How to be More Organized

how to be organized

You know the quote by Benjamin Franklin: “A place for everything, everything in its place?”  Well, this is especially important when tackling being disorganized.  Everything needs to have a home.   How do you do that and stick to it?

It’s all about routines!  Create a routine that works for you.  I always put my purse in the same spot, and my keys.  Here are some steps to help you get started.

  1. Take inventory. Reflect.

Where are you the most disorganized?  Is it a certain room or location? Is it certain things like papers?  Why are you disorganized?  Do you lack space or can’t find a good spot for something and so it just gets shoved in the ‘junk drawer?’ Do you get so much paper it takes too much effort to file it away and then you create a massive pile you don’t want to tackle?

Knowing this will give you specific goals and make the whole process less overwhelming.

  1. Start Small. Choose 1 Place or Thing to Organize.

After you’ve done your inventory, choose 1 thing or location on it as a place to get started.  You might need to invest some time to begin with to give you a clean slate to work with.

For me I find I can let my papers get disorganized because they pile up.  So I need to carve out some time to sort, file, and recycle.  Maybe someday I’ll file as I go instead of waiting until it piles up.  Wishful thinking?

Next job, the spice cabinet.  I think I’ll need to take everything out for that one, clean the lazy susan, resort, and put everything back.  Then I’ll be able to find the rosemary a lot faster…instead of going on a hunting expedition to find it.

  1. Find a practical home for everything.

Our house has lots of storage, which is great, but not all of it is practical.  The closets have drawers, but I need shelves.  So sometimes finding a practical home for something can be a challenge.   You might not have the space and so clutter takes over easily.  If this is the case, you might need to get creative and get inspiration from tiny houses or spaces where people find creative ways of storing things.

How do you choose a good space for something to reside?  Ask yourself these questions:

How often do use the item(s)?  If you don’t use it very often, you can find a space that is a bit out of the way.  If you use it frequently, it should be easy to retrieve and maybe in sight.  My computer is upstairs because I use it every day.  My stationery is downstairs in the spare room because I don’t use it very often.

Where do you use the item(s) the most?  I often sit on the couch and look outside and do my work there.  So my computer is hidden under the end table and I just slide it out when I need it.  Easy.  Though, sometimes you need to change where you have an item because of where you use it.  I used to keep my contact case in the bedroom but when I thought about it more, I thought putting it in the bathroom would make more sense because it’s where I do most of my getting ready routine in the morning.

Is it cumbersome to move, take out, or work with?  I used to have the bread maker above the refrigerator, because I didn’t use it often.  However, it was heavy and high up; I couldn’t use without asking my husband for help.  So it needed a new home.  Still not sure where, but I’ll be in the kitchen of course.  I might need to do some rearranging of the cabinets.

Are there like items already stored somewhere? We used to have dvds in the living room and the bedroom because the living room only had a small amount of space.  Then we consolidated to just our favorites and now we have them all in one spot.  We could have also boxed the ones we didn’t watch too.

Do I need to purchase something to store it properly?  Yard sales, online Facebook yard sales, Craig’s list, used furniture or thrift stores are all great places to find storage without paying a lot.  Think of the shape of the item when considering what to house it in.  It may sound silly, but when my husband and I have gotten creative with our storage sometimes we thought less about practicality and more about just getting it out of the way so it looked less cluttered, which is a strategy I don’t recommend… I have an extra dresser but putting my massive amounts of paper in it is not very practical.  Extra towels, blankets, or winter clothing makes more sense.  Sounds like another organizational project for me to do.  Really I need to trade in the dresser for a book shelf.

  1. Make a Routine of it.

This is the tricky part, sticking to it.  Okay.  You found a nice, cozy home for all your items.  Boom! It gets cluttered again.  What do you do?

You can have a weekly cleaning day.  Set aside an hour or so each week to put things back where they go.  Sometimes life gets in the way and we don’t have the time to file that paper or put that in the drawer.  So we need to set some time and go room by room to do that.  Even better, make it a family activity.  Put on some music or make it a competition – who can get their assigned room done the fastest.  My husband and I split the responsibilities on our weekly cleaning day, Sunday.  I do the kitchen, bathroom, and mopping.  He vacuums and cleans all the surfaces/counters.  We put away our own clutter.  It works well for us.

May You Find Routines that Work for You that You Can Stick With.

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