It’s the most common New Years Resolutions we hear: Everyone wants to organize their Windsor Property in 2013. It’s a top priority. Ours included. It seems that despite our best efforts, by the time spring rolls around, we are back at square one and looking for matching mittens and our children’s homework.
Old habits die hard, and that is why this year, the goal should be to get organized and stay organized. The way this is done, according to home organization experts, is to change those bad habits one by one. Here are some of the best tips we have read about this subject. And just in time for New Years.
1. Have a place for everything:
This seems easy, but if everything has a home, then it’s easy to find. How do you do this? Designate a place for everything. Homework? Keep backpacks in a central location. Once homework is finished, the backpack is returned to its place. Looking for the car keys? Find a place where you will always know to look. Then put it there!
2. Start small:
The goal is not to try and do everything at once. It takes time to change habits, so start small. Concentrate on your home office for example. Don’t look at the whole room, but look at your desk first. Then come up with a simple solution that works for you. Maybe have an “in” box where your children can put their schoolwork that needs to be signed. At the end of every day, go through your in box and complete anything that needs to be done quickly. Again, it’s about what works for you, but by starting small, you can really feel you are accomplishing your goals little by little.
3. Routines are important:
Much like the example above, if you follow a routine where you know you need to go through your inbox each day, it will soon occur naturally. By creating a time for everything, whether it be for running errands, doing laundry, paying bills, you are creating habits that will follow you a lifetime. At one point you will ask yourself why you didn’t start following a schedule earlier. Believe us, it makes everything so much easier.
4. Clean as you go:
Nothing can be more overwhelming than finding out you are entertaining out of town guests at a moment’s notice. Talk about stress! But if you are in the habit of cleaning as you go, then it all becomes manageable. Dinner finished? Then wash dishes right away. Dirty laundry? Do a load a night. Not only does it feel good coming home to a cleaner house, but it also creates more time to do the things you really want to do on weekends.
5. All documents/paperwork in one place:
If you have paperwork scattered throughout the house, it’s time to find it a home in a central location. If you are regularly looking for receipts for example, then create a file where every receipt is stored for a certain amount of time. Create a binder for warranties or a special file for your children’s medical records. Store all in file cabinets or wherever you can find it quickly when needed.
6. Put it away:
How many times have we said to our children, “Put your toys away!” The same can be said for us as well. Once you are done with something, instead of putting it down, put it away in its proper place. Once you start doing this on a regular basis, it will become an old habit.
7. Keep a calendar:
Creating an online calendar such as Google is a lifesaver for busy people. Family members can retrieve it from anywhere and fill it with appointments as needed. You will never forget a birthday, school event or family gathering as your scheduling is all in one place. Check online to see what other online calendars or apps are available if you prefer a different style other than Google. The online world is filled with a variety of choices that are incredible.
8. Don’t forget pending items:
One of the hardest things to remember are those details that don’t have a deadline, but need to be handled at some point. These items are often forgotten, so one idea that we read is to create a “pending” file that is checked as often as needed. For example, if you need to make travel arrangements for summer, but it’s still a bit too early, put the information in a pending file, then note on your google calendar when to complete. If you want to make reservations at a restaurant, but they have a policy where you can only book two weeks in advance, put in your pending file and mark your calendar accordingly. You want to talk to your child’s teacher for a follow-up in spring? Again, put reminder and all related notes in pending file.
9. Create a landing area near doorway:
Simply put a basket near a table by a doorway to store keys, purse, wallet, cellphone and other items we normally carry in our pockets. Because it is located right by the entry, it’s easy to remember and when needed, you can find it in a heartbeat. How many times do you look for your cell phone? How often do you forget your wallet? When it’s right by the door, it’s hard to forget.
Again, just starting these simple steps can be a life changer. The more organized a person is, the more creative and efficient in all aspects.
It’s time to get started!