I was a receptionist and "executive assistant" for four managers and a vice president in the customer service department of a $71M corporation. I organized for EVERYBODY! LOL
After a merger, my section of the department was closed down, so I worked with my DH in his recycling business AND opened a small business of my own, as a personal organizer. I was great at the organizing, but terrible at collections--after they were all organized, my clients figured they didn't need me any more and wouldn't pay up! LOL But...
I have always had a hard time organizing for myself! LOL
I use the tools on SP to track things--the "Other Goals" don't all have to be related to nutrition and weight loss, y'know? Clutter is a health issue too!
Instead of making a new list every day, I broke down the things I wanted to accomplish into categories, and made each category an item on my "other goals" check list. And I use the "pacing" rule: I set a timer for 10 minutes (physical issues make more time unfeasible...) When I do that ten, I rest for ten, then go on to the next item.
It amazes me still how much gets done in little steps! LOL
Edited by: I.M.MAGIC at: 6/18/2013 (09:31)
6/18/13 8:49 A
Sometimes it is hard to find the motivation to get started on getting organized. But, sometimes other things are holding us back from creating a clutter free living environment and things just seem to pile up and start to overwhelm us.
One thing that might help is to create a plan for what you would like to do that enables you to do a little bit or tackle a large chunk by breaking your organizational efforts into manageable projects. Perhaps, you can commit yourself to decluttering one area a day or you might invite a friend over to help you go through an area or a room that you just can't seem to tackle on your own and work on that for a day or weekend.
Little by little you will start to feel a since of freedom as your home becomes a place where the things that are in it complement who you are now in your life and doesn't just contain a stock pile of the things that you have purchased or that have been giving to you over your lifetime.
Also, sometimes we tend to keep things that we don't need for fear that if we get rid of these things that we will some how then be lacking or we keep things that we don't use/want because they were gifts.
It also might make it easier to get rid of things by donating your items to a good cause where they can help other people by giving them low cost items to purchase that they need or that can raise money for people.
Most of all by simplifying things and paring down on the things that you own; you will be surrounded by things that give you a sense of comfort and create a home environment that encourages you to live a better life and not be weighed down by owning things that don't have a positive impacted on your life.
Just remember to do a little everyday and a year from now you will have created a less cluttered home. Good luck!
Fitness Minutes: (9,335)
1,182 6/16/13 11:40 A
This thread has just what I needed, a great reminder! I used to use the timer method to get through just about anything, but somewhere along the road I forgot about it. Thanks to all of you who remembered for me, lol.
Fitness Minutes: (76,009)
19,708 6/16/13 11:23 A
I see lots of great tips ......... seem to agree too ....... I sometimes use a timer and tell myself to when the bell rings! .......... it becomes its own incentive as I hurry more to accomplish ............... then set it for another 10 or 15 .................. good feeling to conquer!
I find one of the best rules is: ALWAYS have a place for everything and pick up after yourself on the spot! Enforce the same rule w/ all in household!
6/16/13 11:16 A
If I've been putting off doing a few jobs, I use a '20 minute rule'. I'll tell myself I only have to do it for 20 minutes then I can stop. I usually find that I end up doing more than 20, as I get into it. It's the getting started I struggle with!
Fitness Minutes: (11,796)
5,855 6/16/13 9:54 A
Some great ideas but I always seem to fall into the category that says ... A clean desk is a sign of a cluttered mind.
6/16/13 9:44 A
Flylady.net is a great resource for getting organized.
Fitness Minutes: (23,010)
6/16/13 5:47 A
I feel like I am struggling in a sea of disorder. Thanks for some great tips to help me get organised.
Edited by: JAYDEE1211 at: 6/16/2013 (05:48)
Fitness Minutes: (53,070)
3,723 6/15/13 11:56 P
For Paperwork and Mail-In Organizing, a tip I learned in a class once.
Set up 43 file folders: write a month on 12 of them; the numbers 1 - 31 on the others.
If you get a bill that's due after this month: put it in the folder for that month. (Example: you get car tabs renewal in May and its due in July...file it in July....)
If you get a bill that's due this month: if its due the 20th, put in in the Day folder for one week earlier so you have time to pay it. Same thing if a Birthday is coming up and you want to remember to send a card. File A Note in one of the folders (month, or if this month, a day). If you are active in meetings and get agendas...put them into the day of the meeting, then you will be able to find them that morning!
When you are done paying a bill, or sending the card: file the receipt, or repost the note in the month for next year....
