Have you ever spent more than 15 minutes looking for your car keys when you were ready to walk out the door? Have you ever had a letter ready to go in the mailbox, only to realize you can’t find the stamps you bought last week? How about when the paper has all those great coupons you could use, but you can’t locate the scissors? Or do you just tear them out by hand and hope you didn’t damage the bar code? Fifteen minutes looking for the keys, 20 minutes looking for the stamps, maybe only five for the coupons, since you are in the mood to tear something anyway; forty minutes of your precious day wasted, and this is probably just a small sampling. All of these incidents, and so many more, happen because of poor organization.
Entire books have been written, and even courses offered on better organization. But if you concentrate on a few areas of the house, and follow these few easy steps, you can regain that lost time.
The hallway of your home or the entrance into your apartment has to be a staging area for speedy exits. Put a small table by the door, with a basket or bowl on the table. Your house and car keys automatically go in the basket. Make it a habit.
Any item you have to remember to bring with you the next time you go out goes on the table, so you can’t miss it when you leave. This is also the ideal place for your to do list. Keep a pad and pen on the table so you can jot down the stops you have to make when you your run errands. It is well worth the few extra steps to get them on paper as you think of them.
The kitchen is often the dumping grounds for so many of the paraphernalia of our daily lives. The problem with this non system is that so many things are dumped that you can’t find what you need. Make it a point, and train the family to put things where they belong.
Now, the items in the kitchen belong in the kitchen, and go back where they belong each time they are used. A kitchen drawer should be designated for scissors, pens or pencils, and a paper pad for grocery lists, coupons, etc. Keep tweezers, scotch tape, band aids, a small hammer and screwdriver, a nail file and hand cream in another section, to save trips to the office, garage or bathroom.
Drill into your own and your family’s heads the importance of putting each item back in its own section, and you will be amazed at the time you will save and the stress you will eliminate.
If you do not have room in your home for an office, put aside a section of the bedroom or family room for paperwork, bill paying, general organization. Keep stamps, envelopes, extra paper, paper clips, etc. within reach. Today, this “desk” area is usually where the computer is located. Even a small desk can have drawers for keeping filed items and important documents.
Discipline is important in this area, as well. When you walk in the door with the daily main (after dropping the keys in the basket), bring the mail to your desk. If you cannot open it right away, leave it until you can. Opening mail as you wander through the house is a recipe for messy surfaces and lost papers. Open your mail at your desk, near a wastepaper basket. Put bills to be paid in a folder, put items to be acted upon in an inbox, and throw away flyers and ads you don’t need. If you do plan on visiting a given store in the near future, put their flyer on your hall table, and put that errand on your errand list.
These simple steps keep the items that are related to one subject contained to one area, and once you get used to always having your keys in the same place, your mail sorted and filed instead of spread all through the house, and knowing exactly where the scissors are at all times, you won’t know what to do with the extra time you will have.
Thanks for reading. A little about me: I’m currently doing a site on criminal background check, providing tips and tools on how to investigate almost anyone.