By Emilie Barnes, Simply Organized

Over the years I have received countless letters from women who want to know how to get organized. Whether married or single, working or staying at home, women all across the country have realized how much more effective they could be if they somehow could get organized.

That word organized means many things to many people, however. For some it might be putting papers in colored file folders; for others it means putting all their seasonings in alphabetical order. For some it means a clean house, and for others, being able to retrieve papers that have been stored away.

Even after writing 26 books with a combined total of over 6,000 pages dealing with this topic, I’m not sure I have covered all bases for all women. I have found, though, the following basic steps to be extremely helpful when a person wants to become organized.

🐞🐞 Start with you. What is it about you that causes you to be dis-organized? I find that organized people have a calmness and serenity about them that disorganized people don’t have. Search your own self to see what is causing all that confusion. Get rid of that clutter first before you move on.

🐞🐞 Keep it simple. There are many programs available but choose one that’s simple. You don’t want to spend all your time keeping up charts and graphs.

🐞🐞 Make sure everything has a designated place. One of my sayings is “Don’t put it down, put it away.” Another, “Don’t pile it, file it.” If there is no place for stuff to go, it’s going to get piled. And that’s one thing you want to prevent—piles.

🐞🐞 Store like items together. My husband, Bob, has his gardening supplies and tools together. I have my laundry items in one place, my bill-paying tools in one area, my cups/saucers, my drinking glasses, and my dinnerware all in their general area. Don’t spend time going from here to there getting ready for your tasks. Put like items in one place.

🐞🐞 Even though you are neat, you may not be organized. I tell women to use notebook organizers and that there are two things to remember. One, write it down; and two, read it. It doesn’t do you much good to write down that birthday date or crucial appointment on your calendar and forget both because you didn’t read your calendar. Remember to write and read.

🐞🐞 Get rid of all items you don’t use. They only add to the clutter.

🐞🐞 Invest in the proper tools. In order to be organized you need proper tools: bins, hooks, racks, containers, lazy Susans, etc.

🐞🐞 Involve the whole family. Learn to delegate jobs and responsibilities to other members of the family. My Bob takes care of all the repairs. When something is broken, he is Mr. Fix-It. Tailor chores to fit the ages of your children. Also, change off frequently so no one gets bored. Most importantly, don’t do something yourself that another member of the family can do.

🐞🐞 Keep master lists. I’ve learned to use a three-ring binder, 3″ x 5″ file cards, and journals to keep track of all our stuff. You may think you’ll never forget you loaned that CD to Brad or that video to Christine, but you will. Write it down and keep the list in a place where you cannot overlook it.

🐞🐞 Use a lot of labels and signs. If containers, bins, drawers, and shelves aren’t labeled, the family won’t be able to spot where things go. I have also used color coding to help identify items belonging to various members of the family: blue for Bevan, red for Chad, and purple for Christine. I use a permanent fine-point paint pen very effectively to label clothes, glass and plastic jars, and wooden items.

🐞🐞 Continually reevaluate your system. Nothing is written in concrete. It can be changed. See how other people do things, read a book to gather ideas, evaluate your own system. Change when it’s not working.

🐞🐞 Where to start? Start with these suggestions. Once you have them under control, you’re ready for more specific areas. And the first specific area we’re going to start with is you.

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We must take great care to be encouragers of our children. They will only be with us for a short time. What kind of legacy do we want to leave for our children? ….One of hope, love and inspiration or one of negativity and criticism? Take those moments today to listen to them, to smile at them and to see the wonderful good inside of them. Let’s start the habit today of seeing the positive in our children! ~ Finer Femininity

You see, we don’t marry Prince Charming and live happily ever after. We are humans and we have faults….many faults….Both of us, husband and wife. It takes consistent effort to make a good marriage. Every day, every hour, every minute, we need to be thinking the right thoughts, praying the right prayers, listening to the right people and doing the right things…

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  • Establish simple systems that save time and money and gain peace of mind
  • Organize the home’s problem areas–kitchen cupboards, crowded closets, home offices, and more
  • Reclaim precious time for family and friends

Filled with inspiration, encouragement, and tried-and-true tips, this book is a must-have for every woman!

The good news is that a beautiful home doesn’t require too much money, too much energy, or too much time. Bestselling author and home-management expert Emilie Barnes shows readers how they can easily weave beauty and happiness into the fabric of their daily lives. With just a touch of inspiration, readers can

  • turn their homes into havens of welcome and blessing
  • build a lifestyle that beautifully reflects their unique personalities
  • enrich their spirits with growing things (even if their thumbs are several shades shy of green)
  • make mealtimes feasts of thanksgiving and kitchen duty fun
  • establish traditions of celebration that allow joy to filter through to everyday life

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