Monday, December 24, 2012

Organizing for the New Year

On this rainy day before Christmas it is a perfect day to stay home to bake and organize your home.  While you are doing this you have a chance to evaluate new goals for yourself  and your home as well.  I was just talking to a good friend and it reminded me to write this article to jump start some of my readers. First start by a plan of action, a plan for success.  Remember to start small and end with a reward for yourself.
Getting Started:  Prepare two shopping bags to fill, walk around your kitchen and put the things in the bags that you don't need.  One bag will be to give to the donation shop and one will be to save in a different part of the house.  For example, look at your kitchen counter.  How many of the items there do you need?  Are their too many cups/ mugs?  Just keep twice as many mugs as people in your home.  Trust me you won't really miss the ones you have donated.  Are there too many pots and pans, platters that you don't need? Can you move the rice cooker off the counter?  Can you de-clutter the pantry and sort the items by category so you have room to put things away?  Look at your counter and analyze each items.  Determine what you really use and what is over kill.  Ask yourself what would be the worst thing that would happen it you didn't have it anymore?   Continue to move around the house in this fashion.  Stop at any area that is cluttered and remove an object and put into the bag.  Are there too many picture frames around the house, too many magazines, books, DVDs.  Look closely, ask yourself how do I want my house to look for the new year? 
Organizing the Clothes Closet:Now its time for two new shopping bags.  Clothes that don't fit anymore and clothes that should be put in storage or passed on.  If you haven't worn it in two years , you can generally live without it.  Let someone else wear it,  If it truly is memorabilia, then put it in a clean zip lock and storage it up high.  Don't put it in the prime space in your closet.  Put the important use able clothes there. Remember less is more, and we are creators of habit.  We generally wear the same clothes over and over again! Remember put your clothes on good hangers and try to color sort them along with sorting my style and use.
Tackling Paper Clutter in the Home: Once January comes you need to toss all the holiday magazine and categories.  You will get new ones next year.  Toss all the paper ads, and sale pamphlets.  Sort your mail, by bills, and tax information.  (Next month I will write about setting up new files)  Keep only the supplies you need on your desk top.  Shed and toss any papers that don't belong in the file cabinet.  You need to get in the habit of sorting mail daily.
There are many areas in the home to organize and de -clutter but for now on this rainy day lets just begin here and celebrate the first of many new beginnings.  Get out the ice cream and reward yourself!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Organzing your Household papers

Today's mom can find herself in her kitchen with a pound of paper piled high on her kitchen counter or her desk.  Not knowing what to do with it each day, it just seems to grow and grow.  How does this happen she wonders?   It seems that this mom does not have the proper systems set up and also has difficulties making decisions.   The simplest solution would be to set up some files, a list of to do's and a life coach helping her with the decision making process.  But it doesn't have to be so complicated. If you take some some simple steps to create a few filing folderswhich I call " the hot files" that can help manage income mail and the paper flow.
In just two hours you can begin the process of clearing your desk.  Begin my taking everything off the desk and only leaving the phone,some paper and writing tools.  Choose a notebook, or pad of your choice to write your master list for scheduling events and calendar your activities.  Use the "touch it once method" to decide what to do with each paper.  Identify each paper item on your desk and create file for it in your drawer for easy access.  For example, any medical forms can be put under the file "Medical" .  You can also create a " to pay" folder, and a " to do" folder than will correspond to your notepad.  This system must be maintained daily.   Just five minutes of opening the mail each day and 20 minutes of office/desk time can establish a routine and maintain a clean organized desk.