We can all use a little organizing reminder every now and again; I know I do. I always start out with the best intentions, and then they fall to the wayside shortly thereafter. I've gathered 10 tips used by professional organizers to scan over whenever I need a little help getting back on that train:
1. Get Ready The Night Before. Start your day off a little less frantically by setting out your clothes, prepping the meals, getting the kids' bags ready, setting the coffee maker on automatic, etc.
2. Open Mail Over The Recycle Bin. Don't set it down in a pile to get to later because you know what will happen. Get rid of the paper and junk right away, and put the important stuff in your mail/bill area.
3. Write It Down. I know this is a big thing for me. If I don't write things down they just keep a constant party going on in my head. Writing it down helps to free me and let me relax. You can't keep it all in there, it's just too much and can keep you awake at night. Get it out.
4. Slow And Steady Wins The Race. I for one am terrible at this. I see a project at hand, and I attack it like a maniac till it's done. Because I'm this way I tend to get overwhelmed by the thought of it and end up never starting. So focusing on a little bit at a time would be a much better solution. Unpack one box in storage a day instead of waiting for that whole day to tackle it all that seems to never come.
5. Time Out. Set a timer for ten minutes and clean whatever you can in that amount of time each day. If you have kids it could be like a game, who can get the most done the fastest and the winner gets a prize. You may be shocked how much you can accomplish in such a short period of time.
6. Play Cards. Write household tasks on index cards and draw one each day. That is your chore for the day. Be sure to include a few Free Day cards in there. When you finish the box start again. This is also a great way to incorporate kid's chores as well.
7. Pad Your Time. The phrase, "Just give me five minutes" is often overused and rarely true. Most things take longer than five minutes. Try to set a realistic time frame for the little things you need to do so you can have a more accurate time management system throughout the day. 10-15 minutes per task is much more realistic and lets you slow down and breathe if you end up with a little buffer.
8. Set Goals. Write any long term goals or dreams on a set of index cards, then arrange them in order of importance. Write deadlines on the top of each card, break them down into mini-goals and schedule time to achieve them.
9. Give It Up. Whenever you see something that you don't use any more immediately put it in a box. When the box is full bring it to goodwill. You don't need to wait for that big clean out day you're going to eventually do.
10. Put It Away Now. Don't wait to do it later. Everything should have its home and when you are finished with it put it back. It takes just as much energy to be disorganized as it does to be organized.