Tip of the Month: Staying Organized
Most of us have busy lives, and that means our homes, offices, cars, briefcases and such will not always be as organized as we like. But four basic steps will help keep things from getting too out of control.
1. Daily triage. Define the few things that are critical to do every day. Make sure you have a regular place to put your keys - and use that place - so they don't get lost. You may not have time to go through the mail - but you can surely put it all in a box or basket designated for that purpose, and maybe also pull out critical mail such as bills and put that mail in a separate place. Maybe all the toys won't get put away, but what about making sure the floor is clear enough to not be a safety hazard? Perhaps creating a list of the important things you must do tomorrow is a key daily practice.
2. Regular maintenance. I know, how boring - but like doing the dishes, mowing the lawn, and changing the oil in our cars, it just has to get done. Schedule some time to make sure everything gets back where it belongs, that the stack of mail does indeed get sorted, etc.
3. System tweaks. Our organizing system includes everything we do or use to stay organized: how we manage our time, our storage containers, the way we decide what to buy and what to keep, etc.
Look at what isn't working, and what changes you can make to improve that. If a certain something seems to always be laying out rather than put away, maybe not everyone in the family knows where it goes. Or maybe it's being stored too inconveniently. Or maybe the container it goes in is too full, so it's hard to put away.
Often our systems are too complex and simplifying will help; I just simplified how I maintain my to-do list, and it made a huge difference. De-cluttering is another form of simplification that can make ongoing maintenance much easier.
4. Reflection. Yes, I'm sure there's a lot you didn't get done today. But take some time to recognize what you did get done! We can be so hard on ourselves that we can lose track of our accomplishments. Having done that, you might then want to reflect on why other things didn't get done, and what system tweaks you may want to make.
Product of the Month: Bookends from Leather Zoo