21 Habits of Organised People

21 Habits of Organised People

We can declutter and organise as much as we want. However, without routines that eventually become good habits, we will be back to Square One after a while and be frustrated because the decluttering and clever storage solutions don’t work – or so it seems.

Not everyone is a fan of routines because they feel it’s boring and too hard. Personally, I think routines and habits are one of the keys to both a more orderly home and a simpler life.
Some of the tips below are actually more about cleaning and tidiness than about organising. Even if an organised home is not the same as a tidy home, I feel these habits help create a calmer, healthier and more functional environment, which helps us thrive.

Just pick one or a few of these suggestions to try out, and I’m sure you will see an immediate positive impact!

Quote: You'll never change

 

21 Habits of Organised People

  1. Never walk empty-handed – if you leave a room and see something lying around that doesn’t belong, take it with you and put it away.
  2. Always do the dishes while you’re cooking – start washing up, loading the dishwasher and keeping the bench top clear instead of watching the pasta water heat That way, you can sit down for a more relaxed meal, knowing that you only need to put the used crockery, cutlery and pans in the dishwasher.
  3. Tidy up and clean your kitchen every night – before you sit down or go to bed, make sure the dishwasher is loaded (and turned on if full), and that the surfaces and the sink are clear and clean.
  4. Empty the dishwasher in the morning and leave the house with a clean kitchen – nobody wants to come home to a kitchen with dishes piled up in the sink or dirty bench tops. Allow enough time in the morning to clean after
  5. Make your bed – it takes less than a minute to make a bed, but it makes a huge difference coming back in the room later. It automatically looks so much tidier.
  6. Put things away immediately – have a home for everything and put it back after every use. Throwing the dirty clothes into the laundry basket doesn’t take any longer than dropping them on the floor! (Read more about putting things back here.)
  7. One in – one out – when you bring something new into your home, let go of another one to avoid clutter build-up.
  8. Have a laundry routine – whether it’s a load a day or per week, it doesn’t matter. Find a routine that works for you, stick to it and you will always have clean clothes in your wardrobe.
  9. Tidy up every day – take 10 minutes every night to quickly tidy and straighten things up.
  10. Deal with your mail daily – whether it’s paper mail or e-mail, go through it daily, immediately recycle envelopes and junk mail (having a sticker on your letterbox so you don’t get it anymore would even be better). Action things immediately or throw it in an inbox to deal with it later.
  11. Unsubscribe from unread newsletters – when you receive newsletters and updates you were once interested in but realise that you haven’t read the last few ones, immediately unsubscribe.
  12. Take the rubbish from your car with you – whenever you come home and have rubbish or other stuff in your car that doesn’t belong, remove it immediately.
  13. Meal plan – you can save so much time and money when you plan your meals and don’t have to run to the shops every night. (Read blog here – link).
  14. Cook more than necessary – and freeze the leftovers for the days you can’t cook, or for lunch the next day.
  15. Allow buffer time when going somewhere – if you have an appointment, always consider travel time and add some buffer time. If you’re early, you can always read a book, catch up on emails or just relax for a bit.
  16. Have a donation box – place a box or a bag near your garage. Whenever you no longer want something, throw it in there. Go and donate it when the box is full.
  17. Plan, plan, plan – take a few minutes on Sunday to plan your week ahead and don’t forget the buffer time! Also do a quick calendar check every night to plan the next day.
  18. Prepare the night before – if mornings are stressful for you, prepare everything you need the next day the night before: put out your clothes, pack your briefcase, and maybe even prepare your lunch as far in advance as possible.
  19. Think twice before buying something – do you really need another pair of shoes? More toys? That fancy kitchen appliance? If yes, what can you let go to make space?
  20. Have one – and only one – place to write down your to-do list – have a master list with all of your to-dos and ideas. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a physical notebook or a digital solution as long as it’s all in one place.
  21. Have a filing system – having a home for everything includes paper or digital files. Create and use a system that works for you and always file documents as soon as possible (if you actually need to keep them).

 

Have you got any habits or routines that help you to be organised? I’d love to hear about it. Just leave your comment below.

 

Best wishes,

3 Steps to Your Easy Meal Plan or …

… how meal planning gives me an extra 90 minutes each week!

What would you do with an extra 90 minutes each week? Would you read a good book? Would you spend that time with your kids? Would you hit the gym and do a little cardio? No doubt you’d rather spend that 90 minutes doing something fun, not spending it grocery shopping.

 

 

Meal planning Pinterest-2

 

Years ago, I was no fan of meal planning. In the meantime however, it has become a great habit, which has saved my family a lot of money and time over the years.

