I started February with an blog post on 4 Common Organizing Mistakes . Last week we discussed the importance of keeping your ‘high-rent real estate’ free for important items in your commonly used areas of your home. And this week? More solutions - and simple ones, too!
Simplify, simplify, simplify. As I mentioned earlier, there is nothing wrong with ‘good enough’ when it comes to organizing. Not everyone’s home (okay, hardly anyone’s home) looks like a magazine spread. So don’t beat yourself up if your house looks happily lived in. The goal is to just keep what you love and sparks joy (couldn’t resist the Kondoism) and is useful. The rest is clutter and should have no place in your home. It makes logical sense, right? The less stuff we have, the simpler our lives (and the lower number hours spent searching for things - or organizing.) Do you need 5 sets of colanders in your kitchen when 1 or 2 will do?)
Here are a few areas that could be over-organized, but don’t have to be:
Your calendar. Personally, I’m a huge proponent of using the calendar on my phone that syncs across all my devices. (Personally, I’m a google account groupie…) BUT, many of my clients prefer the pen + paper calendar/organizer to keep themselves organized. Whatever it is - use YOUR system. Don’t keep looking around to improve what might be already working for you.
Your To-Do List. There are ALL KINDS of apps to help you manage your to-do list, and pencil + paper works, too. But don’t get complicated. Everyday, write down the 3 most important tasks you must do - in a place that you will naturally look for it. When you make a mental note of those tasks, everything else can fall into place around those priorities. Like with your calendar, choose one tool and stick to it.
Use lots of hooks - not hangers - at kid level. Kids are more apt to hang on an easy to reach hook than take the time to use a hanger.
Use one box for legos instead of trying to over-organize the colors or bricks or sets.
Use open bins for kid toys - lids are useless and become clutter. Or try just limiting one large storage drawer for each kid. it may not looked organized to you, but it’s hidden, and your kid knows exactly where they’re stuff belongs. (i.e. easy clean up!)
Take advantage of under the bed storage options. They are easy to reach - and can make clean up a breeze.
Paperwork. Paperwork is one of the biggest offenders of clutter in the house. Step one: make less mail come into your house. This isn’t the first time you’ve heard to start receiving your financials statements or other monthly paperwork online instead of in the mail. And this isn’t the first time someone has directed you to stop junk mail, right? You can even reduce the number of credit card offers you receive, too. Why not?
Given that 80% of the things we file we may never need to access again, don’t make the filing system too complicated. You don’t want to look in multiple places for paperwork, so combine all house household bills by month (if you really want to keep them.)
And when it comes to triaging paperwork…I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: there are really only THREE categories of paper: Action, Reference and Archive.
Laundry. Laundry take too long? Instead of sorting into whites, darks, etc., sort by person, and do everything in cold water. Then, when the load comes out, plop all of that into a basket - and get that person to be responsible for folding it/putting away.