We’re living in an unprecedented time due to Covid-19. We’re nearing the end of a contentious presidential election. We’ve lost control over parts of our lives. Things keep changing. Working from home. Kids being home schooled. Tempers may be shorter than usual. It’s an exhausting and confusing time.
I want to help you regain some control with these 5 habits of highly organized people. As a pro organizer for 20 years, and as a highly organized person myself (not all pro organizers are organized), I’ve culled some of the best habits to share with you.
People are not born organized. It’s a skill anyone can learn. You just need to learn some basic habits and then maintain them.
Give everything a home
If you’re constantly searching for things, it’s because they don’t have permanent homes. To make retrieval easier, group similar items (like with like) and decide where to keep them. Example: In the kitchen, put all canned goods (mugs, food storage containers, snacks) in one spot. Get rid of unwanted canned goods as you’re sorting into groups. Adding labels helps keep things organized.
Write things down
Remembering everything isn’t possible unless you have hyperthymesia, the ability to remember almost every detail of your life, like TV’s Taxi actress Marilu Henner. How much RAM does your brain have? Not much. Need to return a phone call? Make a note. Need AA batteries? Make a note. Have something important to do early tomorrow? Make a note.
Schedule time for tasks
Let’s say you want to organize your coat closet and estimate it’ll take three hours. Block out three hours in your calendar. Protect this time as if it were a medical appointment, stick with it and don’t allow interruptions. Build this habit for your important tasks and see tremendous improvement in your productivity.
Declutter and organize
Schedule time each day or week to declutter to prevent clutter from spreading around your home. For example, block out 15 minutes after dinner to return kids’ toys to their homes in the family room, donate toys they no longer play with and toss broken ones. Do this, a little at a time, around your house.
Complete your priorities
Create a daily to-do list of your priorities and schedule time for them. Try not to let other peoples’ priorities supersede yours (unless it’s your boss!). Avoid procrastinating, which is demoralizing. Getting things done is very motivating.
By consistently employing these 5 habits of highly organized people, over time, you’ll form new, constructive habits and gain control during a time when many things are out of our control. You’ll feel less stress and improved well-being. Peace through organization.