My 5-step method to organise your life
Organising is a big buzzword nowadays. There are lots of articles, books, courses where you can read about it and learn it: organise your work, organise your time, organise your wardrobe etc. It’s a very important skill which can make your life so much easier and less stressed. If you allow clutter to pile up, over time you will feel more and more overwhelmed and get stressed. Studies show that the more cluttered your environment is, the more stress triggers are present in your life. Clutter makes it harder to focus and inhibits your ability to be creative and productive.
“Findings from UCLA researchers showed that women who had an increased level of clutter in their homes also had higher levels of a stress hormone known as high cortisol. Their study also found that the tidier a home was, the happier its occupants seemed to be.”
So how to get started? – Habits to become more organised
- Create designated spaces – Everything in your household should have a home. This makes it easier to find the items you need, and also it prevents random stuff to pile up. Also, make it a habit to put the items back in their designated space after you use them.
- If you don’t use it, get rid of it: toss it away, recycle it, or donate it. – The “this will be good for something in the future” kinds of thoughts don’t serve you because you are probably never going to use that item again. If you have a hard time letting go or that item means something to you emotionally, take a picture of it, and create a nice photo album of your dear memories.
- Declutter regularly – Make it part of your day to declutter the spaces where clutter most likely can land. E.g.: use your last 15 minutes of your workday to declutter and clean your desk.
My 5-step method
- Make a big pile of everything you want to organise. It can be a physical or a digital pile depending on the topic. Make sure to collect everything in one place.
- Start sorting: go through your items one by one and put similar items in one (smaller) pile
- Make a “don’t know” pile: If you find something you can’t pair with anything else, just simply put it in a separate pile (you will deal with it later). Collect everything here which you don’t know what to do with or where to put it.
- Once you went through everything, it’s time to create your categories – Look at your smaller piles, and name them. It will be so much easier this way because you’ve just sorted everything, you know what have you put in that pile, you just need to come up with a name for them. Don’t overthink it, it shouldn’t be covering every aspect of your items sitting in that pile. Focus on your logic, how would you look for these items if you would need them immediately, and come up with a name which makes sense to you, which will be obvious to you.
- Now let’s have a look at your “don’t know” pile: Basically start to process again: go through those items again and check if you can see any similar items which you can pair up. If you can find some, create a new category for them. If you can’t find anything, and all the items are totally different, you can create a “Mixed” or “Other” category and put everything there. If you do this I suggest creating some kind of table of content or index and list all the things you have in there. This way you can easily check if the item you are looking for is in your mixed category or not.