Organizing your life isn’t a matter of buying the right organizer bin or getting a new planner. It’s a mindset shift that you can achieve today.
Life gets busy. We all know that. Sometimes, it’s even hard enough to keep the kids’ schedules sorted. Once you add in a few hockey games, dinner at Grandma’s, or any other last-minute plans that may pop up, you’re fit to be tied. Soon enough, you find yourself making your grocery list in your head while the boss is talking to you. In such a maelstrom, it’s impossible to organize your life on a weekly basis.
Not so good, eh?
Before giving into the Rosé and hyperventilation, know this: There’s a solution, and it’s easier than you think. Whether you’re moving in the next few months or simply trying to get a handle on life, here are our favorite tips that can help you to begin organizing your life in one week!
Nail the Basics of Organization
To get organized, you need to put some systems in place, such as keeping track of dates and duties and clearing out your space. Here’s how to get those bigger ducks in a row.
Write Everything Down—Yes, Everything
Life can be hectic all year round, and you’re bound to forget important dates at some point during the year. Whether summer is in full swing or those cold Canadian winds have begun to blow, signaling the holidays, remembering the plans and to-dos can become unmanageable. Rather than keep dates strewn between your phone, your computer, a pocket planner, and several receipts/envelopes, it’s time to get a real system.
Here are some of the best planners on the market today. Choose one that has the extras you desire (monthly spreads, note pages) and order it now. Then make sure that you maintain a digital method as well, so you can write something down on the go and immediately transfer it to your planner when you get home.
Organize Your Space to Organize Your Life
The psychology of clutter is clear: it stresses us out, makes us less productive, and generally cramps our mental style. If you want a smooth routine and mental serenity, it’s important to clear off those piled desks and countertops and declutter your possessions.
Start with the kitchen, which is the heart of the house. If you can get your kitchen organized, it’s a lot easier to keep the rest of the house clean, because so many of the items you use daily flow through this central space. Move from there to living and dining rooms, then outward to bedrooms and bathrooms.
Note that even if you’ve just moved into a new space, you may need to do some decluttering. Getting rid of boxes and packing material, then organizing your storage space, will give you a huge sense of relief.
Institute Daily Routines to Increase Weekly Organization
You already know a good week consists of a series of good days. Similarly, an organized week stems from organized days. Here are some fine-tuned routines that you can easily implement today.
Prep Your Day the Evening Before
Nothing starts the day and week off right like a quick planning session for the coming day. Whether you’re simply heading to work or enjoying a day off on Lake Ontario, this habit will benefit you greatly.
Sometime during the evening (better than nighttime, when you have very little brain space left), sit down and take stock of what’s coming. Once you get a handle on the next day’s events, you should:
Lay out an outfit appropriate to the day’s tasks.
Make your lunch and the kids’ lunches.
Set out paperwork and items you’ll need to take with you.
Clean and pack your purse, backpack, or briefcase.
Give the house a once-over tidy-up, especially the kitchen.
This last tip is surprisingly helpful, because it leaves your space clear for the following day’s breakfast, streamlining the start to your day. It’s not necessary to use every tip, but incorporating a few of these into your routine right away will make a measurable difference. Try instituting one small habit at a time and waiting a week before adding another to avoid burnout.
Plan Your Meals in Advance
Meal planning and cooking take up hours every week. If you’re lucky, you can deal with meals in just an hour a day, but many people find this a laughable timeline, especially with kids.
Meal planning helps. If you can plan your shopping trips and cooking sessions intelligently, you’ll save time, stress, and trips to the grocery store. Start with a meal planning template, then move to your own model when you feel comfortable.
Block Out Activities in Half-Hour Chunks
Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent or a working professional, time chunking is one of the most useful strategies you can employ. Splitting up your day into half-hour increments helps you accomplish big tasks effectively while saving the little ones for later. Specifically:
Schedule your day with the most important projects first.
Give scattered tasks such as email or sales calls their own dedicated time.
If you have appointments and soccer practice drop-offs that occur at odd hours, you should still schedule them in half-hour chunks, then plan to use extra minutes for planning or reading.
Make Use of a Storage Unit
If you’re moving, decluttering and want to hold onto sentimental items a little longer, or need space for seasonal items such as lawn furniture or holiday decorations, a storage unit is the way to go. You’ll get the extra space you need while keeping that clutter out of your home.
The truth is, getting organized requires effort and discipline, but it’s also a matter of having the right information. Now that you’ve got some good ideas, it’s time to get going on your newly systematized life. Go you!