Posts

6 Simple Tricks To Get Organized and Stay Organized

I often get asked, “How do you do it? How do you stay organized in your home?” I’m not tooting my own horn here. We all have busy lives and juggle many things throughout the day whether it is family or business. There are certain tricks and tasks that I do every day, and that we teach our clients so that they can get and stay organized too.

Flat Surfaces

One of the most important tricks is to keep all horizontal surfaces clear – especially the kitchen. It is so easy to toss something down with all the intentions in the world to come back to it. You know what happens to those intentions….they go right out the window as you get distracted with other things.

Interior designBefore you know it you have a pile or piles of “stuff” laying somewhere that it shouldn’t be. If at all possible, don’t be a “piler”.

I preach this a lot and cannot emphasize it enough. Keep all flat surfaces clear. I know you can do it!

Write It Down

I keep an agenda type book and I write everything down in there. I mean every single thing. Appointments, things to follow up on, people to call, items to purchase, places to research and more. My book is my bible.

I know a lot of you keep track of these things in your phone or tablet and there are a lot of great apps out there to help you keep track. I find there is nothing like writing it down. To me visibility, the physical aspect of writing it down and easy access to view is key. I get that with writing it down the old fashioned way.

File It Away Right Now

When a bill or any other piece of mail comes to the house (email or snail mail) it goes to the “In box”. Simple enough. In fact, I have what I call “Action Files” where paper is further designated until I get to the specific task at hand.

Maybe it needs to be paid, filed, there’s someone I need to contact or something I need to research. I have separate action folders on my desk for each category and the paper goes in the particular category of action for next steps.Filing

Once the action is performed, the paper then gets filed right away or shredded if I don’t need to keep it.

Take care of it now before those few pieces of paper grow into something that will take you hours or longer to attend to.

 

Ask For Help

Sometimes we have a task to perform that is just too much for us to handle on our own for whatever reason. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness – just the opposite. Asking for help is a sign of knowing your limitations and having the courage to do something about it. At times having a partner can make the task go faster and two sets of eyes can be more productive than one.

Know Your Limits

Are you a morning person or an evening person? If you know for instance that you just aren’t that productive in the morning then don’t start something that you know you are not going to finish or give your all. Set aside the time of day when you are at your best to tackle tasks.

Make It A Routine

Things don’t take care of themselves. Staying organized requires periodic check ups. Give yourself some time each month or quarterly if you feel you are truly doing well and review your rooms for items you don’t need any longer or are broken or you haven’t used for a long time. And my most important rule is “One In, One Out”. It doesn’t matter what it is. If you bring one into the house, get one out of the house.

Staying organized is an attitude as well as a discipline and these tricks will help you get and stay organized. Contact me here and we can chat about your next project!

5 Tips to Getting and Staying Organized at Home

Getting and staying organized at home is not always easy.  If you want to go from clutter to calm, here are a few inexpensive tips to get you started.

1. An old wooden stepladder is a creative way to hold bath and hand towels in a small bathroom where cupboards are non-existent.  You can event paint it to match your decor!

2. Small empty jam jars are a great way to contain cotton swabs, cotton balls and other essential and small hygiene items.

3. Takeout restaurant menus can be stored in a handy binder rather than clogging up one of the few kitchen drawers you have.

4. A coffee table that can double as a storage bench/ottoman is a great way to store video games and accessories, throws or even board games.

5. Instruction manuals (we all seem to have a lot of those) can be stored in either a binder or a clear lidded bin or basket.  I prefer the latter because then I don’t have to fuss with a binder and can just toss the manual easily into a bin.  How often do you really refer to them anyway? And don’t forget to purge the manuals yearly or when you replace old or broken merchandise.

 

The Process of Organizing – 5 Easy Steps

How do I get organized?.    How do I even start to get organized?  These two questions are ones that I hear not only from clients but from  colleagues, friends and family as well.   To answer these questions I’m going to provide you with five basic principles to organize pretty much anything.

  1. Sort:   This is where you evaluate your items that you wish to organize and sort them into broad categories, like items with like items. You can then further sort your broad categories into smaller ones.  For instance, if you’re sorting clothing, begin with placing all your long, short and sleeveless tops in one pile then further refine it into 3 separate piles: one for sleeveless, one for short sleeve, and one for long sleeve.  This will help you clearly see how much you have of each type of item.
  2. Purge:  This is the elimination phase of the organizing process.  I don’t much care for the term “purge” and would rather call it “editing”.  Make piles for giveaways (charity or elsewhere); put away (those items that belong in another room or space) and throw away (items for garbage or recycle).
  3. Assign a home:  This is where you determine the best place to store items based on how you function on a daily basis.  Ask yourself these questions:  Where is this supposed to be stored? Where is a convenient place for me to keep this where it is most often used or needed?
  4. Containerize: This is usually the fun part.  Once you have completed the previous steps, you can shop your own home or office for the appropriate sized containers, or go out shopping for the containers you need to adequately store the items you have.  Remember  to store items in containers using the smallest possible container that will house all of the items in a particular category. Where possible and practical, use clear bins and label them. Of course there are some great looking decorative bins and baskets that you can purchase as well. It all depends on the space your are organizing.
  5. Equalize: This means conducting  regular, on-going tune-ups and evaluations to maintain the organization that you have now implemented in your space.

And here’s a little added bonus for you on the principles of storage in a closet.  Items that are used most often should be stored within easy reach. Items used infrequently should be stored below the waist.  Items seldom used and that are lightweight only, should be stored above the head.

These points should give you a good start on your next project in getting organized so you can make room for living! Get your project started and tell me how things are going.  I’d love to hear about your successes and your challenges! And if you need some help, let me know.