How to Get Organized


Getting organized is basically a matter of developing good habits. Organize your time, home and work space for more productive living.

Things You'll Need

  • Safe-deposit Boxes
  • Address Books
  • Palm Handheld Organizers
  • Cardboard Boxes
  • File Cabinets
  • Garbage Cans
  • Large Plastic Storage Boxes
  • Calendars
  • File Folders
  • Hanging Files
  • Personal Organizers
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Survey your belongings: Examine what you have and how you store it. Throw out, sell or donate what you don't use.

  • Keep things you use frequently in easily accessible places.

  • Get boxes for items you use only seasonally or will be storing, such as holiday decorations or sports gear.

  • Set up a box for items that need repair.

  • Keep important papers (birth and marriage certificates, citizenship papers, real estate deeds) in a safe box.

  • Create a file for personal documents such as insurance policies, credit reports, Social Security cards and the like.

  • Develop a finance file for unpaid bills, bank statements and income tax papers.

  • Store home-maintenance papers (warranties, receipts, manuals) in another place.

  • Carry a complete address book, taking care to keep it updated. Electronic organizers (such as Wizards or Palm Pilots) can also be very convenient.

  • Create consistent, regular "systems" for who will do what and when. Divide household chores, and schedule when they should be accomplished.

  • Assign certain days for paying bills.

  • Manage your time efficiently by planning activities on a calendar and making to-do lists (see "Make a To-Do List, " under Related eHows). Include daily and long-term projects or goals.

  • Try keeping ongoing lists of books to read, movies to see, restaurants to try and gifts to buy.

Tips & Warnings

  • Put things back in their proper places - think of them as the items' "homes" - after you've used them. Get in the habit of cleaning up after yourself immediately.
  • Handle each item exactly once; when you're sorting through your mail, don't look at an item briefly and leave it on the counter "for later."
  • Throw away junk mail immediately; file bills in the appropriate bin or folder; put bank statements in your finance file.

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