Photo by: Runway
The resolution to get organized is a lot like the one you might make to get in shape every year. You start out committed and strong, but within a few months, the motivation is gone—and who can blame you? Organizing your life can be a pretty big project! So, how do you organize your life and maximize your happiness? Follow our 6 life organization tips, and you'll be patting yourself on the back in no time.
1. Start Out Slow
You're a busy person, and that's probably one of the main reasons your days got so out of control, leaving you wondering how to get your life organized. It's OK to ease into organizing your life instead of jumping in with both feet. Start out with only 10–15 minutes of organizing per day. Set a timer if you have to, but stick to the 15 minutes and stop when the time is up. As for what to work on, that can be something different each day. Tackle the mail one day, then remove expired items and science projects from the fridge the next. You will be amazed at the overall progress you make in getting organized by taking it 15 minutes a day, one day at a time.
2. Keep It Up
Getting your life organized is really just the beginning. It's usually staying organized that's the hard part. Don't drop the ball once you've figured out a few ways to be organized. Keep it up, making time every day to clean up one or two things, whether it is your schedule or your physical possessions. Nothing stays organized, so you will find yourself coming back to the same areas routinely. If you need to go as far as blocking out organization time on your calendar, do it! Once you've figured out how to organize yourself and what works for you, you'll practically be able to do it in your sleep.
3. Get Hooked on “To-Dos”
To-do lists are a must for anybody trying to declutter and organize. There are tons of apps to organize your life, like user-friendly Google Keep, which allows you to create lists, categorize them, and share them with others. (Of course, you can also use the traditional paper-and-pen option.) When a task or errand that needs doing pops into your head, put it on the list. Start each day by reviewing and prioritizing your to-do list. You will stay organized and will love the feeling of accomplishment you get from checking off completed items.
4. Change Your Habits
This is a tough one, but it is one of the most life-changing tips you can follow. In order to stay organized, you'll need to become a "home-seeker." What's that? It's another way of saying "a place for everything, and everything in its place." Organization and efficiency experts are especially fond of this tip. Give everything in your home a space of its own, placing the frequently used items in easily accessible areas and putting lesser used items away in storage. Remember that no two things should share space; no stacking different items on top of each other. And here's the part where you'll need to make an effort to change your ways: whenever something is removed from its "home," make sure it gets returned. There will be less clutter around the house, and you won't lose as many things when you know exactly where to find them.
5. Clean Out Your Closets
No discussion of organizing tips is complete without tackling what is typically one of the messiest areas in the house: your closets! If your closets are packed to overflowing, they probably contain a lot of clothes, shoes, and accessories that, if you are honest, you will never wear again. We recommend setting aside some time each day to sort through your stuff, rather than doing it all at once—you're more likely to be decisive about what gets nixed if you do a little bit every day. Anything that is out of style, no longer fits, or that you simply aren't in love with anymore is a definite "toss." And once an item goes into the bag, it does not come back out. When one bag is full, take it to a local charity or secondhand store and start again with an empty bag.
6. Use Self Storage
Self storage is useful in many ways when you're getting organized. It's the ideal permanent home for seasonal items such as Christmas decorations, summer items like patio furniture, yard games, and jet skis, and other things you only use once a year. You can also use self storage as a home for those items that you just can't seem to let go of, whether that's articles of clothing, working appliances, or tchotchkes you inherited from Aunt Ida. Place those items in a storage bin and label it with a one-year "expiration date." If, in that year's time, you have not needed or even thought about those things, it's safe to give them to charity or pass them onto a friend or family member who wants them. Check out our blog on maximizing your storage unit space for the best ways to organize that part of your life.
When it comes to how to be organized in life, it's as much a state of mind as it is a list of things you can do. Start with our tips and you'll be well on your way to a happier, more peaceful you.