How to Organize Your Life: 51 Easy Ways to Organize & Change Your Life
Organizing is tricky because you have to be integral about it.
You can be very thoughtful with your time, your tasks, and your to-do’s, but if your home’s a mess or your email inbox can’t fit one single email more… Trust me, it all feels like chaos anyway.
And the worst thing is that feeling and being disorganized can keep you stuck in life.
That’s why in this article, I’m not focusing on a single area of your life you can organize; I’m giving you easy-to-implement tricks to manage your time, your home, your finances, and your life as a whole which will help you feel more centered and less stuck.
When I say easy, I mean it. I know organizing can be tedious for some people (like me!), so I want to make it as uncomplicated for you as possible.
I used to be one of those people who didn’t give a damn about how their house looked.
But, at the same time, I was so organized with my time. I’ve always been.
However, if you’d seen my house 6 or 7 years ago, you wouldn’t believe a young, independent woman lived there. My house simply didn’t match my nerdy, hard-worker personality.
I was a hoarder, and honestly, I couldn’t care less about cleaning and organizing my space. I would leave food stains and liquid spills on the floor for literally months and then walk around them because I didn’t want to step on the dirty floor… Ugh.
And don’t get me started on the clothes, purses, and shoes that never seemed to be inside the closet where they belong.
I could go on for hours telling you how my house was a complete mess. It was bad. To be honest, all I cared about was working and relaxing.
But one time, when my anxiety struck me real hard, I realized how the space surrounding me was a reflection of what was going on within me.
I don’t remember how I reached that conclusion, but the thing is, I did. And I took action.
Step by step, I started to put everything in place and developed a cleaning routine that wasn’t super ambitious for me.
It goes without saying that it helped my anxiety tremendously, and even though that was five years ago, I still remember the impact my new cleaning habits had on me.
It wasn’t easy, but it certainly was beneficial for me, my mental health, and my whole life.
And I want to show you how you can do it too.
If you’re wondering, “How do I become an organized person?” or “How do I organize my life?” then follow this gold advice from a former messy person, and trust me when I say ANYBODY can implement these tricks 😊
51 Easy Ways To Organize Your Life & Get Unstuck In 2022
Get your life together with these 51 easy ways every messy person can implement to improve their life, health, and even relationships.
Organize your mind
You need to organize your mind before you start organizing everything else.
I guess you’re here because you not only want to organize your life, but you also want to change it.
To organize your life, you need to understand what you want to get out of it.
1. Start journaling
Journaling is the perfect tool to organize your feelings and thoughts.
Journaling can help you:
- improve your memory,
- boost your mood,
- be more creative,
- overcome trauma,
- have better ideas,
- and even heal faster.
The moment I started journaling consistently, I began to understand what I wanted to do professionally, where my energy was being wasted, and what I wanted more of in life.
That’s when I understood that I wanted to organize my life because I wanted to transform it into something completely different, but at first, I didn’t know what that was.
Uncovering my dreams helped me organize my time the right way and make the changes I wanted to make because it helped me set priorities.
That’s why journaling is at the top of my list here; it´ll help you see in which direction you want your life to go.
If you want to use journaling to understand what you want, check out the Self-Discovery Bundle, an affordable collection of journaling workbooks that will help you:
- Organize what’s on your mind
- Get clear about what you want and what matters to you
- Uncover what’s stopping YOU from taking action
- Ditch your bad habits and build a routine that works for you
- Understand the mental obstacles that stand between you and your dream life
- Start turning your inner critic into your biggest cheerleader
… And so much more!
The Self-Discovery Bundle is designed to help people like you find direction in life through fun and thought-provoking journaling prompts.
It’s the tool I wish I had on hand when I felt lost and stuck a couple of years ago.
These workbooks will help you organize your thoughts and boost your self-development process. Check them out here.
2. Create a personal development plan and check it weekly
We all need a personal development plan. Yes, you too.
Like I said before, organizing your life goes beyond organizing your home and becoming more productive.
