I am about to give you advice that I sometimes find hard to follow myself. Not because it is bad advice, but simply because I suffer from not-enough-time-in-the-day-itis. Not so much a disease, but a chronic condition.
That being said, when you can make time to keep your organizing systems up to date, it can go a long way towards helping you feel organized, more in control and save you time (yes, I see the humor in that, too). That is because no system, no matter how wonderful, can function without some regular maintenance, purging, adapting and reworking from time to time.
Once you have a system for your recipes, you sometimes need to add in new ones or purge ones you have out grown.
Once you have your medicine cabinet organized, you need to occasionally take stock and toss the expired medicines and restock the ones you are low on before the next season rolls around. It also helps to reorganize things as they don’t always make it exactly back to the right place (or is that just in my house?).
Once you have your coupons organized, you need to occasionally go through and pull out the expired ones.
You get the idea – set up a system and be prepared for some sort of maintenance. Here are some ideas on how to fit it in:
Use the car time. When we travel a longer distance, I use that time to clear out the expired coupons in my binder.
Use waiting time. Go through papers, enter dates on your calendar, etc. while waiting for your kids or parents at doctor appointments, during practice for an activity – where ever and whenever you tend to have to wait.
Use bath time. My boys love to play in the tub. I often just set up shop right next to them and clean out a container, a binder, or whatever I can just mindlessly do while I chat with and keep an eye on them.
Set a goal. I recently input ALL of my recipes into an online system. Over 300 – not for the faint of heart. I was frustrated that I could not get a chunk of time to just get it done. Finally, I set a goal of entering just 10 a night and before long, they were all entered.
Set a time. Sunday after church is my time to go through the coupons, make my grocery list and plan menus for the next week. Now that it is routine, I don’t usually forget about it.
Re-evaluate. As you go through your systems, think about how this system is benefiting you (or not). Different seasons call for different tactics. Occasionally re-evaluate and see if things are function as well as you need them to, or if you are wasting your time.
How about you? Do you have ways to keep up with your systems? How do you fit it in?