I will use this section to highlight new chapters from my upcoming book on organizing, so bookmark this page for the best organizing tips to get you started.


The Pursuit of Happiness

For many people, a surprising first step to improving time management is to figure out what activities make them happy. Schedule the pursuit of happiness first, then add in the obligations and requirements.

When we feel we can’t or shouldn’t do anything we enjoy until some huge, arduous task has been completed, we can become a little too sad, overwhelmed, and depressed to actually tackle what has to be done.

Knowing something good is coming, and perhaps even allowing ourselves to put the reward first, can improve our capacity for work by giving us things to look forward to. That is why having company motivates many people to push themselves to clean up—or at least hide—their mess. Endlessly feeling like there is no fun in store is just not inspiring. Unless your weak point is the opposite of this, and you indulge in so much fun that you don’t meet your obligations, use joy to help you get the job done!

Tips for Local Moves


Have ready, but not sealed up in a box: at least one box-cutter (or one for each person you know will be helping unpack). Consciously select a consistent home for these so you can keep track of them.

Make sure your preferred painkiller, band-aids, easy snacks and bottled water are always handy.

Keep a few sizes of Ziploc bags, a few garbage bags, toilet paper, soap, paper towels, and bold markers on hand until the last minute.

Some things will have to be handled the day of the move:
  1. Have a large box ready for the linens, pillows, and blankets, pajamas, etc., from your last morning in the home. These can either go right on to the bed in the new home or into the laundry.
  2. Have a box with a large plastic bag or a plastic box with a cover ready for any damp towels you use the last morning in your old home. Label it to open and air out promptly in the new bathroom or laundry room.
  3. Have a box to corral the cosmetics, toiletries, personal care items you will be using on the last day. (Are you leaving that last roll of toilet paper and bar of soap for the new owners or bringing it with you?) This might be a plastic box in case of spills.
  4. Have a suitable box, maybe plastic with a cover, for any last minute food items that need to be cleared from the refrigerator/freezer. Label it to open and put in the new refrigerator right away. (Obviously, try to use up food before moving, don’t over-stock the fridge in the old home.)
  5. Have a box for current paperwork that has to remain at hand and will go right back out on your desk. Keep moving papers and lists in your handbag or in this box. This “box” could be your briefcase, or go with your briefcase.
  6. Have a box for all constantly used electronics, such as laptops, kindle, ipad, etc, and chargers. Phone charger could go here.
  7. Have an appropriate size box for the last laundry, (or plan on putting it in a plastic garbage bag and put it in the box with the last night’s bedding.)
Hand carry to new home:
  • Any very personal items you simply want to handle yourself.
  • Have an umbrella placed appropriately (findable) in each home during the transition.
  • Any food items you want on hand immediately, such as fresh milk or cream, coffee or tea, juices, cold water bottles, ice..
  • Any items that will make you much more comfortable:
    - Your coffee pot, coffee filters?
    - Favorite mug or cups?
  • Any open liquids such as laundry soap or dish soap that could cause a mess on moving day and won’t be used up beforehand.
Bring to the new home in advance
OR keep very prominent on move day– whichever is more convenient:

  • Have a box with things you may need immediately. Either put the items in place before moving day or make sure the box is very clearly marked and prominently located on moving day.
    Definitely: toilet paper, paper towels, soap, dish soap, trash bags, any other products you can’t bear to wait for, light bulbs, flashlights

    Maybe: bottled water, disposable plates, cups, silverware, napkins, sponges, cleaning products, laundry soap pods (not liquid)
Mark very clearly, have movers position prominently in new home:
  • Bathroom: Consider buying duplicates of your daily cosmetics, toiletries, etc, so they can be delivered in advance to the new home while still in use at the old one. (Consider drugstore.com or similar.)
  • Bedroom: Have a box pre-packed with any fresh bedding and towels you will want the very first night or morning in the new home, if not planning to use those packed in boxes 1 and 2 above.
  • Bedroom: Have separate, clearly categorized and marked boxes for clothing and shoes you will use immediately (say, in the next 2 weeks) (a) at home, (b) at work, (c) for any trips you are taking shortly after the move. (If you are traveling immediately after moving, prepare your suitcase separately and have it labeled, visible and ready to go.) You may be packing these boxes yourself and living out of them right before the move. Arrange not only by use but also by type: a box for personal items, underwear, pajamas; a box for at home/casual clothing; a box for work clothing; a box for casual shoes; a box for work shoes; a box for exercise clothing
  • Kitchen: A couple of place-settings of dishes, silverware, glasses; any pots and utensils you use constantly and might want immediately.
Extra thoughts:
  • Consider scheduling a grocery delivery from Fresh Direct, Peapod, or Instacart for the evening of moving day. If you have access to the new house and the electricity is in your name, perhaps have the groceries delivered the day before your move.