Stay Organized During the Pandemic
During the pandemic, you probably have more time to spare than you are used to having. Like most people, you want to use this time productively, and you might be considering finally getting organized.
Although you might have some ideas on how to start getting organized, you should still get some advice and do some research before you start. You don’t want to finish getting organized and then realize your method simply does not work for you.
Your organization doesn’t have to be like everyone else’s
We all have different ways of staying organized. Some of us need things sorted numerically, some of us need things color coordinated and some of us need things in their own individual folders.
If you have a friend that swears by their method of organization, hear them out, but don’t be surprised if their method does not work for you.
Do your research on different organization methods
Did you know that there are actually different organization methods?
According to Washington.edu, there are several different methods each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Use your space as efficiently as possible
Think about your kitchen. In your kitchen, you have to worry about storing food, utensils, pots and pans, cooking devices, plates, bowls, towels, aprons and a whole host of other things. You might be lucky and have a pantry to help with storage, or you might have a tiny studio apartment that barely has room for you’re a kitchen table.
No matter what your space permits, you need to think about how you can use it as proficiently as possible. Remember that spaces like your counters and drawers are prime real estate, so you should only put things there that you use often.
For example, you need forks, knives and spoons on a daily basis. However, your mortar and pestle, turkey baster and sous vide probably aren’t used more than a few times per year. Those can be placed in cabinets further away, and more out of reach.
This applies for all areas in your house! If you are organizing your home office, you need to make that space as efficient as possible as well. You need your laptop and charger almost every day, but that folder with old receipts and your 2012 tax returns can probably be stored away.
Make sure that everything has its place
When you were a kid, you probably had a catch-all drawer or catch-all area where you put things that you didn’t know where they belonged. Now that you area older and are running your own household, its time to eliminate this bad habit.
Each and every thing you bring into your house needs to have its own predetermined space.
Take batteries for example. You probably have a device in every room in your house that requires batteries. Let’s say that after buying a fresh pack of batteries from the store, you take them into your kitchen to replace the batteries in the smoke alarm. Rather than putting them away in pre-determined spot, you just shove them in a random drawer. The next time you need batteries for your TV remote, you know that you have some somewhere, but you just can’t find them anywhere, so you begrudgingly go out and buy more.
All of that could have been avoided if you just would have put them in their place.
This point goes along with the previous point. You need to make sure that things have a pre-determined place, but you also need to make sure that where they are makes sense. If you have a printer in your office, you should obviously store your computer paper and ink somewhere near the paper.
Make your home office fit your needs
If you are currently still working during the pandemic, there is a good chance that you are working from home, so you need to remain productive.
Because you are working from home, you need to make your home office just as productive and organized as your office at work. This journey starts on your laptop.
No, we don’t mean that you need to buy a bunch of junk on Amazon (although, we are getting there); what we mean is that you need to make sure that your desktop is clean and organized. First, make sure that you regularly clean your computer. This is your main line of communication with your office, so you need to take care of it. Next, go on your desktop and make sure that everything is in the correct folder. Don’t litter your desktop with dozens of different random files; make sure that everything has a place to be so that you can find it without too much grief.
It is also important that your workspace is separate from your home life. If you don’t have the luxury of having a separate room to serve as an office, find a corner of your home that is away from everything that you can make your home workspace. Remember, your work life and home life need to be separated. If your work space is the same spot where you lounge and relax after work, then you aren’t going to be able to differentiate well between work and home.
Make sure that you need everything you need for a typical workday within arm’s reach of your workspace. You don’t want to have to make frequent trips around your home to grab something you need for work.
Put your stuff away once you are done with it
Not to sound like your mother, but you need to remember to put your toys away once you are done.
If you don’t, things will get lost, broken and you’ll be back to where you started before you organized.
Don’t buy organization supplies unless you need them
If you were psyched about starting on some organization, you probably filled your Amazon shopping cart with a bunch of things you think you’ll need.
Before you buy that expensive label maker, 35 small boxes and complete collection of Marie Kondo’s books, figure out what you actually NEED first.
There is a good chance that you already have all of the boxes and shelves that you need to store everything. If you don’t want to drop big money on a label maker, a roll of masking tape and a marker cost a lot less. There is no sense in buying things that will ultimately just become more clutter.