I'm utterly determined to get our new home organized and keep it that way. There are quite a few boxes I haven't even touched yet because I don't have my my organization system here fully fleshed out. I refuse to bring more objects into the home until I know precisely where to put them all! In the meantime, however, bills and paperwork are coming in and just like any household, there's always an element of general clutter to deal with. I've gone ahead and implemented a few of my essential organization tactics to keep everything in line. Here are my top tips for how to organize your home.
Simplify the Paperwork Process
A lot of people have overly-complicated sorting systems, file folders, color-coding tabs…the whole thing ends up seeming kind of daunting. While I will admit to needing a better system for tax organization, I am SO on it with the mail and everyday forms. General paperwork needs just two boxes: IN and OUT. Incoming paperwork that needs to be filled out and dealt with goes in the IN box. Paperwork ready to be mailed or dropped off somewhere gets put in the OUT box. We use magazine files for our in and out boxes and have them hung up next to our door so I never forget anything important when I'm headed out of the house.
Quickly Corral the Clutter
I used to insist that every item in our house have a spot, a nook or home base of sorts where it must be neatly returned after use. Then, I became a parent and realized that it is utterly impossible to put everything where it goes all the time. Kids have toys that take over. Random items from parties or events pile up and visitors keep bringing STUFF into your space. Create designated places for these transitional items (somewhere other than on your dining room table!) until you find a time to properly tend to them. We've discovered that keeping decorative baskets around the house makes for quick and easy clean-up, and the eclectic rotation of items piled into their wicker enclosures almost looks intentional.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
Websites and iPhone apps can admittedly be a massive waste of time, but there are actually quite a few good programs out there to help increase your productivity. Nate and I sync our schedules, plan meals, and even organize family get-togethers with just a few clicks. We wrote about using FindandRemind as a family blog about a month ago, and we're also enjoying its features for sharing photos, reminding ourselves of important events like doctors visits, and even keeping a running list of all our son's important “firsts.”
Write it Down
Whether you use an app, Post-It notes, or a dry erase board, get your to-do list in writing so things don't slip through the cracks. It's good to keep important due dates in some sort of calendar, as well. We're personally using FindandRemind's “Note” function to jot down things we have to do, and they have a handy “Schedule” function to send you reminders about upcoming or recurring events.
As you can tell, one of our main goals this year is to stay organized by sticking with strategies that work for our family. What are your family's goals, and how do you simplify life together?
This post is sponsored by FindandRemind. All opinions are my own.