Simple tips and tricks that will really help you get your shit together.
Sometimes (OK, a lot of times) you’ll feel like you’ve got a solid handle on life and your responsibilities, only to find yourself crushed underneath the weight of an endless to-do list literally two seconds later.
But take a deep breath, and don’t stress! We gathered a bunch of simple tips that will help you feel more organized, productive, and all-around more put-together, allowing you to hack the system and stay on top of your adulting game.
Alright, let’s get started!
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Start by cleaning your room and getting rid of all the visible clutter.
“The bedroom is where you start and end your day,” says Laura Cattano, a NYC-based organizational design consultant. “You don’t want to start/end your day with the stress and negative energy that comes from a room full of things that need to get done. You want your bedroom to be a space that’s soothing — and you can make it that way by simply taking a few minutes to tidy up everything that’s visible.”
You can go here, for some quick and easy bedroom cleaning tips you’ll actually want to try.
And while we’re talking about the bedroom, it’s time to start making your bed every morning.
It literally only takes a minute or two and is a small, but effective, way to start off every morning feeling more in control of your space and your schedule. It’s also a productive habit that could eventually lead to others. Plus, who doesn't love coming home at the end of a long day to a perfectly made bed?
Here are 24 more reasons why making your bed every morning will change your life, in case you need more motivation.
Invest in some nonslip, velvet hangers.
“Not only will this make your closet more uniform and pleasant to look at, but they’re also incredibly sturdy and the velvet will actually keep your clothing on the hangers,” says Cynthia Kienzie, "master declutterer, spacialist, and stager" at the Clutter Whisperer. “That way, you don’t have to worry about things falling off and piling at the bottom of your closet where you’ll never find them.”
Get a pack of 50 from Amazon for $40, here.
And keep a giveaway box in your closet, that you can slowly add to throughout the month.
Kienzie recommends putting a box at the bottom of your closet (so it’s out of sight and not adding to the clutter), so that every time you come across something that you don’t wear or doesn’t serve a purpose, you can toss it in there. Then, at the end of every month, take whatever’s in there and donate it. What you may no longer have a need for could be of great use to someone else, AND it’s no longer taking up valuable space in your life.
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Put EVERYTHING in an electronic calendar that’s synced with your phone and set reminders for yourself, even for the simplest things.
It’s easy to forget things when you have a lot on your plate. So to make things more manageable and give yourself the best chance at keeping up with all your daily commitments and responsibilities, start entering every single thing that comes up into an electronic calendar that’s synced with your phone. You may not have a written planner on you at all times, but you will definitely have your phone on you at all times.
This will help you keep track of all the things you’ve accomplished and all the things you have yet to do — in ONE place. You can still have written to-do lists if that’s more your thing, but having everything in your phone means you’ll have no choice but to see them.
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Keep all nonessential phone notifications to a minimum, at least for the time being.
“Turning off email, app alerts, and social media notifications on your phone will help you to concentrate on your current schedule and what you’re trying to accomplish,” Cattano says. “Watching notifications pile up on your homescreen is only going to add to your stress and anxiety over the seemingly never-ending list of things you need to address.”
She says once you feel like you’ve gotten back on track, you can slowly turn your alerts back on again, as you see fit. Although, the experience may be so freeing that you might end up leaving them off.
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And definitely start saying NO to things that you just really don’t want to commit to.
“Look, we all have a ridiculous amount of shit on our plates, so one of the best things you can do for yourself is know your limits,” Cattano says. “You’re never going to accomplish the things you need to get done if you’re constantly stretching yourself thin. Stop feeling obligated to anyone and everyone who wants your time. You can say no without the world ending. Just try it.”
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Put all the bills that you can on auto-pay.
Taking things off your weekly and monthly to-do lists is the goal. So if there are things you can take off your plate, like not having to remember when, where, and how to pay every single bill that comes with adult life, then do it.
You’ll get email notifications when payments go through, and you’ll still be able to check your bill totals online, but it’ll be totally at your leisure. Also, nothing makes you feel like more of a hot mess than acquiring a bunch of late fees.
And make it routine to put aside a portion of every paycheck into your savings account, no matter how little it is.
You don’t need to save half your paycheck every month in order to feel good about your savings. In fact, setting unrealistic goals for yourself based on what you ~think you should be doing~ is only going to set you up for failure and then make you feel like you’re not doing enough.
It’s okay to start small and slowly increase the amount you put away as it becomes more and more manageable.
