- Make an item’s home where it is used. This makes it much easier and convenient to put the item away rather than it consistently being out of place.
- My very favorite organizing product is a simple, clear plastic over-the-door shoe bag. These are inexpensive and can be purchased at almost any Target, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, etc. These are great, particularly for small spaces, because you gain a whole door’s worth of organization space that wasn’t there before. I have one in my coat closet for household cleaning supplies. I put the harmful items in the top slots so that my young children can’t reach them. I have one in my laundry room for all laundry-related products (it’s okay to take smaller items out of their original boxes so that they’ll fit!). I have two in my children’s playroom so that smaller toys are easier to find. I also have each slot labeled with a picture of the toy so that my kids can easily participate in clean up time, even if I’m not in the room to supervise.
- If you can access the information online or in a book, toss the paper! Instead, keep a single notebook designated for websites and references.
- Reserve your filing space for documents that you reference regularly. For paperwork that is necessary to hold onto but isn’t likely to be needed, such as tax documents for the required number of years, contain those files in a banker’s box and store in the attic or basement.
- If one of the reasons that you have too many papers out on your desk is that you are worried you will forget about something, consider putting together a “tickler file.” This should consist of a hanging file to be located at the front of your filing cabinet at your desk, and there should be a manila file folder for each day of the month. Make it a habit to check the folder for the date each morning when you turn on your computer. Need to pay a bill on the 15th of the month? On the 15th, check the file folder marked “15,” and voila, there’s your bill!
- Designate one hour each week to hold a family meeting. Each member of the family should bring their calendars, to-do lists, and schedules. Review the events for the upcoming week, including chores, expectations regarding dinners for each night, appointments, schedule changes, etc. so that everyone is on the same page before the alarm clock goes off on Monday morning and the rat race begins!
- Time may be divided into four quadrants: urgent and important; urgent, but not important; important, but not urgent; not urgent and not important. The goal in life is to organize our time so that we can fit in the important, but not urgent items, as those are the things that people tend to regret at the end of their lives.
- Remember: Every time you say “yes” to something, you are saying “no” to something else. What is truly important in your life? Are you saying “no” to any of those? If so, it may be time to reevaluate priorities and take another look at your calendar to see which unimportant items you can cancel.