Every day or two go through the folders for the next few days. And at the month's end take care of anything left in the folders---although they should be empty!! Sort the collection for the following month into days, and start over!! patti
I don't have anything to add here, but sure have enjoyed reading other people's comments and suggestion. Thanks everyone!
Fitness Minutes: (160,220)
6/15/13 9:10 P
Getting organized is almost a hobby within itself, in America, has anyone noticed this? We are going to move within 2 weeks, and are going through stuff, tossing or donating, but live in a rural area with really no place to take things, not enough people to even make a yard sale worthwhile, (one reason we are moving), need to go to civilization. Get a lot of garbage bags, and go for it!!!
Fitness Minutes: (82,255)
6/15/13 8:40 P
Well I have always followed 3 rules which I learned from my Mom.
1. Never leave the table empty handed. 2. Always clean as you go 3. If you move an object more than once, it needs to be put away
Simple but they work for myself and my family.
6/15/13 8:00 P
I'm a flylady.com fan too! 15 minutes at a time - you can do anything! I also just started (last Wednesday) a program run by alejandra costello (alejandra.tv). On her website she does a 7 day free video course that was super helpful for me - then I bought her main program and it's seriously changing my life. Not trying to sell - obvs flylady is free and AMAZING!! but I needed to go one step further to learn about my organizing type and how to avoid my pitfalls.
Fitness Minutes: (36,342)
2,545 6/15/13 7:38 P
Also, as you ungrow clothes..donate them. Same with kids clothes. For clothes that are currently too small, get rid of stuff you don't like or know you will never wear.
Go through the linen closet..how many sets of sheets and blankets etc do you need? Donate the extras.
6/15/13 6:43 P
Getting organized is a big part of my life, and I have been working at it since I left college. Before house, husband, kids, and responsibilities, I was good at it. Now, it is a constant battle.
After having read about two dozen books on the subject, I have found a few tricks. 1) work/concentrate on one area at a time
2) While cleaning up that area, maintain the daily and weekly chores so those don't get out of control (I hired a teenage girl to help weekly - they are just as good as adults and cost about half!)
3) Work at it DAILY, even if is only 10- 15 minutes a day.
4) the clutter did not come in overnight, it is not going out overnight (unless you hire a team to do it for you!) Every single day, I find one item to go to the "Thrift Store" pile. Each week I drop off the box at the local Thrift Store
5) Have three sections of bags/boxes per area: garbage, thrift, keep
6) Put an "undecided" keep box in attic, basement or garage. Save it there for 6-9 months. If you don't miss anything out of it, you know you can discard it.
7) Bring good, used clothing to consignment stores. It is easier to discard if you think you can get a few dollars for it. In 2012, I earned $300. Then, on New Year's Day, I found a diamond ring on sale for $300. I purchased it. The ring was appraised at $3300. I traded my old clothing for a great diamond!!
8) Ask others with tidy homes how they do it. You can get some great tips!
9) Engage kids and husbands (note: the latter will not do indoor chores in my household so that didn't work, but I was able to get the kids involved)
10) Learn to pick up after yourself. Clean your bathroom quickly before you go to work. I was shocked when I discovered this was possible!
11) go to www.bluefly.com
12) Join organizing team on SP website.
I had to change and adjust my attitude. I hate housework and cleaning up after others. I had to find ways to find joy in this work that had to be done, and I was assigned this job. I took it on when I said, "I do" 35 years ago. If I found ways to make it interesting and fun, the work went faster.
All of these, and many more tips have helped me significantly. It does not mean that I have a tidy, clean, house. However, it is much improved over what it used to be, and I count that for progress!
It is good for me to write this, since it reminds me what I need to go do, NOW!
Fitness Minutes: (0)
6/15/13 1:26 P
ty all for all ur tips.
i already did cloths a few months back. got rid of over 20 bags of nice some never worn cloths that i had for years some cloths had since school. wow that was hard but donated it all. dont have much of value anymore just toys and boys cloths and stuff tha i cant even put in a category.
got some boxes today. going to box things i dont need awat=y and if i dont touch them in next few months i will toss it. i do have a trailer for storage so this is do able.
wish me luck bc i will need it.
Fitness Minutes: (73,069)
6/15/13 1:19 P
I've been in that situation before. I had to ask myself why I needed to collect stuff. Part of it came from my workplace - I needed to present a certain front there.
I found that a big part of it, though, was a fear of not having what I needed when I needed it. I grew up on the lower side of middle class, and I knew what it meant to go without. My family went through the Great Depression, and that contributed to the need to keep food set aside for hard times - or as a way to help others in need. Because of this family background, I started squirreling things away... you know... for a rainy day. I'm still working on breaking it, but knowing why I feel the need to acquire something helps me from actually purchasing unless it's really needed.
