Five Tips To Becoming An Organizing Guru

Does looking at the clutter throughout your home or office make you cringe and walk the other way?  Perhaps you’re not even dealing with clutter.  Maybe things are fairly tidy, but you can’t find what you are looking for when you need it.
If the above scenario sounds familiar, you need to incorporate some good organization strategy into your life.  Being more organized will make your life easier, increase your productivity, lessen your stress and save you time at the end of your busy day for things that are far more important.  Don’t try and do everything at once to change your organization strategy.  This will only cause you frustration and your plans will fly out the window!  Start working on the changes little by little by incorporating these simple organization methods:

1. Do A Little Bit Every Day

Many of us dread the thought of cleaning. If you think that you have to break out the vacuum, mops and cleaning supplies and be forced to spend the whole day cleaning, then you’re in for a surprise!  The reality –  spending just ten or twenty minutes a day organizing your space is all you need to do in order to make a huge difference.

Begin by cleaning one area of your home each day. This can be a deep cleaning or just a superficial cleaning,  but just doing it will make you feel productive. If you are able to deep clean a specific area, your subsequent cleanings will be much easier.  Don’t berate yourself if you are not able to accomplish a deep cleaning.  Start small and work your way up. Once this becomes a habit, you will find that you are able to finish your regular cleaning faster and have more free time everyday.

2. A Place For Everything, And Everything In Its Place

When organizing a space, everything needs to have a place it calls home.  If something doesn’t have a specific home, it will wander, get lost and, generally, add to the clutter that pervades your space.

Take a close look at what items have migrated to each of your living or working spaces.  If the item isn’t relevant to that space, it doesn’t belong there.  As you organize each area, keep four boxes at hand – To Keep, To Donate, To Throw Away, and Another Room.  If the item belongs in another room, use a sticky note to write the name of the appropriate room and stick it on the item.  You will be amazed at how quickly this system will help you wade through the clutter and stick to your plan of attack!

3. Write It Down To Remind Yourself

Get yourself a journal, a calendar, or a daily planner and use it.  The simple action of writing something down in a book or on a calendar can really help you remember where you need to be and when.  In this electronic age, using a cell phone or electronic organizer is another way to stay on top of your committments and appointments.  There is no right or wrong way to stay on top of your schedule, only your way!

4. Every Day Throw It Away

When you’re de-cluttering your space, throw away all the things you no longer need.  Every day do a quick purge and get rid of things that pile up on your desk, dresser, or kitchen counters. This will open up your space, uncover any items that you may have been looking for, and give you a better idea of what’s going on in general.

Daily mail, junk mail, and newspapers/flyers/catalogs are the biggest clutter culprits. Throw away junk mail immediately and file away any important papers, bills, coupons etc. The longer these important items stay in a pile, the more likely they will get lost or forgotten.

5. Keep A Routine and Delegate Chores

Keeping a home organized and running smoothly can be difficult, especially with todays busy schedules. Establish set routines so certain tasks are completed everyday and assign large chores, like laundry or grocery shopping, to  specific days of the week. Posting this schedule in a predominant location in your home will keep everyone informed and ready to pitch in every day.

Delegate chores to your spouse or children that are age appropriate. Dividing the work among family members teaches everyone how to work together as a team.  It also teaches your children important life skills and good habits.

Don’t attempt to transform from a clutter-bug to super-organized overnight.  It took time to get in that cluttered state of mind, but you will see results with a bit of effort on your part.  By implementing a few of these easy tips into your daily routine, you will re-discover what it’s like to be prepared and organized both in the workplace and at home.

Susan Karim

Time Management and Personal Effectiveness Coach

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