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Organization

  • 4 Benefits of Using Checklists

    Benefits of ChecklistsPhoto by robandstephanielevy

    Do you create daily checklists? Do you go through your day excitedly crossing tasks off of a list as you complete them? What about non-daily checklists?

    Examples of checklists:

    • Daily To-Do’s
    • Moving Checklist
    • Grocery Checklist
    • Packing Checklist
    • Wedding Checklist
    • Baby Checklist

    There are so many benefits to creating checklists, yet there are millions of people who never bother to make them. Are you one of these people? Or are you one of the few that actually does use checklists to improve your life?

    If you don’t use checklists to get you through your days, let me reiterate the importance of using them. Following are 4 benefits of checklists.

    1. Using a checklist allows you to get more done.

    It’s been said that you get an endorphin rush whenever you cross something off of a checklist.

    If you’ve used a checklist before, you know how good it feels to get things crossed off. When it feels good to do something, you’re likely to keep doing it, right?

    That’s why checklists are so beneficial for getting things done. Many things.

    2. Save time and brain power.

    Instead of going through your day trying to remember what you have to do, write your to-do list/checklist down on paper (or on your phone or computer).

    Seeing a list of what you have to get done, instead of trying to remember it all, is going to save you a ton of time – and, yes, brain power!

    3. Make delegating easier.

    When you have a list of tasks to do, it’s much easier to hand certain (or all) things over to someone else to handle, when you aren’t able to complete those tasks yourself.

    Whether you are instructing someone to tackle just one thing from your list, or everything on it, having that checklist in front of you is going to make delegating a whole lot easier.

    4. Reach your goals quicker.

    Setting goals for yourself (financial and personal) is an important step in accomplishing what you want in life, and having checklists will help you to reach those goals quicker.

    How? Because when you break down your goals into bite-sized pieces, and add those pieces to your daily checklists), they seem much more attainable.

    If you have set a goal to lose 20 pounds in 6 months, one item on your daily checklist could be to exercise. If you have set a goal to publish a book, one item on your daily checklist could be to write at least 1 page of that book. If you have set a goal to learn how to sew, one item on your daily checklist could be to learn how to set up your machine.

    Goals are much easier to achieve when you break them down into smaller goals. Add items to your checklists that will help you to reach those goals and watch how fast those goals are reached.

    Checklist BenefitsPhoto by uberculture

    The good thing about checklists is that they are easy to create. Simply make a list of things that you want to accomplish in a day and get to it!

    I recommend creating your checklist every night before bed because, believe it or not, your brain will start working on those to-dos while you sleep.

    Be sure not to overwhelm yourself with too many items on your checklist. My rule is no more than 7, because any more than that makes me feel defeated before I even begin.

    Do you use checklists to help you get more done?

    Be sure to check out our free downloads page to print many different types of checklists.

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  • Organized Chest Freezer: How I Do It



    Here is a video that I made, showing you how I organize my chest freezer – I use reusable shopping bags!

    If you’re reading this post via RSS, click here to view the video.

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  • My Favourite Organizing Books of All Time

    Organizing Books

    I’ve always been a huge fan of organization. In our home, everything has a place. When things are not where they are supposed to be, I get a little crazy.

    While some people consider organizing to be a chore, I actually find it fun. I look forward to it. I plan organizing tasks just because I want to. I just love an organized space!

    I don’t collect many books, but one type that I always like to hold on to is organizing books. I can flip through them dozens of times and always find something new to try.

    Below is a list of my favourite organizing books of all time (in no particular order):

    #1 How to Organize Just About Everything

    How to Organize Just About EverythingThis is probably my favourite organizing book ever. There are just so many fantastic ideas in here. How to Organize Just About Everything was written by Peter Walsh. He was the professional organizer on Clean Sweep, a TLC show I used to watch all the time when it was still available.

    This 576 page book is jam packed with organizing ideas for everything from your kitchen, bathroom, purse and your finances. He even teaches you how to organize your entire Christmas holiday!

