By: Shira Gill, Personal Organizer
Modern living is hectic enough as it is, but once you introduce kids into the equation, keeping your life simple and organized can seem like an impossible dream.
As a new mom and a professional organizer, I have learned that sometimes it only takes a few minutes to see big results. Conquering the clutter will restore your energy and bring calm and balance into your life. Here are a few simple tips to get you started:
1. Refrigerator makeover!
First, toss anything that has expired or gone bad. Next, ditch the junk and replace it with healthful alternatives. Skip the soda and make spa water by filling a few glass pitchers with water, lemon and cucumber slices or fresh herbs. Instead of buying TV dinners loaded with salt and preservatives, try making a lasagna or turkey meatloaf that can be frozen in individual portions. Store nuts, veggies and fresh fruit in grab-and-go containers so you’ll have healthy snacks when you’re on the move.
2. Ready, Set…Clean!
Feeling short on time? Get the whole family involved by challenging them to a clean up race. Set your kitchen timer for 10 minutes and use the time to toss stray trash and return misplaced items to their correct homes. When the timer “dings!” everyone will be shocked at how much they were able to accomplish in such a short time. Celebrate by playing a game or indulging in a yummy dessert.
3. Mail Overload!
Use a standing file with dividers to store all incoming mail. Designate one day a week for bill paying, scheduling, and responding to invites and you’ll never have to worry about overdue notices or overlooked obligations. Recycle the trash and junk mail right away. You can also reduce junk mail by canceling unwanted catalogs and opting out of unsolicited commercial mail for five years by contacting The Direct Marketing Association. To register with DMA’s Mail Preference Service, go to http://www.dmachoice.org
4. Important Everything Holder
Ever panicked because you can’t remember where you stowed the key to your safe deposit box or your child’s birth certificate? Take the guesswork out by creating an “important everything holder” and storing it in a safe place in your home. Mine has everything from family passports to treasured photos and my original wedding DVD. Any time I need to locate one of these crucial items, I know just where to find it.
5. Bedroom Bliss
Need a vacation but short on time and/or funds? Splurge on some fresh flowers and a scented candle and make the bed with your best set of sheets. Take a few minutes to straighten up, leaving the floors and surfaces as minimal as possible. Put on your favorite CD or iPOD play list. Your bedroom will be transformed into a chic retreat in no time. Now you just have to promise to relax!
Shira Gill is the founder of Simply Sorted and Simply Sorted Baby and keeps things tidy in the SF Bay Area. For information and to sign up for her free monthly newsletter please visit www.shiragill.com