I’ve been reading some discouraging statistics recently regarding new years’ resolutions. Apparently 80% of resolutions fail by February. This makes complete sense. We tend to make grandiose goals and overcommit, hence the high failure rate. However, I firmly believe we can make giant strides in our lives by taking baby steps.
Personally, I developed some nasty habits in 2018 (I know, so hard to believe that even a professional organizer isn’t perfect!) For some reason (in my case laziness) I stopped putting my clothes away at night. Instead of taking them to the laundry hamper or putting them back in my dresser or closet I began throwing them on a small table close to my bed. Of course, within a couple of days I accumulate an unsightly mound of crumpled clothes which takes way more effort and time to put them away. I then postpone the chore because I don’t have time and before I know it the mound has grown into an overwhelming mountain. (Of course, I’m sure no one reading this will be able to relate.)
Putting them in their designated spots every evening would take me less than one minute. One minute! Which got me thinking…how many small manageable chores do we put off until they become an insurmountable task?
You can do anything for 5 minutes right? Pick one or two from this list and commit to incorporating a new habit into your daily life. You already know which one I’m picking!
1. Sort the mail daily! This one is a game changer and literally takes less than one minute. Two minutes tops. Sort it next to the recycling can and shredder if possible. Recycle as much as possible, shred any credit card offers (read step #2 if you hate credit card offers as much as I do). Open the rest. Corral any bills together then put any mail that needs action in one place (such as an inbox tray).
2. Designate one of your “Get Organized in 5 Minutes or Less” days to going paperless. If you decide that you don’t want to receive prescreened offers of credit and insurance, you have two choices: You can opt out of receiving them for five years or opt out of receiving them permanently. To opt out for five years: Call toll-free 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688) or visit www.optoutprescreen.com.
3. Log on to dmachoice.org For a $2 fee this website allows you to select or unselect which catalogs you want to receive. While you’re at your computer, log on to your bank and other financial institutions and sign up to receive paperless statements.
Now that you’ve got your mail under control let’s move on to some other areas:
4. Stop using your dining room as an extension of your office or mudroom. (I wrote this one for my daughters). It takes less than thirty seconds to hang your coat in the coat closet. Please refrain from throwing them on the back of the dining room chairs! (Thanks girls. I appreciate it!)
5. Put things away immediately. Coats, shoes, backpacks, purses, groceries. Whatever you bring into your home needs a home. Developing this habit (and #6) for yourself and your family members will guarantee an organized home.
6. Have a clearly labeled “Donation” bag on hand at all times. Keep it in a designated spot easily accessible for all family members. Donating, consigning and letting go are integral to maintaining an organized home.
7. Hate decluttering? Set a timer (yes, even for 5 minutes!) Start at one area of your closet or drawer and see how much you can let go before the timer goes off. Continue the following day until you’re finished. Do this for a week and that’s 30 minutes of decluttering, a month, that’s two hours! Those 5 minutes add up fast.
Wishing you all a very happy and healthy new year and as always, don’t hesitate to contact us for all your organizing needs (that take longer than 5 minutes!)
Janet and all the team at The Organizing Professionals