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By January 30, 2016 No Comments

Lots of things in life are complicated, frustrating, and confusing. But learning how to live a simple and organized life is not one of those things! The good news is that organizing is a learned skill. Learning and repeating specific actions can bring specific results and exciting changes.


Consistent actions become your habits.

Consistent habits become your routines.

Consistent routines become your lifestyle.


May these simple strategies point you in the direction of an organized life.



Whenever you finish using an item, whether it is a dish or a book or a shirt, simply put it away. Put it in its own specifically designated place. That may be a dishwasher, a cupboard, a shelf, a closet, a drawer, or a hamper. Create logical homes for items and always put them there. Have one spot for your keys. Have one place for library books. Have one drawer for scissors and tape. Have one basket for mail. Don’t allow yourself to scatter things throughout your house. Know that dirty dishes belong in the sink. Dirty clothes belong in the hamper. Bills to be paid belong in the budget binder. This one action will bring amazing benefits! You will always know where to put things and where to find things. You will gain tremendous peace of mind and maybe even surprise yourself with some extra time each day.



Text messages and emails do not need to be kept forever! Get in the habit of deleting daily information that is no longer needed. It makes it so much easier to find the important stuff when you don’t have so much to look through. Create folders with logical labels that make sense to you; then move the emails you need to keep out of your inbox and into the folders. It simply is too overwhelming to constantly open your inbox and see multiple screens of messages. One way to tackle a backlog of emails is to set a timer for 15 minutes and quickly work down the list. Start with the most current. It might help to have a set time to do this daily. It is also necessary to delete digital pictures every now and then. Only keep the very best photos!



I am going to take a wild guess that most of us have many extra items in our homes that we don’t use, don’t like, and don’t really want. Sometimes we receive those items as holiday gifts or from an inheritance. Other times we mindlessly bring home free items or buy something just because it was on sale, not because we needed it. Of course, some items simply outlive their usefulness.  And we all have a few things that we have no clue where they came from or why we have them! Think about walking through your house each day and selecting just one item for your donation bag. It might be an extra casserole dish, a book, a sweater, a lamp, a pair of shoes, or a t-shirt. Just choose one item each and  every day. When your bag or box is full, take it to your favorite charity. Then smile as you begin to see extra space in your cupboards and closets!



We live in a noisy and cluttered world. So many things demand our attention every moment of the day. It is refreshing to simply focus on one thing at a time and completely finish the task. When you focus on finishing the laundry, you fold, hang up, and put away the clothes. You don’t leave them on the couch or on the dining room table.  You don’t stack them by the bed. You focus and finish. Then your mind is free to concentrate completely on something else. Give yourself a break by simply letting go of unfinished craft projects or scheduling time to finish them. Thirty minutes of uninterrupted time devoted to one activity is better than one hour of constant interruptions. Turn off the TV and radio and listen to the silence. Slow down long enough to focus completely on the task at hand, enjoy the emotional involvement of the activity, and savor the sense of accomplishment.



This life will never be perfect. Quit trying to compete with the illusions of picture perfect Pinterest and fantastic FaceBook. Jump into life, determined to giving it your best effort. Don’t be afraid to try. Don’t be afraid to learn new things. Smile at the days to come. Embrace the imperfect moments of life. Ann Voskamp says it this way, “Fire your perfectionism and your procrastination will quit too!” I love that thought! There isn’t just one way to be organized. Don’t over-analyze what needs to be done. Pick one room, one area, one drawer and get started. That is better than waiting for everything to be perfect.




Which one of these strategies will you use to make a difference in 2016?


Olive welcomes the opportunity to speak to community and civic groups. Check out the event page at www.organizedbyolive.com  for current programs and workshops. Contact Olive at 937-339-2952 or olive@organizedbyolive.com for specific details and availability.

Olive Wagar

Author Olive Wagar

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