So often I hear, "Oh I want to start getting organized but I just don't know where to start". Today I am here to help with that. I have compiled a top 10 list of what I think can jump start your organization. I will go through this list with step by step instruction. Stay tuned to the end because I have put together a bonus for you.
Becoming organized doesn't just magically start over night. Organization takes planning, practice, and time. With this list that I am going through, these steps are quick and simple to implement.
I will not be suggesting that you start organizing under every sink.
These are small tweaks that will make a huge difference.
Step 1: Go through the mail.
Start by putting a small system in place. Instead of grabbing the mail and putting it on the table when you walk through the door, take a few of these steps first:
- Sort the mail into 3 categories
- Magazines and cards
The junk mail should go to be shredded or put into the recycle bin. The magazines, cards, and other all other mail needs to be placed into its designated spot. For example, magazines are placed on to the coffee table (that's where I keep mine), cards and letters can be opened and displayed. Lastly, the bills placed at the bill station. Which actually brinks me to the next quick tip.
Step 2: Start a bill station.
Have a designated bill pay station. If you don't have a spot where you place your bills I really do recommend you do this soon. Your bill station doesn't have to be extravagant. All you need is a folder or a box to keep the bills in until you are ready to sit down and pay then.
If you pay bills with checks it could be a good idea to keep them together along with stamps. If you pay your bills online putting them next to your computer might be a good place. If you pay your bills once a month, twice a month, or once a week it doesn't matter, those bill need to be placed in its spot so they don't get lost and clutter doesn't build up.
Once the bill is paid place the stub in the filing cabinet or some type of filing system. If you would like to learn more about a bill station, below is a great article on that topic.
Step 3: Use only one calendar.
Yes use only one calendar. I would feel so overwhelmed if I had to look at multiple calendars. I would feel like I was forgetting something all of the time. If you are using multiple calendars you can never be sure about your schedule. Having all of your appointment in one place leads to having a more organized system.
Determine if you are more comfortable with an electronic calendar or a paper calendar. This is totally personal preference. Everyone organizes differently. Everyone processes information differently. In order for you to be successful, pick the one that will work best for you.
Some examples of great systems would be using google calendar, which can sync up with your email and Facebook. Another good feature is you can add tasks to your calendar and have it remind you of tasks throughout the day which can be handy if you have a lot going on or are just starting out.
The other example would be having a paper and pen planner. This used to be my favorite system. It was nice to look down at my calendar for a quick visual.
Color code your calendar will also set you up for success. Giving certain topics a designated color. Also designating a color for a person will surely help you stay on top of your calendar.
I like to add small visuals to help with quick referencing. Adding color will do just that.
Step 4: Start a daily to do list
I cannot live without my daily to do list. If I don't have a daily to do list I become overwhelmed and panicky. I fill mine out every evening before bed. Then I wake refreshed and ready to conquer my day.
In an earlier post, 5 Things To Make Your Mornings Easier, I talked about how important it really is to set a to do list up.
Another great tip to keep you successful with your to do list is to group your list into categories. Here are a few examples:
- Need to complete ASAP
- Complete today
- Phone calls
- Have a spot for your daily schedule
- Water intake
By setting your list up into sections you can prioritize your list and have your list work for you instead of writing a lot of things down and becoming overwhelmed.
Step 5: Start a receipt folder.
Every time you purchase an appliance, tool, or electronic is it a good idea to keep the receipt handy. You never know if it's going to break or if the item may go on sale a few days after you purchase it.
Having a receipt folder allows you to know exactly where the receipt is if you need it. Another good tip is to staple your receipt to the manual so if it does break and is under warranty you have everything you need to bring that puppy back!
This really doesn't take any new equipment. If you have a filing system in place already, just add a new file for your appliance manual. You will have a safe place for your manual and receipt just in case.
Step 6: Put it away.
This tip can quickly lead to becoming more organized. Remember what your mom use to say, "when you use something and your done with it put it away", same concept. If you clean as you go you'll have less clutter hanging around. Seem so simple but can be hard to stay in that mind set.
Here are a few tips to help with success:
- Have a toy basket in common areas so kids can get in the habit of putting their stuff away
- As soon as you are done make a conscious effort to remember that, that item needs to be put away
- Take pride in your home (if you have more pride for your home you will naturally want to do better)
Step 7: Apply the one in and one out rule.
This one can be a really hard one to live by. I think this actually could be the most important step to implement. If you are removing an item when another item comes in you will not be adding extra clutter.
Here are a few examples of what you could do:
If you purchase a new set of socks, get rid of those socks with holes or without a mate. Taking these simple steps will help control the clutter.
Instead of only going through your clothes once or twice a year, why not remove items when you bring some in.
Taking these small steps will really help you keep clutter at bay.
Step 8: Set up a password file.
With needing a password for every little thing how can you remember them all? Also, what if something happens to you and someone needs to access a file that they will need a password for?
Having a safe spot for your passwords is a very good idea. You can write them down on a piece of paper and store it in a safe spot or you can set up a file on your computer so you can have easy access to it. Just make sure someone other else knows that the file or list exists.
If you would like to know more about setting up a password file I've put together a FREE 5 day organizing e course to really help walk you through step by step with some common organizing struggles.
Related: FREE 5 Day Organizing E-Course
Step 9: Set up monthly goals.
I really like setting up monthly goals. It makes me feel like I can keep up with personal and professional growth.
These goals can be personal or even things around the house that you've been wanting to get to and just don't for whatever reason.
At the beginning of the month I fill out my monthly goals and print it out and hang it next to my desk on the wall so I can see it everyday. It is a personal reminder of what I want to accomplish this month.
I went in to great detail on how to set up goals and make them attainable. Check it out to find out how exactly I set my goals and attain them.
Step 10: Don't procrastinate!
Waiting until the last minute is the worst. Your rushed, feel stressed, overwhelmed and may not be able to give it your all. If it is paying a bill and waiting until the last minute you run the risk of paying a late fee and that can cost you in the long run. If it is a work project, your job could suffer. Planning things out ahead of time leads to less stress and more time to get things done.
If procrastination is one thing that hold you back from finishing your to do lists or getting anything done, then I've got a step-by-step post for you to check out!
Here are some things to help you stay on top of your tasks:
- Use a daily to do list (we spoke about this before at step 4)
- Make sure you have enough time to finish the task
- Don't over schedule yourself
- Keep a positive mind and attitude
So that's the list. There are the 10 steps to a more organized home and you. Remember at the beginning of this post, I told you I had put together a bonus for you, well here it is. I've put together an organized home action plan checklist. The checklist is completely free and ready for you to download. Go ahead and click the picture or the button below to download the checklist.
A more organized home. What will you be trying to take action now?
I really hope you liked it and may be able to implement some of the things listed. What things do you use to help keep you organized? Did I miss something? I would love to hear from you!! Thank you so much for taking the time out to read this. Your support truly means a lot.