Saturday , 21 April 2018

Carrie Brazeal: Tips to Getting Organized, the 2nd Most Popular New Year’s Resolution

planner 2014Do you want to get more organized this year?  Getting organized was the number 2 resolution in 2012 according to the website Of course, the No. 1 resolution for most people is to lose weight.

I’d like to think that I’m organized, at least for the most part. I keep up with appointments, make deadlines, pay bills on time, keep the clutter down, put things away where they belong. But it’s a hard job that needs constant attention.  It only takes a few days of neglect before things pile up again.

If you want to be more organized in 2014, here are a few tips from  See what you can add to this list.

brazeal_carrieedited *Assign specific living quarters to everything you own.

*Put things where they work for you: vitamins by the juice glasses, coat hooks in the garage next to the care.

*Whenever you run across anything empty, ripped, the wrong size or never used, immediately toss it in the trash or a charity box. Keep the charity box in your trunk, not your closet. When it’s full, drop it off.

*Use a mini flowerpot with drip tray near the sink to stash sponges, steel wool and food scrapers.

*Double cabinet space with two-tiered turntables.

*Create essential checklists: what goes in your gym bag, what joint-custody kids need to take back and forth between houses, what to pack for trips, information for babysitters, etc.  Keep them on your computer for updating and put copies in a folder near the phone.

*Always have backups: spare set of car or house keys, extra toothpaste or deodorant, etc.

*File copies of important documents (birth certificates, car title, passports, insurance information, etc.) in a three-ring binder with zippered plastic pockets.

*Color code your key ring with new decorative keys.

*Use a clothespin to clip to your purse strap those “Can’t Forget” notes: get allergy shot, tell mechanic about squeaking brakes.

*To avoid “senior moments” with dry cleaning, library books, DVDs or packages to mail, put outgoing items on the passenger seat, not on the kitchen counter.

*If you don’t need it every day, get it off your desk.

*Stick to a budget. Then you’ll never have trouble covering those unexpected expenses.

*Slip incoming bills, a pen and a thin calculator into a three-ring binder’s inside pockets. Make a list of all your usual bills and expenses and print a fresh copy each month for our binder. Mark off the bills monthly as you pay them. If a creditor isn’t crossed off, call for a duplicate statement to avoid late fees.

*Make sure your list include automatic withdrawals for utilities and bills you pay online so you don’t pay a bill twice or lose track of your checking account balance.

*Read your mail while standing over a wastebasket so you can immediately throw out or recycle junk mail and envelopes.

*When you adjust your clocks each spring and fall, also weed out expired medicines, sunscreen, food, coupons and smoke detector batteries.

There’s no better time than now. The hardest part is getting started. But once you get started, you’ll be so pleased with the results that you may have a difficult time finding a stopping point. Now wouldn’t that be a nice problem!

 Carrie T. Brazeal is the County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.  She may be reached at or 972.424.1460, Ext. 4233.


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