Monthly Archives: March 2014

Why Should I Bother Getting Organized?

That’s a great question. You feel like you’re functioning just fine with all of your stuff. Maybe you spend 20 minutes in the morning looking for a pair of shoes (yours or your kids), every now and then. You can find something important on your desk if given a few minutes to search for something. And you rarely miss any appointments.

But maybe, taking the time to get yourself organized would greatly benefit you. It might give you more time with your family. Or maybe your mornings won’t feel so hectic and you’ll get to work focused and ready for the day. Your evenings won’t leave you feeling exhausted and wanting to collapse on the couch. And maybe your weekends won’t be spent frantically trying to get everything done that didn’t get done during the week.

You will be less stressed. If you clean up your desk at the end of the day and prepare it for tomorrow’s tasks, you can start each day in a much more efficient manner. You won’t spend the morning trying to figure out what you need to do that day, you can just dive right in.

Being more efficient during the day means you just might get to leave work before the sun sets. So you can get yourself to the gym or dinner with friends. Or home to see the kids before they go to bed.

When things have a home, as in your keys go in the same place every time you walk in the house, your kids know where to take their shoes off, and your pantry items are where they belong, you won’t spend so much time looking for things.

If you’re staying on top of your tasks and clutter, you can focus on what’s important to you. You won’t be spending dinner with your family thinking about all of the things you didn’t get done today and all the things you need to do tomorrow. You may still be writing to-do lists on the shower wall every now and then. But you’ll know that you have a clear path to getting those things done as necessary.

There are many benefits to being organized. These are just a few to get you thinking about what reasons you might have to get organized this year.

 

 

Closets!

Let’s talk about closets. They tend to be places we shove things when company is coming. Or we’re tired at the end of the day and we don’t bother to hang up our clothes (or put away our laundry). Things hide in closets and possibly multiply when we’re not looking. Take some time this week to organize one or all of your closets. Maybe spend 15 minutes a day or clean out one shelve a day. Whatever works, just get organizing!

Here are some tips to help get you started.

  • First, purge everything from a closet. Wash all of your laundry, so you can sort through your clothes. Create piles (keep, donate, belongs elsewhere, trash).
  • Think about the space within a closet. What do you use the closet for? Does it serve that purpose? What needs to change so it supports the purpose?
  • Think vertical. Put in shelves as high up as you can. Store off-season or rarely used items on the top shelves.
  • Store the items you use most often on the shelves that are easiest to access – directly in front of you.
  • Design the closets for the person / people using it. Put hanging rods and hooks low enough for kids to use.

Hopefully these will get you started on getting your closets under control!

Procrastination

Let’s talk a little about procrastination. Have you ever just put away your to-do list because it looks like too much work. Or stepped over a laundry basket instead of taking the time to put away the clothes? How about letting the pile of mail get bigger and bigger instead of sitting down and going through it? We all do it. Sometimes we just don’t want to deal with a project, big or small. We’d rather just wait until tomorrow.

But the longer you wait, the bigger the pile gets or the  less time you have to work on a project. Here are some ideas for working through that desire to procrastinate.

  1. Gather the tools you need the night before. Lay out your gym clothes, gather the paint and painting supplies (maybe even start taping), gather the paperwork and files, etc. Getting started the night before helps you get a jump start on the project.
  2. Tackle a project when you feel at your best. That may be first thing in the morning or right after lunch. Whatever time of day it is, focus on your most important task.
  3. Break down a project into manageable steps. Sort the mail (pulling out the important stuff), shred all of the junk mail. Then tomorrow sit down and deal with everything that needs attention.
  4. Spend 15 minutes a day on something (cleaning out photos, paperwork, emails).
  5. Do the worst part first. It’ll only get easier!

Just take that first step. Sometimes you just need to find some motivation to get started and you’ll be able to keep going. Think about tomorrow and if you want to wake up to that dirty kitchen or that pile of mail. If you take care of it now, your tomorrow self will thank you!

Organize Your Home Office

The second Tuesday of March is Organize Your Home Office Day. So this post is all about organizing your home office. You can plan to organize yours on Tuesday, or take a little bit of time each day or on the weekend to make sure your home office is working for you.

  1. Gather any tools you might need: a shredder, trash bags, a box for any paper that needs to be sorted and filed, sticky notes or label maker, pens, markers, and any cleaning tools you think you might need. 
  2. Pick one corner of the room, a spot on your desk, a shelf, whatever spot makes sense to you. Work around the room, sorting into piles (like with like) everything that you come across. This helps you see what you have an allows you to start identifying what needs to live where.
  3. Once you have worked your way around the room, take out the trash and shred everything that you’ve piled up near the shredder (unless you were shredding as you went along).
  4. Then work through each pile and find homes for it. Think about how close you need it to you as your working. Archived files can live in the closet. Your inbox should be convenient to your chair. Keep in mind how you work and what items you need access to when.
  5. Make note of any supplies you need to restock. Keep in mind that you don’t need all of your sticky notes to live on your desk. You can have a couple of pads out and the rest can be in your closet or on a shelve with other overflow supplies.
  6. Get in the habit of ending your day by cleaning up your desk. Put items back in their appropriate places and prepare for tomorrow’s tasks. This way you can start each day with an organized workspace.

Make some time today to organize your workspace and create habits to keep them organized! Happy organizing!