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5 Simple Ways to Stay Organized

Updated on December 18, 2013

These are the Ways...

1. Touch it once

2. One in, one out

3. Have a home for all items

4. When in doubt toss it out

5. Make a schedule

That's it, yep I am being completely honest. If you follow these five easy steps you can stay pretty organized most of the time.


1. Touch it Once

What is this mythical "touch it once" rule? It is very simple, as you touch an item only once. There are some people, my girlfriend being being a prime example who will use something such as a hair brush or a pen and not put it away when they are done using it. I girlfriend likes to adhere to this "organized chaos"theory which she uses all her things for the day and leaves them where they lay when she is done with them, but at the end of the day she cleans the house. I don't see the point in this when the "touch it once" rule can be put into play. If she pulled out that hair brush or pen and used it and then put it away as soon as she was finished using it there would be no need for her to waste her evening cleaning. The "touch it once" rule is great as it saves you time and you don't have to run all over your house in different directions at the end of your day to put everything away.

2. Have a Home for all Items

There was once a very wise fellow who said "A place for everything and everything in its place." This saying is usually attributed to Benny Franklin, but it could have come from earlier times. Regardless of who came up with the idea this statement rings true now as it ever has. The point this little saying is trying to convey is everything you own should have a specific spot to be put when not in use, also if you put it in that place you will never have to look for it and it conserves space, which if you live like me you have about 2 1/2 square feet after your girl and your dog stake their claims.


3. One in, one Out

Ah, the ol' "one in, one out" rule. I love this rule simply because it always reminds me to really think about what items I have that I really need and which ones are just hanging around taking up space and time. The "one in, one out" rule is usually applied when you buy something or get a gift. You take it home and before you put your new item away, you take an old like item out and get rid of it. You do this to avoid clutter and avoid having doubles. I find that I keep adding to my closest until its bursting at the seams. I do my big clean out, but feel some remorse as I have to get rid of my clothes. If you do the "one in, one out" you will more likely find that one outfit you don't really care for and move it along and not look back instead of mulling over a large pile of clothing you know you don't wear but you don't want to part with either. By sticking to the "one in, one out" rule can keep plenty of space in that kitchen drawer as you will have only one spatula and not 7 that were given to you on every christmas over the past decade by every branch of your family tree. After the "one in. one out" rule is completed you can do anything you want with your old things such as pass it on to other friends or family or take it to charity. Another take on the "one in,one out" rule is when ever you leave a room you take something that doesn't belong in that room and put it away in the room where it belongs. Another example of this is having the basket on the bottom of the stairs. Instead of having to make a bunch of trips up the stairs you just put the items in the basket and wait until you have to make a trip to the next floor, then you take the basket with you and put it away.


4. When in Doubt Toss it Out

I for one love this easy to follow rule, when you find an item your not sure about, toss it out. Still not sure what I mean? Just remember when you are cleaning out your drawers, book shelfs or whatever that when you come across and item and you look at it and think, should I keep this? Then you find you can't make up your mind whether you really need it or will use it, this is when you just need to toss it. I feel if you really have to stop and think that long about it then you most likely don't really need or want it. If you feel that you don't want to get rid of it just like that you can also get a box put the date on it and fill it up with the items that are in question and store it in the attic. After 3 months everything still in the box that you haven't used or wanted in that time should be donated.


5. Make a Schedule

This is possibly the most important aspect of staying organized, making and maintaining a schedule. This can also be the hardest part of the whole process as it requires time, effort, and determination to stay motivated and on point every day. Trust me on this one, you have to be ready to stick to the schedule, as this is the foundation that the rest of your organizing systems are based on. I know how exciting it is to start a new way of life, but you must remember to not over do it. Just like at the gym when when starting to work out your body isn't ready for all of these new exercises, you have to work your way into them or you might get hurt or quickly become frustrated with all the new work and now immediate results. Like the gym when making and maintaing a schedule you have to start small and slowly build up to a great schedule machine. Try starting with one new time a day like waking up at a certain time, and then making a goal to be on time to every appointment. Make a simple chore chart that works for you, not your mom or your best friend, but you. Even with your chore chart don't get do carried away, remember simplicity. At first it will seem like nothing is really changing yeah you can get to places on time and you are on top of your dishes but so what, but then one day you will have a full schedule and and you will be getting it done like a boss work, home, family, and instead of someone commenting on your great abs they will ask how you obtained your super human ability to pull time out of thin air and get it all done. Believe me this is almost better than getting compliments about your body at the beach.

Will These Ideas Help you Stay Organized?

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    • Jordanwalker39 profile image

      Jordanwalker39 4 years ago from NC

      Thank you so much. I love the one in out rule!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      I know people who love the one in one out rule,and it makes sense. Forces you to get rid of what you don't need . A thanks for sharing, Jordan.

    • Jordanwalker39 profile image

      Jordanwalker39 4 years ago from NC

      Thanks for the thumbs up! I am just happy I could be of service.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 4 years ago

      I got some great info out of this Hub which will help me clean up better in the future, thank you.

      You definitely get a thumbs up

    • Jordanwalker39 profile image

      Jordanwalker39 4 years ago from NC

      Thanks Bill, I am currently trying to implement these with my girl friend. It is not working so well haha

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Without even knowing it I was following these. I am a pretty organized human being; can't stand clutter or chaos. Great suggestions my friend; I know a few people who could use this article.