Life Organization In 4 Steps
A year ago you may have received a few raised eyebrows if you had invited your friends over to marvel at your drawer of folded t-shirts. But thanks to the Netflix series “Tidying Up” with Marie Kondo, this invitation no longer seems out of the norm; everyone is very excited to show-off their superb folding skills! Whether it is due to a blog or a vlog making the rounds on social media, there is much encouragement for the masses to declutter their homes.
This is fantastic news as clutter can be a big problem. In the era of dollar stores and ever-increasing credit, it is very easy to accumulate but much more difficult to give away or discard. Many people feel overwhelmed with “stuff” in their closets, pantries and garages.
The trend of decluttering has created a much-needed spotlight on methods of minimizing, with the result being that more people are enjoying the comforts of home without the guilt and excessive visual stimuli associated with clutter. Once the bags of donated clothing have been removed, the stress and anxiety should be too, right?
Unfortunately, many people find themselves still feeling overwhelmed with “stuff”; not on their kitchen counters, but rather in their daily routines. To relieve these same feelings of guilt and stress the same trend of minimization should be adopted. This decluttering however, needs to take place in your day-to-day schedule. What is required is life organization.
Step #1: Throw away your phone
Obviously you don’t really need to throw your phone away, but too many people rely on electronic scheduling. The problem with that is not everyone is privy to, or able to contribute to, information on your device. If you are trying to streamline yours’s and your family’s daily lives, everyone needs to be on the same page. In this case, literally the same page. Invest in a paper calendar and a white board, and keep them in a family-friendly location where everyone has access.
Use these tools to create a centralized family information centre. In this way, everyone can coordinate schedules. By writing down the entire family’s daily, weekly and monthly commitments on the calendar, it will create structure and life organization. This helps to keep you to feel centred and on top of it all. To help organize a multi-member family’s schedule even further, assign a different colour pen to each family member. This is especially helpful on days with many commitments.
It is even a great idea to write down a bucket list for your weekends. This will benefit you when you find yourself with a free afternoon. Instead of wasting time trying to decide what to do, consult the bucket list of activities and make a decision. Life organization for your free time is no less significant.
Once a schedule has been created, it will be easier to minimize or “declutter” unnecessary events. Try visualizing calendar events as clothing; before you can decide which sweaters you are keeping, you need to know what sweaters you own. Similar to cleaning out a closet, life organization is all about prioritizing commitments and declining those that are not important.
Step #2: Create “To-Do” Lists
Remember the white board located in the family information centre? Now is the time to use it to create “to-do” lists. These tasks should be different than scheduled commitments such as doctor’s appointments and hockey practices. These lists are made up of chores and errands, and will help you to focus on what needs to be done by creating priorities and by helping you to manage your time. To help with the goal of life organization, use the same colour-coded system for each family member. Split the board down the middle and use one side for daily tasks and the other side for general tasks.
The daily tasks are ones that need to be completed today, such as mowing the lawn or grocery shopping. The general tasks are ones that need to be completed during the current month, such as digging out a new garden or painting the bathroom. Keep in mind that all tasks should have a due date; this creates a higher chance for completion and can be a great motivator.
Step #3: Create a Weekly Plan
Setting aside time to create a weekly plan goes a long way to help with organizing your life. A quiet Sunday morning, a cup of coffee, and a pen and paper are all you need. This is the time to consult the family information centre to coordinate the family’s schedule, and to organize the daily and general tasks. It is also a great time to set weekly goals for yourself, such as an exercise or self-improvement goal.
There are multiple benefits for creating a weekly menu, and as such it should definitely be part of the weekly plan. By thinking ahead to the weeknight meals, it avoids the after-work-scramble of trying to create a nutritious, easy meal that everyone will eat.
By knowing what meals are going to be consumed, a corresponding grocery list is easy to attain with one grocery shopping trip. Again, by planning the weekly meals, you can get a head-start by doing some meal prep on your days off. This can be as simple as chopping the vegetables for lunches and salads, and cooking the meat for the next night’s spaghetti.
Step #4: Create Better Routines
To help with life organization and to manage day-to-day chaos, it is a great idea to create better routines. A routine is a consistent action, whether it is daily, weekly or monthly. If these actions are beneficial, it makes sense to repeat them. Before you know it, this positive routine becomes habitual. These routines can be as simple as planning everyone’s outfits ahead of time, checking the next day’s schedule before bed, to creating those weekly menus.
Just like organizing your closet, there are many benefits to organizing your life. By creating schedules, lists, menus and routines, the harnessing of daily chaos will reduce stress, increase productivity, as well as perhaps producing a healthier diet, and help you to follow through on personal goals.
Life organization is all about decluttering your schedule.