Now that summer is here and I have two young children racing around the house at full speed – and many hours each day that need to be filled with fun activities – I’m more understanding the need for great organizational skills.
I’ve posted in previous blogs that I have never been ‘the most’ organized person in the world. I’m right brained. You know, artistic and creative yet highly unorganized. A pile on a desk to me, in the past, has been a sign that things are good, that I’m busy, that I have stuff still to do.
Now, though, with two young children and a business underfoot, I see a pile on the desk as yet another task that must be tackled in a day filled with many, many tasks.
In other words, piles = more work.
I’ve been combating the piles by trying to reorganize and restructure. I’ll be doing some posts with organizational experts – you know, regardless of how organized we believe we are there are always ways in which to improve!
Today, though, as we step into summer full speed ahead, I thought I’d share some basic ideas I’ve been using to get the home and life a bit more easy to control.
- Go through old clothes and toss them. Seriously, old clothes in a closet do nothing but take up space. If you haven’t worn it in this year and it isn’t a special occasion dress or outfit, get it out of there. The less you have to go through each morning, the more time you have.
- While you are going through those old clothes, arrange your clothes according to color. I began doing this back in my mostly disorganized years and quite honestly never stopped. It is so much easier to get dressed when everything red is in one spot and everything beige in another. Pick a pair of pants, head over to a matching colored shirt and you are done.
- When it comes to doing the laundry, sorting beforehand is key. This saves valuable time both before and after you’ve done a load. Tell your family which clothes belong in which basket – darks, lights and whites – and then have them drop their dirty clothes in the right basket. You can turn this into a game for kids. Try matching the right clothes with the right pile, or give the kids a quarter each time they do this correctly. This also helps with eliminating dirty clothes found on the floor and under the bed.
- Keep a busy basket in the car. I use a wheeled suitcase my daughter has. All coloring books that we keep in the car go into this suitcase; her crayons go into a small plastic container. Each day after we take a drive we put the items back in the correct spot so the car remains tidy. Okay, not really: But at least it does help eliminate some of the mess!
- Store library books in a specific basket. We’ve spent numerous hours trying to find lost library books because the girls enjoy reading them at bedtime, at quiet time, etc, but now we have to return the books to the basket as soon as we are done reading them. I’ve shaved off hours each week of finding the missing book!
- Keep a planner in your purse and a calendar on your wall. I’ve mentioned this in previous posts but it is so true! Each day go through the two to match up appointments. If you write a dentist appointment on your calendar, add it to the planner. This way regardless of where you are you’ll know what it is you have to do and when.
- Get rid of the junk drawer. Really! A junk drawer is nothing more than a place to throw stuff. And when you throw stuff in a place at random, you forget where it is and what is in there. And then once a year you go through and find all that lost stuff and throw it away. Instead, put it where it really belongs – with the tools, in the piggy bank, in a file folder of other restaurant menus. That way when you need it you know where it is – and you have another drawer open in the kitchen!