Inside: Learn the best tips for people who struggle to stay organized so that you can get your life in order and keep it that way.

A guest post by Cora Gold

Have you ever had to search high and low for a misplaced item?

You may not remember where you left your car keys or an important document. An untidy space creates stress and hinders productivity in every area of your life. 

Staying organized is a practical, habit-forming practice for everyone.

Here are 10 helpful tips for people who struggle to stay organized. Use them to effectively manage your life and living space.

tips for people who struggle to stay organized

10 Tips for People Who Struggle to Stay Organized

If getting and staying organized has been challenging for you, there’s good news. You can make small changes today and adopt organizational habits to help you get on track.

Use these top tips for people who struggle to stay organized to get started.

1. Declutter and Donate

On average, Americans clean their homes four times annually, eliminating clutter and unnecessary items. Purging your belongings feels like a fresh start and is an excellent mood booster.

If you have difficulty letting things go, consider donating them instead. It may make you feel better knowing someone else will use it well. 

Create a keep, donate, and trash pile, sorting items accordingly. Once you’ve finished sorting, make final changes to your pile and move any additional items to the donate or trash categories. 

By focusing on decluttering first you’ll make the organizing process much easier as you’re working with less stuff.

tips for people who struggle to stay organized

2. Categorize and Compartmentalize

Try categorizing each item as you declutter. This way, when you store it again, you can keep like items together in one place.

However, categories can be broad to start. You can always narrow things down and get more specific once you’ve sorted everything. 

Be sure to put things away where you can easily find them when needed. The concept behind compartmentalizing is to ensure you locate what you’re looking for — and similar things — in a cinch.

organized drawers

3. Create Designated Spaces

There’s nothing worse than going to sit down for dinner and realizing your table is covered in clutter. Many people struggle with organization because they don’t have designated spaces to keep things. 

People who always seem to have an organized home make sure to assign a home to everything in they own. This ensures that items can be easily put away when you’re done using them.

Staying organized goes beyond just having a hook to hang your car keys or a basket to hold shoes. You should also try to contain certain tasks to designated spaces as well.

For example, if you work from home, create a dedicated home office or workstation, and don’t bring any work-related items to any other room in the house. You can also create a homework station for your kids so worksheets and school supplies don’t end up cluttering the kitchen table. 

Having these spaces will also help you get into work mode when you sit down at a desk, rather than allowing yourself or your kids to be distracted by the TV or toys in another room. 

tips for people who struggle to stay organized

4. Store Items Digitally

If your workspace is exploding with papers, it’s probably a good time to go digital. Digital storage allows you to free up space and stay more organized. You’ll want to be able to easily locate important documents, bills, and other necessary information. 

Cloud storage is a great option to scan and upload documents for safekeeping. You can even create folders in the cloud to keep yourself organized online. Using a cloud storage service you trust is critical to ensuring optimal privacy and protection. 

If you’re concerned about security, there are several ways to protect yourself and your files, such as the following:

  • Multi-factor authentication 
  • Password management
  • Data backups
  • Enabled account alerts for notification of bugs and outages
  • Data encryption
  • Regulated access to data

It’s also a good idea to have an additional backup method for your digital files for added protection and peace of mind.

storage containers

5. Use Containers and Organizers

Closet organizers also help sort your belongings so you can see what you have, even in tight and cramped spaces. Your organizers will especially come in handy after decluttering each room.

Likewise, storing items you don’t regularly use or need in containers is an excellent way to keep your living space clear of unnecessary stuff.

You might not feel the need to display all of your belongings and family heirlooms. However, some stuff you can’t get rid of.

Keep your grandmother’s best china in a storage container with a lid and place it in the attic or crawl space. 

tips for people who struggle to stay organized

6. Opt for Vertical Organization

Vertical storage delivers excellent potential for organization and clearing your floors. Install floating shelves and vertical wall cabinets to take care of your items.

