Organizing / Household Management

I love to organize absolutely everything!  From the kitchen cabinets, to the sock drawers, to our digital photograph collection.  I love to share and exchange ideas to make our lives more organized and therefore more efficient.

Being organized is so much more than having all your items in specific containers.  Although that is fun and brings me great joy.  Constantly searching for keys, important papers, and such is so time consuming.  It only takes moments to get your life organized so you can go about the business of living. 

Listed below are some of my favorite tips and suggestions for keeping your household and daily life organized. 

Keep Your Keys in the Same Place...Always

Every key in your home or office should be properly identified and kept in the same place each time you come and go whether on a hook or in a basket.  This is time saver 101.  House and car keys should always be placed in the same location each and every time you come and go.  We keep all of our car and house keys on a picture frame with hooks at the bottom behind the front door. 

In house keys that unlock items such as bike locks, attics, sheds, etc. should be kept in a precise location and returned each time after use.  We keep ours on another picture frame with hooks at the bottom in the laundry room.

Managing Household Files

Every category in your home needs a filing system whether it's a paper file system, on the computer, or both.

  • Medical, dental, optical.  Know your health insurance benefits and keep all pertinent information handy.
  • Pet information. Vet and vaccination records.
  • Taxes.  Keep a folder during the year to collect all information needed for tax returns. 
  • Utilities 
  • Home mortgage or rental agreement
  • Receipts.  Many options for going paper free on your computer.  Just start a folder titled 'receipts',  'payments online' or 'orders online'. 
  • Credit card information and loan payments
  • Product and warranty information

        Organizing Digital Photographs

        I have a great way to organize digital photographs.  I take hundreds sometimes thousands of photographs each month. The idea came to me when I was thinking about legacy.  Meaning when I'm gone (a bit morbid I know) how will  my son and others be able to find photographs easily since I rarely print anymore.  I came up with the yearly, monthly, event system.

        Very simple:
        • Start a folder in your master photography folder on your computer with the year the photos were taken.
        • Next, start another folder to sub categorize with the month the photographs were taken.
        • Add on additional folders with the event title as needed within the monthly folder.  If it's been a slow month for photographs, sometimes just the month the photos were taken or the event name will suffice.

        If you already have a bunch of photos everywhere on your computer, then take the time to start from the beginning.  Start with a new folder with the year the photos took place then drag the photos over or cut and paste to organize.  Then go on to sub categorize by the month and then event. It might take a bit of time to get it started but you will be glad in the long run that you have all your digital photographs organized. 

        Electronic Reminders for Tasks

        I'd like to think that I remember to do everything.  What I do is remember to write down or send myself electronic reminder messages so that reoccurring events or tasks are taken care of as needed.  I still keep a written datebook.  It's more of a diary of daily events than tasks that need to be completed.  For the tasks that need to be taken care of a regular basis I set up email reminders with my hotmail account calender.  You can easily set up reminders with any form of electronic calender that you use.

        Once I know I have an event that will occur more than once I set up a reoccurring reminder message on my hotmail calendar.  I never miss important dates or tasks.

        Examples of tasks to set up for electronic reminders:

        • Monthly reminder to give your pets their flea and heart worm preventative medicines
        • Change your a/c filter
        • Car maintenance {oil changes, rotate tires}
        • Doctor, dental, vision appointments
        • Change out contact lenses {for me!  Have to change them every two weeks}
        • Bill pay reminders
        • Update Quicken account or other tax related account
        • Monthly reminder to clean your dishwasher filter
        • Any other regular reminder that makes your life run smoother

        Simplify Your Shopping

        Grocery shopping can be simplified by using the 'pantry shopping list'.  This style of shopping is basically making a list of items as you run out. We have a healthy diet and tend to buy the same types of items at the grocery store so this system works great for us.

        We keep three regular running lists:
        • grocery store
        • wholesale club
        • farmers' market

        The prices at the wholesale club and farmers' market tend to be fairly standard and stay consistent.  I review the weekly sale ad from the grocery store online to determine the best prices for each week. 

         I have a deep affection for online shopping.  Saves time, money and gas.  You can price compare, check dimensions to see if things will fit and read product reviews to make sure you are buying a quality product right from the comfort of your favorite chair.   I buy most of the items to operate the household online.  I tend to shop with the same companies because they offer the best value, excellent customer service and fast shipping., and  LOVE these online retailers.

        Thank you for taking the time to visit with me.  What are your favorite ways to organize your household and life?

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