Organizing your life doesn’t have to take months.
You can learn how to organize your life in one week so that at the end of it, you’re ready to take on the world and stay focused on your goals with a whole new system in place.
The one week deadline means that you only have time to focus on what really matters instead of thinking it’s necessary to spend hours arranging your bookshelf by color.
Follow this plan with the tasks and good habits to do each day, and you’ll find that you feel more confident in your ability to stay organized and keep building on the habits you’ve started.
Today, you’re going to start with the physical world around you.
You should go around each room, tidying each room to a basic state of cleanliness, not worrying about getting rid of anything just yet but instead making sure trash is thrown away and everything has a place.
Organize your backpack, organize your drawers, organize it all.
This is going to give you the clear mind to get through the rest of the week.
With the second part of today, pick 2 rooms that you spend the most time in.
Maybe it’s the kitchen and your office, maybe it’s the bedroom and the living room.
Whatever they are, go around the room physically touching each item, using something like the KonMari Method, and as you touch it, make a decision about whether it adds to your clutter and you no longer need it.
This forces you to really make that decision, as you can’t just glance at it and instead need to physically interact with it.
If you pick a room with a lot of paperwork, you can leave the paperwork where it is for today and instead just deal with other items like clothing, bedding, pots and pans, and books.
You don’t need to reoganize how they are stored today, but rather do a clean sweep of what you want to get rid of and get it out of the house.
Today you’re going to take a break from the physical organization and take a look at your life’s organization day to day.
Buy a planner or monthly calendar and sit down and plot every event that you know is coming up on it.
Organizing your planner is such an important part of organizing your life.
Keep to the big ideas first, like “recital at 6pm” or “family reunion at 2pm” instead of the smaller things like picking the kids up from school.
Once you have done that and created a central place to keep all future events written down, use a separate organizer to plot out your regular day to day routines.
I use one that is blank so you can write the day in, and then it helps you organize your time in blocks.
This is where you put things like picking the kids up from school, dinner time, paying bills, sending off e-mails, etc.
You can use this daily, plotting your time hour by hour each day if that helps, or you can use it on busier days when you need to visualize the schedule to make sure you get everything done.
All of the other calendars and paperwork you have that still have leftover “things to do” on them should now be consolidated and gotten rid of – your daily planner and monthly planner are now your go-tos and the rest is thrown out the window!
It’s back to physical organizing today, as making the physical world around us more calm will help us to stay organized in our day to day life.
Today you’re going to tackle the “get rid of it” challenge for all other rooms in the house or apartment.
Go through each room, including the bathrooms, and place your hand on each physical items, deciding whether to get rid of it or keep it in its place.
This does take awhile, depending on how many rooms you have in your house, so keep this as your main goal for today.
Again, paperwork can stay.
On Day 4, it’s all about the paperwork.
Bring literally every piece of paperwork in your house into a big pile in a room with space cleared out, and go through it all, making different piles based on the category it belongs to: Finances, Household Items, Keepsakes, Medical Info, Insurance, etc.
The big task is actually to get rid of most of the paperwork, so do your research ahead of time on which documents you must keep.
Of course you don’t want to get rid of things like marriage or birth certificates, but do you really need the print outs of your bank account statements from 10 years ago?
Another great way to keep paperwork without having to actually keep it is to scan it in using a phone scanning app, one of the most productive things you can do on your phone!
Many things don’t require us to keep the actual document, but rather the information listed, and if you can do that electronically and back it up to a cloud system or other safe electronic place, then do that!
Make sure to approprately get rid of any documents with sensitive information on it and keep your piles separate.
Today is about electronic organizing to give you a break from the physical organization.
What you need to do today is to gather any of your phones, tablets, or computers and spend the day organizing and deleting old documents, pictures you no longer need, and creating new systems and folders.
You can start small with your phone.
Check the apps you have.
Do you need them all?
If not, delete the ones you don’t.
Then, move on to the music on your phone.
Any you don’t listen to anymore?
Follow that into your text messages, deleting any threads of conversation that you don’t need, and then head into your photos and videos section, methodically deleting things you don’t need anymore or moving them all off onto your computer or other storage device.
On your computer, you’ll want to think about going through your actual Word and PDF documents, deleting any you no longer need or cataloging them into easy-to-access folders.
You can also spend time going through your E-mail, deleting messages and unsubscribing to newsletters that you no longer need.
This task can vary on how long it takes based on how active you are online, so start with the electronics you use the most and then go from there.
Take breaks from staring at the screen, too!
Day 6 is all about organization in the house, knowing that you’ve already gone through and gotten rid of the things you no longer need.
Order a bunch of organization tools like clear plastic bins, files for the paperwork, and wicker baskets and go room by room, adding any storage that you need and grouping things together.
For instance, your hairbrush, hair ties, and bobby pins do not need to live in 3 separate places.
These are all things you will want at one time, so creating an area for them to be stored together will help keep you organized.
The same goes for food or pots and pans in the kitchen.
Keep like items together, with shelves for sauces, baking ingredients, or dry foods like pastas.
This is another all day task, and don’t forget the refrigerator!
On the final day, you’ve almost learned how to organize your life in one week!
But you’re not finished yet.
In the morning, you need to micro-organize, which means going through your purse or backpack as well as inside any drawers that you haven’t organized yet in your initial house cleaning.
You should also clean out your car, if you have one!
From there, after a heavy morning and early afternoon of physical organization, you are going to organize your goals and where you are headed.
Take a look at your calendar and daily planner again and think about things you want to accomplish in the coming days and weeks.
These should be added to those systems so that you can clearly see the deadlines you have given yourself and the number of days you have to do it.
This, along with creating a vision board for the future, can be a great way to reset, knowing that you’ve organized your life and the world around you and can now more confidently approach your goals with that in mind.