If you constantly forget appointments, are late, and never seem to get anything done, you might need to step back and learn how to organize your life.
You might be asking ‘how do I organize myself?’ or ‘how can I stay organized at home?’
And if you are, you’re asking ALL the right questions.
Thankfully, organized people are not born, they’re made. And while you might think you aren’t inherently an organizer, you can still take little steps to create less stress.
The first step to becoming organized is creating the habits that will get you there.
James Clear, one of my favorite writers on creating good habits, says “your life today is essentially a sum of your habits.”
His book, Atomic Habits, helps you see how creating good habits and breaking bad habits can come easy to you once you realize what it takes.
One of my favorite ways he describes creating a good habit is “Make it obvious, make it easy, make it attractive, make it satisfying.”
So, the key to becoming more organized and making your life even just a bit more livable is making it as easy as possible to do.
This might mean allowing yourself to make mistakes when you do certain things or just being a bit more organized than you were yesterday.
Now, to help you do this, lets look at all the way you can improve your lifestyle and give yourself more time to breathe.
Take 10 minutes to yourself every waking day
This is an easy way to get organized, though not in the way you might first think.
Giving yourself ten minutes during the day makes sure you don’t wake up with a cluttered jumble of a million things you have to get done that day.
Taking 10 minutes to start the day off in a healthy mental state can do wonders for the rest of the day. This might mean taking time for a guided meditation for you, or it might mean journaling or prayer. It’s all up to you and how you function best. But what matters is making it a daily practice without fail.
Your mind will thank you.
Use a habit tracker
Have you heard about habit trackers?
They’ve gotten really popular over time and for good reason. No, it’s not a fancy app that’s difficult to use and keep up with, its a simple paper tracker that can help you track your most important habits and goals. This way you stay on track with what you are and what you aren’t doing to reach your goals. You can download a set of habit trackers here that I designed for free!
Start a stretch routine
One great way to wake yourself up is by creating a stretching routine that you do every morning. This, along with a nice shower, I find helps make you more alert and awake. It’s also really useful if you know you’re going to be sitting at a desk all day (like me).
It doesn’t have to be that long. Even 5 minutes of simple stretching of your limbs can be a great help to how your body feels overall throughout the day. I’m not a big yoga person, but sometimes I do like to tune in on a Youtube video and try it, because it REALLY helps with the stretching.
This simple morning yoga routine is great if you want to find an easy way to start the habit of stretching and sticking to it. And its only five minutes long!
Use easy printable planners
Printable planners are an EASY and cheap way to score a win when it comes to organizing your life. I create many of them, and constantly get emails from people thanking me for providing such a useful resource. Now, everyone has different organizing styles. Sometimes writing down a quick to do list on a spare piece of mail is enough, but sometimes designating a planner to all your dreams,
goals, and to do lists can help keep you motivated and inspired.
And we all need as much of that as we can get in our personal day to day chaos!
I’ve created a planner that helps with all of this and more. It’s got lots of color but most importantly a designated space to write down the most important things that matter to YOU.
Use the C.A.P.E.S. Method
There’s this little method I’ve developed to help me get through times when I feel particularly depressed or anxious about what I need to get done. I called it The C.A.P.E.S. Method. It’s what I run through, modified to my own needs, to make sure that, even though I might be going through a tough time emotionally, I can still do something to move me closer to my goals.
A big part of it is being forgiving with yourself when you don’t end up getting done everything you set out to do. And allowing yourself to make the progress that you CAN make instead of what you think you SHOULD make.
Create fail safes
Anticipating problems before they happen is a great way to make sure that you skip the upset of a misshap you didn’t see coming. This can be as simple as taking the initiative to set an extra copy of a key in a discreet place, or scanning and storing your most important documents in a safe storage on your computer.
This can also mean stocking up extra of things you know you run through a lot, creating kits for things you don’t see coming but that happen to you anyway (like a sewing kit for example).
Find money management help
Sometimes, we are just downright prideful when it comes to finances. It’s ok to admit it!
The bad thing is this can hurt us more than help us in the long run. Especially when we have specific questions about money that we can’t quite figure out on your own.
While there is a plethora of information out there on all kinds of finance topics you can imagine, sometimes you need a talk with that one financial advisor who can help you get a better picture of your money.
