Guys, I am fan-girling hard today because I get to share a guest post from the QUEEN of organization, Jane Stoller.
Allow me to introduce you to Jane.
Jane is a Swiss-Canadian life-biz organizer, speaker, author and university instructor whose passion is in de-cluttering spaces and organizing business processes. Jane first book, Organizing for Your Lifestyle (2016), was created in order to help her friends get more organized. Her book quickly gained international attention, and this allowed Jane to turn her passion into a profitable business, Organized Jane. She travels all around the world working with clients ranging from individuals looking to revamp one space, to large corporations needing a complete business overhaul. Her method is not geared towards creating unsustainable perfection; she develops a custom organization system, which allows people to focus on increased productivity and reducing stress levels (sign me up)!
Without further ado, meet Jane.
Hi CC readers! This is Jane Stoller taking over for Eleni today.
I’m sure you’ve heard this before, “Declutter your space for improved business efficiency”. And I know you’re thinking it’s easier said than done, but decluttering your space can help declutter your brain and mental space, making you less stressed, and more productive.
We all know the typical decluttering strategies involve clearing our spaces and organizing our files, but I want to dig deeper into not only decluttering “stuff”, but how to stay organized in your entire life and business. To get started on decluttering, I suggest using a systematic method that includes not only your daily routines but your home and lifestyle, ensuring a holistic approach. I know that a focus on the entire process rather than focusing exclusively on organizing possessions or “things” will make your life and business/career more efficient.
So, which comes first organizing your home, your office space or your mental space? I suggest any organizing process starts with the closet.
Step 1: Closet
A laser-focused closet ensures you are on the way to a structured, system-driven office space.
I take clients through an exercise where they can better understand how much time they waste in the mornings in their closet. Whether it’s because they’re looking for things, because they have too much stuff, because they don’t have the right stuff, or because they’re always having to re-iron clothes that weren’t stored correctly. This is usually the “ah-ha” moment for clients and it breaks down the ways a disorganized closet costs us time and peace of mind. In my experience, having an organized closet can save an hour a day. And I know everyone is excited about the prospect of an extra hour per day, which now sets the motivation to get started decluttering everywhere else!
However, this step goes deeper than just time-saving looking for clothes. Especially for women, one major productivity waster can be attributed to the amount of time we spend worrying about what we are wearing instead of focusing on our business. We want to look put-together in business settings, and if you know that your wrinkled skirt is really going to bother you, you need to find a way to ensure your skirt won’t be wrinkled to avoid this distraction, Or, if you feel uncomfortable in a blouse because you could not find the one you usually wear. These examples can lead to obsessing over our appearance instead of whatever work it is you’re meant to be doing which can be avoided by having a laser-focused closet to begin with.
Lastly, I suggest employing the 80/20 rule by making sure that 80% of the clothes you wear are not only accessible in your closet, but fit into your lifestyle. We usually spend 80% of our time in our “business” related attire (whatever that may be), so make sure you have the correct type of clothes for your business to ensure that you’re not worrying about this, as well as making it front and center.
Step 2: Space
Next, ensure that your living and workspace fits your lifestyle with no clutter lingering in either space. To begin decluttering, you need to make some hard decisions about what items are practical necessities, what items are emotional necessities, and what items are just plain trash. Everyone’s definition of what is clutter and trash will be different, and there are no set rules about what items fall into what category. Going back to my organizing mantra: the most important thing is that the items you keep need to fit your lifestyle and business routines and if they don’t, they’re better off somewhere else.
To start, try tackling the biggest time wasters first. For example, if your always spending time looking for important files because you are looking through scattered papers on your desk and/or your online files, start here. Having disorganized files can be one of the most comment causes for slowing you down at work and wasting time. In addition, you’re more likely to forget or miss important deadlines. Some quick tips to declutter your work station is to invest in folders (if you still use paper) or spend time making folders on your computer and scheduling 10 minutes everyday to organizing your files. Scheduling organizing time is a great way to stay on track.
Step 3: Task Elimination
Automate and outsource. Ever wonder why clutter starts to pile up in the first place? It is usually because a task takes too long, or we don’t like doing the task in the first place. Take a hard look at your routines and systems and scrutinize where your time is best spent and if perhaps a task or duty could be performed by someone else, automated, or even completely eliminated. It is surprising how even small routine tasks can cause a decluttered mess because we don’t like to do these in the first place. Bookkeeping is a great example of something that requires a lot of energy (as well as diligent record-keeping) but can be outsourced to prevent clutter.
A BIG thank you to Jane for sharing her wisdom with the Coffee and Concealer Community!
Click HERE to shop all Organized Jane products.
Stoller is currently writing her second book, Decluttering for Dummies, teaching, working with individual and corporate clients, and can be found at various speaking events. In her spare time, Stoller enjoys traveling to exotic destinations, spending time with family, and staying active via skiing as currently resides in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, and has a secondary home in Exuma, Bahamas.