When I was younger, (and highly disorganized/messy as hell), I constantly quoted the studies showing that “messy” people were more intelligent. It was an excuse and it usually worked for me. What wasn’t working for me? Being disorganized. Being organized is known to increase productivity and boost your mood, (less clutter in the home= less clutter in the mind).
However, when you’re completely disorganized already, how do you start to be more organized? Here are the best tips that have worked for me. They have saved me time and a whole lot of headaches and stress. I hope they can help you become more organized as well. 🙂
Get a File Cabinet
My guy got me mine for Christmas some years ago and it has been a godsend, truly. My desk used to be cluttered with papers, stacked in no particular order, (even though, I often used the phrase, “It just looks disorganized to you. To me, it’s fine”). Not true. Everything was out of wack. Important documents need to have a home and a proper filing system. You’ll be able to get your hands on the particular paperwork you need when the moment comes, instead of wasting time looking through disorganized stacks of paper. Here’s some good labels for the large, hanging files in your cabinet:
- Taxes (2018)
You can convert all of those larger files into smaller, sub-categories. When everything is in place, it’s easily accessible. This is also great for creatives. (I’ll do a lengthier post about filing your important writing and such – specifically for those of us who freelance, and for writers in particular).
Utilize a Planner and Stick to it
Cardinal Rule: 3 most important tasks first. (Do this daily and you’ll find that you’re not only more organized throughout the day – you’re a lot more productive as well).
Whether you want to have a physical planner, (like I do – that I LOVE), or use an app on your phone – having a planner is essential to staying organized and put together. Write down even the most “basic” things you have to get down throughout the day. Things like:
- Meals – Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
- Daily Exercise: (Even if you only have time to squeeze in 15 minutes of cardio, 25 push-ups, 30 sit-ups, ect. Put it in your planner. It feels great crossing off those once you’ve finished).
- Cleaning Tasks
- ALL work related tasks – even the small ones (Check email, call so-and-so, deadlines ect.)
- Self Care Activities (Facial, detox baths, meditation, hair mask, tea time ect.)
- The Amount of Water you want to drink that day – I put little boxes beside H2O & fill in check marks to reach my water goal.
Here is what my daily planner looks like: (As you can see, I write down literally EVERYTHING I want to get done each day). Please ignore messy handwriting :).
If you get it out, put it away
This small tip will do wonders. If you grabbed a book from the shelf just to look up one thing – don’t let it linger on the coffee table all day. Put it back! If you made a mess in the kitchen – clean it all up and put it all away. This will save you a ton of time and keep everything more organized.
You can leave these little gems everywhere to remind you when you need to do something. If there’s something you really need to remember, (a birthday, to make a dentist appointment), leave a Post-It note somewhere where you KNOW you’ll see it, (like on the bathroom mirror).
Have a De-Clutter Session
Most of us have “that room”, “that chair” or “that table” that is a mountain of clutter. We had an entire room of nothing but boxes and a ton of stuff we simply didn’t feel like going through. The simple rules of de-cluttering are, TOSS IT, if you don’t:
- Love it
- Use it
- Need it
It’s that simple. Unnecessary clutter leads to being disorganized. Keeping up on de-cluttering rooms, (or even closets, EVEN chairs/tables), will help you maintain an organized home.
Find YOUR way of an “Organized Closet”
This works differently for different people. You could organize your closet in the following ways:
- Formal Clothes/Work Clothes/Going Out Clothes/Lounge Clothes
- Color Organized, (I like this method, personally).
- Clothes you wear most often in the front/clothes you’ll need to wear less often in the back
Whatever works best for YOU, is the best way to have an organized closet. It’ll save you time!
We both used to just toss our dirty clothes in a pile that sometimes ended up looking more like a mountain the corner of the bedroom, (a complete eyesore). Grab a couple of different laundry baskets and ALWAYS toss your dirty clothing in the RIGHT basket. I designated ours as the following:
- White Clothes
- Dark Clothes
- Bright Colored Clothing
Try to a load of laundry AS SOON as one of the baskets fill up. It will keep you a lot more organized and save you a lot of annoying groans while you’re picking up your significant other’s clothing they tossed all around the bedroom and bathroom.
Toss Junk Mail as soon as you get it
Go through your mail EVERYDAY and don’t let it pile up on “that table”. Put bills where they need to go and toss out any junk mail every day. Keep up on your physical mail – (this will help you not only stay organized, but also keep you from wondering why your Comcast bill never arrived – Ugh, been there).
The Fridge: The Home’s “Get shit done” Board
I like having a list set up on the fridge to keep track of what we need to buy as soon as we are about to run out of it. I’ll add a free printable here that you can hang on your fridge. As a UNIT (meaning your significant other, or your family), can all add to these lists to stay organized.
It’s also not a bad idea to have group activities mapped out on a calendar on the fridge. It helps keep EVERYONE organized. And, it lets you know when someone else in the household has something important coming up.
Some Great information to keep on the fridge:
- Meal Plan
- Important Dates Calendar
- Emergency Numbers
- To Do list
- TO Buy List
- To remember List
(Sounds like a lot, but trust me, using the fridge as a main “get shit done board”, truly helps everyone stay more organized and aware of what’s going on and what needs to go on).
Staying organized is great for productivity and truly boosts your mood. I’ll do more in-depth organizational hack articles for specific parts of the home, but for now – stick to these tips for a better, more organized life.
I hope this article was helpful. Please don’t forget to share. 🙂