4 organisation tips that will sort your life out (well, your house at least)
Confession: I am a sucker for articles and books and lists on how to be more organised and stay on top of everything at all times.
You know the ones. "10 ways to live a more organised life." Or: "Declutter your way to inner zen", or something and anything to that effect.
What this means, guys, is that I have consumed, over the years, an absolute insane amount of tips and advice and lists and app downloads on the matter – as well as having put a lot (a lot!) of these to the test in my home and daily life.
Some tips ended up being far too extreme to work in real life – such as Marie Kondo telling me to get rid of everything I own that didn't 'spark joy,' for instance. I mean; I don't know anyone who would say that their Tupperware containers spark much joy, but for most of us, we sort of need them anyway, no? Unless you get so organised you only ever cook the absolute correct amount of rice or stew, which, you know, none of us do.
However, some tips have stuck with me – because they genuinely work – and have more or less become routine and integrated into my home and life.
These five really work for me, and if you try them out, I feel fairly certain they will make your life easier too:
1. Make a rough meal plan for the week, every Sunday
Meal planning is all the rage right now, and between Pinterest and Instagram, you'll feel inundated with pictures of brimming Tupperware containers and hand-written lists of healthy ingredients. Don't feel overwhelmed – being organised on the food front does not require a whole lot – and yet doing it is probably the single most effective thing you can do in order to streamline your week.
All you need to do is make a little time on a Sunday evening to look in your fridge to check what you have, figure out rough menu-plan for the week (don't forget lunch boxes and snacks) and then write out your shopping list. Ideally, you live somewhere where you can now just place your order online and wait for your groceries to arrive tomorrow. If not, plan your (or your partner's) Monday, so that either one of you have time to stop by your local supermarket to stock up.
Once you have all the ingredients and everything you need in your kitchen, you'll find that your week will flow so much easier, trust me.
(Image via Cupcakes and Cashmere)
2. Set up a 'command centre' in your hallway
This is another little life hack that certainly makes mornings less chaotic. Make sure you have enough hooks and/or baskets, so that everyone can keep tabs on their own coats and backpacks. And keeping these in the hallway (or a designated area as near your front door as possible) will make for fewer trips up and down the stairs while you are trying to get everyone out the door.
As well as this, a basket where you can keep everyone's gloves and hats handy too, will no doubt make for fewer stressful morning moments.
Keys have a tendency to get misplaced, so make sure you have a designated space for them, be it a hook or a bowl of some description. Another clever thing we have started doing, is having a wire basket on top of a chest-of-drawers in the hallway where all the mail gets put into as soon as it is brought into the house. From here I can go through it, junk mail can go straight into the paper recycling bin, bills can be stuck to the fridge until we get them paid, and other bits can be filed or dealt with in due course.
3. Set up a gadget charger station
How often do you misplace or forget to bring a charger back to where it belongs? The kids are screaming because they can't find the chargers for their devices and you're running late and can't for the life of your locate your headphones? Sounds familiar?
What you need is an electronics hub – a designated home for all things electrical and their chargers. I have an acrylic tray that I picked up in Zara Home (stylish and functional) sitting on the same chest of drawer in the hallway as my post basket, and this is where everything gets left and charged in our house. Often, I also leave my phone there when I get home in the afternoons, as it stops me from getting tempted to check it all the time. This way, if it rings, I can answer it, if it doesn't, I can leave it alone until after the kids are in bed.
4. Keep a basket by the front door
This nifty little trick I picked up from a blog. The writer lives in a very compact New York apartment – and has some very good tips on how to learn to live a more practical and sustainable life.
The basket idea stuck with me, because in a household of four people, I find there are always things that have to come out with my – from paper recycling to car stuff that needs to go back out into the car, or dry cleaning or clothes that can be donated or whatever. Having a basket sitting somewhere near my front door means that I can easily collect everything that is going out of the house in one spot – and will be more likely to actually bring it with me when I go.
Have YOU got any great organisation tips you'd like to share with us?