Does your life feel out of control, chaotic, disorganized and overwhelming? Here are easy, free tips to organize, purge, free up resources and live simply. These tips won’t cost you anything except the loss of a massive load of stress.
Schedules, Calendars, Finances and Personal Organization:
Get an undated personal planner or use an online personal calendar and organizer. Most web browsers and internet service providers offer free personal organizer software.
Set up a personal calendar and link it to employer and social calendars (if available).
Coordinate personal calendars for your spouse, children and dependents by defining each person’s calendar with a color. I note each child’s appointments, school activities, sports and social group events with color coordination.
Coordinate your financial information on your calendar. I use a separate color for my financial calendar, noting when bills are due and when I pay them. I also note when I am paid as well as payments and disbursements I make, on my financial calendar.
Keep a grocery and supply list attached to your calendar. Check items off as you purchase them.
Make a list of common food stuffs, personal products and HBA items stored in each cupboard and drawer. Laminate it and attach it to the inside of the cupboard door. As you run out of items, check the list with a dry-erase marker. Before you shop, look over the list and add any items to your shopping list. As you put groceries and supplies away, erase check marks of the items purchases.
Coordinate your errands. Set one day for errands day, doctor appointments, etc. Stop wasting time, gas money and natural resources driving all over the place.Shop once a week and do without until the next trip.
Reduce the number of after school and evening activities.
Say ‘no’ to pleas for help, volunteer activities and events that don’t interest you. Calculate the time investment before you say yes to that next project.
Plan some unplanned time. It isn’t healthy for children or adults to have every space on the calendar filled.
Purge your clutter. Here’s a rule of thumb from management experts: if you haven’t used it in a year, you never will. You’ve seen the television show Hoarders. Learn from them. Recycle used, broken, worn out and cast off items, or donate to a thrift store and take the tax credit.
Organize and expand your living space by installing sturdy, well-made shelves and shelving units. Store books, CDs and DVDs neatly on the shelves and racks.
Place portable shelves and racks in kitchen cupboards to double your storage space. Arrange food stuffs, pantry items and canned goods in single layers for a quick at-a-glance view.
Combine open packages into larger resealable food storage containers.
Add storage space in bedrooms and bathrooms with portable open shelves, cupboards and racks. Organize clothing by type in open baskets, boxes or bins on shelves. Suspend spring-loaded tension bars in closets and hang clothing and accessories. Use pocket or cubby shoe organizers to extend closet space and organize toys, craft supplies, office supplies, tools and other items.
Corral personal care supplies, bottles, packages, product containers, medicine, beauty aids and accessories in open baskets. Group according to type. Free up floor space with loft beds.
No matter what your age, personal circumstances or income level, personal organization is a healthy choice.