Time – spend about 10 minutes twice a day, ideally after breakfast and dinner to do a sweep of things that may be out of place. Just spending a few minutes a couple times a day helps you stay in a routine and prevents things from piling up and getting out of place.
Sorting – When it comes to sorting, group similar items. Purge to reduce the quantity. Keep only what you really use and love, and get rid of the rest. Assign a home for items. Decide on a shelf, drawer, bin, or section of the closet for each category. Containerize separate items with containers or dividers. Equalize and maintain the system. Think of this as setting up for the next use, so it’s there when you need it.
Prep – Don’t wait until the morning or day of, do some a previous-night prep work. This includes preparing lunches, backpacks, diaper bags, and even showering the night before. Anything to give yourself some extra time in the morning or throughout the next day. Sit things by the door, ensure you have your keys located, by either hanging them on a hook or having them in your handbag or briefcase. Pick out your outfit, even down to accessories and shoes, and iron the night before. This will save tons of time in the morning.
Technology – utilize your phone or tablet to keep you organized. There are a tons of (free) apps you can download to help you do this. Visit the App Store or Google Play and do a search. Most phones comes with a calendar and notes or to-do list app pre-loaded. – I have an iPhone and iPad so I oftentimes use the calendar, which is synced up to my Google Calendar to keep track of appointments and other important dates. I also have a few grocery list apps, such a Grocery IQ, I’ve downloaded to let my keep track of what I need in my frig and pantry.
Write it down – Doing things electronically doesn’t work for everyone, and even for those of us who it does work well for, its still good to write things down. Writing something down helps you to retain it, because there is an active thought process going on while writing. We tend to think and brainstorm more when we have a pen or pencil in our hand and some paper. This is an even better idea for kids, since most of them aren’t going to be using tablets and phones to stay organized.
Designate – Have particular days throughout the week in which you do certain tasks on. Again this helps with routine and ensuring that things get done. I like to do laundry on either Saturday morning or throughout the day on Sundays. I rarely do laundry on a weekday, because between work, getting dinner cooked, and trying to decompress for the day, I don’t like to overload my plate in the evenings. If you are fortunate enough to be home during the day on a weekdays, then you can designate whichever day works for your schedule and lifestyle. The main thing is to try to stick to doing a particular task on a particular day as much as possible.
There are many different ways to stay organized and declutter, so don’t put yourself into a box when it comes to doing so. Do what works for you and your family, if it doesn’t change it. Try something new, because just because it works for someone else doesn’t mean it will for you. That’s the fun of making the rules yourself, you can switch it up when need be.
Hope these tips were helpful!