Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How to Feel More Organized: 5 Little Things

I am a long way from being fully organized, but I like to think that I get a littler closer to having it all together each day. Here are a few tips that I try to follow to help keep everything a little more together.
1. Keep Dollars and Quarters on Hand
If I have a supply of dollar bills (or coins!) and quarters, it helps everything run a bit more smoothly. I'm prepared if I have to feed a parking meter, pay a toll, tip a service person, hire my son to do a project (his fees range from 25c to $1 depending on the task), or play the Tooth Fairy.
2. Charge Up the Technology 
When I take the time to make sure my cell phone, camera, ipod, and laptop are plugged and charged properly, I can just grab them and go. I need to get better about this, particularly for  my cell phone.

3. An Empty box in the trunk to hold Reusable Shopping Bags
I recently left this box in my trunk, and I think it's going to stay until it wears out! It holds all of my reusable grocery bags, which has a double benefit of clearing the bags out of my cluttered pantry along with ensuring that I never arrive at the store without my bags. I can fit two full grocery bags in the box to prevent them from falling over on the way home. I can put messy things, like potted plants, in the box. I also keep a few plastic newspaper bags in the box to cover wet umbrellas when getting in/out of the car on rainy days.
4. A 'Little Bits' Tray
You know when you are clearing things up around the house and you stumble across a small object, but you're not quite sure what it is or where it goes? This Little Bits Tray is where those items end up in my house. Along with various tiny toy parts, it holds some paperclips and other potentially useful items. It's a quick place to stow something small that I don't want to lose, then periodically I go through it and put small items where they really belong.
5. A Running Grocery List on the Refrigerator
I use a large Post-it Note pad to keep a running grocery list, right on the fridge. I keep a pen in the drawer close by so that I can quickly add to the list when I see that I am running low on various staple items--I don't wait until I run out of something to add it to the list! I put items in three columns based on the grocery stores where I typically purchase things. When I am ready to go to the store, I add the items I always buy (milk, bread, produce) as well as anything in particular I need for an upcoming recipe and I'm good to go. When I get away from this habit, I find myself going crazy running out of things that I thought I had!

I would love to hear from others about the little things that you do that make you feel more organized.

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