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May 18, 2007


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Lorie Marrero

Hey, thanks so much! I am flattered that you liked our acronym so much! I appreciate the mention...

- Lorie

Jessica Duquette

I couldn't agree with you (and Lorie) more, Ariane! I tell that to clients all the time: I am not a "Martha Stewart" organizer, to me, it's more important to create systems that work and flow and are easy to maintain, then to get your pantry looking photo-shoot ready.

Many people set unrealistic standards for themselves and end up frustrated and stressed out because they can't keep up with their own perfectionism. Perfectionism KILLS!

The same goes for creating a filing system, many people who have mountains of paper clutter have that because their files are way way way too micromanaged. I am lazy, I make my file names broad and useful. Is is an art? Yes, but you can get better at it all the time.

In fact, just last night I created a folder that I thought was a brilliant solution (if I may say so, myself!) to a pile of papers that has been shifting around my desk for months, maybe even YEARS, because I never knew where to put it.

I finally came up with the file name WISDOM. Now I have a place for all those thoughts that people send me or that I run across that touch my heart or my mind, that I don't want to toss, but that doesn't quite fit into its own category.

Ahhhhhhhh, did I sleep well last night!

thanks for who you are,


Jessica from It's Not About Your Stuff

Ariane Benefit

Thanks Lorie and Jessica for your comments! Jessica - I totally agree that you don't need to micromanage paper. I love your idea of a Wisdom folder!!

Cynthia Friedlob, The Thoughtful Consumer

So I should probably expand my system from three files labeled "Do It," "Do It Now," and "Do It Now - Emergency!"?

Actually, over the years I have expanded from there so things aren't quite as dire as they could have been. I like Jessica's "Wisdom" file and I think it may be similar to the one I call "Cool Stuff."

I also have a file dedicated to cartoons. It's small (I have a highly selective sense of humor!), but on a day when I'm stuck filing and hating it, sometimes it's nice to pull out the cartoons and get a chuckle from a vintage "Doonesbury" strip or a New Yorker classic.

Love the N.E.A.T.E.R. acronym.

Ariane Benefit

Cynthia, those are great ideas! Love the trilogy of Do It Files and the Cool Stuff folder. Any way you give things a home where you can find them again is a "good" way to organize!

Sounds like you need to find a way to make filing lot easier! For example,keeping your files handy to your work area is a great way to be able to instantly file papers and NOT have to file them "later". For me, putting off filing for later never happens, so I file everything immediately. And most of it is filed to the recycle bin which is right under my desk! : )

Thanks for your comment!

Brandie Kajino

I loved this article too! How funny, since I posted on this same thing! :) It's such a crazy idea that our houses or offices have to look like the cover of a shelter magazine. Keeps perfectionists from getting started, and not-so-perfectionists feeling overwhelmed! Thanks for your post!

Monica Ricci

HELLO MY PEOPLE! :) I am always reminding my clients and audiences that aesthetic perfection is often high maintenance and a setup for failure. I would rather a system be simple, convenient and maybe a smidge UNpretty and be FUNCTIONAL than to set up a gorgeous, highly detailed, high maintenance system that gets abandoned in the first month.

Ariane Benefit

Thanks for your comments Brandie & Monica! It's so nice to know that others in my organizing "tribe" feel the same way I do.

It always makes me said when I encounter people seeking the perfection they see in the media. Whether in their homes or in their bodies, seeking perfection is a no-win proposition that can be truly paralyzing and very painful. Most people are shocked to learn that many of the most cluttered and disorganized households are run by overwhelmed perfectionists. : )

Ariane Benefit

Thank You Lorie!

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