Being organized isn't just about going through your paper piles once in a while. It's not just about doing the spring cleaning thing once a year either. Those things are great, but organized people are organized because they've chosen to make organizing part of their daily practice. Yes, I'm talking every. Single. Day.
With that in mind, here are 10 things that organized people do every day. If you're just starting your organizing journey, maybe choose one of these things to start doing, then go from there.
1. They plan each day the night before.
If you don't take charge of your day, it will take charge of you. While there's no need to plan your day to the millisecond, it's going to be super helpful — and will also make your day feel a lot more ease-filled — if you take some time the night before to review what needs to get done the following day. That way, when each day begins, you already have a mapped-out plan of what to do, and in what order to do it.
2. They have and keep only one to-do list.
Oh, to-do lists. We have so many of them. It doesn't matter if you keep your lists on post-its, index cards, in a journal, or a notebook — just have one. The point of to-do lists is to remind us of what we need to do, right? But if we have multiple to-do lists, one (or two or three) is bound to get lost, and suddenly those reminders have disappeared. My recommendation is to keep one list in a notebook, since notebooks are less likely to go missing than a tiny little post-it.
3. They spend at least 30 minutes going through and addressing emails in their email inbox.
Ah the dreaded email inbox. Such a love/hate relationship we have with it. While most of us spend way more than 30 minutes looking at our inbox every day, we don't necessarily spend 30 minutes taking care of emails — responding to them and clearing them out, one by one. Commit to spending 30 minutes of focused time with a set intention of how many emails you want to clear out from your inbox.
4. They clear their desk of paper piles.
A cluttered desk is a cluttered mind. At the very least, put all of your paper in one neat pile and set it aside to go through tomorrow. Bonus points if you go through it that day.
5. They have a morning routine and an evening ritual.
These routines and rituals can be very simple. Your morning routine may be a green smoothie, some stretching and oil pulling and your evening ritual may include a bath, some reading in bed, and putting lotion on your body. Making a point to keep the beginning and end of your day organized sets the tone for all the time in between.
6. They spend 10 minutes at the end of each day tidying up.
It's easy for your space to get a little messy as the day progresses, and in all likelihood, by the end of the day you may have accumulated a pile of dirty clothing in one corner and scattered papers in another. Set a timer and commit to tidying up for 10 minutes. It will make you feel accomplished, up your productivity for the next day, and you'll sleep better too.
7. They put their clothing in the laundry bin.
This one's easy, yet so many of us don't do it. I think it all comes down to how convenient it is for people to put their laundry in the hamper. My suggestion is to put the hamper wherever you're currently throwing your laundry. It might be in an awkward space, but at least everything will be contained neatly, as opposed to scattered around like a tsunami just hit.
8. They never leave dishes in the sink.
Whether this means that you load your dishwasher or wash your dishes, doing this simple task every day is a great way to feel like you've done something small to keep your space neat and organized. Plus, it can feel overwhelming when you see stacks of plates, dishes, pans, etc. overcrowding your sink, so doing this will also add some ease and peace of mind to your day too.
9. They carve out time for lunch.
When you don't carve out time for lunch, sometimes lunch doesn't happen. Whether you allocate 30 minutes or an hour, make sure that you stay well-nourished throughout the day.
10. They open up their mail.
You will always get mail. As digital as things are getting nowadays, no one has yet succeeded in getting rid of incoming mail. So first off, just know that the mail is going to keep coming, whether you like it or not. That said, there are many solutions to mail pileups, the first being to actually open it. So all of those envelopes that are hiding in the corners of your home — collect them, dust them off and open them up, one by one.