October 2012

From Rita Emmett
Author of The Procrastinator's Handbook and
The Clutter-Busting Handbook

That which the fool does in the end, the wise man does in the beginning - R.C. Tench

If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.
--- Anonymous

Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.
--- William James,

Message from Rita

Dear Perceptive Readers,
Last month we listed 22 tips for getting rid of paper clutter, and many of you wrote to share your ideas and tips with us. Also, the first two below very strongly urged a correction, and I am amazed that I didn't think of it myself. SO this month our Tip Sheet is authored entirely by our Perceptive Readers. Here's the first one.

Rita (Dahlink),
A correction please to number three - FEED YOUR WASTEBASKET. Please add RECYCLE BIN!!!
Tom Howat

On #3 please add "or recycle bin." Sorry, I'm a nut about it.
Another hint about magazines, for those who hate to THROW them away: Send the magazines to nursing homes. The people there read them over and over.
Suzanne LeBeau

Here are several tips from Perceptive Reader Kim from Switzerland
1 - I just bought myself a simple envelop holder, you know, one that looks just like a napkin holder except that it says MAIL on it! When I come home from work I pick up the mail from my mailbox and I go through it right away as you recommend and toss everything that I can. But there are things that I need to go through more closely. Bills I stash right away in my "to pay" bin which I handle when I make payments. But the rest, I don't always want to deal with right away but at least it's neat in a corner and doesn't take up half of my kitchen counter! It's so simple and has already made my life so much easier.

2 - I created a folder to store magazine articles. When I've finished reading a magazine I cut out the articles I want and put it in my folder. Then I throw the rest. This allows me to get rid of all the extra unnecessary pages AND advertisments in the magazine and have only one folder (for the moment at least) with the articles I will actually use. I have separated it in sections of Sports, Cooking recipes, Inspiration, etc.... It saves up a LOT of space and allows me to get rid of all these magazines hanging around. And I only have 1 subscription. ; )

Hi Rita, Here are some ideas to avoid paper clutter: (I live in Sweden and have no idea how this applies to other countries.)

- Share your newspaper with a friend or eighbour. Split the cost and save paper. The same can be done with subscriptions to magazines.

- Here at my local libraries there is an option when you use your card to NOT have a receipt of your books. That is because the system they use is on-line and you see what you have there as well as reserve books. Of course some want to have a receipt to remember when to return their book(s) but in my case I do without.

- I don't know if this has happened in the US yet but here in Sweden there's a change with offering people receipts. By law a shop has to and if you shop all day you quickly add up small notes you probably throw away later. Now there are starting to be sites and companies which will offer to send your receipt to your cell phone electronically - of course the store needs to be signed up so it's a part of the program and I'm not sure it's happened yet on many places.

- I'm not sure what they are called in the US but there are some big companies which collect addresses you can write to and ask they don't send you junk mail or credit card offers. Most junk mail here is delivered not by mail but by people walking with small carts and if you have a sign on your door or mailbox saying "no junkmail please" they are to respect that and only deliver "important information" like the information about different parties which comes before an election.

- Some organizations I belong to let me read their magazine on-line if they have my e-mail address. They then send me a link to the magazine and I read it on-line. That works fine with me. If something is worth saving I can print it out and I have one item less to put in the recyle bin. It costs them less money and paper too, not having to print out that issue and mailing it.
Maria Westin

Hi, Rita: I'm a list maker. It's my favourite way to stay organized, prioritize, accomplish goals, and reduce stress. I take great satisfaction in crossing off every item, circling or highlighting any loose ends, and bringing forward tasks and reminders that need later attention.

When I started ecluttering my home and office (the same space, two functions), I had trouble throwing out old paper lists—pages and pages of them, on the desk and the coffee table, mixed in with the bills, in my purse and briefcase, in boxes in the basement, and in the car. I felt anxious that they might contain an item I had forgotten about, or an important phone number, or an idea I had jotted down in a moment of inspiration. But I learned to recycle them and let go.

I still make just as many lists, if not more. But between my smart phone, my laptop, and my calendar software, I now keep all lists electronically, at my fingertips: easy to find and refer to, simple to update and reuse, one click to print, and gratifying to highlight or cross off.

Now my lists take up zero space, with no paper to handle, except for any printouts—which go straight in the recycling bin when I'm done with them.
P@MELA Capraru
Toronto, Ontario

WANT TO MEET RITA IN PERSON? (in the Chicago area)
Rita will be among the 40 selected authors at
IBAM (Irish Books Art & Music)
Sat & Sun. Oct. 13 & 14
Irish American Heritage Center
4626 North Knox Avenue in Chicago.
There will be tons of activities going on, including a James Joyce exhibit and reading on Thurs. Oct. 11. Rita will be at all of the events, so check out the web at www.IBAMChicago.com and see if something interests you. IBAM offers plenty of opportunities to chat with Rita and she LOVES meeting her Perceptive Readers.

Please share this Tip Sheet with 2 or 3 friends who would be interested. And feel free to use this message in your blog or newsletter, as long as you include my bio and contact info:

Rita Emmett
Author of The Procrastinator's Handbook,
The Clutter-Busting Handbook and
Manage Your Time to Reduce Your Stress: A Handbook for the Overworked, Overscheduled, and Overwhelmed
2331 Eastview
Des Plaines, IL 60018

No trees were destroyed in the sending of this message,
but a significant number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.