Organizing Your Life & Your Home
Organising your life - one day at a time
It was all very rigid in my mum's day. I remember that Monday was washing day, Tuesday was for the ironing, baking was done on Friday and I imagine every day had some timetable that I can't remember.
Then there was the major spring cleaning marathon that makes me wonder just how horribly mucky homes must have been in March, if they only got what my mum called 'a good bottoming' every April.
That's too organised for me.
Plus, life isn't all about cleaning, for goodness sake. But organising your life, which includes keeping it clutter-free, is.
So here's my method, inspired partly by my mum's old-fashioned schedule and partly by my rather hazy knowledge of Feng Shui which I picked up from my neighbour Valerie (a Feng Shui consultant) - it might work for you, too.
Below, I've suggested six things that you might do on each day of the week. Choose one per day every week (or something of your own choosing) and six weeks later your life and your home will be more organised. Truly.
Sidenote: Why is this article peppered with photographs from the 1940s? (From Wikipedia by the way). To remind us how easy we have things today, that's why!
Move it Monday
There are lots of articles online that suggest that you create a weekly schedule for yourself. I think I'd die of boredom. But designating the days of the week is a reasonable idea; hence, we have Move it Monday. Take five minutes or fifty - or however long or short a time you want - to do one of the following:
- Move or arrange something in your home
- Why are the scissors on the coffee table? (Mine are right now). Put things where they ought to be
- Rearrange a couple of items in your kitchen to making cooking flow more easily
- Move your body - sweep the floors, clean the bathtub (yuk), change the bedding
- Dust stuff - vigorously (loud music helps, as with all cleaning)
- Are there any pieces of furniture or décor items you've been meaning to move? Today's the day
Tame it Tuesday
In my house anyway, things can get out of control sometimes and need to be tamed. These are suggestions of a few things you can organise on Tame it Tuesday. Just do one taming task every week:
- Um... the overflowing laundry basket will only get worse. Do the laundry
- Clear some clutter
- Sort out the weeds that are encroaching onto the path (note to self)
- The area around my bathroom sink always needs taming
- Tame tangle - the spaghetti-like computer wires or the tangle of jewellery
- I know, I know, but that cupboard under the sink ...
Wash it Wednesday
There's no need to go crazy but if you wash one thing thoroughly every Wednesday it keeps spring cleaning at bay. You might:
- Wash the windows. Life is lovelier when the light shines through
- Spot clean the upholstery (that's another note to self)
- Wipe the kitchen cabinets or the kitchen floor
- Wash (or have cleaned) something that gets ignored in the weekly round such as the duvet, blinds or area rug
- Something I always forget to clean, until I'm looking for a Wash-it-Wednesday item, is the shower curtain
- Clean your keyboard, screen and mouse
Throw it away Thursday
Valerie inspires her Facebook readers to throw something away every week. The first time she did this, I looked around my (organised, I thought) home and thought 'me? I don't hoard stuff'. Ha. It's a great idea though. Every Thursday, throw something out or donate it to Goodwill. What about:
- Those dozens of plastic supermarket bags which 'will come in handy one day'
- That lamp that broke and can't be fixed
- The file containing 'important' papers from three years ago that I'll never need again
- The cardigan with the holes that I will never repair
- That thing that I never use/wear because it's 'too good to throw away'
- The collection of just-a-tiny-bit-in-the-bottom lipsticks that I've not been near for at least a year
I like having a day of the week to do certain things but I don't want to be too rigid. Also, there are some things that don't fit into the other categories so on Fridays, I might do one of these:
- Sew the button onto that shirt I can't wear simply because I never got round to putting the button back on
- Clean all mirrors
- Check the bottom of the clothes closet for those items that have invariably slithered off their hangers
- Organise the fridge and isolate the must-use-before-they-go-green-and-hairy foods
- If I baked (a la my mum) I'd do it on Friday so we would have weekend treats
- Think about cleaning the oven (but rarely do it, of course)
Save it Saturday
Because many of us do the grocery shopping on Saturdays, it's a good idea to spend the day with savings (money, energy, the planet, water etc) in mind. Just one thing a week every Saturday will reap rewards. I mean things like:
- Fill an empty soda bottle with water and put it in the toilet cistern. This saves water when you flush. (Sorry but it's true)
- If you can, put ten dollars into a secret stash. In a year, you'll have $500 mad money (or, savings for when the bathroom ceiling falls in, in my case)
- Recycle or repurpose something and save it from the landfill
- Before grocery shopping, I look at the supermarket's website to check on BOGO deals and specials
- Attend to something that creates extra energy use - clean air conditioning unit filters (saves electricity) or check tire pressures (saves gas)
- Save money by making something you'd usually buy - a pizza, a handmade gift, cut up an old t-shirt to use as rags instead of paper towel...
Or 'savor' if you're American. It can't all be about cleaning, organising or saving the planet. So on Sundays, do something to make your home a touch more beautiful or a little more comfortable.
- Wander into the yard, down the road or into the park and gather flowers, ferns or other foliage to brighten your rooms
- Take your shell collection out of that box and display them in a glass vase
- Acquire houseplants, or give your existing ones some loving care
- Give your home some fresh air. Weather permitting, throw open the windows and let the air circulate
- Bake a cake, bread or some cookies and see how wonderful your home will smell. If you're like me and don't bake, make an ice cream sundae instead.You won't get the aroma-effect but you'll love eating it
- Like the ladies in the carefully-selected image above, open a bottle of wine
Meet Valerie - That Feng Shui Lady
I promise you, it's amazing.
When I first met Valerie, we were both corporate people. I was a designer and she worked for a major distributor and wholesaler of fine beverages - and you know me and fine beverages.
'Ah' I thought ' a useful lady to know'. Actually, I had no idea just how very useful and I don't mean from a red wine point of view.
Time passed and Valerie embarked on a new career; she studied Feng Shui and trained under the best experts as a Feng Shui consultant.
When I too gave up the corporate life and started working from home, Valerie surveyed my apartment with her professional eye. She suggested a few simple changes. It all seemed to make sense. Wow, it was more than that. It's astonishing how your life can be improved by making the smallest changes in your home.
Join Valerie on Facebook and find out more.
This week's tips & hints
Photo GalleryClick thumbnail to view full-size
I was so skeptical, I admit. But nevertheless I wanted Valerie to look at my home and see if there were any improvements I could make.I did not raise my usual eyebrow when she suggested that I move that table, put something red in that corner or even hang a crystal in front of the mirror. After all, it couldn't hurt.But, or I should say, BUT, every time I have taken her advice there have been positive results. Truly. Try it.
More tips for your home
- Yes, you can find extra storage space in your home
If you're short of storage space in your home, I can almost guarantee that you can find extra space easily. Read these tips and see what living is like in an under 450 sq. ft. apartment.
- Do the Dishes Yourself & Dump the Dishwasher
Which is best - doing the dishes by hand or using a dishwasher? Let me know what you think. And oh, do not under any circumstances miss the video at the bottom of the page. You'll thank me later...
- How to cook in a tiny kitchen
For many years I was a kitchen designer and envied people with large kitchens. I was so wrong to do so. Tiny kitchens are easier to work in and easier to clean. Find out how and read tips.
© 2014 Jackie Jackson