    #2 One Year to an Organized Life

    One Year to an Organized LifeRegina Leeds is a pro. She makes organizing easy and fun with all of the tasks she has in her book, One Year to an Organized Life. I read through this book in less than 3 days – I just couldn’t put it down! I tackled many of the suggestions she had in her book and they were all very easy and didn’t require me to purchase expensive organizing items.

    Regina’s other books, One Year to an Organized Financial Life, One Year to an Organized Work Life and One Year to an Organized Life With Baby are also favourites of mine. I have read them all and have not once been disappointed with any of them.

    #3 Organized Simplicity

    Organized SimplicityOrganized Simplicity was written by Tsh Oxenreider from SimpleMom.net. This is actually the only book I have ever (and I do mean ever) paid full price for. I bought it as soon as it was available, because I have always been a big fan of Tsh’s website and I knew she would have some great ideas on organizing.

    In this book, Tsh shows you how to organize every room in your home, and also includes free templates for a home management notebook and recipes for non-toxic household cleaners.

    #4 Clutter Rehab

    Clutter RehabThis book was written by my friend Laura of Organizing Junkie. She truly is an organizing junkie – and a great one, at that!

    Clutter Rehab lists 101 tips and tricks for organizing. I had not heard of many of them before reading this book and now include quite a few in my daily life (my favourite is to create a beverage station – we now do this for tea and coffee!).

    #5 Martha Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook

    Homekeeping Handbookthere are 752 pages full of organizing and homekeeping ideas in Martha Stewart’s book, Homekeeping Handbook.

    Martha shows you how to keep your home looking it’s best with little effort (for most tasks). She offers tips on how to properly clean and organize everything in your home.

    There is an abundance of information in this book – it really is an invaluable resource and one that I refer to on a regular basis.

    There are so many wonderful organizing books out there. I have read dozens of them and continue to read new ones as I find them.

    I’ve always been an organized person, but by constantly reading ideas, viewing photos and hearing advice from professionals, I feel that I am more organized now than I have ever been before.

    Do you have a favourite organizing book? If so, please share in the comments!

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  • Stockpile Organizing: 3 Easy Ways to Stay Organized (New Video)

    I often get asked how I organize my stockpile, so today I’m going to show you 3 things that I do to keep my stockpile organized at all times.

    Bins/Baskets

    The number one thing that I recommend when starting a stockpile is to use bins whenever possible.

    I always recommend using bins, because they will help you to keep your smaller items contained and not falling all over your shelves.

    To save money, use the bins you already have on hand. This could be a plastic bin from the dollar store that you already have, or small cardboard boxes.

    Categories

    Tip #2 is to have categories. These are very important when you’re stockpiling.

    Categories to consider:
    - Health & Beauty
    - Food
    - Household
    - Kids/Baby
    - Laundry

    Setting up categories is really going to help you to find things when needed, which will prevent your items from expiring before you actually find them.

    Donation Station

    My final tip is to have a donation station. This is just an area in your stockpile (or even another area of your home) where you keep all of the items you plan to donate.

    Keep it all in one area, so that once that area is full you’ll know it’s time to take it to be donated.

    Those are my tips for organizing your stockpile.

    There are many ways to keep things organized, so do what works best for you. The important thing is to store your items in a way where you are able to use them before they expire.

    Do you have any tips for organizing your stockpile?

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  • 3 Weeks to a Spring Clean Home: Task #1

    3 Weeks to a Spring Clean Home: Task #1

    Spring cleaning is in full swing and since I’ve been resting for 6 weeks, taking care of a newborn, this house has gotten a bit out of control. I’m very eager to get it clean and organized for the summer!

    I plan on tackling 1 spring cleaning task every day, for 3 weeks. They will be kitchen tasks, bedroom tasks and around the house tasks.

    I hope you’ll join me in this process!

    Here is Task #1:

    Clean out and organize your purse, wallet and/or diaper bag.

