Getting organized does not have to be overwhelming. There are small things you can do (or not do) right now to clear the clutter in your home, schedule and life. Consistent effort will produce noticeable results. Here are 10 things you can do right now, today, to de-clutter, de-stress and get organized:
- Cancel Unsolicited Mail and Catalogs. Call the 800-numbers on the catalogs and remove yourself from the mailing lists; then shred the covers and recycle the rest. Better yet, contact: Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association, P.O. Box 643, Carmel, NY 10512, to remove your name from mailing lists, and visit www.catalogchoice.org, http://proquo.com/ www.dmaconsumers.org/cgi/offmailinglistdaveand www.greendimes.com to stop the arrival of unwanted catalogs.
- Process In-coming Mail and Paper. Stand over a recycling bin, and purge every piece of mail that you don’t need. Then sort what’s left into “next action” piles: to read, to file, to pay, to call. Assign dates on your calendar to follow through with these actions. Do this daily for one week, and you will eventually get into the habit of doing it every day.
- Don’t Buy Anything New. Use up what you have before you buy a replacement product. This will help you clear clutter and save money.
- Discard and Donate. Discard broken and nonfunctioning items. Donate unwanted items that are still usable. Do this periodically, and make this type of de-cluttering a regular event. If you want to donate but don’t know who to call, check out my Recycling Guide at www.PeaceOfMindPO.com.
- Reduce, Re-use, Recycle. Consume less, re-use when you can, and pass on items that are weighing you down that others might enjoy.
- Imagine a Perfect Day. Leave and arrive on time, prioritize your in-box, tackle the most urgent stuff first, and dedicate yourself to the task at hand.
- Focus on Today. Painting your living room or finding a new job are long-term projects; jot them down in a notebook designated for long-term goals, and focus on what you can change today.
- Set Boundaries. Use a timer and work on a project for a specific period of time, without interruption. Designate a certain time period during which you will not answer calls or e-mails.
- Say No. Look in the mirror, and practice saying no politely but firmly. Do this until you are comfortable saying no in a variety of situations. Someone may be needed to perform a task, but that someone doesn’t always have to be you.
- Decide What You Don’t Want to Do. Designate days that you will not perform certain tasks (e.g., chore-free Saturdays, laundry-free Mondays, cooking-free Thursdays).
Pick one tip a week for the next 10 weeks, and establish some great new habits while clearing the clutter from your home and schedule.Colleen Klimczak is a certified professional organizer whose business is located in the Chicago, South suburbs. For more information, visit www.PeaceOfMindPO.com.