I am one of those people who has a fairly clutter free home. After I decided to clean up my living space and buy some new furniture 2 years ago, I got rid of a lot of junk, but I have always been fairly good at keeping track of my possessions, appointments, work and social life. I think it’s safe to say that I am have an organized life and there are a few things I do that makes it that way.
The tips in this blog post aren’t just about storage and decluttering, but it is also about how I manage a 32 hours work week, regular workouts, see my friends and family while at the same time I do not go too crazy. In other words, this post treats organization in its broadest sense.
1. Get ready the night before
My most important tips is to take 30 minutes at night rather than in the morning to set yourself up for an easy breezy morning routine. I am never looking for my keys at the last minute, almost forget my lunch or get stuck not knowing what to wear. I make sure I have all of that ready the night before, which not only saves time (I can have breakfast, get dressed and out the door in less than 45 minutes), but it also makes for a very brainless morning, where all I have to do is go through the motions.
2. Clean up at the end of the (working) day
Another thing I do, is to pick up after myself at the end of the day. I always clear my desk right before I leave work and I do the same before I go to bed. I return dishes to the sink, make sure my phone is charged or charging and make sure my laundry is in its basket. I can make a right old mess while I am working on things with papers, books or make up products strewn everywhere. But once I am done with them or decide to be done with them for now, I always put them away at the end of the day. It ensures a fresh start every morning.
3. Give everything a designated spot
This may not work for everyone, but it works for me. All of my possessions have their own spot. I have one single spot where I always have my keys. Another one for my umbrella and another for my meds. That way I can never forget them. But I take it even one step further. I own many books and CDs and they all have a certain degree of organization to them. A system if you please: CDs are alphabatized, books are organized by color as are my clothes. I know that some people find that a bit too much, but it’s just something that I find handy.
4. Be smart about storage
One reason why I changed my living space around was because I wanted to be smarter about my storage. I knew I had too much junk so I threw away a lot of stuff, but the stuff I kept, I decided to be smarter about. It’s why I reorganized my make up collection in June. Sometimes you can maximize space just by making small changes. From putting your things together differently to actually changing up how you store your stuff, it is all possible and will make a difference.
5. Keep a diary for all appointments
I am a firm believer in keeping an old fashioned diary on paper. Not the telling all my secrets kind, but the keeping all my appointments type. I buy a Moleskine agenda every year and I have done for years. I get the one with dates on one page and a page for notes on the other. That way I can put everything in one spot and I can see a full week in one overview, so I always know how busy I will be. I use one agenda for all affairs, both work and personal so I know I won’t leave anything out.
6. Take 30 minutes – 1 hr before going to bed to unwind
This one I learned the hard way. What I did for years, I simply get going right until bed time and then ended up surprised that I couldn’t sleep. I have found that taking some time before bed that allows your body to settle in and get to sleep before you actually go to bed, helps to get to sleep. Part of my before bed time routine is having a cup of tea, a shower and cleansing my face. I sleep like a baby.
7. Learn to let go if things don’t go as planned
Another tip I can give and that I have learned because I never did it myself until recently, is to let go. Just like that Frozen song. What was a hard lesson to learn, but what has helped me tremendously with organizing my life is to worry less and to let go of things and simply ride that wave as it rolls to shore. Some things can simply wait, aren’t important at all, or at least aren’t worth the trouble.
8. Plan your chores
Don’t you just hate doing chores? Doing dishes, folding laundry and all that are no one’s favorite thing to do I think, but they are things that need doing. That is why I try to plan my chores. I decide when to clean, when to do laundry and when to do my dishes. Because if I don’t it simply wouldn’t get done as I don’t see the point of doing them on the go and also don’t have the space to do so. For instance, I dry my laundry in my living space, leaving a bulky drying rack in the middle of the room.
9. Make freezer meals
What has also made my life a lot easier and which has helped with making healthier choices food wise is to make freezer meals. I actually have taken to having a warm lunch during the afternoons at work and all I have to do this way is to take some of the food I keep in my freezer and heat it up in the microwave at work. I try to have 3 different meals so I am not constantly eating the same thing and I just make some more when I start to run low.
10. ‘Unplug’ for at least one meal a day
My final tip is to try and have one meal a day during which you are not checking a phone, watching videos or doing anything else that involves a screen. I make a conscious effort to try and have lunch with colleagues as often as I can so I don’t eat at my desk and where I used to switch on my computer first thing in the morning before having breakfast, I have decided to no longer do that.
How do you organize your life?