We are one month into the start of 2016! Did you set a New Years resolution? Mine was to completely organize my office and keep it that way. Does this sound familiar? You have a goal to get your house organized and life just happens. Before you know it, it is February 1 and you have done nothing towards meeting that goal. That is where I am right now. Just like you I also have a need to get and keep part of my house organized! Are you tired of spending countless hours looking for something you put in a "safe" place? I know I am! I am currently trying to organize my current expenses, so that I can file my 2015 taxes. But my office is currently the dumping ground of my house. (Yes, even I have one of "those" rooms.) So gathering of those tax materials right now is a nightmare!
Did you know that an average American burns 55 minutes a day - roughly 12 days a year looking for things they own but can't find? (Newsweek) I had NO idea! Well I have wasted a ton of time! I'm done wasting time and I don't want you to either! It's time to finally get organized and keep it that way FOR GOOD!
NOW the perfect time to stop procrastinating and start organizing your home and life!
Here are some tips that I have used to help me get my year off to a very organized start!
1. Start Small
Are you motivated to get started on your journey to an organized home? It can be overwhelming where to start! My first piece of advice is to start small! When you begin to go all out you can easily lose your motivation. Start with small tasks first. By doing this, it will give you the motivation that is needed to continue on to the bigger tasks. A great example of starting small is if you have a mountain of laundry in your bedroom, get a garbage bag and an empty tote or box. Go through your closet and dresser and purge the clothes that no longer fit or are not in fashion. When you are finished with that task you will have plenty of room for the clothes laying around your room you never had space to put away.
2. Use One Calendar System For Everything
A great way to organize your day is to use one calendar. You need to set up time in your schedule to do any cleaning or organizing. I know for me if I don't do this the work will never get done! After a long day of work the last thing I want to do is clean or organize my own home! Yes I have a passion for cleaning and organizing, but at the end of the day it will only get you so far.
So whether it is your mobile device or even a calendar on the kitchen wall, combine everything into one. Keeping your work and personal appointments together helps you to plan your day accordingly. If those options don't work for you there are a ton of other options available. You can download Google Calendar or other online calendar systems. I personally love using the calendar on my iPhone. Also, a great option, if your whole family uses iPhones, is to sync all of your family's calendars together. Go into settings, click on iCloud, and then click on Set up Family Sharing. This is a great tool!
3. Establish Daily/ Weekly Cleaning Routines
I feel it is necessary to develop a cleaning routine! You do not need to spend hours a day or week to keep your house tidy. By simply spending 30 minutes a day cleaning you won't be having to do a major cleaning during your days off. Here is a sample of cleaning calendar we use in my house.
4. Start with the easy stuff first
Large projects can be overwhelming and stressful. Most of the time the stress isn't helpful or efficient with the organizing process. For example I am planning a big event in my home soon. Since that's not really on a to-do list, I will break it down into categories: cleaning, groceries and food prep.
- Make a list of meal plan and groceries needed for the weekend
- Check cabinets to see which items I already have
- Go shopping
Make a schedule for when cooking needs to be started
The same should go for when you are getting ready to organize a space in your home.
Make a list of the easy projects down to the most difficult. Once you see progress is being made it will make the more difficult tasks a little more palatable.
5. Everything should have a space in your home
I am not saying you shouldn't have a junk drawer but everything should have a home. Currently I have a junk room... my office! But clutter adds chaos.
Without getting up from your chair, do you know where these items are:
- your keys
- your fire insurance policy
- your flashlight
- your birth certificate
- your phone charger (everyone knows this one!)
How did you do? How many items would you be able to easily find?
Your keys and your phone charger are used everyday, so those were easy items to locate. While you may only need those other things occasionally wouldn't it be nice to not waste those precious 55 minutes a day hunting for those items. Which leads me to number #6
6. No more unnecessary clutter
If you haven't used an item in 6 months it should go. I teach my clients if you haven't worn it or used it, it should go. You may be thinking well I may need it someday. Yes, there certain items you may only use a few times a year! I am talking about the dress you wore to a wedding 3 years ago or the numerous platters you are saving "just in case". You will feel less chaos without the clutter, trust me you will!
7. Celebrate you success!
"Celebrate what you've accomplished, but raise the bar a little higher each time you succeed"
I absolutely love this quote! You should always celebrate and do not wait for anyone else to do it! Once you have accomplished that big hurdle of clutter, you can conquer the world!
Well I did it! Time to Celebrate!