Thursday, January 19, 2012

Organizing Tips for January

Last year my January article suggested you eliminate one bag of donations/recycle a week and eliminate one hour of electronics to free up your time.If you followed through on it, you are well on your way in your organizing journey.

This year I will make another suggestion to jump start the organizing process.Keep a bag or box near your door for donations.Each day as you see an item that you no longer use, immediately place it in the container.

So many times we keep things “just in case I might need it” but we haven’t used it in years if ever.Impulse purchases and gifts are often put in drawers, cabinets or closets but never used.Free yourself of these items and make space for organizing what is left.

Other items may have lost their usefulness but could be used by someone else.Move those on to a higher purpose.If sentimental items are not being enjoyed or honored but rather packed away in a closet or attic, see if another family member has room to display or used them.Letting go an item doesn’t mean you forget the person or event.

If you are diligent to put an item in everyday, you will quickly see more space for the things you use and love.Of course a closet clean out could have enough items to meet your quota for a week or two.It is never too late to make changes to be better organized.

Here are more reminders for January.

  • Start a container for tax related items that arrive in the mail this month.
  • Update your paper and computer records by purging folders of items no longer needed. This will make planning a new budget for the year and preparing tax forms much easier. Shred old financial documents a little at a time or take them to a records management company to be shred professionally.If you have questions about how long you should keep some records, contact me or check out pages 135-138 in my book, Orderly Places.
  • If you have not already done so, get a new planner/calendar that shows a week at a glance and breaks each day into hourly segments.Schedule your daily activities in it.Most computers have programs to do this, as does Google and other online sources, at no additional cost.
  • Update your home inventory.Take pictures or make a video of every room, every closet, the garage and attic for insurance purposes.These pictures will also give you a fresh and objective look at the appearance of you spaces.

Set a goal to make this year a successful one for organizing your home.Every step will make it a more enjoyable place for you and your family.