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Keeping Your Kids’ Rooms Clutter Free

What’s the one room in your home where you just want to close the door and not look? For most families with kids, the answer to that is definitely the kids’ bedrooms. They are catch-alls for toys, games, clothes, school work, musical instruments, and everything else that kids seem to collect, no matter what their age.

Keeping kids rooms neat and clean might seem like a never-ending battle, but putting a solid organization plan in place can help.

Clothing

Overflowing dresser drawers and jam-packed closets not only contribute to clutter, but they make getting ready for school in the morning a real challenge. Keeping all that clothing organized might seem impossible, but a simple schedule can turn a day-long job into a quick task.

While your kids are younger and growing rapidly, it can help to evaluate each piece of clothing every time you fold laundry. This might mean simply asking yourself if the item still fits. If it does, it goes back in the drawer, if not, donate it or sell it at a local consignment store. In addition, check for stains, tears, and other damage that can’t be hidden or fixed, and toss those items that are no longer wearable.

Some Children’s Consignment stores/events in West Cobb
Kid to Kid, Kennesaw
All 4 Kids
Rhea Lana
Due West Consignment Sale

For older kids, you won’t have to do this with each load of laundry, but you should do it at the end of every season. When you put away the summer clothes as you prepare for back to school, look at each item and ask yourself if it will still be wearable in the spring. Make a donation pile for those items that won’t be useable. If you can use the items for younger children later, then sort them by size and store in clearly labeled bins, ready to pull out when they’re needed.

Toys

If there is one thing kids have more of than clothing, it must be toys. Preventing your home from turning into one big toy box sometimes feels like a full-time job, but it doesn’t have to be. You can even get the kids to help keep their stuff picked up, if you make it easy and fun for them.

Pretty baskets or colorful plastic bins make it easy for kids to keep their toys put away, and even help you teach them valuable skills and habits along the way. You can make a nighttime routine of picking up all the toys and putting them in the appropriate basket just before bed. If more than one child shares a room, or if you have a lot of toys (and who doesn’t?) you might have different colored containers for each child or for various types of toys. Billy’s toys are in the green container, while Randy’s are in the blue, for example.

Homework and Other School Supplies

Is there anything worse than scrambling to get ready for school and not being able to find that math homework that’s due today? Well if you make it a habit to keep school supplies and homework organized, you’ll rarely have to worry about missing the bus.

Start with a designated place where all homework is stored. This might be an “in” basket on a desk, or a small box or basket on a shelf, but the point is, when your child comes home from school, everything he or she brings with him goes there. During homework time, he’ll know exactly where to look for the necessary books and papers, and when he leaves for school the next day, he’ll know just what he needs to take along.

Here’s a critical tip for this system, though: Nothing that is NOT homework can be kept in the homework box, and homework can never be left anyplace else. That way you will always know that whatever is in that spot must go to school, and that if the box is empty, all the homework has been turned in.

Keeping kids organized can seem like an uphill climb, but by setting up some easy-to-follow (and fun) systems and enlisting their help, you’ll not only have a much more organized home, but you’ll also have far less stress. Plus, you’ll be teaching your children how to live a clutter-free life, and that will serve them well over the years.

Why Should I Organize?

Do you walk in the house after a long day at work and just sigh at your cluttered house? Have you planned to organize one morning but do not know where to start or are just not in the mood? Are you caught in a vicious cycle: as soon as you organize one room another one has turned to chaos? Maybe you just need to prioritize, find motivation, and ask for help. Easier said than done?

Prioritize. As with most goals in life, you want to strive for progress and improvement, not perfection. Most of us do not have time to achieve perfection in everything we do and still live a happy, fulfilling life. When you set goals, make them achievable, attainable. When you make that progress, create a visual way to track it or remind yourself of all you have accomplished (i.e. stickers on a chart, a check list, a flower/penny/or other item to represent each task you have completed). Since we will never have more than 24 hours in a day, we may have to say “no” to some activities and tasks. As you list each goal, task, or activity, ask yourself if it is necessary, if it supports my ultimate goals, or if any other activity or person will be negatively affected if it does not happen. You may see your list shrink before your very eyes. If you are not sure how to narrow your list, search the internet, ask a friend, or consult a professional organizer (we help with both the tangible and intangible).

