By Christine DePetrillo
January is a time for setting goals and keeping to them. Many people decide that getting more organized is a goal they’d like to try. Here are six steps that have kept me organized over the years. They might work for you too.
- Only keep what you need – It is so easy to collect stuff you’ll never use. People give you gifts that you don’t want or aren’t your taste, and you shove them into a closet thinking maybe someday they’ll be of use. Guess what? They won’t. If your first instinct is “I’m never going to use this,” it’s probably true. You’d be better off giving the unwanted items away to charity or someone you know will use them than to litter your home with them. It may sound heartless, but clutter is the devil.
- Have a chore schedule – In my house, I do certain chores on certain days. For example, Saturday is house cleaning day, Tuesday is laundry day, Wednesday is pet maintenance day, etc. You get the idea. This way I know I hit all the necessary chores, but don’t get stuck doing them all in the same day like some sort of modern-day Cinderella.
- Delegate responsibilities – If you live with other folks, they ought to be doing some things to keep organized too. The duties should not fall on one person. A well-functioning team can transform a chaotic, messy house into a smooth-running, cozy home.
- Make lists – I live by them and not because I can’t remember stuff. I’m not that old yet. I make lists because it helps me manage my time better. Something about seeing what I have to do written out on a piece of paper allows me to figure out how I’m going to get it all done in the time I have available. Plus, there’s the always fun activity of crossing things off the list once you’ve accomplished them.
- Be prepared – Plan ahead for events and commitments. I know things come up that you weren’t expecting, but if you plan for the expected things, you’ll be less stressed. Keeping a calendar is a great way to make sure you know what’s happening and when. Looking ahead is always better than running to catch up.