The Weekly Basket Organization Tactic
So last week we talked about things you can do quickly to organize your house. I gave you five tasks that take 5 minutes or less, but make a big impact on how organized your house feels. Sadly, not everything can be done that quickly. Some tasks take longer to complete. Here is one tactic that can help you get a handle on the organization of paper and even errands.
The first step is to get a bin, basket, or container that you place in a central location in your house. Throughout the day and week when you come across something that requires more attention and time than you have at the moment, it goes in the bin. This is assuming that whatever it is is not extremely urgent. Here are a few cute bins and baskets which could serve this purpose:
For example, when you go through the mail, you toss out the junk but you have some bills to go pay. Those bills go in the bin. Your child brings papers home from school. Those go in the bin. You finish a book from the library and you need to return it. That goes in the bin. You have a new project from work. That goes in the bin. Anything that you come across that needs to be dealt with later, goes in the bin.
What To Do With Your Bin
Schedule a day once a week to go through the bin. I find Sunday evening to be the best time for me, but you can choose the day that works best for you. At this time, you go through the bin and plan out your week. I usually like to pay bills online right then. I will read through any paperwork from school at that time as well. If I have errands to complete I can schedule them in my calendar. Time for working on projects get’s scheduled as well.
By the time you are done, you should have reviewed everything in your bin. Everything that has to happen in the coming week is scheduled. Anything that does not yet need attention stays in the bin for the following week. In this way you can schedule and accomplish everything you need to do for the week.
This is also the time at which I like to set goals for the week and write up my weekly to do list. This get broken down into daily tasks which I assign to each day. The way I breakdown my goals is deserving of its own post, so I won’t go into it here. The main point is that I do all of my major planning for the week at one time as I go through my bin.
The most difficult part of this for me is that it is almost impossible to plan out the completion of my work projects. As an insurance adjuster, I am at the mercy of my claims. If a claim comes in, I have drop what I am doing and head to the location. Therefore, I constantly have to re-assess as things come up. While we all have things that come up once in a while, these are consistently inconsistent and can make planning difficult.
It is important to aim for your goals but also be flexible during the week. Being too rigid will only stress you out especially when you can’t change the circumstances. Re-evaluate each day to ensure that your must dos get done.
I hope this helps you clear up some of the clutter in your house and stay organized. If you have any questions about what can or cannot go into your bin or how to handle certain items just ask me in the comments. I’m happy to help.
Emily Bendler is a mom, wife, full-time insurance adjuster, professional dancer, dance teacher, graduate student, and founder of I Hope You Dance, Inc., a non-profit supporting youth dance. Read how Emily used her dance ambitions to become a time management maven. Feel free to send Emily a message using the email me tab above.