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EXCLUSIVE: Decluttering For The Autumn Season

Filed under: Exclusives!Tips

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Not only do you outgrow many of your belongings, but kids also outgrow their things too. Whether it's old clothes, toys, books, etc, autumn is the perfect time to declutter your life - just in time for the holidays!

Perezitos.com correspondent and organizing expert John Trosko teaches you how to use the "Pareto Principle" to help you get rid of all that clutter!

What if you could use statistics to declutter your life? The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule was developed in 1906 by Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist and sociologist who observed that 80% of land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. Since then, we’ve learned the idea of the 80/20 rule has relevancy in almost every area of our lives: business, time management and usefulness of everyday objects.

· We wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time;
· We read 20% of our magazine subscriptions 80% of the time;
· Our shelf space holds 80% clutter and junk you’ll never use;
· We spend 80% of our attention reviewing 20% of our mail and paperwork;
· We use 20% of our kitchen gadgets 80% of the time;
· We clean 20% of the house and it takes 80% of our time to clean it;
· We will use 20% of our loose recipes to make 80% of our meals;

The Pareto Principle gives us an excellent opportunity to look at the usefulness of daily clutter in our lives. Just because you have the space to store something, doesn’t mean you necessarily need to keep it. Because according to the 80/20 rule, you my not be using it! You can make the rule work for you by understanding the importance of priorities.

How could you use the 80/20 rule in your life?

Tweet your answers to @johntrosko or visit John’s blog OrganizingLA.

[ http://www.organizingla.com ]

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Get More Time In Your Life By Getting Organized

Filed under: Exclusives!Advice

John Trosko

It's not quite time for your New Year's resolution yet, but with an hour lost in time and winter quickly approaching, it's not a bad idea to start reorganizing your life!

John Trosko, a professional organizer and blogger, is here to offer some simple tips that can not only make your life a little easier, but save you precious time during your busy daily schedule!

Night arrives earlier this week. The change in time signals an hour of less sunlight. This means we’ll all want to find ways do more in less time and cram more into daylight. A great way to gain more time in your home, work and school is to look at your daily routines and find simple ways to improve them.

A routine is something you do the same way every day without ever really thinking about it, it’s just the way you tackle a chore (brush your teeth, make breakfast for the kids, walk the dog). This November, the next two weeks are important to the Thanksgiving holiday. I challenge you to take a look at your daily routines and unearth small subtle ways to improve or add to them. Follow these tips and you’ll squeeze out a bit more time each day. What could you accomplish if you had an extra hour in your day?

- Wash your breakfast dish before leaving for school or work (so you’ll return home to a clean sink);

- Always make your bed as soon as you get out of it;

- Adopt a weekly schedule of filling your gas tank. “I always get gas on Thursday so I am ready to GO for the weekend”;

- Plan for the morning the night before (choose your clothes, unpack and repack your gym or school bag, make lunch);

- Don’t walk the dog; exercise the dog….commit to a specified walk time or distance that is a work-out for the both of you;

- Pack a healthy snack in your work or school bag (so late-day temptation does not make you grab something you know you shouldn’t);

- Use a bowl or hook to hold your keys (so you’ll save a few minutes searching for them);

- Place a recycling receptacle inside the front door for junk mail (don’t let it come past the door);

- Wear shoes in the house (and not slippers) while doing chores (signaling it’s “work” time);

- Store your TV remove in an attractive canister or box or just switch to one Universal device;

- Do it now, or do it later? Tackle projects that will take 2-minutes or less and just do them!

A few simple tweaks to your daily routine can make a big difference. Remind yourself how good you feel when you are more in control. Effective routines mean more “you” time!

What are some of your small habits you’ve changed or tweaked to gain more time each day? Tweet your November super time savers to @johntrosko or visit John’s blog OrganizingLA.

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EXCLUSIVE! Avoid Halloween Clutter From Gobbling Up Your November

Avoid Halloween Clutter From Gobbling Up Your November

If your Halloween wasn’t scary enough, it’s time to start storing those plastic pumpkins, spiders, death masks, witches’ cauldrons, devil pitchforks, skeletons, tombstones, autumnal wreaths and mummies. Oh my!

