Have you been following my challenge on Instagram and Facebook? #52weekchallenge to get you organized in 2020? Weeks 1-5 were all related to time management. Managing your calendar, you this and that drawer (because that is where things get stuffed when you have no time), email, your mail and paper management. Need a recap or want to know more? Keep reading....
Your calendar: Having a calendar and maintaining it is ESSENTIAL to staying organized. You can choose one format or a variety of formats to fit your life. When sharing a calendar with others, digital is usually the most helpful. I share my Google calendar with my husband and every person in our family has a color for appointments and activities (even the dog). Maintenance is easy with digital calendars because you can set up recurring appointments, no need to write down the piano lesson 20 times! You can also schedule appointment WAY in advance (YEARS!). With digital calendars you can also search for appointments. So when you forget when your dentist appointment is you just search "dentist" to find when it's scheduled. Reminders are another great feature of digital calendars, you can set them to go off minutes, hours or days before an appointment.
Wall calendars are great for families, especially families with kids who have lots of activities. Once again, everyone gets a color. Kids can see what activities that have for the week and the month all in one spot. Is a great way to build responsibility. You can ask them to pack up for their afternoon activity and all they have to do is check the calendar.
For some people there is nothing better than an old school paper planner style calendar. It's great to put a pen to paper. Did you know when you write things down you remember them better. It's also a great place for notes and to-do lists. I have to say I miss my planner but it's not shareable and honestly gets a little heavy to lug around everywhere. My phone is always with me and therefore a digital calendar works best.
This and That Drawer: is the hub of the house. It holds everyday essentials within easy reach. But it can also become a dump for everything but the essentials. Adding structure and labels to a drawer helps you contain and control what stays in your drawer. Labeling the bottom of drawer organizers is a visual reminder of what belongs in the drawer. I recommend frequent clean-outs to re-home the items that get crammed in when company arrives. It usually only takes a few minutes and make a BIG difference.
Email: This is my Achilles heal! I manage three email accounts, personal, work and volunteering. Staying on top of my personal email, well it just wasn't happening. I have whittled my 3,111 unread emails down to 64. I've also deleted about 6000 old emails. It has been VERY time consuming. And each day more come in! A great tip is to sort by sender and delete everything from that sender at one time. This is not an easy thing to do in gmail because there is no sort feature. However, right click on a sender, then go to "Find all emails by XXX" to basically sort by sender. I'm trying to stay on top of each day, opening or just deleting emails I know I won't have time to read. I'll get to those last 64 unread emails soon!!
Mail: Another things that shows up every day, except for Sunday! If you can't tackle the mail daily use Sunday to go through it. Recycle the junk mail asap. Once you have opened the other mail you can decide if the items needs a next step or if it can be recycled or shredded. This great system from @organizedbylisa will have your mail streamlined in no time!
Paper: Despite living in a digital age there is still a lot of paper floating around the house. Especially when you have school age kids. The art projects, the permission slips, the homework assignments. It all leads to piles and piles of paper floating around kitchen counters. A file box is a handy tool to corral all those papers while keeping them easily accessible. For my two boys they each have three folders, a "Save", "To-Do" and "Tutor" folder keeps things manageable. A bulletin board is also a great vertical tool the keep the piles off your counter top.