Organize your life with these 12 simple steps
Are you wanting to simplify your life and make your days easier? Organize your life with these 12 simple steps – and in the process, simplify your days
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1. Store items where they make sense
You needn’t go overboard here. But, just make sense of your world and give yourself back a little time. Keep things clutter free and simple and common sense. And remember your house is not a museum. It’s an operational family hub.
- Keep the dog lead on the hall table or on a hook by the front door.
- Store extra dog leads and poop bags in all your family cars.
- Store laundry detergent within arms reach of your washing machine so you’re not walking or reaching.
- Keep pens on the bench by pads.
- Keep your plant water bottle or spritzer in your office where your plants are!
- Store your dongles by the printer (because that’s when you need them, right!).
- Keep ski gear in spare cupboards where it’s not in the way of your daily clothing.
- Store your emergency kit in the kitchen cupboard where you can grab it fast!
2. Minimise your wallet or purse
One of the biggest lessons I learned during lockdown was the fact that I did not need to take THAT MANY cards with me every time I left the house. I had recently downsized myself from a rather bulky wallet down to a pouch type version. Super cute, right! But I still had nearly a dozen cards in it, plus lotto tickets and a wee bit of cash.
During lockdown I took out everything and left only my drivers license and my credit/ ATM card. Simple! It’s not at all bulky. AND 2 days ago I lost my wallet. Happily it was found in my husband’s car after a beach trip we had had over the weekend. BUT, I didn’t really stress too much because I knew that my life was not in there. Just a couple of cards which were easily replaced.
3. Plan dinner at lunch time, or even in the morning
This one’s tough. I know that. But here’s the thing. You will not want to make dinner at 5 or 6pm. Let alone think about what you are having. The hardest part is to decide the what.
So, while you’re having your lunch …. Plan what you might have that night. I have even got into the habit lately of planning my day’s food in the morning!
I have been an intermittent faster for a few years now, so I dont eat before 11 and I find if I plan out what I’ll have at 11, then lunch, then dinner, I feel calmer, more in control and know what to look forward to! That way I also don’t mindlessly snack all day because I know what I’m going to eat and when!
4. Go minimal in your wardrobe
Ok this is a weird one for me. Wearing a uniform to High School was GREAT. You knew what you needed to have ready, or ironed or clean the entire week!
I know we used to moan about uniforms when we were teenagers, but I have kind of reverted back to my youth somewhat lately and devised my own “uniform”. I can hear you groaning from here! Ha ha ha …
Fashion doesn’t bother me and some years ago now, I heard a quote by Ralph Lauren “Faion is over quickly, style is forever”.. So I created my own style. And have stuck to it. Figure out what works for you best. Then shop accordingly.
I go for white tee shirts mainly! All sorts and styles but all white, and all Tees! … I have a couple of great winter wooly jumps… I love turtlenecks! And black comfy pants.. I tend to go for designer pants here… like Kow Tow (A New Zealand designer) … pricey … but SO GOOD.
This way I’m relaxed in my style, always know what I’m going to wear… and don’t ever have to over shop or clutter my wardrobe. Sometimes opting for simplicity is the easiest way to organise your life.
5. Keep an emergency kit and supplies in your home
Soooo, we have all probably done something to this effect over the past few months. When I worked for a startup they gave us all a basic emergency kit, one that had a radio, some non perishable food items, water tablets, a torch and a few other essentials in it.
We keep this up in one of our kitchen cupboards in case we have to flee fast as it’s in a neat wee bag…
Since the lockdown – we now run a FIFO (first in, first out) rotation system in our cupboards. We have our pantry.. Which is everyday use,… then a spare cupboard above our range which has a stockpile of basics like rice, pasta sauce, stock, canned items and GF pasta.
We rotate these into the pantry on shopping day and replenish the spare stock so we don’t have to rush out and panic buy if things get worse.
We also keep a store of bottled water in the laundry. Just in case. We’re pretty prone to earthquakes here in NZ and I’ve definitely experienced a few rattlers over the years.
Tell people in your fam what you want them to do! Don’t make them read your mind.
Set them specific daily or weekly tasks. Rubbish bins, dog feeding, bathroom cleaning. My teens do all sorts of everyday things that they KNOW are their chores. This way you are not forever nagging people to do what they need to do! And everyone has their thing!
