7 Habits of Highly Organized People


I would not say I was born naturally organized.   I've more often identified myself as a more right-brained creative type.  However, I've always enjoyed the pursuits and observed the positive effects of organization since childhood.  I have found that maintaining a truly consistent organized lifestyle takes a lot of  intentional effort, discipline, and practice to achieve.  But, it's WORTH it!

Beginning my own family has probably afforded me the greatest opportunity to observe a few of the biggest benefits of managing a simplified and organized home and life:  
  1. To find things when I need them {quickly}.
  2. To feel as though I'm being a good steward with my time.
  3. To have a general sense of peace and calm.
  4. To view my home as a haven of rest that I enjoy living in and opening up to others.

As I've grown in my knowledge and understanding of organization through real life experience, and intentional education over the years, I've observed there are a few habits that have helped me maintain an organized lifestyle:


1.  Write Everything Down:


FREE your mind.  Rather than trying to rely on your memory to recall when that appointment is/was, the name of the movie or book you'd like to check out next, or recall the phone number or address of that new friend or business contact - WRITE it down. I've learned to always carry a small pocket notebook with me to record various things throughout the day.  Then, when I'm given some random bit of information that I know would be helpful to recall later, or if I'm struck with a personal bright idea I just jot it down quickly and return to my day as planned.  Later, I'll 'download' these various notes to a more long term list or calendar.


2.  Keep Flat Surfaces Clear:

{coastal kitchen image source: kitchenisms.com}
 Clutter is magnetic.  As soon as you place one random item on a counter-top, dining table, or work space, it will only attract more.  Establish counter-tops as 'no dumping' grounds unless a particular item is used in that space every day (Like a coffee maker on the kitchen counter).  
 

3. Find 'A Place for Everything'

{organized drawer photos courtesy of 'hello my dear blog'}

 Eliminate the idea of a "junk drawer" where random items are tossed.  Instead, create a defined space (with small containers or dividers) for all the little 'extras'. One of the reasons most of my clients struggle with clutter build-up is simply because there is not a clear place where things belong.  Assign specific 'homes' for every single item.  'Homeless' items will instantly turn into clutter.  It's also helpful to have designated spaces for your things so you can actually find them when you need them rather than wasting time searching or money buying duplicates.  Find a specific place for loose change, keys, remote controls, office supplies, or even sunscreen. Do your children struggle with keeping their rooms clean?  Help them find 'homes' for their toys/belongings as well. 

4.  Never Leave a Room Empty Handed








Let's face facts: there will always be something that needs to be returned somewhere else.
When heading to a new room in the house, glance around to see if there is something out of place {a coffee cup, piece of mail, toy, or rogue sock}you could gather up with you to relocate on your way.


5.  File, Don't Pile

{image via BHG.com}

Set up a command central or mail sorting system somewhere in your home.  This space will serve to corral all the bills, mail, and other paper related information that comes in daily. Set aside a specific time each week to respond to and file documents where necessary.  
{*note* a command central could even be set up in something as small as a simple file box}

6. Purge & Declutter Often

How many ________ does a person really need
Strive to keep what you consider to be truly beautiful and/or useful  in your home.
If you have limited storage it's especially important to not consistently accumulate more than will need to be stowed.  Implement the 'One In, One Out Rule'.  When you purchase something new for yourself or your home, or when a  family member is given gifts on special occasions; make an effort to remove a similar item you already own.  Resolve to declutter the common living areas of your home every evening (perhaps a few times a day if you're living with small children).


7.  Make a Plan

{FREE PRINTABLE Daily Plan Courtesy of The Project Girl}

Sometimes you just need to tell yourself what to do in order to stay on track.  Systems and routines save the day!  Keeping a variety of running lists will serve as an external reminder of what needs to be done and when. You'll be granted a peace of mind knowing there is a plan to conquer all that needs to be done and feel the satisfaction of success when you're able to check off items they are completed as well!

Everyone in your family will appreciate having a menu plan in place:

{FREE PRINTABLE Menu Plan courtesy of  The Project Girl}

















A cleaning checklist will help keep the appearance of your home serene and welcoming:

{FREE PRINTABLE courtesy of: evelyn kate designs}

























A family calendar will help show an 'at a glance' view of who needs to be where and when:

(Calender via ScriptureArt}

















These habits are by no means a magic solution, but making an effort to adopt a few will surely aid to set you in motion as well as help maintain your organizational goals.


