Decluttering a neglected office is no fun. Yes. I neglected my home office. Why? Why not. I am the advocate for having piles of books within my grasp; for keeping cut outs of magazine articles with written post-its attached to them for future use; and for being surprised whenever I find money finding in an old journal usually in between a stream-of-conscious post and notes on building up our electromagnetic field. Yes, there is a reason why I am nicknamed the professor. It’s a good thing I teach, don’t you think? Keeps up the image.

But with that being said, I constantly strive to organize, even amongst the perceived chaos. And when I really look to organize, I look to Sarah Mitus. Mitus is one of the most organized people I know. So, I felt it was fitting to have her do a post. Enter Mitus:

I love being organized.

Not only does it help me more effectively meet deadlines and do my work, but it makes me unbelievably happy.

It all started back in the day at the Mitus Family Calendar Meetings. (Yes, they really exist). When my sister and I were still in the house, we would meet on an either biweekly or monthly basis to “go over calendars.”

What this means is that we would all sit at the kitchen table, open up our planners, and talk about what we had going on over the next month. Much like a status meeting in a work environment, our family all knew when each other was going to be away, had a big project at work or school due, or had some fun event, concert or show to go to.

When I went to college, I continued this with my roommates, where each month the calendar on the fridge would include all of our tests and projects for the month, so we knew when one another would be stressed out (they were obviously color coded by person).

This love for organization goes much beyond my everyday tasks and into my living arrangements. My kitchen cabinets are organized, my closet is sorted by color, and yes, even my underwear drawer is folded.

This organization ability is one of my best qualities. In high school, I was the secretary of my class because I was organized. In college, I was picked to lead projects because I could keep everyone else organized. And now, at work, I get kudos at work because my boss doesn’t have to remind me to do things because I likely have them on a list somewhere.

Want to be more organized in your everyday life? Here is where to begin:

Make Lists

Write everything down. Seriously. I forget everything if I don’t write it down.

The tools I use day-to-day include:

1. My Paper Source Planner. Nothing makes me happier than a good planner. I need the monthly and weekly
calendars, with lines, or else I don’t like it. Mine even has stickers!
2. Lined and unlined Post-it notes. I love making lists where I actually get to cross things off. Weekend daily
lists, grocery lists, people to see, stuff to do, are all likely on a post it somewhere.
3. The Post-it program on my laptop at work. I have post-its for each day of the week across the top of my
desktop, as well as a post-it on the bottom right for things on the backburner, but still on my list.
4. I’ve also heard great things about Evernote if you’re not a paper person, but I get gratification from actually crossing things off (Note from JD: I am religious about Evernote. You can also use the chrome plugin to snip webpages).

Put everything on your daily lists, including some things you can easily cross off. On many of my daily to do lists on the weekend I include going to the gym, showering, and eating lunch so I can get started on crossing things off and
feeling good.

Do a Little Each Day

Tackling your closet seems like the worst Saturday ever? Bring organization to your life in baby steps. Start with one drawer in your bedroom then move to the next. Then move to the living room shelves, and then to a few kitchen cabinets a day. Organization isn’t supposed to take the life out of you! So focus on something small, but frequently, to bring order to the madness.

Have Fun

While organization actually makes me a happy person (just ask my roommates about my love of toilet bowl cleaner smell) not everyone is like me. So a few suggestions to spicing up your organization fun: crank up the music when you’re going through your closet and tidying up drawers. Buy cute organization things or pretty print outs. The Container Store, Target, and even Walmart have great pattered file folders, plastic bins and hangers for all of your organization needs.

Happy organizing!

Thanks Sarah. Now that we have a framework, let me share some workspace ideas that will help transform any space that I have found. Why? Because your work design is essential to how you live. Check it out these ideas for the office:

Use binder clips to keep your plugs organized.

Create a Chalkboard Calendar

 

Bread Clips as Power Chord Labels

Use an old chest as a file cabinet

What tips and tricks do you use to be more organized? And what about your office space? Have you used any of the ideas above? Do you have an organizational tip you cannot live without? We would love to hear from you!
About Sarah: Sarah Mitus works as a Social Media Specialist writing content, monitoring platforms, building strategies and measuring successes for multiple clients. She has strong interests in personal and company branding, organizing, post-it notes, professional development and breaking long-term goals into actionable items. She blogs regularly at The Pursuit and is an active contributor to the Levo League. You can find her on Twitter as @smitus.

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Images:
-Binder Clips: http://media-cache-lt0.pinterest.com/upload/110971578287653038_M56u4VRC.jpg
-Chalkboard Calendar: http://wanelo.com/
-Chest File Cabinet: MarthaStewart.com

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