Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
Last week, this week and next week, I’ve decided to offer a sampling of my tips on how to simplify and organize your home.
- Get rid of junk immediately. The best way to keep it from piling up is to never let it get started. Discard hand-shredded junk before it even gets in your house.
- Have one place for mail. Mail gets lost if it is not kept together. Have one place that you keep mail, and be consistent.
- Process your mail immediately. If you process your mail every day, it will never pile up.
- Reduce the amount of mail you receive. Most places offer paperless billing, cutting down on those things you receive. You can also reduce the amount of junk mail and catalogs you receive by using services such as Catalog Choice.
- Get a binder to hold media. We replaced an entire shelving unit filled with CD cases with five binders. We donated the cases to the local library.
- Burn your media for portability. Rip your CDs and use an MP3 player. Store the unused CDs away. Note: I do not recommend getting rid of your media, because if you do, the MP3 backup is no longer a backup, but an illegal copy of media you no longer own.
- Thin out your collection. If you look at your music and movies, I’m sure you will find some that you no longer use. Get rid of it.
- Purge software regularly. Every time you upgrade anything on your computer, do a software media check. Get rid of anything that is not useful on your current operating system, or on media which you can no longer read. Also check for outdated copies of software (do you really need to keep Turbo Tax from 1995?)
- Purge regularly. Files can become a black hole because they are out of sight. So they keep absorbing material. Purge your files at least once a year. Get rid of what you can, or what you can find readily elsewhere.
- Use a system that works for you. The experts disagree what is best. Use what works for you. If you prefer hanging files, use them! If you like manila folders, use them. If you like one box filing, do it! Don’t worry about what the experts say.
- Use a retrieval system that works. If you think alphabetically, use that. If you group by subject, do that. The trick to any filing system is making one that you can use to find your stuff again.
- Think before filing. Do you really need to keep whatever it is that you are filing? If it is something you need for tax reasons, or can’t be readily found elsewhere, go ahead and file it. Otherwise, convince yourself why you have to keep it.
- Purge what you don’t use. If you have a hobby that you no longer pursue, get rid of the supplies to someone who will use them. Don’t let it hang around guilting you.
- Keep like things together. Put paints together. Keep brushes in the same place. Group things together so you only have to look in one place.
- Know what you have. One key to reducing art supplies is to know what you have so you don’t buy duplicates. Have an idea (or list) of what you have on hand so that you are not creating more to organize with duplicates.
- One in, one out. This applies to just about everything you buy, but I find it very handy to remember with art supplies. If I buy a new ink, I need to get rid of the old bottle. If I refresh my pen cleaner, the old one has to go. Same with markers, stamps, and scrapbooking supplies.
More next time…
Photo by evelynishere