Hmm, ever thought about clutter prevention? It is easier for some of us than others because we all accumulate things for different reasons. Like any behavior that you want to change it requires introspection and patience with oneself. Experts say it takes three (3) weeks to change a behavior (aka break a habit). But what is three weeks when you can look forward to a life time of organization and the positive energy created by open, uncluttered spaces? Try to start by asking yourself, “Do I really need this?” “Does this make me happy?” “Will I use this if I buy it?” Organization experts agree that there are strategies that you can commit yourself to employing that prevent the accumulation of more things. For instance, for every non-perishable item that you bring into your space you agree to sell, donate, or discard an item that you do not need or love. Try it! Let me know how that works for you.
When is the optimal time to organize the kitchen cupboards, the junk drawer, the trunk of your car, or your garage? It’s not as if you have an abundance of spare time with nothing else to do, right? In order to organize your space and the things in it you will find that you want to create the time to do it. Begin by organizing your schedule so that you can plan ahead and block out longer periods of time for the bigger projects. For smaller tasks, you can organize your schedule and commit 10-15 minutes on a specific day to complete a portion of a larger task, or a short term organizing goal. For instance, you might decide that every Saturday after breakfast you are going to sit down and organize your bills, pay those that are due in 7-10 days, and file the statements. Just 10-15 minutes and you are done, feeling a sense of accomplishment, and if you’re like me…relief!
Yikes, is your car a moving storage unit? Cars are intended to transport us comfortably and safely. There are great organizing and storage containers designed specifically for items in your car. First, it’s important to declutter and get rid of the things that don’t need organizing. Start by throwing out the trash and getting the recyclables in the appropriate bins. Then consider which items are need to be accessed on a daily basis. If they need to be within arms reach then put them in a small bin that you can reach easily and safely. For instance, you might want a box of tissues and a small container of an antibacterial hand gel in a soft bin on the floor behind the passenger’s seat. Remember that safety is most important and that any item that is projected forward when you have to stop short can pose a danger. Keep sports equipment, tools, etc. in the trunk. For more tips, call the Outside In Organizer!
We always make time for what is important, right? You can make time for what you want and need to do. The way to organize your time is best accomplished by actually scheduling those activities and tasks. For instance, don’t have time to get to your emails? Schedule 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening, then keep that time sacred and don’t multi task. That means that you have time to delete unimportant messages, respond to items in a timely way, and create electronic files for items that you want to keep and don’t need to print out. Make time to save time.
Business slow? Take advantage of the time to take a break from your marketing efforts and organize your office space. Pick one task a day. Maybe tomorrow the focus is your desk top. Remember that your desk top is a work space, not a storage container. Too much on top of your desk? Consider limiting the number of personal items, photos, and souveniers. Then my mantra is “file, don’t pile”. If you are worried about forgetting to do something in that pile because it is filed I can help you create a system that will conquer that fear.
Do you have a plan? Do you have a contingency plan? What is your most successful strategy when you are planning? Having a plan is like using a map. It provides direction from a starting point to a destination. There are generally alternative routes. Don’t set off without a plan and a sense of others ways to arrive at your destination, if appropriate. Using a calendar or daily schedule allows you to keep appointments and use your non-scheduled time efficiently. Working with a floor plan allows you to visualize how to use and enhance your space. There are loads of ways to use a plan to organize, what works for you?
In the process of moving, even when using professional movers, it seems that the process never ends. Do you really need to keep that item? Do you really want to pay to move it? When was the last time that you actually used it? Now is the time to make this an opportunity to continue downsizing and decluttering. Donating, gifting, and discarding before the items are packed is the key. You will be able to save time unpacking, moving in, and be able to start decorating with a clean slate!
Time savers are intended to save you time to do the things that you enjoy, not necessarily just to get more done! What are your most successful time savers? Do you put things in the same place all of the time so that you don’t waste time looking for them? Do you store your items near the places that you use them? Do you look at your schedule on a daily basis and reprioritize? Not everything has the same time urgency. Do you feel comfortable delegating at work and at home? Saving time is an important organizational skill and like saving money, it’s a great investment in yourself.
Check out my tip on www.hgtv.com/organizing-and-storage-tip-jar/package.
Organizing a move can be a daunting task for most of us. When you begin to declutter in preparation it is important to make decisions at the early stages…try to avoid rethinking what stays and what goes, as well as moving your stuff from one place to another. There is great satisfaction in sharing the things that you once loved and can no longer take with you. So here’s another tip: when you sell or give something to a friend, encourage them to declutter something in their home…something out to make room for something coming in. You can do this yourself or with a professional organizer’s help.