How good would it feel to finally get organized and stay organized?! Here are 9 simple tips for how to organize yourself even if you feel like a total disorganized mess.
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Why Is It Important To Stay Organized?
First of all, it feels amazing. When your home is organized and your days are organized it eliminates a HUGE stressor. Your bills get paid on time, you don’t have late fees. You can find your keys.
When you have kids that live at home it’s even more important to organize yourself and stay organized. Those little critters are watching us and part of adulting is getting organized. If I want Miss O to learn to pick up her toys, I have to pick up my papers and put away my yoga mat too.
- Too many toys? How to declutter and organize (when you’re tempted to get rid of all of them)
- How to Organize Your Life: Strategies You Need to Get Organized NOW
9 Simple Hacks to Get and Stay Organized
“For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.”
This famous quote by BF (not my best friend, but Benjamin Franklin) definitely rings true.
For some people, organizing comes easy and is almost second nature. Others have more difficulty both starting and completing projects. The good news is that organizing skills can be learned. Here are some tips.
1. Everything Must Have a Place
Items without a designated place will continually get moved to other rooms or piles.
If an item really doesn’t have an appropriate place, it may be time to reassess if the item is really needed at all. With each out-of-place item, do one of two things: assign it a spot or get rid of it.
2. Start Small
One of the biggest mistakes people make is trying to do too much organizing at once. Instead, break it down into smaller tasks. Work from top to bottom or back to front. Start with one room or space or even one item or section of a room.
Starting small also means setting a time limit. It might also help to set a schedule that lists which days and times will be devoted to working on a room or space. Organizing is an extremely demanding task, both mentally and physically.
3. Stay Organized by Taking a Few Minutes Each Day to Clean
Spend five minutes each day putting things back in their appropriate places. If spaces aren’t kept in order, it becomes easy to keep adding to the mess. Find those daily 5 minutes while cooking dinner or making phone calls.
Leave a decorative basket (this one is pretty!) in each room to collect items that belong elsewhere. At the end of the day, grab the basket and return all misplaced items.
4. Touch Papers Only Once
Sort the mail as soon as it comes in the door. Throw away or recycle junk items. Put anything containing personal information in a basket for shredding.
Take a few minutes each week to shred what has accumulated. For important items, get a binder or organizer so bills and special events can be sorted into labeled sections.
5. Organize Yourself by Purchasing a Label Maker
Make organizing fun with a label maker (I love this pink one!)
Label each box, bin, drawer, or container.
An alternative is a permanent marker and store-bought labels, stickers, or even masking tape. Buy decorative storage boxes, bins, and baskets too.
6. Buy Something New, Get Rid of Something Old
To organize yourself and stay organized, manage the items brought into the home. For example, for each new pair of shoes, donate or throw away another, older pair.
This is one of my favorite organization tips and something I try to do with kids toys too (you can read about how I keep toy clutter to a minimum here).
Organizing also prevents buying duplicates. Many people accumulate 2 or 3 of the same items before they find the original hidden at the back of the cabinet. Often, the items are expired (hello pantry food!) or damaged from being stored incorrectly.
A MAJOR way to stay organized with food is to use a meal planner. I made this Ultimate Meal Planner for Busy Families to save money on food, and reduce food waste by getting your kitchen ORGANIZED! It is awesome and really fun to use too! Check it out below!
GRAB THE MEAL PLANNER HERE
7. Buy Storage Containers to Stay Organized
There are baskets, bowls, and boxes designed for storage that are pretty enough to leave out as decoration.
Or, ordinary items can be used in unique ways. Glass jars can store loose change. An old suitcase makes great storage for off-season clothing.
8. Organize Yourself with To-Do Lists
The human brain can only handle so much information at one time.
Lists keep people on track and give them great satisfaction when they are able to cross off items (it really does make me happy – haha!)
You can grab my pretty and free To-Do List printable here to use for yourself!
Activities can even be sorted into categories or assigned a priority code, such as ‘A’ for tasks that must be done that day.
Families with hectic schedules may find it helpful to keep a family calendar in a prominent location. Family members can write down their activities on the calendar using an assigned colored pen.
9. Sort, Sort, and Sort Some More
Did I mention sort?
When organizing a space, use 3 categories: keep, relocate and sell/donate.
First, designate a container or area for items that will stay in that room. Next, label a box for things that will be kept, but belong somewhere else. Finally, use a box for things that will be thrown away, either because they are damaged or are no longer useful.
Take the pile with items for sale or donation and divide the contents into smaller categories, such as: throw away, donate and sell.
Pack up all unsold garage sale items, as well as any items for donation, and put them in the trunk of a car. Get rid of them as soon as possible. This is key so you don’t change your mind and have these things migrate back into your home!
How to Stay Organized
We can have the best intentions to start good habits but our motivation can go down over time. That’s why so many New Year’s Resolutions are abandoned before March hits.
So how to stay organized long-term?
Do a bit of organizing each day. If you let things pile up during the week, there will be that much more to do on the weekend. It’s amazing how much you can get done if you spend even 5 or 10 minutes a day during the week.
Getting started is the hardest part. However, many people wish they started sooner when they realize just how much free time an organized life can allow.
One of my favorite ways to organize yourself is to have less stuff. It is simply easier and faster to organize your home, organize your life, if you have fewer things. If you’re curious if a minimalist lifestyle actually saves you money, read this post. Also check out these ways to spend less money in a tough economy – so important!!!