12 episodes

Lisa Woodruff is a home organization expert, productivity specialist, and author of multiple books including The Paper Solution.

Lisa’s research-based teaching shines a light on the invisible work being done at home and in the workplace. To do so, Lisa has coined many new terms and phrases giving voice to the invisible work being done by so many. This curated playlist contains episodes from the Organize 365 podcast related to defining the language we use at Organize 365®.

Lisa believes organization is not a skill you are born with. It is a skill that is developed over time and changes with each season of life. Lisa has helped thousands of women reclaim their homes and finally get organized with her practical tips, encouragement, and humor through her blog and podcast at Organize365.com.

Organize 365® Glossary Playlist Organize 365 Podcasts

    • Education

Lisa Woodruff is a home organization expert, productivity specialist, and author of multiple books including The Paper Solution.

Lisa’s research-based teaching shines a light on the invisible work being done at home and in the workplace. To do so, Lisa has coined many new terms and phrases giving voice to the invisible work being done by so many. This curated playlist contains episodes from the Organize 365 podcast related to defining the language we use at Organize 365®.

Lisa believes organization is not a skill you are born with. It is a skill that is developed over time and changes with each season of life. Lisa has helped thousands of women reclaim their homes and finally get organized with her practical tips, encouragement, and humor through her blog and podcast at Organize365.com.

    012 - Swiss Cheese Organizing - Organize 365® Research Findings

    012 - Swiss Cheese Organizing - Organize 365® Research Findings

    What does it mean to be organized? How do you know when you’re done organizing?
    No one has ever officially defined "organized." I decided I would define it. We started by conducting academic-level research using our surveys. You can read more about Organize 365® Research and the finding on our Research page.
    For most Americans, organization happens as Swiss cheese organizing.
    You’re a little organized here and a little organized there. You can’t confidently say, “I AM organized,” because you think that being organized means perfection while not being organized is hoarding. You don’t have language for what happens in the middle of these two!
    We need to consider the idea of done rather than perfect.
    In this episode, I share many statistics and findings from our research, which is all leading us to change the way we present and teach the material in The Productive Home Solution™. 
    If you just get through the first 42 days of the 100 Day Home Organization Program, you will have 80% of the spaces you use on a daily basis organized. You CAN call yourself organized. But many of you don’t FEEL organized. It doesn’t fully check off any single category of organizing as complete for you. It just marks a couple more spaces in your Swiss cheese organizing. I want to see you get to the point where you can say that you are personally organized or storage organized or paper organized, etc. You get to pick and choose which areas you want to tackle and master and declare organized in your life.
    Coming in the fall in The Productive Home Solution™, you will be able to pick an area, focus on it for 5 or 6 weeks, and then declare that area of your life organized. You’ll work in baby steps to mark a full area as done so you can move on to the next area you want to organize. 
    But what does it mean to be organized? Both men and women declare their home organized when… You’ll have to listen in to find out the answer!
    Learn more about and join The Productive Home Solution™ here.

    • 41 min
    011 - The Lisa Glossary Part 11: Organize 365® Research

    011 - The Lisa Glossary Part 11: Organize 365® Research

    For 2022, we are adding to the Lisa glossary. This week, we are talking about the Organize 365® Research projects.  No matter when you begin your transformational journey (or when you need to reset or restart), this information will be here as a reference for you. Listen in as I teach you about the ideas and beliefs that are at the core of everything I teach and how I approach organizing. Several years ago, as I was writing the Organize 365® vision, I knew that I wanted to conduct research to bring to light the organizational needs of Americans. I want to be the go-to resource for knowledge about home and paper organization. I legitimately had no idea how to do research surveys and data analysis. Recently, I have been learning about the difference between market research and academic research. Organize 365® is now sponsoring academic-level study and third-party data collection backed by Harrisburg University. 
    Research always starts with a hypothesis — what you think the result will be. I wanted research results that showed that women are doing the majority of the work at home. But, that’s now what we found. We have started to share our initial research findings.
    As I learn more about research, we really end up with more questions. One of the steps in research is to define every term used in study surveys. For example, you cannot ask a participant about “mental health” because that term is too broad and open to interpretation. However, you can ask about anxiety or depression. 
    When we developed the first survey, I needed to figure out how to define “housework.” The research questions ended up focusing on four different types of housework.
    Cleaning - Cleaning is related to the dwelling and covers any task a cleaning company would do. Learn more back in Podcast 422. 
    Tasks of Daily Living - These are tasks related to the person regardless of where they live. These are the tasks defined by Social Security Disability and include things like preparing food, consuming food, running errands, planning meals, and washing laundry. Learn more back in Podcast 424.
    Maintenance - is an optional housework activity where the property owner makes an additional infusion of money into their investment (property) to maintain and improve their property. In the long run, maintenance expenses increase the value of the initial investment. Learn more back in Podcast 428. 
    Organizing - is an optional housework activity where a person makes an investment of current time for a future return of time. This is completely optional and customizable. Time spent today organizing results in an exponential time in the future. Often this involves setting up systems of organization and can be applied to renters and owners. Learn more back in Podcast 426. 
     
