Recently, I was waiting outside a car wash bay and started to do what I always do when I have a bit of free time – I organized. And while I realize this is normal for me, it’s likely not for everyone else.
So, here are 5 things you can do with just 5-10 spare minutes of time to keep yourself organized, your space clean and your life a little more clutter-free!
1. Organize your wallet. Inevitably, when I’m at the doctors office, I find that once they put me in that little private room, there is nothing to do while I wait except read a few inspirational poster quotes and review pregnancy charts. So, what I do now is clean out my wallet. I go through receipts – rip up the ones that I don’t need and sort the ones I do need into a special section to be retrieved later. I check out my gift cards to remind myself what I’ve got and where I can spend my next guilt free shopping trip and I remove old or expired membership cards for places I no longer frequent. Easy, simple and works as a good distraction from the coughing and hacking coming from the next room.
2. Organize your purse (or murse, if you’re so inclined). Got 5 more minutes? Then do the whole purse! Just like the wallet, go through each compartment and throw out unwanted or used items (gum wrappers, half used kleenex’s, old lip gloss, etc), sort and compartmentalize each item (pens and business cards in one section, personal items in another) and then put it back together – good as new. Only now hopefully a bit lighter and a lot more organized.
3. Clean out your car. Stuck in a car wash line-up? It’s a great time to clean your car on the inside as well. Go through your side door panels, glove compartment, middle console and the floor and follow the same rules as the purse – purge the garbage, sort and compartmentalize items that you’re keeping and, if you’ve got a bit more time, wipe down the dashboard and doors. And, after all that, if you’re feeling super ambitious, tackle the trunk. It’s amazing what a difference 5-10 minutes and little concentrated effort can make. This is also great to do on long boring road trips (ever driven from Calgary to Saskatoon?). Of course, tackling the trunk may prove to be slightly more difficult, but, as a passenger, it’s fairly painless to go through your side door, glove compartment and middle console and give everything a bit of a wipe down. Just remember, safety first.
4. Network. For so many entrepreneurs, it’s hard to find an hour, let alone a few minutes in a day to keep on top of what matters most, which is being a great resource for our customers. So, the next time you find yourself sitting in the coffee shop, waiting for your client to arrive, pull out your smart phone and make a connection – Comment on a blog, post a tweet, search connections on LinkedIn – whatever it is, take advantage of it!
5. Sort Your Mail. Blech, you’re thinking Who wants to sort mail?? (Besides me, of course). Which is why doing it in short, quick increments can sometimes be best. If you find yourself with a few extra minutes before you have to head out the door, grab the recycle bin and go to town. Open up ALL of the envelopes (even if you know what’s in them) and recycle the envelope and any mail ‘spam’ they managed to stick in there along with it. Recycle old flyers, newspapers and direct mail notes for products or services you have no desire to purchase. Then sort the remaining papers into two piles – Stuff to file and Stuff to do. They’ll be a lot easier to handle now that you know exactly what you’ve got and what needs to be done. Now get out the door or you’re going to be late for your next appointment!
Bonus! (This has nothing to do with organizing – it’s just one of my favorite tips)
6. Read the Rags – for free! Whenever I’m at the grocery store, I’m likely to be the only person looking for the longest line up. Why? Because in the time that it takes for the longest line-up to make it’s way through the till, I am completely up to date on the latest fashion trends, who ‘Wore It Best’ and what makes Brad and Angelina the best and/or worst parents of the decade and/or century. And it didn’t cost me a dime.