The task of getting organized can sometimes be a very daunting prospect to those who don’t think of themselves as organizers. Some love to have a place for everything, arranged in 90o angles, sorted by color, size, theme and cross-referenced and some don’t (because they think they can’t or because they are lazy!).
Being of the latter variety (High Five!), I’ve come to the conclusion that some organization is valuable, as long as it doesn’t become a task on its own and as long as getting organized isn’t actually something that will get in the way of the more important parts of your day.
However, I’ve been shown the virtues of organizing my life in order to produce better work and free up my mind for more creative endeavors. I’ve found that knowing where everything is, how everything works and how everything fits together in my life frees up room in my mind, my day, and improves my general well-being.
Coming from someone who’s always been a bit anti-organizing, here are a few tips I’ve learned to ease you into the “habit” of getting (and staying) organized.
- Write down everything important and don’t rely on your memory: We can all agree most of us have a tough time remembering things. Keeping your to-do, lists and other information written somewhere allows you to look back at it anytime, even when you’ve hit your head and forgotten your own name (Be Like Gajini!)
- Make Regular Back-ups of your important ‘stuff’: Back up your computer files and have duplicates made for your car and home keys. Scan your IDs, passports and bank details, then put it all in a secured folder in your computer. Keep the original and photocopies of your financial records, birth certificates, land titles and insurance in one folder, preferably tucked away in a safe.
- Put things exactly where you took them from: Chefs are extremely organized people, in and out of the kitchen. Their secret? They have a place for everything. They sort out their clothes, wrapping paper, crafts, cleaning materials, basically everything, and keep them in labeled containers or closets at home. In the kitchen, they’re trained to organize their work space well so that their every move is conserved and they know exactly where all the ingredients are.
Doing this will take time, but after a while you’ll see how easy it is to find what you need when everything in your place has a home.
Clean up regularly: The best way to remain organized is to allot certain hours of day the de -cluttering and cleaning up. It doesn’t have to be a large chunk of time either, as 15 to 30 minutes a day is enough.
- Recycle and Donate:Is your closet full of unopened bags and clothes that still have their tags on? Is your book shelf full of unread books? Chances are if you haven’t read, worn, or used whatever it is, then you’re probably not going to use it at all. Donate them to a charity (or sell them on Olx ……. Bech De!).
- Check the Expiration dates:Expired canned goods and medicines won’t just taste bad, it’s also bad for your health. Dispose of it immediately to minimize the clutter in your cabinets, and make room for new supplies.
- Unsubscribe from Unread Subscriptions: If you subscribe to a number of newsletters, blogs and other online publications, but haven’t read a single email from them in 3 months, just unsubscribe. You probably won’t read any of their content, anyway. While you’re at it, unsubscribe from unread magazines, catalogs and junk mail. It’s just a waste of money and space, especially if you don’t read them.
- Create a Weekend Bucket List:Keep a list of activities that you want to do, so you can consult this list on boring weekends instead of wasting your time figuring out what to do—or just giving up and watching reruns at home
- Label the Perishables:When was the last time you found an unrecognizable Tupperware of food in your freezer? Sometimes it’s not just cooked food — juice, condiments and sandwich spreads go unnoticed until one day you’re wondering what that mysterious green goo is! Minimize food wastage by putting a label on all items in your fridge, complete with expiration date, name and quantity or size.
- Don’t overstock Supplies: Make an inventory of home cleaning and toiletry supplies, so you don’t run out and don’t overstock either. You might think overstocking is good, but if you don’t have enough storage then all those extra supplies are just wasting your precious space. The same tip is applicable for office supplies, canned goods and toiletries.
Whichever of these tasks you decide to do, remember that you can’t completely organize your life in one go. It’s a long, never-ending process so be patient. Just decide to get organized now then take baby steps until you see some semblance of order in your life. Soon enough, you will be making a habit out of it all!
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