It's easy to think about getting organized but it's hard to actually be organized.
What we usually mean by "being more organized" can be any one of the following or a combination:
- Knowing where everything you need is the moment you need it.
- Arriving places on time.
- Being prepared.
- Feeling like you're in control of your day.
You might not be able to feel 100% organized every minute of every day, but by forming good organizational habits and establishing a solid daily routine, you... can definitely feel more organized most of the time. Here are 10 ways to improve your daily routine so you can feel more organized.
01 of 10
Leave Your Keys and Phone in the Same Spot
Leave your keys, cell phone, blackberry, iPod, etc. in the same place every single time you walk through the door of your home. Have a spot in your entry way (or entrance) for these items so you are never running around late for work wondering where your keys and phone are hiding.
TIP: Buy or re-purpose something you like to look at to hold your "smalls.
02 of 10
Create a Task List or Checklist
Make a new to do list every single day based on the previous day's list and anything that came up since the last list was created. Even if you're not a big list maker and only jot down the big projects, look at it every day and cross off what you've completed (or what you've deemed no longer relevant).
TIP: Make your to-do list on your to-do list at either the beginning or end of the day. Mid day is too late for the current day, and often to early to have a real sense of the... following day.
Here's a sample Daily Checklist.
03 of 10
Check Your Bank Balance Online
Do a quick scan of your checking and savings accounts for three reasons:
- It allows you to see what you spent the previous day;
- You can check for fraudulent charges; and
- Looking at your savings puts you in the right frame of mind each morning to continue saving.
04 of 10
Carry a Small Notepad
Use this to write down items for your shopping list, errands, to-dos, and random thoughts and carry it with you every where you go. It's endlessly portable, user-friendly and never needs re-charging. You never know when you'll need to quickly jot something down:
- Upcoming events
- Notes about something fascinating you've heard or read
- Money you've spent
- Things to buy for an upcoming trip or project
A small pocket-sized notebook is essential to an organized life.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
Organizing your wallet is one of the best quick and easy organizing projects to instill as a daily organizational habit. Tackle this one whenever you have some downtime--like sitting on a train, or in front of the TV on a weeknight.
- File away the receipts you need to hang onto, shred the rest, then recycle.
- Go through your cadre of rewards cards. Make sure the ones you use the most are front-and-center.
- Remove your change and store it in a jar or other designated container in your home.... There's no need to carry around the extra weight.
Recommendation: Hobo International wallets for their built-in organizational pockets and dividers.
06 of 10
Spend 3-5 Minutes on Your Meal Plan
Check in with your meal plan either every single day (easiest) or every few days. Daily is best because then it becomes a habit, and you can update it as necessary while you also look at your calendar. Daily meal plan "to dos:"
- Check out any meals you know you won't need to make.
- Add items to your shopping list, and cross items off your list you've already purchased.
- Schedule time to grocery shop.
- Schedule time to cook.
Meal Planning Resources
07 of 10
Lay Out Your Clothing for the Next Day
Once you get in the bait of prepping things before you need then, you'll never go back. Here are a few examples:
- Lay your clothing out the night before, or, before you get in the shower
- Prep and organize your ingredients before you start cooking
- Get your supplies ready before you start on household DIY project
Laying things out beforehand makes you feel more orderly and efficient, and there is no time that is more critical than in the morning when you're rushing to get yourself (and possibly... others) ready for school or work.
08 of 10
Prep the Launch Pad
Much like laying out your clothes, prepping your foyer or launch pad area is going to make you feel really good about getting out the door quickly the next morning. A few To Dos:
- Re-pack and refresh gym bags, work bags and school bags.
- Lay out ingredients for breakfast and lunch.
- Check the weather report and locate umbrellas if necessary.
Customize your checklist to fit your life and schedule. The more you can do in the quiet evening hours, the less hectic your morning will be on the way to work and... schoolContinue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
Follow a Routine
Have a plan of what you need to get done and when you're going to check those actions items off your To Do list. Sticking to a routine helps to automate tasks that need to get done -- whether you dread them or not -- because doing something every single day will make your brain happy and help to create good habits.
Try this out by making general plan for your day and stick to it for a week.
10 of 10
Do the Dishes
Many people will tell you to make your bed, but a better use of your time to to do the dishes and to ensure you have a clear sink. If you cook most weeknights, make sure the dishes are done every night before you go to bed. Studies have shown that people with clean kitchens cook more. Is it the chicken or the egg?
TIP: Make your bed, too! Studies have shown this helps calm people down and sets a positive tone for the day.