~Have a ‘home’ for everything. Don’t let stuff ooze. Herd your belongings like stray sheep; back to their ‘homes’. It is actually kind of fun to see how many logical 'homes' you can find for your stuff, and if one doesn't work, and you still find yourself leaving something out, or putting it elsewhere...then find a better spot for it. This needs to be a flexible, workin system. One that makes sense and works for the people using it.
~(No matter how well we practice all of these organizational skills, I think most everyone still has a “junk” area. I think that is normal, whether it is a junk drawer, a junk closet or a spare room that gathers all of our excess stuff. Just remember, that is what doors are for! As long as the junk isn’t in the common living areas, it is not so big a deal. If you have to have miscellaneous junk…and I do…have a drawer, or closet, area, a toy box, basket or crate to hide it. That way it isn’t on the couch, or eating table, etc.!)*
~Group like items together. (ie:things for a projects, activity, or things you normally use together [baking tools on one shelf, sewing items, letter writing and bill paying, ironing, etc.] This makes it much easier to find what you need, and takes less time doing it.)*
~Try to store things where you normally toss them. If you toss your shoes and coat by the door, put a hook there. Keys and change on the table, or nightstand,; put a basket there. Don’t force yourself to change habits, so much as use your habits and way of living, as an inspiration for organization. Put the organizational products, where you naturally tend to use them.
~It is also true that you should always keep things in one place, so that you can find them. Have a key spot, a place for your purse, sunglasses, etc.*
~My grandmother always told me (…and I wish I always did this); making a bed first thing is a good way to start the day, psychologically, and instantly makes the room look better*
~List on paper 10 things that you wish to do before the end of the year.*
~Make a list of 3 things that you want or need to do. Write the reasons why you are not doing it. Now change the negatives to positives. The ability to change a negative situation into a positive one is one of the keys to self-organization.*
~I have found that the “Do the worst first” motto helps me get started. Once the worst is done, everything else is so much easier.*
~Use the “Salami Method” to help you reach a goal. If the size of your project overwhelms you, tackle it bit by bit. You wouldn’t eat a salami whole would you? You would slice it into pieces. Do the same with your goals and projects. Slice them into pieces that are more manageable.*
~No one has several hours to leisurely devote to the tasks at hand. The key is to use the 15 minute segments that you do have, to make a dent in the project. For example, file your nails, make an appointment to see the dentist, or just clean one shelf of that closet. You will double your efforts if you do small tasks, (like writing thank you cards), while engaged in some other activity, like running a bath or waiting for a casserole to heat.*
~Do 5 minute pick-ups, or what we call a “Blitz” in my house. Pick up and dust or put away each item in a room for 5 minutes. Always work around the room. I go clockwise. Just go from one end of the room to the other, instead of crisscrossing all over. That way everything behind you is clean. You can see your progress much better that way. Use a timer. When the timer goes off you can choose to stop until the next work period; or you may choose to keep going.*
~I have a shelf area right next to my front door. This is my “out the door shelf” Shoes and backpacks go on the bottom. There are a couple of baskets on the top for the kid’s papers, lunch tickets, videos or library books to return, etc. Jackets, hats, and gloves also go there. When it is time to go, I can easily see items that I must remember to bring with me.*
~I also keep a similar basket in the car for this purpose. In it I keep my laundry cards, and detergent, etc. I keep magazines, books, and paper, pens, and stamps, and a few other things that I may need to handle stuff while I am out. I also keep my bill info in my glove box. That way if I am out running errands, and want to stop and pay a bill, I don’t have to run home for the account numbers. (I learned that one the hard way!)*
~I keep extra food, sweatshirts, clothes and toys in the car for the kids; in case we stop to visit friends or family and decide to stay awhile. I don’t have to worry about cold, bored or hungry kids, and Mom can stay and enjoy herself awhile!*
~Try not to put stuff down. (This actually becomes a fun challenge to see in how few ‘steps’ that you can handle stuff. Only deal with it once. ie: Don’t put it down, put it away.*
~Go through the mail over a wastebasket and DUMP THE JUNKMAIL! Don’t even bother to read it. And for God’s sake, don’t keep it around to “read” later. It is called “Junk Mail” for a reason!
~If you are making coffee, don’t get it out, spoon, sugar, cup, etc. with out swooping it up and putting away. All at once. Take it out, pour, put away, stir, wash spoon; and by the time it is made, it is put away. THEN, you drink in peace. When you are done, and get up, grab the paper, the cup, etc. Don’t leave it all there.