Sophie White trawled the Internet for the best tips to getting organised fast. Even just the act of researching a piece about getting organised was giving me this sublime contact high, a totally unearned feeling that I was already on the road to better organisation.
I am not an organised person – recently I plucked my left eyebrow and literally couldn’t get my sh*t together to pluck the other eyebrow until nine days later. NINE DAYS – that is surely a new level of disorganised. However who better to crack the fast track to organisation than a seriously inept person such as myself – if I can make these hacks work then anybody can.
Get. A. Blackboard.
I loooove my blackboard. I use it for the shopping list, recipes for dinners, reminders of what the babies need for playschool etc. The blackboard proved to be such a hit that I decided to paint my fridge using blackboard paint and now when I use the last of something I write it on the fridge and before doing the weekly shop, I just snap a pic of my fridge notes.
Zeroing Down the Inbox
One of my inboxes has over 10,000 unread emails. I want to leave it, I really do but I am filled with terror of hitting delete all or setting up a new account and quite possibly losing something utterly crucial. What that crucial thing is I have no idea, but I know the second I delete the account I will need it, my very existence will depend on it for sure. Zeroing down was all the rage there for a couple of years and while I have yet to enact it, I can appreciate how truly freeing it must be to open an inbox and see only the new relevant messages and jettison all those ancient missives clogging the inbox. A friend who is at the top of his inbox game described his ruthless approach to the digital holy grail of Inbox Zero – he actions every email by either responding, deleting or filing to an appropriate folder (aka the digital version of shoving stuff in the cupboard under the stairs) meaning his inbox is apparently clutter-free. Insert wistful sigh here.
Batch cooking is a great way to save time during the week and it doesn’t have to be overly complicated. On Sunday morning my kids helpfully wake me around the 6am mark, perfect for me to get a head start on the week’s cooking. The kinds of things I batch cook are roast vegetables that can be used as a side or a salad in the coming week, making a big soup or hotpot, roasting a chicken or doing a ham for lunches and to bulk out curries or pasta dishes.
Cook The Same Dinners Every Week
This might seem boring but if you want to save time, money and mental expenditure then Mackeral Monday, Turkey Tuesday and Fish Friday are the way to go. I try to do this to some degree but honestly I love dinner too much to fully convert to this one, instead, I cook double dinners on some nights to lighten the load for the following day.
Plan Your Outfits
Before having kids, I could not conceive of why anyone would plan their outfits in advance. Getting dressed is my favourite part of the day and I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to take the fun out of it as it were. Post-kids and now I understand what a complete sh*tstorm the average morning can be with children in the mix so now I spend a few minutes on a Sunday trying on outfits and hanging them up for the week. Yes, I am a nerd.
Instate A Family Calendar
An old-school, hanging on the wall one, the type that stares at you accusingly when you have neglected to update it, not the digital kind that is much more easily ignored.
If you can afford it, paying someone to organise your life is a very attractive option.
Two Words: Laundry. Bags.
Perhaps not everyone is as challenged as I am in the tidying stakes but I found keeping a laundry bag in practically every room of the house was a breakthrough in managing the interminable tide of stuff that drifts constantly from place to place in my home. Hint: buy attractive ones that are collapsable then at the end of each day do a quick whip round filling bags with items destined for the same destination and stamp out the endless migration of stuff that is ruining your life.
Using an app to monitor monthly finances or this clever one for sorting out the laundry is a brilliant way to take the effort and thinking out of being organised.
Do The Thing
You know this thing right. It’s always there lingering on the periphery of your thoughts and giving you a mild, ever-present feeling of unease. Can I just say that one time I actually did The Thing and I was basically high from the feeling of release and sense of control in my life. I’ll come clean, my thing is the receipts for my tax claims and full disclosure, despite vowing to never let them go unchecked again, a few months later they were out of control once more. It was short lived but my god it was potent. So seriously do The Thing, it feels great.
Sharing is care, what is your go-to organisation hack? Tell us in the comments…