by Joan Findley-Perls
I am not naturally an organized person. I wasn't taught organization at a young age and I spent my youth fighting a tide of disorganization. I was almost always late for appointments and events, I turned in homework late more often than on time and I missed out on opportunities because of my seeming inability to get and stay organized. As a young mother, I was never able to get on top of the mess created by family life. I paid my bills late and my bank account got overdrawn on a regular basis. Getting ready for school and work in the mornings was not a happy experience. I wouldn't be able to find the kids shoes, my purse or car keys. The blouse I thought I would wear needing ironing because it was in my "to be ironed" pile and frequently either one of my kids or I would end up in tears. Really, it was a waking nightmare.
I have alway felt that I can do anything once I set my mind to it, so finally, I decided to learn how to get organized. I read everything I could find on organizing methods and I started to implement some of those methods in my home office. I cleared out things that I didn't use or that belonged in another room. I cleaned and painted and got some stylish organizing items for my desktop for pens, paperclips and paperwork. Then I put up shelves and created a place for everything and I put everything in its place. When I was done it looked like something out of a magazine!
"There!" I thought, "Now I'm organized!" Unfortunately, that didn't last. Within a week, there were piles of paperwork on my desk, along with cups of cold coffee, kids artwork and unopened mail, both for my business and for my household. No problem! I had a place for everything so I put everything in its place. Once again my office looked pretty good, except for the unopened mail and a couple of piles of paper. Over the next couple of weeks it deteriorated again but worse this time. Getting it back in shape was a fairly major task. I repeated this cycle of going from extreme organization to chaos and then, with a herculean effort, back again. I had also gotten organized in other rooms of my house and the same problem was occurring in all of them.
I was failing and I felt pretty bad about myself. I was in danger of giving up and resigning myself to a life of unwanted chaos. What I didn't know is that staying organized is born of frequent regular good habits and not a once-in-a-while thing. After yet more reading and research I began forming daily habits to stay organized. I started small with a couple of new habits until they were easy and routine and then I would add another until I was keeping my home and office neat and tidy with seemingly little effort. I felt so good about the new me and I start doing things I had never before had the time or energy for. It has had a huge impact on my life!
I present some daily habits for three different parts of your day; Morning routine to do at home, day time routine to do at work or as part of your household management and an evening routine to do after dinner and before bed.
I believe that your morning routine should be easy and short so that you can get out the door and get started on your day quickly and easily. That said, I do believe these two items are very important to getting off to a good start.
1. Make your Bed
I know, I know! It sounds cliché, but it's a small thing that make a big impact. Studies have shown that a higher percentage of people who make their beds are happy than people who don't. There is the chicken and egg question but I put the theory to the test on myself, formerly being a non-bed-maker. What I found was when I walk into my bedroom and the bed is unmade, it feels like the room is a chore and I'm a bit anxious. But when I walk into my bedroom with a made bed, it feels like the room is my sanctuary and I get a feeling of serenity and calm.
Scientific studies have also shown that making your bed everyday and having an organized