How to Get Organized

Getting organized is basically a matter of developing good habits.

Organize your time, home and work space for more productive living.

Survey your belongings: Examine what you have and how you store it. Throw out, sell or donate what you don't use.

Keep things you use frequently in easily accessible places.

Get boxes for items you use only seasonally or will be storing, such as holiday decorations or sports gear.

Set up a box for items that need repair.

Keep important papers (birth and marriage certificates, citizenship papers, real estate deeds) in a safe box.

Create a file for personal documents such as insurance policies, credit reports, Social Security cards and the like.

Develop a finance file for unpaid bills, bank statements and income tax papers.

Store home-maintenance papers (warranties, receipts, manuals) in another place.

Carry a complete address book, taking care to keep it updated. Electronic organizers (such as Wizards or Palm Pilots) can also be very convenient.

Create consistent, regular "systems" for who will do what and when. Divide household chores, and schedule when they should be accomplished.

Assign certain days for paying bills.

Manage your time efficiently by planning activities on a calendar and making to-do lists (see "Make a To-Do List, " under Related eHows). Include daily and long-term projects or goals.

Try keeping ongoing lists of books to read, movies to see, restaurants to try and gifts to buy.

Things You Will Need

  • Safe-deposit Boxes
  • Address Books
  • Palm Handheld Organizers
  • Cardboard Boxes
  • File Cabinets
  • Garbage Cans
  • Large Plastic Storage Boxes
  • Calendars
  • File Folders
  • Hanging Files
  • Personal Organizers
  • Cardboard boxes

Tips

  • Put things back in their proper places - think of them as the items' "homes" - after you've used them. Get in the habit of cleaning up after yourself immediately.
  • Handle each item exactly once; when you're sorting through your mail, don't look at an item briefly and leave it on the counter "for later."
  • Throw away junk mail immediately; file bills in the appropriate bin or folder; put bank statements in your finance file.