Even finding a mentor that you trust can do wonders for how organized you are with your finances, and sticking to a budget. Because you’re being deliberate about reaching out, talking things out, and looking for answers to your most burning financial questions. So any time you can find help managing your money if you think you aren’t doing it as well as you would like, don’t be afraid to reach out!
The answers are out there for you! And I say this from experience.
How to organize your life with a notebook
If you haven’t yet tried bullet journaling, then you should definitely give it some attention. Bullet journaling is a journaling/planning system that helps you stay on track with what needs to get done each day. It can be used in business or as a personal everyday planner.
I’ve got a whole series on bullet journaling that you can find more about and see if its something that you’d like to try:
- How to start a bullet journal
- 89 Bullet journal page ideas
- Bullet journal set up
- Free dot grid bullet journal paper for beginners
Jot down a quick note before bed
This one has been a life saver for me many times over.
Jotting down a quick list of things I’m going to do tomorrow helps me declutter the jumble of responsibilities that are constantly running through my mind.
In a way it also serves as a small way to journal, as you write your thoughts down for tomorrow. Once I’m done, written either on a scrap piece of paper or a designated notepad, I’m at peace about what my day will look like tomorrow, and I won’t spend the whole morning trying to figure out what to get done first.
If you want to take it a step further, try visualizing how your day will go the night before, it will help you with the planning and ‘get-it-done’ attitude you’re cultivating. ?
How to organize your life and get rid of clutter
Confession time: If I’m not careful the empty plates in my workspace start to pile up.
But if I take just two minutes out of my day to walk them over to the sink and rinse them my workspace is just a tad less cluttered…which then makes me want to organize the pile of books over in the corner, which then leads me to find some papers I can shred…and it goes on like that.
You don’t have to spend HOURS every day decluttering, but even two minutes a day of decluttering can make sure your living space stays more or less tidy.
Remember, allow yourself to not have to reach perfection. Perfection is not the aim, improvement is. And when you focus on improvement instead of some perfect (and let’s face it, often out of reach) goal then you’ll likely grow discourage and not even get half of one thing done.
How to organize your life in one week
Yes, someone can tell you to declutter.
But where do you even start? Especially if you feel like it’s too late and you’re drowning in piles of clutter?
Well, if you break it down to the very basics, a good way to do this is to simply write out a decluttering schedule. Here are 7 things to declutter and have you more organized in a matter of a week. Remember, baby steps work best when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
1. Your dresser
Declutter your bedroom dresser. Take out and fold all of your clothes and designate a dresser for one clothing item. Fold and roll your t-shirts for more space.
2. Your bathroom cabinet
Next is the bathroom cabinet. Take everything out and once, wipe down whatever is dusty, sort out like things together, and throw away what you haven’t used in the past two months or so. Use a basket if needed to put everything back in neatly. One corner for personal toiletries, one corner for towels and toilet paper.
3. All your table tops
It’s time to declutter all the table tops in your house, whether this is in your office, the kitchen, or the garage. Clear everything off and make sure you wipe down the table tops and compartmentalize the items that are most necessary and put them back. Throw out the rest.
4. The kitchen utensils
The kitchen is notorious for clutter. Start with the smallest items first. That way you’ll feel like you’re making real progress. Any extra spatulas, wooden spoons, silverware that isn’t essential, and old plastic tupperware can go straight in the trash. Once you’ve kept ONLY what you’ve used, designate a small area for those things. If you can keep utensils in a drawer instead of on the counter top, that will lead to less counter top clutter, which is what we’re aiming for.
5. The pantry
The pantry is probably the next thing that’ll need some decluttering. Try to designate one shelf for each thing. You do not need to buy extra containers for foods that already come in their own reusable containers. This is only a use of extra space and extra money. Keeping like foods together makes sure you don’t miss anything next time you go in the pantry looking for an ingredient you might otherwise miss.
6. The living area
How is your living room? One great thing to invest in when it comes to the living room is anything with built in storage. That way it becomes easier for you, guests, and even your kids to put things away and out of sight because its RIGHT THERE. How cool is that? it takes the hassle away from having to walk a pile of things you aren’t using to a different area of the use. Couches and coffee tables with built in storage are amazing for this.
