Organizing your life can help you get more done and have more time to relax and have fun.
Taking a few steps to keep things where you can find them can save a huge amount of time, effort and hair pulling. I should know. I am not the most organized person on the planet.
So what steps can you (and I) take to start organizing?
Organize your bills. Get a binder. A big one. This way you can put all of your bills in one place. I separate the bills and put them in chronological order. This helps me see what I have spent, what I have paid and when tax season comes everything is clear and in one place. Whether you do your own taxes or have someone else do them, someone will be happy you did this.
This has saved me tons of time over the years. No more hunting to find papers in piles. No more gnashing of teeth trying to find receipts on April 14th.
Save the things you need, recycle or reuse the things you don’t. Paper adds up and gets out of hand. Next to the door, next to the mailbox, have two cans. One for recycling – all ads, junk mail (get on the no junk mail list!), things you don’t need to keep and can’t re-use, recycle immediately. Don’t let them add up. Walk in the door and sort.
The second can is for re-use. If it is useful, re-use it or give it someone who can use it. Schools need everything from toys, binders, paper, art supplies, tools and more. Shelters need clothing, food, supplies and so much more.
State your goals. I use either a small binder or notebook. If you don’t write down what you want to do – your dreams, you goals – it is much much harder to make them happen. Write it down. Then figure out what steps you need to do to make that happen.
I want to travel. A lot. I want to ride a bike from Alaska to Argentina. I want to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. I want to rock climb – a lot. Cirque of the Unclimbables, Patagonia, El Cap, Wind River Range, Tetons, so much more in Sqaumish…. and I want to take my son (age 5). I wrote that down. This is ambitious. And I am going to do it. Someday.
I am starting small. I am building a climbing wall in the garage (complete with finger and hand cracks) so I can train and he can get used to climbing in a safe environment. We have started taking him camping and hiking. We just finished our first 6 mile hike. He is 5. That ain’t bad. These steps will add up and I am going to do the things I want to do. The things I think are both important and amazing and life changing. Think of how cool it would be if by the time you were in High School you had hiked 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada. Think what you would have seen. Think of the commitment, the training. Think what you could do after that. Think how cool it would be if you were an old fart (me).
All this in a few binders and a few minutes a day. Organize and get things done.