Motivate. Do you start the day with the best of intentions to declutter the “bathroom” only to loose your drive because it is “just not worth it”? What is worth it to you? What do you value? Why? These questions may not seem to have much to do with organizing, but they can be the key to your motivation. How much time do you spend on activities that relate to your values (i.e. spending time with family, exercising, eating healthy, etc.)? Most of us would probably answer “not enough”. Then why would you ever spend time on an activity not related to you values, such as organizing? The answer: organizing allows you to focus more on your values. Organizing means less time searching for the other shoe, fewer arguments over who last used the scissors and did not put them back, less time cleaning around the clutter . . . With less time wasted, you have more time to be with family, exercise, eat healthy, and pursue those life goals that really matter. The next time you wonder why you would ever make time to organize, remember that organizing can be a means to an end. If you find a task that seems pointless, ask yourself how that task can bring you closer to what means to the most to you. It is amazing how a change in attitude and knowing what is “in it for me” can motivate.

Ask For Help. Even if most of your chores and daily tasks are “value added”, they are not always fun and often too much for one person. Solution: spread the responsibility among the whole household. What is boring to one person may be fun for another. One person’s weak spot may be another person’s strength. Some people have time in the morning to help everyone get ready for the day, and others have more time at night to help everyone get ready for bed. When you do ask for help, just remember to be specific or be prepared for “not exactly what you expected”. Letting others pick what they want and find their own way, within reason, may even make them more willing and productive.

 

The Best Time To Sift Through Your Stuff

What are the best times in your life when it’s sensible to clean house and get rid of stuff you don’t use? Take advantage of these opportunities to clean out your home and downsize your belongings.

When you move from one house to another is the best time to get rid of things you no longer need. Why move stuff you haven’t used from one place to another where you won’t use it either? Think kitchen gadgets and closets as your best place to start.

Do you have a wok but can’t remember the last time you cooked anything stir-fried? If you rarely entertain, do you really need all those wine glasses and extra sets of dishes? How many plastic containers are in the cupboard and how many do you really use on a weekly basis? Get rid of the sizes you never use. Spend a little time to consider how much of your stuff you really use and make up your mind to let go of what is just taking up space.

Of course, when I say here to get rid of something, I mean donate it- don’t throw it away unless it doesn’t work or it’s broken. There are plenty of charitable organizations happy to have your stuff as long as it’s usable.

Look at your linen closet- how many of those sets of sheets to you really use? If you have towels that have lost their fluff, out they go. Old makeup and medical supplies should be tossed, especially if it’s now past the expiration date.

If there is stuff in the basement or garage still in boxes from the last move, it’s safe to say you won’t use it again. Test your courage by just tossing the boxes without even looking in them. If you can’t manage this without your palms starting to sweat, then check to make sure there wasn’t a hidden treasure in one of them.

When your kids grow up and move out, it’s time to clean out the stuff they didn’t take with them. Don’t feel you should keep your kids’ room as a shrine to them. While I understand you want to keep your memories, you don’t need to keep sports equipment from high school or every trophy they ever won. If it’s not important enough for your kids to take with them to their new place, you shouldn’t hold onto it either. Offer them the chance to keep what they want, but set a deadline for them to move out their things.

If you’ve always wanted a reading room or a place to work on your crafts, now you’ll have it. Or, make this into the fancy room your guests will be thrilled to spend the night in. Redecorate, renovate and make that room your own!

