Yearly Lessons

What!? It’s 2014 already!? How’d that happen!?

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2013 was a crazy busy year for me – too busy to blog! My first niece was born in April, we finally finished our basement, got married in August, honeymooned in Greece, sold our place and moved into an incredible house that my wife spent the year renovating, got a new job in September, and got pregnant (due this June)!

Needless to say, lots of activity that required lots of organizing, right? It’s true.

My lessons for the year, which have become my resolutions for 2014:

  • Reduce, reuse, recycle! Most of us own way too much crap. I’m sorry, but it’s true. We have so many things that we don’t need, and don’t use, but we hold onto – cluttering our lives and our spaces. Rather than waiting to tackle clutter “all at once,” take short increments of time to go through small spaces and areas often, throughout the year. It only takes 10 minutes to go through an overstuffed junk drawer, a medicine cabinet, or that To-Do file that always seems to be bursting full. Reduce your stress, reuse (or re-gift) those things that you forgot you even had, and recycle the rest.
  • If you can cheat, borrow or steal, (when it comes to ideas) DO! Seriously. Why reinvent the wheel? Whenever I start a new project (like organizing my wedding) I go online and search for tools, templates and cheat sheets that some other brilliant, organized person has already put together. Use their template as-is, or take snippets from a bunch of tools and create something personal that works for what you need. Saves time. Saves money. Saves sanity.
  • If it takes 5 minutes or less, do it now. Don’t wait. Don’t write it on your to-do list for later. Don’t ignore it because it stresses you out. Just do it. You’ll feel SO MUCH better when it’s done. And your to-do list will stay shorter. Why let mail pile up all week long into a big scary mess, when you can spend 30 seconds opening it when you first bring it in the house?
  • Find ways of making modern technology do the multitasking for you.  Think about the things you need to get done, and plan out your attack in the most efficient way – beginning with anything that can run on its own while you do other activities. Need to back-up your phone and computer? Plug it all in and let it go while you vacuum. Must to laundry? Start a load before you walk the dog, and then you can switch it after you get home. Need to call the doctor’s office to sort out a bill? Pop in your earbuds and unload the dishwasher while you’re waiting on hold. And most importantly – if you have an errand to run, see if you can fit in a second stop on the way there or way home, and knock two errands off your list with one trip. Drop off those donate items on the way to the grocery store (take the sting out of a $200 shopping trip knowing you just got a tax deduction for the same amount).

What resolutions are you making for this year to help you get or stay organized?

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