I must admit. I am not an organized person by nature. I have to work very hard at staying organized and sometimes the disorganization monster gets the better of me. My wife, Ruby, on the other hand is a naturally born organizer. I do not understand how someone could be so talented at being neat and organized! It is probably a good thing for me she has the skills of neat, clean and tidy. If not, I could not imagine what our household would look like! Here are some ideas that I try use to stay organized in all areas of my life.
- I created 2 spreadsheets in OpenOffice. I use one for our monthly budget and the other one I use to keep track of our total overall debt. This gives me a “snapshot” of how much our debt “weighs” and also allows me to tell our money where to go. It is always up on my computer and I look at it everyday.
- I have 1 paper tray on my desk. I use it as a central point all incoming and unsorted paperwork. It keeps my desk tidy and neat.
- Sort the mail immediately! When I get mail from the mail box, I instantly sort it by shredding the junk mail, throwing away the garbage mail and placing the rest in my paper tray on my desk. Take the time to do this now and it will save you time trying to figure out if that pile of mail on your desk is important or not. You already look at the mail once when you get it to determine its importance. Why look at it again?
- I sort through my paper tray at least once a day. Every piece of paper in the tray that I touch, leaves the tray one way or another. It either is filed in the filing cabinet, trashed, shredded, scanned or placed in a red folder that is marked “time sensitive.”
- I use Gmail for email and I also utilize Gmail’s calendar. The best part is when I update the calendar on my computer, it updates the calendar on my smartphone and vice verse. As I am sorting paperwork in the paper tray, anything that is related to an appointment or an important reminder is put on my calendar before it departs the paper tray.
- Speaking of email, tidy your email once a day before it becomes overwhelming. Do not be an email hoarder! Unsubscribe to emails you never really read anyway and save yourself the time of deleting them. If the sender won’t take you off of their email list, create a filter in your email program to have those unwanted emails sent straight to the trash!
- Have a routine as to where you put your phone, keys, wallet/purse — You will never misplace those items since they are always put in the same place!
- Utilize a personal organizer and keep track of your weekly schedule. You can also use it to make to-do lists and reminders. I always have it nearby in case I think of a good blog post to write about. Some of the best ideas have been forgotten because we didn’t have a way to write them down. Stay away from post it notes!
- Feng Shui – A Chinese word that is summed up best by me as “efficient organization.” Move your furniture around and make your living spaces feel fresh and new. De-clutter and throw away, give or sell things you have not used in a year, 5 years or longer. If they hold no sentimental value, all they are doing is taking up space. Rid yourself of these items!
Organization really is the key to efficiency. The more efficient you are with your life will allow you to work less, gain more and have an easier piece of mind. How do you stay organized? Do you have an idea or tip to share that helps you to be better organized and more efficient. Share the wealth!
To your financial health — Martilyo!