Make Organization Stick

(This post is part of our 2014 Resolve to Evolve program.)

Getting organized saves time, eliminates stress, makes you more productive, and ultimately saves money. You’ve cleaned up, pared down, and put everything in its place (both your hard and digital files). Great work. Now, you’ve just got to keep it that way.

Here are three ways to maintain your newly organized life.

  1. Schedule it. You know that one calendar you’re now using? Enter an appointment—plan for  20-30 minutes at the end of your week to tidy up. Toss old papers, file what’s in your inbox, take a look at your upcoming week, and give yourself the gift of a less-stressed Monday morning.
  2. Keep it Out. The best way to keep things organized and clutter-free is to not bring new stuff in. Use the one-touch rule when it comes to mail (email too!), papers, notes; anything that comes into your office. Touch it one time. That means it goes in the trash, you file it, or you act on it immediately. Don’t let things linger.
  3. Make a list, check it twice. Often mental clutter is caused by the same nagging thought or idea bouncing around in your brain. Getting in the habit of list making helps keep you organized, because you get it out of your mind freeing you up to think of other things. (And you get all those minutes of your life back you waste trying to remember what you’ve just forgotten.) Keep one list and keep it in the same spot. (Get a journal if you want to take said list with you.)

Now you’re ready to make this the best fall yet, hopefully complete with some fresh and well-organized office supplies.

Johanna Price

Johanna Price is a writer and editor living in the Twin Cities. Follow her on Twitter @johannaprice.

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