12 Ways to Simplify in 2012

By Mandy Pinkston; Certified Professional Organizer at Major Mom Liberator- Denver
Posted

Auto.

Each time you come home, take in an armful of items from your car. Getting into a clean car is such a great feeling!

Bathroom.

Make a pledge to use up your current inventory of lotions, hair care, and other personal products before buying more. If you're really honest and don't see yourself using them, toss them out!

Bills.

You can't afford to keep paying bills late. Sign up for auto-pay on recurring bills and cancel paper statements. Assign one collection point for non-recurring bills and select one day each month to pay those bills.

Clothing.

If someone held all your clothing hostage and you had to pay a ransom for each item you wanted back, which pieces would you pay for? Those are the clothes you love. Donate the others.

Clutter.

Have 3 boxes: donate, elsewhere, and trash. Start in one room, working clockwise. Items that you find that belong in another room go in the 'elsewhere' box. Items you don't need go in 'donate.' Work for 20 minutes each day and then put things from the elsewhere box in the appropriate rooms.

Décor.

Minimize cleaning time by minimizing your décor. Donate items that are no longer interesting to you and that feel outdated or tired-looking.

Kitchen.

The locale for everything "gadgety". Thin out specialty tools that rarely get used. Store them elsewhere in a seasonal or entertaining area or let them go.

Meals.

Take the frustration out of meal planning. Subscribe to online meal-planning sites such as www.e-mealz.com,  www.foodonthetable.com, or  www.myweeklyfig.com.

Papers.

Perhaps the most overwhelming of all. Imagine being paperless, how good that would feel! Start by going paper-less. Cancel magazine & catalog subscriptions (call the 800# inside, it only takes 2 minutes!) and junkmail (www.donotmail.org).

Schedules.

Plan out your week or month in advance. Mark down work commitments and personal time. What tasks, errands, appointments and events are you going to do? Kindly say no to events that would require you to over-commit yourself. Simply say, "I'd love to, but I already have commitments that day."

Toys.

Too many toys in the room? Put some aside and rotate toys every few weeks to keep things fresh for the kids. They'll ask for their favorites. Are there toys they never seem to miss or they've outgrown? You guessed it, donate or toss them!

Travel

Make a standard checklist of all items you need when you travel. Include personal items, electronic accessories, documents (i.e. maps, passports, phone numbers), clothing, snacks, etc. Leave blanks in each category for things to add for each specific trip. Print off a form each time you travel or laminate and use a dry-erase marker to check items off as you pack.