December 31, 2011

2012: the year to overcome being overwhelmed

Evansville Courier & Press - Printer-friendly story

2012: The year to overcome being overwhelmed | GOOD MORNING COLUMN

Amy Abbott
Saturday, December 31, 2011
Everyone in my family makes fun of me because I'm the Queen of Calendars. Every December I'm convinced that the new calendar I buy will be the best one I've ever had. This is the year, I tell them. This is the year I get completely organized.
Apparently, I'm not the only one who believes this. Many stores have calendars and planners in special displays.
But according to local professional organizer Amy Payne, getting organized is more than getting a new calendar.
Payne had a life changing experience several years ago at the Dallas Home Show. Payne, who is the mother of three young children, visited several booths hosted by professional organizers. She was immediately excited about the career opportunity.
Payne, who was an administrative professional, felt that her background in keeping others organized lent itself to the field.
"I help people go from overwhelmed to freedom," she said. "I help them get organized, and more important, learn how to stay organized."
Payne admits she was not born organized, but was "forced into being organized."
"I had two Type-A parents who are very organized and ran a tight ship," she said. "And I had three children in 3 years. That caused me to have to be organized."
Recognizing that the New Year often motivates people to get organized, Payne offers three tips:
Do something. Many people think about getting organized, but they are afraid to do something. Do anything. Take just one step in the right direction, and don't try to do everything at once.
Look online for ideas about organizing. There are many websites, blogs, books, and various resources to help you get organized for a specific area of your home or office.
Hire a professional. If you are completely overwhelmed and you aren't sure what to do in taking that first step, call in an expert.
"The main aspect of organizing for the New Year is developing new habits and routines. Finding systems and ways of organizing that work for you is the key," Payne said.
Calendars are important; Payne prefers an electronic calendar (an iPhone) and uses the app Pocket Informant ( to sync to Microsoft Outlook.
"I recommend that clients use dual calendars for family," she said. "This gets everyone on the same page. Using an electronic system allows multiple distributions.
"Some people insist on using paper calendars; some people just like that tactile feeling of being able to write on the calendar."
For me, somewhere in that endless pile on my desk is my new 2012 Week at a Glance, pristine and just waiting for me to get started.