At some point as you get older, you may decide your house is too much to keep up and you’ll move to a smaller place such as a condo. Now you will absolutely need to decide what to get rid of since storage space will be limited. Once again, your kitchen and closets are the best areas that can be downsized. At this point, your lifestyle may also change- you may dine out more often than at home, causing you to need less kitchen gizmos. Consider your new routine and decide what you will no longer need.

Take advantage of these major life events to sift through your stuff, get rid of what you will no longer need in your new life, and donate it to someone else who could use it to start their new life.

I Am A Habit

H-A-B-I-T…When 95% of people hear this word, a negative thought pops up in their minds. Typically, most people think of a habit being negative. The secret to your future lies in your daily habits so ask yourself right now, “Are my habits today going to help me achieve my WHY in life?” This is a life-empowering question if you truly ask it and listen for the answer.

I received the following excerpt from a friend of mine and felt that it is definitely the best explanation of a habit that I have ever heard:

I am your constant companion.
I am your greatest helper or your heaviest burden.
I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.
I am completely at your command.
Half the things you do, you might just as well turn over to me,
and I will be able to do them quickly and correctly.
I am easily managed; you must merely be firm with me.
Show me exactly how you want something done, and after a few
lessons I will do it automatically.
I am the servant of all great men.
And, alas, of all failures as well.
Those who are great, I have made great.
Those who are failures, I have made failures.
I am not a machine, though I work with all the precision of a machine.
Plus, the intelligence of a man.
You may run me for profit, or run me for ruin; it makes no difference to me.
Take me, train me, be firm with me and I will put the world at your feet.
Be easy with me, and I will destroy you.
Who am I?
I am a HABIT!

Is it easy to be organized all the time? Of course not, but when it becomes a habit – you will do it! If you commit today to begin each day by maintaining an organized home, your entire life will change in a positive fashion very quickly, because your environment will be calmer. It is like driving a race car with the emergency brake on and you try to go ahead,  but you can’t move. You stay in the same location with your wheels spinning, burning up, making a lot of noise, but not going anywhere! All it takes is to release the brake!!

You need to review what your habits are and ask yourself…“Would I recommend MY habits to someone I truly love and care about?” Your entire future lies in your daily habits—positive or negative. You have the most powerful force right now in your hands, the ability to decide what your habits will begin to be.

Who Has Time To Get Organized

School activities, work, social events. Who has the time or money to organize? YOU DO! Organizing does not have to take forever or cost money. Don’t believe me? Keep reading.

How much time do you have to organize? A half a day or whole day or a week would be great, but most of us are not that lucky. If you want to get organized as quickly as possible, it is worth setting aside a large chunk of time to achieve that stress relief. To get twice as much done in the same amount of time, enlist a friend, family member, or professional organizer (bonus: experience, ideas, answers). If that much time is not a possibility (at least at the moment), then utilize pockets of time. Do you watch TV, watch commercials, ride the bus, wait at the doctor’s office, take car trips, wash the laundry, arrive early for meetings, lie awake at night, etc.? If so, take a reading file with you, sort a drawer, go through your magazines and catalogs, clean out the refrigerator, go through your CDs or videos, sift through your closet, clean off a shelf, go through a pile, empty a box, go through your shoes or purses, sort your computer or email files, pick out your favorite recipes in a cookbook, sort some of your pictures or compile one album, go through a file, or find something else small to organize that is quick and will give you a sense of accomplishment.

Not enough money for a custom closet system, garage system, pantry, etc.? Go shopping, in your house. Do you have wood scraps from previous projects? Use three pieces to create a free-standing shelf to better utilize wasted shelf space. Are your hair accessories a jumble? Use a ribbon, old belt, or something similar that hangs to clip your barrettes and keep them separated. You can even use an extra hanger to separate ribbons. Do you have random screw and nails? They make great hooks for light weight items. Are there empty baskets, containers, or shoe boxes? These can function as low-cost pull-out drawers. Would you like to find something in the junk drawer? Create drawer dividers with cardboard, wood, empty plastic containers, checkboxes, etc. .