It’s a mindset shift too.
A personal development plan is the roadmap you want to follow to build the life of your dreams.
A life that, no matter how chaotic it may be at times, still feels right to you.
Designing a plan like this for refreshing, eye-opening, and motivating because it gives you a clear idea of what you want and how to get it.
And if you want to stick to that plan, you need to check it at least once weekly.
Check your plan right before bed to reflect on your day or after waking up for some motivation.
Reviewing your goals daily or weekly helps you:
- increase your commitment to them
- keep your eyes on the prize
- motivate yourself to keep going
- see what you need to improve
Take time this week to design a personal development plan and put your goals in order.
Organize your time
Want results while keeping your peace of mind? Learn how to organize and manage your time.
3. Create daily routines
Instead of figuring out how to do the same things day after day, look for ways to complete those tasks as effectively as possible and in the order that feels right for you.
If you want to learn how to structure your day better, check out how to design the perfect daily routine.
4. Schedule your workouts
Exercising regularly offers many mental benefits on top of the physical ones.
Research shows that working out several times a week can:
- improve your self-confidence, which can help you get out of a rut faster;
- clear your mind, which can help you make better decisions that move the needle;
- make you more disciplined, which comes in handy when you want to make significant changes in life
Scheduling your workout helps you make sure you won’t skip them, and it’ll give you a sense of order in your day.
It doesn’t matter if you like weight training (like I do!), yoga, dancing, or walking around the block.
Whatever it is, set the time to exercise.
5. Make lists
- Shopping lists
- To-do lists
- Things I’m grateful for lists
- Birthday gift ideas lists
You name it.
Keep lists of everything and let your brain do heavy work instead of using it to remember mundane stuff.
This simple yet effective technique will help you organize your life and thoughts.
To manage your lists, you can use apps like Todoist or simply use a small notebook you can carry around.
7. Create time blocks in Google Calendar
After making a list of everything, you need to get done, make time blocks on Google Calendar every night before bed.
It’s nothing fancy, but it’ll help you feel more organized the next day.
And even if life happens and not everything goes according to plan, creating time blocks in a calendar will give you a sense of structure and motivate you to be more productive.
To do so, you’ll need to know how much time it takes you to complete several tasks, and that’s where what you learn from Toggl comes into play.
8. Use Toggl to track your time
Toggl is a time-tracking app that allows you to track your daily activities and provides detailed insights about how you spend your time.
This is the perfect exercise to find areas of your life you can improve.
For example, for me, using Toggl religiously for around two months was enough to understand a lot about me, my life, and my daily routines and find areas to improve.
When I started using it, I realized I was spending around two hours a day checking Instagram.
This was a massive eye-opener because even though I already knew I was checking Instagram constantly, I didn’t realize I was spending that much time there.
So, I highly recommend you use Toggle to understand yourself better and make better use of your time.
9. Use Asana, Trello, or Notion to organize big projects
These tools may seem intimidating and complex at first, but when you master them, they can make your life so much easier.
I used to use Asana to manage the content creation process for my blog.
It made a massive difference in my results and how I approached my content creation process.
Then, I started using Trello to record and track personal goals. It made me feel inspired and helped me work smarter towards my goals.
But then I decided to ride the Notion wave, and now I LOVE it.
Nowadays, I use Notion to manage my life goals, yearly goals, business, and marketing strategy.
My whole life’s in Notion; all of my ideas, notes, articles I’ve read, and more.
10. Optimize the way you do things
What are the steps you usually follow to do things your way?
Understanding how you do things can give you insights into ways to improve what you do and what works for you.
Be mindful of everything you do to complete a specific activity.
For example, what do you do first, second, and third when cooking?
Is there a way to optimize that process so you can cook better meals in less time?
11. Develop your own organizational systems
Once you try different tools like:
- Microsoft To Do
- Google Calendar
- paper planners
You’ll start to notice what you like and what works for you.
