Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ten on Tuesday: Ways to be More Organized

In an effort to blog more and put a tiny bit more of myself out there I joined a group for Ten on Tuesday - so every Tuesday you'll get a little list from me to you!

This first Tuesday is Ten ways to be more Organized:

Of course, trying to be more organized I got this post ready on Monday for Tuesday and then accidently published it briefly.... oh well, here it is now, for real on Tuesday.

1.Make a list Sometimes I go days or weeks without a list, but normally I live off of lists. I started on at least half the mornings last week on the days I knew I needed to get stuff done but wanted to sit on the couch all day. I started one this morning and I have 7 out of 15 crossed off already. I also, however, make lists of more long-term things. I have a netflix list of things we want to watch, including 30 items on the save portion that means they aren't out yet, but that way I don't have to remember them. I use goodreads the same way, I can keep track of what I've read, which is interesting, but I love more keeping track of what I want to read so I can use those brain cells for other things.

2.Make a routine When things happen all the time you don't have to think about them, just make sure every once in a while that you are doings things efficiently and keep going without thinking. When it's time for the weekly library trip my kids know I'm going to pull up their record on the computer, see what's due, make sure they can find any books we aren't returning (so I can keep an eye out for any that are 'missing') and make two piles - those we are returning (into a bag) and those we are keeping (back in the other room)

3.Make a schedule Very rarely, on days that I know are going to be crazy I actually write down my mental schedule of the day to make sure I am not trying to fit in too much or forgetting anything. Most of our schedules though are to make sure everyone is on the same page. I write out school schedules for the girls most weeks so they know which days to get different things done - that is kindof a routine too because it's mostly the same every week, but if there's something different it is reflected in the schedule.

4.De-clutter your surroundings If your brain is constantly looking at stuff it will make you tired. If you can never find anything you won't feel organized and your free time will be eaten up by clutter and mess and searching.

5.De-clutter your life People vary, but when I get going too crazy my patience wears thin and I snap much quicker at my family. When I make sure I have enough time to mentally rest life goes a lot smoother.

6.A Place for Everything... and everything in its place. This goes with the declutter surroundings a bit, but also it means others can help. If there is one place for specific items, others can (may?) put them back in the right place so everyone can find them when they need it. Scissors are always in one drawer in my kitchen (at least the big pair of scissors are), the library books go into the bag in the living room, board games go back in the closet, shoes go in the closet, coats get hung up, etc.

7.Plan ahead I know, easier said than done, but if I know I have tons of activities on a certain day I try to have the kids prepare the night before, make sure I know what dinner is going to be, tidy up the house a bit so I won't come back to a mess, etc. I always try to have a book or a craft with me so I won't mind any delays, and remember which things are the important things .

8.Pack a bag When I'm getting ready to go and do something I grab one of my big bags and just throw everything in it. This works for us for two reasons - the kids usually pack their own bags now with me just verbally going through it with them, and I always empty the bag at the end of the day. This keeps me organized on a daily basis with what I think I'll need, and when I can I'll pack it in advance so when it's time to go I can just grab it.

9.Just do it for me, being organized has a lot to do with just doing it. Don't put it off, don't delay... plan and then do it. Especially if you have tasks nagging you to do them and you know they'll only take a few minutes go ahead and get them done. Then you'll have less hanging over your head and you'll be able to see what needs to be done next.

10.Ask others for help I recently finished a book all about changing your life in short, quick ways. (If you're wondering about that book you can look at my goodreads list!) One of the things I learned from the book was that the best way to get closer to someone (friendship-wise) is to ask them for help. Being organized is not a one person Olympic sport. It is a group effort, at least it is if you don't want to end up a little crazy. Everyone, no matter how organized they are, will need help getting through this life. So don't wait for someone to notice, just ask!

Some days I feel more organized than others, but on the days I feel pretty good about it, these are all part of that feeling!

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