December Organizing Tips

Question about 2nd bullet point below: since we've embedded video on some of the other months, should we embed on this one as well? If so, add the word "below" after "Shoe Cubby World" & embed. Let me know if you have questions.

We've talked all year about different spaces in your home (or office), offering tips specific to each one and applying our Flexible Structure Method™. But another BIG area that often requires a little extra organizing is your calendar.

December is a great month to think about this, because we often have more engagements and commitments popping up during this time.

  • Treat your calendar like any other space. Too much clutter makes it difficult to navigate. Start by looking at your current engagements. If there is too much clutter, ask yourself why you are committed to some of those items. Work and sleep are "must-dos" of course. But life is short. How do you want to be spending your time? If something you're doing does not fit into the answer to that question, reconsider your commitment.
  • Some people have trouble "seeing" time. Check out Janice's video on Shoe Cubby World for a great way to imagine the 24 hours in a day. After you cross out the number of shoes (hours) for sleeping, travel, work, getting ready, most people only have three left. It's pretty amazing to "see" it that way.
  • If you are not using a calendar, get one. Some of us have great memories, but no one can remember it all. Even if you don't have a ton of commitments, it's a great way to make sure you go to that dentist appointment six months from now. Calendars come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and formats, including electronic. Maybe you prefer to see a whole month at a time. Maybe focusing on just one week works better. Maybe you need a LOT of space for each day. Maybe you hate hand writing things and want to use an electronic calendar. Take some time to figure out what you like and don't like.
    • Then, be sure to USE your calendar. Write down all appointments, meetings, things to do, reminders, etc. Look at it each day. Carry it with you.
  • Make sure you add in "white space" in between appointments for travel time, unexpected occurrences, the time it takes to park and walk, and hey, maybe even five minutes to take a deep breath. The best way to do this is to block out starting at 7:45 in your calendar for an 8 a.m. appointment. If it takes 10 minutes to get there, you'll have enough time to park, get out of the car and walk in the door right on time.
  • Learn to say, "no." Many of us feel guilty for not agreeing to help out with the neighborhood committee's latest project or the church event. But going back to the first point, we must all choose how to spend our hours. If you helped one group with projects this year, choose a different group for next year. It doesn't help those groups if you agree to take on the work but then can't complete the tasks well or on time.

Bonus tip:

  • Keeping track of your whole family? Be sure there's a family calendar somewhere (probably the kitchen) where everyone can record after-school and after-work activities, Saturday soccer practice, business trips out of town and vacations. Teach your children early to add their items to the calendar in advance. Make sure you do the same. :)

Want to make next year more organized? Check out our workbook,
"Get Organized This Year!"