    Come back later tonight for an update on my progress with this task.

    Please share your progress in the comments!

    Looking for all the tasks in this series? Click here.

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  • How I Organize Travel Size Items: New Video

    Today I wanted to show you how I organize all of my travel size items.

    These are items that I get for free or close to it when I pair them with my coupons at the store (I seem to collect quite a few). I also receive many free samples in the mail, which are usually travel size.

    This is how I keep them organized:

    1. I weed through the items and get rid of the ones that I don’t want or need (and likely only “purchased” because they were free), and then I put all of the extra overflow into our stockpile in the basement.

    What’s left goes into this one bin, which sits in our linen closet.

    Having this basket, organized, prevents us from having to go all the way down to the basement to get a new item when we run out of something.

    2. I have containers/baskets inside my basket to corral those really small items, such as shampoo sample packets.

    I also keep the following items in our basket:

    - Hair Spray
    - Body Wash
    - Toothpaste
    - Shaving Cream/Gel
    - Lotion
    - Deodorant
    - Mouthwash
    - Hand Sanitizer
    - Facial Cleanser

    It’s so much easier to have this one basket with ready to use items in our linen closet, as opposed to having them in a jumbled mess in the basement.

    How do you organize your travel size items? Please share in the comments.

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  • 3 Reasons You Can’t Get Organized

    Cant Get Organized

    Have you been struggling with getting organized this year? If so, you’re not alone. There are hundreds, if not thousands of people out there, trying to get their lives organized and not having any luck.

    There could be many things standing in your way of becoming organized. Or, it may only be one thing. Whatever the case may be, you need to identify what is preventing you from having any success with the organizing task(s) you wish to accomplish.

    Below are 3 reasons why you may not be able to get (and stay!) organized.

    1. You have too many things to organize.

    When you start out with an audacious list of things you want to organize, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and just give up – often before you even begin the organizing process.

    I understand the desire to get it all done right away so you don’t have to worry about it again, but in all honesty, thinking like this will only end in failure.

    Make a short list of no more than 5 things you want to get organized and then prioritize that list, numbering each task by importance. Then, tackle one organizing project at a time until it is completed. That’s when you can move on to the next task on your list.

    When you see yourself making progress, it’s much easier to continue, so don’t try organizing everything all at once.

    2. You think it will take too long.

    People use the “I don’t have time” excuse for everything. Clipping coupons, cooking from scratch… how are we all so busy that we aren’t able to give ourselves just a bit of time to make our lives easier?

    Organizing does not have to be a long process and a huge chore. Despite what many people think, you can actually get a lot done in as little as 30 minutes.

    Want to organize your kitchen? Tackle one area for 30 minutes per day until the kitchen is completely organized. The fridge one day, the drawers another, then the spice cabinet… keep going until everything is the way you want it. If you feel up for a 60 minute organizing spree one day, go for it!

    Just remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day – and a home can’t be completely organized in a day either.

    3. You think it costs too much.

    It’s true that many organizing tools can cost heaps of money, but guess what – there are cheaper alternatives out there that you can use instead. You don’t have to go to a fancy organizing store and spend $100 on a few bins and small organizing gadgets. There are plenty of ways to organize your home for much less.

    The first place you want to look for organizing supplies is actually right there in your home. Glass jars, shoe boxes.. even empty egg cartons. These items are great for organizing items such as baking supplies, photos and jewellery.

    Most dollar stores also have a fantastic selection of organizing tools & supplies (I buy most of my small bins from there!). The quality of these products has actually improved quite a bit. So much so that sometimes I find that for certain products, the dollar store item is even better than what you would find from a big box store, such as Walmart!

    If you’re trying to get organized, the key is to start small. Organize one thing at a time, and remember to reward yourself for every project you complete!

    Organizing is not something that you do once and then forget about. If you want to live an organized life, you need to realize that organizing is a continual process and is something you will have to work at every day.

    Please share your favourite organizing tips in the comments.

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