September is often thought of as a time for new beginnings. It is easier when you have young children going to school or are in education yourself, but pretty much everyone can benefit from using this time of year to sort themselves out and get organized for the autumn and winter. Here, we look at a few simple tips and tricks to get yourself ready and in ‘back to school‘ mode – even if you are not going back to school!
You cannot be organized if you are not prepared – it is as simple as that. The two go hand in hand with one another. One of the first steps you can take towards an organized life is by meal planning. Sit down one evening a week – preferably before you do your weekly shop – and write a list of seven meals for you and your family to eat that week. Look at your diary for the week and plan around that – after school clubs, sports events, meetings and other appointments should be taken into consideration, so that you don’t find yourself stood in front of the fridge at 8 pm trying to work out what to have for dinner that night!
Other ways you can be more prepared – and more organized – is by being your future friend. Keep a stash of birthday cards and stamps in the house ready for sending out, make sure you always have enough medication to keep you going – ordering online is easy and means you don’t have to go backwards and forwards to the pharmacy.
Batch cook meals
Following on from our point about meal planning, if you have the time and space to batch cook, do it! If you are cooking up a pan of mince in tomato sauce for a bolognaise, make extra and freeze it – this can be used as a base for other meals when you are short on time. Not only does this save you time, but can save you money as well.
We all lead such busy lives these days that it can be so very easy to forget where we are supposed to be and when – work meetings, doctors appointments, birthdays, social events etc. The key to keeping on top of this is by diarising everything – whether it is in a physical diary or a digital one. As soon as an appointment comes in, put it in the diary, so you don’t forget.
Do what works best for you.
Following on from the previous point – find out what works for you and stick to it. For some people, a diary and a pen work best. For others, a physical diary is long forgotten about and lost within a few weeks, so something like Google Calendar is the best way of keeping track of appointments. If colour coding or bullet journalling works for you, use it. If it doesn’t, try another method. Organization is not a one size fits all approach.
Embrace Your Productive Periods
Not everyone is productive all the time. Some people have certain days where they can work better than others. Some people find they are at their most productive first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Identify when you work best and utilize that time.
Have a tidy haven
However chaotic and disorganized you are in all other areas of your life, aim to have one tidy area in your home. This might be your bedroom, so you have somewhere to go to relax, or it might be your office so you can work productively and efficiently.
Clean your kitchen every evening
When you have come in from a day at work, spent time cooking and have eaten, the last thing you want to do is clean up, and it can be tempting to leave the dishes until the next morning. However, think about how you will feel when you walk in the kitchen bleary-eyed the following day and see them all piled up. Spend a few minutes cleaning up before you go to bed – we promise you will thank yourself for it in the morning!
Invest in decent storage
One of the best ways of organizing yourself is having a big decluttering session, but even then, we still have plenty of stuff that needs a home. Investing in some quality storage will help to keep everything in place and looking tidy. Whether it is pretty baskets for all your toiletries or drawer organizers for all the phone leads and cables, having somewhere to put everything will make life a lot easier.
Unsubscribe from things you no longer need
Just like our old physical inboxes, our email inboxes can become very cluttered very quickly, usually with email newsletters that we no longer want. When one pops into your inbox that you no longer read, spend a few seconds clicking on the unsubscribe button. If you do it as and when they come in, eventually you will have a lot fewer emails to wade through to find the ones that you do need.
Create a launch area
This is sometimes known as a command centre, and if you look on Pinterest, there are thousands of examples. Keep a family diary or wall planner there, a bowl for keys and chargers, a holder for incoming or outgoing post and try to get into the habit of putting your purse or wallet there when you come in. By having a dedicated space for all of this, you are always ready to go in the mornings.
Being organized shouldn’t be a whole new task that you have to think about. By incorporating some of these tips and habits into your everyday life, you will naturally find yourself keeping on top of things and being more efficient and organized.