Muddled messes

Taming paper lion is key to clutter-free environment

For those who struggle with organizing their desks and workspaces, the Jan. 28 speaker at the Blount County Public Library may have some good advice.

“With simple and smart organizing skills, you can create a clutter-free and organized environment in your home and office, “ said Mary Pankiewicz, CPO, CPO-CD.

Pankiewicz will be the featured speaker at the Blount County Public Library at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 28. Her subject, “Clutter-free and Organized - Conquer Paper Piles” will provide the tools needed for her audience to accomplish their organizing goals. The seminar will be followed by a question and answer session to address individual concerns.

Pankiewicz is a certified professional organizer who is also certified in chronic disorganization. Her career spans over a dozen years spent teaching clients in all stages of life. A speaker, author, consultant, and adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee, she says she enjoys working hands-on with her clients to accomplish their goals.

She has taken her business from solely residential organizing to corporate seminars, executive coaching and estate organizing by furthering her education in the organizing field. Currently she serves on the board of directors of the National Association of Professional Organizers.

Three of Pankiewicz’s favorite organizing tips are:

1. Don’t be a ‘Leapfrog Organizer.’ Leaping around at random picking up papers is frustrating because you never accomplish anything. Doing a stack a day makes the papers go away.

2. Prime items in prime space. If you use it every day, keep it at arm’s reach. Use it once a week or less, and you can get up and go get it.

3. Don’t forget to “WOW” yourself. Patting yourself on the back will energize you to organize other areas. WOW yourself and keep moving forward!

As to why it is important to “conquer the paper piles,” Pankiewicz says that the average person spends an hour a day looking for lost items. If that hour each day was free from “the hunt” for lost items, a person might accomplish the following:

At home, take an extra hour for meaningful interaction with the children. Finish reading a book. Take a walk.

At the office there will be increased productivity as there is no more “spinning the wheels.”

Pankiewicz’s talk on becoming “Clutter-free and Organized” restores time that was formerly wasted.“Clutter-free your mind, clutter-free your space, then enjoy having more time and less stress,” Pankieicz said. “With effective organizing strategies in place, efficiency is increased because stress is lessened and production is maximized in business. Home just becomes a happier place. Time lost to stress-related illness is reduced.”

Several of Pankiewicz’s clients have literally found money after conquering their paper piles. One client found a check for a substantial amount of money buried in her stacks. Another client found lost paperwork that led to a monthly income.

Pankiewicz will discuss topics related to organizing that individuals may not have personally considered before. For example:

• How do you know what to keep and what not to keep?

• Where does someone put something if they want to keep it and what do they do with it if they don’t?

• How does someone stop the catalog train from running them over?

• Can an individual really find a home for all the school papers, greeting cards, “someday” recipes and photographs?

• What if someone is personally vying for the title of “World’s Greatest Procrastinator”?

Pankiewicz’s seminar is designed to give individuals a jump-start to reach their goals. The organizing principles she will discuss will provide fast, easy solutions to organizing challenges. Participants will learn how to identify their organizing personalities and how they’re affected by prime time on their body clock.

Her CFO (Clear - Fast - Organized) system will help individuals to make good, effective decisions about stacks. What she teaches about the power of standing when you sort will amaze listeners, as will her “Procrastination Preventers.”

Mary Pankiewicz, CPO, CPO-CD, offers more tips and information on her Web site, www.clutterfree.biz. Contact her at 865-607-9460.

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