Are you someone who has challenges getting organized no matter how hard you try? This is the 2nd in a series of posts to provide simple tips to help you.
Being organized is not about having everything put away in nice tidy containers that all match. I’ve had clients who put things away and forget that they have them. Here’s a few tips how to keep things in the open and still organized:
1) There is no rule that you need to use a filing cabinet. Have you ever spent time developing a detailed filing system, only to never use it again? For items that you regularly need access to, a rolling file cart might work best. You can easily see all files and have easy access to them. And when you do want to tidy up, it’s easy to tuck under the desk. There are also many types of organizers that sit on top of your desk that help you easily see and access your files.
2) If you have trouble remembering where you put things, open top containers will work better than ones with covers. Even if you have a cover, you don’t have to use it. For example, I’ve had many clients who want to hide mail away in a file cabinet or a desk drawer. Unfortunately, the mail gets forgotten and important information gets missed. A better option would be to have a letter tray on your desk or counter to collect all mail. If the mail starts to topple out of the tray, that’s a clue that it’s time to open and process your mail!
3) Clear containers also help you remember what you have. I’ve helped de-clutter many a closet where shoes are stored in the shoe boxes they came in. Storing shoes in closed boxes is a great way to forget what you have. Clear shoe boxes let you see what is inside. Taking a picture of the contents of the box and using that as a label on the front will also help you remember what you actually have.
4) Use your wall to strategically hang things you want to remember. A white board in your mud room is helpful to write reminders for yourself and your family. A large hanging calendar helps remind everyone in the family of important events. A key holder by the back door will help you always find your keys.
5) Keep your “out the door” pile out in the open to remind yourself of things to do. Establish a place near the door for those things you want to remember to take with you when you leave. Examples might be things you want to return to a store, items you want to take to a friend, coupons you want to use, and clothes that need to be dry cleaned. Better yet – have a box in the front seat of your car for these types of items so that you have them when you need them.
Remember – the objective of being organized is to find what you are looking for when you need it, not to have everything hidden away in containers and closets.