Organizing Tips & Tricks

HOME ORGANIZING

Bathrooms Go through medicine cabinet regularly – throw out all expired items and take stock of what needs to be purchased.
  Use your disposable make up remover cloths to do a quick wipe around your sink and faucet. It only takes a few seconds and can keep all of the toothpaste, soap scum, and dirt build-up under control between cleanings.
  Wiping your fan blades with Windex will keep the dust from collecting so quickly.
Bedrooms If you have limited storage for your linens, just fold your sheets a few times and store them between your mattresses.  They’re thin enough that they won’t be felt through the mattress and they are handy when you need to make the bed.
Cleaning Hate to dust?  Place paper/newspaper on unseen surfaces (tops of bookcases, above kitchen cabinets, etc.).  When the dust builds up, simply remove paper and trash!
Closets At the start of a season, turn all clothing hangers around so that they are facing the wrong direction.  Each time you wear an item, hang the item correctly in your closet.  At the end of the season you will see the clothes that you did not wear.  This makes choosing donate or sell items a lot easier.
  Hang like clothing together and then consider each section.  Donate or throw away items you do not wear or have multiples of.
  Group like or similar colored items together. This will reduce time spent searching through you closet.
  Maintain a “barter system” to control quantity.  Every time you buy an article of clothing, get rid of one.  For every new pair of shoes, let another pair go.
Garages Take note of areas not being used to their full potential. Use the “dead space” to your advantage by setting up shelving systems above garage door (if space is available) and going vertical by installing hanging shelves up to the celling.
Kitchens Designate a special pair of scissors just for the kitchen.  They are much handier than a knife for opening packages, preparing foods (green onions, celery, herbs, lunch meat), or cutting children’s food into small bites.
  Go through your utensils and get rid of all duplicates.  This can free up a lot of space.
Living Rooms Do your couch cushions have a way of sliding forward out of place? For cushions that are not attached to the body of the couch, lay a strip of rubber shelf liner (the waffle kind with holes in it) below the cushions to keep the cushions in place!
Storage Store infrequently used items inside suitcases to maximize storage.
  If you have convenient attic access, invest in 2×4 or plywood supports.  This is valuable space for storing rarely uses items such as archive office papers, holiday items and memorabilia.
  If you have convenient attic access, invest in 2×4 or plywood supports.  This is valuable space for storing holiday items and memorabilia.

 

OFFICE ORGANIZING

Computer Keep computer file names short. Windows allows you to use long file names, but brevity promotes clarity. Long file names will cause you to spend more time reading and looking for information than actually working.
Computer files To keep the My Documents folder from becoming too unwieldy, use it only for files you’re working on and create an archive system elsewhere. This helps to separate ongoing and completed work. Set a reminder once a month to move the files you’re no longer working on to the archive folder or location.
Email Change how you use your Inbox. One of the most important steps you’ll make to control email overload is to rethink how you use your Inbox. It’s for the temporary storage of messages.  Utilize other features in Outlook to maintain your to do list for unfinished work; a calendar with meeting notices and reminders; and set up contacts for addresses and phone numbers.
Office Use shortcuts and shortcut links instead of multiple copies. If you need to get to the same file from multiple locations, don’t create copies of the file. Create shortcuts to it instead. To create a shortcut, right-click on the file and click Create Shortcut. You can drop-and-drag the shortcut to other locations.
  Always keep computer and electronic packaging for at least a year – they are often required to utilize your warranty.
  Use a keyboard tray below your computer monitor or desk top – it opens up surface space on your desk for other tasks.
  Sort mail immediately upon bringing it in the house.  Weeding out junk mail first will help minimize your procrastination for opening the rest.  Next, pull out all bills and keep them in a designated area so they will not get lost in the shuffle.
Space Organization If you have unnecessary “stuff” in your space, get rid of it. Dump it, donate it, or recycle it. Whatever you do, do not keep that junk laying around. This “stuff” may be cluttering up your mind causing you to be less creative, focused, or productive.
Productivity & Time Management Do related tasks together.  If you have several calls to make, or errands to run, group types of calls / tasks or locations for stops. People waste time jumping from one activity to another or driving back and forth.  Pay attention to the number of times you pass by the same part of town unnecessarily.
  Set aside time daily for doing paper or computer work. Choose an hour when there are few distractions; if at home, in the early morning before the family gets up or if at work, before the staff comes in. During this time, use your voice mail system to screen calls.  You will get more done during a short span of dedicated time than you would with a longer period of interrupted time.
  When leaving massages, be specific.  If the person you’re trying to reach is unavailable, leave a specific message including the time you called.  Let the person know exactly what information you need, when you need it, and how they can get it to you (voice mail, text, email, or fax).  This method will reduce the number of call backs that you need to make.
  Mute your phone notifications. Those texts, emails and messages will continue to roll in and take focus away from whatever you are working on. Setting limits for yourself and muting the notifications just for a few minutes allows you to focus and get things done quickly.
  Keep a calendar to track appointments.  Use just one calendar to avoid confusion.
  Know your boundaries.  Before agreeing to donate your time for a school function, sponsor a church activity, or take on an extra project at work, seriously consider, “Do I really have the time to complete the task successfully and feel good about it?”  Never feel guilty turning down a request, there will always be another opportunity when your schedule is more flexible.

 

 

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