Feel like life if just getting on top of you no matter how hard you try? I’ve been there… It’s shit. Its taken time and a good mindset but I am finally out of that part of my life and I’m going to help you get out too. This is my step by step guide on getting organised in life. It will help you get on top and stay on top of life to help you live your dream life with
no less stress.
1) What do you want to achieve
So first things first, why do you feel you need to organize your life. What do you want to gain and achieve from this? Is it an easier life, to put some order in life or just to clear your head. Whatever the reason it’s important you have one and know what it is. This will make the process so much easier as you know that you will benefit from the organization. Being organized makes life so much simpler and enjoyable, there’s nothing worse than that feeling of knowing you have forgotten something or when you can find something you need in a rush or even worse you forget a meeting you were meant to be in!! So know why you want this and remember it when things get hard.
When trying to be organized you might find that you have so much stuff in your home that is just making it impossible this is the next step, DECLUTTER!! This is hard, as humans, we have a weird attachment to objects in our life like I literally had things in my life that I didn’t even like anymore but kept because it brought me so much joy at one point in life I didn’t want to get rid of it. For things like this, it’s important to remember you don’t need to throw things away, you could give them or sell them to others that will get just as much joy from them as you once did. Everything in your home needs a purpose. Do you use it daily, weekly or monthly when you take everything in your home and think about this you might find that there are many things you haven’t used for years, GET RID OF THEM!!! If you haven’t used them in years of even months you properly won’t miss them! But I get it. This is hard and it was so overwhelming for me when I started this. Start small, with maybe one draw or shelf a day, and then over time, you might find it getting easier. I found it best to start with my clothes as everyone has too many of these. Once you have managed to declutter a little you can start going over areas again. This is for the things that you didn’t want to get rid of the first time but now realize they have no purpose. Only keep what you need or use, this will ensure that your home isn’t too cluttered which ends up causing a cluttered mind. So just remember to start small this is a big process.
3) Three boxes
Following on from decluttering, sell or give away anything you don’t have a purpose for. Start with three boxes. When you are decluttering, get three boxes/bags and fill them with things to sell, give away, and bin. This will make the overall process a little easier as it’s sometimes hard to finally have your area decluttered but to look at your bed and see a mountain of things you now no longer have a place for. So with them already going into the boxes, it’s much easier for you to sort out. Also, it makes it tidier for when you finished sorting that area you properly will be mentally exhausted by the task and want to chill out and put a movie on. But when you’re recharged, get your boxes or bags and sort them one at a time. Photograph everything you want to sell and then you can put that box away for a little. Think of who you are giving the giveaway thing to, If multiple people sort it into piles for them and try and give it to them asap, this will get it out of your way and be the start to your clear organized home. The bag or box for the bin should already be in the bin!! Don’t keep it around for longer than needed! So after this and you’re starting to wind down for the day or even the next day or when you just get a chance, add all of the items on eBay or Depop. My best tip for this is to sell cheaper, this will help and ensure your items are gone quickly leaving your house fresh and ready for the next area of declutter, as well as giving you a little bit of cash to put towards something you are wanting (a holiday sounds good to relax on after the decluttering process).
4) Write it down
So in between all of the decluttering it’s time to get on top of life and organize the shit out of it! This is one of my biggest tips as it helps your mind relax and not work so hard. Write everything down!! And I mean everything!!! Brain dumps, reminders, lists, things you’re planning, your dreams, and anything else that pops up in your head. Once you have started to write things down you will find yourself not putting so much pressure on yourself to remember stuff and that awful feeling of forgetting something but not knowing what. When you’re writing things down it can be on a piece of paper, in your notes on your phone, in a diary, on an old receipt, anything you can find, but try and keep all of these things in one place. Even if you write it down it doesn’t help if you can’t find the note. I’ve learned from this, I’m always jotting random things down and losing it or ending up with hundreds of bits of paper everywhere. And this is where my next step takes place.
Once you have gotten in the habit of writing things down either on a device or on paper you need to organize this. Gather your notes and bits and sort them into categories. For this step, I would advise you to buy a notebook, planner, or find an app you love on your device. I use both a planner and an app on my phone to sort my life, and everything goes on to the app or in my planner, EVERYTHING. So start writing up your notes into different categories. I have a page for long term todos, events, to remember and work schedules along with everything for work. From then try to stick to writing things directly into your notebook or planner/app. Keeping everything in just one or two places it helps you remember and know what needs to be done. For my weekly planner, I use colour categories to make it easy to look at and know that that task is for work or a course, etc.
