10 Tips for a More Organized Life
Today, we’re sharing 10 Tips for a More Organized Life!
A Fresh Start…
This month is always such an exciting one! It signifies a fresh start and new beginnings.
It’s also the time of year we’re challenged to write down our goals and dreams, develop new routines, and begin organizing all the things too.
For some of you, that thought might be kind of overwhelming. Especially, if you have a lot on your plate already.
I want to encourage you to go at your own pace though. You don’t have to have it all figured out this month. You just have to get started!
Working Within Your Skill Set…
Recently, I was in the midst of trying to finish a big project and under a strict self-imposed timeline.
Halfway through the process, I found myself taking a series of shortcuts and tried to finish the project in stages instead of taking the time to sit down and complete it from start to finish.
For some reason, I thought it would be quicker that way.
The shortcuts wound up creating more delays because I wasn’t fully focused. Before I knew it, I found myself frustrated and unnecessarily panicked.
I’ve never really been a multi-tasker. I desperately wanted to be one for the longest time though.
Thankfully, I’ve realized trying to be a multi-tasker is not how I was created, and have learned to work within my skill set.
It’s not always easy by any stretch.
But accepting I’m much better at handling one task at a time has helped me stay out of the “should have…could have…would have…rabbit hole” I allowed myself to go down for years trying to be something I wasn’t.
If you can relate this feeling like this in any way, give yourself a huge dose of grace and then develop an action-oriented game plan that makes you feel confident and successful on your own terms.
You don’t have to wait until Monday or the first of the month. You can start any time you’re ready.
If you’re one of those people who feel frequently “on and off the wagon” just remember, “You don’t have to get ahead today, you just have to get back on track today.”
If you’ve ever found yourself in a situation where you feel overwhelmed by your schedule, your home, or your to-do list this post is for you!
Here are 10 Tips for a More Organized Life…
Keep a Calendar:
It doesn’t matter if you prefer an electronic calendar on your phone or you kick it old school with a paper calendar like I do, keeping a calendar will help keep you focused on your family, work, and personal schedules at any given time during the year.
Every Sunday, I sit down and map out the week ahead and it makes a HUGE difference in keeping our family life and business life organized!
My current planner is the daily planner by Plum Paper and it’s completely customizable.
Write Down Your To-Do List, Then Circle, or Highlight the Three Most Important Tasks of the Day:
One of the best tips for a more organized life I can offer is to do a weekly brain dump. I usually do mine on Sunday when I’m mapping out the week.
Once you’ve finished your brain dump, assign tasks from the list to specific days of the week.
As you’re reviewing your daily to-do list, circle or highlight the top three most important tasks for each day.
These are the tasks that are your priorities. Begin your day with these items first and try to complete them in full!
Everything else on your to-do list can be organized after you’ve identified your daily priorities.
Do One Task at a Time:
I’m not talking about putting a load of laundry in the washer before getting on the treadmill.
I’m talking finish each task or priority – to completion, when possible – before you start the next one.
Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand how easy it is to get sidetracked in the midst of a task or project.
Completing one task before you begin another though, will give you the confidence and encouragement you need to accomplish the next task on your list.
If you find you’re off track and scrolling Instagram instead of getting down to business, ask yourself, “Is what I’m doing right now helping me reach my goal?”
OHIO/Do it Now/Put it Away:
Clutter begets, clutter, that’s just all there is to it.
This is something I have to work on every. single. day. Having to clean up a mess twice will ALWAYS take more time than cleaning it up once and maintaining it.
Another acronym that has helped me to take action consistently, especially for small tasks like putting freshly laundered clothes away, is OHIO (Only Handle It Once)
Control Paper Clutter Daily:
Paper clutter adds up quickly especially if you’re a “stacker” like me.
Sort through your mail/receipts/kids homework, artwork, school paperwork daily. Then file them accordingly, shred them as needed, or consider scanning important papers into your home computer.
