The HAINES System

Posted on April 22, 2014 by Tanya

Next week, we are unveiling The HAINES System while at a seminar with Barbara Hemphill. This free event is to offer to our community some ideas for home organizing as well as to share a workbook for gathering, organizing, and maintaining all your important documents. We all need to complete our advance directives and that is what April 16th is always about – National Healthcare Decisions Day. It is the day after taxes because, after all:

Benjamin Franklin was so right when he said “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

The HAINES System is designed as a simple yet comprehensive way to guide you through collecting all your important documents and storing them in a safe way that others can get to them when they are needed. HAINES stands for Having All Important Notes Executed and Secured and is named after my GG (Great Granddad), Frederick Haines Schmitz who died last November at the age of 93. Together with my sister, Julie, we have compiled all we could in a way that makes sense and allows you to leave a real gift to those you love.

What’s Your Score?

Posted on April 21, 2014 by Tanya

Have you ever wondered what your score for organization is? Maybe you assume it is very low and don’t give yourself enough credit for what you actually can do well. Or, you think you are organized, but really you are missing some important events or forget to pay a bill or prepare for a meeting. All of these can cause you to lose sleep and money. In this economy, no one needs to be losing either.

Check out this webpage for the Productive Environment Scorecards. They are short and easy to complete. Find out what you may need some help with. Then search my blogs for an answer or email me. It may be a very simple “fix” that once implemented will help you tremendously.  Often we just need someone from the outside to look in and see our lives and activities more clearly.

Let me know how your score comes out and what you think about it. Be sure to complete the narrative question at the end, too! Thanks for taking the time to improve your productivity and reduce your stress so you can better enjoy your life!

Ready for Tax Day?

Posted on April 14, 2014 by Tanya

It’s that time again! Yes, April 15th. Tax Day. This is typically NOT a fun process for most people. But, it does not have to be so incredibly painful. There are steps you can take that will minimize the great paper shuffle at the beginning of each year. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. keep a file folder labeled “Taxes 20____” on top of your desk or in your home “command center”
  2. throughout the year, every paper that may have to do with your taxes (property tax, medical receipts, bank papers…) drop in there
  3. every few months, flip through the file and get the papers in a little better order by grouping them (tax payments, medical bills, W-2s, donations…)
  4. for the more adventurous, try using a simple Excel spreadsheet or use your calendar to track your mileage for non-reimbursed expenses, volunteer travel, medical travel out of the area…)

These are not overwhelming tasks, but they can make a huge difference come the new year. This can help you and your tax preparer and lessen the stress with this fateful annual date we all have.

Let me know your ideas. What works for you? Do you have a simple tool or task that makes tax season easier for you? Please share so everyone can benefit!

Organize in Style!

Posted on April 12, 2014 by Tanya

No one ever said that to be organized you need to be boring! Since I love all things pretty and all my things to be organized, I have finally found at least one way to combine them. I am using Thirty-One products to keep my things in order, but in a style I can embrace.

The Fold ‘N File in the Organizing Utility Tote (with my files labeled). This one stays in my car:

Fold 'n File in the Organizing Tote


The Zip-Top Organizing Utility Tote for my day-to-day bag with my laptop and files for work:




Zip-Top Organizing Utility Tote


Hang-Up Home Organizer I am using in my office:



Hang-Up Home Organizer


Clearly, there are a number of ways to stay organized and to do so in style! I will place your order and then deliver it to you with some coaching on how to best use it. If you want some recommendations on how you can be structured and stylin’, let me know!