7 Tricks to Feel More Organized with No Effort
For most of us who've a full-time job and a part-time job, getting organized often falls by the wayside amidst jam-packed schedules and ever-growing to-do lists. Knowing that non-stop days are inevitable and my to-do list is never-ending, I've come up with a few tricks to keep my home as organized as I like it without wasting too much time. These organization tips allow me to keep my home in order even when life threatens to get in the way. By getting into these daily habits, I've my clutter under control and maintain a sense of order without spending a lot of time or effort. Read on to learn how I keep my life in order even during the busiest weeks.
1. Store items in bins.
This is one of the easiest organizing systems ever, and you can use it in any room! In the living room, woven baskets or containers with lids are an easy solution for things that cause clutter, like magazines or TV. The area under the sink in the bathroom can benefit from stackable bins or open compartments for hair care products, extra toiletries and beauty products. Add narrow dividers to divide your kitchen drawers, and use bins to neatly organize different categories of ingredients in the pantry. Each day, all you've to do is put the items back in the appropriate bins and your home will look tidy!
2. Do a quick reset every evening.
Make tidying up a part of your nightly routine so you don't have to wake up to a mess when you wake up. Before you turn off the lights and go to bed, take 10 minutes to "clean up" your space. This may mean folding blankets that are scattered all over the couch or putting away clothes that are lying on your bedroom floor. You may just sleep better knowing you won't have to spend the next day cleaning up yesterday's mess.
3. Clean the kitchen while the coffee is brewing.
By my count (or kitchen clock), it takes eight minutes for my coffee to brew, which means I've eight minutes to clean up before I take that first sip. Every morning, I take a few minutes to clean the countertop, put away the dishes, and clean up the leftovers from the night before. I make sure the kitchen is clean (in just a few minutes!) before I drink my coffee. Not only does this save me from having to clean up after work, but it also allows me to make the most of those few precious minutes before I start my workday.
4. Wash up right after dinner
I know that doing the dishes after being a MasterChef and preparing a spectacular dinner is probably the last thing you want to do. But washing dishes as quickly as possible can prevent food from sticking to pots and pans that have been sitting for a while. Since I'm one of those people who always needs dessert, I've incorporated cleanup into my dessert routine. After dinner, I return to the kitchen to wash up the pots and pans I used that night. While I'm washing dishes, I multitask by putting on the kettle for tea. By the time I've scrubbed the last pot, the water for my cup of chamomile is ready, and I reward myself with dessert.
5. Unpack your bag when you get home.
Unpacking my bag immediately when I get home is a holy grail for me. You see, I'm a schlepper. I'm the person who drags a huge purse around with me wherever I go. While I love the convenience of an oversized bag (it's a lunchbox, backpack, and makeup bag!), I don't like searching for headphones, my phone, or lip gloss. The solution? Regular rearranging and unpacking. As soon as I get home, I put my purse down and take everything out of it (à la Mary Poppins). Then I immediately put everything away (lunch box on the kitchen counter, shoes on the shelf, lipstick in the organizer, etc.) so I don't have clutter in my purse or in my apartment.
6. Put things back immediately
It's natural to put something you took out back in right away, right? Try telling yourself that when it's 10pm and you're cozy in bed with your pajamas and a cup of tea. But as soon as you finish reading a book, you should put it back on your bookshelf. The same goes for your laptop, magazine, phone, etc. When you're finished with an item, put it back in its place. Don't put it precariously at the end of the bed, don't throw it on the couch, and don't put it on the pile of "stuff" on the coffee table. Not only is it unsightly, but it makes cleaning up even more time-consuming in the long run as one item after another piles up. Save yourself time and clutter by putting everything back as soon as you no longer need it.
7. Pick out your outfits on Sunday
A few months into my current job, I noticed that it was taking me longer and longer to get ready in the morning - and it was because of my clothes. I put on a shirt, realized it did not match my skirt, and swapped it out for a sweater, only to realize it was too bulky for the skirt. Before I knew it, 15-20 minutes had passed of focusing only on my outfit. I started taking time on Sundays to pick out and plan my outfits for the week. While doing this, I was also able to check the weather and go over my schedule for the week. Do I work from home every day? Do I have meetings? Events? Planning my outfits ahead of time saves me the hassle of not picking them out until the next morning. And the best part? I never have to deal with piles of clothes lying around the room.