Hi friends! Today I’m sharing ten tips I recently submitted to Parade Magazine for their “Year of You” series.
At the bottom of this post, you can find the link to their full feature, which includes the following categories:
- Self Love
- Digital Detox
- Organize Your Life (My area!)
- Invest in You (Finances)
Now, there are a lot of great ideas here, but I don’t want you to feel overwhelmed. So here’s what I recommend:
- Just listen or read through the tips first. Don’t worry about doing them right now–just look to see if anything stands out to you.
- If there are a few that you feel drawn to do right away, use the 2-minute rule to add these ideas to your calendar or Next Actions list–or delegate them! (We show you how to create a Next Actions list in our free class, linked below.)
- If you simply want to keep these ideas handy, we’ve included a link below to an Evernote with all 10 tips so that you can easily reference them later. 🙂
Are you ready to get started? Here we go!
10 Quick Ways to Get Organized
Clean ONE drawer. Preferably, you’ll want to select the one you use most often—like your top desk drawer or the utility drawer in the kitchen. Take everything out—and only put back the items you intentionally go to the drawer to find. (More instructions can be found in this podcast!)
Take 10 minutes to unsubscribe from email lists you no longer need. Scan all the emails you received in the last 30 days and click the opt-out link for any that you don’t feel excited to open. Or consider signing up for the free service Unroll.Me—that I have personally used and loved for YEARS. It stops unwanted emails from hitting your inbox and delivers a daily roll-up of the ones you DO want, so you can review them in less than a minute each morning.
Get a dishwasher magnet. Whenever you start the dishwasher, switch the magnet to “clean.” Then once you unload the dishes, switch it to “dirty.” It’ll save you and your whole family time and brain power.
Designate an inbox for your home. Most of us have “hot spots” all over the place where papers, bills, receipts, invitations, etc. sit around and take up space. Buy a pretty inbox (this is the one I’m currently using) or create an inbox out of something you already have—and let your family know that “Flat Surface Disease” is getting cured this year!
Check out Freedom Filer. It’s crazy to think that a few changes in your filing system will change your life, but that is EXACTLY what this system has done for me and my online community members. With a simple color code and file structure, my “to file” pile has disappeared, and I can find any piece of paper within minutes.
Use the two-minute rule! Coined by international bestselling author, David Allen, this rule states that if anything can be done in two minutes or less, you simply do it. Don’t take time to write it down or put it off for later. You’ll be amazed at how much brain space will be freed up when you quickly send that text, look up an item online, add something to your calendar, forward an email, pay someone on VenMo, etc.
Enjoy an episode of Marie Kondo’s “Tidying Up.” If you have excess clothing in your closet or dresser, Episode 2 is awesome. You’ll learn how to make a mountain of clothes on your bed—and then only put back those items that “spark joy”!
Establish a morning routine. This collaboration from Jeff Sanders (author of The 5am Miracle) and Michael Hyatt (one of my favorite online leadership mentors) is phenomenal. And while each of our routines will look different, having a general plan in place—that we actually follow most days—will set us up for success.
Buy clear containers for your pantry. After battling a constantly-messy pantry for years, I reached out to my friend/container expert, and she recommended these simple, clear, rectangular containers to help control the chaos. We put four or five on the main shelf of our pantry, and it’s made it SO much easier to see what we have, organize the bags, boxes, and loose items, and easily make our lunches for school or work!
Donate one trunk load to charity. A room-by-room, systematic purge of all the excess is ideal this time of year, but if there’s too much going on, set a goal to fill your trunk ONCE—and just go around your home finding items that are taking up space, but that you don’t need, want, use, or have room to store. It’s going to build momentum and feel SO great! (This photo is from our friend Beth!)
And one final thing to remember…. The goal is progress. Not perfection. You have meaningful things to do with your time and life, and sitting in clutter or feeling paralyzed by overwhelm is a very normal thing, but there is MORE for your life than that. If you’re drowning in the details of life, we’re here to help you create simple systems so you can do what matters most.
For today, pick one of these links or put one idea on your list that will alleviate the stress you might feel. And then stay close here at LearnDoBecome because there is so much goodness in store!
