Smart Things Organized People Do: If you think of yourself as a messy person, you might be wondering: What exactly is the point of being organized? Well, consider this: when you gain more control over your business, you can change your mindset from reactive (where is this report card ?!) to one who is proactive.

“The organization gives you back time”, says Lisa woodruff, CEO and Founder of Organize 365. And more time equals less stress. “We surveyed 1,500 men and women in the United States about the state of housework in America. Eighty-six percent think organization is a learnable skill. And when we asked ‘how do you feel when you are organized? “Most of the women said they feel relieved,” she said.

But where to start ? Here, experts explain how self-reflection, perspective shifts, and, yes, organizational strategies can help you become a more organized person at home and in life.

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1. Know your “organizational style”

pantry food storage containers with labels

Mike Garten

Nice rows of clear canisters in your pantry with all your dried produce and snacks look amazing, but some organizing methods aren’t for everyone. “The organization is not universal. People try to copy the things they see in the media, but if that doesn’t work for you, you are wasting time and money struggling to put this system in place, ”explains Cassandra Aarssen, host of Hot mess house on HGTV. (She’s a former avowed whore, for the record.) The goal is to follow a type of organization style that suits your personality – “so that you can set up a system of how your brain works. organizes naturally, so you don’t waste time or money, ”she says. (Cheers for letting go of the type of organizer you to wish you were!)

First, start with this question, says Aarssen: are you a visual or hidden organizer? If visual, you prefer to see your belongings and gravitate towards open shelves, clear bins and hooks to hang your things. In contrast, “hidden” organizers do better to store everything in drawers or on hangers in a closet. Also consider if you tend to do better with more detail (hum, perfectionist) or simple systems. Adapt to your organizational habits and you will be working with – not against – yourself.

2. Start with your bedroom

Nightstand Upgrade Rolling Rattan Cart, Decorative Dish, Alarm Clock, Book Bedroom, Pink Linens

It’s the first place you see when you open your eyes and the last thing you see when they close at bedtime. “Your bedroom should be a place of calm and order so that you can start and end the day on a good note,” says Aarssen.

When looking to organize your bedroom space, the first step is to declutter, she says. But that doesn’t mean taking everything out of your closet and doing piles of “keep”, “throw away” and “give” – ​​and then be faced with the task of putting it all away again. Leave everything where it is. Instead, your mission is to find objects that may disappear and then remove them, eliminating clutter and space. Of course, you will inevitably come across those things that you feel you need to keep just in case you ever get a chance to wear / use them again. So ask yourself, “If I didn’t own it, would I buy it again?” “If the answer is ‘no’ it has to go,” says Aarssen. This method can be repeated with any room in your home, such as the pantry, garage, or basement.

3. Get it out of your head

view of the desk organized with blank notepad, open laptop, coffee and donuts

Getty ImagesGetty Images

Clutter is not just what we can see. “Often it’s the clutter that we think is holding us back. But it’s the mental load that we carry, ”says Woodruff. It refers to how we struggle to remember what to do each day, week, and month. So when you need to remember something, write it down on a notepad or jot it down in your phone’s Notes function. Need to remember to change the furnace filter? Write it. Need to order more fish oil for your dog? Write it. Need to make an appointment with your PCP for your annual? You got it, write it down. Each week (Woodruff recommends Sunday) go through your list – “that keeps all of your priorities high in your home life” – and determine what you will be tackling in the week ahead. This system takes around six weeks to set in and you finally feel in control, but you should find that you have more mental clarity and your weeks are going better, she says.

4. Create “homes” for your business

organized desk drawer Create "homes" for your business

Burcu Avsar

You know the drill: you come home and throw your keys and your cell phone on the counter. Sometimes, however, you throw them on the living room sofa. And sometimes it’s in the locker room. Once it was the refrigerator. (What?) Aarssen recommends creating “homes” for your stuff where you naturally put it. For example, if you throw things at your dresser when you get home, you’ll want to buy a “tote” tray. Not only does it look neater, but you’ll save time when you don’t have to run around your house looking for the things you need to hang out.

5. Shorten your to-do list

Shorten your to-do list

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Woodruff writes his to-do list for the next day the night before on an index card. (It’s the size of her phone, so she can wear the two together and easily reference her calendar when needed.) Everything should be done at the end of the day, ”she says. This means that you don’t have to stretch out too much and aim to do more than you can. Most people can do three to five things a day, she says, but for some people, even three will be longer. “Your job in life isn’t to be so productive that you can tackle increasingly long to-do lists. Your job is to do a few key things each day and then move on with your life, ”she says.

6. Try storage in 5 minutes

Try storage in 5 minutes

One of the best habits you can make is to set a five-minute timer (go ahead: ask Alexa) to tidy up every day, Aarssen says. Put some clothes in your basket, hang that whimsical shirt sitting on your bed, put that glass on the coffee table in the dishwasher. “Daily cleaning is the secret to long-term success,” she says. Finally, tidy up as you go will become a natural habit, leading to a clutter-free life.

7. Track your energy

organized closet Track your energy

Planning to spend the weekend cleaning your garage is a quick way to boost your motivation and lead to procrastination. Woodruff recommends choosing a project that has a defined start and stop. For example, clean that shelf in the garage. (Or just a shelf, for that matter.) And you can choose whatever task is right for you. If the Garage is too big a monster to attack, but going upstairs to clean your sock drawer seems more acceptable and doable, then follow that energy, finish this task, and get on with your day.

8. Add a goal to your space

Add a goal to your space

During the pandemic, homes were transformed into places to live, work and school. And if you started the WFH, you might have found yourself working all over your home. (Sometimes at the kitchen table. Often sitting on your bed. Sometimes in the bathroom when the house gets too noisy.) But it is also important that your belongings have a fixed place because then you can make these spaces useful. .

So, name this corner of your living room your home office and then equip it accordingly. Get a small desk for space, have a charging cord always plugged in, buy a trash can for papers. “The shift in mental state of mind allows you to make space work more efficiently and naturally store things better,” says Woodruff.

9. Have your non-negotiable

laundry basket full of dirty clothes

Count dishes and laundry as the two tasks that should be on your daily list of non-negotiable items. “They get out of hand very quickly, so it’s important to include both in your daily routine,” says Aarssen. Waiting too long to do the dishes leads to dried foods that are ultimately more difficult and time-consuming to clean, she says. Laundry also accumulates, whether it’s dirty or clean clothes waiting to be folded. “While a load of laundry takes five minutes to fold, a week of laundry takes an hour,” explains Aarssen. Try to do one charge per day if you have a large family and set an alarm as a reminder. Yes, sometimes you can ignore it, but the auditory cue will prompt you to do it more often.

10. Configure your kitchen for convenience

kitchen utensil drawer
Smart Things Organized People Do

Don’t underestimate the impact of an intuitive organizational system. And one of the best places to put this into practice is in your kitchen. Intuitive means you know where to put things without thinking and can do it in the blink of an eye, which also cuts down on the time it takes to put things away. For example, says Aarssen, dishes should be stored on top of your dishwasher, so that they can be stored efficiently. “If it’s easy to do, you’re more likely to do it,” she says.

Jessica migala
Jessica Migala is a general wellness, fitness, nutrition and skin care writer with work published in Women’s Health, Glamor, Health, Men’s Health, and more.

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