Tip of the Month: The KISS Principle
You've likely heard of the KISS principle, which has a number of variations. I like the one Sandra Felton uses in her book Organizing Magic; she says it stands for Keep It Super Simple. Here are some ways the KISS principle can be applied to organizing.
1. Use hooks.
It's easier to put clothes on hooks than on hangers. So consider using hooks for bathrobes, the coats your kids wear every day, etc.
2. Don't overstuff your containers.
It's hard to put files away in an overstuffed file cabinet. It's hard to put clothes way in an overstuffed closet. It's hard to put anything away when the container (closet, cupboard, bin, etc.) is too full.Try to leave about 20% empty space, so putting things away is easy.
3. Place containers in convenient locations.
Have a wastebasket (and a recycling bin) wherever you work with paper. A laundry bin in each person's room might make it easier to keep the clothes off the floor.
4. Place other tools and supplies in convenient locations, too.
This is one time where you might not want to follow the general organizing principle of keeping like with like. If you use a stapler in two different parts of the house, get two staplers and keep one in each place. I bought two label makers, one for my car (to take to client appointments) and one for my office.
5. Keep things within easy reach.
The things you use all the time should be easy to reach - to pull out and put away. If you must use shelves that are higher than you can easily reach, keep a good step stool nearby. For children's closets, that one-rod-near-the-top configuration just won't do; modify the closet (with a double-hanging closet bar, shelves, drawers, etc.) so the kids can reach their clothes.
6. Eliminate the junk mail.
Yes, it might go straight to recycling - but why have to bother with it at all?
7. Pay bills on-line.
This won't be everyone's choice, but for many people it makes life much easier.
8. Make donations easy.
If you are clearing out a lot of items, consider giving them to an organization that accepts a wide range of products, and consider choosing one that will pick up at your home. (In the U.S., The Salvation Army meets both of those criteria.)
Organizing Quote of the Month
The hardest part about organizing is not the physical work, and it's not even parting with once-beloved objects. It's the actual decision-making. Everything is a choice, which is why organizing can be so exhausting; It's just one decision after another.
--Debbie Stanley, Organize Your Home ... In No Time
Organizing Book of the Month