I had the privilege recently of attending a few Education Week classes, courtesy of a very dear aunt and cousin. And while the first couple of classes were very good and uplifting, the most informative class I attended was one on organization.
And so, I will share some of the things I learned. I'm still working on implementing these suggestions, but it does seem at least somewhat doable.
Seven Days to Organization
by Marie Calder Ricks
1 - Make a plan. This would be a plan for your week, a calendar, so to speak. It doesn't matter what form this plan takes, as long as you keep some form of it with you at all times. The mind is for solving problems, not for remembering. Keep memory out of the equation and you'll have a lot more brain space for doing important things.
2 - Family council. This is where you might alter your plan based on the needs of other people in the family. Plan on Sunday so you don't fight on Thursday.
1 - Desk area. You need 3 things to count it as a desk area (not necessarily an actual desk). 1) Flat surface with some space. 2) Drawer - keep all your tools for planning in one area (so you don't get up to get things and get distracted away from the task at hand). 3) File - piled paper is lost, filed paper is found.
2 - Hidden hoard of treasure trash. Everyone has it. Get rid of half. Share the surplus.
1 - Laundry. Everything you need to complete the task should be within easy reach. You shouldn't need to leave the area or room to get important things. Most importantly, put it away (or into the kids' baskets/rooms) while it's still warm. You'll do less ironing this way, and it will never get mountainous.
2 - Bathroom. Finish everything. Don't partially do the task. Teach kids that their shower or bath is not done till the towel is hung, the dirty clothes are in the hamper, the shower curtain is closed. Keep it small and simple and it won't ever pile up.
1 - Kitchen.
2 - Closets.
Four zones of organization. A) With elbows at waist, everything you can reach - things you need most often. B) Arms extended up and to your knees - need pretty often. C) On your knees or on a step stool - need only occasionally. D) Kept way back behind things where it takes some effort to get to - things you want to keep but rarely need to access.
Ask yourself - Is it useful to me now?
1 - Shopping. Buy double, half the time. Shop early, shop alone, always use a list. These will ensure that you don't waste money on impulse purchases, and will allow you to have some stored for just in case.
2 - Use cash. No credit cards. Budget, council as a couple, buy by the year as possible.
1 - Children. Insist on obedience, resist anger. Never get angry. When parents get angry, kids are in charge. Watch until they obey. This will let them know you're serious about the request.
2 - Be early. Things come together when you're prepared. The spirit is more easily with you.
1 - Garage. Everything that lives in the garage needs a home, a specific place so it can be put away. Discard, share, or put away. Everything.
2 - Kids' rooms. Don't make them do it alone, especially while young. Shed extra clothes and toys. It will make cleaning much simpler and more enjoyable.