- Jim Rohn -

95 comments:

  1. Awesome(as usual!) Heidi!
    Thank you for the reminders. :).

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  2. Love this! Many great tools here for organization-

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    1. You are such a dear, thanks for your kind words!! :)

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  3. Everything is really open and really clear explanation of troubles. was truly details. Your site is really useful. Many thanks for sharing.

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  4. Wow, these are all GREAT tips, Heidi! Thanks for taking the time to put it all together. I'm pinning this.

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    1. Thanks so much, Kira! I truly appreciate that! :)

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  5. It is so great to see "write everything down" as your first tip. I am a FIRM believer in this. It has taken SO much stress off of me doing this. In addition, it helps me to remember others as well. To do something for them that they asked. I HATE it when I forget to honor a request. I feel like I'm dishonoring the person. I try to be as organized as possible. Furthermore, it feels GREAT to declutter..LOL I did this in my closet recently. Now, every time I open the closet door, I experience a sense of pride and accomplishment. Have a great day and thanks again for the great post!

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  6. Okay, now where is that notebook? just kidding - excellent advice!

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    1. I have about 18 notebooks. About 4 years ago, I started writing down what I did for that day, appts., grocery needs, work to do. I finally had to start writing the year on the outside, because I couldn't find the notebook. LOL

      I have one for the farm/horse, one for my studio/designs/repairs, one for blanket repairs/work, and one for appts. I tried putting them in one notebook but that didn't work.

      I'm in the process of finishing up my office and then it will be easier-hope hope LOL

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  7. GREAT stuff, just what the doctor ordered! And I get a head start to my new years resolution! Many Thanks

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  8. What a Great inspiration to start the Week!!!!
    God Bless-

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  9. All so very true! Never leave a room empty handed is something I learned while waitressing (long ago) and it makes a big difference. Well, all of these do. :)

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    1. AnonymousMay 16, 2012

      full hands in- full hands out!

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  10. This is almost exactly how I live!! Some call me a little ocd, but I can't stand to not be organized! Definitely good advice to follow.

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  11. I am with you with writing everything down. I even write down pointless thoughts like "hmmm is Turkey in the EU yet?" and other really pointless thoughts that would otherwise just start going round and round my head.

    My moleskine reads like the ramblings of a mad man though.

    xxx

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    1. Oh, can I relate to the ramblings................. Thoughts, quotes, ideas, Bible verses, etc., written on random pieces of paper - any paper. Sometimes the notebook is ............ well, I couldn't find it & I didn't want to forget what I was thinking. My mother-in-law did this, too. Good to know that there are 3 for us!! All the best to you.

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  12. I love to be organized! Thanks for the tips! Very motivated!! :) Found you by way of Pinterest! :D

    ~Vanessa W

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  13. Just stumbled upon your blog from Pinterest. This post is awesome and can't wait to check out the rest of your page.

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  14. Another one from Pinterest (I love that site for this reason and many others!!) This organization post is common sense to many (I guess? :-) ) but for someone like me it is GENIUS!!! Thank you for the tips and especially for posting the free printables! I WILL be organized in 2012!!!!! Glad I found this blog!

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    1. You sound SO motivated! I love it!! I hope the printables are serving you well.

      Cheers!

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  15. I think even I can do this !~thinks for pinning

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    1. Yes, I believe you CAN! :)

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  16. Lovely ideas, well thought out. Great photos of beautiful areas. i cant wait to print out the charts!
    thanks a bunch!
    Lynda

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  17. Oh my.... Doing really well according to this plan.... Except on the filing thing. Sometimes it just sits and rests. :-) Maybe that should be my NY resolution?

    Happy New Year!
    Spencer

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    1. Hope you are doing well on that goal, Spencer. Even if you make an effort to do a little bit of filing a few minutes every week, it will help a great deal! :)

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  18. I absolutely write everything down, I keep an open calendar out for the whole family to see, We have an ongoing grocery needs list inside a cabinet,and I use my smartphone colornote list maker to keep ongoing lists like the different types of store you shop, and daily to do lists. I am free of small notes and lists.
    Also, some semi visable storage (baskets under bench, hooks,cabinet, etc.) next to the front door for items you must drop off, take, or return is invaluable.

