Creating Functional Lifestyles, One Space at a Time

Was Tax Time a Headache?

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This does not have to be for 2015-Using Organized Chaos’s tax time headache proof system.

I have simple systems to keep all in order throughout the year for a stress free tax time.

It all starts with an expanding file, one “inbox” and one set time a week.

Don’t Hold Back…let loose on your E-mail

Here are an organizers stats:

currently have 33 e-mails in “inbox” – all are open

16 of those are “starred”

I have 9 folders created for my specific needs

I have a full, balanced life of work and fun. I do not miss appointments and I have not been accused of not giving a prompt answer to anyone.

How does an organizer do it?

I have taken advice from a CIA agent who has many important and urgent e-mails.

1)       Set time deadlines of looking at and answering e-mails from friends, family and co-workers.

a)      Especially for work – look at your e-mail ONLY 2 times per day.

b)      Work or personal – de-clutter the e-mail same day, same time each week

2)     Set priorities

a)      What needs “starred”;

i)         Work – Example: those that need a response from ONLY you;

ii)      Personal – Example: coupons or specials; events to attend

b)      If you are not the one to give the best answer – forward it immediately

c)       Who sent it?

i)         Advertisements and specials can be unsubscribed if you have not used in a year or more.

ii)      You can politely ask to be left out of bulk mailings by sending a personal note to a person who likes to share all of their business with you and many others.

d)      Value of Information

i)        May be important later like special dates for one-time events

ii)      Make sure it isn’t something you can search on the web later when you truly are looking for the subject.

Enjoy looking at your e-mail again!!


Take Control of your Device

Take Control of your Device

If you own a smartphone, tablet or pad of some are already in the digital age.  Use it to your advantage.  First you need to know what kind of user you are.

1) “Oh the good  ‘Ol days” – this user wants to go back to barter times; where everyone had fewer items in the first place; there was only one pharmacy and one pizza place in each town and we all sat on the front porch waving to the passers-by.

2) “There’s an app for that” – this user lives and breathes their contraption. They look for more and more apps and lets actual papers and junk mail pile up.

3)”I’ll put it in one place or another …later” -this user is in between the first two..they may have a gadget or two, but is not always sure how to use them or likes the paper as well as what their handheld can do for them.

No matter what kind of digital user you are, you need to find a balance.  All three still have clutter around in some form that they need to deal with.


First  – accept the fact your device can work for you.

Second – limit the amount of apps – choose one and ONLY one that fits  a specific need.  Sort through what you may already have and keep the one that fills all of your needs in that area – books; finances; calendar.

If you are the old-fashioned person, not using your device much, choose the few things that may do better not on paper or in piles.  Maybe you are not handy with numbers, research a few apps or ask around and choose the app that works best, but if you truly like to hand-make recipe cards, find an app to hold recipes, once you have tried it and like it, then and ONLY then, put those on the hand-made card. Delete the recipes not to your liking.

Third – Be consistent!!!!  Don’t change or switch because something new comes along.  Change only when you have a major life change or once a year check out what is new and change only if many new beneficial options are added.


I was asked; “if I called on you for your services, where would you start?”

Very good question; we would start together!  Consider me the motivator, supporter and gal with an idea or two.  We would start by talking- well me asking questions and you sharing your frustrations that the disorganization has caused and your goals… how do you want the space to look; how do you want to feel in the end.

Moving on will include:

  • purging
  • making decisions.

Don’t worry- the decision making will be made easy with the system I have in place.

You will feel good about

  • keeping items;
  • donating what is useful for someone else and
  • trashing what really does not have a place or use anywhere else.

This process can be difficult, but it does not have to be with a trusted friend here at Organized Chaos..  let’s get started!!!

The clutter on the corner of the deskafter desk

You own a small business here in the Triangle. And staying organized is not easy when you’re in charge of, well, everything. Small business owners across North Carolina and beyond have to-do lists on top of more to-do lists and no time to think about filing, sorting, or even finding your desk underneath all that stuff.
As an owner, you know you want to get more organized so you can perform better and be more profitable. Making a living is a good thing. Time is critical. Here are a few tips to make things a little easier.

Close your eyes: The very idea of organizing your normal massive amount of data or information is often overwhelming. It can be tough just to begin. Don’t stand back and look at the big picture. Instead, close your eyes and think: what is the most important thing to organize first right now? What area is bothering you, or which area do you need to access and hunt to find something? Start there and ignore the rest for the moment.
Organize in small bits: We often wish we had time to spend four hours in a row reorganizing the entire office. But unless you want to give up your weekend or cut deeply into your normal seven day work week, that’s probably not an option. One strategy is to set a timer for 15 minutes. It might be most helpful to do this at the end of your workday. During that time, focus on ONE organizing task. Your goal might be to clear the right corner of your desk, or you might strive to delete 10 emails from your inbox. Consider making it a game, racing the timer to see how much you can get done before it pings.
Delegate: Small business owners want to make sure they know what’s going on. That’s a good thing. But you really can’t do it all. Are there some tasks you can delegate to someone? For example, simpler tasks such as sending messages, making appointments and filing can be managed by a temporary worker or part-time assistant. Although you will have to pay this person, you get sanity and a more organized office in return.

Sometimes, it feels as though you have tried everything, and yet you are still struggling. In that case, consider hiring a professional organizer. Organized Chaos can help you create systems for your stuff so that it’s easier to find and easier to put away for next time.


This blog post on small business organization is brought to you by Organized Chaos LLC of Apex, NC as is intended to be informative and focused for those who have some degree of organizational disarray; we work to eliminate stress, bring harmony and balance into your life, and organize your space.

e-mail us at

Follow us:

Call us: 919-335-6062


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Here in Apex and across Wake County, students have all headed back to school and that means disorder in the house!

Mornings turn into a big rush as everyone tries to find clothes, eat a quick breakfast, get lunch ready and find school stuff before running out the door. Settling into a new daily routine can take a few weeks.

But there is a secret to an easier morning: preparation. Here is a handy evening checklist to organize your mornings into bliss. (Or at least as blissful as a morning can get.)

Night-Before Checklist

  • Set alarm clocks:  Avoid “uh-oh” morning moments by setting alarm clocks each night for each family member who has one. Older children can set their own, but may need a reminder.
  • Pack lunch:  This is optional, but when you’re running late and can’t find the lunch meat, packing a good lunch is an easy problem when the alternative is to throw money for junk food. Save time and eat healthier by packing or at least planning lunches the day or night before.
  • Lay out and choose clothes for the morning:  Children sometimes struggle deciding what to wear each day. (Heck, some of us adults struggle, too.) Deciding in advance what to wear will save you the mismatch moments and the sullen arguments.
  • Paper check:  Are permission slips signed? Is the homework done? Is the backpack full of the correct books and homework and it is parked by the door?
  • Schedule Check: Who has after-school activities? Is the main caregiver working late? Make sure the next day’s events are accounted for and transportation is available.
  • What’s for dinner?:  Most people hate planning meals, but knowing what you will make and whether you have all the ingredients will save time and the cost of extra trips out to restaurants and fast food places.

Bonus pro organizing tip: Create morning checklists for each child and hold them accountable to stay on track. Use pictures for small children, reminding them to wash, dress, eat breakfast, brush teeth and make sure items are ready for school.

Share: What’s on your daily checklist?


This blog post is brought to you by Organized Chaos LLC of Apex, NC as is intended to be informative and focused for those who have some degree of organizational disarray; we work to eliminate stress, bring harmony and balance into your life, and organize your space.

e-mail us at

Follow us:

Call us: 919-335-6062



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