How to Get Organized

How to get organized? Now that is a question I’m sure a lot of people, including me, have wondered. I’ll admit that organization has never been one of my strong points, but I’m making an effort to be a little more orderly in hopes that it will pay off.

Without organization things become harder to find and easier to lose. You end up wasting time looking for your possessions and wondering where the day has gone. A little effort now can save you from a lot of frustration and wasted time later.

So, let’s jump right into it and look at how to get organized.

1. Find A Place For Each Item

One of the reasons I have lost things in the past is that I simply didn’t have a place for them. I’ll use my keys as an example. I used to place my keys wherever I could. I would place them on the coffee table, on the desk, in the bathroom, all sorts of places.

After almost losing both my car keys and my spare keys I decided it was time to take action so that I would never have to spend time looking for my keys again. I did two things. First I now have one spot where I always keep my keys. Second I have 2 sets of keys and I try to keep both sets in the same safe spot. This way if I forget to put one set away (which I’m getting better at not doing) and need to leave the house I know I’ll at least find the other set of keys in the safe spot.

2. Get In The Habit Of Putting Things Away

Having a safe spot where you put each item doesn’t work if you don’t get into the habit of putting your things away. You can have a spot for your keys, notebooks, laptop, or whatever but if you don’t put them away then you’ll still never find them.

“First we form habits, then they form us. Conquer your bad habits or they will conquer you.” Rob Gilbert

You need to get in the habit of putting stuff away, even if it means you are going to have to force yourself to get up and put it away. Think about it like this, would you rather spend a couple seconds putting something away now or be frustrated when you can’t find it in the future?

The good news is that as we build are habits it becomes easier and easier to keep them going. If you are really looking at how to get organized these first two tips will take you a long way to reaching success.

3. Keep On Top Of Things

It is really easy to let laundry pile up, dishes pile up, or to wait until the garbage is overflowing. But if you let them pile up for too long it can cause a lot of clutter and make it harder to want to tackle the problem.

Set aside a few hours on the weekend to take care of these things or get someone else to do them, otherwise they are just going to get in the way and cause you to more troubles in the future.

4. Only Buy What You Need

It amazes me how many pairs of shoes my girlfriend has! I bet if I lined them up heel to toe I could circle the entire loop street that I live on and still have a few extra pairs ready to keep my feet nice and toasting in the winter. (if I could fit in them, I have big feet)

That works for her, but personally I can’t see myself ever needing that much stuff. A couple pairs of good shoes and a set of dress shoes is really all I’ll ever need to handle whatever life throws my way.

America has become an economy of consumers rather than producers, thanks in large part to advertisers and a shift of thinking in economics. But do we really need all of our stuff? Probably not!

Too much crap only gets in the way and buying too much puts a dent in our pocket book. One of the easiest ways on how to get organized is to simply have less stuff to organize.

5. Sell Unwanted Items

Following the same principal as above, if you have too much crap in the way why not sell it? Make use of things like eBay, Cragslist, and Yard Sales to get rid of your old junk that you don’t want anymore. Not only will it help you free up some space, but it will also put some extra money in your pocket.

6. Have A Place To Store Your “Longer Term Items”

Let’s face it we all have things that we have to keep, but don’t need immediately. This can be stuff like photo albums or other memorable things. Or it can be items that can potentially be very important in the future such as important documents.

Basically anything that we do not want to get rid of, but probably won’t use in the foreseeable future goes here. You can put all this junk in a garage, attic, storage shelter or whatever. Just remember that it should also be organized so you know where to go if you ever need to get anything from it.

7. Organize Your Time Too

I’ve talked about the importance of time management before. Whereas organizing your possessions helps you to save time and stay less frustrated, planning your day can help you keep track of your time and get more done.

Making a list of everything you need to do within the day and setting aside time to do each item can make life less stressful and more productive. A little organization in life can go a long way.

Do you have any tips on how to get organized? If you do I’d like to hear them.

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