It’s January, and we all know what that means. Time to clean, purge, and organize! It’s no secret that I love a clean, organized home. If my home is disorganized and cluttered, I simply can’t function properly.
My mother and grandmother (who lived with us) were the same way. I have a theory. If we grew up in a clean and organized home, we either tend to be that way as adults or the opposite. Do you agree?
That’s not to say I have my act together all the time. In fact, I felt I could use a few tips from super organized folks out there, so I asked/looked/read and found some useful ideas I thought I would share. Nothing earth shattering here folks, just some tips that I thought might jump start your organizing process this month, so here goes.
Thinking you can organize once and be done with it is like thinking you can exercise once and you’ll suddenly have the body of Giselle Bündchen. If only. It is a continual process, which is why it’s so important to find systems that work for you and your family, not what some article in a magazine (or a blog!) is recommending.
Remember my bathroom organizing post from a couple of years ago? (Of course you don’t. That’s why I linked to it.) Basically, it stresses that you need to ‘find your path’. Go ahead and check it out for some ideas on developing organizing systems and come on back.
Now that you got the hard stuff out of the way, i.e., finding systems that work for you, there are several things you can do EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. to keep you on track.
I’m going to start off with my number one tip:
1 – LEAVE A ROOM AS YOU FOUND IT
I don’t know how many times I said this, but it’s worth repeating. Think about it. Once a room is organized, if you leave it as you found it, it will pretty much stay that way. Don’t leave mugs on the table, magazines on chairs, shoes on the floor. You get the idea.
2 – CLEAN AS YOU GO
Don’t wait to clean once a month, or even less. Do the quick and easy stuff daily, or at least a few times a week, such as wiping down bathroom and kitchen counters, giving your kitchen sink a quick wipe down after rinsing dishes, etc.
3 – PUT THINGS AWAY WHEN YOU’RE DONE WITH THEM
This isn’t rocket science, but it always surprises me how many people don’t do this!
4 – KEEP IMPORTANT ITEMS IN THE SAME SPOT
Guilty as charged. Just ask Fisherman. I’m constantly looking for my glasses and phone! But one thing I’m good about is always leaving the keys in the same spot, so we NEVER lose track of them. Keeping them by the door is handy, and I highly recommend it you have the space to do this too, but if not, maybe a small hanging basket would suffice.
5 – CLEAN UP AS YOU GO ALONG WHEN COOKING
One thing Rachel Ray does is have a ‘garbage bowl’, and I have to admit it’s a handy way to cook. Just put everything in the bowl that will end up in the garbage or compost as you cook. Saves time and steps in the kitchen! Another time saver? While the cookies are baking (or whatever), clean up the mixing bowls. The sooner you do it, the easier it will be.
6 – WORK ON ONE THING AT A TIME
Unless you’re super organized, trying to do two things at once rarely works out well. Focus on one task at a time and I promise you’ll feel less stressed and you will accomplish more, and as an added bonus, each task will be performed more efficiently.
7 – DON’T PUT OFF SMALL TASKS
They’ll only pile up. I know from experience, because I’m not very good at this. One thing I am good at is throwing away junk mail IMMEDIATELY. It barely hits the table before it’s in the recycling bin. Try it. It’s also very helpful to write things down so you won’t forget. I use my Evernote app for that, and I love it. Oh, and don’t forget to label items if you’re not sure what’s inside. It really helps!
In other news…
Our trip down to Florida (we left on the 26th), was uneventful, and when you’re driving a 35′ sexy beast and towing, that’s a good thing. We had LOTS of traffic and it took us four nights to get here, but that was sort of expected.
We have been in Naples for a week now, and unlike last year, the weather has been beautiful! We’ve gone to the beach, done some bike riding, and we’re playing pickleball almost every evening. The resort is a different one than the one we stayed in last year, larger and with nicer facilities. We attended their New Year’s Eve party, and at $32 a COUPLE we didn’t expect much but were pleasantly surprised. We ate, drank and boogied all night long. New Year’s Day Fisherman went to the Community Center and watched football while feasting on pulled pork, coleslaw, beans and root beer floats while I spent the day making enough meatballs to feed the entire resort (I froze most of them).
We are here for a month then it’s off to Venice, where I hope to continue to enjoy the same activities as last year…painting, jewelry making, photography and biking, among others.
I have a few posts prescheduled, although not as many as last year. I hope to write a couple about our travels while we are down here rather than wait until we return. In the meantime I’m concentrating on enjoying the sunshine and our surroundings 🙂
Stay warm and happy…