Getting organized doesn’t have to be complicated! Take a few steps today to organize your life for good! These tips are based on the book Organize Now!: A Week-by-Week Guide to Simplify Your Space and Your Life.
This post is really just the tip of the iceberg, so if you can invest $10 into the book, it really is a great idea. Many of these tips are “no brainers”, but if you’re reading this post, you’re trying to get organized, so take notes, and follow through!
7 Tips to Organize Your Life…Right Now!
Create a “to-do” list. Sometimes I add to my list throughout the day, because I’m scatterbrained and forget what I needed to do! I think these are the best kinds of lists, because nothing is left behind. If you have to transfer it to tomorrow’s list, that’s okay too – just don’t make a habit of it.
If you get overwhelmed with lists, break your to do list into sections – or even hours. This is what you have to accomplish before noon…this is what you have to accomplish before dinner, etc.
Clear your schedule, and recreate a new (fresh!) one. Before you start with a fresh schedule, find a calendar that makes you happy. Whether it’s one that will fit in your purse, or one that will cover your desk, you need a calendar you can write on! If you’re one of those people that does everything electronically, an online calendar will work – but it’s not my favorite option, I still love writing things down.
Schedule the important stuff first: doctor’s appointments, work, school, etc. Next, add in extracurricular activities like kids’ sports and dance, as well as your “me” time (spa day, exercise hour, whatever) and quality time with the kids. Last but not least, add in household stuff like cleaning, laundry, and other chores. Include kids in this task – there is no reason for you to take care of the house by yourself!
If you dread cleaning, try the Fly Lady’s approach (it’s FREE!). You know, the “get dressed and shine your kitchen sink” routine. A few times a year, if you can afford a helper, hire one! Mother’s Helpers are fairly affordable, charging as little as $10 an hour. You can also hire a housekeeper to deep clean, which can cost as little as $100. Sometimes it helps to get a fresh start on the cleaning. And trust me, your cleaning lady has seen worse!!
Meal plan. This might sound dreadful, but sit down right now and write down 10 family favorites (that you don’t mind cooking!). Once you’ve got your 10, you can expand to make 15 and eat each meal twice a month or you can come up with 5 meals each week and do leftovers on one day, and eat out on another day. You have to do what works best for your family and your budget, but I know that for us, we don’t mind recycling meals every few weeks! You can even do slight variations, like if your kids want macaroni casserole, add tuna one night and chicken and soy sauce another night. Two completely different tastes will keep their tummies happy (and keep them from getting bored with dinner).
Get a filing cabinet, and actually use it. Even if you don’t get an actual file cabinet, get some type of system where you can file things away. If you are the type that needs to conquer paper clutter, switch to e-bills. If you’re good at keeping paper under control, file your bills away (one folder for each month) and keep them for 6-12 months. This is good for helping you create a new budget each year.
Budget your money. We talked about budgeting time, so why not your money, too? Make a list: one column is outgoing, one column is incoming. It’s very simple, so don’t make it complicated (unless you like numbers that much and want to stare at them all day). You have rent or mortgage, electric, water, trash/sewer, insurance, cable/internet/phone, and probably a few other bills as well. Those go in the “outgoing” column. Your “incoming” column will have your paycheck, and any other funds you have coming into the household.
If your incoming is lower than your outgoing, obviously you’ve gotta make some adjustments. I suggest Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover to help you accomplish this.
Get some sleep. If you’re the type of person that worries at night, or is like, “Oh no! I will forget this…” and then can’t sleep, keep a small notebook by your bed. When you think of something, write it down, erase it from your mind and drift back to sleep.
Can’t sleep? Try meditation to relax your mind. New to meditation? Try these 7 Simple Meditation Tips.