The Lifestyle

20 Tips for Staying Organized

20 Tips for Staying Organized

Today we are constantly hit with streaming, flashing, fast-paced content that tends to leave us distracted and anything but organized. Here are 20 tips for staying organized — but this is not your ordinary let’s-get-organized list….

Obviously, discipline is one key to staying organized. When it comes to getting organized, this is the area that is most frequently addressed.

There is also another side that we don’t often consider when we think “organized” — that of fullness. Discipline without the fullness of life boils down to drudgery. Sometimes the best way to get organized is to think in terms of the bigger picture, instead of getting lost in the details.

So with this list we try to offer up ideas that move us toward discipline, but not at the expense of the fullness of life — something many homeschool moms find themselves giving up in order to keep up. When you have finished reading the entire list, you should have a big-picture perspective of what an organized life can look like!

Part of being organized is taking those things that we know we should be doing, and those things we wholeheartedly want to do, and finding a way to nip away at them. Since those things lie in many different areas, you’ll find this list a bit eclectic. Primarily they deal with focusing on relationships, maintaining our home, staying healthy, growing/learning, and getting it all done.

And, you’ll want to take this list and bend it to make it your own. Consider those areas where you know you need to be more organized or disciplined and make a plan to reach your goals in that area.

You also know those things that your heart yearns to find time for! Make a way to incorporate them into your day.

By the way, these principles will also hold true for our children. Bring them along with you!

 

1. Spiritually refill.

There IS no organization when we are running on empty. Make time to charge your batteries. A few ideas:

Making Scripture Study a PriorityMaking Scripture Study a Priority
Because keeping the first thing the first thing will smooth out even the most uneven days.

 

2. Set goals.

Want to get somewhere? Know where you are going.

Being DeliberateBeing Deliberate
I don’t want to be so easily distracted. I want to see the goals clearly day in and day out, have a firm path to reach them, and stay on the path.

Keeping the Goal in SightKeeping the Goal in Sight
By having the end in view.

 

3. Prioritize.

Focus on priorities and don’t give way to the insistent urgent.

One way to do this is to create a list of those things that must have your attention — your areas of responsibility. Then when you are asked to take on a new project consult your list. If the new project is not in your area of responsibility, it will likely not need urgent attention.

PrioritizingPrioritizing
The key to finding time.

 

4. Declutter.

There is a board game that our family loves to play. We call it “the train game.” The objective is to efficiently move things from where they are to where they are needed in the least possible moves.

Decluttering is very much like playing “the train game.” It is much quicker to just finish putting those shoes away while they are already in your hand.

  • Find a place for everything and keep everything in its place.
  • Make a list of areas to declutter and focus on nibbling away at them one at a time.
  • For those too-large projects, first break them down into bite-sized pieces.
  • Enlist the entire family. Amazing how quickly the work speeds up when everyone is taking care of their own stuff!

 

5. Fix it up.

  • Look.
  • Notice things that need fixed around the house.
  • Add them to a to-do list.
  • Tackle (or delegate) something on the list each day.

 

6. Be thankful.

Develop an attitude of gratitude.

Make a list of the things you are thankful for — even if you can find only one thing each day.

Even the day itself is a gift to be thankful for (Psalm 118:24).

On Being Thankful...and a freebieOn Being Thankful…and a freebie
One way to keep track.

 

7. Think positive.

Some of the most uncomfortable people to be around are those that are constantly negative. Don’t be one of them.

For every negative thing you think or say, find a positive thing to say or think. After all, as Christians others should be drawn to Christ by our joy!

Loving the UnlovableLoving the Unlovable
In case you were wondering.

 

8. Enjoy you.

What is that pet project you have put off until the children are older? Don’t! They will be richer for you being you.

Write down a list of things you enjoy doing. Set aside time to spend on one thing from your list at least once a week.

Why Your Children Need You to Remain CreativeWhy Your Children Need You to Remain Creative
Becoming one-dimensional not only hurts us — drains our energy, diminishes our focus, tears away at the things that make us us — it also affects our entire family, including those very children we tend to sacrifice for.

 

9. Enjoy husband.

Write down a list of things you can do for your husband that he would enjoy. Make it a point to incorporate at least one thing from the list each week.

One of the best things we can give our children is the security of a mom and dad’s love for each another.

Elizabeth Elliot on Marriage {Free eBook}
Many ideas about what a husband might find helpful!