I literally sort our mail at the recycle bin so junk mail rarely enters the house! It’s one of the 10 tips for a more organized life you can implement immediately.
Have a Designated Place For Everything:
Having a designated place for everything is the same concept as “give everything a home.”
This process definitely takes time and tweaking so don’t feel like you have to do this all at once.
Think about how you use the spaces in your home and organize one drawer at a time, one shelf at a time, one cabinet at a time, one closet at a time, and one room at a time.
Little by little you’ll find ways to give everything from your car keys to your pantry items to the littles sports equipment a designated place.
Having a set meal plan for the week/ month will help you to make healthier food choices. It will also help better control your spending habits at the grocery store and save you from eating lots of take-out meals too.
We meal plan by the month, then review our weekly menus during the Sunday planning sesh.
Create a Cleaning Routine That Works:
There have been seasons of life I’ve been able to clean everything in a single day and other seasons where I only had time to clean one thing each day.
While the time I’m able to dedicate to cleaning changes throughout the year, one thing is for sure, I feel so much better when the house is neat and tidy.
No matter how you choose to clean your home, develop a plan of action that works for you and your family. It makes a BIG difference ?
Make Use of the Word No and Take Control of Your Time/Priorities:
Of all the suggestions on our 10 Tips for a More Organized Life list, I know this one is going to be so hard for some of you.
It’s still really hard for me sometimes too.
Learning how to say no to the things you don’t want to do, will free up your time for the things you actually want to do.
You will absolutely disappoint people you love or have to give up opportunities that seem fabulous when you decide to set boundaries like this.
But there is freedom in getting off the hamster wheel of expectations, joy in simplicity, and restoration without guilt on the other side.
Make room in your life for what truly gives you joy!
Practice simple morning, evening, and cleaning routines that cut the brain fog and help you accomplish your goals each day.
Find out where you can diminish decision fatigue by streamlining, delegating, or automating tasks that bring clarity and purpose.
Last year, I started wearing a basic work uniform each day. It’s been such a game-changer I’m planning to create a capsule wardrobe now.
Keep in mind, these positive habits won’t happen overnight, they take time. YOU are worth the effort though so take action on the items that excite you!
If for some reason you get off track give yourself a pep talk, a huge dose of grace, and say these words out loud, “I don’t have to get ahead today, I just have to get back on track today.”
Let us know which tips for a more organized life resonated with you most and how we can cheer you on to reach your goals this year! Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.
Other Organization Posts to Enjoy:
- 13 Self Discovery Books to Read This Year
- Pantry Organization Tips Made Easy
- How to Organize a Lunch Station at Home
- Easily Tame Kitchen Cleaning Cabinet Clutter
- Our Favorite Home Organization Essentials
- How to Make a DIY Dry Erase Board
Hey CoCo – What a great list! This is such a wonderful guide to keep us on track! We are in the rabbit hole a lot and are working on a system to alleviate that problem. Thanks so much for sharing your method. Now…where are those car keys?
Believe me ladies, this list is the only thing that helps snap me back into shape sometimes. I know it will work for you guys too! Good luck finding your keys, you may want to get a brown and white transferware gravy boat to keep them contained. I hear that’s the ticket 🙂 Hugs, CoCo
Coco, These are awesome tips and some I do and some I need to work on….lol. have a wonderful day xo Lisa
Thank you, Lisa! They’ve help me stay on track for a while now and it feels so good. I get off track like everyone else but at least now I have a plan to get myself back on track 🙂 Hugs, CoCo
I totally agree with a lot of these! I actually have a paper planner (I have always been a paper and pen kind of gal) and have a shared electronic calendar with the hubby. Clutter is the biggest problem at my house so when I get back from my vacay I am definitely working on that.