You can stop being scared, professional organizer and Perezitos.com correspondent John Trosko is here to help! John writes:

"Seasonal décor are hard-earned investments and should be protected! If the items are specific to Halloween, they should be culled, organized, boxed, bagged and labeled together as a grouping. Not only will you save time when you pull them out next year, but setting up will be fun and bits and pieces will be projected from damage.'

Use these tricks not only for organizing your Halloween décor, but for other holidays like Christmas, Easter and Fourth of July!"

Here are John's Halloween Décor Storage Tricks:

· Use color-coded orange boxes available at your local Wal-Mart or Target. Color-coding by the season makes sense because the color communicates what is in the box. Clear bins are an option because they allow you to see what’s in them without opening the box and you later you can always add more.
· Snap and place a set of photos inside one of the boxes so you’ll be able to refer to them for next year.
· Review decorations and costumes for use, damage and over-accumulation;
· Consider donating unused décor to your favorite charity;
· Completely dry out decorations and make sure items are reasonably clean;
· Remove batteries from animated figures (to avoid corrosion or leakage);
· Wrap anything sharp and seal with removable blue tape;
· Use clear “contractor-size” lawn and leaf bags to contain giant-size outdoor décor;
· Use zippered baggies to contain hardware and manuals (label the bags);
· Check for frayed wires on the fog machines and electrical units;
· Make use of cable ties to control unruly cords;
· Wrap fragile collectibles in packing paper or acid-free tissue;
· Collect scary music CDs or playlists and leave with decorations;
· Store flammables (matches or lamp oils) away from your décor;
· Package Halloween plates, serving ware, utensils and trick-or-treating candy bowls with regular décor so everything is together in one place;
· Use labels on the outside of each box to identify the contents.

Our organizing expert says once you have this system in place, you’ll find that decorating and storing your seasonal décor gets done in a snap. Your time won’t be gobbled up hunting for things you thought you already owned. It will all be there!

What tips and tricks can you share for storing holiday décor and creating a less stressful holiday?

Tweet your spooky thoughts and chilling challenges to @johntrosko [ http://twitter.com/#!/johntrosko or visit John’s blog OrganizingLA.

[Image via WENN.]

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Fall Is The Perfect Time To Get Organized!

Filed under: FitnessAdviceJohn Trosko

John Trosko Organizer

Ahhh, Fall. The crisp air, the changing leaves. The household clutter.

Wait! That last one isn't so great! We should take care of that this fall, and that's why we're proud to introduce our newest contributor here at FitPerez: John Trosko!!!

Professional organizer John Trosko is Hollywood’s go-to-guy for shaping up those shoe racks and organizing those Oscars! (well, Emmys, Grammys and SAG awards too!) John is owner of OrganizingLA and a two-term President of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers. He’ll be joining us for productivity and personal organization advice.

And here is his first bit of advice for us — Fall organizing tips:

Make a Plan - Fall is excellent “downtime” season. Use this time to ask these questions: what do I want to get done by year’s end? How will I benefit if I accomplish this project? What are the resources, time and tools I will need?

Start Small – Break bigger projects into smaller manageable tasks—clean out a junk drawer or the coat closet, free up your desktop, clear out your purse or wallet– tasks that can be finished in an hour or less. Transfer the “start small” philosophy into larger traditional problem areas like the garage, office, closet or playroom.

Categorize – Harvest like items with like items in accessible appropriate places. Provide homes in labeled bins and baskets. Donate, repair, recycle, re-sell anything unloved and unwanted.

Value your time – Even at home, time is a valuable resource. Use a kitchen timer to set up limits for sorting and reviewing. Prioritize tasks to get the most important elements done first so you won’t get distracted from your primary purpose.

Reward Yourself – Following completion, a manicure, massage or a trip to the pumpkin patch are sure-fire simple incentives that encourage us to complete mundane tasks.

Fall Into Better Behavior – Put items away as-you-go. Set time on your calendar to review your new systems (also known as your organizational handiwork) and make changes if necessary. Remember, organization is really about long-lasting adjustments in behavior and not a status realized in one day!

Wow! Off to a great start, John! Thanks! AND WELCOME!!

How would you get into an organized and productive mindset this fall? Tweet your thoughts and challenges to @johntrosko or visit John’s blog OrganizingLA.

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