Now, Where Did I Put That? The Ultimate Guide to get Organized and Not Lose Your Sh*t Literally and Figuratively
By Jackie White
We have all been there once or twice or like every day…where did I put my keys? Where did I put the hammer? Darn it, where is that bill I was supposed to pay this week? We all get unorganized at some point in all the busyness life brings. I am the first to admit this! But how do we turn this chaos around and get it together?
First, we begin with awareness and admittance. It’s sort of like an AA meeting for us, unorganized people. I, (fill in with your name), am unorganized. That’s it, now let’s move on. We can all move from being unorganized to actually being organized and you know what happens then? We begin to start enjoying life just a little bit more and the reason why is that we are not frantically looking, searching, buying another or being late because we couldn’t get it together on time! Just the thought of that is refreshing, isn’t it?
So, let’s get to some fundamental things that need to be put into place to bring you over into the Land of I Know Where Things Are.
Information Central: Organizing information is really half the battle! Set up a system to track your/your family’s activities, appointments, and commitments. You know if you are the mom in your family, you are keeping track of everyone, so color-code your system to manage all the peeps properly. Keep this primary organizational tool easy to use, and updated, and make sure people are using it (which is the other half of the battle, right?!)
Calendar: A family calendar online or posted on the fridge, so all can see. A personal calendar/planner is also helpful to manage yourself. I like a paper planner, but if digital works for you, then use that. The trick here is keeping it updated and keeping yourself updated but looking at it every day so you know what’s happening.
Scheduling: Here we really have to get honest with ourselves. Be overly conservative with the time you have. Part of the problem with being unorganized is we overestimate what we can get done in a day. Remember when running errands, attending appointments, picking up kids, there is travel time (we always forget that it seems!). Realize no matter how much you want to get 82 things done in a day, it will likely be a lot less, so be realistic!
Bulletin Board: A bulletin board can be really helpful to hold school notices, invitations, field trip slips or other action-needed items. The beauty of this is that you can see it and it’s easy to slap up a paper that might otherwise get lost if not managed right away.
Important Paper Binder: In this keep birth certificates, social security cards, bank info, marriage license, will, or any other important legal documents you need to access. Keep this in an inconspicuous place in your home.
Communication/Office Bin: This bin holds things like envelopes, stamps, pens, paperclips, pencils, checkbooks, printer ink and thank you notes.
Bills: There are many ways you can organize your bills but I found paying online as a great way to streamline payments. You can opt in to an auto-pay where it comes directly out of your account and you don’t have to do anything or your can choose to pay online but you have to execute the transaction. Either way, you must keep a running tab of what is coming in and going out as well as when you need to pay so that your bills are not late. This may sound rudimentary, but you would be surprised how fouled up this can get if you don’t stay on top of it.
Menu Planning: Make a plan for a few days and I stress, only a few days to ensure you are utilizing the foods you are purchasing. I have tried to do the month long planning only to throw out so much unused food. If this could potentially be your scenario, menu plan for only 2-3 days at a time and use what you buy. It can’t hurt to have a back up freezer option if you can’t get back to the store on time.
Get Off the Phone: Yikes! The biggest time suck of them all can be the dang phone/social media. Watch yourself here because it tends to take up so much more time than we ever realized!
Stay Aware: Pay attention to how you are doing once you have put some of these strategies in place. Is it working for you? What can be better? What can you tweak? Continuous improvement will be your focus here so that eventually you get a system in place that is keeping you organized like a well-oiled machine!
For more help getting organized, join SoulShine for the FREE Squeeze the Day Life Organization Challenge starting September 27 - September 30, 2022!
Sign up here → https://soulshinelifeconnections.podia.com/squeeze-the-day-challenge
Jackie White has been writing about life and its ups and downs for many years. With a degree in Industrial Psychology and a life-long student of personal development she is intrigued by how each individual chooses to live their life. Jackie feels strongly that truly living your best life is imperative to attaining peace and fulfillment. SoulShine was borne of her desire to inspire and teach others to live their best life. This is her mission and her dream.