With autumn around the corner, summer holidays over and the kids back to school, now's the perfect time for me to address some of the other things that I never seem to get round to.
For September I've decided to make it my mission to get organised, which in turn will make me feel a lot happier. Here's the four areas I'm going to focus on and some of the resources I'm going to be using to help me along the way.
Having a ‘To-Do’ list for personal tasks
The first thing I am going to do is make a proper list. Although I think I know all I need to get on with, surprisingly I seem to forget some of those more mundane tasks when I have a spare moment. I find that I tend to work best with a traditional written list which I can then strike off tasks and pin to the fridge (to make it easy to reach for) or I use notes on my iPhone which I often write and add to on my journeys to work. I find it’s also good to split my to-do's into groups i.e. Social, Admin, Appointments, Shopping, etc. so I don’t miss anything and also to help me achieve more. Last week I wrote my first list in ages and managed to get through about 50% of it in a single morning, which of course made me feel very productive.
If you like apps then there are also plenty to choose from, I personally like the look of Wunderlist
as you can share tasks, add everything into your calendar all in one place.
I have also decided that I am going to reduce the time I spend thinking about what to cook for dinner by being a bit more planned about what I’m cooking. I know this may sound a bit alien to some of you but I’m often stuck on what to cook when it gets to Wednesday and I end up having to top up shop as I don’t have all the ingredients - which is something I could totally avoid if I was a bit more organised.
You can download a simple meal planner here
or if you need some fresh inspiration then I’m really enjoying The Flexitarian
where as well as meat-free recipes and planners you'll find lots of other great info on everything food, ethics and the environment.
Declutter your wardrobe
Although we may get a few last rays of sun, I think you would all agree with me that the summer is pretty much over and therefore time to pack away our summer clothes. Therefore what better time to look at your wardrobe and give it that pre-Winter cleanse – it’s much better than trying to cram everything in and will definitely be one of those to-do’s you’ll enjoy ticking off.
Check out a couple of our blogs posts to help you out - Wardrobe Detox Secrets
, donating to clothing charity TRAID
- and also a recent favourite from Wendy at Moral Fibres, one our BThoughtful contributors and something that I will definitely be doing - How to recycle your bras
It’s also zero waste week
this week so it's great to be aware of everything we can do to minimise our impact on the environment and support those in need if we can.
Tidy your work space
Whether you have a desk at home or work, or just a corner where you tend to keep your laptop and all your admin, I’m sure there’s some decluttering to be done. I know from experience I have lots of filing to do and could probably benefit from organising myself a bit more so everything’s easy to get my hands on. And what’s more how much better does it feel when you’re not constantly moving piles of paperwork from A to B.
Here’s a few quick-fire ways that will mean whatever you need to do whether it’s work, filing, or online banking, you’ll be more effective.
1. Try the ‘clean desk’ challenge
– take everything off your desk except your computer equipment and then only replace things as you use them. You’ll probably find over 80% of the stuff you had cluttering your space doesn’t even make it back within the first month.
2. Give your paperwork a home
– if you don’t do it already create folders that are stored away from your desk for things like bank statement, bills, insurance certificates, etc. And make sure you don’t just keep adding – do you really need those statements from 2010! Also, to minimise paperwork then turn everything to online billing if you can.
3. Keep all stationery together
– envelopes, paper clips, stapler, post-its, pens, etc. should all be kept together – ideally in a drawer so you’re not hunting in different places.
4. Think vertically
– if you really do needs lots around your workspace then think about how you can store things above and below rather than spreading out horizontally. Can you attach shelves for storage or add in a pinboard for urgent to-do’s or even fit a small set of drawers under your desk.
That’s probably enough to be keeping me busy this month! Let me know if you manage to try of the above and please share your tips with us. I'll let you know how I got on too.