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  19. These are awesome - we have a rule that goes with #4 - ours is 'never go up or down the stairs empty-handed'. Happy New Year!

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  20. Wonderful ideas! I'm Motivated and Monday, I'm painting the inside if pantry door with chalk paint and the Motivation quote will go on FIRST!!

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  21. Excellent advice...I posted a link on my blog so others can get a successful strategy together. Thanks for sharing!

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  22. Love your ideas! Can't wait to get started in the de-cluttering adventure!!

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    1. Whoo hoo! You'll do great!! :)

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  23. Such great ideas.....thank you so much for sharing...I am DEFINITELY going to apply these to my every day life so that I too can be organized and my home can STAY clean all the time!

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  24. Applying these and spreading the word!

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  25. I love this post. It gave great starter info and didn't overwhelm me!

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    1. I'm so pleased to know that, Cassie. That was exactly my intention when composing this article. Blessings on your journey ahead!! :)


      ~H

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  26. I love this. Its nice to know there are more non-natural organizers trying to be cute and efficient with their things!

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  27. Great info if I will only adhere!

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  28. Just found this-it is fantastic!

    I want to be organized...but feel overwhelmed and waste time.

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    1. It does take hard work and intentional effort, to be sure. Let me know if I can help. :)

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  29. I have 2 rooms of boxes from a very disorganized move..Can you give me a list of categories to put these things in so I can go through them and put them WHERE THEY GO" ?

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    1. Hi Johnnie,

      I'd be happy to coach you in your current challenge. Please email me at operationorganizationmn@gmail.com if you'd like to learn more about virtual services. :)

      ~H

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  30. Genius....found this on Pinterest! I will be directing my mom here when I help her get her home in order. We are so excited

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    1. Pinterest is so good..Can't wait to check out your web site..

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  31. These are awesome!I'm going to write them down so I don't forget;)

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  32. I live by all of these habits, especially making the lists for the day, I feel at peace when my list is complete for the day. And then I can relax! Thank you so much for this. I thought I was the only one who was like this.

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  33. I live by this list and only fall short on the 'organized drawer' thanks for reminding me..ill get with it.

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  34. perfect post!!! that's me to a T! :)

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  35. Thank you for sharing these tips. I love the lists and sheets, they're very helpful!

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    1. I'm so pleased you found it helpful. Thanks for reading! :)

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  36. i do all these and friends+ husband say i suffer from OCD. true?

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    1. what a provocative question! i may have to devote an entire post to respond. (*writing it down* on my blogging article idea list now.) :)

      ~H

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  37. Lists-check!
    Don't leave the room empty handed -check!
    Get the junk off the desk/counter - OK, this is the step I was missing! Always held me back. Thank you Angie for pinning this!

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  38. Lists-check!
    Don't leave the room empty handed -check!
    Get the junk off the desk/counter - OK, this is the step I was missing! Always held me back. Thank you Angie for pinning this!

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  39. Fits me to a T! great post~

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  40. Great post. This is so me. Thanks.

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  41. I love your blog! We are kindred spirits!

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  42. Love these!! I have a binder that has everything in it, schedules, Internet passwords, grocery lists, a bill schedule chart, even what lightbulbs we have in our house and the size of the furnace filter! Lol it might sound weird but it eliminates SO much stress from me!!! I love reading stuff like this because I just add the ideas and get more organized :)

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    1. I had to laugh because I have all our lightbulb sizes on a list in my phone so I know what to buy when I am out. Just makes good sense!

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  43. Just found this on pinterest, what a lovely simple list. I feel like I could just try one of these at a time until they all become habits. Looking forward to having a good look at the rest of your blog now

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  44. I believe your blog is exactly what I need... easy ways to help me all over my life. I am new on your blog and I hope I keep coming. Already printed the calendar for the weekly menus... I hope I use them well. Thanks for the brilliant ideas.

