4 Ways to Start Getting Organized

One of the most common self-improvement goals people have is to “get more organized.” Sharing top spots with “lose weight” and “travel more,” “getting more organized” may sound a little…well, lackluster.

In reality, organization is a great skill to have. When you think about it, being unorganized could be the underlying reason why other aspects of your life aren’t going quite as smoothly as you might like them to.

Goals like “lose weight” can be impossible if you don’t organize a plan for how you’re going to achieve it. And you know that feeling of not being able to stay on top of things at work or at home? Better organization could be your ticket to more free time.

So how do people stay organized?

Here’s a quick list of 4 tips that could help you get more organized:

1. Write an effective to-do list

If you feel unorganized and don’t write lists, start there first. But to supercharge your to-do list, categorize items by importance and estimate a timeframe to get them done. From there, adjust accordingly.

One office manager did an experiment to troubleshoot why his to-do list wasn’t working. He wrote his list, grouped them by priority level, and dedicated an estimated time to get each done. Somehow, at the end of the day, his to-do list was barely touched.

He began to notice that most of his day was eaten up by unplanned interruptions. Recognizing this trend, he was able to adapt his to-do list to be more accurate – he gained a better understanding of what was a more achievable daily goal.

2. Command Central

If your disorganization tends to happen more at home, try setting up a “command central” area. The concept is that everything of immediate importance is housed in the same general location, typically in a central area like a kitchen or foyer.

If you have kids, it could be helpful to add hooks and shelves in the foyer. This helps keep backpacks, books, homework, coats, and boots all in one spot. Furthermore, you might also consider hanging up a dry-erase calendar so you can glance at it as you’re running out the door.

3. One in, one out rule

This rule is pretty straightforward. To help prevent clutter, when something new enters your space, get rid of something old.

Buy a new pair of jeans? Get rid of an older pair. If your child gets a new toy, have them donate an older one. The key to not getting buried in clutter is understanding that space is finite; an area is simply going to overfill if you keep adding without subtracting.

4. Don’t be too hard on yourself

It’s easy to get embarrassed if your disorganization has gotten out of hand – it can cause you to run late, miss appointments, and it can even start to affect relationships. The important thing is to celebrate the changes you make towards achieving your goal.

If you’re just starting out, don’t belittle those small changes you make. Even if you don’t get to anything on your to-do list, you might start to notice why your plans get derailed just from writing the list in the first place – and that’s a great place to start.

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Reh, John. (2017, August 13). Tips for Getting Your Work Life Organized. Retrieved from https://www.thebalance.com/organize-everything-in-your-work-life-227603

Reh, John. (2016, September 15). A To-Do List That Works. Retrieved from https://www.thebalance.com/a-to-do-list-that-works-2275356

(2017, June 28). 58 Best Organizing Tips and Ideas From 24 Top Professional Organizers. Retrieved from https://makespace.com/blog/posts/best-organizing-tips-ideas/

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