Isn’t it time to organise your household?
It makes life a lot more difficult generally if your own house is in a state of chaos. We can’t all get things completely organised, all of the time, but if we manage to get on top of the problem, staying on top of it gets a bit easier. As with everything else, you can get carried away once you start to organise your household, but if you keep things in perspective it’s well worth making the effort. Start by asking yourself, “What does it really take to organise your household?”, and listen carefully to the answer that comes back.
So, here’s some tips for getting your household organised.
Keep a list of important contacts
Compile a list of trusted workpeople and companies so you know who to contact when you need to get something fixed. Go by your own personal experience, or recommendations from people you trust.
Don’t forget – when someone does a good job, make sure you keep their details and add them to your list. A list of emergency phone numbers like this can make the difference between getting things fixed quickly and calmly, and hovering in a state of panic, wondering what to do next. When a plumbing emergency occurs, having a phone number handy for the man you need to get in touch with feels like you’ve won the lottery.
Make a really comprehensive shopping list – just once!
Compile a shopping list. THE shopping list, with everything on it that you might ever need. Laminate it, if possible. Refer to it before you go shopping. This shopping list for food and other necessities will save you lots of time scrabbling round trying to see what you need, and wondering have you forgotten something important.
After a while, you’ll start to memorise it and refer to it mentally. You could have headings such as Dry (pasta, rice, etc), Tinned, Frozen, Cleaning, Fruit and Veg, etc., or whatever works for you.
It’s a great start when you decide to finally organise your household.
Store your records methodically
Store all receipts, instructions, guarantees for easy reference. Make it a habit to store them as soon as you get them, or within a day or two. And store them all in the same place. Have folders or files specifically for the purpose. You could make the file more efficient still by attaching a note to each one with the main details printed in large type and in the same format (date, price, guarantee expiry date, etc). That way you’ll be able to find the relevant details in a flash.
Store important documents securely
Store important documents safely (medical details, passports, certificates, etc). Get a small safe, or use a fireproof metal box. These things need protecting, and you need to know just where they are whenever you need them.
Of course, you’ve probably come to realise that from time to time, like when you’ve been ready to leave for the airport and you’re frantically searching for your passport in the laundry basket, having searched everywhere else!
Keep vital documents at the bank
Store vital documents (property deeds and the like) at the bank, and keep copies at home, if you need them. You can’t be too careful with the really important stuff. If you don’t take care and they get lost or damages, you’ll have plenty of time to regret it. Best plan for the worst, and hope for the best.
Keep a basic tool kit handy
Keep a few spare bulbs handy, where you can find them (in the dark!). Also keep a small emergency tool kit handy (a few screwdrivers of various types and sizes, a pair of pliers, an adjustable wrench, work gloves, a craft knife, roll of insulating tape, fuses, a few cable ties, etc). This can save a lot of time and trouble when things go wrong.
This is even a good idea if you already consider yourself a competent DIYer – it will come in handy if you’re in a rush, or for other family members who don’t know where you store certain tools and related items, if you don’t happen to be there.
You want to organise your household? Then clear the decks!
Clear things away at night. C’mon, you’re an adult now! You’re going to have to do those dishes eventually, and tidy that room, so don’t leave it so you get up to a mess. Make it a habit. Once it becomes part of your routine, it won’t feel like a chore.
Create a filing system that makes sense
Use a filing system for bills and other important paperwork. You might want to use transparent plastic pouches and A4 folders to store things (bits of paperwork, receipts, etc), and box folders for anything bulky.
Print and file anything worth keeping
Got a good recipe? Write it in a file you keep just for that purpose. Print it out as well and keep it in a folder. You’ll soon have a personal cook book full of stuff you love. And if someone’s impressed with what you’ve cooked, and asks for the recipe, you can easily print it out for them.
Same goes for patterns, plans, etc. If you want to share them, you’ve got them in a format that’s easy to reproduce.
List major jobs to be done, and schedule them
An important thing to keep in mind when you decide to finally organise your household is to get to grips with the big jobs – in advance. List all the big jobs you have to do periodically, like cleaning out the gutters, tidying the shed, or whatever. If you schedule the big jobs you’re more likely to just get on with them when the time comes. If you don’t, you’ll find reasons to keep putting them off. And that’s when big jobs start to become BIG JOBS!
Keep the schedule on a notice board, or on your computer, but make sure to check it regularly.
Prepare for the worst
Prepare for the worst (and the inevitable). There will be breakdowns, and leaks, and spillages, sooner or later. Try to be ready to deal with them. Also, news just in … people die … yeah, I know, bummer … all the same, it happens.
Might be a good idea to arrange your funeral, if you’re over fifty, say. Sorry, I know that sounds morbid. Does save a lot of strain on the family if these things are taken care of in advance though. Nobody likes to think about things like this, but that doesn’t mean they’re not going to happen. Best to deal with them now, and then you don’t need to concern yourself over them.
While you’re thinking along these lines, why not arrange a will – I know, it’s not something you want to think about, and you might think you’ve got very little to leave to anyone, but taking care of it now could save a lot of trouble later.
Designate a focal point in order to organise your household
Make sure everyone knows their jobs!
Allocate cleaning and tidying tasks to each member of the family. Once everyone gets used to the fact that they’re responsible for one or two particular things, it will go much more smoothly – and result in much less (or even no) whingeing and complaining about who does what, and when.
Keep the place tidy when you’re decorating
It’s not much use trying to organise your household if the wheels come off every time you have to redecorate. A bit of careful forethought and planning can make all the difference.
When you’re going to do some decorating, plan ahead. Do what you can to keep the rest of the house free of mess and clutter. Clean up as you go. Use any methods you can think of to make the job go easily and safely. For example, decant paint into a small tin or pot if you’re starting on a paint job. Much easier to handle, less mess if it spills. Always do one room at a time, and more or less seal it off from the rest of the house while you’re busy decorating.
Preparing in advance like this can mean the difference between a redecoration job going smoothly or becoming a source of major chaos and conflict in the house.
There are other pages devoted to helping you get organised, and they’re not scattered haphazardly all over the site. The links to them are all conveniently organised in the sidebar!
>> Get Organised! links in the sidebar >>