Do things seem to accumulate at your front door where you and family members dump things when coming in? What about that kitchen counter? Your desk where you pay bills? To keep your organization on track within your home, add to your calendar times to do regular counter clear off, filing, ditching and sorting of paperwork that may add up, along with putting away the items that accumulate elsewhere. Doing so at least weekly makes a big difference. Maybe give yourself 20 minutes every Saturday morning for this. Work towards daily as you will find it will make life easier and add calm into your life with less clutter. And, calm within the home is the peace we are all seeking and finding with organization!
As the end of the year approaches, think about getting your paperwork in order. File things that you need to keep that are scattered around on kitchen counters, the desk or other surfaces they don't belong. Ditch what you no longer need, shredding those items with personal information. Review medical bills from throughout the year and decide if you are eligible to deduct these off your taxes if they add up significantly. Otherwise, purge through and get rid of those you no longer need. Get charitable receipts organized so you are ready for taxes in the new year. Do you really need your January electric bill? What about the cell phone bill from Feb that is still floating around? Remember, many bills or statements can be easily replaced by going online should the need for them ever arise. Commit to getting those files ready for use in 2016!
As you work on your resolutions for 2016, be sure to add decluttering and organizing to the list. As you work toward this goal, peace and calm will come to your life with less and less clutter surrounding you. Keep in mind that you want to take things in small steps, rather than trying to do it all at once. None of us can keep up that pace! I like 2-4 hour appointments with my clients, as I find we need about 2 hours minimum to see good results and 4 hours is about all one can do at a time without getting too exhausted. Give it a try. A little extra calm is always a nice addition to your life.
I have next to NO skills in the kitchen. So, many times when I am taking something out of the oven, I'm in a hurry as I may have left it in too long already. So, I have my oven mitts hung directly across from the oven door so I can grab them quickly. When you work on organizing, having many items right where you will use them can really help!
Professional organizers love to share ideas with one another about what works well with clients. Getting out the door each morning can be a real challenge to many working people, so here are a few hint--my own and others!
1. Sharon Lowenheim, the Organizing Goddess, tell us "...you should first do the things that MUST be done (like showering, dressing, packing up lunch) before the things that are optional (like looking at Facebook)," she says. "Once you do the things that must be done in order to leave the house, then you know how much time is left to do the optional things. Doing it the other way around leads to delays and panic, and often results in leaving late."
2. I like to get lunches all prepared and packed up the night before--one less thing to have to do in the morning really helps.
3. Anything I have to take with me I put right by the door I use to go into the garage. That means any returns to a store I might plan to make on my way home, or coupons for groceries I might pick up at lunch hour. My keys live by the door, so I always know where to find them, and I hang my purse on a hook right beside the keys. Doing this prep work the night before leads to a calmer morning all around.
4. Make sure other household members are set for what they will need so you don't hear your husband calling out "Where did I put my black shoes?" at 6:45 a.m!!
5. Set out your clothing the night before.( I usually first check the weather app in my phone to know the temps for the next day.) This is an enormous time saver, and who wants to have to make decisions at 6 a.m. anyway?
6. Be sure you have on hand whatever you use for your breakfast, so you aren't having to think of plan B when you realize you are out of cereal.
7. Some people prefer to shower at night, instead of the morning. If that is you, it probably gives you a bit of extra time to sip on your coffee early in the day.
8. Set a timer when you get in the shower. This works great for many that would stay in far too long otherwise. I once met a woman who told me she never has a shower less than 20 minutes! Yikes! Trimming that to 5 gave her 15 minutes extra every morning. And, the added bonus that her skin was probably far less dry!
9. Take time to BREATHE at some point and just enjoy the fact that it is a beautiful outside and you are going to have a GREAT day!
Clear out some closet space by selling to Amazon things you no longer want. They buy cellphones, tablets and laptops, video games and consoles, MP3 players, other electronics and certain books! Check it out and find what you can purge and make money at the same time! Plus, isn't the extra closet space gonna be great? http://www.amazon.com/Trade-In/b?ie=UTF8&node=9187220011
Some people find it very tough to decide what to pack when travel is upcoming. A few helpful hints might be something to keep in mind to lower your stress when packing.
Be sure any clothes you bring are wrinkle-free. Bringing neutral colors can help in mixing and matching. Also, rolling rather than folding many pieces of clothing can help you make great use of the space in your suitcase while minimizing the possibility of wrinkles. Putting your belts around the edges of the suitcase makes great use of limited space. If you pack right, you may even be able to bring it as a carry-on. The max size for carry on is 21 X 14 X 9. If you're checking bags, be sure to put in a small carry on case a toothbrush, your medication, and a sweater, as airplane can sometime be very chilly.
Steph has been organizing for over ten years. Her simple tips here can help you get and keep organized and add calm to your life.