We’ve all been there. You waited until there were piles of dishes in the sink and a zillion bills and piles of laundry to do.
What if, every day you did just enough to keep those piles manageable?
I find that when i pick up a little every day, my “major” cleaning days aren’t so bad. Try to carve out a little time for each task. For example, take 10 minutes to put away the clean dishes and throw the dirty ones in the dishwasher. take another 10 minutes and pay a few bills. Throw one load of laundry in the washer and when that’s done and you can throw it in the dryer, do one more load. While you’re waiting for that to finish you can put away a few things that are lying about on the floor (10 minutes tops).
You’ve accomplished a lot in only a few minutes! Think how much easier your week would be if you did just a little every day?
Well, it’s getting cold and rainy out there in Chicago and that means it’s time to get out all of your winter gear and put away the summertime clothes and doodads. Don’t forget to toss out expired sunscreen and the like.
I put all of my scarves together in a bin, where I can get to them easily and the same with my mittens and hats. I have all of my sweaters together in a drawer and on hangers. Coats are all organized by warmness.
All of my summer stuff is in storage, except for my swimsuit, which I use sometimes in the winter.
When everything is in it’s place and you can find it easily it’s so much more fun to get dressed this Fall and Winter. Stay warm!
First of all, it’s normal to accumulate a bunch of papers and look at your filing cabinet with dread. No one likes to file, but there are ways to avoid making it an awful task.
Go through your papers and shred like crazy. You don’t need to save last year’s electric bills, or a bunch of junk mail that’s accumulated.
Recycle your old magazines, junk mail and anything that doesn’t have your address on it from years past. Unless you need it for taxes, it needs to go.
3. Paper Bags
Get all of your paper bags from Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods and get out a sharpie. Start sorting. Label one of your bags “Medical”, another “Mortgage” and so on. As you go through your papers, toss the ones you need to keep into the appropriate bag.
4. File and Label
Now you can file with ease. You have all of your papers sorted, shredded and recycled. Filing should be a breeze. Label the file folders accordingly and put things away carefully and in some kind of sequential order. If you find something you are unsure about, set it aside and deal with it after you have sorted the major categories. Make an action file, for those papers, and bills that you need right away. Putting them in files may make them hard to find, if you need to deal with them soon.
Now it’s time to celebrate! You have successfully done a very onerous task and you’ve done it well! Bravo!
We’ve all been there. You have tons of photos and your not sure what to do with them. The first step is to make them digital, if they aren’t already. Once you have your photos on your computer, put them into categories or events (as in iPhoto).
But, you say, I have too many! You probably do. Not every photo is a winner, so delete those that are blurry or have no meaning to you.
It is also a good thing to get a few large prints to hang on your wall, or a bunch of special small ones to put into a scrapbook or photo album.
Yesterday, I was looking through my closet and my wallet. There was too much stuff in my closet and not enough bills in my wallet. What I decided to do next was not only fun, but hopefully lucrative. I spent three hours taking photos and posting stuff for sale on ebay.
"Boy", you might say,"That sounds like such a bother!"
Nevertheless, a little effort can garner you oodles of cash. Who doesn’t want cash?
I am proud of myself for having made the effort and in a few days I may have a bunch of dollars in my PayPal account.
Take a look at that stuff you aren’t using and think about how you could trade your “junk” into cash.
Do you have a room that is just always overwhelming and you’re not sure how to organize it? Send me a picture or describe the room that you want to organize or unclutter and I will happily and humbly give you some tips and strategies to help.
Paperwork is the bane of our existence. It seems there is a never ending supply of bills, junk mail, product information, etc.
I have a few strategies that work for me:
When I get my mail, I throw out or recycle all of the junk mail in the mail room before I even enter my apartment. The same can be done in your house. Don’t let it land on a table. Dispose of that stuff immediately. If you can find it online, you don’t need the physical copy.
- To get less catalogs in the mail go to: https://www.catalogchoice.org/
Sort the mail into several neat piles: bills, health bills and pharmacy receipts, coupons and sales information, receipts, as well as any other correspondence.
- Put the coupons and sales information in an envelope or accordian file that is clearly labeled, or label a ziploc bag and toss them in. Make sure and go through them periodically, as they expire.
- Bills should have a colorful rubber band around them to show that they are priority items.
- Receipts should have their own file or neatly labeled container. That should be sorted regularly too.
I highly recommend investing in a good scanner that reads text (OCR) and convert important documents into a digital format, so that you don’t have to keep the physical copy. NeatDesk is pricey, but it is probably the highest quality system on the market.
SET ASIDE SOME TIME
It’s very important that you set aside a block of time for yourself to sit down and sort through your pile of papers. Pay the bills and go through receipts and coupons. If you do one thing at a time, it will go faster and be much more efficient. Converting bills to paperless online, will also substantially cut down on the actual paper you accumulate.
Scanning and regular sorting, makes it much easier to save important documents like tax documents and health insurance statements. I have several notebooks where I store older papers that I want hard copies of. Every year or so, I go through them and toss things I no longer need and put in other documents. At some point, I plan on scanning every document, so I have a copy at the ready.
However you decide to file things, make it fun and pretty. It sounds silly, but a bright colored filling system, or colorful notebooks is a great way to make organizing pleasant and pleasant to look at.