Organizing Your Life


Declutter your Desk

Sometimes small changes can lead to big results when it comes to getting organized. Whether your desk is located in an office or tucked away in a corner of your home, it should be a space that inspires you to work. If clutter has taken over your desk, try some of these desktop organizing tips:

• Clear everything off your desktop. Then arrange the items you use most within easy reach. Try to limit the items to your keyboard, mouse, phone, a notebook and a pen and pencil holder. Use drawer organizers to stash other items out of sight.

• Consolidate your To Do lists. Get in the habit of using a single notebook for task lists and project notes. Think of it as a work diary. You may want to invest in an organizer like one of the Do & Delegate books from Buttoned Up. These spiral-bound notebooks come with tabbed sections to help you track To Do lists and plan projects.

• Develop a filing system for paperwork. Hanging vertical files are easier to search through than piles of paper. Use folders with labeled tabs to organize paperwork by category. Store current paperwork in hanging files in a desk drawer or in a file stand on your desk. Use a file cabinet for long term paperwork storage.

• Clear your desk at the end of the day.

And start with a clean slate the next time you sit down. If you’re in the middle of something, make a few notes and then file it away. When you’re ready to continue, you can pick right up where you left off. Organize Your Closet Have you ever spent time looking for a favorite garment or pair of shoes that have disappeared, or stood staring at a closet full of clothes and felt that you had nothing to wear? These are sure signs that organization is needed. Taking some time to clean out and organize your closet will save you time every day and simplify your life. The first step in closet organization is deciding what to get rid of. This should be done at least once a year. If you haven’t worn something in a year or two, it’s time to donate it to your favorite charity. The next important step is to move your off-season clothing to another closet. You’ll find that it’s easier to get dressed each morning if you’re only looking at the clothes that are in season. After you’ve completed these steps, you are hopefully looking at an emptier closet. Now it’s time to organize. Invest in some plastic or wooden hangers. Using hangers that are the same size and shape will give your closet a neater look. Decide on a hanging scheme that will help you quickly find any piece of clothing and make it easier to coordinate an outfit. For example, group like items of clothing together (i.e., pants, shirts, skirts, work out clothing, evening clothing, etc.) and then arrange each group by color. Fold sweaters and t-shirts, and stack them on shelves or put them in drawers according to color. Storing shoes in boxes is the best way to keep them organized and neat. If you use the original shoe boxes, add a descriptive label to help you remember what’s inside. Even better, take a picture of the shoes with your digital camera and paste it to the end of the box. Clear plastic boxes are another good shoe storage option. They’re inexpensive and will give your closet a nice uniform look.

Keep the Memories, Lose the Clutter

One of the fundamental reasons that people let clutter accumulate throughout their home is the association of objects with memories. It’s hard to let go of things that are linked to happy times and special people, but sentimental clutter can stop you from moving forward in life. If you find that your home is filled with items that have no use except to represent a memory, it’s time to stop thinking of your living space as a museum to the past. Recognize that the happy memories will live on even after the item is gone. Organizing experts suggest taking pictures of cherished items before giving them away. Then you can still reminisce by looking at the photo. However, photo albums can end up creating a new type of clutter, especially if you don’t have time to put photos into albums right after they’re developed. A digital photo frame will let you take photo organization to the next level. Today’s digital frames use wireless technology and memory card readers to transfer pictures directly from your camera. Once photos are safely stored in the photo frame, they are instantly accessible and highly portable. You can relive your memories with the touch of a button. Use the

Principles of Feng Shui

The ancient Chinese principles of Feng Shui govern the natural flow of energy through a home. Some of the fundamental rules of Feng Shui can be easily applied to any living space to help clear clutter and create a relaxing atmosphere. According to Feng Shui, clutter is an energy drain. Eliminating it will foster higher energy levels and a general sense of well-being. Begin with the entryway to your home. Feng Shui says that this is where positive energy enters. Don’t block the energy with empty planters, children’s toys, shoes, and boots or recycle bins. Clear these items away and add a relaxing focal point such as a small fountain or well-maintained plant. Create a gracious welcome for friends, family and positive energy. Feng Shui in the kitchen is all about cleanliness. Clean out the refrigerator and remove unnecessary clutter from counters. Then clean surfaces and appliances with a natural cleaning solution, avoiding the use of harsh and toxic chemicals. In the bedroom, remove all items that add to the sense of clutter and are visually distracting. If possible, move your work desk and computer to another room. Create a peaceful sanctuary where you can relax and recharge. There are additional Feng Shui principles that pertain to the placement of furniture and the use of color. If you’d like to learn more, check out one of the books that explain these principles. One of the most popular is Karen Kingston’s Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui. Make Room for Relaxation Once you’ve made some progress with clearing the clutter out of your life, you can think about creating a private oasis of tranquility. Transform your bedroom, bathroom or living room into a private retreat where you can relax and unwind. You can draw inspiration from Zen, which is another Asian-inspired style of decorating. Zen style embodies simplicity, minimalism and an appreciation for the natural world. One of the most important characteristics of Zen style is an absence of clutter, which contributes to an atmosphere of peacefulness and tranquility. To add some Zen style to your retreat, minimize the contents of the room. Only include furniture that’s necessary for the room’s function. Replace fussy accessories with a few natural items such as stones, shells, and wood carvings. Add additional accessories that will contribute to the feeling of relaxation, including an indoor fountain or water feature, Asian-inspired plants such as orchids and bamboo, and scented candles or incense. A Zen retreat is the perfect place to create a daily relaxation ritual. Whether it’s meditation, yoga or just a long hot bath, a relaxation ritual is the perfect way to unwind, declutter your mind and free your spirit.


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