Parade Magazine’s Full Post for “Year of You”!
An Evernote version of this post! (To save for later….)
[Podcast 33]: Using Evernote to Track Everything You Learn. There is more knowledge available to us today than ever before. But what do we DO with everything we learn so it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle? Here’s one simple way to track (and easily find!) all the wonderful things we learn that we never want to forget:
Join our free class, How to Stop Drowning in Piles to learn more! Here at LearnDoBecome, we teach a full method to help you get everything organized in your life–from papers, emails, tasks, and projects to all the stuff that may be sitting around your home or office. This is all taught in our Steps to Everyday Productivity (STEP) Program, where you learn how to build your own Command Central. Click the link above for a class time that works for you!
***And as a quick note, this page includes affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more information, if you have any questions.
Rhonda Tallent says
Good ideas. The magnet on dishwasher won’t work on my dishwasher because it’s faux metal. I use a dry erase marker & write “C” or “D” on it and it wipes away with damp paper towel.
Taryn Wood says
This is a great tip, Rhonda! Thanks for sharing it with us. 🙂 We’re so glad to have you with us!
Sung Yun Lee says
Awesome tip!!! Maybe I can write Bible verses on my fridge now!!! Wheeeee
We fill the soap container right when the dishwasher is empty. Everyone in the house knows if the soap container is closed – it is dirty dishes. If it is open, the dishes are clean. So far it works.
This is a great post – some really good ideas. I would really like to save this to evernote, but when I clicked the link to do so, I got a message saying “cannot open the note since you may not have permission to access it or it may have been moved.”
Taryn Wood says
Hi, Lauren! Thanks for your comment! We’ve just tested the link and it seems to be working now. Will you send us an email if you still have trouble with it? [email protected] So thankful you’re here!
Lori Korstanje says
looks like great ideas to implement just taking a break before I wash the floor. hubby is upstairs doing the upper level I’m on the main level. we us I am drowning in stuff. my news years plan is to do a bucket a day so far it is the 15th of the month and we have done 2 bins, 2 bins closer to a cleaned out home.
Taryn Wood says
Thanks for your comment, Lori! Congrats on cleaning out those two bins! One step at a time is the way to go. We’d love to share some more tips with you similar to those in this podcast. In our free webinar we teach four simple steps that anyone can use (immediately!) to apply to day to day life, work/home, projects and tasks. We hope you can join us! http://www.LearnDoBecome.com/STEP
Amy Williams says
I always LOVE your podcasts. You keep it so real. I’ve been a member of Learn, Do, Become since the beginning. I’ve done so many of your ideas in my home, but the paper filing not yet. I have hang ups that I just can’t get over. Super excited to see you in your You Tube videos processing your papers into files. Oh, I LOVE my Command Center-especially my Homeschool Command Center! Such a time saver and calming area to have with all my papers we have to keep.
April Perry says
You are a champ, Amy!! I am so happy you’ve got a Command Center set up, and I’m hopeful that the processing videos will help clarify some things…. If you have any SPECIFIC hangups, let me know, and I can add that to my video queue. 🙂 Thanks for the kind words!!
Sheila Roberts says
Do you have a podcast or written article on cleaning out a very full garage?
April Perry says
Hi Sheila! I found this post I wrote with a few lessons on organziing (that includes a photo of our super-full garage!): https://learndobecome.com/how-to-work-together-as-a-family-to-create-a-balanced-and-focused-life/
Hope that helps!
I’ve been a STEP mastery member for a few glorious years. I never had hope before and paper piles in every room. When I fall off the bandwagon now, I don’t panic because my Command Central is all set up and I just have to sort through my papers with my laminated STEP Flowchart next to me. I listened to this podcast 3 times today. It makes me to happy to hear April’s voice giving such good advice. Thank you for being so together that you are able to brighten and lighten so many people’s lives.
Michelle, I am so, so proud of you!!! I love that your Command Central can support you in your unique mission. Sending a huge hug!!!
How long is the training? Nothing indicates how long the class is??
April Perry says
Thanks for asking! Sorry for the confusion. The class is one hour!