P is for PantryIn the A to Z of Organising, P is for…

Pantry – If the kitchen is the heart of the home, the pantry is the heart of the kitchen. A well-functioning pantry makes life easier. Start by reducing the volume. Toss anything that’s out of date. You can’t take chances with food. If in doubt, chuck it out. Then, rethink the layout of your pantry. Are the things you use most often where you can easily get to them? Are the things you want to keep out of kids’ reach tucked away out of sight? Are the things that leak – sauces, oils, salt and pepper shakers – stored on a pull-out tray to make clean up easier? Finally, reorganise. Take action to make that pantry work for you and your family.

Paperless – Long ago we were promised the paperless home office. Now it seems we produce more paper now than ever before. The written word is now much easier to produce, with the technology to churn out more information than ever. But we also have the technology to share information without using power, ink and paper for printing. To make our dream of a paperless home office a reality, we can make some simple choices. Here are just 5 to start with:

  1. Choose not to print out emails. Increase magnification to 200% to make reading from a screen easier.
  2. Choose not to print information from the web. Instead of printing out recipes, travel tips or articles, save them for future access with a platform like Evernote or Pinterest.
  3. Choose to receive bills by email (and don’t print them).
  4. Choose to receive your magazine subscriptions digitally. You often have the additional benefits of saving money and more interactivity, with extras like demo videos.
  5. Choose carefully what you file for the future. Can you get that information elsewhere?

Paperwork – Paperwork is an organising challenge that affects almost everyone. Whether you run a business or a household or your life, paperwork can be problematic. What do you keep? Where do you keep it? How long do you keep it for? Rumours and misinformation run rife. Here’s a simple starting point to take control of your paperwork.

  1. Get really good information. For accurate advice about financial and tax obligations, consult a tax accountant, as well as the Australian Tax Office or the relevant tax authority where you live.
  2. Consider your policies on what to keep. Based on the accurate information you’ve received, what will your policy be around paperwork? A policy will help with everyday decisions. Apart from financial records, things to keep will include receipts for warranty or return purposes. One policy that will help you keep on top of paperwork is to set a regular time each week to deal with it.
  3. Organise your paperwork so you can find what you need if and when you need it. Good filing is about retrieval, not putting away. When you name a file folder, make it a name that makes sense to you, and be as specific as possible.

Perfectionism – Perfectionism is a barrier to being organised. If you have a tendency towards perfectionism, let go of that trait and make do with good enough.

Planning – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” I wholeheartedly agree. I plan my year, my week, my day, my commitments, based on my goals and my values.


To read more about the A to Z of Organising, click here.


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