You’re doing it. THIS is the year you commit to getting organized—and we don’t just mean clearing the junk drawer. We mean creating a place you love to call home and a leading a life filled with healthy habits. We’re here to help give you a plan, plus real, actionable steps to make sure you get organized and stay that way. We won’t lie — it takes work and it won’t happen overnight. Because like anything worth pursuing, organization is an ongoing process, not a destination. But before we get to the how, let’s take a look at your why.
How Will Being Organized Make Your Life Better?
You know what you want, and that’s an important first step. But understanding the real reasons behind WHY you want it, will help keep you motivated when life gets in the way. So let’s take a look how getting organized can benefit every aspect of your life:
You’ll Experience Less Stress and More Energy
- Research shows that people who feel like their living spaces are cluttered or full of unfinished projects are more likely to be depressed, tired and stressed.
You’ll Be More Productive!
- Research shows that clutter makes it hard to focus on getting things done.
You’ll Spend More Time Doing Things You Love
- Because you won’t waste time looking for things — everything will be in its place when you need it.
- Because you’ll have good habits and routines in place, so everyday things like working out and making dinner will already be scheduled into your day.
Home Life Organization
Step 1: Create morning and evening routines for you and everyone in your home.
This doesn’t mean you can’t every stray from them, but knowing what the first 90 minute of your day looks like is a powerful tool for feeling in control and getting ready to take on the day. If you’re feeling rushed every single morning, set your alarm 15 to 20 minutes earlier and prep as much as you can the night before.
- Prep your coffee maker the night before to save a few minutes
- Choose and set out your clothes the night before (if you’re a morning exerciser, set out your clothes the night before, too)
- Pack any lunches the night before
Pro tip: Keep a family calendar. Use Google Calendar, or hang one up in your kitchen or entryway, so everyone has access to it. That way you can keep track of upcoming travel, business travel, family gatherings, birthday parties, etc.
Step 2: Plan Each Day the Night Before.
Whether you work 9 to 5, work part-time, are retired or in school, planning the next day is the single best thing you can do to be more productive and stay organized. Use your calendar to write down exactly what you’ll be doing at every point in the day, leaving wiggle room for the unexpected.
- 6 a.m.-7:30 a.m. 3-mile run, shower, get dressed
- 7:30-8:30 Morning Commute
- 8:30-9 Catch up on admin/emails
- 9-11 Complete XX project
- 11-11:30 Pay bills, schedule dentist appointment
- Noon-1 p.m. Lunch
… you get the picture!
Step 3: Organize one area of your home each month.
Don’t worry—we’re here to guide you every step of the way. Choose one area of your home every month and use our organization guides to tackle each one. Break each room down into smaller tasks, spread across several days or weekends. Schedule it on your calendar, as though it were a doctor’s appointment or important business meeting.
- Organize Your Entryway
- Organize Your Kitchen
- Organize Your Pantry
- Organize Your Laundry Room
- Organize Your Medicine Cabinet
- Organize Your Home Office
- Organize Your Garden and Shed (save this for warmer months!)
- Organize Your Closet
- Organize Your Shoes
- Organize Your Book Collection
- Organize Your Paperwork
- Organize Your Digital Photos
Step 4: Meal Plan.
Not only is meal planning a smart way to keep your health goals on track—it saves you time too. It allows you to do all of your grocery shopping at once, and, if you have time, carve out some time for meal prep. Here are a few pro tips:
- Meal plan on Friday and write it down, either in your phone, stuck to a piece of paper on your fridge, or your whiteboard
- In addition to writing down each meal, make a grocery list
- Keep your recipes simple
- Go grocery shopping on Saturday or after work on Friday, if that works with your schedule
- Meal prep on Sunday (chopping veggies, making a batch of rice or quinoa to use as a side dish for the next 2-3 days)
- Schedule in 1-2 flex days for eating out or ordering in
For more tips on meal planning, read this article from O Magazine.
Step 5: Maintenance.
Believe it or not, this is the hardest step in the process. The trick to keeping your home organized long after you organize is to be conscious of putting things back in their place immediately. We know, it’s easier said than done. Here are a few tips to help keep you on track.
- Make your bed every morning. People who make their beds every morning are 19% more likely to regularly get a good night’s sleep, according to a survey by the National Sleep Foundation.
- Before going to bed every night, have everyone in your household take 20 minutes to pick up.
- Reset your desk at the end of each day.
- Sort your mail immediately and take action on whatever needs to take action within 24 hours, so paper doesn’t pile up.
- After you finish getting ready each morning, make sure your closet and bathroom are returned to their normal state. This means putting everything you’ve used in its place, including hangers, iron and ironing board, hair dryer, makeup, tried-on clothes, the floss, etc. Even if you’re running late, we promise — taking these extra five minutes will save you stress and time later.
We hope these ideas inspire you to create a life that’s as free of clutter and stress as possible, so you can focus on creating a space you love to come home to and doing the things you love during your free time. We’d love to hear from you—are you already doing some of these things and if so, how have they helped (or not!). Share some of your own stories and tips with us.