When you’re super busy, being disorganized adds a whole new level of chaos to your life!
You’ve got to juggle to-do lists, weekend plans, and meal prep – and don’t get me started on the kids’ social calendar! What with birthday parties, clubs, and playdates, they have more going on than me!
How do you stay on top of it all?
Hands up, I’m not the most organized person.
I quite like a little bit of drama! I thrive on the unexpected and I like to be spontaneous. But that trait also makes me a bit of a scatterbrain.
It’s why I’ll leave things to the last minute and waste too much time hunting around my house for the ‘safe place’ where I left my keys!
But here’s the thing…
When I make the effort to get everything organized, I do feel a lot more capable. I forget less, do things earlier, and feel like I’m always one step ahead of myself – instead of constantly playing catch-up.
It’s why I’d recommend getting organized. YOu don’t have to be crazy about it, instead a few practices here and there can make a world of difference.
Here are 10 of my favorite.
- Declutter everywhere!
This is my BIG thing at the moment.
We’re nearing the end of some home renovations – the perfect opportunity to have a big clear out. I wouldn’t consider myself a hoarder, but I do have a lot of stuff. And that’s what most of it is – just stuff. Some has sentimental value, but I hang onto a lot of it in case I need it later or because it cost a chunk of money!
The problem with clutter is looks messy, conceals stuff you’ll actually use, and makes it a lot harder to find stuff.
So be ruthless!
Look through your home and start to clear out what you no longer need:
- What can you donate?
- What can be recycled?
- What can you pass onto friends and family?
- What can you sell on Facebook, Marketplace, eBay, or the likes?
- Hey – you may even go so far as to have a yard or garage sale
Clear out unwanted items, tidy away the clutter, and no longer will you be looking at a sea of ‘stuff’.
It’s going to have a positive impact on the way you feel.
Want to dive deeper into this tip, then check out this incredible book by Marie Kondo.
- Buy intentionally
Clear out the clutter and you’ll be left with empty cupboards, bookshelves, and room in your closet.
Resist the temptation to fill it with more stuff you don’t really want or even need!
You might need a bit of self discipline here – especially when you find yourself in your favorite store.
Be careful of bargain hunting too. You might feel you got a good deal, but if your purchase is creating more disorganized clutter, is it really worth it?
- Give everything a home
If I clocked up all the minutes I spent hunting for things around my home I’d definitely have a shock.
My keys, cell, purse, chargers, that book I was reading or that sweater I love wearing.
And socks… there’s definitely a sock monster lurking in our walls somewhere!
Something I’m working hard to get better at is ensuring everything has a place – and making sure I put it there!
Hooks, storage baskets and containers can work well for this (it’s the only way to cope with my kids’ collection toys). Drawer organizers are great too – perfect for ordering all the clutter lurking in your desk, dressing tables, or kitchen.
Remember to label your storage units and organize them in a way that makes sense. For example, things you need frequently should be easily accessible. Stuff you use once in a blue moon can be kept out of sight at the back of a cupboard.
Create a system where everything has a home, and everything is always easy to find.
- Clean and tidy up
When you’re super busy, it’s easy to let things slip.
The trouble is the stuff you get organized, doesn’t stay organized. Things will get used and moved around – especially if you’re living with small people.
So schedule time weekly to clean up.
Create habits and rituals that help you stay organized. It’s the kind of task that if you do little and often, it never feels like a big deal.
- Organize your time
Being organized doesn’t apply to your physical belongings and your living space alone.
It also applies to how you use your time.
The best way to stay on top of your minutes is with a planner. If you work out in advance where you need to be and what you need to do – and make sure it all fits – you won’t have to freak out at the last-minute.
Planning ahead allows you to figure out your priorities too. It also allows you to juggle your life around everyone else who relies on you – so the ball is less likely to get dropped.
Organize your day to hit your priorities, targets, and goals, and everything else can fall into place.
- Get it out of your head
You can’t create an organized life if you’re trying to run everything from memory.
It won’t work. You will forget.
It’s why organized people turn to pen and paper (or their digital alternatives):
- Carry a notebook everywhere to write down reminders
- Write a to-do list
- Make a list of errands
- Write down people’s birthdays in your diary
- Put appointments and commitments on your calendar
Clear your head and you’ll create space to think. Much better than frantically trying to remember what you told yourself you couldn’t forget.
These list books can be used for all kinds of things.
- Make timely decisions
Are you the type of person who makes confident decisions – or do you procrastinate and agonize over every choice?
Indecisiveness causes confusion and leaves loose ends lying around.
Sure, some decisions can’t be rushed, but more often than not we’re better off putting a stake in the ground and making a choice one way or the other – so we know where we stand.
Make decisions and you can rally around the direction that decision is going to take you. It’s a simple way to get your head (and life) more organized.
- Budget your money
My mom is brilliant with money. She’s super organized and right on top of everything.
Me? Not much so… or that’s how I used to be.
A few years back I got myself into a bit of a pickle. Poor money management meant funds were more than a little tight. It was unnecessary too. Because I didn’t have my eye on the ball, I was careless.
But no more…
Budgeting became a game-changer for me.
One of the simplest but most brilliant changes I introduced (on my mom’s recommendation), was to start saving for annual outgoings, monthly.
Think insurance, vacations, memberships – the kind of thing that can hurt you if you don’t have the cash available when the bill lands.
Now I save one lump sum that covers all these outgoings. This money goes into a separate account and I have a spreadsheet where I keep a tally of what I’ve got saved for each item.
It’s a simple bit of organization that’s made a world of difference.
- Set goals
It’s much easier to get organized if you’ve got a bigger picture in mind.
What do you want to achieve? What do you want to do? Where do you want to go?
Without goals you’ll struggle to find direction and if you don’t know which way to turn, it’s hard to get your everyday life organized.
Goals create structure and purpose and ensure you’re always growing and evolving as a person.
So set goals on different levels.
Think about where you want to be in one year and three years from now.
Then break those bigger goals into three-month roadmaps using a tool such as the SELF Journal. Used everyday to get yourself organized, that goal could soon be yours.
- Write a bucket list
I love taking my kids to new places so we can see and experience new things together.
This adds a sense of adventure to my life (a value that’s important to me), while creating memories for us all. Every year we take a proper vacation, and every Sunday we head out as a family.
To ensure we don’t fall into the trap of always doing the same stuff, I’ve got a running list of all the things I want to do. That list is full of the big stuff (such as taking a roadtrip or visiting the Grand Canyon) all the way down to the smallest things such as baking those cookies I found a recipe for.
If it’s written down, it’s more likely to get done. (You may like to invest in a bucket list book – like this one)
And when it comes to figuring out things to do – just refer to your list and you’re good to go.
It’s not always easy to stay organized with your life.
Things can change, life will throw in the unexpected, and sometimes you just won’t feel like it!
But the benefits of taking steps to stay on top will always outweigh the challenges.
So try on these ten tips for size and see how your life gets easier.