Quick Tips to Getting Organized



August has always been considered a lazy month—it’s the last little stretch of summer before the real world starts again in September. For some, it’s sending kids off to school. For others, it’s a new job or perhaps just a vow to do better in the current one. Whatever the reason, it’s clear that September is the time to get organized and set goals for the rest of the year. Wondering how to do that? We have a few tips and ideas for you below:

1. Finally create folders for all your computer files.

You know how every time you save a document, it’s either saved to your desktop or just put into a random area on your computer, making it difficult to find when you need it again? It’s time to make it easier on yourself and give all your computer files a home. No need to overthink it, just create a folder and give it the first name that comes to mind. If a folder only has one file in it, that’s ok!

2. If it takes less than two minutes—just do it!

As a classic procrastinator, it is no exaggeration to say that this little tip from David Allen’s book Getting Things Done has changed my life! All of the little things that need doing throughout the day can add up and drain a lot of mental energy. Instead of feeling overwhelmed on an ongoing basis, when you think of something that needs doing, do one of two things: either write it down on one big to-do list (I keep mine in my phone) or if it takes less than two minutes, just do it! You will feel an instant sense of accomplishment and realize it’s amazing just what you can get done in two minutes.

Then what to do with that giant to-do list you ask? It’s funny you mention it. I’ll get to that at the end of the email!

3. Invest in a label maker.

Indulge your inner nerd and splurge on a label maker and a few extra rolls of tape. I have the “Brother P-Touch” and I have to tell you, once I started using it, I couldn’t stop! I used it to label all of my paper file folders, and it makes them so much easier to read. I also love using mine in the kitchen. It’s perfect for labelling tupperware in the freezer or jars of spices, so you can just find the one you need right away. It’s also useful for leaving little guidelines around the house, like “keep this door closed”.

4. Goal setting: Begin with the end in mind. 

This is a tip from Stephen Covey that I think is such good advice. In order to get where you want to go, you have to know where you’re going first! Imagine the end point, the vision that you have for yourself, your family, your career…anything! For example, if you want to move to a new house start thinking about where the ideal location would be (on the water, in the suburbs, in the city?) who would be nearby (family? friends? or more isolated?). It’s okay to make guesses about what you want if you’re not sure, and revise when you have more information. You can write down your vision or make a collage from magazine pictures (see Sarah Ban Breathnach’s treasure map idea in Simple Abundance here). Keep it in a place where you can refer to it often.

5. Fill in your planner.

Chances are your newest planner showed up at your doorstep sometime in July and chances are, you haven’t filled in any of the calendars with birthdays, events and appointments yet. Now is the time to do so!

Don’t have a planner? Not to worry! We have the perfect downloadable for you—a printable planner page with tons of space for to-do lists, so you know exactly what has to be done. The cool thing about this page is that the to-do lists are divided into categories. The idea is to take your “brain dump” list from above where you think of everything you possibly have to do, then you transfer it to this page according to where you have to do it. Happy organizing!


Recommended reading: 

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey (a classic!)

Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach

Recommended viewing:

“Organized Jen” channel on YouTube

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