This week is National Organising Week, an annual campaign run each year by the Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers, to encourage people to get more organised at home and at work.
Professional organiser Sarah Owen, who runs A Place for Everything, based in Hemel, gives her top tips on how to get and stay organised.
Utilise a diary and to-do list Writing appointments in a paper or electronic diary as soon as you make them prevents them being forgotten and avoids double-booking. Refer to your diary frequently and create a to-do list around commitments in your diary. Prioritise tasks on your to-do list on a Sunday for the week ahead.
Have a ‘home’ for everything in your home
Creating a home for important things such as birth certificates, mortgage documents, etc, means you always know where they are. Having a home for everything else is equally as important, so that items are returned when finished with and can be found easily the next time they are needed. If something doesn’t have a home, question whether you actually need it or do you need to make space for it by removing something else? Labelling storage boxes and files identifies things more easily when needed.
Meal plan in advance
Meal planning reduces that “what shall we eat tonight?” indecision. Advance meal planning only has to be done once a week, you know what ingredients to buy, it saves waste by avoiding overbuying and, most importantly, you know what you are going to cook when you arrive home after a busy day.
Establish good routines and habits for all of the household
Routines such as putting your keys in the same place when you come home each time ensures you know where to find them when you next need them. Encouraging children to put coats, shoes and bags in the same designated place every time they return home prevents chaos and an untidy house. Tidying away toys, dishes, paperwork each evening ensures a calm and organised start to a new day.
Develop efficient systems to control paper
Paper seems to still overwhelm so many of us even though we live in a digital era. Categorising paper in one of these three areas as soon as it comes into the home or office is a good way of staying in control. Open all post immediately, recycle envelopes and then:
1. Create a pile that is URGENT – important to action.
2. Create a pile that is NON-URGENT but needs your attention.
3. Recycle or file immediately documents that fit this category.
Ensure that the urgent pile is actioned as soon as possible, taking time to note deadlines in your diary and on your to-do list. Then do the same with the non-urgent pile.
Find out more at www.a-place-for-everything.co.uk