February 2006: Top Ten Organizing Tips Part 2

This month I am going to continue with my series on getting you organized in ten easy steps. We talked about four of my top ten organizing principles last month (Prioritize and Set Goals, See the big picture, Do one thing at a time and finally Don’t waste time.)

Let’s start with my favourite organizing principle - Contain things! When the pantry has a boundary (a container) and you cannot buy more soups, pasta, whatever because you only have so much space! A container prevents us from buying and storing too much at once. Of course, if you buy in bulk, the excess can be stored in a basement or another cupboard in the kitchen.

Put like things together! Another one you have probably heard before but when you open a drawer and you have pennies, paperclips, pens etc. all scattered about you, you can never find what you want! If you put an elastic around those pens – put the pennies in a jar and the clips in a holder or better still get a caddy that fits all supplies with divisions. This is a lot more efficient and calming when you need a pen fast!

Weed often so you can enjoy the garden! Every month or every season, go through kids’ clothing – anything they have outgrown should be removed from their dressers and placed in a bag or a box and either donated to charity or handed down to a friend or relative. Don’t wait until things go out of style and your friend’s children are in university! This can be done one drawer at a time and doesn’t have to be done in one sitting! One drawer can be a five minute task (for some of you). Don’t try and empty everything onto the bed or it will be too overwhelming!

A place for everything and everything in its place – My Grandmother used to say this all the time and she was right! Designate a home for everything you own and put it away after using it and teach your children to do the same.

Stop procrastinating! – Don’t put things down and say “I’ll deal with this later!” That’s how you got into this mess in the first place! Deal with it now because later will be too overwhelming (and may never come)!

Don’t Despair! – Don’t try and do everything in a day! It took several days, weeks, years to get to this state and it won’t get done in a day. Every little bit helps and that five or ten minute tidy can really help get you started and keep you on track.

Now pat yourself on the back every time you change a habit or accomplish a task and keep going – don’t look back – before you know it good habits will replace bad ones and you will achieve your goal of being organized and staying organized!

Need help – give me a call – I can help! I know, I’ve been there!