The basic rules of organization are applicable to all areas of our lives. The 3 R’s I use for organizing a closet, are the same rules I use for work space, relationships, etc.
Here are my five tips to achieving organization across the board:
Taking Inventory/ Decluttering: It may trigger anxiety and dread for some, but once you decide to let what’s been holding you back go, you will instantly feel lighter, and accomplished.
-Retain: Items you keep
-Reward: Items you give away
-Remove: Items you discard
Designated Spaces: Every item you have needs a designated location. Just remember, your bed and TV have designated areas. Why can’t your shoes, purses, and sports equipment be given the same courtesy?
Visibility: Out of sight, out of mind. It’s just that simple. If you don’t see it, you won’t use it. If you don’t use it, you forget you have it. It needs to be visible in order to be utilized.
Color Coordination: Maintaining documents in a colored folder really helps in keeping what's important in one specific place. For vital documents, store them in red folders. The color used should grab your attention. For example, birth certificates, marriage licenses, wills, social security cards, passports, etc. should go in a red folder. If you don’t like red, that’s perfectly fine. Just be sure to use a color that you will remember in case of an emergency. Lastly, don’t forget to put the documents in there!
Plan, plan, and plan: Taking 10 minutes before you go to bed will save you hours of being unorganized in the morning. Be sure to save or jot down tasks that need to be tackled the next day. This gives you the blueprint for what you need to accomplish the next day, rather than forgetting major tasks.
As an entrepreneur and businesswoman, staying organized is important not only to my home, but to living my daily life. Think of a mental closet. Our minds are filled with so many thoughts and experiences. It would be impossible to keep track of them all, or answer life's deepest questions, if we didn't step outside our closet and choose what to keep and what to let go. Stepping outside the mental and into the physical, the fundamental principles are the same.
These are the five tried and true principles I follow to stay organized:
1. I say NO
How did I come up with that? Well, if you notice, people have a very difficult time saying no to people, items, etc. By saying yes, you tend to take on items you really don’t want or need. As an example, a relative is giving away an old, smelly couch. You already have a couch, that’s newer, and doesn’t smell nearly as bad. If they offer it to you, politely decline. Suggest that they Febreze it, and donate it to a local shelter, church, etc. Do not take on items that will add to clutter in your home or life.
2. Be consistent with projects: FOLLOW THROUGH
I get it. You had amazing ideas, and good intentions. As the old adage goes: “the path to hell is laid with good intentions.” Don’t be that person: Be realistic about the projects you're looking to start or are actively taking on. Be honest with yourself about the time-frame, what needs to be let go, and what needs to stay. Keep yourself grounded in reality.
3. Design with ease in mind.
If you wear those ballet flats everyday, put them in the front of the closet. Why would you want them hidden in the back? Confession: I’m super lazy. My time is valuable, and I would much rather be using it to do something like eating as opposed to searching for some shoes that I wear all the time.
4. Purge, purge, purge!
I get it: clothes are expensive, and you want to get the most wear out of them. Try it on right now. Does it fit? Exactly. Chances are, you’re not going to wear it anytime soon, if ever again. Give it to someone who really needs it. Clothing shelters and churches ALWAYS accept new or gently used clothing for the less fortunate. Besides, rewarding these items will make you feel amazing. Trust me, it is a great feeling, for sure.
5. Prioritize your time (also saying “no”)
If you’re in the middle of getting your bills in order and someone calls to talk about nothing, send them to voicemail. You can find out what Kim Kardashian said to Kanye later. Those are distractions that take you away from having your stuff together. Remember, you don’t want to start a project, and not finish it. It will only lead to chaos later on. We’re raised to always say yes. Let's break that nasty habit, by saying maybe, or a toddler’s favorite word, “no.” No one is going to lose sleep or keel over because you told them no. If they do, well, that’s a topic that’s much larger and difficult to tackle than organization. Becoming more organized, and efficient with YOUR time is the goal.