Getting organized can be a major undertaking, but being organized is 90% maintenance, so once you get organized you just have to be consistent and stay organized!
The key is to stay on top of things and avoid clutter accumulating again. Being organized needs to become something you do not think about; you just do it automatically as part of your daily routine.
Here are 12 tips to add to your daily routine to help you get organized and stay organized:
1. Keep a daily to-do list – List the 5 most important tasks on the front of the list and any additional ones on the back. Focus on the 5 first before you tackle the other ones.
2. Create tomorrow's list today – At the end of the day (or work day) create tomorrow's to-do list. Carry over any of the tasks not completed from today, and again prioritize with the top 5 on the front of the list and all others on the back.
3. Get ready for tomorrow – Every night take 10-15 minutes to do a quick check through your house:
- Turn of computers, tablets, and other devices.
- Plug in cell phones so they are fully charged by morning.
- Check your calendar so you are mentally ready for tomorrow.
- Straighten up a little and tidy surfaces.
- Make lunches for tomorrow.
- Set your clothes out for tomorrow.
- Do whatever little things you can do to help start the next day with less stress and more time.
4. Get the whole family involved – Make sure you are not doing everything yourself. Assign tasks to the other members of your household, including children. Make sure they actually do it! Get rid of the "I have to do everything around here" or the "If you want it done right, do it yourself" mentality. You are doing more harm to your children (and yourself) than good when you do not let them learn to do things themselves, help others, and get a sense of accomplishment.
5. Set time limits – If you tend to spend a lot of time on social media, the phone, texting, etc … Set a timer for 25 or 30 for these activities. When the timer goes off, stop and move on to other things that need to be done.
6. Never leave a room empty-handed – As you move through through your home, take something with you that needs to be taken to the room you are going to or will be passing through.
7. Do not over-commit – Your time is valuable and your home life and family deserve to be stress-free and organized. Make sure you have the time you and your family needs to be organized.
8. Let go – You do not have to keep every card you ever received, every piece of paper your child bought home from school, and every gift someone brave you – it's okay to get rid of some things. Only keep what you really like and what makes you feel good.
9. Share with others – Got a pile of magazines that keeps getting bigger? Be sure to take the time to read them and then pass them on to someone else. If you find that you never seem to have time to read them, cancel the subscription.
10. File it away – Every year, get an accordion folder, and label the sections with each bill / receipt type (ie utilities, groceries, insurance, auto / gas, taxes, etc …). As you pay a bill, get a receipt, make a donation, etc … file it in the corresponding section. This will keep everything together for each year and will help when tax time comes.
11. Multitask – Get things done while you're waiting on or doing something else, like: while you're on the phone you could:
- Open mail
- Water plants
- Fold laundry
- Straighten a junk drawer
- Clip coupons
12. Create stations – To help avoid clutter, and lost or misplaced items, create stations so every member of your family has a specific place to keep their keys, pocketbook, wallet, backpack, and cell phone.