By Jeff Zbar | January 2, 2009
Organization, like so much else in life, is not an event, it’s a process.
Doing it well takes persistence. Because successful organization is not a sprint, but a marathon.
And it all starts with baby steps, small efforts that add up in time to create a result that isn’t final in any way, but a more clear road map of how organization will lead to productivity tomorrow.
And what better time to start that process than in the New Year…?
First, list those areas — places within the home, or sore spots in your organizational efforts — that perennially cause you grief. List them in descending order of importance. The one that causes the most grief — the inbox, the home office desk, the email inbox — and focus to tackle that first.
Next, set aside time to take on the task. If you’re cleaning your home office or the kitchen nook, grab the garbage can, a box of file folders and a Sharpie pen or a label maker. And wade into the morass.
Be ruthless. Spare no papers. If they can be found online, throw away the documents (unless they’re signed originals or you otherwise are legally obligated to retain them). Shred any sensitive papers (don’t own a shredder? Borrow one. Or buy one; from old bank statements to credit card offers, plenty can be shredded before going in the garbage).
Set aside time to take on this process, but remember: It should be a recurring event from here on. Shred or toss docs along the way. Commit to bringing less unnecessary stuff into the home in the first place.
Keep a box for giveaway items. Literally, keep the number of a local charity handy so they can dispatch a van to pick up your discards.
As a result, you’ll have a neater, cleaner and more organized home and home office in the end of the process — if there’s even an end to this process at all…