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    22 Real-Life Habits That'll Actually Help You Get Organized

    Practical habits and tips.

    Zoë Burnett / BuzzFeed

    We're all busy, and sometimes staying organized in all the chaos feels impossible.

    E!

    So we asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us about the small steps and easy habits that help them every day.

    1. Think about making your bed as the first task to accomplish each day, or as an easy way to make your bedroom look neat without actually cleaning.

    2. Or choose a nightly habit that leaves your home a little bit neater, like tidying the sofa or never leaving dirty dishes in the sink overnight.

    3. Find a decluttering system and schedule that works for you — like choosing one room or place in your house or apartment to organize each week.

    entirelysmitten.typepad.com

    I organize one room or place in the house every single week. Under the sink, my closet, the junk drawer, my makeup drawer, the fridge...I always end up with a way more organized home, I can find things quicker, and it just feels nice to have a place for everything. The best part is finding something you’d forgotten about that you get excited to use again!

    chelseym4f457db4b

    From Entirely Smitten.

    4. Or choosing to keep only the stuff you actually use in real life. Or that ~sparks joy~. Or whatever works for you.

    NBC

    Honestly? Decluttering helped me the most. Having much less stuff makes it so much less overwhelming to keep organized. It limits the amount of mess that can be made. I’m no minimalist, and my house is far from perfect, but it’s so much better than it used to be. My rule is to only keep stuff I actually use in real life. No “maybe, someday, what-if” stuff.

    caroliner4f34a2a95

    Throw shit out. I'm notorious for holding on to things I don't really want or need, just because "WAH THIS WAS $40 WHEN I BOUGHT IT". But now, it if it just floats around my apartment with no real place or purpose? BOY, BYE. It goes to the freecycle corner in my apartment so somebody else can give it a better home.

    —Stephanie Marie, Facebook

    5. Decide you'll never leave a room empty handed — always grab something you can put away.

    NBC

    Whenever you're walking to a different room, don't go empty handed. Look around and see if there's something that doesn't belong. (I've got a toddler who seems to spend his day bringing things to random places in the house, so there's always something to put away.)

    —Megan Ann Clarke, Facebook

    6. Designate a place for all the ~important stuff~ (keys, phone, wallet, etc.), and always put the important stuff in its place.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Stuff that needs to stay found gets designated places to be. And gets religiously put in its places. (Keys go on the key hook, the iPhone X has three charge pads and goes on the pad in office, bedroom, and shop when it's not on me, etc.) The rest of the chaos is much more manageable if I have what I absolutely need in it's place.

    —Deb Rebel, Facebook

    Get the pictured key hook on Amazon for $12.99 and the charging pad (for iPhone X, 8, and 8 plus, and other wireless-charging phones) for $12.99.

    7. And find ways to designate a place for other still-important-but-not-essential-things you use all the time, like batteries.

    8. Set up your Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, or whatever other digital calendar you like best, and let it remember things for you. And sync with your family.

    9. Or get an old-fashioned paper planner, and actually bring it with you and use it.

    10. Consider formally blocking out your day by half hours, whether you use a Post-It note, a weekly appointment book, or a bullet journal.

    @theprocrastiplanner / instagram.com, @mila_plans /instagram.com

    I use a large Post-It note every day and map out my day by half hours. Blocking out the whole day makes me more likely to accomplish things, even when things take longer than I originally thought.

    dmitche2

    Get an hourly planner from Erin Condren starting at $55.

    11. Don't be afraid to say no when you don't want to or can't do something.

    Fox

    Simply saying "No" to various requests for my time, money, or attention. My schedule's less cluttered.

    kaylachinga

    12. Try the snarky Carrot app to help motivate you to finish your to-dos.

    Carrot / natashamileshina / instagram.com, Carrot / natashamileshina / instagram.com

    I recommend an app called CARROT, a snarky AI. You give her your to-do list, and if you get things done quickly, she rewards you with plot advancement and a pet kitty. If you slack off, she punishes you for being the naughty meatbag you are. (Just don’t poke her ocular sensor.)

    —Mary-Ruth Hooper, Facebook

    Get it on the Apple App Store for $2.99.