7. The garage/storage closets
Usually these storage closets and our garage are our ‘clutter quick fixes’ where we just throw stuff in and shut the door without giving it a second chance. But, chances are, if you take the time to organize both of these things, the next time you have the urge to chuck something in there, you’ll think twice. Especially after all the work it’ll take to declutter. So take an hour or two to take care of both of these key areas in your home.
Organizing your physical space is just the start
There is lots more organizing to do in your personal life. But starting with what you can SEE can definitely be a motivator to organize what you can’t see. This being how you spend your time, your finances, and even your thoughts.
But the secret is in starting, and starting somewhere!
Create a healthy drink cocktail the night before
I LOVE creating healthy drink cocktails. Either the night before or early the day of, doesn’t matter. What matters is that you get in the habit of doing it.
Waking up and knowing I’ve got a healthy shake, or energizing morning drink to help me get through the day serves as an awesome motivator in helping me get out of my cozy sheets.
Some healthy drink cocktails you can create for your mornings are:
- Lemon, honey, ginger, and cayenne tea
- Protein, strawberry, chia, and spinach shake
- A glass of turmeric + chia water
- The Tim Ferris morning cocktail (I LOVE this one)
- Mate tea (great for that morning jolt of caffeine if you don’t like coffee)
Create your own daily systems
Try to think of your day to day doings like small systems.
Instead of leaving your mornings and evenings at the mercy of whatever happens that day, have a small plan so you know how you will be spending your time during those crucial hours.
For example, a system could be as simple as waking up in the morning, designating ten quiet and peaceful minutes to yourself, creating your morning drink/coffee, and doing a few stretches before heading out the door.
This might take a little bit of thinking. Don’t be afraid to whip out a notepad and scribble down a quick list of things you’d like to get done every morning that you already know would make your day easier!
Give everything a place it can call home
I like to create stations. If I know I use something, or a few related things often, I’ll make a place for them to be. This can mean never losing your car keys again because you have a little spot you created to keep them in.
Or it might mean you have a home binder that you use to keep all your important dates and passwords. This might sound like something tedious to do but it works!
I’m constantly having to remind myself of passwords and bits and pieces of information that I would’ve been better off writing down. A home binder or journal takes care of that!
If everything has a place it calls home, you don’t have to constantly think about where you left something, and it actually gets harder to lose things.
Personalize your alarm clock
There’s nothing better than waking up to a pleasant sound that isn’t your usual alarm clock going off like crazy.
There are some alarm apps out there that can help you automatically wake up with your favorite podcast or your favorite radio station.
Do a little research to see which app aligns with your personal taste better, so you can wake up to an upbeat morning instead of waking up to the annoying generic alarm sound.
Adopt meal prep Sundays (SO important)
This is one of if not THE best ways to make sure you have extra time and energy for other things (like hitting the gym for example) during the week.
Meal prepping helps you organize your life SO much because it makes sure you have a nice and healthy homemade meal each day that you’ve prepped head on Sunday.
It’s such a great time save that I wrote a COMPLETE post on how to get started with meal prepping.
It’s most definitely a must read if you’re trying to create make ahead meals for yourself so you aren’t tempted to run out and grab fast food. It’ll also saves you tons of money on your grocery bill. It’s a double win-win!
Budget + change your billing dates if possible
Making it a point to keep all the receipts you get during the month is a genius way to make sure balancing your budget at the end of the month and seeing where you’re spending all your money on a monthly basis.
SIDE NOTE: Check out our budgeting printables HERE designed to help you get a better grip of your finances.
One great way to make sure you aren’t being late on your monthly bill payments, whether that’s credit cards, insurance, or otherwise is to make a quick phone call to see if they’re willing to change the due dates for you. I’ve personally done this with both my insurance and credit card to ensure my bill due dates were close together and therefore harder to miss.
Learning how to organize your life is life changing
Yes, being more organized seems like a basic life skill but its surprising how many of us struggle with it on a daily basis.
Learning a few hacks and tips to better go about your day can only help you unclutter and make your life less of an overall mess. Contrary to popular belief, keeping general things in order gives you more freedom instead of constraining you. And that’s a beautiful thing!
Any tips and hacks to make life more livable worth sharing, make sure to leave a comment below!