It is the last day of the year. Start 2016 on an organized note so you can have a productive year.  A house that runs seamlessly, without extra clutter or piles, can be a haven of no stress. With some of these simple organization tips, de-clutter your life and have a successful and focused year.

Home

  1. Create Dump Spaces: Have several spaces in your home that is used for gathering objects and papers that can’t be sorted immediately. For example, use a large wicker basket at the front door to collect objects that family members usually drop at the front door, such as umbrellas, jackets, etc. Also use a smaller basket, placed in an inconspicuous area to collect mail and important papers. When you have time to organize, you will not have to hunt around the house to find things.
  2. Place hooks with adhesive near the door, or in the coat closet: Never search for your house and car keys again, when you designate a spot to hang them. You can also place a hook in this spot for spare keys. Color code the keys, one color for spare keys, one color for the top lock key, etc. Since it only takes 3 weeks to form a habit; hanging your keys in the same spot, it will become second nature.
  3. Assignment Charts: Use a white board and hang it in the kitchen, assigning a task that needs to be completed by your kids. For example, you can assign your child to take out the garbage on Tuesdays, load and run the dishwasher nightly, etc. Once the task is completed, you can have your child check it off on the whiteboard chart. This not only relieves you of weekly responsibilities on your to-do list, it teaches them responsibility and accountability.

Activities

  1. Use a Money Management App: Use a money management app to help you from over spending and heavily relaying on credit cards. Apps such as Quicken or Mint can record your monthly bills and deposits, and send you reminders of due dates, as well as, how much money you have spent. This will enable you to always know how much you spend, and when to cut back.
  2. Use a Task Management App: Download a task management app, such as Trello, to keep track of all things that need to be completed and essential errands.

Work

  1. Use color-coded files: Organize your files by color, using a different color file folder to represent different subject matter. For example: purple for clients, red for immediate deadlines, green for financial records and so on. Once you have a color system for the subject matter, label all the files and organize them alphabetically within the color scheme.
  2. Make the most of technology: Online and smartphone organizers are plentiful. You can access these organizers via your computer or phone, and most organizers combine your calendar, address book, contacts, to-do-list and more. Best of all, these organizers and calendars usually have an alert function that will remind you of upcoming deadlines and important dates—before the actual date.
  3. Label emails: Prioritizing emails are essential to conducting good business. Most email providers allow its subscribers to label emails, create folders, flag emails as important and filter through the inbox. Utilize these various organizational systems to prioritize your emails, and respond accordingly. For example, you can create a folder labeled urgent, and move all emails that should be responded to immediately to that folder. This will allow you to always stay on top of your ever growing email pile.

Francina James