If I missed the area that is frustrating you the most, email or call for some creative ideas. If you would like quick, easy organizing solutions, let a professional organizer help you. If you want your organizing finished yesterday, contact a professional organizer for an extra set of hands, focus, and a wealth of ideas and solutions.

Five Steps to Get Rid Clutter and Organize Your Home

A pact, according to Dictionary.com is “a formal agreement…such as one between nations.”

Well, I want you to have A-Pact with your clutter. Although this turns into more of a battle (that you win)…it’s a great way to remember the steps to organization.

Getting Rid of Clutter

Here’s what it means and how it works …

A–>ASK

Ask yourself what you want out of the room or area you’re going to organize. What are the goals of the room? What are you shooting for by getting organized? And the thing is, you want to dig a little deep into how you want to benefit. This will help you get motivated and work towards the final goal.

For instance, if you’re going to start the process of organizing paperwork in your home office, the question is “why do I want to organize this space?” The answer could be “I don’t ever want to have a late bill again” or “I want to find any document in less than two minutes.” Once you’ve answered the question, then move onto step 2…

P—>PILE

What you do in this step is pile “like” items together. In your closet, you make a pile of all your shirts. Another pile of all your pants… Or let’s say we’re in your home office (or wherever you do keep paperwork.)

Start with your file drawer, or grab a pile if that’s what you’ve got for a “filing system.” Put each piece of paper in “like” files. For example, all the insurance paperwork will go together. All of your 401K paperwork goes in another. All medical expenses from the present year in another.

A—>ANALYZE

Next you go through the piles and break them down even more, this time into two piles of “treasure” or “trash.” I like to assign each category with treasure or trash so there’s no in between. No room for “I’m going to decide on this later.” No, decide right there and then if it’s either staying or going. No in between. Now the thing is, the trash doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to the garbage.

That step comes next… and remember the saying, one man’s trash (or junk) is another man’s treasure.

next…

C—>CASH-IN

This is where you go through the “trash” and break it down once more, deciding what can be donated, what can be sold, and what’s going to the dumpster.

Next step is where you get organized…

T—>TIDY UP!

This is where, once you’ve gotten all the “trash” out of the area, you organize the items you’ve decided to keep. Tidy up, put it back in an ordered, organized fashion.

When you’re organizing, always keep like items together whether on a shelf, in drawers or in any other type of storage you’re using. Have items you use more frequently be more accessible and within reach, too.

So there you go… Have A-PACT with your clutter today, okay?

Hiring a Professional Organizer

Professional Organizer’s are becoming increasingly popular, for a very good reason. Hiring a professional organizer can help you expedite decluttering your home.

The past decade has seen life become increasingly sophisticated yet far less labor intensive for most of us. If you want to get and stay ahead, make use of professional organizer services, or what I call ‘efficiency services’. We outsource more and more tasks in our home to other companies just as if our home life was a business. A few of the efficiency services that you probably use include: Delivery services, car wash, laundry, various home maintenance, etc.

While some can afford for those chores to be taken care of by others, what is there left for them to do? And some of us can’t afford to pay for those services, but may need help just getting our homes organized. How can we use our money to maximize the opportunity of our time? That is where professional organizers come in.

Imagine what a professional organizer working for you could do for you personal organization. Everything comes from organization. As a professional organizer I consult with many people to organize everything in their life, organize goals, organize home, organize time, etc. I have chosen three core tips to help you choose a professional organizer that is suitable for you personally.

This may seem strange but I believe the skill of listening is one of the most important that a good professional organizer can have. If the professional organizer can not fully and completely listen to everything you are about and where you are coming from they will never be able to take you to a level of personal organization that satisfies you.

Choosing a professional organizer can be a cause for anxiety itself, which defeats the point of organization services. So here are some key insider tips from a professional organizer, on how you can choose a good professional organizer for your own style and way of doing things.

