Tag Archives: get organized

hanging organizer for file folders made from fabricSlowly but surely I've been getting my work space more organized. Recently I made a file organizer for various projects and tasks. I wanted to use some of the supplies I already had around the house so opted to sew my own (plus I enjoy making things so this worked well for me). I did some searching and found a pretty helpful blog post for sewing my own wall organizer.

For those that are interested, here's the link to the blog post I found for a DIY Fabric Wall Organizer. There are others on the internet, this one just made the most sense to me: http://blog.spoonflower.com/2015/09/diy-fabric-wall-organizer/

There are a few differences between the organizer I made and the blog post I found. Instead of 3 pockets I wanted 5, and I wanted them to overlap to conserve space. I made the backing fabric a bit longer to fit 5 pockets. With a little trial and error and I learned what I needed to do to make this work. I followed most of the directions from the Spoonflower blog post but to get the pockets to overlap I started with the top pocket first. I figured out how much overlap I wanted for each pocket (I positioned and pinned all pockets in place, measured as I went along, then removed them all except the top pocket, #1). I basted the sides of pocket #1 first, then stitched along the bottom only between the two folded sides, being careful not to stitch over the gussets. Then I added one pocket at a time, following a similar procedure to how I attached pocket #1. I placed one pocket at a time. The folded gussets tucked nicely into each other as I overlapped each pocket.

The other difference is that I didn't have any grommets large enough so instead I used a bit of the bias tape to create a loop at the top. I did 2 rows of stitching to reinforce the attachment of the loop to the backing.

To hang my folder organizer, I just use a picture hanger.

I like it. I did have to purchase a few items to complete the project (the bias tape, and the extra stiff interfacing, but I did manage to use what I already had for the majority of the organizer). It's a welcome addition of bright color in these dreary winter months. Plus the 5 different colored pockets allow me to organize projects by their urgency. Red being projects with closer deadlines, and blue/purple being tasks to do as I have time but aren't urgent. And of course the folders have titles that I can read from across the room, I'm just not showing them in the photo.

If you need something to organize your work, and you're not into making your own thing, some keywords I used to find options were: wall organizer, file organizer, hanging folder organizer.

Do you feel overwhelmed by your to-do list?

I came up against this again recently and my usual skills weren't helping me much this time around. Through a class, someone introduced me to a time management tool. They attributed it to Stephen Covey and his Time Management Matrix (just do an internet search and you'll get loads of information on it. I found one such article written by Shana Lebowitz on Business Insider, posted December 30, 2015. Take a look and you'll see how the approach I used differs).

A prioritizing and "time-management matrix" aapted from Stephen Covey's "time-management matrix"This is how I learned to use it: create 4 quadrants and label them "Urgent", "Not Urgent", "Important", and "Not Important". Then list all your projects or activities in the quadrant where you think they fit best. Here's where I departed from the standard approach. I was encouraged to come up with my own definition of what those 4 categories mean to me. I also decided to add 2 categories within those 4 quadrants: "Personal" and "Professional". My goal was to sort my commitments and other activities (like time with family and friends, or exercising) in the hope that I could better decide in what order to accomplish tasks. I defined "Urgent" as "things that need to get done this month" and "Not Urgent" as things that will happen within the next 2 months or later. "Important" and "Not Important" were based on what my current values are.

This helped me see where I needed to focus my attention most, and in which areas I had a bit more time. This gave me some much desired breathing room and helped me refocus my attention.