Let us start with the easy stuff. SORTING.
Sorting takes a while so it is better to go through your personal and sentimental items last. Get messy when sorting.
Lay all your items on the floor and pile them according to what you want to keep, donate, sell, and throw away. There is a sense of fulfillment at the end of the day when the piles clear up!
When you’re finally settled, ORGANIZED. Invest in quality organizers like transparent bins, trays, shelf risers, drawer organizers, baskets, hooks, bottles of clear canisters and so on. The secret is to create a HOME for everything. Keep like with like, and label each bin, without over-categorizing.
Sorting and organizing are the first steps to start your journey towards neatness. The hardest part is how to keep things organized.
Develop a system if you really want your home of office to be organized. Understand yourself and the people you share space with. Be realistic and work with your natural tendencies. This is the only way you can develop a system that works. When you have a system that works, then you can get everything done.
Have a routine, and plan for everything. Systematize your processes. For example, put a small dish by the main door where you can drop your car keys when you come home. This should be automatic so that you don’t have to look for your keys every day before leaving the house. This is a simple system that works—it follows your natural tendency, and it creates a HOME for your car keys.
Take time out and chronologically list down your daily activities. This gives you an idea on what to do and focus on at any given time. Categorize your activities and how often you do them: daily routines and shores, weekly activities, monthly jobs, and to-do lists. If you have kids at home, it also helps that they develop their own routines and schedules so they know when to do the minor chores, school work, playtime, etc.
A good system is easy to stick with. A clear sign that your system works is it requires little effort to maintain. Soon you will realize that you actually create more work for yourself when you don’t follow the system.
On day when you are tired and just too lazy to do anything, my advice is to have a “clutter bin”. This can be a basket, hamper, a box, or an ottoman with storage where you can put everything that needs to be sorted out or organized like bills, letters, meal plan; and work on it on a later time.
An environment that is neat, tidy, and organized has its own benefits. It saves you time by not spending time looking for things, and having the confidence in knowing where they are—in their own respective HOMES. It saves you money too. You know your resources, therefore eliminating the need to keep on buying stuff that you already have.
An organized environment gives you more time to do things that you really want to do. You can manage your activities and deadlines more efficiently. It reduces the stress related to losing items. You eliminate unnecessary tasks and gain more energy and peace. Truly, being organized promoted better habits and productivity.