How Often Do You Declutter Your Wardrobe?

how often do you declutter your wardrobeHere’s a fun question for today: how often do you declutter your wardrobe? Do you have a “one in, one out” policy? How do you deal if you have a bunch of clothes that will totally fit if you just lose 5 or 10 pounds (and yet you never seem to lose those 5 or 10 pounds)? Another blogger I follow just mentioned that she bought something, didn’t like it, and thrifted it after a few months and I thought, WHOA.wardrobe decluttering - how often to get rid of your clothing clutter This lady is serious about thrifting. So I thought it might be an interesting discussion about turnover rates for clothes — how quickly do you assess what’s not working and try to sell, thrift, or donate?

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Hobby Wednesday: How to Get Started with Digital Photo Books

how to get started with digital photo booksOn one of our older Hobby Wednesday posts, a reader noted that making digital photo albums were her jam — and I thought OH YES, me too. I made some great ones when I was younger with physical photos and mementos (my teenaged summer at Harvard Summer School is TOTALLY well documented, as is my first year at Northwestern — I guess that’s as close as I’ve gotten to real scrapbooking), but I really got into digital photo albums when I was preparing for my wedding. There’s just so many things you can do with digital photos these days! I thought I’d give some quick and dirty tips on how to get started with digital photo books, based on the the hours (and hours, and hours) I’ve spent making digital photo albums and other photo products…

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Tales from the Wallet: How Do You Store Your Bills, Receipts, and More?

how to store billsHere’s today’s topic, ladies: What are your best tips on how to store bills and otherwise organize your paperwork? How do you deal with the mix of paperwork, electronic documents, emailed receipts, and more? I describe my own record keeping system below, but I thought it’d be fun to see what other people do… 

I was 15 or so the first time I remember my parents talking about how to store bills, receipts, and other kinds of paperwork. By that point I already had savings accounts, and my mother also opened some early credit cards for me at various stores (thank you, Mom!) to start building my credit report. But it was probably when I got my first job that we actually sat down and started to talk about how to store bills, as well as other record keeping tips. Back then, my parents gave me a big subdivided redweld and suggested that each entity that I got bills and statements from should get its own little pocket. So my bank statements went in one pocket, my lifeguarding check receipts went in another pocket, and then my Gap card statements (or wherever) went in a third pocket. It was all very, very organized. Oh, and every time I made a deposit at my bank (or a withdrawal) I was supposed to enter it in the little checkbook register.

These days, I’ve backslid pretty far from that initial system for record keeping — but it works for me and my family. Here’s how I store my bills (both electronic and paper):

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How to Schedule Repeating Tasks

As the New Year starts, I thought it might be fun to talk about how to schedule repeating tasks — specifically, what yearly things do you do, or have built in to your year (month? quarter?) so that you can help stay on top of all the various tasks that build up, whether for your personal life, career development, job search, or more?

I think it all started with the “year in review” posts I’ve been doing here at Corporette for about five years now, as well as my attempt to keep on top of family photos from the past year enough to do a family calendar (also from the past 5 or 6 years or so). But the past few weeks this “review tic” has spread and I’ve been TRYING to sort way too many things lately, hoping the task will become a yearly one.  Lately my focus seems to be on drawers, and in the past week I’ve gone through my desk drawer, my makeup drawer, my sock drawer, my filing cabinets — all for the first time in a zillion years. I’m considering doing a brain dump of everything I’d *like* to sort through, then parsing them out into a few a month… but, well, I haven’t had time to do that yet.  I actually used to have a cleaning system that kind of worked like that — each month had a different “big” cleaning task (windows, blinds, duvet cover, etc) and it was all fine when I was doing it myself but I never seem to think about it since we’ve been using professional cleaners for a few years now… I should put it back on my to do list! (When I gear up for our taxes in a month or so I’ll do my yearly financial review of all the different subscriptions we’re paying for, since I tend to forget anything on autopayment. Oh, I’m also trying to get rid of a ton of bags we’ve had building up to donate and recycle old clothes…)

I’m sure that some of you guys must have even better systems, though, so I’d love to hear what you do — what do you do “every January”? Do you have different tasks for every month of the year? Do you only do big things like that (reorganizing drawers and the like) as they bug you? (What do you delegate, and to whom?) How do you organize regular review tasks like that in a way that doesn’t get overwhelming but keeps your life running as smoothly as you’d like it to?

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How to Organize Your Personal Email

how to organize your personal emailReaders, what are your tips on how to organize your personal email(s)? Do you use tools like Unroll.Me to keep clutter low, a ton of Gmail filters, or some other trick or hack? Do you practice a zero inbox policy with personal emails — and how do you keep from getting overwhelmed? (Psst: I know a lot of you use Outlook for work — have any great Outlook tips or hacks to share? We’re working on a separate post and will compile them all. Do you like to use a program like Outlook to handle personal email as well, or do you just visit the websites or use the apps?)

I’m totally overwhelmed myself, so I’m not sure I’m the best to share my tips and tricks — still, this is how I set up my various Gmail accounts (all four of them…)

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How to Keep Track of Work To-Dos

how to keep track of work to-dosHow do you keep track of different task items at work, readers? What are your best tips for how to keep track of work to-dos? Reader E wonders…

I would love a post on how people keep track of work to-dos. Do people write down their assignments on their calendars, keep a paper to do list? Some other system?

Great question, E! We’ve talked about different tools for time management, how to organize your office, as well as how to choose a great planner, and how to find a system like Getting Things Done, but I don’t think we’ve talked about how to keep track of different work to-dos. My own system is kind of simple (she said, preparing multiple bullet points) — OK, it’s not terribly simple, but it KIND of works for me. I could definitely improve, though, so I’m curious to hear what works for you guys!

Here’s the best ways I’ve found to keep track of work to-dos (and to-dos in general):

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