I pass this along to you. Others have given really solid advice about how to go about organizing, but knowing why it happens also helps along the way.
I personally start with the laundry. If I do one load a day it helps keep the dirty piles down. When it is dry I fold it and put it in a laundry basket. When the basket is full I bring it upstairs & put it away all at once. That way there are no piles of dirty or clean laundry just hanging around.
Also if I have not used something in a year I give it away.
I do the dishes before I cook & before I sit down to eat. That way I avoid the piles of dishes and crusted on food that takes FOREVER to scrub off.
The Clutter Diet is a good book. It is written by a professional organizer who has a lot of great tips on how to get organized and cut out the toxic clutter.
Edited by: NOMOREGODDESS at: 6/15/2013 (13:16)
Fitness Minutes: (194,485)
22,821 6/15/13 10:02 A
Good luck everyone! I hope you find that motivation to get some organizing done!
6/15/13 1:12 A
Love jiacolo's tip! I am packing up my classroom for a move across campus and feeling a little overwhelmed. I am going to try it. Thank you.
Fitness Minutes: (666)
32 6/14/13 11:39 P
Great tip! I'm reorganizing my closet tomorrow--& using your tip! Simple, but very doable! Thanks! June
Fitness Minutes: (194,485)
22,821 6/14/13 11:33 P
Make a plan to tackle something manageable and then do it. Set yourself a time limit and clean and organize that area for that amount of time. Chances are you may end up doing it longer if you are being successful with it. Then reward yourself once you get that done. Read, listen to some music, paint your nails, have a healthy treat, take a nice walk. Whatever the reward is, it can help motivate you! Good luck!
Reading back over your post and thinking about your financial situation--
If you're only going to do one thing, take a couple of hours this weekend and go through the house looking for NICE things to donate. Find things that don't fit or are the wrong color, but that otherwise you would be happy to receive as a gift because they're in that good of shape. Then take those things to a place where they take donations in person, not a drop box, and *talk* to the people there. Find out as much as you can about how they decide who gets the donations, etc. Find out whether they need more volunteers. You might find that you qualify for help from them, especially if you're willing to volunteer a few hours a week, or they might have ideas on other places you can get help. And since you have taken them some nice things, you and they will both feel better about the whole situation. You'll be sort of demonstrating that you're a giving person who just happens to need help right now. Or, you may look at them and say, "Wow, these people really do have problems. I guess I'm not so bad off when I compare myself to them!" Either way, giving nice things away just makes you feel better.
Fitness Minutes: (31,591)
6/14/13 5:32 P
One tip for easily paring down your wardrobe if you hang most of it up, is with the hangers. At the start of summer/winter, hang everything up so that the hook of the hanger faces out. Then as you go through the season and wear something, rehang it with the hanger hook facing in (toward the wall/normally). At the end of the season, seriously consider getting rid of any clothes that still have the hanger hook facing out. You never wore the item all season, you don't need it, and probably don't like it that much anyway. It's an easy system to let you know what you actually wear, so you can get rid of the rest: sell, trash, or donate.
Fitness Minutes: (92,023)
6/14/13 5:30 P
lots of great advice already!
here are some ideas that I've done or had friends who did:
make your list of tasks and allot a set time to work on your list every day. One of my friends set aside 15 minutes every night to work on her list. She often found she'd end up spending more time, and she marked things off much faster than she thought she would
pick out one area to focus on (a section of your counter, the top of one closet, one shelf, one cabinet, etc.) and do the keep/donate/trash thing. When you finish that area, move on to the next.
don't handle things more than once! When you bring the mail in, sort it at the trash can. When you remove the clothes from the dryer, put them away. When you change clothes after work, put everything in it's place (shoes in their spot, laundry in the basket, hang things up that you'll wear again before they have to be cleaned, etc.)
we are on a serious de-clutter mission (well, I am. DH; meh. Not so much!) When I'm cleaning, dusting, etc. anything that has no purpose and no sentimental value to me or DH goes in the donate box or in the trash. Which brings up another point: if you don't live alone, try to get the other folks in your house on board. It gets really frustrating when you are trying to make some headway and you are the only one cleaning up for everybody.
another thing you might want to consider - Our family stopped exchanging gifts (except with the young children) when the economy took a nose dive. That's really cut back on the extra stuff in our house. Most adults buy what they want or need any way. Our holidays and our bank accounts are much less stressed. We get together for a meal and some fun.
Another FlyLady.com fan. It's actually a fun way of organizing!