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    1. I'm so pleased you're finding the resources helpful! :)

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  45. Happy to stumble across your blog on Pinterest. Will be putting many, if not all of your simple yet great ideas and suggestions into practice :) Thank you.

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  46. Another tip for someone who has lots of earrings and they are all in box. Get the eggs that come in clear plastic containers. Out of one box, you have two you can cut to put a pair or two in the cups and you can see them clearly. I have mine in colour order, so they are even easier to find. The last part of the tray in rectangle so you could put whatever you want in their, I put brooches, bracelets.

    Also a man's tie holder is also good for hanging thin scarves, you put the scarf over the little rod and pull it to the back so you can see what colour it is but the rest is out of site behind the other scarves you put on. Was that as clear as mud:)

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  47. Can you pin all instead of pinning one at a time.

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  48. ya know maybe i should have a bed of nails, then i wouldnt stay in it and actually do this.

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  49. You need to write a book or something, or at the very least make this list printer friendly. If I had a brother I'd try to marry you off to him just so I'd have you in the family!

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    1. You're sweet, Marie. :) Working toward a publication of some sort in the future is certainly on my radar! Stay tuned!!

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  50. Hi, thankx for sharing this valuable information. Have a great day, Jennifer :)

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  51. Great list and so nice to see someone else from Minnesota.

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  52. Love this list! I already do a lot of them but in the process of getting organized, my organization is somewhat disorganized. My lists end up everywhere. I am going to try the binder idea. Oh, I ended up here by way of Pinterest!

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  53. I "don't do" paper so instead I email myself everything. If we get a schedule for soccer, etc. it gets captured w the cameraphone and emailed to myself and Daddy. If you do this yourself use keywords in your email title ie. Kids soccer schedule. We also share our work schedules on g-cal.

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    1. That's great that you've found a system that is effective/efficient for your individual lifestyle. Cheers!

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  54. I "don't do" paper so instead I email myself everything. If we get a schedule for soccer, etc. it gets captured w the cameraphone and emailed to myself and Daddy. If you do this yourself use keywords in your email title ie. Kids soccer schedule. We also share our work schedules on g-cal.

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  55. I absolutely love this post and the printables! I try to stay organized but I get off course sometimes. I am going to try to start applying these 7 great tools and use the printables to keep me on track! Thanks for help... Greatly appreciated!

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    1. Thanks for the kind note! Best wishes on your journey ahead! :)

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  56. Truly useful! Thank you :) Also wanted to say I love your blogs design- very welcoming and attractive. I definitely want to set up the "file system" in my house. I stack WAY too many papers around LOL


    http://www.cosmeticsbycortney.com

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  57. Pinterest brought me here :) I too love your printables. Nicely done!

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  58. Great article! Pinterest also brought me here. We'd have calmer happier people if everyone could follow these 7 habits. I taught elementary school for 35 years and have seen many disorganized kids, desks, and families. I understand the need for organization. And f you have children, please share my picture book, Ruth the Sleuth and the Messy Room, with them. They'll understand the need to be organized! There's a parent guide and a game to help with organization at the back of the book. Stay organized!

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  59. It was meant for me to stumble up on this today. I have been working on trying to become more organized but only find myself feeling overwhelmed and wasting time. Thanks for ths!

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  60. The post is very nicely written and it contains many useful facts. I am happy to find your distinguished way of writing the post. Now you make it easy for me to understand and implement. MyKidsGuide

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  61. Thank you for useful and practical organizing tips. Excited to find your blog and start clearing the clutter in my life!

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  62. Very good! I have to get my husband into this, because I'm a organized person.

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  63. Very good Heidi!! As you know, I'm in need of developing these good habits!!

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  64. Excellent and useful article! Thanks for taking the time to post this.

    file box

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  65. It’s really cool, this would be helpful to arrange my office-space and works properly.

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  66. This is just what I needed! Thank you :)

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  67. I try to do most of these, but it is a struggle, since I have slip up's and not do them everyday for awhile to have them become habit *sighs*

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  68. It's great to find another creative-thinking Organizer who realizes the importance of organization. I loved all 7 tips!

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Thanks for reading!

If you have a specific question, I would love to connect with you via email:
OperationOrganizationByHeidi@gmail.com