Most Canadians wish they were more organized — that’s why it’s one of the top New Year’s resolutions every year. Somehow, though, we don’t seem to be able to pull it off. While there are many reasons for that, two big ones are a lack of motivation and becoming overwhelmed. We’ll address those two issues here to help get you started.
The Importance of Getting Organized
When it comes to organizing for seniors, there are some serious benefits. Being organized can save you time and money. According to one study, disorganization causes 23% of adults to pay their bills late and incur late payment fees. Also, imagine how much easier it would be to clean your home if you didn’t have all that clutter in the way?
Worrying that their home isn’t organized enough is the fifth leading cause of stress for Americans. Nearly half of respondents said that disorganization had caused stress in the last month. With stress linked to almost every illness, organization for seniors can have real health benefits.
Further, some of the most used spaces in a home are typically also the most cluttered — including the kitchen, home office, and garage. Surprisingly, around 80% of household clutter is due to poor organization, not lack of space. All that clutter can create tripping and fire hazards in the home, so getting organized can actually save lives.
How to Get Organized: An Easy-Start Guide
Tackle paper clutter
Do you still have magazines from three years ago? What about old water bills or that list of everyone who attended your Great Aunt’s 85th birthday party? It’s time to let them go. Disorganized files and paper are one of the main reasons people miss paying bills on time. Commit to culling your desk of all the unnecessary paper that builds up over the years.
When you start getting organized, it’s easy to want to do everything. Resist the urge. Inevitably, you’ll get tired, the inspiration will fade, and the overwhelm will creep back in. Instead, set a timer and spend 30 minutes organizing every day. It’ll be slow-going, but you’ll be more likely to follow through. That’s how to get organized in the long-run!
Start a routine
Retirement often brings looser schedules and more free time, but most people are happier when they have some structure in their lives. Pick certain days for certain things (laundry, coffee with friends, reading, etc.) or introduce a morning or evening routine. Say goodbye to never knowing what day it is!
Write it down
Remember how much you spent on that thing you bought two weekends ago? How about when your last doctor’s appointment was? If you find that you have trouble keeping track of everything you’ve spent or what’s coming up on your social calendar, write it down. Get a planner (pen-and-paper or digital, whichever you prefer) and fill it out. While you’re at it, consider setting a budget — or at least keeping track of your expenses, so you know where your money is going.
Do an evening sweep
Every night before bed, walk through your home and collect any items that don’t belong where they are. Put them in a bag or box and then put them all away. Organizing is about having a home for everything.
Getting organized doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. Pick something small and start there. Don’t try to do everything at once. Pretty soon, disorganization will be a thing of the past!
What is your biggest challenge to getting organized? Commit to tackling one area of clutter and chaos this week; share it in the comments below.