If you’re anything like most of the population, your life could use a little organization. OK, a lot of organization. Between work, kids, and the occasional shot at having a social life, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and lose track of things. In an attempt to make all of our lives even a little bit easier, we’ve put together a totally reasonable plan of action. No huge overhaul here, just seven easy steps that you can implement slowly over the span of a week.
Seven small changes may not seem like they’ll make much of an impact on their own, but once you add them up you’ll be amazed by how much smoother your days will become. When you’re more organized, you’re less stressed, and when you’re less stressed, there’s more time for fun. So go on, have some fun!
Sunday: Fill a bag, and toss it
Try to fill a grocery bag full of things you don’t use or don’t need each day, and get rid of it. By the end of the week you’ll probably find that you’ll want to keep going, and it’s so much easier to be organized when you’re less cluttered.
Monday: Get a dry-erase calendar
There’s no easier way to keep track of your entire family’s commitments and chores than having them stare you in the face each day on a calendar. No one really likes doing chores, so it’s a little too easy to let things like laundry, and scrubbing the bathroom slide when you’re already busy with a million other things. If you know that you only have to mop on Tuesday, and are only washing towels on Saturday, it’s a lot easier to commit to the task, and follow through. You can also keep track of birthday parties, appointments and meetings by using different coloured markers for different family members.
Tuesday: Find a home for the one item you’re always losing
Chances are, you spend five minutes hunting for your keys at least once a week. Get yourself a magnetic key holder (or a hook, or a bowl) and put your keys there as soon as you get through the door. Magically, they’ll still be there in the morning! You can apply the same method to any other item too. Constantly changing purses and forgetting your wallet? Empty the contents into a small bin each evening, and fill it again in the morning. This should also keep you from amassing a year’s worth of useless receipts and gum wrappers, but we can’t promise anything.
Wednesday: Make a to-do list
With smart phones taking over our lives, you’d think we would be utilizing the ability to always have a list of tasks in our pocket, but in reality we’re probably more disorganized than ever. There is something to be said for old fashioned pen and paper. The act of writing your list by hand forces your brain to be more aware of everything you have to do, which makes you more likely to finish it. And, crossing out completed items by hand is a million times more satisfying than pressing delete.
Thursday: Go digital
OK, we see the irony here since we just asked you to reach for a piece of paper, but if you aren’t already exclusively receiving electronic bills, today is the day to make the switch. Better yet, create an email filter so that they all go into the same folder and are super easy to find on the day you pay your bills. Tax time will be ever so slightly less terrible, too.
Friday: Make a meal plan
When you’re exhausted from a long day at work, and trying to help your kids with their homework, the last thing you want to do is start to make dinner only to realize that you’re missing one of the main ingredients. Or that it’s been so long since you bought those veggies that they’re now well past their prime. You can’t order pizza every night, so make yourself a meal plan, and a grocery list, and stick with it. It may seem daunting, but we promise it will save you so much time and effort in the end. If you need a little guidance, the ladies at The Sweet Potato Chronicles have some fantastic advice to get your started.
Saturday: Get drawer dividers
You don’t need anything fancy; shoeboxes or tupperware containers can work (although these are pretty great). Separate your shirt drawer so that weekend sweats are in one box, and your work trousers are in another. Your hair products should be separate from your skin products in the bathroom, and your spices separate from your tea leaves. You don’t want to end up with a cup of steaming oregano again.
There. Don’t you feel better?