Let’s face it. Most of us want to be organized, but it’s hard. It takes time and effort. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t found a magical time tree that gives me hours of free time whenever I need it (which would be pretty much every day).
The good news is, it takes less time than you think to get and stay organized! You probably can’t overhaul your entire home in one weekend (says the girl who still has a few boxes that aren’t unpacked from her move SEVEN months ago), but you can make huge progress.
The other great thing is that being organized actually helps save time. You’ll waste far less time looking for things. You’ll operate far more efficiently when everything has a place.
Here’s how to stay organized even if you don’t have a lot of extra time.
First, eliminate decisions as much as possible. We waste so much time trying to decide what to do next. That’s why I love lists. No more wondering what to tackle next. It’s all laid out for you in your list. Create a list of organizing projects to tackle next and get to it. I have an organizing projects printable here, that will help you decide what project to tackle next.
Next, the less stuff you have, the less stuff you need to organize and clean, so get rid of it! Taking time to get rid of things that you don’t need will save so much time in the long run. Once you do get a chance to organize, it will go so much faster if you’ve already pared down to only what you really need.
This goes right along with the last idea, but make it as easy as possible to get rid of things. Have a designated spot in your home for items to donate. You could put a box or bin in the car or garage to toss items you want to pass along. Drop it off at a donation center when it’s full. If you have the space, I also recommend a small bin in each room. I have a bin in each of my kid’s rooms for things I want to donate. As soon as they outgrow something that I don’t want to keep, I just toss it into the bin.
Next, use every minute. Most of us have little pockets of time that doesn’t get used efficiently. If you have five minutes before you need to leave, tidy something up. When you’re talking on the phone, maybe you can fold clothes at the same time. Here are some ideas for 15 minute organizing projects.
Whenever you organize a space, leave some empty space if at all possible. If you have extra space, you can more easily put things away quickly or find a spot for something new. However, do not use this an excuse to bring in more stuff that you don’t actually need just because you have space for it. This works particularly well in spots where you have consumable products like the kitchen or bathrooms. Sometimes you may stock up on 4 bottles of your favorite shampoo when it goes on sale. If there’s some extra space where you store toiletries, you won’t have to spend 20 minutes trying to make a spot for it or ruining your whole organizing system. It also works well in a child’s room where they are quickly changing sizes. That way you have a spot to put the clothes that they will be growing into soon.
Recycle your menu plans. Save time planning your menu and making your grocery list by reusing an old one. Ideally, you could create a handful of menu plans and just rotate through them. This will save you so much time! No need to reinvent the wheel. One of my goals this month is to do this for myself and create at least 4 weekly meal plans complete with grocery list and even the printed recipes. I’ll report back to let you know how it is working for us.
What about you? What are your favorite tricks for staying organized even if you don’t have a lot of time?
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