Being organized can really make a big difference in your life, but unfortunately, it is something that most people struggle with. However, instead of simply looking on in envy at the way that highly organized people manage to make it look easy, it is more beneficial to mimic their habits.
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There is no getting away from the fact that it takes commitment, hard work and a lot of discipline to become truly organized. Nevertheless, you will find that it is not that difficult to master the fundamental principles. Understanding these principles and working on cultivating positive habits are the first steps towards getting more organized.
The bane of getting organized is procrastination, which is why everybody who is highly organized makes sure that they deal with things they can right away instead of leaving them for another day. It is easy to forget that nobody is born organized, but it is something that is cultivated through healthy habits.
When you are surrounded with numerous tasks, all vying for your attention, it can be daunting to figure out where to start. Use the following useful organizing tips to make a difference in your own life and get on the path towards being organized.
1. Don’t Let The Mail Get Out Of Hand
Thanks to the internet it is now our inboxes that get cluttered with unsolicited mail, marketing materials and bills, but in the real world letters and bills can also pile up if you are not careful. As tempting as it is to leave all of these on the table with the goal of dealing with them over a weekend it is better to handle them right away.
Instead, go through your mail and quickly sort everything, so you can see what needs to be paid, what has to be filed and what can be thrown away.
This not only prevents clutter, but will also ensure that important letters or bills are not lost or forgotten. Best of all, you won’t have that feeling of dread as you watch your pile of mail steadily growing and knowing that you have to deal with the whole mess at once when you finally get to it.
2. Stay On Top Of Your Bills
Nobody enjoys dealing with bills, but it is one of those things that can cause a lot of stress if not dealt with properly. To become more organized it is vital that you deal with bills that need to be paid in a structured manner.
This will help prevent you from becoming overwhelmed and also safeguard you against penalties or fines due to late payments. Don’t make the mistake of not opening bills if you are behind on payments as this only makes the situation worse.
Stay organized by setting up a place for your bills, even if it is just a special folder. This ensures that you know at all times where to find all your financial papers. Once you have everything organized you must then commit yourself to at least a once a week session where you deal with all the bills or financial issues that are pressing.
3. Make Meal Planning More Manageable
Preparing a decent meal each day after work can be a real chore without proper planning and preparation. Being disorganized when it comes to meals is not only time consuming, but can also be unhealthy if you regularly opt for junk food in an attempt to avoid doing cooking or shopping.
An efficient way to ensure that you know exactly what to prepare each day is to set aside some time over weekends purely for meal planning.
This way, you will know exactly what is required when you go shopping and can get decent meals on the table without trying to figure out what to make or if you have enough ingredients.
4. Clear Out The Clutter
Clutter is the bane of anyone who wants to become or remain organized, but these unsightly messes are entirely avoidable. If your desk, tables or kitchen counters do end up with accumulated clutter you should deal with it in the right way.
Magazines and newspapers are among the things that clutter up any space the quickest, so either file them away neatly when done reading, or cut out and file the articles you really want to keep and recycle the rest.
Convenient storage boxes can help to keep the clutter from kids at a minimum, and if you are unsure about whether to keep or discard something, just ask yourself how long it has been since you needed it, whether it works properly and if you really like it. It is surprising how much clutter we end up with simply because we think we might need objects that aren't really essential or important.
5. Don’t Forget The Filing
Ask any highly organized person how they manage to stay that way and the answer is usually filing. It is not a particularly fun activity, but if done properly it will save you a lot of time and effort in the long run.
It doesn’t matter if you are dealing with paper files or electronic documents, as keeping everything filed and sorted means you will know exactly where to find them when needed. You’ll often find that you have duplicate files that can be eliminated, which can also save space.
Once you have a filing system setup that works you must commit to filing all new documents that arrive to prevent them from piling up again.
6. Build Up Good Laundry Habits
There is nothing more demotivating than seeing piles of dirty laundry everywhere and knowing that it is going to take up your entire weekend to get everything cleaned.
Then, when the whole ordeal of cleaning the laundry is over, everything must still be packed away, otherwise you will just have piles of clean laundry cluttering up the place. The key to not letting laundry take up so much of your time is to keep the amounts manageable.
As tempting as it is to wait for the weekend to tackle a massive pile of dirty laundry, take care of the smaller piles throughout the week instead. Also, make sure that as soon as the laundry is clean you pack it away right away instead of leaving it for later.
7. Always Keep An Eye On Your Calendar
Anyone who struggles with being organized will be very familiar with the horrible feeling of having to make last-minute preparations for something that could have been handled much sooner.
From birthdays to special events, without scheduling you will always end up with less time than what you anticipated in order to get everything ready.
The trick is to take the time and look at your calendar at the start of the month and then plan ahead. This enables you to stay on top of all upcoming events so that you are never caught by surprise again.