Getting closets, cupboards, and paperwork organized saves time in the long run. Sometimes generic solutions don’t work, however. Tailoring a system that works for you, and goes with your lifestyle is only a question away.
Books and T.V. shows often feature organizing experts who get carried away. Moreover, so much of systematizing should really be tailored to what works for you.
Most organizing suggestions seem to be too generic. One example from a workbook talks about organizing your purse. The workbook suggests to buy a smaller one, which then forces you to sort it out.
Does forcing yourself really accomplish anything? Isn’t success more probable using incentives, and encouragement?
Another example is the suggestion to sort items into three piles when organizing an unruly mess:
The idea of sorting items from a messy closet, attic, or garage into three piles is a popular recommendation. This too, seems unrealistic. Here are the categories used for labeling the three piles:
1.) throw away
3.) undecided – you get to take a little time to review this pile
Simplicity can contribute much to organization. Rather than taking the long route, just remember this phrase – If in doubt, throw it out.
Following an inner voice can be a guide. Go through the questionable items and ask yourself “ Do I absolutely love this item?” For encouragement, think about the warm feelings you get when donating to a good cause like Goodwill or Salvation Army.
Sorting through paperwork
Receipts create a lot of clutter, but saving them for returning items to the store is only one reason to keep them. You may also need these later to organize a budget.
The important IRS paperwork is necessary to sort out. The workbook suggestion in this case is to keep monthly folders for the bills, and receipts that need to be stored until it’s tax time. The standard advice is that if you will be able to get a tax deduction with any of these, put them in a folder for the month they pertain to. This suggestion doesn’t appear to be practical.
Why create extra work moving something from place to place instead of simply keeping one folder for tax related information? Your pocket folder can even be color-coded. Why not simply sort through the miscellany, pick out the IRS related stuff, and put it all in one place? Keep it simple.
Bills only need to stay around until the next month when the payment appears on the next invoice. And remember, you only need to keep most financial records for about eight years altogether.
If your pile of mail to be sorted has envelopes on which the address says “or current resident,’ you can automatically pitch those. They can’t be that important.
If the organization problem is caused by lack of time, make to-do lists and sort them into two categories. Mandatory items should be on one list. The second list should have the things you actually want to do. After getting so many of the responsibilities checked off of the mandatory list – reward yourself with an activity from the want-to-do list.
A good calendar is an organizing essential. Pocket calendars are great for getting miscellaneous paperwork tucked out of the way. A useful calendar should have a place to pencil in thoughts, ideas, or details about appointments.
Make your organizational system about you. Include, and be realistic about your own little quirks, and consider ways to work with your idiosyncracies. The easier you make it, the more likely it is to accomplish your goals about getting organized – right?
The Personal Organizing Workbook
Image via Wikipedia
Published in: Personal Organization