Sue McMillin
Sue McMillin
Organizing Consultant & Speaker

With Time to Spare

Organize to Make Life Easier


Getting organized can be a daunting task, but you don’t have to do it alone.

Streamline your office. Do you have a strategy for organizing your paper and electronic files? Learn proven techniques on how to better manage your information and save an hour a day. Visit Office Transformations to see success stories.

Simplify your home. Do you know what to keep and what to throw away? Learn practical steps on how to gain more space, save more money and reduce stress. Visit Home Transformations.

I’m passionate about creating an organized workplace and a peaceful home so you can make life easier and be more productive. Even though the new year is behind us, it’s always a great time to get organized.Take a look around at the online posts and articles, books and Facebook. Learn how I come alongside clients through services including presentations, seminars, workshops and hands-on coaching. Whether in your office or home, I’d love to help bring order to your surroundings.Take advantage of With Time To Spare’s book discounts and get If I File It, Can I Find It? and Organized! How to Create a Happier Home, Family, and Life for half price.






Time ~ The Fourth Dimension ~ Part 2

In part 1 of this series, I gave you three indicators of effective time management.

Now, let’s turn our attention to three concepts about time:

  •  Concerning a mistaken belief that some people have

“Why are so many people disorganized? Good question! If order and organization are so wonderful, why don’t more people practice these principles?

Disorder actually occurs in epidemic proportions. It is a rampant fact of life.

Some folks would say that they are disorganized because they have no time. Little do they realize that their lack of organization is costing them much more time than the time it would take to organize.” (Organized)

  •  On the subject of gaining time at work:

“You will gain ½ -1 hour of time each day simply because you are no longer going through your work to get to your work.

No longer hunting for your work, it will be accessible and easy to find.” ~ If IFile It, Can I Find It?

  • In regards to taking time for yourself:

“When you plan a block of time each day and each week for yourself, you are caring for yourself and others directly. The time you allot for yourself does not have to be rigid; just try to give yourself some free time each day and week. It is healthy.

Your mind will be free to dream and create and your body will be refreshed with new energy.

You may ask, “How can I possibly give up an hour a day, one day a week, and exercise, rest, and eat right?” Again, you must see that time for yourself is important.

There are four main areas that will be affected positively as you accomplish these objectives: your health, your family, your outside activities and your relationships.” ~ Organized



clockThis past weekend Americans set their clocks back one hour as we ended Daylight Saving Time; many look at this as getting that one extra hour of sleep that they crave. It’s interesting to note that the idea of daylight saving was first conceived by Benjamin Franklin in 1784. The main purpose of Daylight Saving Time is to utilize the daylight better. We change our clocks during the summer months to move an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening.

Denis Waitely, American author and keynote lecturer, is one of my favorite authors on time management.  I love his quote: “Time is an equal opportunity employer. Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day. Rich people can’t buy more hours. Scientists can’t invent new minutes. And you can’t save time to spend it on another day. Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving. No matter how much time you’ve wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow.”

So just what is effective time management? Here are three indicators you are using time wisely.

  • You achieve your goals. “You must set aside some specific and significant portions of time, money and energy devoted to attaining your goal. Furthermore, it is important to set aside a little time and a few resources every single day. Do not wait for the large periods of time and money to devote to your larger goals as a family. Setting aside a little each day will help you move slowly and steadily towards the goal. In addition, it will help keep you focused on what you have decided is truly important.” (From Rubble to Reward)
  • You get organized. “Becoming organized has wonderful benefits. It brings a sense of stability and peace. Where there is order, there is peace; and real order liberates rather than confines… Accomplishments increase and all of a sudden you feel good about yourself. Your productivity on the job increases as does your sense of well-being and self-worth. Guilt subsides, along with procrastination and worry. Perhaps most importantly, you have more free time for you. The more efficient and effective you become, the easier things are to get done. Therefore, you have more time to pursue other goals and interests.” (Organized)
  • You complete tasks. “Do one thing at a time. This means that when you are working on a project, before starting another, put away the first project. If you fail to do this, your first project becomes a distraction. Finish fully what you start. Or, finish fully a segment of what you have started. For example, finish the paragraph of a report before starting another report, finish folding the laundry before starting supper. Ask yourself, “What is the best use of my time right now?” (Organized)


Now that the dust has settled…

In the last three installments we organized and tweaked the student desk, the backpack and the locker.

Today we will deal with the final place where disorder often reigns:  The Student Notebook

Stop Four: The Student Notebook

Has your student’s notebook already devolved into an overstuffed, disorderly mess in just this past month?


  •  Some students like to have a separate notebook for each class, but I feel that it is very advantageous to use just one binder for all their subjects as this will ensure that they have all the necessary material with them for whichever class they are attending.  If they have just one notebook with all their subjects they will not have to endure that sinking feeling that most students have experienced where they sit down in their class, look in their backpack and discover that they left their important homework and other class documents in their locker.
  • Hopefully, your student started out the school year organizing the notebook with index dividers. If not, consider this. These essential dividers come in every color of the rainbow, clear, or sprinkled with graphics. These dividers will separate their subjects with ease. Dividers come with handy little tabs that perfectly fit into the window separator. Label each divider with the class the student is registered for. You may even want to put them in order of the classes’ times, from earliest to latest, as they progress through the notebook in a school day.
  • Another must-have for the notebook, if you don’t already have one, is a zippered notebook pouch. This three-holed pouch securely holds calculator, pens, ruler, compass, and protractor.
  • Some schools provide an academic planner for their students. If you have not already done so, place this behind the zippered pouch. If it is not three-hole punched, do it yourself with your hole puncher.
  • Of course, you need make sure your student has plenty of loose-leaf paper to place between the dividers.

Encourage your student to maintain their organizational system with their papers and notebook. After each class encourage them to take a moment to replace their papers into the proper division, and keep their system intact.  This step only takes a moment, but the benefits of keeping their papers and homework organized in their binder are legion.

As a teacher for 25 years, I could always tell the students that had their notebooks organized.  They would walk into class with a smile, sit down, open their notebooks, and pull out their beautifully organized homework ready to turn in at the beginning of class.  They had learned the benefits of organization early, and they would be successful, I felt, as they continued on into college where organization was an absolutely essential element to success.

So, as a parent you can help your student and guide them in these essential exercises of applying organization to their desks, their backpacks, their lockers and their notebook binders.  They may push back a bit or argue that they don’t need these tips, but with a little love and encouragement you can insist that they apply these principles to their domain.  Their academic life will benefit greatly, I guarantee it!



Kudos to Airport Boulevard Baptist Church!

This past weekend I worked with 16 members of Airport Boulevard Baptist Church in Denver, Colorado.


Airport Baptist Church 15

The challenge ahead of us was to organize and regain the use of the balcony of their church which had been a storage room of sorts for the past 25 years.




It took us most of the day to eliminate and reorganize.






We worked hard, and all the workers had great attitudes.




Even the youngsters helped out.

One young gal made boxes, and we had a whole room to store the boxes.








We also organized all of their flowers in another room.

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You know you have made a difference in the life of folks when you hear a fabulous comment like I heard that day. One man said that this project had truly been a miracle because the balcony had been a disorganized mess for 25 years.




Airport Baptist Church 10



Airport Baptist Church 13


Airport Boulevard Baptist Church… you rock!