Simple Ways to Get it Together
Are you ready for a fresh start in the new year? We’ve put together a list of easy-to-achieve steps to help organize your home, schedule, and more.
‘OHIO’ Is More Than a State
One of the most challenging pitfalls of organizing is needless repetition in everyday chores. Do you take the clothes out of the dryer, pile them into a laundry basket, and then move the basket three or four times before the clothes are folded and put away?
Try to follow the “OHIO” rule: Only Handle It Once. The time you think you’re saving by delaying the result – in this example, having clean clothes to wear – actually takes more time, not to mention frustration. When you take something out, put it back where it belongs.
Follow the One-Year Rule
Some of us have difficulty parting with clothes, shoes, and accessories that we haven’t worn, but we promise ourselves that we will someday. Organizing blogs recommend letting go of these items after one year if you live in a one-or-two-season climate (like Florida). It might be reasonable to allow two years if you live in a four-season climate.
There isn’t a timeline for deciding when to sort or donate clothes and other belongings after a loved one passes. You might want to store or pack them away until you feel ready.
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Use a Meal Planner
Planning your meals a week or month ahead benefits your health and your household budget. Start by taking a quick food inventory in your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. You can get the entire family involved in filling the menu planner for all three main meals or focus on dinner (when everyone is more likely to eat together). Knowing what you’ll need makes grocery shopping more economical.
Meal planning also encourages grieving people to eat regularly and nutritiously. Grief can be disorientating, warping time and routine. Having a meal that is ready to cook and enjoy at the end of the day is comforting.
Declutter Physical & Virtual Files
Get your cell phone, tablet, and computer organized by tossing out-of-date emails, old downloads, and folders you no longer need. Back up the critical stuff to cloud storage or an external hard drive. You’ll see an improvement in speed and processing after you declutter your digital devices.
If your loved one’s phone is deactivated but in good condition, consider donating it to a women’s shelter or other organization that collects used cell phones.
Track Your Habits
We recommend keeping your goals reasonable and attainable. That way, you get to celebrate your achievements. If you want more exercise, download a step counter app to your phone or smartwatch.
You can also get an accountability buddy. You’re more likely to stick to a healthy routine when you have someone equally invested in the same goal or who provides gentle encouragement when you need it.
Make Short-Term & Long-Term Plans
Now is the time to plan for fun and happy times (trip to Europe, a wedding) and the unwanted but inevitable (illness, aging). While deciding how to divide your estate or custody of minor children isn’t enjoyable, it will give you and your family peace of mind. It is better to make these decisions calmly and with foresight. Ask a trusted family member, friend, or attorney to act as your official advocate surrogate if you cannot make decisions about your health, money, or children.
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We know that grief and loss make it more challenging to plan ahead. Yet getting organized helps restore purpose and comfort in everyday tasks. In our expert advice section, you’ll find a complete resource library on end-of-life planning, closing social media accounts, and more.