Thanks for the awesome tips! ♥Angeline
Thanks so much, Angeline! I have to work on a few things on this list all the time too but it’s definitely made a huge difference in the way I tackle my crazy schedule. Just knowing that I have a plan of action makes me feel like I can tackle anything 🙂 Hope your vacation is amazing and filled with fun family memories. Hugs, CoCo
This is incredibly helpful, thank you!
You are so welcome, Betsy, happy to help! Hope your day is a blessed one, CoCo
This is such a big help.
Thanks for all the tips!
So glad you like this post, Lizzy, I’m happy to help. Hugs, CoCo
Thank you for all the wonderful organizational tips CoCo. I always have good intentions, but can never quite follow through. I loved your list! Thank you for sharing your post at Charming Homes and Gardens.
Thank you so much, Kim! In the beginning, following through was always a struggle for me too. I could have gotten my graduate degree in procrastination instead of counseling easily he he. Things were so much better after I started focusing on my top three priorities for the day first thing in the morning though. It made a huge difference because it took away the pressure of having to get an entire to-do list completed to just three important things 🙂 Hope it helps you too, CoCo
I use the calendar on my computer more and more for tasks as well as appointments. I found a paper organizer didn’t work for me. I have four notebooks that have all the financial papers, policies, subscriptions etc, wonderful go to notebooks. I also have about five to six plastic file folders for pending orders, doggie, tax papers, name/addresses/cards to put in i phone, budget stuff including all receipts to log later, and “thoughts”where I throw in a note when I think of something and know if I don’t, I won’t remember it. It really helps clear the brain. I can alway quickly refer to the folders. You had some really helpful tips and believe me when I say I can use all the help I can get!!!!!
Wow, Eileen, these are all so helpful, thank you! My baby sister and bestie S both struggled with a paper calendar too but loved keeping an electronic calendar. Your filing system sounds great too. The note file especially. My mom writes notes to herself all the time but frequently loses them. Putting them all in one place like your file system will really help her. Thank you so much for sharing all of this. It’s full of great ideas! Hope you’re weekend is off to a great start, CoCo
What a great plan! One question though… I am a multitasker, so when there are waiting times in one job, I think starting another and I training them is logical… EXCEPT I am also ADD. Distraction is my middle name, and it’s hard to focus on one or two things. It seems each thing I do has three things that are connected and must be done first. Any thought?
Such a great question, Kim! When I have a lot of tasks that are closely related I try to batch them when possible. Then I try to schedule a specific block of time during the day to address those needs. I’ve also found it helpful to set a timer for tasks that I’m easily distracted by. That way, I only have to fully focus for very short increments of time. It takes a bit at first to get a system that works down but once you’re able to implement one consistently, it’s a game-changer. Cheering you on in your journey, CoCo
I just discovered your blog and will be following you, now! One of my besties LOVES goats…and I look all over for cute goat stuff for her (Tractor Supply was awesome this last Christmas)…can you tell me where you found your goat-shaped paper clips? Thanks for the inspiration!
Thank you so much, Kimberly. We’re excited to have you here, welcome! My baby sister got me the goat paper clips when the Magnolia line first hit Target a few years ago. I get asked about them all the time so I’m definitely on the lookout. I hope your weekend is off to a great start and please let us know if you need anything, CoCo
I love this. I’m like the least organized person so would you mind if I shared your post with my readers on my weekly wrap up this weekend. All the credit will be yours. .
That would be so sweet of you, Rachel, thank you so much! I’m constantly trying to streamline and try out new techniques so this was a fun post to put together. Hugs and thank yous, CoCo
Thanks for allowing me to do so.
The post will be live tomorrow morning – https://www.thepondsfarmhouse.com/dirt-road-adventures-welcome-2021/
I’m looking forward to it, Rachel, thank you so much!
