How to Stay Organized at Home
How to Stay Organized
Most of us have done this, we come home, tired and ready for some reading, television or we need to give the kids a bath after homework and dinner. After checking the mail on the way in we toss the mail on a counter, small desk or near a mail pocket holder, trying to be organized when in reality we might not even look at that piece of mail until a week or two later, for some that piece of mail may never get looked at after being put down.
The struggle between being on top of things comes from many places. People struggle every day trying to keep their lives in order, making sure bills get paid or emails get read for school. We all have so much going on in life and sometimes just checking the mail seems like too big of a task.
Whether it is just a delayed response to taking care of the little things at home or an emotional reaction to the mail as it comes in and the tasks that are associated with going through the mail, people can fall behind and loose structure which keeps their lives moving forward in an easy way.
Keep It In Focus
If checking the mail gets you nervous then set a routine around checking it. One of the core things in staying organized is creating a routine around things which are difficult to keep updated or that are not even on the radar. If after a long day of work which does not pay well, checking the mail, facing all the bills, may not be a good idea. There is no reason to make things more anxious than they already are. Set things up so that you can be successful with becoming and staying organized. Facing the mail may not be a good thing to do right after work, try before work, there is no rule saying you MUST check the mail everyday that it is delivered. If you run or go to the gym, check the mail following coming home from those evens. The endorphin rush will help you through checking through the mail.
Checking the mail is not the only activity that we need to do in order to get and remain organized. Remember to attempt to create a routine around events that you view as not fun, stressful or time consuming. The structure around the routine will help you get to a point where you can complete the task and not feel stressed or put out because of it.
Become a Minimalist
As we grow older and attain more possessions our lives become even more cluttered. Fight the urge to keep everything that has ever crossed the threshold of your home. Remember not all memories are held in the physical item, some are held in photographs that can be put on walls or in albums to have around the house or pass on to children as the venture out on their own. Keeping each scrap of art work your child did in their third grade class is not functional unless you have a large basement and a large number of rubbermaid tubs to put things in and organize them.
From those cherished moments pick a couple of items that can be saved, stored in a container or used around the house. If you can make memorabilia into coaster, photos on the wall or calendars then that will help remind you of the good times as well as keep the house from becoming to cluttered with unused items.
Do not keep tools, toys or any other piece of furnishing that is broken. If you can fix it and do it quickly then do just that. As soon as something breaks, make a list on a day later in the week that the item will be fixed. This day can be a weekend, and time when the kids or spouse is at school or work. Always make a date for fixing items and while you fix that thing you can gather things that need batteries which have been brought to you and you put them aside for later. Since you are already fixing things the changing batteries will go so much more easier.
Keeping broken things around the house just contributes to being or becoming disorganized. Remember to only keep what you can use, get rid of the rest. Also, if you do not need an item then why by another thing to fill the house? Just keep what you have, save the money for another thing that you want for yourself or for someone else.
Put things back where you find them
Everything should have its own place. You can pick a drawer, cup or pegboard that will help keeps things in order. When you or others use anything remind them and yourself to put things back where they find them. This skill can be taught with the youngest of individuals. Little kids love to organize, the least amount of toys you have out for them they easier it is to have a place for them to go when the kids are done playing with them. As they continue to grow and use other things such as glue, scissors and tape have a place for all those things and remind them to put them back as soon as they are done.
The same rule applies to kids and their toys as becoming a minimalist for the adults in the house. Kids do not need a large amount of toys to be happy. They can and do enjoy playing with a few amount of toys, especially when very young. If you have the space and can store some toys while having others out then doing that will make the variety better for them but really, young children will find joy in playing with a few favorites. This helps you not having to run around cleaning up after them after three or four buckets of toys have been dumped. While we are on it, try teaching the children not to transition from one set of toys to another without cleaning up what they were first playing with. This is easier when you begin kids with a few toys. So, if they have spent time playing with puzzles and want to move to cars then have them put the puzzles back in the places before grabbing the cars.
Always remember to make a place for everything. Keep them in that area, this will help you use time efficiently. Spending half an hour looking for the tape, glue, or screw driver is not a good use of time.