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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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