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How to Organize Your Home

How to Organize Your Home
Organized Home

Organizing your home can be a daunting task when the piles are overflowing, the laundry is scattered, and the office is flooded in papers. Fortunately, there are systems and tools that you can use to organize every room in your house. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Everything has a home.

To keep your life organized and sane, you must assign a home for all of the objects in your house. Have a specific place for your keys, pens, pencils, incoming papers, and mail.

You can do this with a variety of organizing tools, including drawer organizers, shoe racks, magazine racks, filing cabinets, drawers, and shelving units.

You should never just toss stuff in a drawer. Instead, make sure that everything has a proper holding spot. Whenever an item has been removed from its assigned home, make sure that it is immediately returned to its homes when no longer in use.

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Everyone needs a filing system.

A filing cabinet is one of the best organizing tools. They help keep all of your important paperwork organized. File away all of your manuals, your tax information, finance information, school report cards, family documents, etc.

Of course, if you want your filing system to be of any use, you must also label all of your folders based on the items they hold.

Pick up as you go.

One of the keys to keeping an organized home is to pick up as you go. Don’t let the piles of toys, dishes, and paperwork take over. Instead, clean up everything as you go along.

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Do a quick wipe up of the shower each day. Pick up a few things as you’re walking through the house. Spend 15 minutes each day organizing your office. You’ll be surprised at what a huge difference these daily habits can make.

Organize your drawers.

Drawers can become a home of havoc. Although everything might look nice and tidy on the outside, a peek behind the closet or inside the drawers often reveals the truth.

Fortunately, there are simple steps to organizing your drawers.

The first thing you must do is to empty everything out of the drawer. The best way to clean something out is to start with a clean slate. Next, remove all of the unneeded junk from the pile and throw it in the trash. This alone is a big accomplishment.

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Simply clearing out the junk will make things look a lot tidier.

Once you have finished removing all of the junk, go through the remaining items and sort them into 3 piles: stuff you want to keep, stuff you’d like to give away, and stuff that needs to be put somewhere else. One of the best ways to organize these piles is to use large boxes or bags and label them “Keep“, “Move“, “Trash“, and “Donate“.

Now put everything that you want to keep back in the drawer. You should now have a much smaller pile. To keep everything nice and organized, I would recommend getting a drawer organizer. A drawer organizer can be especially useful for organizing office items such as pens, paper, tape, scissors, staples, and paper clips.

This general procedure can be used in almost any part of the house: empty everything out, toss out all junk, create 3-4 piles, and only put back the essentials. Use this 4-step method to clear out the closet, organize your bookshelf, and transform your garage.

Purge

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One of my favorite organizing tips is to dump it! Anything that you haven’t used in the past year probably needs to be thrown away. Throw out those clothes that you never wear. Get rid of the shoes that are 10 years outdated. Give away the books you’ll never read. Do you have kitchen appliances gathering dust? Give it away to Goodwill and gain some valuable counter space. Getting rid of your junk will greatly help organize your home and give you more space.

Keeping your home organized is an ongoing process. However, with the proper systems in place, your home will soon be the talk of the town.

So, what are your best organizing tips? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

Kim Roach is a productivity junkie who blogs regularly at The Optimized Life. Read her articles on 50 Essential GTD Resources, How to Have a 46 Hour Day, Do You Need a Braindump, What They Don’t Teach You in School, and Free Yourself From the Inbox.

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Last Updated on May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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