    13. Every evening, set out your clothes for the next day.

    thechicsite.com

    I lay out all of my work clothes at night before I go to bed (including accessories and underwear), so that I can just grab my whole outfit and throw it on. It saves time looking for things, and I definitely dress better when wardrobe decisions aren't left up to my sleepy, grouchy morning self.

    —Claudia Cravens McCormack, Facebook

    From the Chic Site.

    14. Or go above and beyond and put five days of outfits together on Sundays.

    thegunnysack.com, makelifelovely.com

    I realized that preparing my outfits for the next day took about the same amount of time as preparing them for the entire work week, since I'm going to be digging in one drawer, then searching for stuff in a closet, and so on. So on Sundays I just check the weather for the week, put on some music, and get everything ready.

    Not having to think of that or take the time after a long day of work, or in the morning, saves time and energy that I happily use elsewhere.

    tiggaplease

    Get a 5-shelf organizer similar to the Gunny Sack's on Amazon for $9.99, and get the free printable M–F hanger labels on Make Life Lovely.

    15. If you have two or more floors in your home, keep a basket by the stairs on each floor to dump all the stuff that needs to go to another floor.

    16. Set a timer to clean for 10 minutes a day, every day. Or just aim for 10 nonconsecutive minutes.

    20th Century Fox

    I clean for 10 minutes a day. Not even necessarily 10 consecutive minutes, but 10 minutes every day. It's a good way to keep the little daily things from piling up. You realize a lot of those tasks only take 2-3 minutes, and its easy to give up a just small amount of time to accomplish a task that isn't your favorite.

    itzjessme

    17. Or maybe set aside an hour once a month to deep-clean one room.

    onegoodthingbyjillee.com

    About once a month, I do a deep clean in my bathroom. Like, scrub the bathtub with Comet and clean the grout on the floor. Something about a bright and clean bathroom makes me feel like I have it together. It takes about an hour or so but I always feel so accomplished.

    kshepp10

    Learn how to clean your tub with a broom and dish soap on One Good Thing By Jillee.

    18. If you really have trouble keeping the dishes clean, restrict yourself just to the dishes you need for one full day.

    Fox / giphy.com

    Don't buy more dishes than you need for one day (plates, bowls, glasses, etc.). Keep extra dishes for guests in a separate place and only use if you actually have company. This will reduce the temptation to let dirty dishes pile up. Keep those guest dishes in a different cupboard in a different room if possible.

    squeakywheel

    19. Organize your grocery list according to the aisles and layout of the store so you can shop efficiently.

    20. Try meal prepping one day of the week so you can spend the rest of the week doing something besides cooking or figuring out what to cook.

    damndelicious.net, eatyourselfskinny.com

    I meal prep every Sunday. I make my lunches and plan my dinners. I make sure everything in the fridge is organized my meal to make everything easier in the morning. It's all about routines! Once you get settled in, it becomes second nature and you don't even think twice. It saves me so much time in the morning, and I save money on food, too.

    katw4b1392c53

    I meal prep every Sunday with snacks. Makes it very easy during the week to fit in workouts and have some relaxing me time every night.

    damarisg4236d1fd2

    Get the recipe for the steak cobb salad on Damn Delicious, and the recipe for the honey sriracha glazed meatballs on Eat Yourself Skinny — and check out these 21 Healthyish Dinners You Can Make Ahead of Time.

    21. Make-ahead breakfast smoothies can be time and money savers, too — especially if you use a NutriBullet or other single-serving blender.

    sweetpeasandsaffron.com, jennychengux / instagram.com

    One of my 2018 goals is to start making breakfast at home every weekday, but I don't have time to cook before work, so I make a protein smoothie. I pre-load the nutri-blender individual serving size cups with fruit, leafy greens, supplements and a little protein powder at night and store in the freezer, then add almond milk or coconut water in the morning, and blend. Total time it takes is probably less than 5 minutes and I can drink it on my drive to the office. It's pretty satisfying and healthy.

    itzjessme

    Get five recipes for make-ahead smoothies on Sweet Peas and Saffron and a 12-piece NutriBullet on Amazon for $69.99.

    22. Or if meticulous meal prep's not for you, just write down what you want to have for dinner each night.

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    Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

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