When we list homes, we always strive to have the homes “ready” for the market. This usually involves organizing and staging. We want your home to look its best before we have it photographed and listed. Selling a home is often like a beauty contest … the best looking one that is also prepared typically wins – in this case it is a sold home! So we work with professional organizers that understand the needs of homeowners, including the “why” behind their organizing.

The professional organizer we work with most frequently is Emily Lyles, of Helping Hands Organizing. As a member of NAPO, she is trained in professional organizers and understands how difficult a process this can be. We often work together when staging a home, since it usually needs to be organized and decluttered before we can stage it. There are several other professional organizers that you can interview as well. We recommend contacting NAPO, since their members are required to abide by a Code of Ethics.

In modern life I believe time becomes so precious to the potential of opportunities and experiences life has to offer. Using a professional organizer will allow you to maximize the life opportunities you can take advantage of.

Getting Started With Organizing Your Home

Did you know that January is National Get Organized (GO) Month?

GO Month, which began in 2005, is dedicated to raising awareness of the benefits of getting organized (and of hiring a NAPO professional organizer). During GO Month, NAPO’s dozens of chapters and thousands of members hold public events, including shred-a-thons, clear your clutter days, reduce-and-recycle events and volunteer organizing throughout the country.¹

The next 30 days will be dedicated to organizing your home with tips you can use in every room. If you are feeling overwhelmed, you can always hire a professional to help you get started by checking out the NAPO website, or come back tomorrow for our post on hiring a professional organizer.

Getting Started Organizing Your West Cobb Home

Do you shudder when you think of people coming over to visit unannounced?  Do you panic when you get a text message that family is coming—and they left 4 hours ago (and it’s a 5 hour trip)?  Do you try to clean before your cleaning service comes?  Can you not afford a cleaning service and try to do it yourself, ending up discouraged, frustrated, and thinking it’s just impossible?

Are you considering selling your home? That’s typically when all the clutter becomes unbearable. How do you get the house ready for potential buyers? How will you pack everything to take with you? Do you even want to take it with you?

The real key here is to take it a step at a time. Take it at your own pace.  This IS a fight that you CAN and WILL win!  You will have to commit to having less stuff if your home and letting go of the sacred-cows you’ve hung on to for all these years (but please note that these cows haven’t lifted a finger to help you get organized or clean—they only collect dust and take up space!).  This isn’t having “Clean Sweep” come to your home and do the work for you—it’s all your work.

Don’t worry.  It can all be done in a few minutes each day.  Yes, you, too can occupy a relatively clean environment as long as you relax and let go of “it’s-got-to-be-perfect-itis”.

You have 3 options to declutter – toss, donate or sell.

 

I’m a firm believer that

  • if it doesn’t work…
  • if you can’t remember when you last used it….or…
  • if it doesn’t make you feel good …then…

MOVE IT OUT!

Now, I know… sounds easy doesn’t it? Then why do we all have so much clutter?

Decluttering Tips & Tricks

Here are some tips and techniques that have worked for me to move unused items from my life.

You see I’ve tested them on my own personal clutter and I know they work. First you will need some bankers boxes (you can get these anywhere you purchase office supplies). Bankers boxes work the best because they have lids and are stackable. Ikea has these in different colors and sizes to make it easy to organize. And post-it notes. And a variety of plastic storage containers that are stackable.

