Organization is a way of thinking and also a collection of habits. People who are highly organized often think and act in an organized way because it is part of their personality. Being in an unorganized environment creates stress and tension for them. (I’m just going off life experience here, I’m not citing any official research!) However, everyone can improve and benefit by developing organization habits. As you develop these habits, your home and life will run smoother and you will enjoy success in unexpected ways.
Here are some ideas, geared specifically for home life, to make you more organized. They are things you can do right now, in this moment, to help your home and family in an immediate way. I am also adding suggestions for ways to make these things a habit so that you can become more organized in the long run. Don’t try to do all of them. Pick one or two and get started on a more organized you.
- Choose one task that you have been putting off and do it now! This is probably something you don’t like doing (for me it is phone calls) or haven’t had time for. It is that item that keeps getting bumped on your to-do list. Get it done! Make a habit of doing your worst task of the day first thing. Once that task is done, you will be less likely to procrastinate the other things on your list.
- Make a list of things you need to do this week. If you are not a list maker, you really need to be! Categorize your list by marking the things that are the most important. Remember suggestion #1 above. Now set a time each week when you will write your list. I make my list every Sunday night and get up early enough on Monday to read, think, and add to it. Then I outline my week accordingly.
- Plan a menu. Take a moment and write down what you will eat each night. It is okay to plan things like pancakes for busy nights, but have a plan. Follow up with a grocery list and make sure you have everything in the house that you need for your meals. If you do not have time to make it to the grocery store for a couple days, plan your first meals around things that you have in your pantry. Making multiple grocery store trips is a huge waste of time. Once menu planning becomes a habit, this will flow easily. Set a time each week to plan your menu and grocery list.
- Throw away 10 things. Grab a trash bag, walk around your house looking for things that need to be gone. Junk mail, wilting flowers, old homework, all that stuff that just ends up lying around. Getting it out of the way will immediately give you a sense of accomplishment and organization. This one is easy. Make a habit of doing it at the same time every day, such as right before dinner.
- Clear off your kitchen counter. Is this a collection area for you? It is at my house. It gets loaded as the day goes along. Put away or throw away everything that shouldn’t be there. Now spray with your favorite cleaner and give it a wipe down. I like to do this every night before I begin making dinner. So refreshing!
- Put away 10 random items. Look around the main living area of your house. Chances are you will see multiple items that shouldn’t be there. Shoes back in closets, grocery bags back in the car, remote controls back in the drawer, magazines back in the rack, etc., etc. This is a great one to do after dinner when the family is there to help. Everyone picks up and puts away (pick your number) items. Then you will go to bed with a tidy house.
- Set a timer for 10 minutes and clean a designated area. This works great for a room or area that tends to be neglected and collecting clutter. For me it is the laundry room and our spare bedroom. You may not have time to attack the big project; but if you set a timer for 10 minutes a day and work on it consistently, you will soon see a big change.
- Keep a donation box always. Keep a box or bag of some sort in a corner or closet that is designated for items that need to be donated. It then is easy as you notice these items around to just toss them in the box. For example, if you notice your child has outgrown a shirt just add it to the box the next time it goes through the laundry. Finish a book you don’t want to keep? Put it in the box. Have a home decor item you don’t love anymore? In the box. Load the box to your favorite donation center when it gets full and then start over. This will keep clutter from building up.
Do you see how easy organization can be? What habit will you work on this week? Commit to trying something new and see what it can do for you!