How to be More Organized

Honestly, sometimes I am such a contradiction that I don’t even understand MYSELF.  In some ways I am incredibly organized and in other ways I am not oarticularly organized at all.  For instance, I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who plans their dinner menus out by week or alphabetizes their spices, etc.  But I just can’t make myself do it.  What if I didn’t want to eat that meal on that day and the spices will probably just get all messed up again.  

But there is a way that I am extremely organized and that is in making sure I bring my “stuff” along with me wherever I go.  Doesn’t matter if I’m going on a camping trip with 40 Boy Scouts, a weekend trip, or just going to work.  And I am desperately trying to teach this skill to my drastically disorganized son!  Who, unfortunately, is the son of my drastically disorganized husband.  

So, until I figure out how to help them, I might as well share my organizational secrets with you guys.  Here are some of the tips I use that help me get organized:

1.  Planning – This is the most important part.  I always start by visualizing exactly what I’m going to be doing each day.  Then I add in a teaspoon of prevention – am I like to need a jacket or an umbrella?  Allergy meds?  A book to read?  If it’s an extremely complex trip, I might make a list, but they usually aren’t necessary.  I even pre-visualize my outfits starting at the shoes on up to my jewelry.  

2.  Grouping and containerizing – my next step is to group the items together.  Once I’ve figured out what I need, I group everything together in a purse, suitcase, or a box.  I don’t ever count on being able to grab something at the last minute.  That is always what trips up my son and husband.  They always think they’ll grab that jacket or the book, or the cell phone charger at the last minute, but then they get distracted and forget.  

This is what saved my bacon a couple of years ago when I woke up over an hour late for an important business trip.  Because I had taken the time to plan out my wardrobe, pack up my computer, my toiletries, and even all my chargers and cords, I was able to jump out of bed, brush my teeth, throw on the outfit I’d laid out the night before and get out the door in 5 minutes flat.  I still made my plane, and I had everything I needed for a successful and comfortable 2 day trip.  

3.  Launch pad – my other lifesaving tip is to have a launch pad area.  It’s usually right by the front door, but sometimes I’ll set it up by my desk or the kitchen table, depending on how much room I need.  The key is to choose a no-fail spot that you will absolutely see before you leave the house.  That’s my rule for camping trips and my son fights me tooth and toenail on it every_single_time – the butthead!  

My rule with camping is that every thing he is going to bring has to be in the living room the night before – no exceptions.  It’s almost always a knock-down-drag-out fight, but it works.  My husband has to call me at least every couple of weeks to bring him something to work he’s forgotten.  I don’t think I’ve ever had to do that.  Because of my launch pad.  

What are your best organizing tips?  

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