How To Stay Organized

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Easy Ideas To Stay Organized

Quick Organizing Tips to Help You Stay Organized

Here are some quick and easy tips to help you learn how to stay organized:

Don’t procrastinate!

If you leave it today for tomorrow you will still have to do it, so just do it now and get it off your mind.

Pay your bills on a regular basis.

Pay your bills twice a month or once a week. When a bill comes in the mail, open it immediately. Keep all your bills in one place with pens, pencils with working erasers, calculator, envelopes, and postage stamps. Paying your bills quickly is a great way to stay organized and save money because they don’t get lost or shuffled in with other paperwork.

If you are unable to pay a bill.

Call the place to whom it is owed BEFORE it is due. Explain your situation and see if you can work out a payment plan. Most places would be more than happy to work out a payment plan rather than not receive the money or have to call a collection agency.

Keep a master to-do and to-call list.

I keep a small spiral notebook to help me stay organized. I divide each page in half with a line and everyday I write down what needs to be done. One side of the line is for the “To Do” items and the other side is for “To Call” items. If you like you can use one page for each day. If you need to do something on Wednesday and it’s Monday, write it on your to-do list for Wednesday.

Look at your list from a priority standpoint.

What needs to be done first? Number items on your list according to their importance starting from 1 and then work on the most important things first.

Don’t over-schedule yourself.

Be flexible and allow yourself some room for illness, unexpected appointments etc.

For appointments…

Always plan to be early and bring something to do (like a magazine or novel you want to read). Make sure that you bring something along for the kids also.

Keep a master list of weekly housecleaning duties and assign a day for them to get done.

If you clean the bathrooms every Monday, you don’t have to worry about wondering when they were last cleaned.

Create a place for items waiting to leave the house.

Create a place, preferably by the door, in the house for everything that needs to be returned, including library books, dry cleaning, letters to be mailed, etc. Then you won’t have to search for things when you are leaving and it will help you stay organized when there is only one place for these items to live.

Put the children to bed at least 1 hour before your bed time.

Use the time to relax and get things done that would be easier and faster to do without their “help”. There is no reason that the kids need to be up late and the quiet time will reduce your stress level.




  1. SARA GLAUSER says

    How do you stay organized and save money with kids running around all the time? Oh I need this so bad.

    • says

      Nicole, you don’t. When going through something like that you cannot expect to keep on top of things the same as when you are healthy. I say so often we have seasons in our lives and we have to except them the same why we do regular seasons. In the bitterness of winter you can’t keep the outside of your home in as perfect shape as you can when the sun is shining. The same goes for our homes when we are going through illness, new babies etc.

      Mostly what a person needs to do is God has put you where you are for a reason and He doesn’t demand any more out of you then He has given you the strength to do. If you don’t have the strength to do something maybe He wants you to relax and allow someone else to be blessed in helping you.

      That is the spiritual part the practical part is often others fail in stepping up to the plate to help or maybe it has nothing to do with someone else but just to help you learn to let go. At times like these you only do the bare necessities. Meals, laundry and care of children. Even those will need to be cut back on. You will have to use paper plates, disposable pans, no extra baking.

      Get the laundry down to a minimum. When I first got sick I packed all my clothes away but just about 3 outfits. Just looking at the clothes smashed in my closet made me tired so do that with your family if you can. If your kids wear a dirty shirt to school or out someplace once in awhile, oh well. The world will not end. In other words par down as much as you can on everything and lower your standardsfor awhile if you need to.

      Other things you can do is when you have good days do what you can. Pick one area which really bugged you when you were sick and get it taken care of first. I had to do my 5 min. rule and still have many days where I have to do it. If I just don’t have the strength at all I do nothing, if I have a little strength but can’t get motivated I rest and when a commercial comes on TV or on the hour I make myself get up and do only 5 mins. worth of something then collapse. You would be surprised how much you can get done in 5 mins.

