Google Calendar is one of the most widely used planning and scheduling apps. Aptly titled, the app allows you to schedule appointments, set up reminders, and share scheduling information.
Well, though I’m sure you at least know about Google Calendar, even if you’re not using it presently, you properly didn’t realize it can help you organize and de-clutter your home.
At the heart of it, the app has been designed to help you organize your life, by categorizing different areas, such as work, bills, family related, etc. I suggest you take it a step further by using it to organize your home. Here’s how you can go about it:
Set Up Your Google Calendar
Unless you live under a rock, you probably have a Google account. Even if you don’t, setting one up is as easy as ABC. Just head to https://accounts.google.com/signup and follow the instructions and your account will be up and running in no time.
To set up your calendar, visit https://calendar.google.com. You will also find Calendar among the apps on the main Google homepage. Well, enough of this. I’m sure you can manage. Let’s get to the business end of things.
Create Categories and Notifications
It’s important to create categories as home organization involves numerous tasks. You can go for ‘Personal’, where you schedule organization tasks related to your own room and stuff, which you don’t have to share with your family.
I usually add Wardrobe De-Clutter as a task under Personal, as I don’t want anyone else going through my clothes (just a pet peeve, of course).
Another category could be ‘Milestones’, where you define what it is you actually want others to do. For instance, for your kids, you could set up ‘Organizing books and games’ as a milestone.
For your spouse, ‘Organizing the kitchen’ could be a milestone. You can add as many tasks as you want and also set up notifications so that you and the person who has to perform the task are reminded, otherwise they can just say ‘I forgot it’. When using Google Calendar, that excuse is out the window!
Use Color Coding
One of the main features of the Google Calendar is that you can color code the different tasks. For instance, you can use yellow for tasks you have assigned to a single person and green for tasks which involve the whole family.
You can have specific colors for each member and activity, which makes things easier. As there isn’t any restriction on choice, you can ask everyone their favorite colors before assigning.
While that doesn’t guarantee the work will be done, it does add an element of fun to what is otherwise a tedious chore.
Among other features of Google Calendar you can use for making home organization easier is Repeat Event. Any task which has to be done on a recurring basis can be a ‘Repeat Event’ and you will be notified and reminded about it.
To explain the process a little better, here’s an overview of a sample plan you can follow to organize your home using Google Calendar:
- First, you have to create your own schedule. For this, hover over ‘My Calendars’, which will appear in the left column. Then, click on Create a New Calendar. Add a title to your calendar, the ideal option being The 5-Day Home Organization Extravaganza. Next, click Create Calendar. That’s one thing done: your calendar is ready.
- Next, launch the calendar by hovering over it on the left sidebar. A number of options will appear. Since you have to start organizing, click on the first date. Then,
- Day 1: Dealing with Paper Clutter. Assign your kids to deal with the mail, magazines and any other paper clutter around the home. The reason is simple: most of that stuff will be thrown out.
- Day 2: Creating Space. When you organize your home, you need space to arrange things properly.
- Day 3: Boxing Day. Box all the stuff you find lying around your home. Label the boxes differently, i.e. Keep, Throw Away, Donate, and Sell. You can actually spread this task over two days.
- Day 4: It’s Go Time. Once you have boxed all the stuff, assign your spouse or kids to take the stuff to the designated locations. For instance, the stuff you want to give away should be donated without delay.
- Day 5: De-Brief. Set a reminder for the whole family to gather. Discuss the success of your home organization project and decide how frequently you want to do it.
So, as you can see, Google Calendar can make your life easier in more ways than you imagine. If you find home organization difficult, as I once did, this app can prove handy. Here’s to an organized and clutter-free home!