6 Ways to Involve Dad6 Ways to Involve Dad
Ways to spend time with Dad!

 

10. Enjoy children.

Sharing laughter creates strong bonds!

Write down a list of things your children enjoy. Choose one thing from the list to do with them at least once a week. It is also helpful to spend one-on-one time with each child each day.

Let the giggles begin!

Helps for New Homeschoolers: Make MemoriesHelps for New Homeschoolers: Make Memories
If I had a chance to do it over, I would STILL try to pack in more — fill our days with more love, and more joy, and more fun, and more learning, and more hugging, and more kisses, and more laughter, and oh the books we would read again, and again, and again!

Making an Investment in Our ChildrenMaking an Investment in Our Children
“Over-busy or distracted parents can easily give the child the impression that he is in the way.” — Raymond & Dorothy Moore, Home Grown Kids

 

11. Read.

One way to stay organized is to keep the mind organized. One way to keep the mind organized is to read!

Write down a list of books you would like to read. Schedule a “reading time” and read each day.

10 Ways to Read More10 Ways to Read More
Looking for ways to get it done?

9 Ways to Encourage a Lifelong Reading Habit9 Ways to Encourage a Lifelong Reading Habit
Read…and set the example.

 

12. Learn.

For the same reasons mentioned above, it is beneficial to be constantly learning. Here are a few ideas:

  • Learn one new thing each day.
  • Find a word-of-the-day app to plug into.
  • Follow a news site.
  • Check out websites that teach you something or expand your knowledge.
  • Make a list of things you’ve always wanted to learn. Tackle one thing each week or month.

And, you will find we typically turn to books to learn. There’s a twofer!

A Homeschooled MomA Homeschooled Mom
Why it is a good idea to always be learning.

 

13. Fix habits.

There are all sorts of benefits to creating (or breaking) habits to help us keep organized.

Make a list of the habits you would like to break or create. Work on each habit in order, not moving on until the last one is relatively consistent.

Smooth and Easy Days {Free eBook on Habits}Smooth and Easy Days {Free eBook on Habits}
Ideas for being intentional.

10 Ideas for Overcoming Lazy Habits10 Ideas for Overcoming Lazy Habits
Ideas for breaking bad habits!

 

14. Pare back.

Disorganization is often a result of allowing ourselves to succumb to various attention-getters.

  • Find and eliminate schedule busters in your life.
  • Set aside a specific amount of time for those you are unwilling to give up. When that amount of time is up — move on!

 

15. Stay fit.

Staying organized is easier when we have more energy.

  • Begin and keep to an exercise regime.
  • Work out in some form no less than three days each week.

 

16. Eat well.

We aren’t usually very organized when our batteries are running low.

  • Make a list of healthy meals to fix your family.
  • Include one new healthy meal each week or month.

 

17. Start right.

No one is very organized when they wake up behind.

  • Determine how much sleep you need and be sure to go to bed the minute you feel tired.
  • Get up in the morning at the same time each day.

 

18. Get outside.

Getting outside is yet another way to stay energized.

I know what you are thinking. WHEN?

Combine activities and think of this as a twofer (or threefer!):

  • Exercise outside (walk or run).
  • Have fun with your children outside (nature studies or play).
  • Spend time with your hubby outside (walk together or enjoy one of his outdoor hobbies).
  • Read outdoors.
  • Enjoy one of your outdoor passions (drawing, photography, or gardening).

Nature
Lots of ideas for getting outside.

 

19. Beautify.

Being organized is easier when everything is in its place.

What can you do to beautify your living area?

  • Inside?
  • Outside?
  • Office?
  • Bedroom?
  • Children’s rooms?
  • School area?

Keep it simple. Make a list. Tackle it.

 

20. Give.

We can’t clearly see what needs to be organized if our eyes are constantly on ourselves.

A healthy focus on others will prevent an all-too-easy focus on self.

 

Bonus Idea: Schedule it.

Now that you have this great list of ideas, make them happen. Nothing will happen if you don’t set aside time for it.

 

Additional Resources

Time-Saving DevicesTime-Saving Devices
It starts with prioritizing.

Decluttering
Tips from the Fly Lady.

Managers of Their Homes {Review}Managers of Their Homes
Whether you decide to schedule your home exactly like this or not, you’ll find many essential concepts for getting it all done!

10 Ways to Stay Well-Rounded10 Ways to Stay Well-Rounded
Many overlaps, as staying organized is essential to staying well-rounded!