Now you need to make a routine. This doesn’t need to be to the minute if that’s not the way life works for you. But make it a routine to go through the planner/notebook/app every Friday or Saturday (any day) and cross off anything missed or finished and this is the best time to make notes and lists for the next week. I like Friday as it’s my last working day and it helps me know and have a fresh start for Monday. With this you might also want to make a daily routine, this can start super basic. But it will help you know what your day will consist of without having to think too much. For example, if you know that every day you have to tidy your room, make it a routine to tidy for ten minutes when you wake up or after lunch, etc, then this will just become a daily thing that doesn’t take too much time and doesn’t allow your room to get too messy. But this can be for anything, my daily routine changes depending on the day of the week but that only works for me as my work is different each day.
Next is making daily to-do lists. By making todo lists daily it helps you ensure that you get everything you wanted to be achieved and if something wasn’t ticked off you can easily add it to the next day without forgetting it. I always find that when I make lists it helps me get everything done quickly as I know what is needed and how long it should take me. I always try to be quicker than I think also to help me get more done, this often leaves me with much more free time!! This list can be for the simplest things and even the most difficult. But when you tick each item off within the day you will get such a rewarding feeling! It’s like getting a sticker for good work when you were a child! My lists often look something like this-
- Tidy room
- Put washing on
- Take Dez for a walk (my dog)
- Finish unit 7
- Do the weekly calendar
- Meal prep for the week
- Finish Blog
I also often highlight either the most important ones or highlight the ones for work, which are the most important to get done.
8) The rule of 3
The number 3 is a small yet important number when being organized. The rule of three. This is for any part of life and in any situation. I use it daily as the three most important tasks of the day, the three most important tasks of the week, and the three biggest things in my month. But I also use it in my goals, the three biggest things I want to achieve this week, month, or year. The number three is a small number with a big power as you know it’s only small and achieving the three things on that day is nothing but it holds big power as even if you only get the three most important tasks done for the day that still the most important things done and it doesn’t seem a lot. I would also always suggest you do these things first if possible as it can be overwhelming and you might put it off until the afternoon and get distracted or something comes up leading to you not completing it but if you do it first it’s done and you can be flexible about the rest of your day or week. So always remember 3, and if you only activate three things that day make them the most important ones for you.
9) Plan your calendar
If you haven’t already, plan your calendar! This is so important in life as it will show you your plans and what deadlines you have and when you want to have achieved something by. I plan my calendar for the month, week, and days. So I know exactly what I am doing! My monthly overview just helps me see when I’m busy, what is coming up with work, and any deadlines or birthdays I need to remember. Weekly I will start the week with a list of everything I need to do and pick days I want to do them on whilst looking at my monthly overview to see when I’m busy or if it can be pushed back if that week is busy. Then my daily plan is what I actually need to do for the day. If I need to spend an hour on this project or four on the other one, planing the hours you are aiming to spend allows yourself not to procrastinate too much, as you would have in your calendar at 10 am I am working on this for an hour and then I have a bit of free time to clear my head, etc. On the daily plan, I also like to include everything I need to do in this hour of work time if I need to edit, write, research. This helps me get on with the task quickly and results in me finishing it earlier.
The next step is to have deadlines and STICK to them. Don’t put them off or delay them, they were there for a reason to start with and try and remember that reason when you are struggling to stick to the deadline.
Use reminders to actually remind you when you have things to do, to remember, and to know. The best thing about these is you can set them to a certain day and time. This is so helpful if you plan them right. There’s no point a reminder about work going off at 8 pm when you’re home and will just forget about it. You need to use them correctly and for anything. I use mine for reminders of dates each month, so for example, if I had to pay my rent on the 5th every month I would set it for the 2nd to ensure that I can get the money out ready to pay it. This also repeats monthly so I don’t need to keep adding it in. But that’s just an example you can use them for anything from when to post on Instagram to paying bills. Just use them right and ensure that when the reminder goes off you read it and don’t ignore it, I know how easy it is to leave on your notifications for weeks on end!!
12) 5 minutes when you get home
My next step is so so so simple but so effective. When you get home from work, the shops, dinner, or anywhere what is the first thing you do? Take jackets/coats off, put bags down, kick shoes off? But what if when you get back from anywhere you do a super quick tidy up, so put everything away you have just come in with but not away like on the hallway table but away in their places jackets on hangers, shoes in shoe boxes, wherever you keep them. With that done get everything out your bag that doesn’t belong there, this will help to keep your bag organized and not forgetting about that cereal bar you dropped in there 3 weeks ago. I will be doing a blog post in the near future about keeping your handbag sane and organized, so keep your eyes out for that. If this is done quickly try and tidy something you might have left in a mess or empty your lunch box etc anything little that you can do quick, it will help overall keep your house tidy as well as shortening the time you have to tidy later anyway. In these five minutes, I like to ensure that I open any post I get and either bin or sort it to reply or file. This will help to keep the post pile down and seeing anything that might need answering quickly.
