You’ve heard the phrase “Start ‘em young!” Well that definitely applies to organizing. Growing up, did anyone help teach you how to create and maintain organizational systems? Maybe it was your mother who showed you her meticulous methods or a teacher who demonstrated how to be tidy. Whatever the source, it is ideal for the origins of organization to begin in childhood when individuals are thrust into new responsibility and routines. Since organizing does not come naturally to everyone, many need to be taught these important life skills, especially young adults who are venturing off on their own.
Here are some basic pointers for those just starting to structure their organizational success as an adult:
- Create a paper or electronic system: Stacks of paper or rows of emails can accumulate quickly. It is important to establish a folder or file system for all of your documents.
- Carve out time to de-clutter: Set aside a day per week, either after work or on a weekend to maintain your systems. Put away dishes or hang your clothes. Sort your mail and file papers. Donate, toss, shred, or recycle what you no longer need. Update your weekly calendar. Remember it is much easier to keep up than start over. Maintenance is key to organizational success.
- Make lists and use calendars: DO NOT RELY on your young brain to remember everything! Use one calendar to record all of your appointments. Write down your to do lists and plan your week accordingly.
- REMEMBER: There isn’t one right way to be organized. Systems can change and be altered with time and necessity. What matters is that they work for you –bringing order, structure, and simplicity to your life.