    Literature Review 
    As part of academic research, researchers look at other studies done on similar topics. The Organize 365® review looked at the role of women in the 21st century home. As I mentioned above, I thought women were doing all of the housework. It turns out that everyone thinks they are doing the majority of the work at home. There is so much work to be done.
    Defining housework and recognizing these four areas makes housework feel overwhelming and never-ending. As women become more effective at articulating their role in housework, families will be able to better understand how much work is being done and proactively decide if the work should continue to be done at all. 
    Our next study survey has been completed and we are busy analyzing the results. Learn more back in Podcast 430.
    #myextra5 
    The Sunday Basket® consistently saves people at least five hours a week by getting organized and being proactive. Through organization, you get extra time, and we all need more time. Follow or tag Organize365® on Instagram and share how you are spending your extra time once you get organized! — #myextra5

    • 38 min
    010 - The Lisa Glossary Part 10: Organize 365® Binders

    010 - The Lisa Glossary Part 10: Organize 365® Binders

    For 2022, we are adding to the Lisa glossary. This week, we are talking about ditching the file cabinet and establishing essential household binders. I also want to be your teacher to help you get your home and work paper organized and functional.  No matter when you begin your transformational journey (or when you need to reset or restart), this information will be here as a reference for you. Listen in as I teach you about the ideas and beliefs that are at the core of everything I teach and how I approach organizing.
    As a professional organizer, I used to teach people how to build (and hopefully maintain) a color-coded file cabinet at home. But, in 2017, I had a sickening revelation that what I was teaching was not working. In a short time, I heard from two audience members who needed to emergently evacuate. No matter how organized their files were, their paper was not portable.
    I am a functional organizer, and I learned that our paper needs to be portable and limited to a reasonable amount of space. It was time to ditch the file cabinets and organize reference papers into essential household binders.
    File cabinets are typically not well-maintained and they are certainly not portable. America needs a better solution for reference paperwork. 
    After some ongoing analysis, I realized that household paper generally fits into four categories. I look at my own life experience caring for my ill father and settling his estate. I look at my life as a homeowner. I thought about all of the information it took to keep my household organized and my family functioning. 
    There were no ready-made systems for being a caregiver and executor when my father passed away. I have worked with the members of the team who have gone through similar life challenges to try and make our binders as broad and effective as possible. But, because they are binders, they can also be adapted to handle any life situation you encounter.
    I created a reference binder for each of the four areas of essential household paperwork. Tax forms and kid's memories live outside of this system, but everything else that needs to be saved can typically be fit into one of the four essential binders. 
    The Four Essential Household Binders Organize 365® sells physical binders to help with your household paper organization. The contents for each binder are also detailed in The Paper Solution book. However, our physical binders have multiple pages of worksheets that help get the information from the many places it lives organized into one location. 
    Setting up the binders will make your life more organized and easier. But, it is also a gift for your family. If anyone else ever needs to take over any portion of your #adulting, they will have what they need at their fingertips. 
    Financial Organizing Binder This binder details your current and future financial information. It includes retirement accounts, vehicles, insurance, home inventory, estate planning, and funeral plans. 
    This binder was originally designed for someone to be able to take over your financial life and close your estate. It can help with tracking bills, setting a house, or cancelling a lease. 
    I estimate that in order to have a comprehensive financial binder, you will get 30% from your file cabinet, 30-40% digital information, and 30-40% in your memory or on random papers in your home.
    Medical Reference Binder This binder is designed to be used mainly by a caregiver. You can set one up if you are caring for someone else, or you can set one up to make it easier for a friend or family member to care for you. 
    Although medical records are electronic, they are siloed in each medical practice. Many of the software systems do not effectively share information. Pharmacy, doctors, dentists, specialists, and insurance companies all have their own record systems in America. 
    I estimate that 5-10% of this information lives in your file cabinet right now. 40-50% is online in some kind of medical recor

