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10 Tips For Getting Organized
by Jenifer Nipps
January belongs to the realms of ancient history at this point
in the year. Once again, my goal of getting organized has fallen
by the wayside. At least, it had until now.
A small tornado has gone through my office. Papers and books are
everywhere. My submissions and query "files" are falling
out of their folders. The only clear space is right in front of
the keyboard. While I can ignore it, I can't work with it any longer.
Here are some tips I have found in my search for the perfect organizational
system (if such a thing truly exists).
- Invest in a kitchen timer. Both FlyLady.com
and The One-Minute Organizer suggest using a timer and
beginning by working in small increments of no more than 15 minutes.
Do not do what I did. I bought the timer and promptly lost it
- Get your tools together before you start.
Your needs should be basic: Your timer, a trash bag, a container
to hold things that belong to a different home, and a container
to hold things to be given away. This isn't counting any shelves
or baskets you might decide you need for your space.
- Start slow. Focus on one area at a time. Looking
at the whole room can be overwhelming. Don't expect miracles and
don't expect to get it finished all at once. We're not experts
here. (You might be, but I'm not.) Speaking of experts, some recommend
starting your organizing efforts at the entry of a room. Do whatever
works for you. The desk is what gives me the most stress so that
is where I'm going to start.
- Retrace your steps. Once you have an area
organized, don't ignore it. Keep it free of clutter. Otherwise,
when you "finish" the process, you will find yourself
needing to start over again.
- Reward yourself. Organizing is hard work!
Figure out what your milestones are and reward yourself when you
reach them. One milestone for me will be decluttering (word courtesy
of FlyLady.com) the immediate
area of my desk (including drawers), file cabinet, and printer
- Keep the momentum going. If you finish a designated
area before your time is up for that particular session, don't
quit early! Move on to the next area.
- Throw it away. When you have something you
know has to be thrown away, do it. There is no sense in holding
on to a newspaper from 1996 because you might want to refer back
to it. Clip the article holding your interest and throw the rest
- Put it up. At the end of your session, take
the items in your box of things that belong in a different place
and put them there. You may have to deal with them again when
you declutter that new area, but it will be where it belongs and
easier to manage.
- Give it away. Remember those things you put
in the box to give away? Do it. Don't hold on to them for very
long because you'll be tempted to keep them. If your sister wants
that picture of your grandfather that you don't want to hang on
your wall anymore, let her have it.
- Repeat as needed. One session does not make
an organized room. Keep going until you have it done. Then decide
how often you need to revisit it to keep it decluttered.
The best advice I have ever come across is to be patient with yourself.
You're undertaking a large project. Nobody expects perfection the
first time out. I only need to remember that when dealing with my
Organizational tips, the FlyLady store, a free newsletter
via YahooGroups. With the exception of items in the store, signing
up on this site is free.
Planet SARK: www.planetsark.com
Workshops, newsletter, calendar, etc. This site is a subscription
Organizing Network: www.myorganizedlife.com
Subdivided into areas of self, finances, family, home, and work.
There is a free organizing newsletter.
© Copyright 2008, Jenifer Nipps
Jen Nipps is a freelance writer in south-central Oklahoma, where
she splits her time between reading, writing, beading, and with
family. She welcomes visitors to her blog at http://jensorganizedwriter.wordpress.com
or to her website at www.jenifernipps.com.
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