31 Daily Habits to Get and Stay Organized
Editor's Note: Most of us wish we were better organized, but where should we even start? Certified Professional Organizer Darla DeMorrow has 31 suggestions for how to conquer the chaos.
1. Assign a home/ hook/ bowl for your keys (and only your keys), and put them there every single time.
3. Look at your to-do list. Pick three items to complete today.
4. Hang up your jacket.
8. Carry something upstairs and put it where it belongs inside a dresser, closet or cabinet.
10. Carry something downstairs and put it away where it belongs in a dresser, closet or cabinet.
11. Write down one appointment to take care of your physical self in the next week or month (work out, get haircut, schedule doctor’s appointment, etc.).
12. Read one thing that you’ve been looking forward to reading (article, website or part of a book).
14. Fix or make arrangements to fix one thing that’s broken or that needs mending.
18. Learn to use your favorite timer (on the microwave, phone or egg timer) for 15-minute organizing projects.
19. Quickly organize one small drawer, shelf or basket of items. This should take you less than 15 minutes.
20. Read one document that you’ve been putting off (insurance papers, financial statement, instruction manual, etc.).
21. Call, email or mail one person you’d like to stay in contact with.
22. Put one thing on your written or electronic shopping list (but don’t buy it today!).
26. File something. Anything.
28. Wipe down one horizontal surface like a bathroom vanity, the kitchen counter or even your car dashboard.
31. Stand back and admire an organized part of your life.
*Don’t go crazy, here. Remember, if you do a little each day, you’ll have it all organized in no time. Modify this instruction to fit if you don’t have an upstairs/car/basement/ etc.
**Yes, interacting with and keeping track of your money is a completely reasonable daily task.
***This is an advanced skill. Start small, go slow and be nice.
To review, just do the first item only today. Tomorrow do 1 and 2. Or if you already do 2 routinely, then do 1,2 and 3. Keep adding one thing a day, until you are doing about 31 organizing habits automatically each and every day. You’ll be surprised at how much more in control of your life you feel. Or maybe you won’t be surprised at all.