Einstein most certainly knew what he was talking about as it is most certainly true that by simplifying and getting rid of the clutter as you organize your home, work and life you will find amazing opportunities to create a life richer and more fulfilling than you may have at first thought possible.
During the past two weeks, I have shared tips on how to begin organizing your life at the grass roots as well as specific routines and habits to follow as you continue to create a life of organization. Today, I will be sharing six habits to continue to follow once you have created a organized life that will help you handle gracefully anything that may arise at work, know exactly when to re-subscribe to your favorite magazines without having to rely on the distributor’s misleading mail and help you walk out the door to greet the rest of the world without wasting precious minutes staring into your closet as well as some suggestions on how to change your approach to every day living. So let’s wrap up this series!
While at work it is a good idea to have a drawer stocked with anything you might need to freshen your look, help you out in an emergency and assist you in always looking your best. For example, place a drawer organizer filled with contact solution, a toothbrush, deodorant, tampons, nail file, lip balm and anything else you might need in a place that is private, but easy to access at any time during your work day. And maybe even keep an extra pair of high heels for taking in a happy hour after work.
Often the part of my routine that slows me down in the morning (but also the one I enjoy the most) is deciding on what I’m going to wear. While the decision making part may be difficult, make it easier on yourself by organizing your closet by colors and styles (blouses, skirts, trousers, dresses, etc). When you know where everything is and once you know what you want to wear, you will know exactly where to find it. Just be sure that at the end of the day, you put it back in the proper place to continue to remain organized. The same advice goes for belts, scarves, jewelry and shoes (organize by color and heel height).
If you are like me, you may have five to ten magazines (some monthly, some weekly) you subscribe to for information, inspiration and motivation. A pet peeve of mine is the constant reminders that are sent in the mail not so subtly suggesting I re-subscribe at least six months before my subscription runs out. However, I’m never quite sure how close I am coming to the deadline, so some are interrupted and I miss a month and others aren’t based on my ability to stay on top of it.
Needless to say, I needed a system that put me in control and this is what I’ve found. First, if you’re not sure when your subscription expires, you can always find it on the label with your address – some are written numerically for the month and the year of the last issue paid for and some write the abbreviation for the month and then the numerical year. Once you know when the end of the subscription you have paid for will be, write it on a list you keep in the back of your planner or in a permanent file at your desk. Keep updating it and you will never have to question the renewal notices in the mail.
Whether or not you are someone who is just learning to become organized or have been organized your entire life, your home will need to be attended to in order to avoid the yearly clutter of unwanted material that inevitable occurs – especially if you aren’t living alone. No matter when you decide to clear out and organize, I highly suggest you take it one room at a time. By not rushing yourself, you will take more time to clean out completely and not make any rushed judgments about what should stay, what should be donated and what should be tossed. Once you have organized every room in your home for the first time, the subsequent years will be much easier as you will be less likely to keep things you don’t need and edit as you go, but regardless, take your time. And hey, if you finish one room early and want to start on your second room for the day – go for it.
When tackling each room, take everything out of the closet, off the shelf, out of the cupboards and thoughtfully decide which category it should fall – keep, donate/garage sale, or garbage. If you aren’t sure, then here’s what I suggest. Place any items that you can’t make your mind up about in a box. Write the current date on the outside of the box and then store it away. After a year, when you happen upon this box and you realize you didn’t mess anything that was in there, without looking inside, donate it or toss it as you clearly don’t need it.
Anytime you are doing your weekly cleaning, make sure everything you are picking up has a permanent home. If it doesn’t, toss it. What I mean by finding a permanent home is making sure there is a drawer, a file or a shelf that is designated for the writing utensils, the bills, the magazines, etc. By doing this, you are eliminating piles and random stacks that somehow take on lives of their own and are never attractive or helpful in creating a sanctuary.
A simple practice that we all can incorporate into our lives is the decision to buy less. Why do your children (or pets) need more toys? If you do decide to buy more toys, be sure to eliminate the same amount you bring into the home, so the number doesn’t increase. Why do you need more gadgets in the kitchen? As long as you have the basics (click here to see a simple list for any baker or cook), any meal or dessert is within your reach and your counters will be far less cluttered.
By buying less you are becoming disciplined in your decision making and asking yourself, “Do I really need this?”. Often times, we think we need it when really we only want it because of the supposed dazzling advertising or display. And in bringing more things into our lives we are making more work for ourselves. While there will always be something you must purchase, at least do yourself a favor and contemplate whether or not it is truly in your best interest.
To go back to view the first two parts of this series: