Monday, April 20, 2009

Don't Put It Off!

So very often, disorganization is a result of procrastinating--putting things off until a later date. Part of being organized is realizing that if you just do it now, you can save yourself a bunch of time later on.

1) Put it back. Once you're done using something, always put it back in its designated home. Avoid putting it down someplace temporary, like the kitchen table. Very often, these temporary homes turn into permanent homes. Keep adding more stuff to those areas and you'll end up with tons of clutter. Then you'll have to spend tons of time putting it all away. As soon as you're finished using it, put it back where it belongs. It only takes a second, and clutter will never have a chance to form.

2) Do it daily. Many tasks, if left undone, end up turning into mountains of clutter or hours of wasted time. For instance, if you sort through your mail each day, it will take less than 5 minutes. Let it go for an entire week, and it can take an hour or more. If you wash a load of laundry each day, it will never grow. Let it go for three or four days, and you'll have so much to be laundered, you may not even know where to start. If you lightly clean the bathroom after everyone showers each day, it will never require a deep cleaning. If you wait a week or more, intense scrubbing and quite a bit of time will be required to get it back to a sanitized, clean state.

3) Handle it once. Paper shuffling--picking up the same sheet of paper two times or more--wastes both time and energy, and can result in mounds of paper clutter. When you pick up something that requires an action, such as responding to an invitation, instead of putting that paper down on the kitchen counter for later, perform that action right away. If a sheet of paper requires filing, rather than placing it in a To Be Filed tray, get it into your filing system. Realistically, you won't be able to handle every action immediately, but if you keep paper shuffling to an absolute minimum, it won't get out of hand.

4) Make a note. Even those people who are good at remembering things, occasionally forget. The average person can only keep so many thoughts in his or her head. Why take a chance? When you have to remember something, write it down into a planner or a notebook. Don't put it off, because other thoughts are bound to take over and there's always a chance something will be forgotten.

1 comment:

Bonnie said...

This post really hit the spot for me. I think since getting the puppy my routine has been broken up and I've let things slide.
Like the paper thing. I have a pile I just keep shuffling, and the toys in the basement and the kids rooms are out of control again! Now I, along with kids and hubby will spend a good part of the day getting things back together.