Life is so much nicer (and more balanced) when things run smoothly, isn’t it? Here are 10 of my favorite tips to keep my own life in a little more order. I’d be curious to hear yours!
1. Keep a streamlined wardrobe. My minimal wardrobe saves me money, makes it easier to pick an outfit in the morning, and lets me keep up with trends with a few new accessories instead of having to go out and buy all-new clothes every season. As both a money and a time saver, I’m all about it!
2. Always leave earlier than you think you need to. I have The Hubby to thank for this one…before I met him, I was always “that girl” who was perpetually late to everything. And it wasn’t because I take a ton of time getting ready or anything, I just never allow time for the little things that always pop up to make you later, whether it’s a traffic jam, a Big or Little Dog who refuses to come in from outside, etc. I’ve found that planning to leave 15 minutes earlier than I think I need to usually gets me out the door right about on time.
3. Take naps regularly. Think you don’t have time for a nap? If you can squeeze in 15 minutes (on your lunch break, in your car, whenever, wherever) for a power nap, you’d be amazed how much more refreshed and energized you’ll feel the rest of the day. And being more alert means getting things done quicker and better!
4. Tidy up nightly. Every night before bed, take just 10-15 minutes to pick up clutter, put things back in their place, wipe down counters, etc. Just 10-15 minutes can keep your house in pretty good order and keep you from having to do a monster cleanup when you let things build up.
5. Make best friends with the Container Store. Or Target, or wherever else you like to pick up organizing tools. I just happen to adore the Container Store. 🙂 When all the little odds and ends in your world are somewhere you can find them, that makes sense and is easy to access, you can save yourself loads of time (and frustration!). With all the cooking we do, our kitchen shelf organizers and spice racks and other solutions have paid for themselves a hundred times over.
6. Never let things run out. If you’re out running errands and you notice your gas tank is below a quarter, just fill it up as long as you’re out. (Especially in cold weather, my dad would be sure to warn you with a stern finger.) Always keep spare TP on hand (and easily reachable!). Rather than running out for things as you need them (wasting time and money), keep yourself well stocked on the things you know you always tend to run low on. A little preparation always pays off.
7. Write everything down. Just because you go to get a massage every Tuesday, don’t automatically assume you’ll remember…things come up and get hectic. If your best friend’s birthday is coming up in a week, write down a date on the calendar to go shopping…don’t just assume you’ll “find a time.” I like to think I’m on top of everything, but the truth is that if I didn’t write everything (and I mean everything) down, I wouldn’t know which way was up. So make your life easier and make sure you have anything you need to remember written down.
8. Keep master lists. This is different than writing everything down. If you find yourself always writing down the same things, consider making a master list for it. A good example? The Hubby and I have developed a Master Packing List over the years that contains everything we normally find ourselves packing for vacations and trips. No more trying to remember what we’ll need every time we pack…we just go down the list and check things off. Packing is quick, stress free, and we never forget essential things like deodorant or socks anymore!
9. Don’t let technology take over your life. Email, texts, tweets, RSS posts…They will never end, no matter how fast you try to keep up with them. So learn to give yourself windows of time throughout the day to visit with technology, and set aside specific times that are totally tech free. (For The Hubby and I, it’s dinner time, half an hour before bed, and weekend mornings.) Being in touch with people and keeping up with what’s going on in the world is great, but too much information overload, and everything in your life starts to feel out of control and overwhelming.
10. Automate everything you can. Have your bills automatically deducted from your checking account. Sign up for a site like Mint to sync your budget automatically to your daily spending. The less you have to remember to do, and the less time you have to spend doing it, the more time and mental room you have for other things in your life.
What tips are must haves for you to keep your life in order?
I like your list except I can’t do #3. I have hard time falling asleep so to take 15 minute nap, I need about 30 minute before that to toss and turn. Also, it desn’t matter how long I take a nap for, once I take it, I know I won’t be able to fall asleep at night until 4 in the morning. I wish I could and I know it helps others who can do it, but my body won’t let me~^^
That’s too bad, but I have friends and family who are the same way. Maybe you could do something else in the afternoon to perk yourself up, like take a walk or do some mediation?
Great list! I try to do most of these, except like Michelle, I can’t usually nap (I also don’t have enough privacy to do so during the work week).
Along with your “write everything down” concept, I keep a running grocery list on my phone. That way I don’t have to “remember to remember” items when the next shopping trip comes around. It has made such a difference! 🙂
That’s a really good idea! The Hubby sometimes runs to the store to get something for dinner and wants to know if I need anything else, but if I’m not at home, I can’t always remember.
Maybe we could even share the list via the cloud? How convenient would that be?
Great tips! I always want to make myself organized but there are a lot of things that come up without notice and mess with my well laid plans. Whenever I think my life is on the right track, something pops up and all my planning goes wrong. I’m a very tech savvy person and I use a lot of tools to keep my self on track now I just need to make my self a little bit flexible so I can adjust better in any situation.
Flexibility is definitely key. “Even the best laid plans…” as they say. 🙂