This step can be used in any part of your life in any situation. Use timers!! Keep things short, it will keep you motivated and you’ll often find yourself either finishing before the timer or having the motivation to carry on after it finishes. I use timers for everything. If I’m doing a quick tidy ill have a ten-minute timer on, if I’m working I’ll either know how long I have on a task or use a timer to keep an eye on it, this helps me not procrastinate. You can use timers to remind you to start something or to let you know you only have ten minutes until this appointment or until you need to leave. Any situation I found suits, obviously doesn’t use them when you don’t need them, such as you don’t need to time everything you do in the day just the important things or the things you’ll find yourself procrastinating or taking longer than needed to finish.
14) Ten minutes tidy before bed
This is a rule I use every single day and it is to do a ten minute tidy before bed. Either when you’re getting ready for bed or just before you jump in bed, do a quick ten minute tidy. This helps you wake up and knowing your space is tidy. Keeping it only ten minutes helps as you know it’s not too long till it’s over and you can hop in bed and snuggle down knowing it’s tidier than ten minutes ago. I often find that my room is tidy when I get back from work and then by the time I go to bed there’s often things everywhere so I take ten minutes to just run around picking things up and moving things to their homes.
15) Have a home
So with this step, you might have noticed I have mentioned a ‘home’ for things. This is a great thing to ensure within your home and it will help your home barely ever get messy! When you’re decluttering and sorting all of your things, you might have to find new places for things or just notice that things are often just left on the sides. These things need a home, everything needs a home within your home! This is a huge help when you are often trying to find things and are miss placing things all the time. You might need a few baskets or trays to place things in but trust me it’s worth it. Once everything has a home all you need to do it when you have finished using it just put it back in its home and it will save so much time on tidying later.
16) Clear your surfaces
This is a step that not only helps you be organized but tidy too and it’s as simple as just keeping your surfaces clear. Obviously, this doesn’t work all the time as you often need things out when you are cooking, working, etc. But when your surfaces are clear it helps your mind relax as it’s not seeing all of this clutter that is accumulating. So once you’re finished using something if you put it in its ‘home’ it will be clear and tidy still.
17) Don’t procrastinate
Procrastination. This is something I have struggled with and still do. I’m awful at it, but I’m learning to stop. One thing I do is what I mentioned earlier with timers. Another thing to stop this is to always be reminding yourself of the reason you’re doing that task and how you will benefit from getting it done, even if the reason is just to have it done it’s one less thing you need to think of. So get it done and start as soon as you can.
18) Balance life
To help stop procrastination I have found it helpful to learn how to balance life. Balance work, fun, and anything else in your life. Don’t spend all day working really hard as you will burn out but give yourself a balanced lifestyle. Have a bit of downtime and then get back to work. This is extremely hard when you work from home or have your own business as you often finding yourself reading and opening emails in bed or finishing a bit of work on your weekend. You need to remember you need a break and this will help you work harder and get more done. Having a little break for the night or weekend will help you feel more motivated to get more done when your back to work. If you work 7 days a week whenever you can you will burn out at some point and lose the motivation you had at the start. This will be hard to get back, so you need to learn how to balance your work life with your fun and relaxing time.
19) Clear your phone, laptop, and devices
By this, I don’t mean to get rid of everything on them but sort it out and get a little organized on your device. Start by deleting apps you have no use for. Go through old notes, lists, reminders, and even alarms and delete the ones you don’t need or use anymore. The next bit is hard… Go on your photos and sort them. Delete the ones you don’t like or need anymore. Put them into folders to make it easy to find. Print all of the ones you want, I suggest putting them all in a folder and then delete them out of that folder when they are printed. If you don’t already, get a hard drive. A hard drive is a great place to store photos forever, just transfer them all over every month, etc and you’ll never have to worry about losing your photos on your phone if it gets stolen or broken. For printing them there are many apps you can find to make it easier. My favourite is free prints. I get 45 free photos per month, only pay postage. Once I have got them printed I delete them out of my ‘to print’ folder and that clears up more space on my phone.
The last tip is priorities. You need to prioritize everything in your life. Anything important and enjoyable to you is going to be your top priority. Anything else is second to that. Ensure that your work is important to you if this isn’t the case you might need to find a new job that you love. I have been lucky in this way. I got my second job when I was 17 and this was my dream job and I have been doing the same ever since. To me this job isn’t working, it’s the best way that I can earn money and enjoy myself. Your life is YOURS and you should be doing what you enjoy for the rest of your life. But once you have prioritized things in your life you should be trying to do those things a lot and often and this will help you find the things that you do but don’t really enjoy, if you don’t enjoy something or can’t see the benefit why are you doing it? So my overall advice in life is FIND A JOB YOU LOVE!
I hope all of these tips and tricks help you get more organized within your life and work life. Remember to enjoy your life and don’t settle, if something doesn’t work try again, and again and again.