Here’s what you do to quickly eliminate your clutter:

  1. Label the boxes anyway you like …maybe with a letter (A, B, C, etc) or numbers. And if you are doing this with somebody, maybe use names with letter/number or color code the boxes by person.
  2. Go around and start putting your dear clutter in the boxes while recording the contents on post-it notes. (You can do this little by little whenever you have a spare few minutes).
  3. When the boxes are full, stack them neatly in a closet, garage, attic, etc….anywhere where they are out of sight – except for the red ones, immediately place them in your car or trash to get rid of.
  4. When you have a little time, sit down, review the post-it notes and transfer the information to a spreadsheet, word document, index cards or whatever system works best for you. (By indexing you can easily find and retrieve anything you might have mistakenly filed away). Simply look the object up in the index to find the appropriate box and go get it! It’s that easy!
  5. After a time, if you find you really don’t need all the things you have stored, you can donate usable items to your favorite charitable organization. You can have a garage sale and make some cash, or you can make money by starting your own on-line store on eBay and …

You can have fun by giving your clutter a second life!

A good rule of thumb is:

“If you have not used it or thought about it in a year then you probably don’t need it and you can let it go”

The great thing about this process is that it overcomes the two main obstacles to clearing clutter. First, you may have thrown something away only to realize later that you really needed it. So now you are reluctant to throw anything away. Secondly, you believe that it can take quite a chunk of time to do a really good job of sorting and eliminating your unwanted stuff. In the past, you may have started to get organized only to abandon the effort for want of time and organization and ended up with a bigger mess on your hands.

This process eliminates these obstacles because the sorting can be done extremely quickly without the possibility of discarding valuables.

Doing these small things is your first step in creating space for new, exciting ideas and energy.

Get ready for an abundance of fresh ideas and energy to enhance your living! And if you are looking at downsizing and moving to a new home, this process makes it easier to move your things, because they are already organized!

STEP ONE TO ORGANIZING YOUR HOME

Ready for step one?  Good.  We’re going to declutter first – set a timer and put on some energizing music to get you going.  Decide that you’re only going to declutter for 15 minutes in one certain room.  Then if you want to work longer, say, another round of 15 minutes, you can.  But you don’t have to.  This helps you get motivated, even when you feel like cleaning is the last thing you’d want to tackle.  Yep- psyche yourself out.

Go from room to room one day, just decluttering – 15 minutes in each room.  Some rooms might take only five minutes – there’s a good feeling!  Others might take 30 minutes before you can walk through the room without tripping over something.  It’ll all average out.

Then on day two, go back to your first room and surface clean.  Wipe off counters, sinks, flat surfaces.  Then spot vacuum.  If there’s a stain on the kitchen floor, spot clean that baby.  Day three, pick another room.  Day four, still another.  If you’re so motivated one day and get on a roll, surface clean two rooms.

After you’ve decluttered, we’re going to take fifteen minutes a day and do some deeper cleaning in each room.  You know, vacuuming thoroughly, dusting, swatting away cobwebs, etc.

Now, if you just repeat this simple schedule, you’ve got a house that would at least make the grade on a pass-fail system. That takes a load off your mind and alleviates stress in your family relationships.

Remember, it’s better to do a little each day and get the job done, than to stress out in an embarrassingly cluttered environment because you’re too overwhelmed to even start.  Go ahead – set that timer!

Come back tomorrow to learn more about organizing your West Cobb home.

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¹Wikipedia

Organize Your Life | 7 Step Formula

Welcome to 2016 … and National Get Organized Month. Like last year, we will kick the year off with 30 days of organizing ideas, helpful information and more. Today’s topic is reflective to help get you started.

How important is it to organize your life?

Everything in our life comes from how we organize it, right?

When everything is organized we can do more, achieve more, become more, and enjoy everything more too, can’t we? Can’t you?

Are you Overwhelmed? Frustrated? Dissatisfied? Life throws a lot at you. How are you managing it all until now?

Those who organize life will excel far beyond those that don’t because Life Organization is the biggest frontier of development opening up this decade.

Are you ready for that?! But what is it exactly that you are searching the net for regarding how to organize your life? What does it really mean to organize your life?

Do you want a solid grand system to totally organize your life? Do you want some temporary techniques to apply now? Would you like permanent principles for how to organize your entire life?

