The Well Ordered Life – Part 1

In Michele’s garage, everything is labeled and has a place so the whole family can come and find what they need quickly[/caption] My biggest challenges are really around my desk, mail and email.  Can you give us some tips on how you handle those things?   Yes, Ok, let’s start with mail.  I go get my mail every single day. Ok, that’s my problem right there.  I’m kind of bad about that because I drive past it at the end of my driveway.  I really get it like every other day….or worse. You really need to make a routine to go get your mail every day and I pass right by my recycle bin in my garage and stop to drop all things out of the stack that I’m not going to keep. Just dump the junk before it even goes in the house if you can.  While I’m walking by my car, I grab my leather zip pouch in from my car door pocket for coupons and take it in with me.  Then I divide our mail into stacks for my husband and son and I have a standing file on the desk for each of them that their mail goes into.  I immediately open and sort mail into my files, pay any bills that are there that aren’t on auto pay and RSVP to anything once I check my calendar.  I try to respond to invitations immediately but sometimes need to check with my husband.  I use the POP money app from my bank account for payments to be made that keep me from having to write lots of checks to people like my handyman, housekeeper etc.  I take coupons and put them right into the leather flat zip bag and take that back to my car so I have them when I’m out.  If I do this everyday, it’s a short 20 minute process.  This is a great thing to do in the afternoon around 4 pm when kids are doing homework. Well Ordered Home Mail system I have some standing files for tickets to events or things I may need to grab.   I can explain my binders in a minute.  But that’s about it for snail mail. (You can see in the photo above that Michele uses a curtain to cover a printer and any unsightly office equipment.  Her furniture was basic that she painted with her wall color paint along with her file cabinets and desk.  The room looked streamlined, clean and serene.) 

Organized Files The Well Ordered Home
Michele’s filing system is easy to read with large labels on tabs and she keeps files lean by cleaning them out annually
You mentioned putting things right on your calendar, do you use an electronic calendar or a paper one?  I use my phone/computer calendar for everything.  I’ll be out with someone on the golf course and we are trying to make a plan and I’ve got my phone and can check right then.  But my friends with a paper calendar have to wait until they get it out of their car to see if they are available.  To me, it’s more efficient to use an electronic one.  Speaking of which, if you travel you can add all the details direct to your calendar from the airline app.  I have the United App and can add a flight to my calendar and when I open it in my calendar, there are all the details to my flight…times, gates, boarding information.  That is really great! I really use my calendar for everything. What do you mean? I will create events on my calendar for important errands and block in time to exercise that way too.  I’m basically time blocking.  I will go online to reserve a place in a Yoga class and then send it to my calendar so it comes up as an event. What other ways do you organize with your phone? I organized my photos in my phone into albums.  You know how you’ll be someplace and someone will want to show you a photo but they have to scroll through hundreds just to find the photo they need?  I make albums of say Ajax my dog that recently passed away or events or my son so that I can show someone a photo quickly.  I do keep a closet with hard copies of photos for each person in the family and scrapbook keepsakes.
photos-organized
Hard copies of photos or scrapbook papers are labeled for each family member or by year for events
I keep notes for Christmas in my phone year round so if I notice someone needs something or they want something, I add it to a list in my phone.  Or, if I see a Christmas idea that I like for someone, I might write in the idea and put their name beside it.  Then when a special deal comes around or the Holiday Card, I can go and get those things using the list I’ve been building.  It’s nice to start Christmas shopping with a running list from the year. Can you give us some advice about handling email?  I find that email is one that can get away from me…it’s hard to keep up with the avalanche of emails from schools, committees, kids activities etc. not to mention junk emails between it all. Here’s what works for me…I get up in the morning and make our breakfast smoothies, my son and husband both leave the house at 7:15, then I take my coffee to my desk and immediately go through emails for 30 minutes or so.  I delete any junk and respond and file things into folders.  I print any information related to projects or committees at school and keep a hard copy in a binder so that when I leave for a meeting, I can just grab that binder and take all of the information and communication with me.  I unsubscribe to junk and then read and respond to everything else. I check back a few times during the day and then once in the evening.  Well Ordered Home on Email Organization You really have to be committed to staying on top of it everyday.  I use an iOS outlook email sorting app but there are several that can help you sort and stay on top of your email. Now, I didn’t know what she meant by iOS software.  I looked it up and read about a few different apps that can help you read, file, respond and delete email more efficiently.  I downloaded one called Spark and started using it immediately.  I really see how this could help.  I’ll let you know…. Stay Tuned For Part Two of The Well Ordered Home with Michele Clements!  Here is a sneak peak at just some of the tips you will get from around her house ….how to tame the baseball hats!  Brilliant. baseball-hats Closets, Pantrys and Garages…OH MY!! You won’t want to miss photos of her ways to organize your space.   To reach Michele Clements at the Well Ordered Home, contact her at 832/228-8688 or email her at mmclements@me.com.  Want to be inspired regularly?  Follow Michele on Instagram at TheWellOrderedLife! I hope there was something new for you in this post.  Share your tips for any of the things we talked about above in the reply box below.  I love to learn!  A clean desk and a roomy, spacious inbox to come for me! Best, Ivy dsc02369                  ]]>

7 thoughts on “The Well Ordered Life – Part 1”

  1. Great tips! I need this big time. The mail & emails suggestions, I am starting implementations phase today :). Thank you!

    1. I know! I cleaned my email inbox from hundreds to 23 this week because I followed her advice. My mail is under control too! Ah, relief!

  2. There were so many good ideas here, some I already used(surprise), but others I want to think about incorporating.
    Thank you, Steph!

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