Time Management Tips From an Expert Organizer

I hear it all the time: I don’t have enough time! The truth is everyone has the same amount of time that everyone else does . . . 24 little hours! Time is a limited commodity. Duh! I know that with our busy lifestyles, there never seems to be enough of it! If you want more of it, it’s time to take stock of your life and become more organized. That’s where organization tips can help. This article is designed to give you a short course on home organization ideas that can help you find your stuff and find more time!

Just think, what if you misplace your car keys 3 times in a year and you spend 30 minutes each time looking for them? That’s 90 minutes a year. What if you can’t find the TV remote once a week and spend 5 minutes each time looking for it? 5 X 52 = 260 minutes a year! That’s almost 6 hours of your precious life that you can’t get back. That’s 6 hours you could have spent playing a round of golf or a set of tennis. You could have had dinner enjoying time with your family or friends or pursuing your favorite hobby! Need more incentive? Take that 6 hours and multiply that by your hourly wage . . . see how much money you could have saved?

Realize that the words organizing and organic come from the same root word. I mention this, not to bore you to death with trivia, but to realize that getting your life back and being organized is an “organic process.” It’s not something you do just once and forget about it. You will take a few steps, do a few things, then step back, re-evaluate what you’ve done, and then take a few steps more. But you don’t have to spend every waking hour organizing.

We often tell ourselves what I call convenient lies about ourselves? Why? It’s a procrastination and avoidance mechanism. It doesn’t have to be that way! Realize that your subconscious mind only knows one word, OK. If you tell it something, it says, OK then starts feeding your mind data to support what you just told it. Therefore, if you tell yourself: I’m unorganized, your subconscious says: OK then proceeds to show you all the things to support that you are an unorganized person. If, however, you tell yourself: I can BE organized, once again, your subconscious mind says: OK then proceeds to show you all the things to support what you just told it; you can BE organized!

What to do? I’ve listed some valuable tips below that will help you:

  • Start somewhere
  • Pick your one thing that bugs you the most (that’s where you start)
  • Research how to do your one thing (search for organizing information on that subject)
  • List the steps to accomplish your one thing (first things first)
  • List and purchase anything you need before you begin (be prepared)
  • Don’t try to do everything at once (don’t become over-whelmed)
  • Stop buying stuff (manage what comes in)
  • Become an avid List Maker (this keeps you from buying too much)
  • Turn off the advertising (helps keep impulse buying to a minimum)
  • Become a Pile Sorter: Trash, Donate, Sell, Repair, Keepers (trash the trash, donate what you can, make money from the rest, put the stuff back in the right place, organize the keepers that are left)
  • Get rid of emotional baggage (throwing out an item your Aunt gave you isn’t throwing her away)
  • Beware of Chunker’s Remorse (if you’ve thrown it out, don’t dig it out of the trash)

Once you’ve narrowed the stuff down to only the Keepers, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does this add real value to my life? (if yes, keep it; it not, get rid of it, not sure, go through the rest of the questions to decide)
  • When was the last time I’ve seen it or used it? (more than 1-2 years, get rid of it)
  • Do I have duplicates of this item? (except for food, toilet paper, etc., you don’t need duplicates)
  • Does it need to be repaired? (if so, what’s it cost to repair it; is it worth repairing; if so get it repaired; it not, get rid of it)
  • Is this junk or could someone else use it? (if one man’s trash is another’s treasure, give it to the other man)
  • I’m keeping it . . . where does it belong? (get help with how to store the keepers)
  • Could this item be repurposed? (you can turn a pot lid holder into a handy mail sorter for your kitchen counter)
  • Determine who will be most likely person to use the item (include them in the choices)
  • Determine the level of detail you need to find it again (keep it simple)
  • Keep like things together (shirts with shirts, books with books, etc.)
  • Determine how you want to find the item next time you look for it (alpha, numerical, yearly, etc.)
  • Use a labeler (helps with visual order)
  • Search for How To information to help you (that’s where home organization websites can help)
  • If it’s expired, it’s dead, give it a decent burial! (don’t keep expired coupons, medicines, etc.)
  • Keep clutter under control by doing small things routinely (works like compound interest at the bank)
  • Perform a “clutter sweep” before bedtime. Get everyone to pitch in (make the new day nice)
  • Choose regular times for daily chores (trash day, wash day, etc.)
  • Don’t procrastinate (you’ll gain satisfaction and peace of mind)
  • Having a really hard time? Consider there may be deeper issues, such as Hoarding Disorder. (look for articles on ways to overcome or seek professional help)

Don’t just take on a project. It takes more than just a few tips and tricks to get and stay organized. It takes a lifestyle change. These tips will help you make the long-term life changes that are needed!

For more information and tips on declutter tips, time management and home organization solutions, please visit http://www.straighten-up-now.com

I look forward to welcoming you as my guest!

By Shelly Morton owner of http://www.straighten-up-now.com Professional Organizer