It's easy to think about getting organized, but sometimes it's hard to actually be organized.
But what does it mean to "be more organized?" Well, it 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 percent 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, and other such accessories you carry day in and day out, 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." Items such as an entrance table or wall-mounted key organizer are great for storing such things.
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). Not only will this help keep you on top of your tasks, it will make you feel productive when you cross off that item after it's been completed.
TIP: Make your to-do list, on your actual to-do list, at either the beginning or end of the day. Midday 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 to try out.
03 of 10
Check Your Bank Balance Online
Do a quick scan of your checking and savings accounts. We suggest this for three reasons:
- It allows you to see what you spent the previous day.
- You can check for fraudulent charges.
- Looking at your savings puts you in the right frame of mind each morning to continue saving.
04 of 10
Carry a Small Notepad
A small, pocket-sized notebook is essential to an organized life. 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:
Continue to 5 of 10 below.
- Upcoming events
- Notes about something fascinating you've heard or read
- Money you've spent
- Things to buy for an upcoming trip or project
05 of 10
Organizing your wallet is one of the best, quick and easy organizing projects to instill as a daily habit. Tackle this one whenever you have some downtime -- like sitting on a train or in front of the TV on a weeknight.
How to declutter your wallet:
- File away the receipts you need to hang onto, then shred and recycle the rest.
- 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 is known for their built-in organizational pockets and dividers.
06 of 10
Spend 3 to 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'll 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.
07 of 10
Lay Out Your Clothing for the Next Day
Laying things out beforehand makes you feel more orderly and efficient. There is no time that this is more critical than in the morning when you're rushing to get yourself (and possibly others) ready for school or work. That's why we recommend laying your clothing out the night before. It saves you time in the morning from staring into your closet wondering what you should wear.
Once you get into the habit of prepping things before you need them, then you'll never go back.
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 a 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 every morning to start your day off right. While we think that's a great idea, we'd like to suggest another one that we are sure will help you feel more organized and a lot less cluttered: doing the dishes.
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.