I bet if you’re checking out this blog, getting organized was somewhere on your list of New Year’s resolutions. And while New Year’s resolutions are great way to get focused for the coming year, there is a reason why half are forgotten by mid-January. New Year’s resolutions tend to be too broad, leaving us overwhelmed and confused about where to begin.
When it comes to organizing, I say, be specific and start in the place where you’ll see the most immediate impact. For most of us, that’s at home. Taking it one step further, organize an area where you can manage the basic functions in your life – kids, pets, home projects, bills, mail – everything.
How you might ask? Set up a home command center. Whether you run a household or just your own personal life, starting and ending your day from an organized and productive point makes all the difference.
So to kick-off my guest blog post series, I have all the tips you need to set-up your home command center.
- Location, location, location. Ideally your home command center will be in an area near where you enter the house everyday. You’ll need some open counter space and possibly a wall for posting items up if you’re a visual person.
- Supply up. Keep a trashcan and ID guard stamp in the area so you can dispose of junk mail immediately. Also keep a mail opener, notepads, pens, a family calendar, grocery checklists, envelopes, stamps, and a bin for incoming magazines nearby.
- Keep files at hand. These files become a quick and easy way to sort mail and paperwork. Examples of files might include bills to pay, items to discuss with your family, pending items (for things like concert tickets), and action items. Other files can be customized based on your life. Maybe keeping a file at hand for current tax items is critical or possibly a file for family medical issues.
- Create a one-stop mail station. As mail comes in, put it into the files created or the trashcan, just a couple steps away. Bills are filed in the bills to pay file. Anything that requires immediate action or a decision goes in the action items file.
- Clear the decks. As your children’s art and other mementos come in, slip them into nice storage boxes you keep nearby. Limit yourself to one box per child per year, so you can prioritize items to keep without having paper overtake your home. When invitations, notices and critical deadlines are on paper, add this information to your calendar and toss the paper.
- Be flexible. It’s all about customizing what’s important at any given time in our lives. As things change, you might add a file or two. But at the end of the day, it’s all about keeping things at your home command center that you use on a daily and weekly basis. You’ll have everything you need at your fingertips.
On another note, I couldn’t be more excited about my debut as a monthly guest blogger for Roomations. Please read along every month for a mix of organizational inspiration and tips, my favorite things, and general musings on all things organized.
Here’s to an organized year!
This is a guest post by Korinne Kubena Belock, founder and owner of Urban Simplicity, a professional organizing company based in New York City.
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