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Want to get organised? Four expert tips from a professional organiser

You can learn to be more organised and it will make your life so much better, says professional organiser Natalie Jane.

Scrambling to get out the door every morning? Missing bill payments because you lost the paperwork? Can't find your passport or your child's goggles? Does this sound like you?

It doesn't have to be like this. Here are four steps to a new organised you.

1. SORT OUT YOUR TIME MANAGEMENT
Juggling family, work, social activities? You need a system so that you and everyone else in the family knows when things need to happen. It's just too hard to remember everything.

Find one system that suits you and keep it simple – that will make it easier to stick with it. Think about what will work for you– an electronic device, a paper diary or a wall planner perhaps.

There are lots of useful apps that might help too: Check out Google Keep, Todoist, Any.do and Clear.

READ MORE:
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Choose one simple time-management system that will suit you. Are you a diary person or would be better using your phone?

 

Find one system that suits you and keep it simple – that will make it easier to stick with it. Think about what will work for you– an electronic device, a paper diary or a wall planner perhaps.  

There are lots of useful apps that might help too: Check out Google Keep, Todoist, Any.do and Clear.

2. STOP PROCRASTINATING
If you're always saying "I'll do it tomorrow," then procrastination could be the cause of your disorganisation. It's so easy to put things off these days, as everyone has so much to do and there's so much distraction (checking Facebook, perusing Pinterest).

If you want to get off to an organised start, create a new good habit, by deciding to make the bed as soon as you get up.

But how do you stop procrastinating? The to-do list is an oldie but a goodie. If it's there in black and white it's harder to conveniently forget what we need to do. Write it down or use an app – the one I use is teuxdeux.com which puts your to-dos in order of priority and carries them over to the next day if you don't get them done.

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Schedule tasks in your diary, planner or device WHEN you are going to do them and choose a time that will work for you. If you don't schedule it in, it is likely not to happen.

Reward yourself for doing the task, tick it off the list and remember to focus on one task at a time. Calling a friend to hold you accountable works a treat too!

3. BEAT THOSE BAD HABITS
Whether it's not making your bed, leaving dirty dishes on the bench or dumping items on any clear space you can find... these are the things that make us feel as if our lives are slipping into chaos.

How to ditch a bad habit? The first step is to admit it to yourself and start taking steps to make a change. Then work on creating a good habit instead, by "stacking" your new habit on something you do every day. For example if you don't make your bed, build a new habit on getting out of bed (something you already do). Say to yourself: "As soon as I get up in the morning I'll make my bed." To create a new habit of doing the dishes, say to yourself: "When I have finished my dinner, I will do the dishes."

4. UPSKILL YOURSELF AND GET SUPPORT
Being organised doesn't come naturally to many people, but it is a skill we can all learn. Getting better at it is fun and empowering. The benefits of having a well organised home are endless. If you really struggle, a session with a professional organiser might be a good idea. For more inspiration, go to realsimple.com, becomingminimalist.com, abowlfuloflemons.net and iheartorganizing.com.

Ban benches piled with dirty dishes, but resolving to do the washing up as soon as you've finished eating dinner.

Natalie Jane runs Be Organised – this is part of a series on turning household chaos into calm.

NZ House & Garden

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