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The 10 Commandments of Organised People

Katya Bowd

Posted on June 07 2017

Some people seem to be innately organised without effort. They always seem to have themselves put together no matter how many kids they have or what is going on in their life. Not being one of these blessed, born-organised individuals, I have spent significant time researching the subject of home organisation and personal development. The following list is a compilation of ideas that are common threads found in the way organised people live and function. I give you… the 10 Commandments of Organised People.

Begin with the end in mind. 

The primary element that sets organised people and their homes apart from the rest is that everything is done by design. To them, something unexpected may be an inconvenience, but it’s not a crisis. This is because being organised requires not only planning for the expected, but also for the unexpected. By regularly taking the time to look at the calendar and plan ahead for what is going to happen in your home, it is possible to work backwards and map out everything that must be done and identify what items on your to-do list should be a top priority. The right tools for the job can be put in place. The time needed to do each chore can be assigned. You can even plan for rest and relaxation. And don’t forget to allow generous margins into your schedule for the surprises. This prevents working in “crisis mode,” leaving you able to handle life’s little curveballs when they come. Does this mean you will have to say no to a lot of worthwhile activities? Yes. Yes, it does. Organised women know there are only so many hours in the day and they set realistic expectations for how they can use their time effectively.

A place for everything, and everything in its place.

The naturally organised person, having consulted the calendar and figured out where she is going and when next makes a home for the things she needs in order to take care of business. One awesome space-saving idea is to have pre-assembled bags for the different activities that happen on a regular basis. Is your family involved in sports? Keep gear together in a fun duffle bag – and make sure it has a home. Do you have a hobby you love? Designate space on shelves or even drawers in a desk to keep your tools of the trade ready for action – and don’t hesitate to look for matching bins to make their storage pleasing to the eye when you aren’t using them.

Do important things first. 

Procrastination is the spark that leads to the fires of disorganisation. Set yourself up for success by not allowing yourself to be distracted when it’s time to tackle something important. Remember that schedule? The crises come when we allow important tasks to wait, turning those generous margins for surprises and emergencies into the “work hours.” When Murphy’s Law takes effect, those curveballs come and we find ourselves without the flexibility we need to cope in an orderly fashion.

Ok, let’s recap. To rid ourselves once and for all of this habit of procrastination and putting out fires, and finally be on the road to better productivity and effective home organisation, we need to accept these fairly obvious principles that the born-organised woman lives by:

  • begin with the end in mind.
  • make a place for everything and put things away when you are finished with them.
  • and last, but not least, determine to do important things first.

The rest of the list builds on these first three principles. They are activities that require a little more creativity, and the need for them may be less obvious to those of us that are not organised by nature.

  • Put out the fires… then prevent them in the future. Working with a plan, having the right tools where you need them, and checking the priority items off of your list first will set your up for success, making life exponentially easier by preventing disorganisation. What next? Now it’s time to identify the areas in your life and home that promote disorganisation. Find habits that put you behind schedule, (like scrolling social media in the morning). Remove the elements that encourage you to repeat those habits (like keeping a device by the bed) and boom… future crises prevented.
  • Don’t be afraid to delegate. Sometimes life just gets a little overwhelming. Call in the calvary! If you have small children, identify the jobs they are capable of taking off your plate. Unloading the dishwasher, putting away their clothes… sometimes we underestimate these incredible little people we are raising. Not the organised mum. She is watching her little helpers develop skills and starts putting them to work on age-appropriate tasks right away. It builds their confidence and frees Mum up to get more done.
  • Know where and how you do your best work. With the crisis mode showing up less and less, the more creative version of you has room to shine. Now you can design a space in your home and your schedule for the things you love to do, making your contribution to the world come more naturally and beautifully. Without the stress of missed appointments, lost keys, and piled-up chores, it’s amazing how much time we gain for doing what’s most important to us!
  • Always look for opportunities to grow and improve. Contentment is a good thing. It’s important to be grateful for what we have. But stagnation is a killer of productivity and also promotes disorganisation. Never be content with how much you know, and what you have accomplished. It’s important to keep refreshing your perspective and the way you do things to accommodate changes that perpetually come in life. Not doing so results in keeping things and habits that are no longer needed and missing opportunities to effectively update your way of life.
  • Duplicate yourself. Legacy is something the disorganised person doesn’t really have time to consider. But with each of these principles being put into practice, you may find that you are excited to share what you learn and do with others. The next generation, for example. No one really wants to pass on the mantra, “I’m so disorganised!” Yet, sadly, many unintentionally do. But, living by design and making the most of your time is a skill that any mama would be proud to see sprouting up in her children. This goal-setting tip for mamas can’t be emphasized enough – decide what kind of life you want to train your kids to live, and live it!
  • Look from another angle. Organised people make all the improvements they know how to make in whatever endeavour to which they put their hands. But they don’t stop there! Getting outside opinions on how you do things, from how you organise your closet to what scheduling tools others find more effective, will take you further than you are able to go yourself.
  • Solicit the expertise of others. Beyond getting second opinions, really take a good look at the people around you and find the natural skills and talents they manifest. Or do some research and find the experts who can coach you through your organisational trouble areas. Don’t be afraid to solicit experienced help in an area you find yourself unable to organise and improve.

Getting organised is a journey. It’s never really something we are finished learning about or accomplishing. But, born-organised people know that. They embrace it. The rest of us get frustrated and wonder what we are doing wrong. But as we begin practicing these habits and acknowledging the underlying principles, everything spirals rather quickly into a more productive way of life. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day! Get inspired by those born-organised individuals in your life, and get busy.

What would you add to the list? We would love to hear from you (especially if you are one of those naturally organised mamas!)

Thanks for reading!