Some people like using Notion, while others prefer bullet journaling or the classic wall calendar.
Which tools help you keep up to date with your tasks and do things more efficiently?
Experiment with systems until you find the one for you right now.
But don’t forget that your needs and preferences can change, so be ready to adapt when a system no longer works.
12. Wake up early (Whatever “early” means to you)
Waking up early (between 6 and 7 a.m.) was a life-changer for me.
When I wake up before the sun rises, I can enjoy some quiet time to journal, reflect, read, or meditate and set the tone for an organized day.
However, the truth is that not all people are wired to wake up that early, and doing so can cause terrible and permanent damage to their physical and mental health.
If you want to know more about sleep, I highly recommend you read Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker 🙂 This book is one of the best I’ve ever read.
I was so fascinated by the topic and how the author presented it that I read the whole thing in like six days.
It had such a significant impact on me that now sleep is one of my top priorities.
If doing something implies I have to wake up earlier or go to bed later than I should, I probably won’t do it or find a way to reschedule it.
And ever since I started making sleep a priority, I have felt rested and full of energy.
I no longer feel the urge to go lay down all day long!
Seriously, go read it and start waking up early (again, whatever “early” means to you.)
This takes me to my next point.
13. Set a sleeping schedule
Some people believe that skipping sleep to work or study is a badass move.
However, there’s nothing further from the truth.
Not sleeping enough is actually the #1 productivity killer ever.
And it can damage your brain, body, and even your mental health.
So, if you want to get the most out of your day, make enough room for good-quality sleep.
Again, if you want to know more about sleep, I recommend reading Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker.
14. Plan your day the night before
Don’t let the sun come up without knowing your top 3 priorities for the day.
Facing a new day without being clear about what you need to get done and what you’d like to do can only make you feel lost and hurt your growth.
15. Mind how much time it takes you to complete different tasks
Being aware of:
- how long you like your showers to be,
- how many pages a day you need to read to finish a book in a week,
- or how long it takes you to style your hair will change your life.
Knowing this about you and your routines will help you better plan your time and, of course, avoid getting stressed out all the time.
16. Keep a record of what’s working and what’s not
Once you’ve started using different apps like the ones I recommended above or any other system you like, be conscious of how much they’re actually helping you (or not.)
This will help you keep the things you like and find helpful and get rid of those that stress you out and slow you down.
That way, you’ll be able to build a custom system that works for you.
17. Set deadlines
Once you understand how much time it takes you to complete the usual tasks in your days, it’ll be easier to set realistic deadlines that push you but aren’t a recipe for disappointment.
18. Build a routine that works for you
You are what you repeatedly do.
If you want to organize your life, you need an organized daily routine. That doesn’t mean it has to be perfect every single time, though.
It means that you need to build a routine that adapts to your lifestyle AND what you want to achieve.
There’s no one-fits-all solution here. You have to find what works FOR YOU.
The Routines & Habits Workbook will help you clarify what you want to do and how to turn those goals into tiny steps.
It’ll also help you ditch bad habits and build a routine that helps you build your dream life one day at a time.
Organize your workspace
19. Use a binder to manage big projects
If you prefer to take notes using pen and paper instead of digital tools like Notion, don’t make the mistake of writing on whatever piece of paper you have lying around.
Keep your notes and projects organized in a single place.
This applies especially to learning, particularly if you’re learning independently with free resources you find on the Internet.
When I realized I wanted to start a blog and started soaking in all the information available, I almost quit.
It was so much to handle, but I was so sure I wanted to give it a go that I decided to keep going.
I knew that I needed structure to organize my notes and classes if I wanted to make progress.
And that’s how I decided to use something I’d never used before: a binder.
I started pouching my notes and organizing them into categories, which made a world of difference.
20. Keep a pen holder stocked with good pens
You don’t need a thousand pens. You only need 2 or 3 good ones.
Get rid of those pens that don’t work. You know which ones.