7. Get rid of old makeup
I don’t really wear makeup a lot. I will if I’m going to a meeting or an interview or somewhere nice with my husband or family. But daily, this isn’t something I do. I got to the point where the taking off of the makeup was annoying me too much! Plus, I am a face toucer! Lol…
But, when I do wear makeup I make it easy. I not only have an easy routine,consisting of foundation, mascara, contour and highlighter and finally lip glass …. But I also have a minimalistic makeup bag. Yes, bag. Not a drawer!
I learned a long time ago that I like a pretty basic makeup look so I go for less is more. And buy good quality, non allergenic brands that are kind on the environment. I keep one small bag with all my necessities in it. Making sure that nothing is too old or out of date. That way I am never looking for the right thing!
My all time favourite buy of the century? This lip gloss I got on a trip to Las Vegas, technically a lip conditioner… But the sales assistance said it was a great gloss, and she was right! – Super yummy smell too.
8. Find a hair care routine and stick to it
Again, same as the makeup and the clothes. Find a brand you love and trust and stick with it. This way you know what you are buying, how it works for you and where you need to go to get it ! I use Angel En Provence shampoo and conditioner… it’s pricey! … but it lasts forever and I know I can order online.
Keep only good hair ties and clips close at hand
Nothing worse than when you need to pop your hair up for a shower, or tie it back for a workout and you can’t find a tie! …or the ties you reach for are stretched out… or broken.
Do an audit of your hair accessories and keep only the ones that you know you need. I have literally 3 ties and 2 clips. And I know where these are AT ALL TIMES. When I lose or break one… I then make a note to replace.
9. Simplify your face care routine
You’re probably getting the feeling that I’m a creature of habit and a pretty simple girl by now. And you’d be right. I don’t use a face wash everyday. I simply wash my face in the shower! Or if I’ve been wearing makeup I’ll use a makeup cream remover.
But I do have a few things that I do daily for my skin.
The first is a great moisturiser. I LOVE Noto and am a huge fan of their Moisture Riser creme. I also have their scrub which is beautiful. I use the moisturiser in the morning.
I also use a night moisturiser. Either a night based cream or I use this Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil.
I use a retinol A creme sporadically as well. But that’s it. Nothing else.
I know I’m probably a bit weird… but my skin just doesn’t need anything else right now and I know the products I use work SO WELL for me that I’m set.
The main point to remember here is that you don’t have to be suckered into buying whatever the sales assistant tells you you need. UNLESS YOU WANT TO. Ha ha ha.
If you try any of these I’d love to hear your thoughts.
10. Streamline your underwear draw
Ha ha ha … Yes, I am that nerd. I keep my drawers near perfect. I only have underwear that I need, fits well, is comfy, is in good condition and is useful in my drawers.
I code them by use. Daytime and night time. Lol. Then neatly fold them into squares and pile them up in rows. I’m never looking for the right pair!
Ditto your sock drawer. And keep your socks in balls, in a shoe box in your drawer!
11. Do something nice for future you
Do the things that you know will benefit you tomorrow, next week or next year, right now.
- Vacuum the home office floor on your lunch break.
- Organise the washing before dinner.
- Need a break from working from home? Get up and rake your leaves!
You’ll actually thank yourself on the weekend! Prep your snacks for the week. Write a half dozen blog posts! And keep them up your sleeves. Do your exercise first thing in the morning, this way you’re not beating yourself up all day!
Plan a trip with your partner or family way ahead of time, it’s often cheaper…then you get to LOOK FORWARD to this for AGES!
Believe me there’s something about the wait that’s exquisite!
12. Pick your poison
Also commonly known as stick to your knitting.
My and my husband share all chores right down the middle. But, there are some things I don’t like to do, or aren’t as good at as him (ha ha ha ha ha)… like apparently loading the dishwasher in the precise way to get the maximum load capacity out of it ! lol…
But I digress… I do more of the emotional labour in the home… kids dr visits etc, I also fold all the washing. Now, I could say I fold the washing because someone has to.
But, I actually enjoy it.. Lol.. and IF anyone else did it I would literally have to redo it. I am literally the only person in the house who can fold a fitted sheet anyway, so…. And I’m pretty pedantic when it comes to the folding….
But, here’s the thing. Know your limits. Know what you hate to do, or would prefer not to do. And negotiate with your partner or kids or roommates or whoever ever you’re fortunate enough to live with.
I have allergies so don’t empty the vacuum, and my husband hates vacuuming, so I vac and he empties.
Even if you only pick one or two of these things to start with, you’ll hopefully reap the rewards of a chaos free day! Incorporating ways to organize your life into your routine allows you to automate a lot of decision making and leaves room for other things that will inevitably pop up on a daily basis.