|After working as a Professional Organizer for the past 9 years, it seems that everyone has a different idea as to what being “organized” is, what it means and what it looks like. I think that being organized is in the eyes of the beholder. Everyone’s circumstances are different and, therefore, what works for one person may or may not work for another.
While there are hundreds of different definitions for the word “organized”, here are the two that resonate the most with me:
“Having one’s affairs in order so as to deal with them efficiently”
“Having taken something that is messy, chaotic, or unordered and rearranged it logically, into a structured or coherent layout, or into specific and/or defined groups”
A search on thesaurus revealed some adjectives to describe what “organized” means. Here are a few: orderly, prepared, systematized, logical, planned, well-thought-out, structured.
No matter what your definition is (or isn’t), if you want life to be organized, here are 5 helpful tips:
Write it down. Whatever it is. It can be something that needs to be scheduled, something that you need to do, something you need to get. If you’re not old school, instead of writing it down, get the information on whatever device you use, ie., phone, computer, app.
· If you run out of something that you need regularly (ie., milk or ketchup), put it on a list so that you don’t forget it.
· If you have an appointment with someone, put it on the calendar.
· Make sure to check your list and calendar either at night before you go to bed or first thing in the morning so you know what you have to do and when.
Make sure that everything has a place and then make sure to put things in their place.
· If something doesn’t have a place it will always be considered clutter.
· Find a place that makes sense for that particular object.
· If there’s no room, it’s time to purge.
Have a plan.
· Put a day/time on your calendar to go and get what you need or do what needs to get done
· Batch things together.
· When you need to run errands, get as much done in one area as possible. Then, on another day, go to another area (ie, the mall) and get other things done. Pay attention to drive time/traffic, etc. to make the most of your time.
· If possible, schedule the same things on the same day each week so it becomes part of your routine.
· For example, go food shopping on the same day each week
Ask for help. It takes a village.
· Try and get everyone who lives with you on board so everything doesn’t fall on your shoulders.
· Even young children can and should help. If you show them how at an early age, they can help. It might not get done perfectly but it will get done.
· Again, make it a routine
· Each night before bed, your children should be picking up after themselves
Maintenance is sooooo important.
· Keeping up with whatever systems you have in place is very important.
· It’s easier to maintain a space than to do it over all of the time.
· If you know where the dishes go, put them there. Don’t just find any place that has room. That’s how systems fall apart.