There I was, on the foyer floor with a new client going through items from her front closet we had spread out to sort.
We had already found hundreds of dollars in cash. Thousands of dollars in bonds. And even more in uncashed checks.
I don't know about you, but the only thing you'd find in my closet is a dust bunny, or five.
We continued sorting and then I came upon this (photo above, with permission): a piece of scrap paper tucked into a years-old magazine with scribbled notes on how to stay organized.
We both laughed because this item was the most priceless thing found yet.
Seconds later we found a Taylor Swift autographed cd cover, which was gifted to my daughter.
And despite my daughter's smile and squeal, I still loved the scrap paper best.
Everyone has good intentions to get and stay organized. They even think they know how to do it: Get rid of clutter, if you touch a paper once, make a decision on whether to toss or keep, and on and on.
There are tips galore.
Best-selling books on the subject.
But then life happens.
And pretty soon you are sitting on the floor of your large home on the North Shore with a professional organizer finding your intentions along with half your savings.
Now it is the new year, people have made resolutions to lose weight (me), stop swearing (ok, that is me again), and get organized (NOT me!).
If you need to get organized and don't know where to start, nor have the time to read a book about it, here are my three very simple tips:
1.) Get rid of anything you don't need or use. Can't throw anything away? Don't. Give it to a friend or donate it to the Salvation Army. I abhor waste but don't feel bad about giving something to someone else to use.
2.) Create a system that works for YOU and YOUR FAMILY. I have color coded my kids since birth and they know their color and don't even have to ask whose thing is whose. One glance and they know, which causes less fights and noise and stress.
Don't want to color code? Buy a label maker and label hooks, shelves, drawers, etc.
Categorize alike things to make putting things in the right place easy for everyone. Everything should have its place. If it doesn't, you have too much stuff and something has to go.
For instance, I have a photo drawer for each child on a shelf right above my desk. So when they come home from school needing a photo of them playing T-ball, I take out their drawer, which is labeled, quickly find the photo, scan and print a copy and voila, that task that could take others HOURS has taken me just a few minutes.
3.) Make your kids fend for themselves. No, I don't mean move out when they are 10 and call it a day. I mean make it easy for them to do things for themselves. They should not have to ask YOU for everything. They should know where things are, be able to reach them and how to use basic household items. A quick lesson in where things are in the pantry and under the sink and how to use the toaster safely goes a long way in allowing you to get what you need to get done without doing things they can do for themselves. Being organized allows your kids' independence and your home to run more efficiently.
Stick with it. Hang in there.
And if all else fails, clean out your closets if only to find long last cash, or a Taylor Swift autograph.
xo -- ree