Getting Organized: The 3 Biggest Maintenance Mistakes

 

Getting organized is one thing, but staying organized is quite another! Here are three of the biggest mistakes I see people making as they organize any space, whether it is a closet, kitchen, laundry room, garage or bedroom.

  1. NO STRATEGY: Approaching a project with a “hurry up, clean it up” mentality, you are not thinking through the systems needed to keep the space running smoothly. You can “clean up” a laundry room by just throwing everything in cabinets to get it off the floor, and it looks better. But to keep it organized and be able to find what you need, you must think through who is using the space and what functions are happening there. A laundry room needs to have clothes put through cycles of sorting, pre-treating, washing, drying, folding and ironing. You may need to manage recycling or pet care duties in this space as well. Set up zones for each function, and think through the tasks required to maintain each zone.
  2. NO OWNERSHIP: Even if you’ve identified the maintenance tasks, they still may not get done if you don’t know who is supposed to do them. We often hear, “I thought you were going to do that!” and “No, I thought you were supposed to do it.” When there isn’t clarity on ownership, everyone thinks someone else is going to do it, and the task simply doesn’t get done.
  3. NO OUTBOX: Your office desk and your email apps have inboxes and outboxes. Does your house have an outbox? In my house, we call it a Donation Station. A good Donation Station is located in a closet, a spot in the garage or an out-of-the-way corner — whatever works for you and your family so you can set aside items you’ve decided you no longer need. The purpose is to have a place to corral all of those decisions as soon as you make them, giving them less chance of getting mixed back into your stuff again. Keep some containers you don’t mind giving away there, like paper grocery or shopping bags or boxes. When the containers are full, put them in your car for your next trip to Goodwill®!

Establishing habits is key to maintaining your organized spaces. Systems and routines — like keeping the laundry, dishes, and cooking operations going on a daily basis — are the foundation of home organization. Create a strategy for having solid morning and evening routines each day and other specific jobs done weekly to give you the long-term results you want from your efforts!

Finally, don’t forget to revisit the systems you’ve created. Few things are perfect the first time. Most systems and spaces need a little tweaking here and there, particularly because life goes on and things do change. When your life changes, your systems must change with it. When that happens, it’s a great time to donate to Goodwill.

Kids growing up and leaving home, changing careers, moving to another house, divorces, breakups or weddings — all of these life changes mean new stuff, new priorities and new perspectives. When your old stuff no longer reflects your life, donating it to Goodwill means you are helping someone in your community receive services and opportunities like job training, job placement, financial literacy classes or résumé writing assistance so they can build a lifelong connection to work.

Blog shared from Goodwill Industries International
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Weekend Messy Mayhem Challenge

Need to clean your house and don’t have a lot of time?

Take our weekend challenge!

I was talking to my grandma on the way to the office today. She told me she’s planning on cleaning up her apartment to get rid of the clutter. My grandma is a very busy lady who is high in demand, so she really only has time to clean on the dreamstimelarge_35951162weekends. If you are a busy person but need to de-clutter your house, take the Goodwill Weekend Messy Mayhem Challenge! Because you only have two days and three nights, commit to cleaning out a few parts of your place each day. When Sunday night rolls around, you’ll have a clean home and a truckload of items to donate to Goodwill.

Friday Night

Main Floor Madness: Kitchen & Living Room

Your main floor is the area where all of your guests go when they come over. After dinner, begin going through your kitchen cabinets and put all the things you haven’t used in the past two months into a box. Get rid of duplicates and clean up your counter space. Get rid of any old silverware or table settings that haven’t been used since Christmas of 1985.

donate-middle-age-group-dreamstime_xxl_31667687When you finish in the kitchen, move onto your living room. Start by the television and get rid of any VHS tapes you still have laying around and any CDs that you no longer listen to – don’t forget about all of the DVDs and Blu-Ray discs you no longer watch. Once you finish your entertainment area, head over to the bookshelf and take a look to see which books have collected the most dust. If your old kids’ books and cheesy romance novels haven’t been touched since 1995, it’s safe to put them in the Goodwill donation box to make room for some new reads.

 

Saturday

Hidden Chaos: Crammed closets, Alarming Attic, and Gloomy Garage

If you haven’t worn it in the past year, you probably don’t need it and won’t miss it when it’s gone. Clean out your closets. Shoes, hats, blouses, pants, skirts; you name it, Goodwill would love to take it off of your hands! Once your closets have less clutter, make a pact to follow dreamstimemaximum_5080693The Goodwill Closet Golden Rule: one in, one out. Every time you buy something new, get rid of something you already own.

After your closets are decluttered and looking spiffy, work your way to the attic and garage. Find old holiday décor that hasn’t been seen since you were a child? Donate it. Piles of things you forget you owed and haven’t used in years, donate them!

Sunday

Sunday Fun Day: Office and bedrooms

We saved the best and easiest rooms for last. When you look around your bedroom, do you see trinkets and other odd objects you haven’t touched or used in years?  I know I do! Start by clearing out all your old toys that another child could enjoy. Get rid of any jewelry or trinkets that no longer serve any use to you. Last, but not least, work your way to the office. No one wants to work in a messy space. This weekend cleanup is the perfect time to San_Antonio_17846make sure your office is clean, starting the month organized. You have probably updated your computer, laptop, or tablet, so why hang on to the two old computers in the closet? Why keep old office supplies when you are always buying the newest edition and throwing the old ones into a box? Update your file cabinet; give up your old outdated computer equipment (working and non-working), and donate it all to Goodwill. We’ll wipe your equipment clean and recycle it in a safe way.

 

Well folks, you made it through the Weekend Messy Mayhem Challenge! Hooray! That wasn’t too bad, was it? Look at how clean your house is. Doesn’t it feel great? You should also feel great by knowing that all of your no longer needed items are going to be reused or recycled at your local Goodwill, where they will empower Eastern Nebraskans and Western Iowans and transform their lives. It’s now time to say goodbye to your donations and bring them over to Goodwill; we’ll take care of the rest.

 

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