Organize & Save!
Organize & Save, Save, Save!!! If getting organized is one of your goals, then I have a few ideas to help you do just that–get organized! The better organized you become, the more time (and money) you’ll free up to spend on other activities and pursuits.
Being disorganized isn’t just a costly problem confined only to our personal lives; it spills over into our professional lives as well. So what can you do to combat the problem and save yourself (and your employer) time and money?Here are a few ideas…
Organize Your Home:
·•Start by sorting items: Create three categories: Definitely Keep, Definitely Give Away, and Definitely Trash. Label three boxes or trash bags with the three categories and put corresponding items into each trash bag or box. The goal is to get rid of twice as many items as you actually keep. The upside of unloading much more of your clutter far outweighs the downside of keeping it.
·•Wait to buy storage containers. Clutter-bugs often think the solution to de-cluttering and getting better organized is to stock up on organizing products, so they head to the nearest superstore and stock up on bins and boxes. Big mistake. Instead, shop for storage items only after you’ve done some de-cluttering. This way you can make a list of the storage containers and sizes you may need.
·•Tackle one room at the time.Before you start, think about how much time it will take you to do each room. If you only have an hour, then don’t start on the messiest closet in your house. Save that for a day when you have more time. If you don’t, then you’ll have everything strung out all over the place, and who knows when you’ll take the time to put it back. Also, remember that you can take more than one day to complete a room. Go at your own pace.
·•Find a home for items. “Make sure everything lives somewhere,” says Sharon Lowenheim, a professional organizer in New York City. Storing items in the room where they’re used helps ensure they get put away when you’re done, and usually it’s best to store similar items together. If it’s something you use frequently, make sure the storage place is easy to access.
·•Have cleaners handy. Once you have an area cleared, then clean it well right then and there!
·•Control Clutter. The better you are about keeping things out of your home, the less likely things will pile up inside. Take freebies for instance. It’s nice to get a T-shirt or coffee mug, but will you really use it? Enjoy it? If not, decline it. Always look for ways to block unneeded items before they cross your threshold.
·•Children’s artwork or projects: Create a large art folder and begin taking samples of your children’s masterpieces you are especially fond of and throw out the rest.Another idea is to take a picture of your child with one of their creations, and let that be your keepsake. After all, what would you rather have in 30 years — a photo of that castle, or the mouse-infested castle itself? Of course, if your child creates something truly special, you’ll want to keep it, maybe even display it in your home.
·•Weed out your wardrobe. Basically, we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. Sort through your clothes and your children’s clothes at the end of each season. Toss items that no longer fit into a box. Then take the box to a favorite charity or a consignment store. If you haven’t worn something within a year’s time, then get rid of it as well.
Organize Your Office:
·•Chuck Your Junk.Just like when you de-clutter at home, sort items. However, these categories will be a little different.Label them as “toss”, “store” and a currently active “to-do” category.
·•Store, Store and Store Some More. Create a way to organize your materials in a way that makes sense to you. Everything related to the annual meeting could go in one labeled plastic bin or box, for example. Then work with your boss to find a place outside your office or cubicle to store this stuff.
·•Tackle Your To-Do Pile. This is where you should invest your efforts for the biggest payoff in long-term, sustainable organization. Create file folders for each project you are currently working on (or a different folder for each client or for each upcoming due date — whatever makes sense for you). When you complete a project, go through the file and discard the unimportant documents within. Then store the folder, which has been whittled down to include only the project essentials, into an appropriate bin.
·•Adopt the One-Touch Rule. Deal with every piece of paper that crosses your desk immediately. Trash it, act on it, file it or, if you really must, place it in your inbox until you have time to deal with it. (The one-touch rule is also applicable to email. Either respond right away, or direct your incoming messages to appropriate email folders.)
·•Use Technology Wisely. Keep phone numbers and other often-used data on your computer and/or mobile phone. Online organizers, which you can access via your computer or your phone, can combine your calendar, address book, to-do lists and more. They can also send you pop-up reminders about meetings and deadlines. It may take a little time to master using these tools, but they’ll save you time (and lots of sticky notes) in the long run.
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