There’s nothing more frustrating than wanting to catch an idea on paper and losing it because you didn’t have a functioning pen at hand.
Keep a mug or a pen holder close when working, studying, or reading.
21. Have an updated weekly planner
Keep a weekly spread with a simple layout next to you to schedule tasks on the fly.
I designed a simple weekly planner and kept it taped to my table’s surface, where I work every day.
Whenever something I need to do pops into my head, I schedule it on my paper planner.
Then, before bed, I check all my notes and organize my Notion, bullet journal, or Google Calendar tasks.
22. Keep a journal near you
A journal is necessary to practice journaling (duh!), but it’s also crucial to keep one around to take notes of everything.
I keep a single one that lasts around 5-6 months, where I write recipes, ideas, movies I want to watch, little reminders, and even manage my freelance work.
The key to using your journal correctly without making it a mess is to check it regularly (preferably daily or weekly) to transfer important tasks and lists to the places they belong to.
Organize your digital life
23. Unsubscribe from e-mail lists you don’t care about
We’ve all been guilty of making it a habit to delete mail before even reading it because we already know we’re not interested.
Instead of doing that or leaving it unread in your inbox (which is worse!), unsubscribe from lists you don’t care about.
It’s ok to do it, and companies should make it easy to do so.
I promise you’ll feel a lot better knowing that the messages you do get are important to you 🙂
24. Delete unimportant emails
Your inbox should be a sacred place for receiving important messages, not a place to store trash.
Take an hour of your time to tidy up your inbox.
Delete emails you know you’re not going to read again and those you’ve read but don’t need to archive.
Keeping your inbox organized and clean is a form of decluttering and will help you feel much more at ease.
I recommend you use the Jason Savard Gmail extension for Chrome!
This Chrome extension allows you to read, delete, and even reply to emails without having the Gmail tab on your browser.
I also recommend you organize your Gmail inbox into Read and Unread messages.
This setting leaves unread messages at the top of your inbox, so you’ll never miss another important email.
25. Unfollow people on social media that don’t add value to your life
I’m guilty of following people I don’t know and don’t care about just because their Instagram feed looks nice.
However, doing that has never brought anything useful, helpful, or interesting to my life.
On the contrary, it just made me spend more time on the app trying to keep up with all those posts that, in the end, were just making me waste my precious time.
A couple of years ago, I decided to do an Instagram purge. I asked myself:
- Do I know this person in real life?
- Does this person’s content add something of value to my life?
- Can I live without knowing what these people are up to?
- Do I care about this person?
And, little by little, I reduced the number of accounts I was following to the maximum, which made me feel so much better.
Plus, it significantly reduced the time I was spending on the app.
You don’t have to delete the app or close your account if you don’t want to, but you can turn TikTok and Instagram into learning tools.
There are content creators of every kind there, people who can show you how to:
- start your own business
- be more productive and effective
- become the best version of yourself
What are you interested in?
Don’t go around giving everybody your time and attention.
26. Clean the folders on your computer regularly
This is another one I’ve had to learn the hard way.
Every laptop I buy ends up getting super slow within a year or so, and it’s because I’m not mindful of all the things I save and install.
This year I’m learning to clean my Downloads folder regularly, making a huge difference.
Doing so helps me keep my devices healthy, and it’s also so much easier to find files when I need to.
27. Use Google Drive
Or Dropbox, if you prefer that one.
But I prefer Google Drive.
The interface is way friendlier, in my opinion 🙂
Forget about losing work or important documents: Store your files, pictures, and even work on the cloud.
What’s great about this is that your files will be safe, no matter what happens to your computer, and that you can access all your files from any device just by login into your Google account.
Create folders to keep them organized and access them wherever you go.
Storing files on Google Drive is free up to a certain amount of storage, and if you want more, you can upgrade your plan for only a couple of dollars a month.
It’s a total game-changer if you want to organize your life.
28. Use Gmail tags
As a freelancer and someone who works online, my email is vital to me.
