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Experiment with New Habits

Organizing tipSet up a new habit as an experiment. This allows you to view the process as fun rather than a chore. New habits with a focus on maintaining order are always helpful. Here are two examples of experiments you can try.

  1. Experiment with collecting the mail daily and seeing how much you can immediately recycle without opening. Set a goal for yourself to recycle at least 10 pieces of mail a week. Keep a tally sheet on the fridge and get the whole family involved. Reward yourself with a family bonfire at the end of the month.
  2. Experiment with tossing one item a day from your junk drawer (or closet, dresser, medicine cabinet, or toiletries stash). Take a before photo. Do this for one month and take an after photo. How does it look? How much more functional is the drawer? How do you feel about your tossed items? Reward yourself with something fun and please share your before and after photos with me.

20 Projects You Can Do in 20 Minutes

Have any summer projects?

My husband is a teacher and always takes on summer projects. Well, if you ask him, I’m sure he’d say I provide him with a list of summer ‘honey do’ projects. If I’m being honest, I’ll admit, he’s right. I think summer is a great time to work on projects especially if you have more free-time on your hands.

20 Projects You Can Do in 20 Minutes

Set the timer for 20 minutes and get busy!

Devoting 20 minutes to any one of the projects on this list will help you create more order in your life.

Someday

Organizing tipSomeday is not a day of the week! When you find yourself using that word, stop and replace it with a definite date or time. If you can’t pinpoint a definite date or time, let it go. I use an exit strategy to help me get rid of things.

child organizing

20 Organizing Projects Kids Can Do

The skill of organizing can be learned by anyone, even kids. A good way to ease them into it is to have them contribute in small ways. Start by giving them organizing projects that match their skill level, so they don’t get discouraged or frustrated. Beginners can sort, categorize, and dispose, as well as assist with specific tasks. Once those skills are mastered they can advance to decision making and item placement. Ongoing practice and participation will improve their skills. Offering rewards and showing appreciation will help facilitate positive reinforcement and encourage future participation. By helping kids learn the skill of organizing at an early age, not only are they contributing to organizing the household, they’re acquiring skills that will help them in every aspect of their lives now and in the future. Here is a list of 20 organizing projects kids can do.

  1. While organizing kitchen cupboards have kids match food storage containers with their lids and recycle all the unmatched ones.
  2. Test pens and markers and discard the dried up ones.
  3. Check games for missing pieces. Make new pieces if possible.toys
  4. Disinfect door knobs and light switches. (Cleaning is part of organizing.)
  5. Sort craft supplies into categories and put away.
  6. Help clean out the car by tossing trash, wiping down doors, and washing mirrors.
  7. Shred papers that are deemed shreddable. Have them work from one box or bag of shreddable papers at a time.
  8. Collect mail and put into one designated mail in-box.
  9. Check dates on magazines and catalogues and recycle anything over 3 months old.
  10. While cleaning out the pantry have kids check expiration dates on canned goods, boxed food, and condiments. Toss what’s expired and donate to a food bank what won’t get eaten.
  11. Include them in the kitchen clean up by having them empty the dish washer.
  12. Create a donate box with images of what can go in it. Put 3 things in it from their room that they’re ready to get rid of.
  13. Label their devices, adapters, cords and headphones. backpack
  14. Try on clothes for the next season to see what fits. Put what doesn’t fit into the donation box.
  15. Put all dirty clothes in hamper. Wash their own clothes if they are capable.
  16. Include them in the laundry process by having them put away their clean laundry.
  17. Pick 10 school and art projects to save for the year. Store in one bin with label that they create.
  18. Make a spare parts bin to collect all the wandering game pieces, puzzle pieces, and legos. Collect them daily and empty the bin weekly.
  19. Clean out school bag/backpack and get rid of what’s not needed.
  20. Mark important dates (birthdays, school events, sport events, parties) on the calendar for the next 3 months.

©May 2020  Janine Cavanaugh, Certified Professional Organizer®  All Rights Reserved

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Love It or Lose It!

Organizing tipDo you love your stuff? If you don’t love it or use it, LOSE it!

Unfortunately during this pandemic many donation drop off locations are closed. So it is a bit more difficult to get rid of your unwanted things. My most recent blog, How To Get Rid of Stuff will provide you with some options and resources. Please stay healthy.