Before we had children and were living in Switzerland, we worked full-time. In Switzerland, people tend to eat a big lunch and then a small dinner – cold meat and cheese with bread or a soup. Our workplaces offered a canteen so we typically ate there for lunch. There was no real reason to meal plan.

The weekend was the only time we really cooked, and that was if we didn’t go out. A few times I tried to implement meal planning, but it just wasn’t for me. I was also under the misconception that meal planning would take away any flexibility, spontaneity and freedom. I mean what if I wanted one thing but planned for something else?

You know what’s coming … once we had kids, everything changed! It didn’t happen right away of course. It actually happened after we moved to Australia… a whole new culture to contend with. You see, I was a stay-at-home mom with two toddlers (one and three years old). My husband’s workplace offered a canteen but he’d rarely eat there. And, this is when I found myself cooking dinner every single night.

It was becoming quite clear that meal planning may be a good idea after all. So, I started it and tried several things. When you check out Pinterest, you get all kinds of ideas and pictures on meal planning systems. The reality though is who has time for doing all of this so elegantly and beautifully? I don’t, and I don’t really care to do it so creatively. If you are the creative type, more power to you and have fun!

Let me share what worked for me.

 

3 Helpful Tips To Create Your Own Easy-To-Follow Meal Plans

 

Do Your Math

Meal planners are going to tell you that you save yourself a ton of time. However, I’m a bit of a skeptic so I sat down and did some calculations. If I did a weekly plan and the grocery shopping takes me roughly an hour and half each week for a family of four (combining my trip with a school run and shopping), I spent about 78 hour or three and quarter days a year doing this.

If, for some reason, I have to shop more than once a week, I’d still need approximately the same amount of time to do the shopping. However, no meal plan and a trip to the grocery store all the time would take me three hours a week or nearly one week a year. And, that cuts into my work hours or dragging the kids to the shop. Talk about added stress there!

So, what did I learn? I learned that meal planning is a big payoff for both me and my family.

school equation with apples

 

 

Find Your Best Day For Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping

I used to do my meal planning on a Monday morning before school and doing the shopping first thing after the school run. Right now, I am doing my meal planning on Saturday. We talk about the next week over breakfast and consider what everybody’s plans are … sports, business trips, doctor visits, extracurricular activities, etc.

For instance, I don’t cook fish on Monday night because one of the boys and hubby come home after 7 p.m. My other son and I don’t want to eat that late and have dinner shortly after 6 pm. Keeping this kind of meal warm is not an option. And, I don’t feel like cooking twice. Therefore, I need a meal I can re-heat or keep warm easily, such as a one pot meal (find interesting recipes here).

I then pick the menus. During school holidays, each boy gets to choose the meals for one week. This encourages them to help with the cooking and, in my eyes, learn an important skill without even noticing. I see it as an added bonus.

Grocery_Shopping_Trolley_Depositphotos_24389341_l-2015 small

Find A Planning System That Works For You 

I tried meal planning using my computer, but I found that didn’t work for me. And, doing a paper and pencil system seemed too wasteful and time consuming (of course you could keep the plans and re-use them some weeks later).

What I did was create little cards using thick paper, printed the meals on them, laminated them and cut them into card size. You could also use empty laminated cards and write on them using a whiteboard marker.

I then used a cheap Ikea photo frame and put some fabric in the frame behind the glass, painted seven wooden pegs and glued them onto the glass. I didn’t bother writing the names of the days on them since we know the first day is Monday. Now, all I have to do is add one card per day. The board is situated in the kitchen and everybody can see it.

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Our Meal Plan

My meal planning doesn’t include breakfast or lunches. That’s because breakfast is generally the same every day. As for lunches, I don’t list them on the plan but they are considered. I don’t like giving our kids sandwiches. Perhaps that’s a cultural thing because, in Switzerland, we don’t have them for lunch. Rather, I give them the night before’s leftovers. I give them their food in Tupperware Heat ‘N Eat containers so they can use the school’s microwave to re-heat them.

Once I’m done with the planning, I make the shopping list, which can be done quickly. I go shopping and that’s it for the week. I rarely ever have to visit the shops again during the week for fresher vegetables and/or meat. If stored right, you can keep vegetables and fruit fresh for the week and I freeze the meat.

 

 

 

Extra Time Saver Tip: Combine Your Errands
Try combining your grocery shopping with other errands to save yourself time and petrol money.

Errands List

 

 

 

Remember earlier when I said I was afraid of losing my freedom, flexibility and spontaneity? Well, doing this for several years now, I can tell you that this just isn’t true. I am still flexible, and in fact often do move menus around the week. However, since everything is at home already, I don’t need to do any last minute shopping trips.

 

What kind of meal planning system do you use (if any)? What works for you? What doesn’t work for you? If you have a picture of your system, I’m sure we’d all love to see it!

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