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Add “Get Organized” to Your New Year’s Resolutions

Our Favorite Life Hacks to Help You Save Time and Energy

Is one of your New Year’s Resolutions “get organized?” If it’s not…maybe it should be. So many of the issues we deal with in our day-to-day lives—like not having enough time to accomplish everything we want to or not having enough money, etc.—can be boiled down to one underlying cause: a lack of organization. A little bit of work up front, and some extra planning, can end up saving you so much time, money, and energy down the road.

With that in mind, here are a few of our favorite organization-oriented life hacks:

Not using it? Get rid of it!

This may seem obvious, but so many of us have junk lying around that we never use that’s really just in the way. Why wait for spring? Do some cleaning now, and purge everything you don’t use on a daily basis. Do your relatives keep getting you knick knacks you don’t know what to do with? Don’t feel guilty—just get rid of them. Donate them to a local thrift shop or charity. Purging your home of all these unnecessary items will save you time when you’re digging around for something you really need. And it will just make you feel better about your nice, neat, uncluttered living space.

Plan out your wardrobe for the week.

How much time do you spend rummaging around in your closet, trying to find something to wear? And then how much more time do you spend grumbling about the pile of discarded clothes on your floor and then finally putting it all away? Take a little extra time on Sunday (or whenever your day off is), and plan out your wardrobe in advance. Hang everything up, separated by the day of the week, so all you have to do is roll out of bed and grab your outfit. Maybe you could use that extra time to sleep in!

Plan out your meals for the week.

Much like planning out your wardrobe, meal planning can save you a bunch of time, too. And money…. How much do you spend eating out, because you just don’t have the energy to go to the grocery and figure out what to make for dinner? Take a couple hours or so over the weekend to peruse some simple recipes, go to the store, and do some meal prep. If you do this at the same day and time every week, it’s much easier to get into the habit and make it stick. (Tip: grocery stores are typically dead on Saturday and Sunday mornings.) Mason jar salads make for super easy, healthy lunches on the go. And a crockpot can be your best friend for quick, one-dish meals that are pretty much done by the time you get home.

A place for everything, and everything in its place.

Cut down on clutter by having a “home” for all of your things. Group items by use, and store them together, in places that are convenient. There are several fun, easy, cheap ways to organize things that you may never have thought of: we like these clever lists by Popsugar and Buzzfeed. Imagine how much time and energy you’ll save when you no longer have to hunt around to find all those items you use the most!

Organize your time.

Calendars aren’t just for decoration (though, they can be awfully pretty). Get a big one to hang in a prominent place in your home where it’s easy to see and access, and write everything down—school or work deadlines, plans with friends…all of it. There’s too much going on in our lives every day to remember everything. Writing it down will help cement the memory in your brain and will give you visual clues later on. Set up reminders on your phone for the most important stuff, and be sure to have it notify you with plenty of time to actually be useful. A reminder to be across town in 5 minutes is no good if it takes 30 minutes to get there.

Staying organized and efficient is easy, if you give yourself the proper tools and create good habits and routines. These are just a few of our favorite methods to stay organized—what are yours?

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