Have you been struggling to get your life organized? Are you having trouble keeping your home, office, or car clean? Does it seem like no matter how much time you spend cleaning, you end up with more clutter than before?
If so, this article will help you get organized in less than an hour. It will also show you how to keep your space clean and organized on a regular basis so that your place stays neat, tidy, and uncluttered all the time!
How to Get Organized in Under An Hour
1. Use color to group tasks
If you use color-coding to group tasks, you can more easily separate short-term from long-term projects. For example, color red for items you need to complete today and color green for things that don’t have a deadline attached. Make sure that anything over two weeks old is removed completely so it doesn’t become part of your daily task list.
2. File your taxes on time
Filing your taxes on time is important. If you don’t, you could end up with late-filing penalties and maybe even a visit from a federal tax agent! On top of that, not filing at all (not just late) is illegal—so make sure to do it! Read on for 3 quick tips on how to file your taxes correctly.
#1: Make sure you have all your documents together before you start filling out forms. #2: Be careful when typing information into any electronic form. You might accidentally hit two keys at once or type extra spaces where they aren’t needed, resulting in incorrect information being submitted.
#3: Don’t forget to sign and date each page after you finish it!
3. The difference between needs and wants
If you take a few minutes to think about what’s important and what isn’t, you can easily sort through your possessions. Start by gathering all of your needs—items like clothes, kitchenware, furniture, tools, etc.—and put them somewhere.
Label it as a place for things that you need. Then gather up all of your wants—clothes, accessories, electronics, books, etc.—and put them in another area. Label it as a place for things that you want but don’t need.
Then go through each item one at a time and decide if it belongs in either category. Be honest with yourself; don’t let emotions cloud your judgment or make excuses for items that belong nowhere else but in trash bags headed out to Goodwill or other donation centers.
4. Pay bills ahead of time
Always paying your bills before they’re due will give you one less thing to worry about, since late fees and other penalties won’t be on your mind. It’s also important because most lenders report your payment history on a monthly basis. Paying early may get you some credit when it comes time for renewal, too.
4. Include all project due dates in your calendar
Keeping track of your deadlines is one of the most important aspects of staying organized. Create a Google calendar or a paper calendar and then mark each deadline on it. After you’ve finished a project, remove it from your calendar so you don’t get overwhelmed by busywork. If you have trouble meeting deadlines, keep an eye on tasks that are due soon and try to complete them earlier than planned.
5. Take advantage of direct deposit
One of the easiest ways to get organized is by taking advantage of direct deposit for your paychecks, and that’s not just because it gets your money directly into your account. By putting all your paychecks straight into one account (you can have a separate checking account for bills, but it’s smart to put most things there), you limit your options when you have to make a purchase.
6. Use a calendar instead of sticky notes
For many of us, a daily planner or wall calendar can be a lifesaver for staying organized. If you’re still using sticky notes on your computer or phone as reminders, it might be time to upgrade your schedule-management system.
The best part about planning on paper is that it frees up memory space on electronic devices and keeps you from being tethered to your smartphone. It also allows for easy scheduling and updating by simply crossing out a note if something changes.
7. Put reminders on your phone
If you have trouble remembering important things, put a reminder on your phone. You can set it to alert you at certain times of the day or when you arrive or leave certain locations (like work). This way, you’ll never be late for an appointment.
8. Divide and conquer large projects
When tackling a large project, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by all that needs to be done. So rather than trying to complete your entire project at once, break it down into manageable tasks. If you have ten big things on your plate right now and can only work on one of them, narrow it down further and focus on one step at a time. When you get through ten steps, move on to another task—and so on until all your tasks are completed!
9. Create To-Do lists before bedtime
By creating a to-do list before bedtime, you set yourself up for success when your day starts again. Most people have new energy and inspiration when they start their day, making it a great time to get things done. Write down three or four things you’d like to accomplish tomorrow. You might be surprised by how much you can actually do by implementing these changes into your routine.
10. Have a clean desk policy
One of my personal organization hacks is having a clean desk policy. It means that I don’t let work pile up on my desk, so if I leave for a meeting or step away from my desk for a few minutes, everything is cleared off. This helps me focus on what I need to do without getting distracted by paperwork—and it only takes about ten minutes per day.
Making sure everyone on your team knows what everyone else is working on is essential for a healthy business. And with services like Google Calendar, it’s a lot easier than ever before. Set up calendars for each of your projects, share them with your colleagues and assign meeting times that work for you and your team—you’ll never be late again! You can even share these with family or friends so they know when you’re free during weekends or vacations.
12. Sort mail as soon as you get it.
If you can’t bear sorting through it all, try quickly skimming what’s in your mailbox and putting anything that needs attention directly into its appropriate place. (Save catalogs for a rainy day.)
13. Keep a paper organizer or notebook for ideas or future events.
Instead of being buried under a stack of papers, keep a single notebook or organizer where you can quickly jot down things that pop into your head. There are numerous options for paper organizers, including several free options online (you could even make your own). The point is simply to have something you can use as a repository for all those stray thoughts floating around in your head. You never know when they might come in handy!