A new year means the chance for a fresh start for many of us.
Along with all the usual resolutions, a lot of us aim to get more organized (or, at least the OCD Virgo in me does!) I associate organization with feeling more calm, cool and collected. When I’m able to find what I need when I need it, life doesn’t feel so chaotic. These are a few fail-proof ways I employ to keep my home, belongings and business organized.
Possessions As Art
When it comes to organization, It’s not just about making sure all your possessions are put away just so-so. I like the idea of treating some of my favorite belongings as art. I’ve always had a few pairs of shoes sitting out in my office (what can I say, I’m a shoe freak) but they’d get so dusty. When I saw this storage solution in Lucky Magazine, I jumped on it. These Z Gallerie glass bell jars add a nice, dramatic touch and are more affordable than they look. We also have another in our living room.
I am very particular about the way my invoices look even though I know that means way more work for me as a business owner. I encourage you to come up with a consistent set of naming conventions that work for you. I have a folder called INVOICES and for each job I start, I set up a new job folder labeled with NT000_CLIENT_NAME. Inside of that folder is an InDesign document of the client’s invoice and another of the work order / contract.
I am strongly considering switching over to Pancake, as it makes invoicing, sending and receiving payments a lot more seamless. And it tracks who has and hasn’t paid up! What makes Pancake even more unique is that there’s a one-time fee to buy it outright versus a lot of other services which charge you a monthly fee. For more invoicing insights, check out this post by Breanna Rose.
Sorting By Color
One of my no-fail tricks for staying organized is to sort items by color including books, shoes, socks and clothing. I tend to never forget the color of an item and this solution has served me well for the last few years. And, it looks great. As in most old houses, closet space is very very limited where we live so I have two oversized freestanding IKEA closets pushed next to each other. One holds only coats, skirts and dresses, arranged by item and then by color. The other holds only shirts and sweaters (shown above). I like peeking into a rainbow every morning.
Blog Content (Offline)
I keep my blog post content very organized since I sometimes have ideas that may not go live for a few weeks. There’s always a folder on my desktop called BLOG_UPCOMING and each potential post gets its own folder. When you click in, this is what it looks like: a text document of the post, the web-ready assets and a folder of the edited PSDs. Once a post goes live, I drag the final web-ready jpegs into another desktop folder called BLOG_2013 so I always have a clean backup of all my edited online content.
Business Record Keeping
I’m not great when it comes to numbers and keeping business paperwork organized. I’ll admit to being hit with “Did I remember to send that invoice out and did it get paid?” a little too often. For 2013, I’ve vowed to keep better track of my business income and all the fun details that go along with it and in the process, I discovered Zoe Rooney’s small business record keeping spreadsheet. Since I’m exclusively on Macs and already have Numbers software, it’s perfect. Easy enough for me to understand with all the basics ready to go.
Even though I’ll be using this spreadsheet, I still print out every single PayPal invoice and keep every single receipt in a zip pouch next to my desk. Better to be safe than sorry if your accountant or, god forbid, The IRS calls! Speaking of accountants, I only ever use a CPA to do my business taxes. It’s worth the extra money and remember, the fee you pay them is a business write-off.
The best investment I’ve made in my office setup is picking up two flat files from IKEA. Having everything I could ever need from stationery to stamps to proofs to old notebooks in one place is such a time saver. And, when pushed together they make an awesome tabletop when I’m working on other projects.
Hopefully these organizational tip methods will inspire you, too.
Anything else I didn’t cover that you’re still curious about? Let me know in the comments!