This upcoming weekend is the last free one that I will have in quite a while. So I’m going to make the best of of it! Jay will be watching football and I’ll be organizing! But as you know — I don’t take on a task without being prepared with a checklist. Professional organizer Bonnie Joy Dewkett has helped in the past with my paper problem — and now here’s her list for staying organized at home.
by Bonnie Joy Dewkett
Organizing your home doesn’t have to be a challenge. Take the time to effectively plan your projects out. Then give them the thought, attention, and time they deserve.
1. Start by writing down your organizing goal. Don’t start with “organize the garage.” Start with WHY you want to get organized. For example, “I want to organize my family room, so that I have more time with my kids” or, “I want to organize my closet, so that I have a less stressful morning routine.”
2. Next, write down the space you want to organize. From there, identify the smaller steps you will need to take to do so. This will make the overall project less daunting, and will create a great “to-do” list. This can seem like a big task, but making the smaller to do list will show just how much better it will make everything else. For example, in a garage, you may write down the following:
a. Clean out gardening supplies
b. Treat the garage walls and floors
c. Sort through tools
d. Hang bikes on wall
e.Throw away or recycle any non-working items
f. Clean the garage flooring rolls
3. Don’t run out and purchase organizing supplies before you have begun your projects. Instead wait to see what you need, measure, and then head out. While you don’t want to spend a ton of money on these supplies, make them pleasing to you so that you enjoy them, and most importantly will use them.
4. After you have identified the steps, you should then schedule the time on your calendar to get these tasks done. Writing it down, and making a date to complete the tasks, increases the chances you will stick to your goals. After all, you make other appointments, like getting your hair done, and don’t miss that, right?
5. Think about how you unload your dishwasher. You take the clean items out of the dishwasher and put them where they belong… glasses with glasses, plates with plates, etc. It’s a quick and easy process because everything has a home. If you treat your home the same way, getting organized is a snap.
6. As you progress through your organizing project, reward yourself accordingly. If you accomplished a big goal get a manicure, or go to a movie. Do something that is rewarding, but won’t bring new clutter into the home. This will keep the momentum going.
7. Tell all of your friends and family you are planning on getting organized. This will also help motivate you. Many times they will ask you about how you are doing, and you don’t want to disappoint them, right? And, organization is catchy! Offer to trade time with them, such as offering to baby-sit their kids, in exchange for their help. Or, help each other with similar projects at each other’s homes.
8. Clutter around your home is a result of delaying action on an item. Instead of putting something away, you decide to do it later. Change your mindset! Try this: If it takes less than two minutes to put something away or finish a task, do it right away. It will take you longer to readdress the issue later on.
9. The Ten Minute Tidy- Set aside ten minutes a day for all family members to put items away. If you have five people in your family, and everyone participates for ten minutes, that’s almost an hour’s worth of clean up time going on in your home every day!
10. Plan your week ahead on the weekend. Make sure you have clean clothing, your kids are prepared for school activities, and you have groceries for the week. Planning your meals for the week, saves time and frustration figuring out what is for dinner when you are already hungry! You will find that spending an hour of weekend preparation can save you several hours of time during the week.
Bonnie Joy Dewkett, CPO® is an organizing expert, author, and motivational speaker. Her company, The Joyful Organizer®, creates and implements organizational systems for the home or office. These changes allow her Customers to create calm from chaos at work and at home. Bonnie has achieved the prestigious designation of Certified Professional Organizer, CPO®, from The Board of Certification for Professional Organizers. She is a member of The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and has published The Joyful Organizer’s Guide to a Joyful Move which is available on her website http://www.thejoyfulorganizer.com.