Why bother with clutter? If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of others. http://ow.ly/kC5pM
Later. Tomorrow. When I have more time. When I’m not as busy. After the holidays. I think you are starting to sense a pattern here. Procrastination is a fancy word for putting off things that you need to do but don’t really want to. And I get it. It’s normal to not want to do your taxes, fold laundry, write that thank you note, or pull weeds but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t value in accomplishing those things. Imagine what happens when you don’t accomplish those tasks and you move forward. Even though the task in question will ultimately benefit you, it’s not always easy to get started.
I also ask this question when it comes to larger, potentially life changing projects. I worked with a client this week who said that a milestone birthday was coming up and that’s when she was going to finally renovate her bathroom. It took a milestone birthday for me to leave my corporate job and join the entrepreneurial world so I get it. Sometimes you need that milestone to be a reward for massive changes. But I also hear from people that complain about the state of their homes and they say they don’t have time to get organized. They can’t take time to go through a closet or boxes that haven’t been opened since their move x years ago. They are too busy to make their home a place of refuge so it becomes a sanctuary of stuff. They don’t know what they have, don’t know where things are, spend excessive time looking for things, and end up frustrated, irritated, and financially drained spending money buying what they already have. Does this sound familiar? It’s ok, it’s a common phenomenon and there is a remedy:
Get your home in order. You live there now and it should reflect your life, interests, tastes, and needs. There is no perfect time to go through that closet full of unidentified stuff. Just do it and get it over so you can move forward. Not dealing with clutter makes you a slave to it and trapped in the past. Go through it and face it head on. You’ll discover that you either have new-found treasures that will enhance your home or you have stuff that needs to move on to another place. You deserve it. You’ve earned the time to go through this now. The space will then be in order and a pleasure to look at, not an eyesore that drains your energy. Wouldn’t you rather achieve this peace now and not wait for some arbitrary milestone to give you permission to move forward?
Do it for you. Do it now. Do not procrastinate taking care of yourself and your home. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of others.
Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. Carl Sandburg
So I recently wrote about how to get more accomplished in the day by completing tasks in 1 or 2 minutes with this post but here is an article on with 101 Useful Things You Can Do in 15 Minutes or Less. Granted, not all 101 items on the list will apply to you but it’s amazing to think of what you can do in 15 minutes if you just do it. Sometimes it’s the avoidance of another, more daunting task that encourages this sudden surge in productivity but at least you are getting something done and marking it off your list. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, WRITE IT DOWN! Start a list of things you’d like to do such as….
- a list of places you’d like to go on vacation
- house projects you’d like to accomplish this year
- books you’d like to read (someday)
- movies you’d like to see
- recipes you’d like to try
- restaurants you’d like to visit
These are all pretty “fun” things to do and they are all about YOU. You deserve to invest in yourself. Whenever you have 5, 10, or 15 minutes free you can go back to this list and start thinking about what you really want to accomplish and if you are on a path to achieve any of that. Mark things off the list or add to it. This is a list that helps spur your creativity and will encourage goal setting. If you set goals, you’ll achieve goals. Achieving goals leads to feeling a sense of accomplishment which leads to your future success, which drives you to achieve more of your dreams. And it all starts with you, a pen, and a piece of paper.
Inexpensive organization tools are high on everyone’s list of essential items for their home and I love finding treasures that help people save money. Here is a post I wrote about items found at the Dollar Store. This time, I found some great items at Wal-Mart. I know that is not everyone’s favorite place to shop but I love it for specific food staples and organization tools like bins, laundry bags, storage crates, and cleaning supplies. A lot of their bins are made in the USA which is a huge bonus in my book although I didn’t verify where these were made. One of my organization rules is to not buy things, even if they are inexpensive or on sale, unless I have a specific use for them. You should never go buy containers until you’ve decluttered and figured out exactly what you need and, most importantly, measured your space.
So here is what I found that I would recommend for anyone who wants to get organized and not spend a lot of money.
I love these small lidded containers for several reasons:
- They come in a variety of colors which means you can color code (love!) or just pick out your favorite.
- Lids are always good if you are storing leftover food or juice.
- They can be stacked if not in use and won’t take up a lot of room.
- These can be used for traveling, in your desk, bathroom, craft room, kids’ rooms, garage, or basement.I could go on and on….
