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How to Let Your Piles Expire
Kacy Paide

One of my first memories of organizing must have been from elementary school when I was helping my parents organize the basement.  We always joke that my dad has any electrical doo-dad you can think of “in stock.”  He’s an electrical engineer and collects HAM radio and computer parts the way I collect mechanical pencils and click erasers.  I had come across a box of computer cooling fans that he wasn’t ready to part with.
Even back then I not only organized just for fun…

but knew when to pick my battles.  It wasn’t the time to change his mind, so I decided to tack an expiration date on the box.  The date was for 6 months out.  I told him that if I found those fans past their expiration date and he hadn’t touched them, they would disappear.  A deal was struck.  The date came and the box was still untouched on the shelf so he let me have the pleasure of donating them.
I believe our things can “expire” much like food in the fridge.  Refrigerators are perhaps the easiest part of the house to clean because the expiration dates do the deciding for us.  If you have a pile, drawer, or file that you are not ready to part with or sort, assign it an expiration date.  Shouldn’t your office literally be fresh? Firmly agree that if the date comes and it is still untouched, toss it as if it were rotten–because it is.

This week’s homework:
– Can you toss anything in your office is “rotten” and has “expired”?
– What stash needs an expiration date so your future self can swiftly decide when it is time to let go?  Write a few of these out.  Stick them on the stashes.  Set them aside and toss without hesitation if the date comes and you haven’t made any attempt at sorting.

Kacy Paide, Office Organizing Expert, transforms messy offices into creative work-havens.  She works best with creative entrepreneurs who hate filing and are out-of-sight-out-of-mind. To get your FREE list of "100 Ways To Organize Your Office" and to receive her weekly articles on creative ways to organize and inspire your office, visit

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