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     Letting Go Of Organizing Excuses

Every year you say you are going to do it; get ORGANIZED and get rid of the clutter and junk that is preventing you from enjoying your home and spending more time with your family. However, every year your New Year's resolution falters your home becomes increasingly disorganized and full of items you don't need and don't use. But now it's time to take back your home and your free time by using these organizational EXCUSE-BUSTERS!

Problem: My closet is too CROWDED, and I seem to wear the same clothes every week, and I can't find anything I own. But I don't have time to organize it all.

Solution: Only have one season's clothing in your closet at a time. Even if you feel you can fit more, don't. This will allow you to view all of your choices for the season at one time, and you are less likely to have items go unworn. And this way, you can organize your closet gradually -- one SEASON at a time.

Problem: I don't know if I should get rid of some clothes. I can't DECIDE what to keep and what to get rid of, so I just keep it all.

Solution: Turn all your clothes in your closet to face one way. As you wear them, turn the hanger AROUND. If you haven't worn an item by the end of the month (or 2 or 3 -- whatever seems reasonable), don't wonder anymore...donate or sell it.

Problem: Instead of staying home and enjoying time with your family, I always end up having to go shopping because a light bulb burned out or I ran out of toilet paper, or there's no more laundry detergent. I can't take a minute to get organized because I'm running ERRANDS all the time.

Solution: Buy household items such as light bulbs, batteries, toilet paper and paper towels in BULK. Buy a specific set of shelves for your basement, garage, or pantry to house your supply.

Problem: I am always being caught off guard by BIRTHDAYS and other life events. I can't keep track of the dates, and never seem to have time to shop properly for a card. I can't get organized because I'm always having to run out at the last minute.

Solution: Set up a perpetual CALENDAR (1-31 each month, but no year or days so you can use it over and over again) so you can see what events are coming up at a glance. Buy greeting cards in bulk every few months. Make sure to join a greeting card company's preferred member club so that you can take advantage of the benefits they offer for buying numerous cards. Also, purchase and utilize a greeting card ORGANIZER so that all of your greeting cards are in one place and you can determine if you need to purchase more of a specific type of card.

Problem: I am always running around to purchase last minute GIFTS. They say to create a gift "closet", but I can't buy a lot of presents ahead of time and store them because I don't have the room. I just can't shop ahead.

Solution: Purchase gift CARDS when you visit restaurants, department stores, etc. Keep these cards in your greeting card organizer so you have a one-stop card and gift shop in your home.

Problem: It takes me hours to sort through all of my junk email and mail. I never have time to actually organize the important paperwork or do my to-do's because I'm just barely staying on top of all the junk. And I can't ever get rid of all the piles!

Solution: Pick a week or month and for each piece of email or junk mail you receive during that time, take the time to CONTACT the company to opt out of their email list, mailing list etc. You will also be helping the environment.

Problem: I spend so much -- or waste so much -- time preparing to clean because it takes me forever to collect up all the PRODUCTS I will need. I can't keep the house as clean and organized as I would like because it takes forever to just get started.

Solution: Create a cleaning BASKET with all the necessary products fro each floor of your home. Superstores sell baskets with handles designed for this purpose.

Problem: I just lost a button on my favorite blouse and I know it came with spare buttons, I just don't know where I put them. I tried keeping extras with the outfit, but they fall out of the pockets. I tried keeping them in my bathroom drawer and my jewelry box, but it got too cluttered. So now I have all these clothes I can't wear because they need repaired, but I don't want to get rid of them, but I can't find the buttons!

Solution: Create a button bin. When you buy a new item of clothing, LABEL the buttons (for example: Sally's black blouse) and immediately add the items to the bin.

Problem: I can't always make a home-cooked meal on a busy night, but we never know what RESTAURANTS deliver because the menus got misplaced. We can't seem to get out the door on time for our evening activities because we're late eating.

Solution: Keep take out menus in a three ring BINDER. Organize them alphabetically or by cuisine for quick decisions and a quick fix on a busy night. Also include an envelope of dollar bills for tips for delivery drivers.

Problem: We spend way more than we should on LUNCHES because it takes too much time at night to make lunches for the next. I feel like a bad mom, but I just don't have time to do everything from scratch.

Solution: The trick is to PRE-PREPARE lunch components once a week, that you can then put together quickly for lunch. On the day you grocery shop enlist the help of family members to make baggies of healthy snacks, fruits and veggies. For the refrigerated items use a plastic tote to store all of the choices in one location. For non-refrigerated items, use a bowl or a glass jar to make choices quick and available to kids for healthy snacking.

Problem: I know shopping is faster and easier and more organized with a LIST, and I do have a tendency to forget what we've run out of. But we generally buy the same things every week. It seems stupid to keep writing them down over and over again.

Solution: Create a MASTER list with the items your family needs every week, such as milk, bread, or peanut butter. Make copies of the list and keep them on hand. Make a line for the date on the top.


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