The tasks can quickly mount. From home to work to everything in between, it’s time to organize your life. Here’s how.
Even if you consider yourself somewhat of an eco-warrior, we can all take extra steps to become even better friends with the environment. One of the most effective ways of doing so is by optimizing the way in which you organize your life.
So it’s important to set up efficient systems for the day-to-day life admin we all contend with. And the good news is you can incorporate your sustainability ethos here as well by repurposing and investing in eco products to make the organizing process better for you and the planet.
But you don’t have to go full Home Edit to organize your life. Although, creating systems, categorizations, sections, and routines, can help to keep clutter to a minimum and help you maximize the use of items in your home and office, you can get away with less extreme makeovers. The goal is to make important things accessible while putting less-frequently used items out of sight but easy to find and access. And, of course, you want it all to look and feel great.
How to organize
Not only will reinventing your means of organization help you be an ally to the environment, but it will also save you money in the long run. There’s no downside to becoming more environmentally friendly. These tips will help.
Set realistic targets
Organization can feel overwhelming because it is. Break things into manageable chunks. Set targets for each room and make them realistic with your work and life schedule. If you’re organizing your kitchen, this may take a bit of time over several weeks.
If you’re someone who functions from lists, planners, and diaries, use them to help you map out your targets and timelines.
And, if you set targets that feel achievable, it’ll make it easier going. Perhaps you’re enlisting helpers for a big project, like cleaning out the garage. Whatever it is you’re working on, be sure to allow enough time and stick to your goals.
Once you’ve completed your organization calendar, it’s time to set calendar dates for keeping up with the tasks. Maybe this means setting a date every month to clean out the fridge or go through all of your emails. Setting routine maintenance goals help keep you organized and reduce the need for major re-orgs like garage clean-ups.
Manage your digital clutter
Do you remember subscribing to that catalog that comes through your door on a monthly basis? Well, if you don’t and find yourself throwing them away, again and again, it’s time to unsubscribe. You can remind yourself to do so via the creation of an unsubscribe basket; when an unwanted catalog finds itself coming through your door, simply place it in the unsubscribe basket.
Every couple of weeks, you can then start to go through the basket and carry out the necessary procedures to unsubscribe. You’ll soon find the amount of paper coming through your door shrinking.
This same rule applies to the wellspring of your inbox, too. Instead of doomscrolling at the end of the day, spend some time unsubscribing from email lists (not ours, though!) so that you can free up time to get through your inbox, and life, every day.
Donate and recycle
Once you’ve read your magazines, they don’t have to be shunned to the recycling bin. Instead, you can store them in a donation basket, ready to be donated on either a weekly or fortnightly basis.
Of course, donating can apply to other categories, too from clothes and household items to food. Check for local little free refrigerators in your town to bring extra food items. This is especially great if you have a fruit tree producing more than you can consume. Share it with those most in need.
Don’t save up clutter to donate a few times a year. Make this a weekly or monthly practice to keep your life organized while helping others.
Sometimes, clutter isn’t items that need donating but rather, proper disposal. If you’ve got old batteries, electronics, and other hard-to-recycle items, there are services like Terracycle and Ridwell that can help ensure items find a proper end of life.
Storage bins are essential for home organization. But instead of purchasing storage bins, you can repurpose shoeboxes to store the likes of boots, scarves, gloves, hats, beauty products, jewelry, cleaning products, tools, craft supplies, and pretty much anything else. Even if the shoe boxes are looking a little tired, you can spruce them up with a bit of wrapping paper. Once they can’t be used anymore, they can simply be recycled.
Pickles, marinara sauce, jam; we all use plenty of jars on a daily basis, but what if its intended purpose didn’t have to be the end of the jar’s lifespan?
Some of the most effective ways of using glass jars include vases, makeup brush holders, craft supply containers, pen pots, kitchen utensil holders, grain and cooking ingredient containers.
Not only do these uses ensure you’re making the most out of jars before they reach the end of their lifespan, but they also give your home a nice rustic and minimalistic feel.
Items to help you organize
Sure, you can go and buy a whole bunch of totes and boxes, but chances are you have plenty of things at home to help you organize.
- Use boxes or totes to store items you need less often — think holiday decorations, scrapbooks, memorabilia. Store in boxes or totes and be sure to label what’s inside for easy access. These items can go in cupboards, closets, or garages.
- Use up small jars, caddies, and smaller boxes — when you’re organizing drawers and cupboards, things can easily become a big amorphous mess. Using smaller systems within these areas can help. A makeup drawer, for example, can be broken down and managed by lips, eyes, or skin sections. A desk drawer could see pens in one container, pencils in another, and clips in yet another.
- Baskets or dividers — keep your clothes organized in dressers and closets by managing items within dressers, chifferobes, or closets. Use baskets for scarves, undies, belts, etc. Maybe dividers in your drawers for bigger items.
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