      Bottom line is don’t worry about it now, I know that is hard to do but you may have to. Ask for help. Sometimes we have no one but I also know there are many people who would love to help but they don’t know there is a need or what to do or even how to offer so ask when you can.

      Even everything I mentioned may not work. I have had a rough couple of weeks of being sick with my cfs and you should see my house now. Piles every where I don’t even have kids but I have to let it go for now. Don’t be hard on yourself. Your illness can’t be helped.

      I wish I could do more. If you can check out the website there are many articles on everyday practical to do when you are sick which might help more.

      You will be in my prayers truly,

  2. Jill says

    Such a compassionate response. I was blessed by it. A little kindness goes a long way. Doesn’t it? May you be blessed.

  3. Pat Lohrey says

    It’s taken me a lifetime to adopt some of the good suggestions you list in your “Get Organized” segment. Here’s another one I’ve learned. Lists of things which need to be done always contain a few which you really don’t enjoy doing. The ones you hate end up last on the list and perhaps left undone thereby hanging over your head until the next list.

    Prioritizing the list from the hardest (or most onerous) to the easiest, results in your day getting better as you progress through the list. You end up in a good mood instead of feeling guilty for skipping that hated job.

  4. Pam says

    I certainly can relate to all of this! I have been very organized all my life . Then I got sick and am now on a walker and wheelchair and on oxygen 24×7. We had to move bedroom downstairs and my whole life has changed. I take one day at a time. I have a daily planner and list what I want to do each day on it. ( 15 minutes here and there, resting in between.) As Jill said you do what you have to. Prioritize each day. On my good days I do more. My husband is a big help, and I make a list for him also. (He asked me too.

  5. Susan says

    Hi Jill

    When I have my days that I am to sick to do anything I just let it go and remember the old saying “Lord willing I will try tomorrow” I am blessed that I have a service dog that can help me with things handing me a towel or bringing me the phone. That is a wonderful idea about the clothes,having a few out is much better.Thank you for that idea. I have learned to keep a few extra paper plates etc. on my counter so that it is eaiser for me on those off days. I even leave some clean silverware in the dishwasher so Bella can open the door and bring me some if I need it.

  6. Julie says

    I lost my sister to cancer 5 weeks ago and am struggling to stay on top of things. I have managed, barely, to keep us in clean clothes and our bills paid. I’m also responsible for my dad’s finances and medications. Making dinner seems to be very overwhelming for me, even simple meals. I have been relying on fast food or sandwiches and I know that can’t continue. I will get meat out to defrost and then end up throwing it out after a few days because I never have the energy or motivation to actually cook. Any suggestions you have to help me focus would be appreciated.

    • says

      Julie I am so sorry to hear about your sister. I know times like that can be so hard which is an understatement. Couple of things you need to keep in mind is usually when I write on organizing, cleaning etc. I try to be sure to make sure that there will be times in our lives when our world is turned upside down and you can’t expect yourself to function like normal. Things like losing a loved one, sickness in the family, a new baby, moving etc. At those times you need to hang on for dear life and some times it is only the end of a thin thread you have a hold of. That’s ok. We need to give ourselves time to grieve or to adjust to our new scary, frustrating or overwhelming situation.

      Ask yourself was things like this before I lost my sister if the answer is no. I was organized and had it together then the chances are really good you will be again and right now you just need to grieve and let as many things slide as you can realizing there will be a normal again even if it doesn’t feel like it now. If you weren’t organized before the most important thing is to be honest with yourself and not use anything as an excuse to let things go which I don’t think this is your situation.

      Realize it will be hard and will take time to adjust to your new world. For example you said you are now responsible for your dad’s finances now so you will have to form new habits and ways of doing things to integrate these things into your life.

      You may need help with things for a month or 2. Don’t feel guilty if you need to ask for help. For example decide what is most important to you cooking meals instead of cleaning and laundry then take the money you would spend on fast foods and use it to hire a teen or someone to come in once a week to help with laundry or cleaning. I think it is in Australia where women often would hire help to come in and help. It might be cheaper to hire a teen for a couple of hours to free you so you can cook a few meals during the week.

