by Marcia Gracia
‘Spring Ahead. Fall Back.’ That little saying always helps us remember whether we should set the clock ahead or back one hour. Similar little sayings, are also great for helping you to get and stay organized. Here are just a few:
A HOME FOR EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACEEvery item you have, no matter what it is, should have a DESIGNATED home. For instance, the home for your magazines might be your magazine holder, which is located on your bookshelf. Or your home for your extra file folders and labels, might be the top shelf of your office supplies cabinet. If an item doesn’t have a specific home, it’s considered to be ‘homeless.’ Something that is homeless, tends to get LOST. Designate a specific home for all of your stuff. Then, be sure that everything taken, gets returned to its home when done being used.
DON’T PUT IT DOWN, PUT IT AWAYWhen you remove something from its home, the best thing to do when you’re done using it, is to put it away. Yes, sometimes it seems EASIER to just place it on the kitchen table until later, or to put it on your desk until tomorrow. Unfortunately, this often results in many items being out of place, which can leave your home or office in DISARRAY. Never mind the fact that it presents a bad example for other family members, or staff members. Don’t give clutter a chance to form. Put it away now. You’ll find it when you need it, and your environment will remain clutter-free.
FILE, DON’T PILEIt is very easy to get overwhelmed with PAPER. Our paper volume increases on a daily basis. Between lists, mail, bills, school papers, documentation, warranties, etc., it’s often seen as a pain to take the time to handle those papers immediately. However, if those papers begin to transform themselves into piles — and they usually do — it’s going to be even more of a pain to get them under control. Piles tend to get taller and taller, until even the idea of dismantling them seems colossal. This results in lots of piles, and even more stress. If you DON’T need a piece of paper, get rid of it immediately. Either recycle it, or give it to the appropriate party. If you DO need a piece of paper, file it right now. Don’t put it down, even for a minute. Either place it in your filing cabinet, your Tickler file, your bill paying system, etc. If you take the time to file it now, it won’t stand a chance of growing into a huge pile.
QUALITY OVER QUANTITYCLUTTER and CHAOS go hand in hand. The more things you have, the easier it is for clutter to form and grow. Always remember to place your emphasis on quality over quantity. In other words, it’s not important to have a lot of things, many of which you never use. It’s more beneficial to have fewer things, all of which you use and/or enjoy. Simplify your life and you will get and stay organized!
THERE WHEN YOU NEED IT, DONE WHEN IT’S DUEMany people think that getting organized is about being neat and TIDY. On the contrary, a person who is not very neat or tidy, can be very organized. Being organized actually entails ‘finding everything you need when you need it, and getting everything done when it’s due.’ It’s about being productive and effective in your DAILY activities. If you can master these two things, you are well on your way to being organized.
Maria Gracia is the author of “Finally Organized, Finally Free” and a variety of other organizing guides — all available directly at www.OnlineOrganizing.com. She specializes in helping people get better organized to live the kind of stress-free life they’ve always dreamed of. You may visit her website at www.getorganizednow.com.
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