Will it work?

To help me remember things I need to take out the door with me I use a magnetic bull nose clip on my metal front door. I need this "in your face" reminder or I may forget!
To help me remember things I need to take out the door with me I use a magnetic bull nose clip on my metal front door. I need this “in your face” reminder or I may forget!

Will it work if I work outside the home?

Will it work if I have small children?

Will it work if . . .?

Simply, nothing works if you don’t do it.

When I first began to try to get organized in 1977, I began to read everything I could find on home organization and time management. I kept reading similar principles over and over again.

  1. Prioritize—determine what is most important to you.
  2. Set goals—identify what you want to accomplish and how you want to accomplish it—in every area of your life.
  3. Write it down—plan your work and work your plan. Don’t trust your memory. Let paper nag you.
    1. Dump your brain and make a Master To Do List
    2. Review your plan in the evening for the next day. Begin your day the night before
      1. Lay out your clothes (and your children’s clothes)
      2. Do you need to take anything out of the freezer to defrost for tomorrow’s meals?
  • Do your children need lunch money? Notes signed? Special clothing or other items for an event? Don’t’ wait until the last moment—take care of it the night before. . . . and put everything by the door.
  1. Do you have any appointments? When do you need to leave to arrive on time?
  1. Review your day again first thing in the morning.
  1. Plan a place to keep your purse, keys, and anything you will need to get out the door. Be faithful to put your things in that place consistently and help your children to do the same.
  2. Develop daily, weekly, and monthly routines. Again, write it down and refer to your notes constantly until it becomes part of you.
  3. Declutter and organize. Begin in front of your home and go through. When you get to the end start over.
  4. Maintain, maintain, maintain. Keep what you have done, done.
  5. Make sure you do the basics every day—laundry, collect trash, and dishes.
    1. Empty your dishwasher after the cycle has run and put dirty dishes directly into the dishwasher instead of on the counter or in the sink.
    2. Keep your laundry moving from sorted to washer to dryer to folded and put away. If you leave your laundry in baskets or in piles on the bed or in a chair they will get tossed and end up on the floor and back into the laundry without ever being worn.
  6. Before you begin a project put everything in order. Don’t try to cook in a out of order kitchen or work on top of a pile of papers on your desk. Take five minutes to prepare.
  7. Before bed, walk through your home and put everything in order. It’s so nice to wake up to an orderly home.
  8. Pick up after yourself and teach your family to do the same.
  9. Treat each other, especially your husband, with respect—you are neither his mother, not his boss.
  10. Use a timer to keep you focused during your cleaning and organizing time.
  11. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted. Stay with the task until you have completed it.
  12. When you are decluttering in an area, don’t leave that area until your decluttering time is up. Then throw away what need to be thrown away, put away, what needs to be put away, and put any items you need to return or donate in your car to be dropped off the next time you are running errands.

These principles will work for anyone, if you do them.

If you work outside your home, your life will be much easier if you do a little each day instead of trying to do it all on Saturday. Just 15 minutes of decluttering and 20 minutes of cleaning will get and keep your home in order.

Off the top of my head those are the basic principles I have learned . I will elaborate on them over the next few days.

Love and Hugs,

Mary

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