A reminder: Clutter is anything that does not serve a purpose or bring you great joy. Get rid of it. Simplify your life and make room for new memories!
Ok, well maybe not your NUTS, but your groceries at least!
In the recent US News health section, David Oliver wrote a great piece about the study of squirrels and how they always know where they have hidden their nuts. It turns out they use "chunking." This is explained as "...a cognitive method that humans and other animals have to organize spatial, linguistic, numeric or other data, like subfolders on a computer."
So, you might be thinking, what does this have to do with me? Well, by our also using this method, we make it easier to find what we are looking for and therefore can save time and effort.
For your pantry, put all the fruit and veggie cans on one shelf. Put your soups together, and snacks are "chunked" together, etc, etc. Get it? Makes life easier, doesn't it?
Same thing in your closet. Dresses together, then blouses, in order of sleeve length and color, skirts, slacks--all in their own "chunk." We can learn a lot from our friends the squirrels. Maybe not hygiene, but a lot about organizing!
See the full piece at: http://health.usnews.com/wellness/health-buzz/articles/2017-09-14/squirrels-actually-have-a-method-to-organizing-their-nuts-study-says
Be sure to keep your credit well organized. The government requires that a free credit report be provided upon request once a year from each of the 3 major credit bureaus--Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Be careful which site you go to as there are many "fake" sites out there trying to get money or info from you. The only reputable, site for all 3 bureaus is https://www.annualcreditreport.com
I like to go every 4 months to order one, or you can order all 3 at one time. They are similar but not identical. Be sure to check them carefully upon receipt and report any errors.
I was lucky that I grew up in a non-cluttered house. My mom believed in "When in doubt, pitch it out!" Not always easy, but a good philosophy!
Organizing paper, as I have said before, is one of the toughest parts of the job of getting organized! I believe that organizing your health care papers is URGENT! If you haven't done so yet, get a couple hours on your calendar for this week in order to get that project going.
I handle the health insurance paperwork for both my husband and myself. I found the easiest way to do it is to have a health folder, a Dental folder, a records folder and prescription folder for each of us. In addition, we each have an Flexible Spending Account for healthcare, so I have a folder for each of those as well, even tho we can both use one anothers FSA funds.
In the health folder I keep the bills and the explanation of benefits stapled to each other as well as a notation on the bill of the amount balance paid by me, what credit card I used and date. In the dental folder is everything to do with any dental procedures--again stapled together and notated as above. Just as in all folders, I have the oldest in the back and the most recent in the front. I'm very lucky that about all that is in my dental folder are just checkups. Not the case for my husband!
In the records folder I keep things like our lab results, test results, injections etc. so that those can be referred to later. In the prescription folder obviously I keep the paperwork for each prescription filled during the calendar year. Finally the FSA folder holds anything with our flexible spending account. Several times a year I'll check on our balance in each of the accounts and make a notation so that I know how much is left in each account as I don't want to leave any unused funds which we would forfeit. I also update every year by getting rid of anything in the folders from the previous calendar year that I know I will no longer need. For example in the records folder I keep only the most current sheets of lab records. For bills that have been closed out I discard those by shredding them. It's not too overwhelming job when you keep up with that regularly. Give it a try and see if you agree.
"Organizing healthcare information is a daunting task, but it is not an impossible task. We've had people walk on the moon. This is a lot more doable."
Psychologytoday.com noted a number of reasons why clutter is bad for us.
--It overstimulates our system, causing our senses to work overtime on stimuli that aren't necessary or important.
--It draws our attention away from what our focus should be on.
--It makes it more difficult to relax both physically and mentally.
--We are constantly reminded in our brains that we still have a huge to-do list.
--It causes feelings of guilt and embarrassment, particularly when someone drops by unexpected.
--It frustrates us by making it hard to find anything we need.
I don't think you need any more reasons than this. Choose an area in your home and start your decluttering process. Refer to past posts if you're not sure how to begin. Go on, you can do it!
Here are some great pieces about clutter from Psychologytoday.com
Aside from the obvious fact that decluttering reduces the risk of falls, there are many other reasons to declutter.
It allows space for new memories to be made.
It frees you of things that are in the way and consuming thought unnecessarily.
It frees your mind of excess concerns.
The less clutter, the less time you spend with it--leaving time instead for fun!
The sense of calm--which is my favorite.
I love when I read something by another Pro Organizer that agrees with the guidance I regularly offer my clients. I just read Declutter 101 at the Organized Home website and indeed we are on the same page.
1. Like I have said several times, look initially for a small success. Clear a counter, redo your junk drawer in the kitchen or purge thru one shelf of books, getting rid of any you have read which you won't reread and pass along or donate those. Then step back and look at that success!
2. Keep working gradually over time. Don't quit after one or two sessions. With time there will be huge progress, but enjoy the small progress in the interim.
3. Schedule declutter times. Get out your calendar now and note several one hour periods in the next week where you can devote that time to decluttering.
Give it a try. You'll see some great success!
See the full piece at http://organizedhome.com/cut-clutter/declutter-101-where-do-I-start
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.