Are you ever frustrated when you're already running late for an event and you can't find your keys? Or whenever you can't find something important you need right that moment? These scenarios are all too common among disorganized people. Don't worry, though -- here are 10 simple hacks you can incorporate into your everyday life to stay more organized:
1. Purge first
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The first thing most people do is immediately buy tons of storage containers when they want to become more organized. But actually, you should first declutter your entire home before organizing everything. You should go through all your belongings, deciding what to toss and what to keep. Remember that most professional organizers follow the 80/20 rule -- people tend to use only 20 percent of what they have. Reflect on whether you actually use each item frequently before throwing it away or donating it.
2. Say no to dumping zones
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A lot of people tend to use their kitchen counter or entryway table as a dumping zone for clutter. This can lead to massive disorganization. Instead, make it a rule to have no clutter zones in your living space. Sometimes it's helpful to physically block any surface that has become a haven for clutter. You may want to put a plant on your entryway table, for instance, to send a message that clutter isn't welcome there.
3. Place stuff strategically
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When it comes to organizing, it's crucial to organize belongings strategically. That means putting items where they are normally or most frequently used rather than storing them wherever there's space available. If you do your makeup in the bathroom, then store all cosmetic items there. If you frequently use cookbooks to cook, then place a bookshelf near your kitchen.
4. Only use one notebook
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Instead of having a notebook for every project or sector of life, just have an all-purpose notebook to write everything in. Find a system that works for you to define different projects, such as using sticky notes or indexes. Keeping everything in one notebook means you're more likely to stay more organized.
5. Set daily goals
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When it comes to accomplishing daily tasks, write all your goals down in the form of a to-do list. Prioritize each goal according to whether it needs to be completed immediately or whether it can wait a few days. Once a goal is accomplished, cross it off your list. For goals that haven't yet been accomplished, carry them over to the next day's list of daily goals, making them a priority.
6. Create consciousness
The most difficult part of staying organized is being continually conscious about new items you bring into your living space. Whenever you go out shopping, before buying something, ask yourself, "Do I really need this? Will I use it on a regular basis?" This will help cut down on clutter.
7. No "miscellaneous" allowed
If you find you have a lot of odds and ends in terms of belongings, never create a miscellaneous storage box or folder. It'll turn into a haven for clutter. Plus you'll forget what's in there. Instead label and organize every little thing you own, such as "light bulbs" or "electric bills."
8. Scheduling is key
To stay consistently organized, you should schedule regular decluttering sessions. It can be 15 minutes a day or an hour on the weekends. Go through stuff, deciding what you'll toss and keep. Then spend some time organizing whatever you decided to keep.
9. Seek support
It's definitely easier to stay organized when you have someone holding you accountable. Find a family member, friend, or coworker who's also looking to organize their lives. Schedule weekly meetings with them to discuss organizing tips and progress made. If you feel as though you could benefit from extra support, consider hiring a professional organizer to consult with before organizing your entire life.
10. Break it up
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Sometimes larger tasks can seem daunting. That's when it's important to break them up into smaller, more manageable tasks. Then, using a calendar, block off chunks of time in your schedule to tackle them. One rule of thumb that'll help you stay on top of tasks is -- if a task can be accomplished in less than 5 minutes, do it right there and then rather than waiting.
The life-changing magic of being more organized
Staying organized can be a huge challenge. But you can easily learn how to become more organized by following a few simple hacks. The first step is to declutter all your belongings before attempting to organize them. Remember that learning to be more organized is a process -- you'll learn what works and doesn't work for you along the way. Once you do master the art of organization, it'll change your life.
- "100 of The Best Ways to Get Organized," Woman's Day, December 26, 2017.
- "7 Ways to Stay Organized When You're Super Busy," Bustle, October 14, 2015.
- "100 Best Home Organization Hacks for Every Single Room in Your House," Redbook, December 11, 2015.
- "10 Easy DIY Hacks to Get (and Stay) Organized," Forbes, January 16, 2018.
- "9 Hacks to Get Much More Organized in Your Life," Lifehack, n.d.