.
  11. Research how to reduce paper from household bills.
  12. Automate household bills.
  13. Magazines. Do you need ‘em?
  14. Organize Instruction Manuals.
  15. Eliminate receipt overload.
  16. Toss outdated paper files.
  17. Schedule ongoing paper processing meeting with yourself.
  18. Shred.

Your assignment for today:

  • Continue working on habit #8.
  • Scan, scan, scan.

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you!

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Shred

If you’ve been working to clean up your paperwork and files this month, there’s a good  chance you have a big pile of paper to shred. That’s why today’s task is to do just that.

Set your timer for 15 minutes.

Shred.

And then shred some more :)

Then, of course, let me know in the comments when you’re finished!

As a reminder, this is what we’ve covered so far in this paper clutter journey:

  1. Decide.
  2. Get the right supplies.
  3. Collect all of your paper.
  4. Process current mail and documents.
  5. Create a system for incoming mail and paper.
  6. Eliminate junk mail completely.
  7. Clean up your current filing system.
  8. Start filing.
  9. Keep filing.
  10. File again.
  11. Research how to reduce paper from household bills.
  12. Automate household bills.
  13. Magazines. Do you need ‘em?
  14. Organize Instruction Manuals.
  15. Eliminate receipt overload.
  16. Toss outdated paper files.
  17. Schedule ongoing paper processing meeting with yourself.

Your assignment for today:

  • Continue working on habit #8.
  • Shred, shred, shred.

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you!

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Preparation will help you succeed!

I took a break from reviewing books last Sunday in order to give you (and me!) some time to finish the books we’re currently reading. Several of you thanked me for the break so I thought I’d do it once more. :)

If you haven’t jumped on the reading train yet (or need something new to read), here’s a recap of the books I’ve recommended so far:

If you’re a reader, I can’t recommend these books enough! Try reading in iBooks or the Kindle to stay clutter-free.
You can read eBooks on most devices using the FREE Kindle Reading App!

Now on to our daily task…

Write down every single thing that you need to accomplish this week. Then schedule those things (but make sure they’re the RIGHT things) on your calendar. That way you’ll know WHEN you will accomplish those things on your to-do list.

It will be 5-15 minutes well spent!

Your assignment for today:

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you!

Affiliate links included.

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Need a big work day?

We covered quite a bit this week so I thought you might like a catch up day.

Here’s what we tackled:

  1. Research how to reduce paper from household bills.
  2. Automate household bills.
  3. Magazines. Do you need ‘em?
  4. Organize Instruction Manuals.
  5. Eliminate receipt overload.
  6. Toss outdated paper files.

If you skipped one (or more) of the daily tasks, set a time and get to work. You’ll be glad you did!

Your assignment for today:

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you!

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Need Time To Process Paper? Set Up an Ongoing Meeting with Yourself

After almost a month of working to clear those paper piles away, I know you never want to go back to dealing with that mess again. That is why it’s critical to set up a system to store – and process – incoming paper.

I mentioned this a few days ago but I think it’s so important that I wanted us to focus on this for an entire day.

Need time to process paper? Set up and ongoing meeting with yourself.

Most of us probably don’t have a cookie cutter schedule each week. But there’s probably some consistency.

Think though what a typical week looks like for you and pick a day to process all of you paper.

Then schedule it on the calendar.

If it’s Friday morning at 10:00am, then put “Friday Files” on your calendar. If Tuesday nights work best, put something like Take care of those paper piles Tuesday” on your calendar. Be creative. You’ll be more likely to stick to it :)

I would absolutely love to know the time of day or day of week you choose. So, let me know in the comments!

As a reminder, this is what we’ve covered so far in this paper clutter journey:

  1. Decide.
  2. Get the right supplies.
  3. Collect all of your paper.
  4. Process current mail and documents.
  5. Create a system for incoming mail and paper.
  6. Eliminate junk mail completely.
  7. Clean up your current filing system.
  8. Start filing.
  9. Keep filing.
  10. File again.
  11. Research how to reduce paper from household bills.
  12. Automate household bills.
  13. Magazines. Do you need ‘em?
  14. Organize Instruction Manuals.
  15. Eliminate receipt overload.
  16. Toss outdated paper files.

Your assignment for today:

Check in when you’re finished in the Spring Cleaning 365 accountability group, in the comment section here, or on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear from you!

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