How different would your life be if you were organized -- not just in your home, but your daily routines, family life, and work/life balance?
Unfortunately, many people live in reaction mode, constantly putting out fires as they arise and hopping from one thing to the next, without ever finishing anything. That is a lifestyle primed for stress.
It doesn't have to be this way! If you set up your day with intentionality, things that used to seem overwhelming can simply become part of your routine. But for your daily routine to work for you, you need to commit to it with discipline.
Here are 10 ways to start your day organized:
1. Begin your routine at night.
Spend 10 minutes every evening reviewing your to do list. Acknowledge what you have accomplished that day and prioritize what needs to be done the next day. Categorize your tasks as daily, monthly and yearly.
Writing things down helps you process and retain memories more efficiently, especially if you are a visual learner. Not only will you have a list to refer back to, but you will remember that list more readily if you have gone through the exercise of writing it out.
Write your list in pencil, as pencils have erasers. This gives you the ability to change and adapt your list and circumstances change and keep it looking streamlined and organized instead of a mess of scribbles.
Pick out your clothes for the next day. This takes the labor and indecision out of your morning. You will start the day with one less decision to make.
2. Establish a routine sleep pattern.
Sleep is crucial for a healthy, functioning life. Too many of us neglect sleep thinking it will make us more productive. In the end, everything we do suffers and we spend our days in a fog. We need sleep to think clearly.
The most healthy approach is to go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time. This allows our bodies to develop a rhythm of sleep and awake time. If your sleep pattern is routine, you will fall asleep faster, sleep deeper and perform better when you are awake. Don't take our word for it; it's science.
3. Make your bed before getting dressed.
Making your bed sets the tone for the day. It starts you off on the right foot with a bit of order. There is something rewarding about leaving your bedroom with a neat, smooth comforter before you step into the business of the day.
Shake linens and pillows free of wrinkles. Wash your linens once per week and spray dewrinkler on them to keep them smooth and fresh. Lisa discussed what you need to make your bed beautiful here.
4. Make breakfast quick and sensible.
Breakfast doesn't have to be a chaotic experience where you short chef a list of different requests. Keep breakfast options simple and limited. Offer healthy options that are quick to prepare. Try something like overnight oats or fruit and yogurt.
Whatever your breakfast choices, do what works for your family and doesn't drain you before you've even begun your day.
5. Start your day with a review of your to do list.
Look back at the list you prepared the night before. Make sure it is prioritized by urgency and importance. Looking back reminds you of your priorities and helps you set your mind to maintain the routine you planned.
Schedule your activities and consider prep time and travel time. Give yourself margins around these activities to allow for unexpected delays.
6. Carve out some me time.
Constantly meeting everyone else’s needs while neglecting your own only leads to burn out. An empty cup can’t pour out anything for anyone else. You will be much more productive and feel clearer if each day includes a little time for yourself.
This will look different for everyone, depending on your interests and what refills you. This could include reading a book, stopping for a cup of coffee or taking a bath. Whatever that time looks like is up to you. Just don’t neglect to take it.
7. Prepare meals in advance
The ultimate routine buster is getting home and realizing you have no idea what to do for dinner. Everything is either frozen or you don’t have the groceries for your standard meals. This generally leads to choosing unhealthy options.
Take some time each week to plan out a menu. Buy all the ingredients in advance and set a time to do the prepping. Freezer meals can be a great way to have meal ready in advance so all you have to do is dump it in the crock pot or Instant pot. You can spend all that time you save catching up with your family after you come back together at the end of the day, instead of rushing around the kitchen pulling a meal together when everyone is hungry. Read more about meal planning in this post.
8. Clean a little bit each day.
Instead of waiting to clean until your house looks like it was used for a set of Jumanji, move through your home quickly each day and do small tasks, such as wiping counters, sweeping the floor and replacing stray items. Assign weekly tasks to their own day each week. For example, change linens on Monday, clean mirrors and glass on Tuesday, etc.
Have certain places you always put certain items. That might be that keys always go on the hanger by the door. Coats always go in the coat closet. If these items are already in their places, you will save time having to constantly pick them up.
When things get chaotic or unorganized, schedule laundry pickup at Clean NYC.
9. Edit your mail daily.
Piles of mail can stack up fast. It’s easy to miss something important if it is all mixed in a stack of junk mail, mailers and stay papers.
Each time you pick up the mail, go through it immediately and toss the junk mail. Keep the important items or things that require follow up in a specified location. Schedule those follow up items on your to do list in the proper category.
10. Have less stuff!
It’s human nature: We tend to hang on to items far after they have outlived their usefulness. Eventually, that stuff begins to own us, as we are constantly juggling it, trying to find things we really need and trying to find places to store it.
Ultimately, you will have less to keep track of and less to worry about if you have less stuff. Make sure you schedule regular times to edit and pare down things that you no longer need.
Need help with that process? See our service options and begin editing and organizing your home.