Donna, I'm always looking for ways to be better organized-- thanks for this!
From Chaos to Calm's Top Ten Tips
Organizing doesn't come naturally to everyone; it is a skill comprised of numerous methods and strategies that can be learned by anyone. You too can create and manage an environment that is functional and organized to your level of comfort.
Consider these statistics before reading my Top Ten Organizing Tips
Harris Interactive study : 23% of adults reported that they pay bills late (& thus incur fees) because they misplace the bills.
Study in the Journal of Experimental Science : People who multitask are less efficient than those who focus on one project at a time. Time lost switching among tasks increases with the complexity of the tasks.
American Demographic Society: Americans waste more than 9 million hours each day looking for lost and misplaced articles
Boston Marketing Firm: The average American burns 55 minutes roughly 12 weeks a year, looking for things they know they own but can’t find.
1. A place for everything and everything in its place!
If you follow only one tip, make this the one! Assign a home to each item and then label the home. This may seem a bit much for some people and you don't have to label, but in my experience I have found more success in 'lost' items finding their homes if the homes are labeled.
2. Routines become habit - Numerous studies have shown that you must do something between 25 and 30 times to become routine.
Plan weekly dinners then create your shopping list around those meals, fill in other items needed...and go to the store only ONCE a week!
Do the dishes and make your bed daily.
Laundry: don't waste time sorting. Have a basket or bag for each type of laundry and make sure the whole family gets their laundry into those containers (or their laundry doesn't get done!)
3. Break down big projects into smaller pieces.
Give each piece a day and a certain amount of time to work on. Set a reasonable goal for completion of the project.
4. Include kids in household routines
In addition to 'chores', I believe that all members of the family should be actively engaged in maintaining a healthy, functional and tranquil household. Teach them how and include them in doing laundry, cleaning, shopping, bedmaking, how to create 'to do' lists, manage their time and stick to a budget.
5. Keep functional and efficient files.
Streamline your mail handling as well as your bill filing and paying systems. Create an emergency file with copies of all important documents that can be procured at a moment's notice. File only what you will need in the future. Purge files regularly.
6. Keep a calendar.
Your calendar should be your 'assignment book'. Color code if necessary for different family members, actions or events. Add phone numbers when entering appointments in case you need to be in contact.
7. Become and keep motivated.
Whenever you get discouraged or apathetic, remind yourself of your goal. Reflect on how much calmer your life and spirit are when your environment is organized. Following your routines and strategies saves you time , effort and frustration in the long run.
8. Make a plan
Analyze what's keeping you from achieving your goal(s). Perhaps your systems are too complicated. Perhaps you haven't practiced a routine enough to make it a habit. Perhaps you are just overwhelmed and don't know where to start. Identify what's holding you back and then make the decision to act on those roadblocks.
9. Calm your life by learning to say no to additional outside committments
10. Multitasking is counterproductive! Do and complete one action at a time.
Learn more about the author, Donna Olsen.
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