Double Take Organizing

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Five reasons to stay organized during the sunny months

Once the warmer weather returns, I have found that the last thing people want to do is organize. And I can hardly blame you. But here are five reasons why you should try to keep your home and life organized over the next few months.

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1) You will be less stressed – This is an amazing side effect of being organized. The more organized you are the less anxiety you have. Case in point, the last thing you want to worry about before a vacation is that your passport is up to date, or that your going to be returning to your job and everything is going to be a disaster because you didn’t get yourself organized before you left. Perhaps you will be stressing about finding a bathing suit two days before you leave. And even if you aren’t going on vacation, day trips are way easier when you know exactly where your sunscreen/hats/other summer accessories are and you have mapped out the route before leaving.

2) You can actually find things – “I know I have a battery for this flashlight somewhere….” This is often a common phrase changing out the item mentioned for whatever it is you are looking for. If it has a specific spot you will never be left searching throughout the house for it. According to a poll done by an Australian newspaper, the average person spends 10 minutes a day looking for things and a total of 153 days looking for things over our lifetime.

3) You WILL save money – Since you know exactly where things are you won’t be rushing out to buy a new one when you already own one. Add to that the cost of fuel if you are driving. If you sell things you no longer want or need you could even come out with more money than you started with!

4) You will have more time to enjoy the outdoors – You got right on top of spring cleaning and now your garage is perfectly organized. When you want to go for a bike ride you won’t have to dig through ten things in the garage just to get to your bike, you can just grab it and go. Cleaning up now only takes 10 minutes instead of 45 because every item has a spot to go to and you aren’t spending time moving one pile from one spot to another. Less time cleaning equals more time for the fun outdoor stuff.

5) Routines are good for you (and your kids) – The first thing to go in the warmer months is routines, especially if you have kids. Bedtimes are later because it’s sunny out. Your on vacation so you don’t work out. You eat food at different times. All of these things are hard on your body and make it hard to stay organized. Now, you might say you don’t have routines but even people who say they don’t have a routine generally do things around the same time each day. Keeping with a routine, even if its a modified one will make it easier on you. And at the end of the day that is what I love most about doing what I do. Making life easier for people. Why do things the hard way?

Happy organizing!

Laura


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Things I do everyday to stay organized

It recently occurred to me that some of the things I do everyday as a wife, mother and business owner could be helpful to those who are trying to get organized. I know I am always curious how other people go about their day so why not share how I go about mine. I want to reiterate that there is no one way to organize yourself. Everyone’s life is different and what works for me may not work for you. But if some of these things do work for you, marvelous! So without further ado…in no particular order, here are some things I do everyday that help me stay organized.

1) Unload the dishwasher in the morning and put it on at night – It seems like dishes are just one of those facts of life, they are never ending, like laundry, so for me, doing this everyday helps me keep my home running smoothly. It only takes a few minutes and there is never time wasted washing dishes because the others are dirty. All in all a simple thing but everyone has to eat right.

2) Speaking of laundry, I outsource it, to my lovely husband – I realized a long time ago that I can’t do everything, no matter how organized I am. There are only so many hours in the day so there are a number of jobs that he does around the house to keep things running smoothly. I may not get ironed pants and blouses but my clothes are clean and its one less thing I have to worry about.

3) My calendar and to-do list are on my phone – I did away with paper planners last year and so far it has been going swimmingly. I have less paper around the house, my phone is always on me so there’s no chance of leaving something at home and its backed up in case for some reason it was lost or broken.

4) I get everything ready for the next day the night before – This is kind of a standard organizing trick but I can’t tell you how many times this has saved me from being late. I am not a morning person so doing all this the night before makes my life so much easier.

5) I get up an hour to half an hour earlier than everyone else does – Maybe this seems a little 1950’s but as referenced in the last paragraph, I am not a morning person so getting up a little bit earlier allows me time to wake myself up, take care of my own needs and then get my family up so I can help take care of theirs. There just isn’t enough time in the morning to try and get everyone ready at the same time.

6) Anything I can do ahead of time I do – I usually start working on things the second I know about them if that’s possible and if its not the next possible span of time I have. This way I am not forgetting about them or trying to do them last minute and even if I don’t finish them they are started and the pressure is off. I find the longer you wait the more you get in your own way and before you know it the mental mountain grows so big you can’t see over the top.

7) I meal plan – As I mentioned in the first paragraph, everyone has to eat. That’s why I love organizing kitchens. It is one of the busiest rooms of the house and the most worthwhile to get organized. Meal planning allows me time as a busy business owner to make the end of the day easier. If I already know what we are eating groceries can be purchased prior and everything is already in the house. There is no looking in the fridge and trying to come up with a meal when everyone is saying they are hungry and I save money not eating out when food options are limited.

8) The end of night clean up – I spend fifteen minutes to half an hour every night tidying up. It may seem odd considering my profession but I have never liked cleaning. I do it because I must, not because I enjoy it. If I didn’t do this and had to spend the whole weekend cleaning it wouldn’t happen. Now organizing on the other hand is a totally different matter.

9) I have a place for everything – My home isn’t a page off a decor magazine but its extremely functional and everything has a place. This makes cleaning up faster and since I generally don’t like to clean, this is my saviour.

10) I declutter constantly – The less things you own, the less things you need to store. The less you have to pay for bins and other organizing products and the more money you save.

Lastly, here a few pictures of organizing I have done around my house that help me stay organized.

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Happy organizing!

Laura


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Always have a spare and other tips for the time starved

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One of life’s biggest annoyances is running out of something that you don’t have. That is why I am a big believer in having a spare. This allows me to be pro-active instead of re-active.

For instance, in my kitchen I have spare paper towels under the sink. I have spare cloths in the bathroom for my kids to wash their hands.  I also have a plastic shelving unit in my basement which holds extra canned goods and cleaning supplies. All of these items are ready to go when I need them. And in fact, though no one believes me, it actually allows me to be lazier on my not so energetic days.

Now I am not saying you should go out and buy two of everything. That would certainly clutter up your home in no time flat. But having a spare for “frequently used items” is a time saver and a stress saver.

A few other ways to be pro-active when time is limited:

-Plan your meals

-Create templates and use them

-Have a weekly to-do list and schedule your time

-Set deadlines for projects to be completed and stick to them

-Get rid of clutter daily, weekly, monthly and yearly before it becomes overwhelming

Need help organizing your home or office let me know.

Happy organizing!

Laura

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