The new year is approaching and there couldn’t be a better time to organize your lifestyle.
Made any resolutions yet? Don’t worry, this is one you can start with.
Getting organized can seem overwhelming, and the hardest part is often figuring out where to start. Most of us wish we could be more organized in some aspects of our life, at work, or in business, but we’re too afraid of the time commitment.
Organizing expert, author, and entrepreneur, Jane Stoller, is proof that we can do it. And to get started, all it takes is breaking down the tasks. Stoller believes that “organizing is a lifestyle that will help you conquer anything,” and credits being organized to her living a “relatively stress-free life.”
But it goes far beyond making sure your shirts are colour-coded. “I believe organizing also relates to life’s bigger picture. It’s important to have lifetime goals, which you can plan for by incorporating smaller goals into your daily and weekly life. Being organized can help you put thoughts and ideas (both large or small) into action.”
Stoller has shared with us her top 10 tips for organizing your lifestyle to help you get ready for 2019.
Start with your closet
The closet sets the mood for our entire day. It’s also an ideal place to practice and hone organizing skills that can transfer over to the rest of your goals. If you start your day choosing clothes from a laser-focused closet, you’re well on your way to a structured, system-driven office space. Nobody’s home or office needs to be perfect. But these spaces should reflect YOUR priorities — the life you want, and the things you want to accomplish.
The faster we can see and access our clothes, the less time we waste. Keeping clothes stored properly will also save you money. “I employ the 80/20 rule and make sure the clothes I wear 80% of the time are up front and center.” This depends on your lifestyle and what you love, whether that’s smart casual attire or lululemon apparel.
Batch activities to help you stay focused and reduce wasted time. Plus, you might even improve your creativity! Using a time cube (a cube with a timer series of five, 15, 30, or 60 minutes, and an alarm to let you know when your time is up).
also helps you stay on track.
Make yourself as efficient as possible. If something is not efficient, or taking up too much of your free time, consider outsourcing it. This could include various digital tasks which are easier than ever today with sites like Fiverr and Upwork.
Other time drags? Cleaning your house and going to the grocery store instead of ordering online and getting home delivery.
Make organizing a priority
Start with 10 minutes at the beginning or end of the day, and after 21 days, organizing will be a habit.
Get travel prepared
Plan before you know you’re going to travel with key essentials that you have pre-packed and ready to go in your carry-on. Stoller also keeps her toiletries packed in a Sephora Beauty on the Fly transparent bag and keeps this in her carry-on. After a trip, she replaces only what needs replacing.
Focus on planning
Make your calendar your best friend. Watch Stoller’s YouTube video on key tips for calendar planning.
Functional or pretty
Always be ready and willing to assess your newly organized spaces, and decide if they’re truly functional, or if they’re too complicated. If they’re the latter, re-evaluate and re-organize so that things make the most sense for your daily life.
Measure and celebrate
Stoller always quotes management guru, Peter Drucker: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”
She loves an opportunity to pop a bottle of champagne to celebrate her organizing successes. Make sure you take before and after photos and calculate the time savings so you ensure your newly organized spaces and processes are working.
Stoller is an expert in adapting, whether it’s adapting from the countryside to the city, from one city to the next, to different sizes of spaces, or to different business processes. Whether you’re single or part of a large family, whether you live in an apartment or a mansion, you need to know how to store your shoes and fold your sheets, and we all need to embrace the wonders of labelling. Adapt your organizing system to your lifestyle and update it as your lifestyle changes.
Organizing is fun
Ultimately, Stoller presents her organizing tips as potential inspiration, rather than a prescription. “I want what I do to inspire, not tell you how to live your life. And you need to find a way to make organizing fun for your lifestyle.”
You can check out Jane Stoller on Instagram for more useful organizing tips.