Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Six Commandments of Organizing (Part 2)

Here's part two of the post I shared earlier with the cardinal rules of organizing, as I see them (complete list):
  1. Each area of the house should be set up for only one type of activity.  Don’t pay bills in the kitchen, or eat in the bedroom. Use rooms for their intended purpose and designate an area for paperwork in an office or at a desk. Don’t cram all your activities into one room, or you’ll set yourself up to lose things!
  2. Handle items only once, or at the very most, twice.  Sort your mail next to the trash can.  Toss junk mail right away, take bills immediately to your desk (or schedule them for online payment immediately). Don’t make a habit of ‘piling’ unless you make a habit of sorting the pile for an hour each week!
  3. Designate one place in the house that will always be clutter-free to serve as your sorting area. You need a place to set down grocery bags, stacks of paperwork or supplies, and any other items you bring home with you. Unpack or spread out the items, then start putting things away immediately, working to clear off the sorting area.  Sometimes you have to make a mess in order to organize or clean it up!
  4. Work methodically, starting in one place, and sticking to a task until it is completed.  Try not to get overwhelmed.  Focus on one drawer or shelf, and work with it until you are done. Set a timer if it helps you keep moving. Small successes will be a big motivator.
  5. Group items with similar uses together where you use them.  For instance, store the supplies that you use to clean the bathroom underneath the sink or in a nearby closet - don’t hide them in the basement!  You’ll save time if you keep extra trash bags in the bottom of the can, protected by the bag that’s already in place.  Plus, you won’t need to find a shelf to store the bags on.  If you absolutely do not have room in the area, box up items, label them clearly and store them together with similar items in a storage area.
  6. Ask yourself: Could someone else benefit from having this item more than I am benefiting from it?  Check with them to see if they could use it.  “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Remember Matthew 6:25-34 – Do not worry about clothing, storing up treasures, or other things.  If you have not worn it in two years, picked it up in a year, or if it has a thick layer of dust on it, it isn’t doing you any good! You can donate just about anything to various causes, or you could bless a friend with something they can use, but may not be able to afford.

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