I try to do most of the things on your list — the operative word being “try”. Great advice! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm. xo Kathleen
That’s so awesome, Kathleen! I tell people all the time you don’t have to do everything on the list. Even if you only did 1 or 2 of the most important things on the list with consistency, it makes a HUGE difference. Here’s a year full of organized and relaxed spaces 🙂 Hugs, CoCo
I get to share your wonderful post twice this week. Congratulations on being one of our features on Wednesday’s Charming Homes & Gardens Link Party.
Oh my word, Rachel, you guys are spoiling this week! What a sweet surprise, thank you so much! Hugs, CoCo
Thank you for sharing these great tips, CoCo. I really need them myself! I’m determined to be more organized and productive this year. I’m happy to feature your post this week at Celebrate Your Story! Link Party 🙂
You are so sweet, Rebecca, thank you so much! I’m constantly looking for ways to cut decision fatigue and streamline all the things so if you need any help or get stuck at all please don’t hesitate to reach out. It makes such a huge difference in my day so I’m definitely here for you 🙂 Hugs and thank you for the feature, CoCo
Coco, I use a planner also. Can’t do anything without it now!! You share some great tips on staying organized – all very doable!! My cleaning schedule is off and you’ve inspired me to fix that! Thanks for sharing!
So excited to hear you use a planner and will be able to use some of these tips, Cindy! We’re always looking for ways to streamline and to make our lives easier. We used to be able to clean everything in one day but one or two cleaning tasks a day is much more our speed now 🙂 Hope you’ve had a great day, CoCo
Great post CoCo! I love all of your tips! I am so bad about putting a time limit on myself or cramming way too many things into too short of a time! Then I am stressed out, and no one put that pressure on me…just me! Thanks for sharing at Embracing Home and Family! I am featuring this post on Friday!
Speak to my heart, sweet friend, I can totally relate! Setting boundaries (even if you’re just using a timer while decluttering) is not always easy but it’s definitely worth the effort. The other thing that helps me is to make sure I’m only working on my priorities first thing in the morning. I know it’s not as simple as it sounds when everything feels important though 🙂 Sending you hugs and thank yous, CoCo
A wonderful post! I feel this in so many ways! Staying organized is so hard and I like to think I’m the greatest multi-tasker EVER but no one person can juggle it all! Thanks for sharing your tips!
I really appreciate it, Sarah, thank you so much! Once I learned to work with my strengths it really helped to change my expectations too. While I’m not a multitasker I am a recovering perfectionist so I definitely feel the pressure to do all the things 🙂 Hope your week is peace-filled and productive, CoCo
What a great post. Really really helpful. I’ve featured it at the TFT party. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
So kind of you to say, Pam, thank you so much and thank you for the sweet feature too! I really appreciate it, CoCo
Coco, this is a wonderful post! I really, really need to work on the OHIO guideline. I appreciate your sharing all this advice.
Thanks so much for joining the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I’m featuring you this week!
Thank you so much, Richella, I really appreciate it! Learning OHIO was a total game-changer for us. It definitely helped to get us in the mindset of putting things away quickly 🙂 I’m back in town now and heading over. Hugs and thank yous for the sweet feature, CoCo
Thank you for all the organizing tips and gorgeous decorating inspiration.
Happy New Year!
You are so welcome, Kippi! I’m happy to pass along anything that might help. Hope you’re staying nice and warm this winter and your year is off to a blessed start. Hugs, CoCo
I completely agree with these tips! I wish I had heard them years ago. Another one of the things I’ve learned-don’t start more than you can finish in your allotted time. If you only have an hour that isn’t the time to dump your entire closet! (I have learned this the hard way.)
I am totally writing that one down in my reminder book, Carolyn, it’s such a good one – thank you so much! I always think I can finish big projects like closets in an hour or two and then find myself scrambling to finish dinner with piles of clothes all over the bed 🙂 Hope you’ve had a great day, CoCo
Thank you for the tips. I never thought about scheduling Meal Planning time.
You are so welcome, Linda, I’m all about things that make life a little easier and meal planning definitely helps 🙂 Hope you’ve had a great day, CoCo