Clean out your damn email inbox(es).
Take this five-day inbox cleanse so that your email is no longer taking up a ridiculous amount of space on your phone and and also so that you’re not obsessing about how much unread email you should be dealing with.
“Email is one of the biggest productivity suckers in the world,” Barbara Hemphill previously told BuzzFeed. “The average amount of emails in an inbox is 3,000. People get so overwhelmed by email that they want to avoid it.”
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Deep clean all your purses, backpacks, gym bags, totes, or work bags.
No matter how many times you promise yourself you’ll keep them organized and trash-free, your bags will always end up being a stockpile of old receipts, loose change, gum wrappers, event tickets, and (if you’re like me) previous weeks’ to-do lists, if you don’t regularly clean them.
Do yourself a favor and empty out all the unnecessary things you've collected and organize the important stuff so you know can easily find things when you need them. That way you’ll no longer be that person at the cash register holding up the line because you have to dig through your bag for your wallet.
Toss out everything that’s expired or donate everything you know you’re not going to eat in your fridge.
We all have those things that we don’t want to throw away, but we also know we’re never going to use or eat. TOSS THEM. And once you do that, stock the fridge with a bunch of groceries you can use to make meals and snacks throughout the week.
“Anything that you’re not using is taking up space and creating negative energy,” Cattano says. “You will feel huge relief when you have a freshly cleaned out fridge, that doesn’t harbor sauces, salad dressings, etc. that you feel guilty for not putting to use.”
Take at least 30 minutes every single Sunday to get rid of built-up clutter around the house.
Use that 30 minutes to take out the trash and recycling, sweep up the floors, wipe down the kitchen sink, or put away the jackets you threw in a pile at the end of every workday. Kienzie says that this is a great way to make sure you start off each week without small, unnecessary things on your to-do list.
Here are 37 cleaning basic practices that every adult should know.
And dedicate a few minutes every day to doing some type of exercise, even if it’s just a few planks or sit-ups.
Regular exercise will give you a break from your responsibilities and help relieve some stress.
Here are a few simple exercises you could easily take a few minutes to do around the house.
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Decorate your living room so that it reflects the put-together person you want to be.
“Sometimes you have to fake it until you make it,” Cattano says. “Decorate your space for the life you’re aspiring to live. If your space is positive and put-together, you will start to feel more positive and put-together. Everything in your living room should be meaningful to you and serve a purpose. If it doesn’t do that, then get rid of it.”
Start using a paper filing system, and reward yourself at the end of every week that you actually stick with it.
“Buy simple file holders and make a pact with yourself that you’ll sort through papers as soon as you get them,” Kienzie advises. “Don’t let them pile up on your counters, in your bags, underneath your coffee table, or wherever else you find yourself storing them.”
She says decreasing the amount of papers strewn all over the place will definitely reduce stress, as well as allow you to rest assured, knowing that anytime you need something you’ll know exactly where to find it.
Here are a few holy grail organization products, including file holders, that will make your life a whole lot easier.
Schedule mandatory appointments with yourself.
Everyone can use a little downtime here and there. Unfortunately, we usually put it last on our list of priorities when we begin to feel overwhelmed.
Try taking just 10 to 15 minutes every day to reflect, journal, get some fresh air outside, or just sit on your bed and stare at the ceiling, whatever allows you to decompress and chill the fuck out.
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Put aside designated time to catch up with family and friends.
When life gets out of hand, it can be easy to put your friends and family on the back burner until you’re able to sort through the load of stuff that continues to pile up on your to-do list. But consistently rescheduling catch-up time with your loved ones is only going to make you feel guilty and add to your stress.
“It’s easy to give a quick call or send a short text message while you’re on the subway, or walking to school/work,” Cattano says. “A lot of people are under the impression that you have to set aside a full hour in order to really catch up with someone. If you only have an allotted time, be up front about that and stick to it. Your loved ones will just appreciate you making time for them.”
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And last but not least, be kind to yourself and have confidence that with a little time you’ll feel back on track again.
“It’s so easy to start spiraling when we feel overwhelmed, and get upset over how we let ourselves get to this point,” Kienzie says. “But that’s only going to cripple you and hold you back from successfully doing the things you need to get done.”
Instead, she recommends being easier on yourself, accepting the situation you’re in for what it is, and directing your energy toward a few easy things you can get started on.
Start incorporating these things into your weekly routine and you’ll feel more like you’ve got your shit together in no time!
You got this.
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