Organising the Household

Organizing Tips - Drawers 7985 edited re-sized

I had not thought to include this subject in my blog until a friend suggested it to me. What a good idea! As I began thinking, reflecting and reading about it, it has dawned on me that this is such a fundamental area of living well. Organisation and being organised affects countless areas of my life and those of my loved ones through all seasons of our lives.

Daily, we all are exposed to some form of organisation and practice some method of being organised. Can we make our methods better? At any time in our lives, the environment we live is the end result of planning, structure and organisation. We have been part of a home, school, college or university, an office, a church or other religious organization (looking at it from a micro angle). Let’s use what we learnt from them.

We take the efficient running and the safety and security of our country and its well planned and oiled infra-structure very much for granted. Let’s all play our part and start small – with ourselves and our household.

Being organised encompasses so many different aspects of life. It is a HUGE topic. I just discovered that many books have been written by Gurus of this topic and several well known websites are available. My post shares some thoughts, ideas or hints from my own experience which relates to a typical household as opposed to an office, school or other institutions.

Motivating ourselves to be organised.

Being organised, de-cluttering, picking up, packing or sorting doesn’t come naturally to everyone. It is also a good habit that is learnt and horned over time. One of the benefits listed below will likely motivate you.

  • No matter what are our habits we all enjoy living in a clean, neat and tidy environment.
  • It is less stressful when we know where to look for and find our things without at least a frantic 20 min. search – ahhh.. we save time, effort and enjoy an added health benefit.
  • If we are not encumbered with an excess number of possessions we save money, time (less packing, cleaning and maintenance) and space (or storage which also translates into money) .
  • Pride in ourselves and personal satisfaction are also benefits in our daily lives when we are organised.
  • As parents we feel the need and want to teach our children good habits. At the outset, we need to set the example by being organised ourselves so that we can teach them. Once children face a less harassed parent and more relaxed family life where everything is under control, they want to be organised too. Role modelling at work.
  • Greater productivity is another benefit.
  • We can better deal with emergencies that life sends along to us from the extra time, energy and money we had stored up.
  • When we sort through our countless possessions, you will find “lost” items. Purge possessions once a year with a vengeance and hold a garage sale or bless others.
  • All that extra time and money we saved from being organised can be used for any leisure activity, family bonding or enjoying our friends.

Still sitting on the fence? Here is quote from which will press the button.

…………”organized families” can seem like a contradiction in terms. But you know they exist: They’re the ones who show up at school on time each day, remember the Little League coach’s birthday, and file their taxes in January. And though they make everyone else look bad, you secretly wish you were more like them, together and in control.

Why get organized? Because you can’t afford not to, especially when you’re juggling work, school, and competing schedules.

Recognise the reasons for our clutter and get rid of clutter.

Here are some of them:-

  • We lead busy lives and inevitably clutter (ours, our spouses’ and the children’s) builds up. My photo above shows how I have unknowingly accumulated 10 complimentary cake slicers!
  • We need different possessions in different seasons of our lives. This is especially true for children as they grow older. Fashion also changes. Change is part of life.
  • Many people hang onto items for their sentimental value.
  • Some of us indulge ourselves more with shopping sprees for all kinds of things.
  • If we allow clutter to build up without doing anything about it, we are likely to feel overwhelmed and depressed. This in turn does cause some to pretend the clutter doesn’t exist.

Have you ever watched an episode of “Clean House” which is a home makeover television show? The show brings a four-person cleanup-and-renovation crew to the homes of families to clean up clutter. Discounting what we see as a TV show, it still amazes us by how cluttered a house can be. It has made its impact.

“Deciding to get organized is like resolving to lose weight,” says Lisa Sarasohn of the Los Angeles-based organizing service Hire Order. “Both require discipline, and neither happens overnight.” Rather than searching for a quick fix – the equivalent of a fad diet – organized families commit to a lifestyle change. They see organization as a means to an end: a more fulfilling, less stressful family life.

How to get started.

Keeping clutter under control one step at a time makes us feel we are in control and good about ourselves. We are happier and that leads to better habits for ourselves and then, other members of the family will likely follow suit.

  • Decide on a system. I like to organize one room at a time.
  • Start small. Look around the room (eyeball it) and note which part of that room needs to be started on first. Give yourself a rough estimate how much time you will need and which days you can devote to complete that first project.
  • Make a time schedule of how each room will be organised or re-organised.
  • Will you have extra help from a family member or your domestic helper? Bear in mind that your spouse is likely to have a different way of working or has a different system from you.
  • Do you need to purchase any containers, filing boxes or other types of paper or plastic boxes, tapes, papers, stickers and markers for you to sort things and to pack them away. Perhaps, once you have sorted those empty containers can be re-used? I love using freebies like gift boxes, bags and even carton boxes from movers and offices (reams of papers for the Xerox machines are packed in cartons). Click here for my post called “Tips for organising – keep durable boxes and bags”
  • Decisively go through all your possessions with mind to clear. A good rule of thumb: If you haven’t used something in a year, chuck it. If you just can’t bring yourself to do that, box it or bag it and keep it for 2 to 3 months. If you still haven’t used it, get rid of it.  Instead of hanging on to every item with sentimental value, pick only one or 2 small good quality representative pieces to save.
  • Store the rest of the things in sensible places. For instance, stationary and filing an other office type equipment should be found near each other. Try to keep to the same system over time. Someone has shared, “We make a point to put stuff away in the same place every time. This way, the whole family knows where to look for things when we need them.”

Once you have got a system going, it does require periodic checks. Keep up the good work!


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