Organise it: 10 ways to de-clutter your home/work
Oprah Winfrey’s organising guru, Peter Walsh is set to launch the Dymo National Organisation Week (N.O.W) in Australia and New Zealand from 7 to 13 September 2009.
To celebrate the upcoming event, Peter shares his top 10 tips to help you get organised:
- Find it, label it and give it a home. We all waste too much time looking for lost things around the house. Make ‘homes’ for household items to ensure items are always returned to their right place.
- Keep all horizontal surfaces clear. Flat surfaces attract clutter and paperwork. Keep it to a minimum and make sure everything has a labelled place. In the kitchen label staple pantry items to save time and avoid cooking disasters.
- Organise your garage. Garages often become store rooms for seasonal items like footy boots and Christmas decorations. Between seasons chances are high that you will forget what is packed inside. So clearly label any box, bin or container that goes into the garage to avoid re-purchasing.
- Sort and purge. Turn your wardrobe into a fashion sanctuary. You will first need to spend some time (and maybe a few tears) parting with clothes, shoes and accessories that you do not wear anymore. The rules are simple; if you have not worn it in 12 months, donate it! You never know what hidden gems you might find.
- Educational labelling. Educate your children at a young age to be organised. Create clearly labelled toy tubs, an area for DVDs, magazine and remotes, so items can be found easily and put away quickly. Don’t limit yourself to the kids; educate the whole family in the laundry, kitchen, garage, bedroom, bathroom.
- Create ‘zones’ in your home/business for paperwork. Make sure that you have clearly labelled areas for officelike functions that happen in your home and/or business, for example mail, bills to pay, magazine storage. Clearly labelled zones create a more efficient home/work space and limit clutter.
- Avoid cord confusion. Avoid cable confusion by labelling cords at the back of computer and home entertainment unit. This is also a good plan to implement at work.
- Invest in a good filing system and make sure it is clearly labelled. Up to 80 percent of what goes into a filing system never sees the light of day. An efficient filing system will allow you too quickly retrieve important information. Cull your files once a year to get rid of outdated and unwanted paperwork.
- Organise your digital world to reflect your paper world. In this age of computers and the internet, be sure to use both software and hardware to your best advantage. Label your computer files and paper files clearly, where possible they should mirror each other for uniformity.
- Use the ratio rule to clear excess books. For every four books you keep discard or give away one. Challenge yourself and try to lower the ratio to three to one or if you are really brave, two to one. Only keep the books you have the shelve space to hold.