Fitness Minutes: (14,595)
6/14/13 4:19 P
I was going to suggest flylady.net also.
Another thing, since I don't like to have garage sales, a couple of times a year I start piling stuff we no longer want in the driveway. When I have a good-sized pile, I take a picture and post it for free on Craigslist. It's never taken longer than an hour for someone to come and get it all. It saves me the trouble of hauling it somewhere, and that way I can get rid of it fast enough that my kids don't start reclaiming it.
Fitness Minutes: (261,015)
6/14/13 3:31 P
One thing you might do to start (and this will take time) is to sort your closets. Start digging out everything out, clothes, shoes, coats, etc. One pile will be things you really want to keep. The other pile will be things that are in good enough shape to be donated to Goodwill or the Salvation Army.
If you find your life getting cluttered, one simple thing you can do that will not only help you de-clutter you life is to donate the things that you'll never use. And I know this takes time. I've spent a weekend just sorting out one closet. You'll really start feeling better when you take over bags of stuff for donations. that really can help.
Start slowly, don't look at the whole or you'll end up overwhelmed. Start with one thing in the house that needs to be organized, like a closet. Once you've done one closet, then you move on to the next closet. From there, you go to the kitchen, bedroom, etc... Take small bites. Do a little at a time.
Fitness Minutes: (6,555)
6/14/13 3:12 P
I'm also a huge fan of the 3 pile method (keep, sell/donate, and trash). That's a great way for minimizing stuff. But as you organize, make sure that you're organizing in a way that makes sense. For example, don't put clothes that you wear a lot at the back of the closet or in the bottom of the drawer. That will just make things messy when you go digging for it later. It's infinitely easier to stick to an organization scheme when its designed to fit the way you already live your life.
Fitness Minutes: (42,834)
6/14/13 2:43 P
Agree with all of Anarie's advice, and would also recommend flylady.net. The website has a plan you can tweak for yourself that starts out with babysteps that are very easy and progresses from there. It's sort of like sparkpeople for your house, lol.
There are lots of approaches, but one good one is to make a rule that no item comes into the house unless a similar one goes out. If your house is crowded, you probably have everything you really need, so ONLY buy things to replace something that got used up or thrown away.
And don't go out and buy a bunch of containers and stuff to "get organized." Decide on your organizational plan first, and then MAKE the organizers you need, or re-purpose things you already have. A coffee can covered with pretty contact paper or decoupage will hold utensils on your kitchen counter just as well as a ceramic crock you buy in a kitchen store, with the added bonus that you can throw it away guilt-free if you get tired of it and want to change colors. Chances are good that you already have everything you need to get organized, and it's just a matter of seeing old stuff with new eyes.
Also, remember that it costs money to own stuff. If you have extra junk that you don't need, you're spending more for rent than you might have to, and you're spending money on cleaning supplies and time on cleaning. If you have anything that you don't use often, sell it. Put it up on e-bay; take it to used book, sports equipment, or clothing stores; or take it to a flea market or garage sale. Anything that doesn't sell, take to Goodwill or Salvation Army. You might not get paid much for those items, but you'll stop paying to store them.
In fact, if you're willing to go to the extreme, take a weekend off and pretend that you're moving. Get boxes and pack everything up. Wash things before you put them in the box if they need it. Start with the things you care about, the things that you KNOW you would want to keep if you had to move, and work your way down. After a few hours, you'll find yourself saying, "Ugh, this isn't worth the effort to clean and pack." So don't. Put those items in the trash, donation, or sale pile. When everything is packed or piled, clean the place as if it was going to be inspected and you won't get your deposit unless it's spotless. If you're renting, make notes of anything that needs to be repaired, and call your management to do it the next week. If you own, fix anything that you can.
Then it's going to feel like you're moving in to a whole new place. Once you've gotten rid of your sale/donate/trash piles, unpack slowly. Don't put things back in the same places; think hard about what fits where and how easy it will be to keep it neat.
The other advantage is that you'll probably lose weight from the extra exercise! Moving is hard work.
6/14/13 9:08 A
I'm on an team that focuses on organizing. feel free to join us
Fitness Minutes: (0)
6/14/13 9:00 A
I need to get my house and life more organized and need to do it fast. My house has turned into something I hate being in. My life is a mess I dont have much income but have spent $7000.00 more then I bring in this year. I dont bring in much more then that a year but I do make enough not to get help from food stamps or what not. I do get wic and heap but that is all the help I guess I am in tilted to. Anyway if anyone has tips on organizing house/life that would be awesome and just need motivation with out frustration . sigh
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