In my next incarnation, I’m going to be a professional organizer. I’m already preparing to segue into that profession after I retire! I’ve always loved putting things in their right place, creating order out of chaos, and helping friends and family pull their ish together.
So when with Ms. Joi at Rx Fitness Lady included a “10 helpful ideas” post as part of her Mini Blog Challenge Party, I began drawing from my own experiences to find organizing ideas that might benefit you all.
Here are my 10 helpful hints for organizing time, products, and space, at home and at work.
Group similar categories of items in containers. I keep bins with cleaning products under the kitchen and bathroom sinks. It’s easier to pull out the bin and take out the product you want than to move out each item to get to the one you really want. I do the same for makeup, hair supplies, and office supplies.
We don’t have complete control over our days, but some things fall pretty easily within our reach. Set times to check, respond to, and delete e-mail. By keeping the e-mail pileup manageable, you make it easier to respond to those who need a quick answer and to attend to others that require more thought. The same goes for social media; the better your scheduling skills, the more time you free up for other pursuits.
Clean it up!
Guys, clutter is the enemy. Put away what you’re not using as soon as possible after you’re done with it. Keep your surfaces clear. That includes the desk, the floor, the vanity, and the dressing table. And car seats. I’ve seen cars as stuffed to overflowing as some houses! The less clutter around you, the easier it is to lay hands on needed items.
Take those ideas captive!
I’m a huge fan of wirebound items to capture notes, ranging from planners to mini notebooks. It’s vital that you have something durable on which to jot down ideas and prep your to-do lists.
I also keep pens and small paper pads handy in all places, including the bathroom! I can later transfer thoughts captured on paper to my organizer. The key is to be able to retain in writing what comes to mind. You never know when a great blog post idea or plan of action might emerge!
Get cozy with technology
I know the techies among us love programs like Dropbox and Evernote. I also recommend the Notes app on smart phones for storing blog ideas and other tidbits. I will say, however, that for someone with a non-American accent like me, using voice recognition like Siri can be a bit challenging. I once spoke the words “I’ll keep you in prayer” to Siri; she transposed it as “I’ll see you in Korea.” 🙂
Be kind to your groceries
Keep a large insulated bag in your car trunk for groceries, especially in the warmer months. That way you can keep frozen items cold if there’s a delay before getting home.
Show some smoothie love to your veggies and fruits
I’m normally in a mad rush in the morning to get out of the house, so I need to have my smoothie ingredients ready to blend. On the weekends, I create smoothie packs made up of small amounts of my favorite frozen fruits.
So on weekday mornings, I just grab a bag from the freezer and add its contents, along with fresh produce like kale and celery, to my blender. I keep my kale fresh by submerging it in a dish with water, and celery lasts longer when I wrap it in aluminum foil. With my ingredients organized and prepped for longevity, I save time and money!
Keep the car prepped
I like to keep a roll of paper towel (not a full roll; it wouldn’t fit, but a half-full roll or less) in the glove compartment of the car. If you’re eating or need to clean up a spill, you’re all ready. While you’re at it, it’s good to keep a microfiber cloth in the car for quick-wipe downs. I also keep a tiny Swiss army knife to open whatever I’m dying to eat and is trapped in a plastic wrapper that can’t be torn open. Oh, and keep some snacks for those stuck-in-traffic-hell times. My faves are Trader Joe’s Just A Handful of Almonds, Cashews, and Cranberries. Yum!
Learn to mono-task
My lovelies, multitasking is not your friend. He (yes, it’s a he!) will trip you up, throw you down, and leave you face down in the dirt. The myth of multitasking has consumed many a well-intentioned productivity hound. You will get far more done, and your time will be better organized, when you concentrate on one task at a time. Truth is, there are very few things you can do well at the same time. But…
Redeem your “down time”
Some tasks can be combined successfully. I know that when I’m on the phone (thank God for whoever invented the speakerphone!) I can carry out relatively mundane tasks in the house and office (opening snail mail, scanning e-mail, light cleaning, washing up, putting away items). While driving to work, I use the time to think through items on my to-do lists, or I listen to the audio Bible and other books. Trial and error will show you what works and what doesn’t.
Thanks again to Ms. Joi for hosting this week’s Mini Blog Challenge Party. Y’all go show her some love at her blog and read some of the other links by my blogging friends at the party! I’ve met some great bloggers and learned so much this week. They’ll have tons of other help hints too!
Which of the hints do you see yourself implementing immediately? Which ones have you already been using?