I receive important emails from clients daily, and that’s why it’s so important to keep my inbox clean, uncluttered, and organized.
Use Gmail tags to organize your emails and help you find them easily in the future.
29. Keep useful apps at sight
Organize your phone home screen and keep only those apps that help you stay organized.
Organize your home
Remember that a messy environment equals a messy state of mind.
30. Give everything a home before you bring it into your home
Before purchasing anything, especially (but not only) if it’s of big proportions, figure out where you’ll put it once you take it home.
Picture yourself coming home with the item and placing it where it’s supposed to be, and ask yourself:
- where am I going to put this?
- how is this going to look there?
- is it going to take up too much space? is it worth it?
- is it going to make cleaning more challenging?
- do I have to get rid of something before I get this?
When I was in my teens and early 20’s, I had this habit of keeping anything that reminded me of a special occasion, was somehow cute, or I thought I might need in a very hypothetical situation.
- movie tickets,
- gift bags,
- tests where I did well,
- pretty pens that didn’t work anymore,
- books I knew I wasn’t going to read,
- packing boxes,
- empty perfume bottles…
Again, I could go on and on.
Nowadays, before I give in to the urge to keep items like these, I ask myself the questions listed above.
This simple trick has helped me get rid of things I don’t need and live in a home where everything has intention.
And I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.
Now it’s easier to clean regularly, and I don’t feel attached to a bunch of random objects.
If I want to keep a memory of something special like a movie date, I just take pictures of the movie ticket and throw it away.
31. Make your bed as soon as you wake up
Making your bed:
- helps you feel accomplished (you completed your first task of the day, yay!),
- makes your home look more organized,
- and if you work from home, it’ll decrease your desire to lie in bed.
Make it as soon as you wake up.
If you leave it for later, that increases the chances of leaving it unmade.
32. Use glass or transparent containers to store food in your fridge
Keeping a kitchen or fridge organized can be a titanic task.
However, if you use glass or transparent containers, you’ll be able to see what’s inside and won’t forget about stored food so quickly.
33. Put labels where it makes sense
Doing this will help you keep containers and boxes organized, and it’ll give your house a nice touch.
34. Wash your dishes as soon as you use them
Stop letting your dishes “soak.” It won’t help you do them faster later.
On the contrary, it just makes them pile up.
Do your dishes as you cook, and wash your plates as soon as you finish eating.
35. Forget about “laundry day“
Instead of designating a single day of the week to do your laundry, try doing it as soon as you have enough dirty clothes to wash.
This will prevent it from piling up, and if you don’t feel like doing laundry on a given Sunday, that’ll be no problem!
36. Get storage containers only when you need them
Sometimes, people end up buying a bunch of boxes, thinking they’ll help them solve their mess instantly.
Don’t create more clutter by buying more stuff you don’t need.
Declutter first, get storage containers (if needed) second.
37. Plan decluttering sessions regularly
Plan decluttering sessions every 3, 6, or 12 months.
38. Use the Pomodoro technique for specific house chores
Use the Pomodoro technique (focusing on a single task for 25 minutes straight) to finish specific house chores like:
- organizing the mess,
- doing the dishes,
- or doing some express cleaning in your bathroom.
Of course, this technique works for other tasks like studying, writing, or finishing any project 🙂
Organize your meals
Organize your meals and take the hassle out of cooking healthy and tasty dishes.
39. Keep an updated grocery shopping list of what you need to buy
And don’t go grocery shopping without it.
This will help you bring home everything you need without forgetting anything or getting things you don’t need.
Keep a list and stick to it.
Plus, if there’s a new recipe you want to try, for instance, you can list all the ingredients beforehand.
40. Keep track of how much food you eat
We’ve all been guilty of getting more vegetables than we eat (with the best of intentions), only to find them rotten in the back of the fridge.
Do so little by little if you want to increase your vegetable or fruit intake.
In the meantime, be mindful of how much food you eat in a specific time frame, so you can buy exactly what you need and nothing more.