Other options to consider include:

  • Storage over the doorways
  • Hanging storage
  • Over-the-door storage racks
  • Pegboard in the garage for tools
  • Wall-mounted hat and coat rack
  • Under cabinet hangers
  • Ladder shelves
  • Vertical baskets
  • Office wall organizers

Consider which room organization ideas are best for your space and then implement them to help get your space organized.

organized desk

7. Avoid Multitasking

One of the worst things you can do to send yourself into disarray is multitasking.

While it might seem like multitasking allows you to get more done at once, juggling multiple tasks leads to mistakes and takes longer to finish. It’s much more efficient to concentrate on one task at a time.

It’s helpful to practice single-tasking even when sifting through your belongings and creating more organization. Avoid cleaning out multiple rooms at once. Start in one space before moving to the next.

This rule works well within a space, too. For instance, clean and organize your kitchen cabinets before working on your refrigerator.  

By focusing on one specific area at a time you will increase your productivity and stay more organized.

tips for people who struggle to stay organized

8. Clean Your Inbox

Do you have to sift through pages of old emails to find what you need? Perhaps you’ve been bombarded with subscription emails — some of which you never signed up for. If this is you, it’s time to clean and organize your inbox.

Start by going through each email to determine its importance — this step might take some time, but it’s necessary. Afterward, you can use these tips and tricks for an easy-to-use inbox:

  • Create new folders and sort your emails for safekeeping
  • Add labels, filters, and tags to emails
  • Try auto-sort functions
  • Star or flag the most crucial messages
  • Create templates for standard replies, including out-of-office messages
  • Add an email signature with your contact details
  • Try the task list function
  • Review your inbox for unwanted subscription emails

Setting up multiple email accounts for various functions is also a good idea. Keep your work-related emails separate from personal emails, including if you’re a freelancer. Likewise, create an additional account for subscription emails only.

By regularly reducing your digital clutter, you’ll save yourself time and frustration in locating needed files.

facebook addiction

9. Use Productivity Apps

According to a 2023 survey, Americans check their phone 144 times daily, equating to four hours and 25 minutes of screen time. Six percent check their phones within the first 10 minutes of waking up. 

If you’re going to use your phone so often, take advantage of productivity apps to stay organized. Numerous apps are available, from your mobile calendar to to-do lists and note-taking.

Some helpful apps may come pre-installed on your phone, while you can also visit your mobile web store to see what you can download.

Try several similar apps to see which come with functionality and features you enjoy. 

Adopting productive habits will help you to be more organized so you can get more accomplished with less stress.

tips for people who struggle to stay organized

10. “Eat the Frog” First

Checking items off your to-do list is always satisfying. However, while you might try to get the quick and simple stuff done immediately, there may be a better approach for boosting productivity and organization. 

Motivational speaker and author Brian Tracy developed the term “eat the frog,” which is when you first tackle the biggest, most challenging, and most essential task. When you eat the frog, you reserve energy and brain power for the hard items requiring more attention.

Eating the frog requires you to write down your goals, create tasks out of them, and prioritize their importance.

Use your calendar or productivity apps to organize the tasks, starting with your frog and ending with the easier items. If two frogs exist, determine which one is more challenging or critical. 

Organization Is Key to Less Stress

Keeping your home and life organized will increase efficiency and decrease stress. Overall, living in a clean and clutter-free environment is enjoyable and improves productivity. Breathe easier by adopting organization habits in every area of your life.

Cora Gold is the Editor-in-Chief of Revivalist magazine. She loves writing about family and living life to the fullest. Follow Cora on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

Which of the tips for people who struggle to stay organized do you think is most helpful? Let us know in the comments section.

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One Comment

  1. My wife and I often tidy up and organize things around the house. For us, having a neat and orderly space brings a sense of comfort, much like the goals your articles aim for. In this particular article, I particularly liked the idea of designating places for arranging items or decorations. Additionally, we’ve also implemented some other ideas such as decluttering unnecessary items and putting things into boxes. Organizing and arranging belongings in the room brings a sense of joy, comfort, and fosters a positive lifestyle. Thank you for your interesting insights.

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