For years I've always been a business woman who was very organized and ready for anything. Now I'm a stay at home mommy who can barely find a hairbrush to brush my hair with anymore. I ran large medical facilities in my past life and today I can hardly maintain my own household.
That being said, I've decided to clean up my life. Honestly, disorganization makes me crazy. I hate not having control of my life or my time. I feel like I run in circles and accomplish very little most days. My family life, my blogging life, my sanity, all suffer from my lack of organization. So, here's beginning of the plan.
I've decided to take back control. I'm going to share my journey with you and hopefully it will keep me on track and may help you with something you are struggling with also. So I'm going to organize my life, within reason, like I once organized my successful business life.
Step 1 Basic Beginning
1. Start your day out right. Wake up, make coffee, shower, get dressed, and put on shoes. Do all the things you would do, every single day, as if you were going to work at the office. (I never sat all day in my jammies at the office). This will change your mental perspective; by getting ready and making yourself presentable to the world, you have set yourself up for success. You'll have more confidence because you'll know you are prepared for anything, and you will be more direct about getting work accomplished.
2. An easy and workable task list, or to do list. While I love all of these handy web apps, computer software, and cool cell phones, they just don’t work for me. I need a paper task list that I can check off things once they are completed.
Oops, this is my husbands list, but you get the point.
3. Decide on the 3 most important tasks you need to get done today. These take priority and save time worrying about them if you do them first.
4. Do it now. Stop procrastinating. Possibly the toughest item on the list, procrastinating is a major detriment to organizing your life. Instead of putting things off, get them done immediately. Force yourself to get things done without waiting to finish them. If it can be done in two minutes or less, always do it right away while breaking down larger tasks into smaller pieces to make them manageable.
5. Do one thing at a time.
6. Consider what needs to be organized. Although it's easy to say "everything," chances are there are specific areas in your life that have more clutter than others. Where are you the most disorganized? Consider your skills in making plans, cleaning house or running errands. Which of these is the most stressful for you to accomplish? Remember to consider your work life, friendships, and children.
7. Fill out a calendar. Purchase or make a calendar and place it somewhere you will see it on a regular basis. This could be near your keys, on the fridge or in your home office. Take a few minutes to fill out the entire calendar with important dates and events coming up.
8. Write things down. Whenever you have an important thought, or remember something you don't want to forge, or something you want to do, write it down. This can be done in your planner or use just a plain notebook that you keep with you. Writing down your errant thoughts will not only remove them from your mind, but also place them in a place that you can return back to later without forgetting.
9. Make use of the word No. Learn to delegate projects to others. If you know you have to go grocery shopping but are much too busy to consider the idea, ask a family member or close friend to run the errand for you. As long as you aren’t putting off major tasks or giving things that are important for you personally to do to others, delegate.
10. Don’t agree to everything you are asked to do if you know you don’t have time for it. Your friends won’t hate you, your boss won’t think you slack, and your significant other will understand if you need your free time to get some personal work and organization done.
11. Everything in its place. By finding places that are easy to get to for all the things I use most often, and places that are pretty easy to get to for the things I use less often, I spend less time dreading doing things and more time actually doing things. And the place for things you never use is elsewhere (trash can, place that accepts donations, etc.).
Don’t simply leave something on your nightstand, create a space specifically for that item. Do the same for everything in your home so that things aren’t left lying around without a place to live.Keep something like a basket or small stand near the front door where you can place things you need to deal with when you have more time. This might include your mail, items from the store, or things from school and work.
Put it away now. The single, simplest thing I do to stay personally organized is to put whatever tool, item, clothing, bag, hairbrush etc., away immediately after using it. I always know where everything and anything is so I never waste time looking for something.
12. Simplify, simplify, simplify! Do you have boxes or drawers full of mystery items, long lost from your memory? Well get out your handy label maker (or use a classic marker) and label everything you have.
13. Unapologetically take control of your time and priorities
14. Sort at the source. My favorite organizational tool is my garage trash can. I bring mail in through my garage and toss all the junk mail. What comes into my house is only what I need to have. Unfortunately the bills have to come inside.
15. Have.. less.. stuff. Get rid of things you don’t need. Although you might assume that you “need” everything you own, an unorganized house is probably likely to have some items you don’t. Sort through the things that constantly give you clutter and determine how useful it is to you. If you haven’t used it in a long time, don’t use it frequently, don’t like it anymore, or don’t need it, get rid of it.
Keep your emotions separate from the items you are sorting. Sure, your great aunt may have given you that porcelain knickknack, but do you truly want or need it? Make steps to throw these things out, and don’t feel like a bad person for doing so.
Separate things you get rid of into piles such as trash, donations, and things to sell. Then, process each pile accordingly.
Hold a garage or yard sale to make some money on the things you are throwing out or just call Goodwill.
My goal is to get myself set up and functioning efficiently this week.
If you have any tips that you want to share I hope you will leave them in the comments section.