41. Plan your meals in advance
I love checking recipes on Pinterest and planning them for the week.
By doing so, I know exactly what I need to get from the store, and I’ve also managed to widen the range of dishes I can cook 🙂
Here’s a free Notion template to plan your meals (I love this one!)
Meal prepping consists of preparing a considerable amount of food to refrigerate.
This method helps you cook in advance, so you don’t have to worry about those full-on cooking sessions three times a day.
Of course, meal prepping can take a bunch of hours.
But look at it as a time investment, and you’ll see it’s worth it.
43. Designate a single day of the week to go grocery shopping
Running to the grocery store every two days is everything but time-effective.
Instead, just designate one day a week to get everything you need for 5-7 days.
Organize your finances
I’m not a financial advisor, but I’ve found that keeping my finances organized in my way helps give my life more structure.
44. Keep track of your income and expenses
Toshl is an incredible personal finances app to keep track of your income and expenses.
I love Toshl because it creates beautiful, easy-to-understand graphics with all the information you need.
If you want a more straightforward way to do this, a spreadsheet will do.
Just create two columns: one for income and the other for expenses.
And you don’t have to write it down as soon as you make the expense; you can set a day in the week to go through your bank and card statements and transfer the data to your spreadsheet.
I love doing this every week because it gives me a sense of how I’m doing financially.
45. Design a savings plan and stick to it
I know it’s easier said than done.
But if you want to save real money and feel more organized financially, you need a plan.
Here are some books about money and personal finance that can help you get started:
- The Total Money Makeover, by Dave Ramsey
- Your Money or Your Life, by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin
46. Check your balance regularly
If you’re anything like me, I’m sure you want to reach financial freedom and forget about checking your balance for a whole year (feel me?)
And that’s awesome!
But while we get there, let’s check our balance regularly, at least once a week to avoid surprises that’ll make you feel like a mess.
47. Get real about how much money you need
Some people think they have to become billionaires to have the life they want.
But, when you think about the things you want to have and the places you want to go to, you may realize you don’t need thousands of millions of dollars.
So, get real about your dream:
And then calculate how much money you need to get there.
Chances are, it’s easier (and cheaper!) to get there than you think 🙂
Organize your entertainment and free time
Don’t waste your precious free time wondering what to do in your free time.
48. Keep a list of movies you want to watch
Ever spent valuable minutes of your free time searching Netflix for something good to watch?
Well, forget about that.
Keep a current list of movies and series to watch, and you won’t have to spend hours on end scrolling Netflix on your day off.
49. Take notes of new restaurants you want to try
Don’t stick to the same restaurant every time.
Try new things once in a while.
By keeping an updated list of restaurants to try, you won’t end up getting Chinese at the same place over and over again just because you can’t decide where to go.
50. Keep a list of books you want to read
Use Goodreads to make it and also to get recommendations based on books you’ve read and loved.
51. Keep a log of new hobbies you’d like to explore
Don’t waste time wondering what you’d like to learn or explore next.
Keep an updated list or Pinterest board full of new hobbies to try 🙂
A Couple of Ground Rules
- It’s better to do a little than to do nothing at all.
- Start small. Set a timer to do some organizing for 25 to 30 minutes a day, and you’ll slowly start discovering how to incorporate organization into your life.
- Don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be.
- You don’t have to start by doing a huge decluttering session; look around and see what’s the easiest task you can do so you get the ball rolling.
- Pay attention to how these changes make you feel.
The Bottom Line
After reading a little bit of my story at the beginning of this article, you can confidently say I wasn’t born an organizer.
Since I was little, I always liked keeping my school tasks and supplies so neat, but that was it.
I never liked cleaning my room or keeping things where they should be.
Organizing your space is essential whether you spend a lot of time at home or not.
If you don’t, you need a nice place where you can relax at the end of the day.
And if you do, your organization or lack thereof can make or break your mental health and productivity. Especially if you work from home, trust me.