In case you haven’t heard, September is Self-Improvement Month! And while there are so many different areas that fall under the “self-improvement” category, we’re kicking off the month by talking about organization.
Being organized is a great feeling, but the act of getting organized … well, that’s not always so fun, and it’s definitely not always easy. But while you may feel buried under all the meetings, appointments, kids’ schedules, and so on, we’re here to tell you that it’s possible to not only survive, but thrive in your busy schedule. Here are 10 quick and easy ways to get organized and start running your life, rather than letting your life run you. 👊
1. Make your bed.
How you choose to spend the first few moments of your day matters. Not only does making your bed help your home look a bit more tidy, but it also sparks your productivity and gets you in the right mindset for the day. (Read up on the research behind this, here.)
2. Keep your to-dos in one spot.
Kudos to you if you’ll really remember that hair appointment 3 months from now after scribbling it on a scrap piece of paper! While this method works for some, it’s best to write down your to-dos and upcoming obligations in one location. For example, you could invest in a planner or even try using a Google Calendar™. Find the method that works for you and stick with it!
3. Plan your outfits.
Oh, that morning struggle—it’s rough. Make the whole “greet the day” thing a little easier on yourself by taking 5 minutes each night to lay out your clothes for the following day. This will make your mornings feel a little less hectic and a lot more put together.
Old smartphone boxes, VHS tapes, Christmas cards from 10 years ago, that giant stack of takeout menus in your kitchen drawer—do you really need to keep it all? Pro tip: Have less stuff. Physical clutter equals mental clutter, so be intentional about the items that you bring into your environment. (Ready to start decluttering your space? This article tells you everything you need to know!)
5. Give everything a home.
There’s a place for everything, and everything’s in its place! Eliminate the presence of clutter by designating a home for each of the items in your house, office, and so on. Struggling to find a place for a certain item? Revisit step 4. 😉
6. Take control of your inbox.
We all know the panic that comes along with an overloaded email inbox. Just when you get your emails down to a manageable number, a million more seem to pile up. So, start managing your inbox! Set aside time to check your email daily. Unsubscribe from those pesky newsletters you never actually read. Create folders to store emails you want to come back to later. A little bit of extra effort will help keep your inbox anxiety at bay.
7. Every day is laundry day.
Ugh, laundry—can we just not? Unfortunately, that laundry pile isn’t going anywhere, but you can make it less overwhelming by tackling a little bit of it at a time. Rather than designating one “laundry day” a week, get it done right when you have enough dirty clothes to wash. You’ll thank yourself later!
8. Plan your meals.
No more standing in front of the fridge for 20 minutes each morning, deciding what to pack for lunch. Meal prep is a huge game-changer! Set aside time on Sunday nights (or the beginning of your week) to your meals for the week ahead. This way, you won’t have to spend time thinking about what you should eat each day … you’ll just grab it and go! Check out our tips on meal planning, here.
It’s okay to not do it all. Mental clutter tends to build up when we overwhelm ourselves and say “yes” to more than we can handle, so if you need help, say so! Be okay with handing off tasks to others so that you can focus on keeping the rest of your to-do list in check.
10. Think before you buy.
Everyone’s always after the latest and greatest appliances, clothing, and so on. But before you pull out the credit card, take a moment to think. Is this a need or a want? Will this be an item you’ll use in the long run, or is it only going to be “cool” for a month or two before it gets tossed into the pile of stuff you’ll never use again? Start being intentional with your purchases. (Bonus: Your bank account will thank you!)
Getting organized doesn’t require any massive changes to your routine. the subtle shifts that make the difference. Implement a few (or all 10!) of our tips to stay on top of your schedule and in control of your day!