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Three Ways to Get Your Home More Organized
by Julie Farmer

Life is often chaotic, but with good home organization it's easy to stay on top of the essentials, like finances, housework, and home maintenance. Here are some simple ways to get your life and your home more organized, so that you can reduce the chaos, and perhaps save some money too.


Especially for large families, organizing your finances can seem like an impossible task, but the truth is, it's the same simple process no matter how large or small your family is. The best part is, once your finances are organized you're in a good position to look at where you can cut spending and make savings, or just get more for the money you're spending.

First, start to keep track of your spending, either using a home finance app, a simple spreadsheet program like Excel or a free alternative, or simply with a pen and paper if that's what you prefer. Keep track of all income and expenditure, and within a few months you'll have a good idea of where your money's going. Differentiate between your static expenses, your variable expenses, and your one-off or extra expenses. Static expenses are things like mortgage repayments or rent: things that you pay regularly and are always the same amount for every payment. Your variable expenses are things like utility bills and food: they're expenses that come up regularly but aren't for the same amount every time. Then there's the one-offs: essentials that come up from time to time, like car repairs or fees for school trips for the kids.

Aim to process all your financial information at least once a week: that means entering income and expenses into the spreadsheet, and keeping track of what expenses are coming up in the near future. You can take your organization to the next level by simplifying your financial accounts: reduce your credit cards to just one or two, make sure all your loans, bank, and credit accounts are with the same financial institution, and consolidate wherever you can. It's always easier to stay on top of your finances when you don't have a large number of accounts to keep track of.

Housework and Home Maintenance

Our great-grandparents may have been on to something when they designated different chores for each day of the week: having those essential household jobs planned for in this way is an ideal way to make sure everything gets done on a regular basis. And getting a routine like this going is easy.

First, start by designating the various household cleaning and maintenance tasks as daily tasks, weekly tasks, monthly, and so on. Daily tasks, obviously, are done every day so they slot right into the routine no matter what day of the week it is. For the weekly tasks, divide them up so there's a fairly even amount of work spread throughout the week, and also so that you can fit those tasks in around whatever else you need to get done. Do the same for the monthly tasks, and any others that are done less frequently.

Of course, sticking to the work schedule is a different story, but once you have the work planned out and written down, it's much harder to ignore.

Minimize and Simplify

It always seems as though life is getting more and more complicated, but often what's really happening is that we're just growing up - having families, homes, and responsibilities. With all of that, life definitely does get complicated. And in the consumerist society we live in, there's always that drive to buy and own more things, which only serves to make life even more complicated, not to mention more expensive.

Reverse the trend and simplify your life by committing to minimizing: not by making your life "smaller," but by making it less cluttered. Tackle every room in the house in turn, and take stock of what's in it. What items do you really truly need, and what items are nice to have? What things could you do without? The results might just surprise you. When you get rid of the clutter, the house, and your life, immediately seem less chaotic, and more organized. And when you halt the urge to spend on buying new things to contribute to the clutter, it's amazing how much richer you feel!