- You get 4 for $1. Great price!
These containers have a similar function but thought they were just cute! These would be great for kids or adults that act like children.
You know I love making lists and it’s great to have paper around to do just that. These notepads have a magnet so could be put on the refrigerator for grocery lists or other notes. Again, a dollar!
Here is a journal with a pen for a dollar that would be great in your purse, briefcase, by your bed, in your car or wherever you may be struck with an epiphany that saves the world so you don’t want to forget it. I know there are a lot prettier ones out there on the market but these are small with only 60 pages so you can have them in a variety of locations. You can see how much of a luddite I am because I’m suggesting you use paper and pen and not telling you about an app to capture ideas or grocery lists. No, I’m not preparing for a zombie apocalypse; I just like what is easy and reliable. I’m also one who likes to sketch and doodle and there is nothing more frustrating than not being able to do that when I’ve got idle time.
Office supplies for a dollar? Yes, Virginia, it is possible. These cups for pens could also be used for holding craft supplies, makeup brushes, paperclips, scissors, and other desk necessities. The file folders in the background are a steal as well. It’s not a very masculine way of organizing paperwork but I think the bright colors are a nice break from vanilla manila.
So there are some more suggestions for inexpensive organization containers. Don’t forget to look around your own home before you go out and buy something. You may already have the perfect jar, shoe box, or mug that you can use right now. What is your favorite inexpensive home organization tool?
It’s finally time to put your winter clothes away. I had to throw out all of my sweaters 1 year thanks to moths. http://ow.ly/jWqbd
What is the most important space to organize in a home? Some might say the bedroom because that is where you spend (hopefully) at least 8 hours of your day. Some might say the kitchen because if if you’re constantly looking for something to eat or tools to make something to eat and can’t find what you need during the 3x a day you’re in there, you’re having a lot of bad days. However, I’m going to argue that the Command Center, frequently housed in the kitchen, is the most important place in American’s homes to have organized.
Why is that, you ask? Because this is where all activities are managed, bills are paid, supplies are stored, and paperwork is filed. This is not to say that all homes are like this but the majority of American homes built since the 1960′s have incorporated a work area with a desk, drawers, and a couple of cabinets for managing exactly these types of activities. Interestingly enough, as homes are now evolving to have a full time office space, there is still a need to have at least a corner of the kitchen carved out to be a Command Center. Some trends today are to use chalkboard paint to indicate this area and provide a place for notes and lists, using modular pieces like hanging calendars, magnetic boards, or hanging in and out boxes. Since the kitchen has evolved to be the center of activity in a home, it makes sense to have this go-to area located there, especially if you live in a house with children. More people to manage = more stuff to keep track of!
So what happens in a Command Center? It will be different for everyone because we all function a little differently but this is a great place to house the following:
- Car keys: Get a bowl or hook to put them so you’re not looking for them later.
- Cell phone: Put a charger here and plug it in when you walk in the door.
- Calendar: A visual representation of all important activities for everyone in the house. Little ones start to learn time management early by seeing their activities on a calendar.
- Computer: Especially if you have kids, a publicly located computer is great for homework, looking up recipes, listening to music, and so forth.
- Clock: You need to know what time it is and it’s important for that morning or afternoon rush to get out of the house.
- Mail: What doesn’t get tossed immediately can be kept here for reading later.
- Bills to be paid: It’s nice to have that visual cue that you need to take action. You could even clip them to your calendar until they are paid.
- Purse or wallet: Save yourself time and pain by knowing where it is at all times.
- Glasses and/or Sunglasses: If you need readers, this is a perfect place to have an extra pair. Sunglasses are essential for driving so I keep mine here.
- Stamps, pens, scissors, paperclips, scrap paper, tape, batteries, envelopes, coupons,
The most important part of organizing any area is assigning a home to everything in your home. The Command Center is a great place to house a lot of the supplies necessary to conduct your life stress- and drama-free, able to find what you need, when you need it so you can lead a happy life!
Any other ideas for how to best use your Command Center? Need help putting yours together? Contact Neatsmart to get started on creating the most efficient, functional, and stylish Command Center you’ve ever had!
Trying to figure out HootSuite. Any words of wisdom?