You remember your New Year’s resolution to get more organized? Do you? Please, tell us…how’s that working out for you? Not so well we’re guessing. Truthfully, we understand; between the seemingly endless tasks of work, home, errands, (and if you’re a student) homework, a few silly resolutions can wait. However, this week, we implore you to get more organized so you can continue the year with peace of mind and, hopefully the determination to complete a few other resolutions.
1. Invest in an agenda with a large notes section. My absolute personal favorites are from the Markings by C.R. Gibson line. I say ‘invest’ for a reason, when you have a solid quality agenda, you feel more obligated to use it; would you bend over backwards to fill your closet with all these pieces of beautiful jewelry, clothing, and shoes only to never ever wear them? Um, I don’t think so. So why should it be any different for your agenda? In addition to this agenda, buy one nice pen that you will use for that agenda—preferably black gel. Having one pen will force you to know where it is at all times and when you finally write in your agenda, you will have a sense of uniformity with the ink. This is what you will use to keep track of your life. Feel free to jot down things you want to remember in the notes section.
2. Go through all of your papers (magazines, documents, bills, nonsensical nonsense, receipts, etc…) and shred or throw out any that you don’t need. For the documents and bills that you do need, group like documents together and set them aside. Go online and create these accounts:
• Take pictures of receipts and paper documents you wish to keep on your smartphone or digital camera and upload them to your account. Everything can be arranged into folders for optimal organization. However, every 30 days, you only have 50MB of space to use; once used, you can either upgrade to 100MB for a price, or wait until the 30 days are up.
• For the documents you have set aside, scan or photograph them and upload them to Evernote for storage.
• This allows you to handle all of your household, financial, travel, subscription, and loyalty accounts from 1 place.
• For the bills you left in the folders, go onto your Manilla account and search for the corresponding companies (if they are available). This will allow you to receive future notifications via the site and stop endless bills and notifications from being sent to your house.
• You know all those papers that fall under the category ‘Nonsensical Nonsense’ but you don’t want to get rid of? This is where you can upload all of those (including any pictures you want to store). Everything can be arranged into customizable notebooks and since there isn’t a storage limit, you can upload to your hearts content!
d. If you subscribe to any magazines or catalogues but you don’t want to end your subscription, find out if you can get them on your tablet. Just go to the app store on your device, search for your magazine, download it, sign in once it has loaded, and click to restore old purchases. If you so wish, you can receive new editions on your tablet, as well. Google Catalogs is a great option for receiving catalogues on your device and is available for both iOS and Android tablets.
3. When everything around you is cluttered, so your mind will be. Take the time to declutter and arrange everything around you. Your motto shall be: “Everything has its place.” Pick up and arrange things that are out of order. It would be a good idea to have a tray by the door where you can putyour cell phone, keys, and wallet when you are entering. Be sure to have multiple large trash bags for things that are going to get thrown away.
4. Plan for the next day each evening. Set out your clothes, make lunch(es) and have them packed, and have your bags packed as well.
5. Ask yourself these questions:
a. Do I need it?
b. When was the last time I used it?
6. To-do lists are essential.
7. Throw away the junk.
8. Take an hour to sit down and do nothing; no reading, no internet, no television, nothing.
9. Don’t get upset. Try it, it works!
10. Get daily chores done. When they are done, they won’t pile up and suffocate you.
Bonus. Save money when you can.
Believe me, I understand how intimidating this list seems (I wrote it), but if you take things step by step, you won’t end up overwhelmed and crazy. It’s when you stop to smell the roses that your life will slowly start to feel more relaxed. Have fun, and Happy Simplify Your Life Week!