In a few short weeks, holiday gluttony will give way to guilty feelings and itchy fingers. That’s when we will all sit down to write a set of aspirational goals for 2018. Working out more and spending more time with family are commendable objectives, but if you are disorganized, you often mismanage the time necessary to achieve these new goals. Amy Esper, professional organizer, move manager and co-head of In Order to Succeed in Sarasota, FL will let you in on five new habits that will improve your life quality and make the time it takes to get to the gym and play with your kids.
1. Don’t Let Guilt Hold you Captive to Things.
Being sentimental is commendable. Holding onto everything that is sentimental is a slippery slope. Throw away that shredded duck pillow that your mother had on her couch 20 years ago. Your memories are with the person, and not the thing. Share your stories of the fun you had on the couch chatting with your mom as you laid your head on that pillow. It is not enough to put it in your basement or attic. Get rid of it! Slowly go through items that you stored and part with them. Your loved ones will be so proud that you did!
2. Don’t Bargain Hunt!
Frank Woolworth opened America’s first discount variety store in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in June 1879. Today there are over 250 discount chains worldwide and countless online stores constantly advertising sales. Saving money on things you need is smart. Buying things on sale that you don’t need is not. Practice smart shopping. Don’t go to the store without a list- even if it’s just in your head! Resist the temptation to go off list. You will have more money in your pocket and less clutter in your home to clean around.
3. Get your Children on the Chore Train.
It’s never too late to teach your kids to do for themselves. Tired of making four beds in the morning or packing three lunches at night? Me, too. Start small and give your kids incentives. For toddlers, get a jar and let them fill it with pennies after each completed task. If your kids are older, increase their bedtime or curfew for chores well done. New research shows that it takes 66 days to create a habit, so get going! The kids will feel proud and you will have more time to do fun things with them. Check out our other tips on the Five Ways to be More Organized Parents.
4. Don’t Wait to Put Everything in its Place.
Stop putting things in temporary spaces. When you walk in the door of your home or office, put everything in its place. Your keys go in the dish or on the hook. Your briefcase goes on your desk. Your coffee mug goes in the dishwasher. Your shoes belong on their shelf and your clothing goes in your closet or in the dry-cleaning bin. Why wait? It’s only going to accumulate. Keeping things in their place avoids the large clean ups that occur on the weekends when we want to relax and enjoy each other’s company.
5. Sell It!
Those kindles your kids bypassed for iPads? The jeans you can’t quite squeeze into? Don’t let them clutter your surroundings. Recoup some money for them and make way for new hobbies you can share with your loved ones. Facebook marketplace has replaced Craigslist as the best place to sell your goods locally. You can post anything from an old camera to a car in less than five minutes. It feels so great to free up space and get your items to people who will use them! There is also a new game in town when it comes to clothing sales. Move over eBay, the Poshmark app is here. Place your item for sale with a few clicks and when it sells, print the emailed label, package your item in envelopes (available for free at your post office) and place it in your mailbox. The best part? Poshmark allows you to transfer your earnings to your bank account in minutes!