It’s been a bit of a running joke in the office how organized I am. You could say borderline OCD? Apparently everyone else doesn’t label their shoe boxes by types and color, or when they’re packing, lay out their clothes by days and outfits (down to the accessories). Wait — maybe that’s a whole other fashion related problem? We can address that in a later post.
Organization might even be contagious, as the following photo shows what my boyfriend did to his large collection of Legos.
I digress. People are making money off of organization, or perhaps the lack thereof. Just Google “get organized” and tons of websites and self help books pop up. “How to clean up clutter” and “Be more productive” are the topics of many a blog post. You could also flip through TV channels late at night to see another life saved by the Purse Organizer, the Wonder File or the Shoes Under organizer! Ever been to the Container Store, or seen a California Closet? Yea, people like me are crazy over that stuff!
So in honor of the upcoming New Year (and resolutions that tend to go with it), I’ve decided to share a few tips on what helps me stay organized.
- List making. Anal? Maybe. Helpful? Always! Look – you’re reading a list now! Lists are the best way for me to keep it together. For me, it’s equal parts writing something down and then crossing it off later that make me happy. Sure we have tons of things to do every day/week/month, but if you add a few simple things to your list to get you going and motivated, maybe tackling some of those other things won’t seem so bad.
- Labeling. You don’t have to go too crazy (although I won’t stop you). Putting things in their proper place and marking what it is can you help you to retrieve it quicker and save you time instead of digging around for lost things. I’ve organized all our personal papers and they’re easily categorized. So when my boyfriend had to provide a 3yr old receipt for insurance purposes I was able to tell him exactly where he could find it.
- Calendar. I’ve given up long ago on trying to remember things. So as I make appointments, personal or professional, I add them to my calendar immediately and set reminders, even if it’s for something months out! Often a reminder will pop up on my Outlook or my phone and I think to myself “Man I’m so glad I scheduled this!” With the constant presence of smart phones, there’s really no excuse not to.
- Color Coding. You can do this with just about anything and it’s great because it’s a quick and easy visual cue. Dog food is blue and cat food is red. Bobby’s homework due is green and Suzy’s is yellow. I color code lots of things, but the best example is my email. I have mail or shipping lists in one color, my tracking marked another color and credentials in a 3rd color. That way I can scroll through a folder of 50 emails quickly, see that 5 of those emails contain tracking. Then I only have to go through 5 messages, instead of 50, to find the tracking number I need.
Disclaimer: These tips help me, and maybe it doesn’t always work for you. But maybe try a few and see what works best for you. Hey you get what you pay for.
One last goodie: Maybe this doesn’t make your brain as happy as it does mine, but it’s impressive none the less. http://thingsorganizedneatly.tumblr.com/