I have not always been an organized person. Although I am embarrassed to admit this, I suffered from being very disorganized for a very long period of my life. I say suffered because this was exactly how I felt. Disorganization causes a lot of problems and suffering that make life just plain harder.
I knew I was wasting so much time and energy just by not being organized and I wanted to be able to get more done in the time I had. Instinctively, I knew that the answer was that I had to become more organized. So I decided that that is exactly what I was going to do.
I knew the key was that I not only had to become organized, but I had to stay organized. I’ll describe how I was finally able to get and stay organized in this article. I hope that it will help you do the same.
WHAT IS AN ORGANIZED PERSON?
First, I want to define what an organized person is to me. I suppose not everyone agrees on exactly what an organized person may look like. Someone may consider themselves to be an organized person, but then another highly organized person would disagree.
ORGANIZED PEOPLE ARE PLANNERS
An organized person is someone who is intentional with their time. They are planners, and they keep a calendar and refer to it. Everything is written down. They know exactly what they are going to work on and when. They may all have different systems, but whatever tools or systems that they use, they stick to it and rely on it to keep themselves organized.
ORGANIZED PEOPLE OWN LESS STUFF
Organized people also hold on to less stuff. They are not only intentional with their time, but they are also intentional with their space. They do not hold on to anything that is not serving them. If something does not have a permanent home within their home, they will discard it. Every item in their home must have a permanent place where it belongs. They regularly go through their belongings and get rid of whatever is not serving them. There are many benefits to living this way and practicing a bit of minimalism. You can read about some of the benefits here.
ORGANIZED PEOPLE PUT THINGS AWAY AS THEY GO
Organized people put things away as soon as they are finished using them. They do not allow things to sit out or accumulate in an area to be put away at a later time or date. They do this as they go. That way their space never gets out of control.
That is what an organized person is to me and when I decided to get organized these are the things I was striving for.
HOW TO BECOME MORE ORGANIZED
Since those are the things I was striving for, these are the things that had to change.
1. Keep a calendar, planner or bullet journal.
I needed to keep my calendar differently and view it every day. Like most people, I had always kept a calendar for important dates such as birthdays to remember and appointments. But now, I combined my to-do list and my calendar. I blocked out time for each item on my to-do list. Before I had kept my to-do list separately and I did not always even look at it. I became much more intentional and aware of how I was spending my time.
2. Practice decluttering regularly.
I practiced decluttering my home regularly. If you would like to know how I did this, I wrote about how to declutter your home here and that is the system I followed to finally kick the clutter. I did not only do this once though, I continually did it. Daily, if I saw something in my home that did not have a permanent place and that I didn’t need or love, I got rid of it.
3. Put away things as you go.
I practiced and eventually mastered putting away things as soon as I was done using them. This did not come naturally to me. I had not previously formed this good habit. But with continuous practicing, I was eventually able to form this habit and now it does come very naturally. Once you have decluttered your home, it will be much easier to master this habit because you will enjoy your organized space so much more and want to keep it that way.
4. Spend one-half hour each evening making sure everything is put away and preparing for the next day.
I would spend up to one-half hour each evening making sure everything was put away and writing in my bullet journal preparing for the next day. I did form the habit of putting things away as I went, but I would do this last sweep of the house each day to make sure it was all done. If you stay on top of it, it never has the chance to get overwhelming or out of control.
HOW CAN I ORGANIZE AND STAY ORGANIZED AT HOME?
So those are the basics of the overall view. Now, I will explain some of the finer details of getting organized and staying that way.
Specifically and in detail, this is what I did to become more organized and to stay that way.
KEEP A BULLET JOURNAL OR PLANNER
First I started and kept a bullet journal. Although I still kept a calendar, every Sunday, I would transfer all of the events, appointments and other things that were noted on my calendar into my bullet journal.
If you don’t know what a bullet journal is, it is a journal where you keep track of everything you have going on in your life. It is a system where you can store everything in one place. You can use your favorite planner to do this as well.
I would also create a to-do list for the week of all the things that I wanted to accomplish for that week. I would then take my to-do list and I would add the items to my bullet journal for each day of the week, scheduling all of the tasks and blocking off time when I planned to complete each task.
REVIEW YOUR PLANNER EACH MORNING
Every morning, I review my bullet journal to see what I am supposed to be working on for that day. I then begin and try to accomplish everything that I have intended to complete that day. I would schedule around any events or appointments that I had taking these into account so that I would not over schedule for any given day.
We all know that things come up, and sometimes those things are unavoidable and cannot be put off. If that happened, I would simply transfer those items to the next day. I would keep doing so until I was caught up on all of my unfinished items on my to-do list for that week.
KEEP YOUR PLANNER UP TO DATE AND RESCHEDULE INCOMPLETE TASKS
If I was unable to complete all of the items for that week. I would put them on my to-do list for the next week and schedule them for the next week.
This simple method of organizing my time allowed me to accomplish so much more than what I thought was possible. I no longer wasted time because I was overwhelmed and did not know where to start. I also knew exactly what I should be working on at any given time so I was able to gain clarity and did not waste time trying to figure that out.
SPEND ONE-HALF HOUR EVERY EVENING PUTTING THINGS AWAY
Then every evening I would quickly go through my home and make sure everything was put away and that nothing had been left out. When I first started on my journey to becoming an organized person, this would often include even making sure that the dishes were done. I no longer have to worry about that as I do them as I go now. How far I have come:-) You can get a simple to follow cleaning schedule here.
I would then add to my bullet journal any new tasks that had come up and that needed to be scheduled so that I was keeping up to date.
INCLUDE 15-MINUTE DECLUTTERING TASKS IN YOUR SCHEDULE
When I had first started, I would add major decluttering tasks to my schedule. I would do them in 15-minute increments as described in my decluttering your home article. Do this for as long as you need to until you have decluttered all of your spaces.
HOW TO GET ORGANIZED CHECKLIST
To sum it all up here is a simple how-to get organized checklist that you can follow to make it simple.
- Keep a bullet journal or a planner.
- Form the habit of putting things away when you are finished with them.
- Declutter your home if necessary, schedule 15-minutes each day to declutter.
- Schedule your to-do list in your planner and block off time for each item.
- Review your planner each morning so you know what to work on that day.
- Spend one-half hour each evening making sure everything is put away and making sure your planner has any new tasks or events that have come up and that they are scheduled. Also, reschedule incomplete tasks.
By implementing the above into your day and sticking with it, you will be amazed at how quickly you become an organized person. The good thing is that once you get a taste of how good it feels to be organized and be in control of your time and your space, it will motivate you to keep it up and continue every day. If you need more convincing, read this on the benefits of being organized.
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