Have you ever wondered why other people’s lives seem so effortless? We’ve all got friends who seem to glide through life, with immaculate, clean homes and busy but not manically rushed days, taking it all in their stride. For the rest of us, it’s generally more about firefighting than being proactive, and wearing the shoes you can find rather than the shoes that matched your outfit. So how do they do it? Well, it’s probably mostly about organisation.
‘Be more organised’ is consistently at the top of most New Year’s Resolutions’ lists year after year (it’s generally at number two, just after ‘lose weight and get fitter’). If it’s turning up on the list time after time, though, it’s probably a sign that most of us aren’t doing it. There are lots of reasons for this, the most likely being – ironically – that we think we don’t have time to get organised! After all, spending the afternoon putting all our credit card invoices into alphabetical order in colour-coded ring binders isn’t something at the top of most people’s lists. And yes, as with anything else, completely changing your routines does take a bit of initial time invested – but it’s probably not as hard as you think. Here’s our guide to what to do.
This one’s become a cliche post-Marie Kondo, but it really is the place to start. If it’s not there, you don’t have to wash it, dust it, fold it, put it away or find a home for it. Be really ruthless, and go through each room one at a time to make the job easier. This is probably the most time-consuming part, but will be worth it in the long run – being organised really does save you time. Remember, you’re not necessarily ‘throwing things out’ – if you take what you don’t want to charity shops, then someone else can use and love the things you haven’t got room for. The less stuff you have, the less time it takes to keep it clean and tidy! It’s much easier to find what you want in a wardrobe where everything is hung in sections (colours, or types of garment) than it is to find it in a cupboard where everything springs at your head when you open the door.
2. Look at your space
If you’re anything like the rest of us, when you first moved into your house you dumped everything pretty much where it was and then didn’t look at it again for years. It could be that you’re making inefficient use of your potential storage space, so go through your home and look at it with fresh eyes. Is the best place for the ironing board really in the hall cupboard, where you have to climb over it every time you want your handbag? Could you put hooks on the back of a sturdy door, and get it out of the way properly? Look for wasted space as well – could that awkward area under the stairs benefit from some fitted shelves?
3. Make it easy
This is the most important tip of all. Most of us have little time and we’re always rushing from one thing to the next, so you need to make it just as easy to put something away as it is to leave it out. For example, if you’re in the habit of coming in from work and leaving your car keys on the hall table, you’re unlikely to take a trip into the kitchen to put them in a drawer – but you would drop them into a box or bowl on the hall table. Put strategic storage around your home where you’re likely to use it most.
You might never be able to emulate your ‘life is effortless’ friends, but you will free up some time to do what you want to do – whether that’s colour code your bank statements, or spend more time socialising.
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