I WILL be more organized. I will BE more organized. I will be MORE organized.
For reasons that are somewhat unclear to me, this is the time of year everybody’s talking about getting more organized. I suppose it’s the “fresh start” aspect of a new year. Personally, I vow a few times a week, each and every week, to work and live more efficiently. Sadly , this seems to have little or no effect.
There are so many ways to define what it means to be more organized. For some, it means recommitting to a regular exercise regime, or even a Friday night date sked with their partner. Sometimes it means determining to respond to emails and phone messages more promptly (guilty as charged) or finally tackle that reno that’s been in limbo for 18 months.
Frequently, though, it goes hand in hand with the purging of excess stuff that has started to clog the smooth running of your life – both business and personal. How to decide what to keep and what to toss? Simple – ask yourself two questions. When did I last use this, and am I likely to use it this year? If the answer to the first is more than 18 months, and the answer to the second is no, put it in the discard pile.
If you undertake a “stuff audit”, consider asking friends and family to do the same. Then have a swap party with the results. You may find that the over-sized whisk for which your sister-in-law has no use is just what you’ve been looking for.
As mentioned in this week’s Hot Home Products column, I think that before going out to buy storage or organization products, you should look through for your home for items that could work. My collection of old cookie tins, for example, is used to house everything from dried beans to buttons. (see pic below right)
If you do need to buy stuff, take the appropriate measurements with you to the store. No use buying a pot stand with a 12-inch clearance if your biggest pot stands 15 inches high. When it comes to bins, don’t assume bigger is always better. I made the mistake of buying huge bins to store off-season clothing a few years ago. They turned out to be awkward and heavy, and it’s a pain when I do need to go in them to fetch clothing (mid-winter break, here I come!) BTW, I recently discovered the store Solutions, which is an organizational Utopia!
Simple solutions sometimes work best. I love, for example, the bottle bags that the LCBO sells for carting wine home (and returning empties, which of course you do!). A six-bottle bag sells for just $1.4.5 Be creative. Add storage in unexpected ways, like the behind-the-mirror cache — a project that showed up in the Home Depot’s Dream Book a few seasons ago. (See pic below left).