Get Neatsmart: 5 in 5 for Last Day of March

Can you believe it’s the last day of March already? We’re a quarter of the way through 2014? How are you doing with those resolutions? Just kidding, you don’t have to answer.

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  1. Clean out your medicine drawer/ cabinet. Check for expired medications that have lost their efficacy. Your pharmacy can help with proper disposal of prescriptions. Make a list of anything that needs to be refilled like bandages, antiseptic gel, hydrogen peroxide, etc.
  2. Keep a running list of groceries to buy as you run out. This makes grocery shopping so much more efficient because you have your list started before you even start to think about it. Write it down as soon as it’s out and you know you need to replace it. I have a small dry erase board on my refrigerator that I use and then I take a picture of it with my phone before I leave for the store.
  3. Clear off the entrance(s) to your home. Even if you use the garage or a back entry most frequently you want to have a a pleasant entry way to greet you and your guests. Sweep the welcome mat and clear trash or other debris from the area.
  4.  Consider your magazine subscriptions. If you are repeatedly tossing out magazines without reading them or, even worse, keeping lots of magazines that you intend to read “one day” consider reducing the number of subscriptions you have. Now I enjoy the few magazines that I subscribe to and pick up the occasional bonus one when I have time to read it, like traveling.
  5. Make a phone call. If you need to get the answer to something quickly, consider calling instead of emailing. People call so infrequently now that you can usually get the person and get to the point quickly, saving time and effort at the same time. You can always leave a message if you don’t reach the person and let them know the question so they are prepared to answer it at a later time. You’d be amazed at how much time getting on the phone can save if you are concise with your message or request for information.

If you missed some of the other 5 Things You Can Do in 5 Minutes to Get Organized, here is a link to the first.

What’s your favorite tip? Have you been able to get organized in 5 minutes?

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5 things you can do in 5 minutes to get organized: 2/24

Happy last week of February! Can you believe we are almost 2 months into 2014? Here are some tips to help you get organized so you can spend more time doing the things you enjoy!

Simple menu planning will make your evenings more enjoyable & less stressful.
Simple menu planning will make your evenings more enjoyable & less stressful. This is how https://mixonian.com plans their week’s menu on the refrigerator.
  1. Write down groceries that you need immediately after you realize it. Keep a notepad on your refrigerator or in your kitchen that you can add to periodically and then you’re half way through your list when  you need to go.
  2. Fold clean clothes while you’re watching TV. You can put them away during the commercial break so it will be fast. I know most people record shows and skip through commercials but this is a good way to use that 3 minute segment of time. Bonus points for getting the family involved and it goes faster!
  3. Plan your week’s meals on Sunday. This is especially helpful for dinner if you’re feeding a family. You don’t have to have all of the groceries on hand but you at least know what’s coming and can prepare more easily. Sample menu above courtesy of Mixonian.com.
  4. Designate a landing pad for your car keys, glasses, wallet, & purse. Avoid that last minute scramble of “where, oh where can my keys be?” They don’t have to be kept together but you should designate a convenient spot and put these items in their home EVERY time you come in the door.
  5. Put your reusable grocery bags back in car after you empty your groceries. There is no reason to store them in your home if you only use them for groceries. Get them in the car as soon as you’ve emptied them so you’re ready for your next trip.

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Get Your Life in Order in Less than 15 Minutes

Here is an organization tip that will have immediate impact on your happiness and well being and allow you to get your life in order in less than 15 minutes: clean out  your purse or wallet. You really should do this on a regular basis but today is a great day to start a good habit. The state of your purse is really a reflection of you, just like your clothes, and the wallet provides a micro look at how you view money. Yes, it’s true.

Can you relate to Mary Poppins with what’s in your bag?

Purse: As I mentioned, the state of your purse is a reflection of you so is it cluttered with trash, half eaten snacks, leaky pens without tops, old grocery lists, etc? Do any of those items scream success, calm, in control? No, I didn’t think so. “But I have to lug stuff around for my kids and they make a mess of everything.” Hey, I love blaming someone else as much as the next person but your purse doesn’t need to be 100% trashed 100% of the time. This is an excellent opportunity to teach others, too, about how possessions should be kept and showing respect for them. Remember Neatsmart’s mantra, too, about letting go of perfection. Everyone gets cluttered and scattered but the goal is to reduce the frequency and intensity of that disorganization.

Granted the Queen of England probably has someone to clean out her purse for her but doesn’t it look nice to not see paraphernalia popping out? If she drove, I bet she could find her keys in a flash. 🙂

So take a few minutes at home get your purse, and your life in order. to take everything out of your purse and shake it out over a trash can or sink to let all of the dirt and dust out. If there are spills, now is the time to clean any stains so they don’t get worse. Now, take that pile of stuff that was in your purse and sort out all of the trash and throw it away. It’s amazing how quickly it accumulates. Sort out your makeup, lipstick, gloss, powder, mints, comb, and anything that has to do with your physical body and put it in a separate, small bag. Trust me, you don’t need 5 lipsticks in your purse, either. Only put back the essentials and the rest goes back to your regular makeup place. Mints or gum should be close to your makeup, too, because we are organizing by use here.

From the remaining pile, put all of your money together. Are you the person that throws change in your purse and then spends countless time digging around for that change when you need it? Stop doing that and you’ll save yourself that frustration. Put your money back in its wallet or at least in a pocket in your purse so you’ll know where to find it.

Remember George Costanza’s wallet? Don’t let this happen to you.

Wallet: what is the state of your money? Are they in order or just haphazardly thrown in there? One of the many things I learned working in restaurants was to keep my money in order by denomination because I had to make change for customers. I also got immense pleasure at the end of my shifts putting my bills in order and then changing out smaller bills to larger ones. When you take care of your money you are showing that you are smart financially and respect what money can do for you. If you are careless with money I’m going to guess that you also probably have financial issues and lose money easily. Just sayin’….

While your wallet is open, go through all of the other cards and pieces of paper that are in there. Do you really need that Starbucks card that has expired or the insurance card from a company where you no longer work? Only keep cards here that you use on a regular basis like medical cards, credit cards, library cards, driver’s license. This is not a place to keep travel cards or shopping rewards cards. Unless they are used frequently, store them separately.

So what else is in that pile of stuff that was in your purse? Do you still need to keep it? Every purse should have a pen and paper to jot inspirational ideas or a grocery list so put those back. Also, you should designate a specific location in your purse for your keys, cell phone, and sunglasses. Avoid the panicked feeling of  “do I have it or did I forget it” by always using the same pocket or section to put those items.

Seeeeriously, people. Who needs a bag this big? You could smuggle a small child in that bag except for it killing your back.

Lightening your load will also help your neck and back. There are countless cases of back and neck pain as a result of carrying too heavy purses and briefcases and sitting on a Costanza wallet will also give you hip and back issues.

Once you start to clear out your purse and wallet on a regular basis you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it earlier and you’ll find that you are not losing money or your mind looking for things constantly. This is all part of building an awareness in your life that gives you control because you know where things are. Talk about self empowerment: go you!

Happy organizing!