7 things I do every day to stay organised

The truth is I’m hopeless. I have a terrible memory and my concentration span is not brilliant.

If people make a comment about how organised I am, I find it difficult to take it as a compliment. For me, being organised is a necessity. Without it I’d be lost. I would be late for everything (if remembered to show up at all). My bills would be unpaid. My kids would be in the wrong uniform and our library books would be overdue.

I’m not one of those ‘naturally on-top-of-things’ people. I’m a mess. Organisation is the only way I can get through the day and I have to work hard at it.

But the thing about being organised is that the more organised you are, the less you have to do! I think that makes sense! Does that make sense?

So each day there are a few tasks I need to do to stay on top of things. If I don’t do them, I can’t think properly and I don’t feel like I can truly ‘start’ my day. I quickly feel overwhelmed and the rest of the inevitable mess builds up to a point where it seems insurmountable. Chaos descends. Things catch on fire. A sinkhole opens up and swallows my house whole.

Everything except the last two things.

7 things I need to do each day to stay organised

Make the beds

When I was a kid I came up with this “brilliant” idea … rather than make my bed every morning I slept on top of the covers. I kept a spare sheet under the bed, used it at night and threw it back under in the morning. Brilliant!! My mother didn’t think so (I don’t blame her) and it didn’t last long.

Fast forward a few decades and making the beds is one of the first things I do every morning. I can’t explain why, but it makes me feel like the room is tidy – even if the bookshelf is a mess, there are clothes still to be put away and the floors need a mop!

Wash the dishes

Doing the dishes and wiping down the kitchen benchtops makes all the difference to an otherwise not-that-clean room. Sure I could wipe out the fridge and mop the floors too but I don’t have time to make that a priority every day. For now, washing the dishes is a must-do. The rest can wait …

Sweep/vacuum/take out the rubbish

Every day I remove the dirt and the smell. I always clean the floor — some days I mop but more often it will be a quick sweep or vacuum — and I always take out the rubbish.

I only have one small rubbish bin for the whole house – it fills up each day so I have no choice but to take it out. And because there’s only one bin it is a simple task to take out the rubbish. I do also have a recycling box (which is non-smelly so doesn’t have to go out every day) and a small bin for compost (which is v stinky and must be taken out daily too).

Deal with my mail/paperwork

I used to throw mail on my desk and read it later. It would pile up between supermarket catalogues and pizza vouchers and every so often I would have to pay an overdue fee or some other cost because I would miss the due date. What a terrible waste of money!

Now I open mail as soon as I get it and I file it on my desk in a place specifically for bills that need to be paid. I also recycle the envelopes and all the extra brochures they include straight away so they don’t add to the clutter on my desk.

Put things where they belong

I don’t know why but I find this hard to do. Sometimes I really have to give myself a pep-talk … “C’mon, put the clothes INSIDE the dirty clothes basket. No!! Not on top!!! INSIDE!! You got this … C’mon! Yay! High fives all round!!”

I am not sure why I battle with this but I’ve given myself so many pep talks over the years that it is finally sinking in. When I make myself a coffee I don’t leave the jar on the bench, it goes straight back in the cupboard. When I take my towel into my room, I don’t leave it on the bed, I walk ALL the way back to the bathroom and hang it up. I sometimes even put the dirty clothes inside the dirty clothes basket, not on top!

Clean as I go

Unfortunately my struggle with ‘putting things away’ must be hereditary as my kids seem to have the same issue, although maybe they get it from their father. In any case, they don’t think it is too much of a problem, of course. So now, when I walk from one room into another I am almost always carrying something. When I am about to leave a room I look around for things I might want to take with me. Coffee cups left in the lounge room, toys left on my bed, receipts left on the kitchen bench.

This explains why I often have the most random things in my pockets … tiny dinosaurs, rocks, Lego heads …

Go to bed with a clean house

The best thing about going to bed in a clean house is that you wake up in a clean house.

And the best thing about doing these 7 things I need to do each day is that it isn’t a massive task to clean up at the end of the day. If you’ve kept on top of these basic things then you only need to do the washing up, wipe down the table and benchtops, give the dining room or kitchen a quick sweep and put a few things away then you’re done!

As much as I love an organised and tidy house I also like my free time so I’ve made it a rule to not clean after the kids have gone to bed. If I can’t do it during the day, then it is not important enough to be done every day.

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