      My 5 min. rule applies here too. No matter how you feel make yourself get up during a TV commercial or something like that and only work the 5 mins. then sit back down if you need to.

      Sadness and grieving isn’t wrong and part of what you are experiencing too is you probably had it in high gear emotionally and physically for a long being there for your sister when she needed you and now your body is shutting down. I call it going into an emotional coma. In the same way when a body feels extreme pain it will pass out it can happen with our emotions too. We shut down because it is a way of protecting ourselves from more pain and allowing our bodies or in this case emotions to heal. In the same way you wouldn’t expect yourself to get up and fix a meal after you have broken both arms and legs you can’t expect to much from yourself after such an emotional hurt either.

      Here is an post I wrote on emotional pain and other things that might be of some help to you and goes into more detail. I know you want 1.2.3’s on getting organized but you need to deal with what is causing your not being motivated first.

      Dealing with Discouragement and Hurt

  7. Marcia says

    I am so glad to note that you are practical in your advice Jill and you let people know that in unusual situations it is okay not to be perfect. One thing I notice is that you are tough when you need to be and tender when you need to be. That is so much like Jesus. When you are hanging from a thread you don’t need someone holding a match to your thread you need someone to reinforce your thread to help you hang on and even give you an extra grip. That’s real love.

    • says

      Thank you Marcia. You are so kind to say that. I loved how you said we don’t need someone putting a match to our thread. That is so very true but I am afraid that is what happens often. The Bible says that even Jesus was exceedingly sorrowful and He wept so why we are so hard on ourselves and others when we have to go through times like that I don’t know.

  8. Barbs says

    I buy a calander which I put infront of my computer. Appointments, blood sugars,calls to make, perscriptions to pick up etc. unusual things that come up that are health related work etc. You could also use a free calender if it had other than a postage stamp sized date. This started in ’98 from a free calender I got that gave me a good sized to work with. Same area, and it also has room in the back for phone numbers, PC contacts. Best money I ever spent, all rapped up in the same size!

  9. says

    How do you keep things clean & orgsnized when you have a brain injury. In nonacite Fbi rehabilitate they teach you. But my injury happened in 94 before they. The therapists knee that I could relearned anything. I’m sorry my computer is down & I’m using my kindle.

  10. says

    Please can help me figure out what to do?Been married less than year I work so does he my 2nd his around4 time to be married I’m the one who pays all the bills when i get paid try 2 put my savings.every check .He has his own account.his whole check goes in his account. Can’t seem to stay organized because Wooten consumes all my ?

      • says

        Leslie first worrying and fear has to go. It never solves anything but puts us in a state of panic and fear and fear paralyzes so much so that we can’t function or think of ways to solve the problem. Think of it this way. When you watch a movie and the people are caught in a terrifying situation who is it that usually finds away out of the situation, the people who are cowering in fear in a corner hiding or the one who fearlessly looks for a way out. This is why I teach all the time to stop worrying. It doesn’t help. You may say you can’t but you really can but only when you make up your mind that you really want to other wise everything will stay the same.
        When you can start thinking clearly you may have to get help with the marriage because it sounds like there are more things that are causing the problems then just money. I personally feel a married couple should put all their regular income into one account together. There should not be his money and my money or I pay for this and he pays for that. It is asking for trouble from the start. Now I know someone will e mail and say we do that and have no problems but you are very much the exception to the rule. In my life I have never known a married couple who have separate money not to have some kind of problems because of this at some point.
        You need to too start talking to each other. Sit down and in a logical, caring way talk about the money situation. If you can’t do that then you have other problems that need to be taken care of. Seriously try to find someone to talk to about this. It is hard for me to give a lot of answers because I really don’t know the whole story and all of the details. The fact that you have been married twice and him four times also says you both may have some baggage brought into this marriage that has never been resolved or taken care of so you really do need to find a pastor, counselor or someone to help.

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