Many people think that getting organized means being neat and tidy. However, being organized has nothing to do with being neat or tidy, it actually has to do with finding what you want when you want it and getting things done on time. There are no hard and fast rules for getting organized, it's merely finding solutions that work for you.
When getting organized, you will find that clutter is your number one enemy. Clutter and chaos go hand in hand, making your first step (for most people) the hardest one - reducing clutter. The more things you have, the easier it is for clutter to form and grow.
Quality over quantity.
Always remember to place your emphasis on quality over quantity. In other words, it's not important to have a lot of things, many of which you never use. It's far more beneficial to have fewer things, all of which you use and/or enjoy. Simplify your life and you will get and stay organized!
A place for everything and everything in its place.
Every item you have, no matter what it is, should have a designated place in your home. This way, when you need it you will always know where to look for it.
Once you have your clutter under control, the next challenge is keeping it that way. This is mostly just habit. Some discipline is needed to create good habits, but once established you gain permanent benefits.
Don't put it down, put it up.
When you remove something from its place, when you're done using it, put it away. Yes, sometimes it seems easier to just place it on the kitchen table until later, or to put it on your desk until tomorrow. Unfortunately, this often results in many items being out of place, which can leave your home or office in disarray. Never mind the fact that it presents a bad example for other family members, or staff members.
Don't give clutter a chance to form. Put it away now. You'll find it when you need it, and your environment will remain clutter-free.
File, don't pile.
It is very easy to get overwhelmed with paper. Our paper volume increases on a daily basis. Between lists, mail, bills, school papers, documentation, warranties, etc., it's often seen as a pain to take the time to handle those papers immediately. However, if those papers begin to transform themselves into piles -and they usually do - it's going to be even more of a pain to get them under control. Piles tend to get taller and taller, until even the idea of dismantling them seems colossal. This results in lots of piles, and even more stress.
- If you DON'T need a piece of paper, get rid of it immediately. Either recycle it, or give it to the appropriate party.
- If you DO need a piece of paper, file it right now. Don't put it down, even for a minute. Either place it in your filing cabinet, your To-Do file, your bill paying system, etc. If you take the time to file it now, it won't stand a chance of growing into a huge pile.
Seeking less stress and more space? Here are 5 common space bandits that can take your space captive.
If you're like most people, the clothes you wear on a day-to-day basis come from a mere 20 percent of the clothes in your closet. In other words, 80 percent of those clothes are just taking up space and never worn. Go through your closet and remove jeans, sweaters, blouses, skirts, dresses, shoes and coats that you never wear. Donate them today. Your closet will be ready to store any outfits you feel wonderful wearing, and you'll be helping out someone who could be making use of those unused garments.
Bread machines, juicers, griddles, mixers and other similar appliances are wonderful - if you use them. However, if you have some, or all, of these appliances, and you haven't used them in, conservatively speaking, a year, chances are, they'll never be used in your lifetime. Say goodbye to them today, and you'll be freeing up cabinet and counter space.
Do you keep every single magazine that enters your home?
If you do, you most likely have a few piles growing throughout your home or office. Try to go through your magazines and cut out and file, only the articles or recipes, etc. that most interest you. No sense in keeping the entire magazine, once you've read through it and have chosen those pages that you'd like to keep for future reference.
While it's fine to keep some very meaningful things stashed away in a mementos box, if you've accumulated more than one or two boxes of these treasures, you may be going a bit overboard. Being sentimental is wonderful, but not when it's at the expense of your living space or storage space. Go through these boxes of stuff from time to time, and weed out the things that no longer have significant meaning to you. Commit to 1-2 boxes at the most, and you'll have lots of memories to look back on in the future, and lots of new space now!
Is your home or apartment filled to the max with furniture you never use? Perhaps it was passed down from a loved one? Or maybe you recently made a move to a smaller place, but brought all of your big furniture with you. If it's not functional or you truly don't have the space for it, consider letting go. Imagine all the free space you'll have when it's gone.
Getting Organized on a Budget
Getting organized does not have to be an expensive task. You may think that you have to go out and purchase all sorts of organizing baskets, bins, holders and cabinets. In other words, you may think you have to spend lots of money to lead an organized life. But, the truth is, organizing is a PROCESS, not a PRODUCT. It takes skill, application and motivation. And yes, tools certainly help - but there are many frugal ways of getting and staying organized, without breaking the bank.
Make more space.
Chances are, you have available storage space in your closets and cabinets. But, perhaps they're currently filled with clutter. Empty them out and dump or donate things you don't need and no longer want. It's the least expensive way to gain lots of storage space. You may even consider holding a yard sale or selling your stuff online, and actually making some money!
Manage your magazines.
First of all, it is very important that you assess your current magazine situation. Most magazines older than a month, can generally be recycled. If you want to keep a recipe or article that appeared in a certain issue, tear out the page and keep only the article; not the entire magazine. Next step is to pick up a magazine holder. If you're on a budget, most office supply stores carry very inexpensive cardboard ones, or make your own out of cereal boxes! Once the box is full, don't allow yourself to put another magazine into it until you toss one out.
Use creative storage ideas.
Need to organize smaller items, such as earrings, or extra buttons, or push pins? Ice cube trays or muffin tins are perfect for keeping everything sorted. Old candy boxes with the plastic inserts also work well for the small items. Try to avoid the heart shaped ones though, as they are an awkward shape. Place some in your drawers, and these smaller items will always be handy. Small jars and plastic containers also work well. Empty film canisters are perfect for storing pins, buttons, tacks and other small items. Sort your things into these small organizing wonders, press on the top and stick a blank label around the outside. Then, label each canister to identify the contents. Finally, store these canisters in a box to keep them all together.
Use small shallow boxes as dividers.
Gather small shallow boxes - the type that jewelry or bank checks often come in. Most people have these floating around the house. Empty out the drawer and line up these boxes inside, arranging them so that there are no open spaces. Voila! You now have the perfect sorting system for all of those loose items.
Organize with inexpensive boxes.
While I generally suggest sturdy, plastic, see-through containers for storage, for the budget conscious, that may not be an option.
If this is your situation, you can certainly use good old cardboard boxes. Just make sure you clearly label the contents in each.
Look to the walls
Often, wall space is forgotten about. But you can free up so much space in your cabinets, on your dresser, in your garage, and so on, if you always think about how you can use your walls. Shelving works well, whether decorative or utilitarian. But shelving can be expensive. Another solution is to use hooks - much more reasonable and available at all hardware stores. Hang your pots, pans and teacups. Hang photo frames. Hang bikes. You get the picture.
Save those jars
Clean out those jars, remove the labels, and you have the perfect storage containers for nails, screws, nuts, bolts, buttons, loose change, paper clips, elastic bands, and so much more! And the best thing is, they're see through, which means you can easily identify everything inside at a glance!