4 Quick Tips to Getting Organized (and Staying Organized)

Most would agree that we don’t have a lot of control in our lives, but . . . we do have control over the objects in our homes. Speak with anyone and I’m confident that they will tell you they not only feel a sense of accomplishment after solving organizational challenges, but a sense of peace and calm as well.

“A place for everything and everything in its place” is just a quote, right? What difference can it really make in our lives? It can make all the difference in the world. When this is mastered and becomes a way of life, we don’t waste precious time trying to find the electric bill, previous years’ tax return, child’s permission slip or birthday invitation.

We know where they are because they are in their proper place. Conversely, when these same items come into our home we know immediately where to put them. This prevents them from piling up and creating clutter, only to be moved again and again, or worse, accidentally thrown away. Time saved may only seem like seconds here and there, but at the end of the week those seconds add up to hours.

Things we handle on a daily basis often build up into a disorganization nightmare . . . think mail, laundry, scraps of paper that never seem to have a home.

Consider incorporating the following tips, daily, to help you get and stay organized, prevent clutter from taking over and allow your style and personality to shine: INCORPORATE A “NECESSITES” TRAY – We all have a spot in our home where everyone’s things tend to get dropped only to be scattered or misplaced later. Find a beautiful box or tray and place it on the counter or table in that room. Have family members get in the habit of putting keys, ID’s, phones, sunglasses, pens, pencils, change and other small items into this container so that they’re not spread throughout the room, and can easily be located when needed.

LEARN TO HANDLE PAPER ONCE – Immediately separate incoming mail and papers into 5 categories:

  1. Trash: Immediately discard what’s not necessary such as junk mail and pre-approved credit offers.
  2. Periodicals: Place newspapers and magazines into an attractive basket or magazine holder.
  3. Bills: Identify the spot in your home where you perform most of your banking and administration and place all bills in a stylish box or folder that stays there.
  4. Documents: These are items that you don’t need to address, but do need to retain. Separate them by category into pretty folders, and store every folder in a file drawer or storage box.
  5. Schedules: Children’s sports schedules, party invites, announcements, restaurant coupons and other items that you need to refer to can go on a large bulletin board accessible to all family members. Think kitchen, laundry room, utility or mud room, back hall, pantry . . . A spot that is easy for everyone to access.

CONTROL YOUR LAUNDRY – Don’t let your laundry control you. Place a hamper or basket in each bedroom or bath. Ensure that everyone’s dirty clothes are put in the hamper before bed each night and in the morning. Don’t consider laundry as being done if it isn’t folded and put away. Pulling stuff out of a pile only adds to the chaos and clutter.

HOUSEKEEPING IS FOR “EVERYDAY” – Remember, once things are organized and you’ve incorporated a system that works for your home and family, the best way to prevent feeling overwhelmed and losing your battle with “chaos and clutter” is to make everyday housekeeping and organizing a habit. You’ll be rewarded with a sense of accomplishment, a feeling of calm and extra time to do the things you love.

Donna Mancini,
Interior Decorator

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