    • 42 min
    009 - The Lisa Glossary Part 9: The Paper Solution

    009 - The Lisa Glossary Part 9: The Paper Solution

    For 2022, we are adding to the Lisa glossary. This week, we are talking about The Paper Solution. In 2020, I published a book called The Paper Solution. I also want to be your teacher to help you get your home and work paper organized and functional.  No matter when you begin your transformational journey (or when you need to reset or restart), this information will be here as a reference for you. Listen in as I teach you about the ideas and beliefs that are at the core of everything I teach and how I approach organizing.
    Paper is my thing. I love writing on paper, I love organizing paper, I love everything about paper.
    But, as a professional organizer, I realized there is very little information available about how to organize paper, the categories of paper we deal with in our lives, and how to actually use paper in everyday life. 
    Less Paper, not Paperless.
    Although we have been promised a “paperless” society, the reality is that the US is a paper-based society. We are able to handle more things digitally than ever before, but we still need physical paper for many things in life. 
    In America, our vaccine cards, birth certificates, vehicle titles, and medical records are all physical paper. Other parts of the world have digital systems for these things, but because of the uniqueness of our government and our focus on freedoms, we do not have universal, digital records for these things.
    In my own life, physical paper has saved me over and over. Paper means that I can avoid expensive professional fees, and it gives me authority with lawyers, doctors, and school principles. In America, paper is the way I (and you) can substantiate claims and provide proof of what you know. Paper is useful in settling estates, advocating for children during IEP meetings, and for communicating vital health information during a medical emergency. 
    The Paper Solution
    The Sunday Basket® is the foundation of an organized home. The Sunday Basket® starts as a physical basket that holds actionable papers. But, really, it is so much more. It is a weekly habit of processing and looking proactively at the upcoming week that keeps the household running more smoothly. 
    In 2020, I published The Paper Solution as a physical book. It is written to change your mindset about papers, and to give you the practical tools to get your household papers organized. 
    The Big Purge
    As a professional organizer working in people’s homes, I saw over and over that file cabinets allow us to save much more paper than we ever in. Surprisingly, most Americans can get rid of 80% of their filed papers and will never need them again. 
    You can declutter your papers in as little as 15 minutes a day. Take a few file folders out and review them. Make piles for papers to recycle, shred, and save. Put the “save” papers back in the file cabinet. 
    If you have ever taken care of a loved one’s papers, you know how vital it is to have important papers organized and easy to find. Take care of the people you love by clearing out all the old papers that no longer need to be stored or saved.
    Types of Paper - Actionable and Reference
    Of the papers that should be kept, there are two main categories. 
    Actionable papers are papers that require you to take some action — bills to pay, grocery lists to buy, or a note to book that vacation hotel. 
    Reference papers are all of the other papers we save — bank account numbers, retirement statements, wedding cards, and love letters. These we may look at again sometime in the future, but they mostly need to be kept safe.
    Ditch the File Cabinet
    After years of helping people get their files color-coded and organized in a file cabinet, I had several clients who were facing emergency evacuations. The reality was that they did not have time to pull out important documents during their emergency. 
    That is when I realized that our reference papers need to be portable and there must be a constraint on how much paper we

    • 37 min
    008 - The Lisa Glossary Part 8: Special Circumstances that Impact Your Organization

    008 - The Lisa Glossary Part 8: Special Circumstances that Impact Your Organization

    See the full blog post at organize365.com/special-circumstances-organize-365-story-part8
    This is part eight of a series sharing the Organize 365® Story. I want to talk with you about some special circumstances that impact your organizational journey. As always, I start with helping you to get the right mindset about home organization. I want to give you the ability to look at your life circumstances and understand the ways in which they are impacting your organization. Getting your thoughts and mindset ordered is vital to ordering your physical spaces. I want to share with you some life circumstances and talk about how they affect your thinking and your organizing work. This week, I want to share some special circumstances you may face in order to help the Organize 365® community to have a shared vocabulary and foundational language.
    No matter when you begin your transformational journey (or when you need to reset or restart), this information will be here as a reference for you. Listen in as I teach you about how I special circumstances and their impact on organization. These ideas are at the core of everything I teach and how I approach organizing and will help you take those first steps towards learning the skills of organization in order to progress along your transformational journey. 
    See all eight parts of this series at organize365.com/glossary

    • 37 min
    007 - The Lisa Glossary Part 7: Redefining the Meaning of "Work"

    007 - The Lisa Glossary Part 7: Redefining the Meaning of "Work"

    See the show notes at organize365.com/redefining-work-organize-365-story-part7
    This is part seven of a series sharing the Organize 365® Story. I want to talk with you about how you define "work." As always, I want to share my mindset and thinking with you. I also want to share how owning a home or running a household can also be your work. In this podcast, I also share many of the words I use surrounding the concept of work that help me to be more efficient, productive, and effective.
    This week, I want to share my perspectives on work to help the Organize 365® community to have a shared vocabulary and foundational language. No matter when you begin your transformational journey (or when you need to reset or restart), this information will be here as a reference for you. Listen in as I teach you about how I think about work. These ideas are at the core of everything I teach and how I approach organizing and will help you take those first steps towards learning the skills of organization.

    • 54 min

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