The New Year. It’s the time of year for new beginnings and starting with a clean slate. We set out goals from getting organized to working out more to reading more books.
As someone with ADHD, I have to be organized. If I’m not, my mind is everywhere and things start to spiral quickly. The amount of items I’ve lost due to forgetfulness is maddening. Having too many things out of place is distracting and my productivity goes down the tank.
The definition of organized is as follows:
characterized by neatness and order, with tasks planned, materials arranged, etc., for optimum efficiency
What’s the one word that stood out to you? For me it was optimum efficiency, that is the ultimate goal.
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The first place to start getting organized is your schedule. You have to have that down before anything else can happen.
Having a schedule has many benefits:
- Keeps you on time
- You can manage your time
- It improves your productivity
- It keeps you accountable
- Lowers overwhelm and anxiety
Choosing the right schedule/planner for you matters because if you don’t like it, it’s not going to work. As a confessed planner addict, I can tell you I’ve tried them all. Every year up until the past few years, I was in constant search of the BEST planner. I even created in 2016 and produced them for two years.
There are three different ways to use a calendar:
3. Paper and Digital
You will find me in the third category. Having ADHD, I have to have a paper planner. If it’s not written, it’s not real. The digital side works well with events, planning, schedules etc.
When you have a schedule, then you can plan when to do your projects, schedule in your to-do lists, etc.
Figure out the system that will work best for you and get your schedule organized.
Your home environment matters. It sets the tone for many things. If your home is unorganized, it brings chaos and havoc.
Starting small matters because you need to build momentum, small projects lead to many wins. Many wins motivates you to keep going.
The best place to start when getting organized in your home is the entryway. ￼ Establishing a good system for daily items turns you into Mrs. Doubtfire. You leave on time, things are easy to find and you’re not having a last minute panic attack wondering where your keys are.
When you come home, it’s easy to put things away and you know where to find them rather than walking into a massive tornado.
Some common and easy organizing solutions for the entryway include hooks, cubbies, and mail organizers.
Before we get inside the house, we’re starting outside with the car. The car gets used frequently, having on organized ￼car clears your mind.
James Clear said it best in his book Atomic Habits:
“Environment is the invisible hand that shapes human behavior. We tend to believe our habits are a product of our motivation, talent, and effort. Certainly, these qualities matter. But the surprising thing is, especially over a long time period, your personal characteristics tend to get overpowered by your environment.”
￼Getting organized in your car is also another relatively quick project getting the daily items under control, lowers stress and anxiety.
Some easy organizing solutions for the car include trash bags, pens, and post it, and a place to keep loose change or odd items.
Now that we have two small projects under our belt, we’re moving into a large one. Having an organize closet is so important because it sets the tone for the day.
￼ There’s one way you feel about your closet, you either love it, or you dread it. If you dread it, it affects your mood, and you’re not putting forth your best self.
When we wear clothes, that makes us feel good we are at our best, most confident, self long gone are the days of claiming you have nothing to wear, or just standing in your closet, staring at it or rummaging through piles trying to find your favorite shirt. Having an organized closet makes life easier.
￼Simple, organizing solutions for the closet, include matching hangers, color coding, and using bins with labels.
Who doesn’t like an organized pantry?! There are so many great things that happen when your pantry is organized. For starters, healthier options are selected, you become a meal planning wizard, and the amount of food tossed out becomes a thing of the past.
￼One of my pet peeves is tossing leftovers, it’s like throwing money in the trash. If you’ve ever breast-fed and had to dump out expressed milk because he forgot about it do you understand the pain that’s exactly how I feel about tossing out leftovers.
￼Simple solutions for organizing the pantry include using bins with labels, adding a can organizer and utilizing the door.
Continuing on the food theme and moving into the refrigerator. How many times have you opened up the refrigerator door and just stared at it? Like something magical is going to appear.
The refrigerator reminds me of organizing toys can be frustrating and challenging. It’s like playing a game of Tetris to figure out where to put everything in there. Every condiment comes in a different size, could they make it anymore difficult?!
You of course can’t forget about leftovers, there needs to be space for that.
￼Creating zones using bins and turntables makes it easy to maintain the refrigerator and avoid tossing out leftovers.
￼￼”What’s for dinner?” The dreaded question every mom prefers not to hear. You can say goodby to that when you start meal planning.
Searching for items is what prevents meal planning from ever happening. You can’t find what you need or you find what you need and it’s expired. Both situations stop you dead in your tracks.
Meal planning is easy when you can find what you need in your refrigerator and pantry. Knowing what is for dinner helps you eat healthier and prevents “ugh, let’s just order pizza” because it’s easier.
Take an hour each week to plan out your meals and create a shopping list. You can take it a step further and plan meals based on what’s on sale that week at the grocery store.
An easy meal planning hack is to have one night be a leftover night, boom, check off one of the dinner nights.
Start with simple recipes and meals you know how to make then introduce a new recipe.
Starting any project or goal is hard. A thousand thoughts run through your head wondering if you can even do it, the self doubt can become paralyzing if you let it. One of my favorite Peloton instructors Jess Sims says it best:
“The hardest part of the workout is check done you are here.”
There have been plenty of days I haven’t wanted to do a workout and every time she says that during class, I immediately feel better.
Show up for you and those around you. When you do, you’ll be one step closer to your goal. We underestimate what we can accomplish in a year yet think we have to accomplish it all in a day.
Whoever invented superwoman needs a reality check, we don’t have to get it all done in a day or let alone a week. It’s okay to ask for help. No one ever succeeded alone.
Get an accountability partner. Make a plan, work the plan and see how your life changes by getting organized.
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