These days, any path that leads to a wee bit more time in our day is a gift. And that means we need to get organized.
From busy parenting and grandparenting to the hustle of the office grind, life has a way of dangling our golden ticket to time freedom just out of reach.
Sometimes, all it takes is a knack for organizing your day, space, meals and activities in a way that maximizes efficiency and minimizes the brain drain of a stressful day.
Enter, Bite Size Organize, a new book from lifestyle blogger and author Melissa Riker. Her work is dedicated to simplifying and streamlining all areas of our lives. This step-by-step guide provides a roadmap of simple tips, tricks and tasks that will build new habits and deliver organizational nirvana to your doorstep in 90 days.
Riker walks us through a plethora of approaches to build new habits, de-clutter our surroundings. She advocates for purging stuff that simply gets in the way, setting goals, and ultimately addressing our mess for good.
From room to room, she leads us in a methodical approach to organize our environments, and the best part is no task is too daunting. In 30-minute time chunks, you can get a lot done. And she gives you all the tools and worksheets you’ll need along the way. Here are some of my favorites:
This is a great tactic for the “piling” syndrome that I often find my house in. By that, I mean I have neat piles of stuff dotted all over the landscape of my home. This is when it’s time to proclaim one area of the home that is the designated “landing zone” for all miscellaneous stuff.
It makes the most sense to create the landing zone near the entrance you use the most. As Riker says, “Anything can work as long as you’re intentional about creating the space.”
Monster Under the Bed
Under the bed is a favorite place to “hide” stuff that you can’t find another place for, right? Be honest. It’s also one of the easiest spots to quickly purge if you put your mind to it.
The method is simple: pull everything out from under the bed and sort the belongings into three piles – keep, donate, and trash. Be brutal about what you get rid of, and you’ll have no fear of the monster sleeping under your bed any longer.
Keep it Handy
Add a bin or basket in a closet or your laundry room for donations. Right now, I just pile the stuff on the floor, which creates a new mess that I’ll deal with when it becomes an overflowing heap and/or safety hazard.
Keeping the donation basket handy makes it easy to toss in an item whenever you get the urge, and also serves as a visible prompt to purge your stuff from time to time so future decluttering is a piece of cake.
This is a good one. My garage is a hodge-podge of random stuff, with absolutely no rhyme or reason as to why something is in a certain place.
Here’s the trick – create zones for different categories of items. Put the stuff you use the most down low, and the seasonal or rarely-used items up high on storage shelves. If you have garage cabinets, put camping gear in one, hiking gear in another, cycling gear in the next, and so on.
Owner’s Manual Madness
From time to time, an appliance or some other gadget goes completely haywire (or needs a new battery for the first time), and I have to dig through drawers and papers to find the owner’s manual.
What an easy solution to keep them all in one binder! Just hole-punch the manuals, or insert them into a page protector in alphabetical order for easy access. This is also a great way to store software installation CDs.
Want more tips? Check out Riker’s website at www.thehappierhomemaker.com