As a kid, I was way less into organizing than my mother was. I would let clothes fall on the floor willy-nilly, while she would color code her closet. All of my winter and spring stuff was mixed up, while she had things nicely packed away in labeled boxes. My homework got finished thirty minutes before class, and she was into project management.
With this kind of background, you can imagine my surprise that ten years later I am just like my mother. I don’t know if it’s being independent, living out of a suitcase, or if I’ve just always secretly been this way, but I am hella hella into organization now. My phone has more to-do apps than a CEOs personal secretary.
Without realizing it, this spontaneous desire for order has spilled over into every area of my life. I swear by the minimalist Five Piece French Wardrobe. I go through planners like they’re candy. Even my writing has been affected! Who could have guessed the kid who spat out anime fan-fiction in 30 minutes would become a plotter instead of a pantser?!
As bizarre as this is to me, becoming more organized has really helped me. I know what’s happening in my life, and it’s easier for me to finish projects. It’s even helped me to enjoy the things I’ve always liked doing. I still like to wander around the city or fill in my coloring books, but now I can do it without having to worry about my other things.
So do you need to bring a little order to your chaos? Then I’ve got a few tips for you.
1) There is No One Miracle Way
If you’re a perfectionist like me, then you know the agony that goes into starting a new project. Often I don’t even want to begin a project unless I know that I can follow through on it until the end.
But when it comes to things like organizing, you shouldn’t think that way! Organizing takes time, and it’s not going to be something that you can just do once and have it work forever. I’ve gone through at least three forms of “To-Do Lists” in the last year alone! If you flip-flop between your planner and your phone, that’s okay! As long as what you’re doing helps you stay on top of your busy life, then who cares?
2) Learn Your “Style”
Ask any teacher about the three learning styles, and they’ll be able to tell you about being a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learner. This means that students best digest information through their eyes (visual aids or reading), their ears (lectures and songs), or with their hands (craft projects and science experiments). The same principles can apply to how you organize.
For example, I’m a visually driven person, which means I love to have things in eyesight. So color coding my schedule and taking the doors off of my closet so I can see my clothes work perfectly for me! The more I’m able to visualize something, the better I do with it.
3) Plan When You’re Feeling Well… So You Don’t Have to Stress When You’re Not
I cannot say enough about how much preparation is key to managing stress. I have saved my butt so much drama by just being prepared for situations when they arrive. If that means planning my outfits and meals the week before a big work project, then so be it. If you plan when you’re feeling great, then when you feel like a sack of crap you’ll have one less thing to worry about.
Those are my three key principles to staying organized. As someone who would rather join the golden retrievers and roll around in the grass all day, I’ve found that keeping these three things in mind has helped me tremendously.
What kind of tips and tricks do you use to keep yourself organized? Let me know in the comments below (I’ll probably try them!)