Personal: How to get organized

file folders for organizationIs searching high and low for your car keys part of your morning ritual? Are you still holding onto the clothes you wore in high school? Whether it’s your basement, garage, car, or even your computer, chances are you can manage to find something in need of a little tidying up. If you’re looking for a little extra motivation, according to NAPO, the National Association of Professional Organizers, organized people have more time and money with less stress and frustration at home and in the office. Who wouldn’t want that?

Start Small

You may take one look at your basement or attic and say to yourself, “I don’t even know where to begin!” The trick is to not let the task of getting organized overwhelm you. Start by tackling a smaller job or series of smaller jobs, like one corner of a room or set of drawers. The feeling of a ‘job well-done’ will provide you with a level of satisfaction and the confidence to take on bigger jobs.

It will certainly pay to get started, but it won’t pay to get carried away. Try and avoid purchasing unnecessary products to help complete the task, as getting organized is a process, not a product. Hanging file folders for bills and receipts in your desk drawer is one thing, a new multi-level shelving unit is another.

De-Clutter and Do Good

Is parting with “stuff” difficult for you? Truth is,de-cluttering needs to be part of the process because there’s only so much straightening up or rearranging you can do. Start by setting up three piles: keep, toss and donate. If you’re having trouble a good rule of thumb – if you haven’t used it within the last year you probably don’t need it. What’s more, your unused items can do some good for someone else.

If the items are still in good shape, there are no shortage of nonprofits and other organizations that will happily take your old or used clothes, books, kitchen ware and just about anything else. NAPO also suggests taking your kids with you when you donate unused items (to help them learn to part with things) and to help set a good example.

Straighten Up Your Schedule

Once you feel like you’ve got a handle on the house and whatever else, try utilizing your newfound skills to help improve your daily routine. Woman’s Day offers up simple steps on how to streamline your schedule with tips on planning meals, budgeting and just about every other item on your weekly agenda.

Like most tasks, the thought of organizing can be a bit daunting. Just remember, the most important thing is to get started. Before you know it you’ll be on your way to saving both time and money in the long run. What techniques do you use to get organized?

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