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Thu, Apr 24, 2014

MRS. MURFREESBORO: Struggle to organize touches all

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I have previously written that I had a love-hate relationship with Oprah Winfrey.

There are few people, in my opinion, who did as much good as Oprah. But, there were times when I liked her talk show and sometimes when I did not. And as fond as I am of Katie Couric, I am sort of on the fence with her show too.

Couric has interesting guests from time to time and recently tackled one of my favorite subjects: organizing.

While it is against my inherent nature to be organized, I strive to be so daily. I think we all do in a way.

Because there is so much going on in the world, I want my life to be streamlined and, about 15 years ago, I came to the realization that when my house is in order, my life is in order.

Who doesn’t prefer order to chaos?

Couric hired a professional organizer, named Jeffrey, to declutter her office.

One could see why.

Even I don’t keep 12-year-old rolls of film, items to re-gift (I prefer not to re-gift), or power cords to devices I don’t own anymore. But, I could identify with some of his solutions.

Jeffrey organized camera cords, phone chargers, iPad cords, etc., in a clear hanging shoe organizer ($15 from Bed Bath and Beyond) with appropriate labels -- very clever.

He also gave her one of those shoe-type boxes from a craft store and labeled it “memorabilia” with an opening cut large enough to accept most envelopes, cards, photos and other stationary. This keeps her from having to remove the top. He suggested reviewing it when it was full and pitch things she no longer wanted.

She bemoaned the problem of having too many exposed wires, with which I can identify. I was elated with Jeffrey’s solution: He hid them in a flame retardant box.

It took me a while to track one down, but I finally hit pay dirt at www.bluelounge.com. I can’t wait to see if the mini-cable box I found works.

He also acknowledged photo storage is overwhelming and advised her to put pictures in three individual acid-free boxes labeled “family,” “work” and “friends.”

My sister Randy keeps a box of family photos from prior events from holiday gatherings and pulls them out for her refrigerator door when those holidays roll around. Seeing them is such great fun.

After Jeffrey, Couric had a one of her staff members, Brittany, show her ways to unclutter digital messes too.

Couric is admittedly addicted to social media (I am not) so Brittany introduced her to Hootsuite, a free app for iPhones or smart phones that manages all those networks in one interface. You might check that out if you are so inclined.

I did, however, identify with the need for Postal Pix, an app that enables printing photos from your phone with the touch of a button, especially given that the cost of a 4-by-6-inch photo is about 33 cents.

Another website I have learned about is www.Unrollme.com, which allows you to easily unsubscribe to e-mails or keep them in one tidy folder.

Although I haven’t quite figured out how to use www.Unrollme.com, I am determined to do so by following the advice of my son-in-law Alex, who tells me to be just as stubborn as the computer.

I should find out with the coming weeks if any of these helpers truly help.

And I’ve promised myself to send great big kudos to Couric if they do.

‘Til next week.
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Jeanne Bragg, Kate Couric, Mrs Murfreesboro, Oprah Winfrey, Voices
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