A professional approach to everyday life (how to apply office work culture at home and make life easy)
Some of us are the best organized professionals in our offices at work but what stops us being the same in our personal lives. We strive our best to keep a clutter free desk and computer why then do we have a cluttered home.
Running a home is as much fun or as challenging as office work and the same principles and ethics can be applied at home too.
I have known some of my bosses to keep detailed files and folders both online as well as offline but when it is time to file the tax they just cannot find their documents.
What stops us from organizing our personal lives? It is a habit that can be cultivated and it only serves to make things easier for us.
I have learnt some of these amazing ways of an organised and neat home from my aunt who could tell you where the needle is (which drawer in which cabinet in which room) if you woke her in the middle of the night (no matter how groggy she was).
Here’s a list of a few things that we should follow in our personal life to make life clutter free, stress free and time and wealth well managed.
- Keep a big box file with dividers for all your monthly groceries, electricity bills and other monthly recurring expenses. If you have a pc or a smart phone download the expense app or simply work in an excel sheet to create a budget. This helps in affixing regular spends and also helps in controlling unnecessary expenditure.
- Make a separate header for miscellaneous spends or for buying gifts, specify the people you want to buy gifts for, the occasions and fix a budget which you can spend for them. Then out of your monthly spends keep aside a sum for these occasions. This will keep you on track and you will not have to spend more in a month and fall short on other necessary spends.
- Make a separate file for impulsive shopping bills. This will give you an insight on how and where you are splurging and once in a year check the items you have bought impulsively. If you haven’t used them within a year you never had any use for them.
- File individual cell phone bills, bank account statements, credit card statements (along with the payment slips to keep track of paid bills). This will ensure you have all bills in case of any dispute. They will also serve as your address proofs when required and the you do not have to run to the bank for statements when you have to apply for a loan or while filing tax or any such requirements.
- File away all the electronics / appliances bills and their warranty cards. This will be easier to find when service for any appliance is required. Put the manuals in a separate box.
- Keep a desktop or a large wall calendar where you can mark important things and events to plan in advance for any contingencies (like reminding yourself to book a gas cylinder when expecting guests etc.)
- Make a payment schedule for all the bills to be paid, for this first make an excel sheet with all the Bills and their cycles and space out the payment schedule over a period of two to three weeks. This will not only bring regularity but also control outgo of funds and serve as a reminder to pay all bills.
- Make a photocopied set of all the required address or id proofs such as the pan card, aadhar card, passport, telephone bill (do this for every member of your family) This will save you the trouble of doing last minute searching for Xerox centers. Also you do not have to then hand over these important originals to unknown persons if they come home to open a bank account etc (which can be quite a risk in this day and age)
- Scan or photograph all important personal documents and email it yourself or keep in cloud storage.
- Keep all important certificates and registrations in clear folder files.
- Keep all bank related stuff in a designated drawer / space.
- Assign proper storage for various items in the house for the ease of finding them when required. Like drawers for stationery, sewing material, hobby material etc.
- In the kitchen device a system such that the older groceries get utilized first.
- Keep a medicine cabinet (preferably inaccessible to children) and keep checking it regularly for medicine that has expired and throw away the expired medicines.
- Make a schedule for servicing your appliances and mark it in your calendar. This will give your appliances a long life and may prevent any unwanted accidents.
- Keep extra keys in handy places and marked. Like if you have children you need to ensure that they do not accidently lock themselves in the bedroom so keep the bedroom keys out of the bedroom but in a handy place and mark the keys correctly so that even if you are not at home you can instruct the person correctly as to which key to use and where it is kept.
- File away your family’s prescriptions doctor’s appointments either in a big box fie with separators or in individual files.
- If you are a home maker make a time table for the maid to divide the tasks that need to be done not so regularly so that when she has more time from the regular tasks she can finish these in the same time without being too stressed for time. This way you can get more work done on a regular basis without stressing either of you and without the maid feeling she is putting in more work hours.
- For your own tasks make a schedule. If you have spring cleaning to be done do not do everything in one day. Plan to do it over a week or a month. Do one room at a time. This will not tire you out totally.
- A lot of women have several purses, keep a purse/ handbag with all the things required when you go to the bank so that when you have to go to the bank pick that handbag and go, this way you do not change the purse and forget that one important cheque book. Also make multiple sets of your home keys and put one in each purse / handbag so that you are never locked out of your home. Also keep a minimum amount in cash required to get back home from the farthest point you would go so that you are never left stranded.
- Also learn to divide your purse in an essentials and non-essentials area. Keep the wallet, phone, keys and cheque books etc. in a designated area and keep your other frivolous knick knacks and makeup in a separate area (makeup preferably in a small pouch to avoid stains from spillage).
- All women in gold ornaments some we inherit and others are bought for their flaunt and invest value. Invest in a small weighing machine (you get the portable once for as low as one thousand rupees). Weigh all your ornaments individually. Better still photograph all the ornaments individually, using a simple software or while photographing them put the weight and any other comments on a paper and photograph along with the ornament. You will never get cheated by any goldsmith over the weight ever.
- Taking it further catalogue (in an excel sheet) what you store at home and what you keep in the locker. This way there is no ambiguity ever and no confusion as to where your precious item are.
- Now you will question me on how safe it is to store all this important data on your computer. First learn to organize your system too. Do not pile everything onto the desktop. Make separate folders for personal pictures, entertainment which will share with everyone and very very private stuff. Keep important information in not so obviously marked folders, learn to devise an identification system for folders which only you need to access and then there is the hide button.
- Last but not the least instruct your children on following these protocols so that they grow up organized and learn the value of an organized space early on in life.
These simple everyday things have helped me a lot and saved lot of time and energy. Please tell me if you found it useful too. Also feel free to leave comments on areas I might have missed.