Janice Elizabeth Berte

Let’s get organized

Wow! It is that time of the year again when vacations are over, the kids are back to school and we all have a couple of months to clean and organize the old manse. We know what is coming down the road; Mother Nature strikes her ferocious weather at us, and prissy Aunt Flo unexpectedly decides to visit and slide her white glove across your buffet table. Remember, it is the table that you only use twice per year. It’s the one that never gets dusted. You know the one – ugh.

I know, I know, you are asking yourself where did the time go this year? I could have sworn I just organized PJ’s room, and I only took two weeks off this summer from work. So, how did all this clutter appear in my house? Am I dreaming that I am on the “Hoarders” show? No need to fret, I am here to help you with your organizing questions and conundrums.

So, I would like to get your fall off to a great start with some easy organizing tips that will inspire you to tackle the more arduous rooms, like your attic and basement. Oh no, not those rooms.


We all love getting it—especially when it is not a bill—, but sometimes we need help finding where to put it and what system we can use to maintain it.  We can have our bills become paperless, but those nosy hackers just love to know all about our financial and personal history, so let’s stay with the good old U.S. Postal Service.  Here goes:

1.           Use the TRAF SYSTEM – which stands for Toss, Refer, Act and File.  When you get mail, stand next to a trash basket, and throw out all your junk mail; then either buy—or look in your house for— three in & out bins and label them Refer, Act and File.

Even if you do not have the time to address all of it, your correspondence will at least have a home to sit in. 

2.           You can also add a fourth bin and call it a “read bin.” Most people get catalogs, magazines, newspapers, etc., that are left untouched until the weekend. So once again, the reading material has a home for now.

3.           You will still need to address your mail either once or twice per week if you have the time. Block off a section of time in your calendar to make calls, file and act on anything that needs attention. You may also want to shut off your cell phone, tell your family that you need some quiet time and close the door for privacy.

Note: Please keep in mind that “junk” mail is not always junk, so be careful about discarding it. Sometimes, what looks like unwanted mail could be coupons and free visits to new businesses that might interest you.

Janice Elizabeth Berte is a student, writer and author, and is getting her degree in sociology. In addition to her love of writing, she is also a member of the National Honor Society and is on the President’s list at Eastern Gateway College in Ohio. During her spare time, Janice wrote a book about childhood obesity and bullying, called, Why am I so fat, Mommy?Some of her interests are traveling and taking long walks.

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