I am admittedly a natural-born organizer. I’ve always been keen on keeping it clean. My mind feels clear and more focused when the area around me is tidy. For instance, my kitchen must be rid of clutter in order to start cooking. I feel better knowing my bed is made and things are where they belong. Some days this is harder than others…especially with a toddler on the move. But if you’ve found it difficult to get motivated, here are some tips to get you started.
- Clear out the Pantry. The place where you find half-opened cracker boxes, expired soups, partially used pasta boxes, etc. I’ve been embarrassed to find random cans of sliced mushrooms or condiments that have expired months, if not years ago. Opening an organized pantry is like stepping into a freshly manicured garden. Everything is organized, labeled and restocked. It’s piece of mind knowing everything has its designated place and you know just where to find it.
- Securing and Saving Photos. They are so easy to stash away. They are found hiding in strange places and scattered in desk drawers, baskets or kitchen cabinets. They deserve a home too. They represent precious memories. Grab some photo boxes and get to work. Create labels that reflect years (ie. 1995-2000, 2001-2005, etc.) or by occasion (i.e. honeymoon, school pics, pets, Hawaii vacation, etc.). Stack them chronologically in a safe place and add to them throughout the years.
- De-cluttering Mail and Magazines. We are surrounded by all things digital, but it’s amazing how much paper we still accumulate. It’s so gratifying to recycle what’s unnecessary and create space for what you will want/need in the future. For instance, organizing torn-out recipes into a recipe box or sliding them into a notebook beside your cookbooks. Hang on to your favorite catalogs and magazines but create categories for them (i.e. travel, food, shopping, etc.) and file them away. You will love the reclaimed counter space!
- Grooming your Beauty Products. Moisturizer, sunscreen, lip balm, shampoo…they all collect space in our bathroom vanities. We bring them home to sample, but decide it’s not quite the right shade or it’s too heavy, light, dark, sticky, etc. Instead of tossing them right-then-and-there, we often throw them into a pile and shuffle them around each time we are searching for our “go-to” products. It’s time to let go and rediscover that perfect cream you forgot you had.
- Schedule Time to Schedule Time. Whether you prefer a digital calendar or something hard-bound, it’s time to schedule. Just like babies, we are creature of habit that prefer routine. It doesn’t mean we should lose all flexibility or spontaneity, but mentally it can help alleviate pressure to map out our days/weeks/months/years to keep us on track and achieving our goals. We are all busy – that’s the reality. Find time to schedule all the mandatory appointments (i.e. doctor, dentist, parent-teacher conferences, etc.) then add in your desired appointments (i.e. massage, spin class, yoga etc.). Pencil in a hike and happy hour with friends. Visualizing it will help to make it a priority. You may find you have more time that you thought!