The most important part of personal organization is to keep important information at your fingertips. After crashing two computers, I have learned to backup all my data in three places. I save everything on a thumb drive and a portable hard drive, plus I continue to save hard copies of new addresses and business cards.
A few years ago, I purchased four black 6″x10″metal boxes at Staples. I keep these boxes on a shelf by my desk.
The first box is for addresses and business cards. When I receive a card or letter with a new address, I cut off the return address and tape it to an index card and file it alphabetically. I file family information such as social security cards, health information, immunization dates, doctors, emergency information, credit card and bank information. I have a section labeled “beauty” for pictures of hairstyles I like and business cards for various services.
The second box is for label makers and its cartridges.
The third box is for checks, deposit slips, and rubber stamps that I use for business transactions.
The fourth box is for receipts that I need.
Here are a few hints for organizing your personal life.
If you have the habit of losing your keys, purchase a large hook for your keys and clip them to the outside of your handbag. You should not have to search for keys every time you need them.
If you are attending a special event or meeting the next morning, have your clothing ready the night before. Make sure there are no spots, no buttons missing, or other problems. When you have limited time, there is nothing more stressful than searching for something to wear and not being able to find it.
Have a designated place for everything. Good organization means that you can locate everything quickly—you should not have to race up and down the stairs searching for something when your husband asks for it.
Organize seasonal items by months or topics. I have file boxes in the basement for seasonal items. I have labeled the months and contents of each box.
Here is an example of labeling for boxes, but use your own needs for labeling.
1. January-February (winter decorations)
2. March-June (spring decorations)
3. July-August (Patriotic decorations)
4. September-October (autumn decorations)
5. November (Thanksgiving decorations)
6. December (Christmas decorations)
7. Birthday decorations and small gifts for unexpected birthdays, anniversaries, or showers. (It is good to purchase small gifts when they are on sale. Next time you have an event, you will not have to scurry around to locate something.
8. Since I host a few Tea Parties through the year, I label one of my boxes Tea Items.
Organizing this way not only makes locating items easier and less stressful to find, but you are able to decorate for any occasion at a moment’s notice.
If you have a large family, color code your children’s items. (Blue toothbrushes, blue towels, blue file folders, etc.)
De-junk! Give away clothes that are not worn, broken toys, etc. It is much easier to clean without a lot of clutter.
If you have limited space to store videos and books, instead of purchasing them; use the library or rent them!
Keep a file drawer or box in the kitchen with each person’s name on a file folder. Put coloring papers, notes from school, future homework assignments, etc.
Keep a file folder marked “To Read” in a convenient place. File periodicals and articles that you would like to read, but you don’t have time at the moment. Grap that folder next time you are going on a trip or going to the doctor/dentist office.
Do two things at one time. Take your organizer with you to your appointments and get caught up on correspondence.
Open mail near a wastebasket in order to throw out junk mail.
Don’t confuse neatness with organization. You might have a neat desk, but forgot to send your mother a birthday card, pay an important bill, or locate last year’s tax papers.
Decorate a shoe box or buy a pretty box and label it “Joy” box. This is a good place to store small mementos that you collect such as birthday cards, invitations, ticket stubs to theme parks, zoos, plays, or ball games. You can use these items later to scrapbook or just to let children browse through.