Organizing Ideas
September 25, 2023

5 Organizing Tips with the Most Impact

5 Organizing Tips with the Most Impact

Even the best intentions only get us so far. Organizing can be on our mind long before we actually get around to actually doing the organizing part. But here at Room to Breathe, we're all about getting it done, even in bite-sized pieces! We want to see you be successful in your organizing endeavours, so let's start with one good bite:

We're bringing you 5 Organizing Tips that are sure to have immediate impact in your home (once implemented)!

1. Improve Your Meal Planning

All across this great country of ours, people will be asking the same tired question tonight: “What are we going to have for supper?” When it comes to food, we’re either eating it, thinking about eating it or preparing it. We likely do this in one of two ways: 
- Plan ahead for weekly meals and have the ingredients on hand;  or
- Plan on the fly with last minute, urgent scrambling to put food on the table.

So here’s the question. How do you want to spend your time around food? With a calm, ordered approach or a frantic, scattered one? Either way you slice it, food takes time. Why not save a little of that time by considering online shopping at your favourite, local grocery store. Here is an example of an online grocery system in Calgary, AB that supports local farmers and suppliers to ensure the freshest ingredients on your plate. 

You know you're organized when you...

- Know what’s for supper during the busy work week
- Have the option to pre-prepare meals
- Eat healthier and improve stress management
- Eliminate last minute stops at the grocery store 
- Waste less food as you use items you purchased during the week
- Reduce expensive, last minute take-out orders
- Have fewer costly, impulse grocery purchases

2. Conquer Canada Post

If you’re like many Canadians, you probably have too much paper coming into your home. Just like the dust that floats in the air, it will cover every surface in your house if you let it. The key to conquering paper clutter is finding a system that is straightforward and that you can easily maintain. 

The first suggestion is to ensure you have opted in to receiving your bills and statements digitally. Create labels in your inbox to reflect each utility and move the bill into that label once it’s been paid for or actioned. This way your records remain up to date. 

When it comes to keeping up with children’s school work, events, meal prepping, items to action, etc. you may want to have a cork board in an area you frequent to pin-up any important papers that require immediate attention. We refer to this area of the home as the Command Centre; a place where the family comes together in planning, organization, and teamwork. Check out our recent blog to learn more about how to keep your day-to-day organized. 

You know you're organized when you...

- Get bills paid on-time and eliminate interest charges
- Find important papers quickly without wasting time
- Ensure children’s school papers are seen and returned in a timely manner
- Eliminate the frustration of not being able to locate crucial papers
- Save money when you can find warranty information for belongings

3. Free Your Mind

The brain is a very efficient system but not well designed for holding lists of detailed information. This is particularly true of “to do” lists. How many times have you forgotten that one ingredient you needed for a recipe or missed an important deadline because it was not written down.
Getting your list of errands and chores out of your head and onto paper or computer can take you from feeling scattered to purposeful and focused.  Low tech paper or high tech smart phone, have it handy. Next time a “to do” item pops into your head, get it out of your short term memory. 

You know you're organized when you...

- Spend less money on gas when you combine errands
- Save time by quickly planning out your errands before you leave
- Enjoy setting goals that give you something to work towards
- Reduce procrastination for necessary tasks

4. De-Guilt While You De-Clutter

Why simply de-clutter when you can de-guilt at the same time?  This term doesn’t yet exist in Webster’s but is useful, nonetheless, when talking about the de-cluttering process and guilt. What guilt you ask? This is the guilt you feel when getting rid of a wedding gift you never liked, or your child’s school project from 10 years ago. 

It’s often the guilt that stops us from getting rid of belongings that we no longer want because they hold some value, either emotionally or financially. However, de-cluttering is the mainstay of getting organized and staying that way. You simply cannot have more possessions than your space will accommodate if you want to live and work in an uncluttered environment. 

Here’s something to look forward to though. Once you start de-guilting you might be pleasantly surprised at how freeing it is.

You know you're organized when you...

- Use rooms and furniture for their intended purpose
- Enjoy having enough space in your closets and cupboards
- Experience feeling more clarity of mind
- Make room for the things that you find useful
- Save money by not re-purchasing items you know you already own

5. Create "Homes" For Belongings

Remember the old adage, “a place for everything and everything in its place”? This phrase was coined long before society was grappling with the amount of stuff we now own and it is more relevant today than ever. It captures a simple organizing truth which is this: You must have a “home” for every belonging in your possession. If you do, you will be able to conquer disorder. There are some key factors in creating “homes”. One of them is that you have to actually enjoy using it or you simply won’t. How many systems have you created only to find they did not work? Follow this link to see some really creative “homes”. See anything you like?

You know you're organized when you...

- Reduce stress by finding what you need when you need it
- Save time by eliminating lengthy searches for belongings
- Experience peace of mind knowing where your things are
- Enjoy an orderly home and work environment
- Notice when your “homes” get full and use that as your cue to de-clutter again

Take these tips as sage advice and try implementing them for the coming month! See what difference it makes, and then we'll get on to the next big bite!
And as always, reach out if you are finding yourself stumped and in need of some hands-on help.

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