If the kitchen is a mess, I refuse to cook anything. There’s just no way I can cook well with piles of dishes or spillage on the counters. That’s a whole other ballgame, though. Some label me (though labeling is a good thing to be organized, pun intended) with medical diagnoses that I won’t list in order to be slightly politically correct. I just prefer things to be in order. It’s the 21st century and we live busy lives these days. Two page “To Do” lists, longer work days and we just need to squeeze entertainment somewhere in there.
At home, you can probably get away with dis-organization. At work, it’s way more important. You need to find the contract for billing, you need to find the payments you made to a vendor, etc. Filing to not fun and it can sometimes be time consuming (and of course, time is money). Here are 3 ways to get organized. Keep in mind that the setup is the most important and will likely take the most effort and time. However, in the long run, it will saves time, money, and energy.
What are things you pay attention to versus things you look at and ignore?
What are items that you need to pay attention to, items you can drag on and items that can go filed away/stored away/trashed?
At home, you might want to have two boxes, one (Box A) for items that you use every day and another (Box X) for items you barely look at. As you are sorting, be honest with yourself about what you don’t use. When putting it items into Box X, don’t feel as though you can’t properly store them in a neat, tucked away place. The idea is to have items in Box A, neatly in front of you so you can address them while putting non-essentials away neatly for you to take out as needed. (Kind of like telling kids to put their toys away and only keeping the two or three toys they’re playing with at the moment – am I the only one?).
At work, same concept. What you work on daily versus items that you use less frequently. If you have a desk job, it’s best to get up from your desk often to exercise. It also helps to group according to daily tasks, items that can be completed at any point during the week, and items that are monthly. Items that are on your desk, should be items that need your attention. The less you have on top of your desk, the more you will be able to focus on what tasks need action.
We don’t have to use words like pack rat or anything. That article on remodeling bathrooms was the best by far and it’s perfectly logical to want to keep all receipts for payments ever. Here are a few ways to tuck away and throw away.
1. The age of digital storage – That great magazine article, newspaper article, or other important paperwork can be scanned and saved to your server. There are several other digital storage options such as One Drive, Google Drive, and Dropbox.
2. Replaceable items – If you can order it easily, find it online, or it is common, just go for it – Throw It Away! You save room and will have less clutter. If you’re not referring to it monthly, weekly, or daily, it’s likely not worth keeping.
3. Storage – Keepsakes are great! I have tons. I box them and label them and store them in a closet and I have a storage as well. If you can find space to keep your memorabilia then go for it. After your clean up and organizing, you should have plenty of space. You can decorate with your keepsakes. Otherwise, tuck it away the way a dog buries precious bones. (I’m thinking of Jacque from Lady and the Tramp).
The colors help quickly locate and identify things. Someone once showed me their library and you could easily see that yellow labels were for fiction, red labels were thrillers, blue labels were non-fiction, and so on.
Have you seen Mrs. Doubtfire? Miranda had labels on items in her cupboard. I thought it was great! You can adopt a similar strategy. In an office, it’s common to label office supplies and you can do the same at your desk.
Putting items in containers, drawers, or in files is a good way to locate things later. You won’t have to go rummaging through piles of papers and wondering where you left that post it. The container store has wonderful solutions to get you organized. From plastic totes to pencil cases, the container store is great! Containing the problem give you so much control. No more tables with paper clips falling on the floor and hidden post its with the phone number to the VIP who will plug you into other profitable connections.
You can do it, I know you can! If you have other awesome solutions to get organized, please share in comments.