I know I'm an organized person. I don't like messes and I like for everything to have a purpose, even if that purpose is just to look cute. However, there are a few things I think that will help anyone organize their life, even if they don't have my same OCD tendencies. I love being organized for several reasons, the biggest one being stress management. I am prone to stress easily, so feeling like I have a handle on the many different aspects of my life and knowing what to expect really helps me manage them all! Here a some of the things that I use!
1. Master Calendar
I love my calendar. It's in our kitchen so that we see it every day and it has everything for the whole month visible. I keep a calendar on my phone so I can reference something if I'm out and about, but this master one is especially helpful for my husband knowing where he's supposed to be and if he has a conflict. Plus I have birthdays, anniversaries, holidays ect. listed so it's a good heads up on cards and gift buying.
I refuse to let us use our attic space for storage. One, it's scary and I don't want to ever have to go up there. And two, I never want to have so much STUFF that I don't have room for it throughout the house. I can guarantee there are far too many "junk" drawers in your house, or one too many kitchen appliance in the cabinets. Or how about the last time you went through your closet. Good rule of thumb is to only keep something that you use, that you love, or that has sentimental value. If not pitch it or find it a new home.
3. Check Lists
I LIVE off of my check lists. For one thing, it feels great to check things off of them. Plus they really help for you to stay task oriented so that you can accomplish what needs to get done! I have mine for all sorts of things! I have a daily one I use that I keep in my phone of things that I have to complete by the end of the day. Then I have one that is a weekly one, filled with bigger projects that need to be accomplished as I get time throughout the week. Lastly, I have, some more long term lists, that are things that need to be accomplished over the next several months, things like house projects, continuing education, ect. This really works well for me to see what needs to be done and to budget my time accordingly.
4. Junk Basket
You are going to have clutter. It is unavoidable. However, how you choose to organize that clutter can make the difference. Take a look at my desk picture. I have a stack of papers and lots in that bowl, but it's in folders, organizers, and a bucket separated into the type of item so that I can keep track of what it is and what needs to be done with it.
5. Home for things
I cannot stress this one enough. I truly believe if you have a "home" for something, where you put it in the same place every time after you're done using it, you will severely save yourself time on constantly searching for things. Put your keys in the same bowl every time, have a system for bills, ect. It really makes a difference if it becomes a habit to just put stuff up where it belongs.
6. Clean out the pantry and buy actual meals
How many times have you opened your pantry, that is technically full of food, and said there is nothing to eat. Clean out all of the expired food and get rid of the random things you've been gifted or will never eat. Then when you go to the store, buy food by actual meals, not just by what looks good. Refer to my post on Weekly Meal Planning for some tips and tricks on how to best do that!
7. Have a set day for chores
For example, I always do my laundry on Sundays. That way I know when it needs to be done, and it's done regularly. I usually sweep as needed during the week and mop on the weekends. Little things like this will keep you from asking the question, when did I last do that???
8. Avoid Piles
Piles of laundry, piles of mail, piles of dishes. ALL BAD. It makes it way harder to keep up with if you let it build up. Clean the dishes as you use them, even cleaning while something cooks, before you eat would be ideal. Fold the laundry while you're waiting for the next load to come out of the dryer, and put them away when you're done (personally I struggle with the second, but at least they're clean at that point right?). My favorite tip with mail, is to sort it each day as it comes, but then we have a shutter by my desk that I keep paperwork. It's full of things that I can't take care of that day, but that need to be looked at (i.e. bills, jury duty, home warranty). It keeps it off my counter and separated, but that way I don't forget about them!
9. Keep a file for important papers
Now I don't have everything organized but I want to at least know where I should be looking for it! Usually I don't organize my paperwork until tax season, but at least have a folder for important receipts, and some separate ones for important papers to keep. Then you can organize throughout the year, if you're a boss, or at least once a year like me. But hey, if I need a receipt I know what pile to dig through!
10. Keep a Grocery List
I have this readily available on the side of our fridge. Anytime we run out of something, household or food, we write it on there. It makes it so much easier to check this before I run errands, that way I don't run to a store that had something we needed and not pick it up!
So there are some of my helpful tips for you! Hopefully you found them helpful! Would love to hear what you do to keep yourself organized! Happy Wednesday!