3 Tips to Become ORGANIZED in the New Year

When people hear the word “organized” they often think of a super clean house, and while that’s certainly a small aspect of it, being organized also includes time-management, and reducing stress levels. If you feel like someone who is always going a mile a minute, overwhelmed, or that you’re always late to your appointments or engagements, the start of the new year can be the best time to start thinking about how you can change those behaviors. It may not happen overnight, but I certainly believe it’s something you can work towards. If you feel organization doesn’t come naturally to you, I promise there are modifications you can put in place to help overcome your tendencies to be disorganized or late!

I once had a professor who said “if you’re 5 minutes early; you’re on time. If you’re on time; you’re late.” Meaning, you need to arrive 5 minutes early so that you have time to find a seat, get out your materials, and be mentally prepared so that you’re rearing and ready to go precisely at the start of class. This message has stayed with me for years, and it’s this thinking that has helped me be a reliably punctual person.

I am someone who gets impatient and overwhelmed when I am running late or disorganized. Can you relate? I’ve learned throughout the years—particularly in motherhood!—to identify when my environment feels out of control, so that I can take a few steps back, calm down, and breathe. In order to prevent myself from getting crazy, and turning into mean mommy, I have these little tips in tact to help me manage my time. And when my time is managed, I am a cooler, calmer, better mom, and person in general!

In these last few weeks of 2015, we’re hearing a LOT about setting goals, and making big changes in 2016. While it’s important to be thinking about our larger goals, it’s also important to take an honest look at our weaknesses. What might be preventing you from accomplishing the larger goals and the bigger picture—especially when it comes to health, career, and family—is that you need to first address the smaller details, such as time-management and organization.

Here are my tips!

  • Set Alarms all day, erryday!
    • Monday-Friday I have several alarms saved in my iPhone that go off specifically to warn me that we have to get ready to leave. I have already taken into consideration how long it takes us to get out the door (shoes, coats, seat buckles, etc.) as well as travel time.
      • For example, my older son is in Kindergarten. His bus comes between 8:36-8:40 am. I have an alarm that goes off at 8:32, to alert us that it’s time for him to get on his shoes, coat, and backpack. By the time the bus comes, he’s already been standing at the door, waiting, for a few minutes. Similarly, I have an alarm that goes off at 2:40 pm, notifying me that it’s time to wake my youngest son up from his nap, change his diaper, get in the car, and go pick up my Kindergartener at school by 3 pm. 
  • Use an Old-School Daily Planner
    • I find it’s easier to write things down. Smart Phones and digital calendars are great for scheduling actual time-specific appointments, but I find that when it comes to my to-do list of daily tasks, I’m best served by writing them down.
    • You don’t even have to specify what time you’re doing laundry, cleaning, etc. but just knowing that it needs to happen at some point during your day, can help you feel both organized without feeling restricted.
    • For more tips on planners, click here
  • Reduce Clutter
    • In a house with kids, it’s impossible to keep it clean all the time. Things may be disinfected and clean, but there are still toys everywhere! So when I say “clutter,” I am referring to piles of mail, magazines, books, boxes, shopping bags, excessive knick-knacks. Basically anything you don’t need that are simply taking up space.
    • Studies have shown, when you’re in a cluttered environment, your head feels cluttered, which can cause anxiety.
    • To be more productive, take a good, honest look at your home (particularly high-traffic areas like the kitchen) and begin to reduce the piles of stuff you don’t need. Even something as simple, as a filled-to-the-brim junk drawer can bring unnecessary feelings of chaos and disorder to your day.
    • Having end tables, coffee tables, and counters free from clutter will not only help clear your head, but will make your home seem bigger and brighter too!

Meridith Oram
Meridith Oram is an ACE-Certified Health Coach at Love Yourself Towards Healthy where she helps women heal their relationship with food, fitness and body image. She is also the creator of Gain Wellness, a 5-week behavioral change program to unlearn diet culture, stop negative self-talk and set wellness goals---not appearance goals. Follow Meridith at @loveyourself2healthy on all social channels.
  • Mary

    I started adding an alarm as a five minute warning before HAVING to leave the house and still be on time for work. My sister suggested it over Christmas when I said I am always 15-20 minutes late ever single day. I was actually early every day last week. That hasn’t happened in a long time 🙂
    Great tips!

    1. Meridith Oram


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