How to stop losing things: 21 ways to organise your life
Stop losing things! I like to think of myself as an organised person, and as a Content Strategist, organisation is a huge part of my role. The art of organisation is a skill that you can employ to make your working life and your personal life run more smoothly.
So, how do you stop yourself from misplacing things and driving yourself crazy? If you find that you are losing things, then I know why: you don’t have your things organised into their “places”. If you want to stop losing things, you need to ensure that everything has a place. If something doesn’t have a place, then this is something that will get lost.
By using these 21 tips and tricks you can get your bills, your home and your schedule into order. It might take more than one day but once you set some systems into place you will reap the rewards of having an organised life. Let’s begin!
Stop losing things in 21 simple steps
Take everything out of your bag when you get home
A great trick, this is a good habit to get into. Re-set your life every day by taking everything out of your bag and putting things away where they belong. It will save you time the next morning. If you want to stop losing things then this is a really simple trick.
Sort everything into piles
A really good way to do things quickly is to sort like-objects together. All bills go into one pile, everything that belongs into your wallet in another. Things to go into the washing basket should go in another place.
Have places for everything
Organised people have a place for everything. By putting your keys, your wallet and other items such as headphones, umbrella and notepad in their places you can make more efficient use of the time you have. This is my number one tip to stop losing things. Do it!
Learn to put things back in their places
The system will not work unless you use it! Take an extra five minutes out of your day to put things where they belong. Don’t let objects accumulate. Deal with problems as they arise.
Use a calendar
Organised people use calendars. Smartphones and tablets contain virtual ones now which can sync with other devices, but many people prefer old-fashioned hard-copy calendars which they can scribble on and make notes. Read my post Apps to create a daily work log & how to keep A daily activity diary for more tips.
Make lists and check things off
Lists can be a great way to sort important information from not-so-important tasks. Learn to make lists, use them and get the satisfaction of crossing off items as you go.
Set yourself alarms
Again, modern technology has made this easier as many smartphones allow you to set multiple alarms, even using different tones to remind you what they are for and their level of urgency.
Set calendar alerts
You can set these in Microsoft’s Outlook and on your smartphone too. These can be very useful for reminding you of small things, such as “don’t forget to call manager A,” or even, “remember to take your gym gear and laptop.”
Learn to prioritise tasks
No one can do everything all at once. Truly organised people have the ability to prioritise tasks and make sure they do the important ones first, leaving time for the less important tasks later.
Learn to delegate
Again, many of the most organised people find more time in their days by learning to delegate. Think of tasks that you can get others to help you to do. Research has shown that often people are more willing to help out then we give them credit for. Here’s some tips on how to Work Out Your Life.
Have a place to put rubbish in all main areas
Having a bin or waste paper basket in every room (including the bathroom) can be a great way to keep rubbish at bay. Go to a discount store and buy some little plastic bins and empty them routinely on the same day each week.
Keep things near the areas you need them
Keep your socks near your shoes. Keep your gym gear together, trainers included. Keep your dishwashing liquid right near the sink and your vacuum near the biggest area of carpet. Pens, office stuff and bills can all be kept near your desktop or laptop.
Colour coding might work for you
If you’re a visual person then colour-coding might be a great strategy to employ. There are people who colour-code their folders with ‘today, tomorrow, urgent, for later’ or a similar system. You might want to put stickers onto drawers or colour code lists with different highlighters. Read my post on colour psychology to get started!
Do difficult tasks first
Every now and then, we all find reasons to procrastinate. When tackling your ‘to do’ list, it can help to get rid of the most pressing and difficult tasks first, that way if you get stuck on them, you have time to re-prioritise your tasks.
Be punctual and use your clock
Truly organised people are always on time. Often the best way to do this is to be a ‘time realist’ not a ‘time optimist’. Being early for something is better than being late as you can always grab a coffee or do something else for 15 minutes if your arrive before time. Factor in delays such as traffic and parking or getting lost.
Allocate appropriate time to tasks
Give yourself more time than you need to make sure you get everything done. If you think you’ll need to spend half an hour on the phone to someone sorting things out, factor in 45 minutes or one hour to give yourself breathing room.
Under-promise and over-deliver
There is nothing worse than working with someone who continually misses deadlines. Really take the time to consider what you can deliver and promise less and deliver more to your clients. This will increase their confidence in you.
Tackle one project a week
For tasks that you have been finding really daunting, plan to tackle just one a week. This could be finishing that major report for TAFE, detailing your car or cleaning out your clothes cupboard. Set moderate goals but commit to tackling them one at a time.
Keep your keys, wallet and smartphone in the same spot
A really great trick, some people put a large bowl right near the door where they place things they use every day like their keys, sunglasses and wallet. Even if all these items have to be in different rooms, make sure that they all go to the same place in that room every day.
Is there something you just can’t seem to organise or get done? Find someone who has already done it and ask them to give you advice. Often people have great knowledge at their disposal and are all too willing to assist you if you just ask. This could be with anything from helping you to write a resume or assisting you with changing a fuse in your fuse box. No one knows everything!
Start today and don’t procrastinate
The most important thing about being organised is learning not to procrastinate. Everyone procrastinates sometimes and by gaining the self discipline to get things done in a timely fashion you really are developing an essential life skill. Use these 21 ways to get organised to set your life into motion. But do it today – not tomorrow!
Stop losing things and get organised!
So, what (if anything) have I left out? Tell me your tips and tricks for keeping things organised in the comments below.
“For every minute spent in organising, an hour is earned.” – Benjamin Franklin