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By Charlotte Smith

Staying organized is at the top of some to-do lists for the new year. Mrs. Tiina Mundy with Bladen Community College lead a class awhile back offering tips to stay organized.

1. Using a planner was one of the main focal points of the class. If a new planner was not received as a gift during the holidays, Bladen Office Supply, Walmart or maybe one of our boutiques in Bladen County will have some nice choices in planners and colored pens.

When using your planner, Mrs. Mundy suggested color coding the planners. Have one color for work activities, one color for your personal business, one color for family events, etc.

2. To-do list is another item Mrs. Mundy touched on. A to-do list is a smart way to stay on task. There are several benefits to writing a to-do list.

Making a list will help alleviate worry and give a sense of accomplishment. Each day write down things that need to be completed.

Once items are written down, there is a visual reminder of what needs to be done. The list will give peace of mind that the item will not be forgotten.

After completing a task mark it off the list. At the end of the day when a lot of unexpected things popped up and a sense of failure creeps up – looking back at the list with items marked off will give a feeling of accomplishment.

3. Everything needs a home. Keys, wallet, phone, planner, everything needs a designated place. If each item has a marked place it will be easy to remember where the item is when it is needed each and every time.

Leave keys on a hook by the door. Make the designated areas easy to access and remember.

4. Say no to clutter. Get rid of clutter by taking a tip from Marie Kondo. If you are emotionally attached to some items try using the “Marie Kondo method”. Ask yourself a simple question – Does this thing make me happy? If the answer is no, throw it out. (“The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo)

‘P-touch® Means Business’ survey estimated 76 working hours per person each year are lost as a result of disorganization in the workplace (such as looking for items around their desk or office or looking for files that they cannot find on the computer).

5. Use containers with purpose. Clear containers make it easy for you to find what you are looking for. Plus, clear containers have a clean appearance. They are also an efficient way to keep everything organized.

Mason jars and plastic bins work wonders to help keep things organized.

6. Think outside the box. Phone and computer cords falling can be prevented with binder clips. Attach the clips to the side of anything narrow and they are perfect for holding charging cords in place.

7. Last, but not least, try a Lazy Susan. There are a large variety of Lazy Susans and one of the best for keeping things organized are the tiered Lazy Susans. Your local Tupperware or Pampered Chef consultant may have some in their new order books.

It gives a ton of space for organizing supplies without taking up a lot of room. And everything is easy to access just by turning it around.

May these seven tips help you find what you’re looking for this coming new year.