You’ve heard it before – go ahead, roll your eyes – being organized really does save you time and money. You need to get organized if you:
● spend a lot of time looking for things – frantically tearing through stacks of paper, mounds of toys, or overstuffed closets;
● frequently buy duplicates of things you already have;
● constantly purchase storage devices for items you no longer need or forgot you even had.
The first and easiest step towards getting organized is to establish a “donate” or “consignment bag”.
It should have a permanent home in your laundry room or a hallway closet. Place these items in it:
● Clothing that you or your kids have outgrown or no longer wear;
● Toys and games that your kids no longer play with;
● Accessories, artwork and knick knacks that you no longer like.
When the bag is full, put it in your trunk and drop it off at your favorite charity or consignment shop next time you pass it. A disciplined commitment to this will save you from overstuffed closets and piles of “I gotta go through that, someday”.
If you have a lot of clutter, you will need several bags or boxes. Schedule one hour per room or have a purge fest on your day off. Instead of dreading this task, think of ways to make it fun – play your favorite music, summon a friend for help or treat yourself to your favorite meal or movie at the end of the day.
If you just can’t find the time to edit your clutter, start by writing down your daily, weekly and monthly routines. Place a star next to items where you can become more efficient. Temporarily say “NO” to a few meetings, events and invitations. Here are a few time and money saving ideas:
● Avoid procrastination. Doing anything last minute is a time waster. Keep a To Do list to stay on top of action items.
● Map out your errands so you can save time driving.
● Save multiple trips to the grocery store by planning your meals for the week.
● Instead of cooking the same meal repeatedly, cook vats of foods that easily reheat and store them in meal-sized containers in the freezer. Invite a friend to a cookoff once a month and learn each other’s recipes. Make it fun!
● Get a headset for your phone to free your hands for a variety of tasks while catching up on phone calls (without cricking your neck.)
● When you bring the mail in, toss the junk mail into a recycling bag immediately; store the rest in a decorative box (not on a stack). Open the mail once a week.
● Create a box, binder or file folder for each aspect of your life. For example: Church, Professional or Personal organizations, Work, etc. Immediately place literature that you NEED to reference in this system instead of on a stack.
Still overwhelmed? Enlist the help of a professional organizer. Visit my website at SassySpacesInc.com for more info.
Next week – dealing with mail and paper clutter.