Organization is a real art, and is so difficult for some people that they feel as if they’re just meant to be unorganized. The truth is, however, is that none of us are meant to be unorganized!
We’re a species that functions better when we have structure in our lives. Without structure, we live in utter chaos. Disciplines like feng shui describe chaotic environments as ones where the energy can’t flow freely and smoothly, so your life is likely to function chaotically as well.
That’s just one reason why organizing only one aspect of your life helps you to change the rest of it. This chain reaction helps things fall into place easily and smoothly.
Time Saving Tips to Organize Your Life
The worst part about organizing your life is that it seems like it can take so much time and can feel really overwhelming. Most people look at the chaos, feel overwhelmed immediately, and never get started!
But getting organized doesn’t have to take much time at all! The strategy is to work it into your life in small steps. Once your strategy is in place and you use it regularly, it can actually save you time.
Here are nine tips to help you get organized:
1. Take care of one thing at a time. One thing that really helped me in my early clutter-busing days was a kitchen timer. I used to set it for 5 mintues and promise myself that I would sort and tidy only for those five minutes. Often I’d be involved in a good sort-out when the timer went off, so I’d continue. I learned though to stop when the timer went off or I’d keep going for a good while and then get irritated about it all. When I stopped at the five minutes I could see I’d made progress and I’d be able to enjoy the new fresh-feeling space.
A lot of unorganized people have clothes lying around the floor and shoes left lying where they kicked them off. You could begin shriking the mess by picking things up as you pass by them. Don’t wait to do it all at once; otherwise it may never get done.
2. Make friends with your garbage bin. No, seriously. Give yourself permission to toss out things that you haven’t used for a while or that you really don’t like. It’s just not worth your energy and time to have that stuff hanging around you. if it’s too good to throw out then have a box handy where you can put things to give to charity.
3. When you have a box of stuff you want to give to charity, make it a priority to give it to charity immediately. I would often finish up a cleaning up session by putting the box or bag or items into my car, ready to drop off next time I was out.
4. Set achievable goals. Make a plan to do only certain chores each day so that an entire day isn’t taken up by trying to do it all. Use the timer trick above if it’s really out of hand! If it takes you a week or two, or even a month, to get your office sorted out, so what? At the end of the month it will be done!
For example, set the goal of cleaning off your computer desk one day. That’s a task that may take only ten minutes. That’s a whole lot more manageable than resolving to clean your entire house in an afternoon!
5. Invest in some functional storage containers. Decorative ones can also add to the overall feel of a room. Fill the containers as needed and when convenient.
Keep a box handy in your closet. As you find things you don’t use or wear anymore, put them into the box. Before you know it, your closet will be cleaned out! And then make a plan to give those items to someone who will love them, such as a charity.
6. Make a game out of it. Get the whole family in on it. This will save a lot of time if everyone pitches in.
Plan to reward your kids for consistent regular help.
7. Changing some of your habits can make things easier on you.
For example, instead of waiting for days to wash those dirty dishes, pick a time at the end of the day to wash them or do it in the mornings. That will save you time because it only takes a few minutes to wash a few dishes, instead of a heaping pile. In my house we are blessed with a lovely dishwasher, and the rule is if you use it, it goes in the dishwasher when you’re done with it!
8. Make the entire family responsible. Give everyone in the house responsibilities so that things can become organized and stay that way.
Put up a chart on the refrigerator or on a wall that outlines the weekly responsibilities and who’s supposed to do each chore. It’s not your responsibility to clean your child’s room, make sure they take ownership of their own tasks.
9. The biggest step ever for me in being organised was to use my granny’s old saying: a place for everything and everything in its place. I realised that a lot of the clutter around my office and hobby area and kids’ playroom and kitchen was because no one had actually decided where things would go; and often there wasn’t really a practical place to put the things anyway. So taking one room at a time, over about six weeks (so I didn’t get overwhelmed and abandon the project!), I really looked at all the stuff and decided how it could best be stored. Then I sorted the stuff, gave to charity the stuff I didn’t want, and purchased the storage stuff and sorted all the stuff! I also cleared a lot out and gave it to charity.
- Use a spice rack for your spices.
- Invest in shoe organizers for the closets.
- Hang stuffed animal hammocks in the kids’ bedrooms.
- Little plastic drawers with labels on them are great in the office.
The importance of being organised cannot be underestimated because it carries over into other aspects of your life.
When your life is organized, you seem to see more clearly, and you have more time. Time saved from not having to search for stuff you know you have, because you’ve been able to put your hands right on it when you wanted it! You’ll probably feel like you have more energy because you won’t be dragged down by having to weave or work around clutter.
And all that new time and energy can be used to do things you actually enjoy.