I can't tell you how very much I want to become more organized. I think about organization. I read books about organization. I try to organize my thoughts. Thus far, I have yet to achieve my dream of becoming what I would consider to be an "organized person." However, it's getting better.

I've met organized people. Somehow, they appear to walk through their lives and everything seems to fall into place. Heck, even their dinner plates during meals seem to make sense. The peas stay on their side of the plate, far away from the neatly-consumed meatloaf. Inevitably when I look at my plate, whatever was there to begin with has melded together to form something akin to one of those strange casseroles you want to avoid at potluck dinners.

96.5 KVKI logo
Enter your number to get our free mobile app

Is there some secret memo I didn't receive? Was there in elective taught in our school systems I forgot to take? I'm not sure. I'm not giving up on my dream of becoming more organized, because the older I get and the more I need and want to accomplish, it's less of an option. My desk piled with strewn notebooks and doo-dads ain't gonna cut it.

Throughout the past few years, I've discovered various opinions about the best way to organize, and I've tried to incorporate a few of them. However, since I'm not the most organized person (irony), maintaining the new order has been a challenge. *sigh*

Happily, I have discovered a path that seems to be working. Slowly, but surely.

Taking it ONE new habit at a time.

OK, so this has been HARD for me, because life is busy and the idea of "slowly, but surely" doing anything seems counter-productive when all I need is to be quicker and more efficient. The thing is, when I try to organize everything in my life all at once, I become overwhelmed and end up staring off into space in despair whilst bits of paper created with the best of intentions fall down upon me. Then I eat chocolate, weep, and vow to begin again Monday.

Finally, I took the advice of a friend who told me to create only one new system at a time. So, if the first things I need to organize are my thoughts--I would start with a focus on that. Get the journal that makes sense for the way my brain works. Make a ritual of writing in it every morning. In the evening, I should make a list of the most pressing tasks for the next day. That's it. I do that first thing in the morning and right before bed. Every day. For like a month--or longer--as long as it takes for it to become a habit.

Your first new organization habit may be keeping your clutter at bay. My Mom, who is naturally one of those enviable organized types, told me her number one tip for keeping your house organized is simply: "Put it away now." So, if you decide for example to set off on a great organizing adventure and have managed to pull out all of the stuff out of all of the closets and leave it there while you start to pull out more stuff from another closet. STOP. One thing at a time. If you get it out, put it back.

Now, I know this is completely in contrast to the uber-popular Marie Kondo method. I love the idea of her method--and hey, if you can get her to come over and help, pull every mother-hecking thing out of every nook and cranny that you want to. Enjoy. However, for me...I gotta keep it manageable so I don't run off screaming into the woods, never to return.

So, there are many people with many thoughts on how to get organized. Honestly? I think you just have to find the right system that works for you.

This has really helped me: One organization habit at a time. Then another...and so on. Just think, by the end of one year you could have built as many as twelve new habits that are helping you stay organized. AND, since it's become part of your daily life, it doesn't seem so hard to maintain. Hallelujah.

Want more organization ideas from some experts? Check out this article from the Family Handyman website.

Have any tips of your own you'd like to share with the class? Let us know in the comments.

Gift Guide for the Tech-Savvy


More From 96.5 KVKI