Getting Your Family Organized in 2012
It’s a New Year and a great time to start thinking about getting yourself organized — setting your personal, educational, and work goals. If you have children, then getting organized will present a special challenge. Perhaps this would be a good time to have them organize their rooms. And this means far more than just cleaning: It involves deciding what to keep and what to throw away. A good idea would be to set aside three boxes for the purpose, and give them each labels like “Discard,” “Keep,” and “Hold.” The first is for things you definitely want to dispose of, and the second is for things you definitely want to keep around. In the third box, you can put things that maybe you have not used in quite a while, but you still are not sure whether you want to get rid of them or not. That box should be stored away somewhere, such as the attic or (if you have none, as most of the houses I have lived in did not) the basement. If, after a year has passed, you have not missed them, then it is clear that you do not want them. Give them away, perhaps to Salvation Army or some other charity, or to a friend.
You may have a mountain of unopened mail somewhere. A good idea is to set aside a place for opening your mail, preferably by a rubbish basket, so you can discard anything that does not interest you. Also to help you get rid of the mail a little faster invest in a good shredder. Many shredders now even have the ability to shred credit cards and old cd’s so you can protect your identity and get rid of the junk mail!
Other things you can do to clean up your home life include:
– installing pegs for your children to hang up their coats, hats, and schoolbags;
– installing similar hooks where you can hand your car keys
– have a central spot to store all the important school papers that they bring such as the lunch schedule, calendar
Also consider cleaning up your computer files and/ or email account. For your computer, delete any files you no longer need, in order to free up precious memory space. Maybe— as with your snail mail— you have many email messages that you have not bothered to open. Delete those you do not want or, better yet, mark them as spam. Take advantage of the folder and filter options to direct messages coming from a certain person or address, or that contain a certain phrase, get filtered into a certain folder.
So much for physical cleanup of the house. But there is also the matter of time organization. Set up a calendar in which planned events of a specific type are color coded. Find time on the calendar for homework, recreation, TV, visits to friends’ places, and everything else that you can think of. Have your children put up a list of things that they often forget, so they will be continually reminded of them. And spend each evening preparing for the next day. If this is the year you are finally going to take the plunge and start your own business make sure to read up on what needs to be done and make sure you have a clean work area so that you can concentrate!
No doubt you, like almost everybody else, have thought up New Year’s resolutions for yourself. You should not have too many of these; if you do, you are almost certain to fail. In fact, just one or two should be enough for you to have realistic expectations of yourself, and make sure those goals are achievable. Divide each goal into a series of subgoals, and state what steps you intend to take in order to achieve them. Then, over the course of the following year, monitor your progress, so that when the next New Year’s Even comes, you can proudly look back on how far you have come. Hope you have a clean, tidy, and productive New Year!