Your organizational level is based solely on your personal preferences. My organized isn’t the same as my husband’s organized (ugh, don’t get me started on his skills…or lack thereof). We all have different ways of doing things because those ways work for us. With that being said, here are 10 basic rules for being organized.

  1. Know who you are. Before you can begin to get organized you have to know who you are and what works for you. Your storage system is a direct reflection of who you are so who are you?
  2. Write shit down! I can’t say this enough. You’re wasting mental energy by keeping your to do list in your head and you’re much more likely to forget it. Not a paper and pencil person? There’s an app for that!
  3. Create routines. Routines are the backbone of being organized. I have routines for just about everything and you probably do, too. These routines are your repetitive tasks, such as brushing your teeth, having breakfast, etc.
  4. Don’t be organized to be organized. The most organized people are that way because they enjoy the benefits of being organized, such as neat and tidy spaces. Being organized is a way to remove distractions and live a happier life.
  5. Be ready to fail. We’re all imperfect and we flub up from time to time. Being organized is something you’ve got to continuously work at, which means you’re going to fail at one point or another. It’s ok – it’s natural. The most important thing is to get back at it as soon as possible.
  6. Create a place for everything. Everything you own should have a place and should be in that place when not in use. If you can’t find a place for things, it’s time to consider getting rid of them. You’ll probably find that a little decluttering is just what the doctor ordered!
  7. Always follow through. Many tasks have more than one step to make them complete. At my house, I’m not done with dinner until the dishwasher has been loaded, the table, counters, and stove have been wiped down, and all leftovers are properly stored in the fridge. I don’t just get up from the table and head to the couch; I follow through with the entire task.
  8. Delegate. If you don’t live alone, you’re not the only one responsible for keeping things neat and tidy. It’s time to delegate some responsibilities to your family…and it’ll teach your children to become organized and responsible for their belongings. You may be met with some resistance at first but be persistent!
  9. Things do not define you. The items you possess do not define who you are as a person. Remember that! You’re not going to lose anything if you get rid of something that was given to you. No one can take your memories from you.
  10. Quality over quantity. If you have more than one of the same item, keep the best one. I do this with my kids’ school projects. I don’t keep them all; just the best ones. A lot of people save greeting cards for whatever reason. Not me – I read them, display them for about a week, and throw them out.

As you can see, these are basic rules for getting and staying organized. They’ll work for everyone, as long as you’re a willing participant. It’s a personal choice and there’s no wrong way to do it. We all have a method to our madness that some just don’t understand.