I’m sure I’m not alone. No matter if you are married or not, have kids or not – most of us struggle with staying organized and keeping free of the excess in our life. Time keeps going by swiftly and it’s hard to focus on what truly matters when you are dealing with overwhelm.
Today I’m going to share some of my favorite tips for getting organized – and the best thing about them is you can get started today!! Change begins today.
1. Delete all those unwanted emails.
How many of you are overwhelmed with emails? There is just so much of it and the number of unread emails grows every day if you don’t stay on top of it. Depending on how out of control your inbox is, you have a couple of options:
- Archive OR delete all the emails in your inbox. This is a quick way to achieve “inbox zero.” I would suggest just archiving all the emails right away – it’s fast and it’s painless because archived emails are forever searchable and forever out of your face.
- Try Unroll.me – a service that lets you mass unsubscribe from the millions of listserves arriving daily in your inbox. It also bundles up all the email lists you select into ONE email you get each day at the time you chose.
- Set aside 5-15 minutes each day to unsubscribe and archive or delete all the old emails you can. As you are going through, if you hover over the sender’s name, a small box will come up. Choose “emails” and all emails with that person will come up. Select all, mass delete.
- Inbox by Gmail automatically bundles promos, purchases, and trip emails together, and/or lets you create your own bundles. Plus you can snooze your emails to whenever you choose.
- Mailstrom (which I have not tried – I just read about it on Mashable) is a service that analyzes the contents of your inbox to make sense of all of the noise. You’ll quickly learn who sends you the most emails, and you can delete messages from said senders or companies in one fell swoop.
- If you have tried these other tactics and still need help, you could try Taper: This cloud-based email service only lets you keep five emails in your inbox at once.
- Follow the 1 in, 1 out rule: Each time you subscribe to a mailing list, find one to unsubscribe to.
2. Pick one way to establish a new routine.
Having routines is really the key to stopping the overwhelm. I talked about my morning and evening routines when I wrote 5 things I do every day to stay sane last week. Here are some ideas that might help you get started building routines:
- You can start small – check out tinyhabits.com to give you momentum and get the ball rolling.
- If you focus on developing just ONE new habit each week (such as ending the day with a clean kitchen, doing one load of laundry each day from start to finish, or weekly sitting down to make a meal plan), then you will start to see it add up and make a big different in your life!
- Find an accountability partner – someone that is just as motivated as you (or more so!). Make a plan to touch base with them everyday.
- Make it fun! Display your new routines or habits in a fun way – make a poster, or use a planner with stickers and washi tape.
- Use an app to track your progress. Currently, I’m using Commit. It’s helping me both see progress AND since I can set reminders within the app, it’s helping me stick to my goals a little more consistently. If you are like me and using a new app will give you a productivity boost, here is a list of over 30 habit apps to try.
- Have theme days. Each weekday, focus on a different particular area of your homemaking, or to-do list/business. This may help you stay motivated and on task.
It’s important to not only set up ways to reward yourself, but also to take at least one day off on the weekend to recharge. We have made it a priority to have Saturdays as rest/family days.
3. Dress for the day you want to have…
…not the one that’s trying to have you. If you dress for the day you want to have, not only will it help you be more productive, but it will also give you a boost of confidence. As a busy mom, how can you accomplish that? Each weekend, take time to put together 6 different outfits and hang them in your closet, ready to go. I am the opposite of fashion-minded, so this is a goal of mine. I need all the help I can get. Here are a few resources:
- Putting Me Together – a blog aimed at making style accessible to anymore.
- Use an app to make your closet virtual and help you select what outfits to wear. (Depending on whether you have android or ios, you’ll want to check out a different app. Since I have android I’m starting with Stylicious.)
- Fine tune your style by checking out Dressing Your Truth
- Use Pinterest for inspiration. This is also a great way to find more resources.
4. Clean out one drawer or shelf.
If you’re pressed for time, choose a drawer or shelf. Just get to it! You might feel a bit overwhelmed when you start, but if you set a time for 15 minutes and tackle what you can, you will have accomplished something! And you might even have a little motivation to keep going!
If you have more than 15 minutes to get some cleaning done, then follow these 5 steps to declutter space by space. I blogged through decluttering my whole house in the fall of 2014 (yep, I was nesting!!). It was certainly helpful for when we moved just 3 months later (which I didn’t know was going to happen when I started decluttering).
So, where are you going to start today?