To organize life you will capture every worth while thought to efficiently choose your actions for all that is important to you, without wasting time or losing time, and allowing you to succeed at whatever you desire.

At times we get off track, whether practically, or with our efficiency, or emotionally.

Thinking About Selling Your Home?

Are you in the process of decluttering and organizing your home in preparation for selling it? Curious what is worth? We can help with a FREE home valuation.

At those times, I do a 10 Minute get-on-track check. Essentially it is about writing down things weighing on my mind. I know paper can be messy, but I find I remember and act on things better if I write them down. But not to worry – I use “sticky notes” on my laptop ALL the time. It’s a little overwhelming, but it works for me!

I use the following categories of self-questions to help me do my organize life 10 minute focus sessions.

  1. Organize Your Life for Self – Touching on my emotions and physical experience. Accept and appreciate how I feel right now. This is the core of how to organize life. It starts from within. Show yourself gratitude first.
  2. Organize Your Life for Yesterday – I then take a moment to reflect on yesterday, as that is where I have come from. Again, focus on the positive – it’s much more productive and helps to move you forward.
  3. Organize Your Life for Today – Think of the fixed appointments, the general layout of your day to come, and where the areas of your day are where you get to decide exactly what you do with the time.
  4. Organize Your Life for Civilization – What do you want to do in society? What is your place and purpose in terms of contribution and business? Paying it forward pays it back big time!
  5. Organize Your Life for Ideally Organized Living – Picture the biggest possible ideally organized living circumstances that fill your fantasy. This connects you with the spark of life.
  6. Organize Your Life for Projects – Now you are ready to consider the actual projects and responsibilities that you have in your life. Tasks, hobbies, interests, pursuits, business ideas, etc.
  7. Organize Your Life for Right Now – Through the above self-question process you are probably now ready to decide on the next step activities to organize your life even more.

This 10 minute review might take longer when you first do it. Take your time with it, and remember this article. I can tell you from experience that by doing this simple 10 minute process regularly your life will become more and more organized. And that’s only because when I stray from this system, things get crazy!

Looking To Buy A Home?

Are you in the process of organizing your paperwork in preparation for buying a home? Curious about the process?

30 Days To Organizing Your West Cobb Home – Day 30

Organizing the content of your life based on your needs is a best practice for managing your time, resources and money and is an essential first step if you are to fully achieve your potential in life. The reasons for this are simple. An organized clear mind leads to clear and objective goals, which in turn leads to you being able to achieve what you set out to do. So organizing your West Cobb home can help you.

A critical first step then in staying organized is to set up a system of resource planning and clerical needs that allows you to plan out your time effectively, and allocate where you are going to spend it. In short this means such steps as getting a day planner so that you can plan ahead. Getting appropriate stationary systems and office space in place, and also getting yourself a filing cabinet, or at the very least some kind of filing system!

It would certainly be true to say that staying organized then is not something that lots of people do naturally! At first it can even seem slightly stifling, especially if you are used to totally going with the flow of what each day brings. In truth this is ok. It IS good to be spontaneous on occasions, but in general it is vital to plan out what you need to do in a particular time frame, because otherwise it is all to easy to simply become distracted!

All of us know this to be true if we think about it from the viewpoint of our own lives. For example, when we surf the web we find ourselves flitting between sites, and before you know it a couple of hours have past! Now, don’t get me wrong. That is one of the joys of the internet, and of life in general. But it is nevertheless a time stealer that staying focused and staying organised could have helped to negate.

So then am I saying that staying organized should mean robbing you of the juice of life? Robbing you of the spontaneity? NO! No! NO! For me the exact opposite is true. Staying organized is about finishing the day’s tasks and having crammed far more good stuff in! In short it is the exact opposite of a spoil sport!

You should know your own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to this area (clue… Staying organized means doing more of the things you like!) and communicate them to yourself regularly to analyze that your wants and needs are being met effectively. Then organize your time based on that feedback.

Keep with the program.