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Create Systems to Organize Your Home, Office and Life

Achieving home and office organization requires establishing routines and habits, commonly called systems. This article, written by a Professional Organizer, shares tips and strategies for creating organizational systems in your home and office.

When I worked in the corporate world as a business analyst it wasn't a stretch for me to think in systems. In an office environment processes and procedures are established to create order and establish habits. Often office systems are documented in a Procedure Manual for all to follow. We are also accustomed to having the supplies needed in our work space in order for us to perform our job and to follow the company's systems.

When I became a Professional Organizer in 2003, it occurred to me that we can transfer this same 'systems theory' to managing our home. You manage your home in systems as well. So what do I mean by a home management system?

It is a set of procedures and processes, or a routine/habit that is put in place in your home to manage five key variables:

- Space

- Your stuff

- Information flow

- Your time

- Relationships-with those for whom you share your space

Develop systems to manage these variables and you have designed solutions to calm the chaos of your daily life. A system can be as simple as a labeled folder, to a specific organizing product designed to hold all your personal information, to a consistent routine or process for yourself and your family for the repetitive tasks you perform regularly. These routines/processes done consistently become habits.

One of my favorite quotes, by Ben Franklin, is ... "To change a habit begin immediately and let no single exception to occur."

Consistency is the key to establishing a habit. Research shows that in order to establish a behavior as a habit, the behavior must be performed consistently for three weeks or 21 days.

When I work personally with clients, I assess the systems they have in place and those that are missing. So what systems should you consider to simplify your home? Here's a list of home organization systems I suggest that my clients consider:

- System for keeping track of your daily schedule

- System for processing incoming mail

- from the mailbox and from children's bookbags

- System (or consistent home) for finding car keys, purse/wallet, cel-phone, laptop, etc.

- System for paying bills on time

- System for teaching and delegating household chores within the family - System for food shopping (grocery list and organizing coupons)

- System for keeping track of daily and weekly 'To Dos' (actions)

- System for regular decluttering / weeding - System for tracking birthdays, anniversaries

- System for the home laundry process

- System (routine) for getting out of the house on time for work, appointments, meetings

- System for staying focused and productive (i.e., timer, alarm)

- System for processing children's school papers

- System for keeping track of home information (warranties, operations manuals, room dimensions, carpet samples, etc.) - System for family communication

- System for merchandise returnsScience Articles, errand-running

- System for weeding out no longer needed clothing

- System for filing and retrieving vital family records

I call this a 'Home Systems Checklist' and I give this checklist to new clients so they can evaluate and analyze the need for these systems in their own home. So how about you? I invite you to use this list to do the same in your home. Also think about the supplies you need to establish these systems. You too can get organized by creating systems in your home or office.

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Janet Nusbaum, AKA The Organizing Genie, an Organizing Consultant, Speaker, Coach, Author of 'Mom, Can I Help Around the House?' & owner of The Simplified Home on-line store. Grab a copy of Janet's FREE special report "Shelf Life of 75 Common Household Products" here, . Get even more home & office organization help by visiting her blog - .

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