Do you feel like your home (or your life in general) is a disorganized mess?

You’re not alone! 54% of Americans feel overwhelmed by clutter in their homes and offices, yet 78% admit they have no idea what to do with all that “stuff.” Then there are the related problems of misplacing items, running late, or forgetting appointments.

If you want to take control of your environment and your schedule, you need to know how to stay organized. Here are four expert tips that will help.

1. Reduce Clutter

Clutter isn’t just a nuisance. Studies show it can actually affect your mood, productivity, and even increase your cortisol levels.

If the idea is overwhelming, start small. Clear out the clutter from your wallet or purse one evening while you watch TV. Then move on to drawers and cabinets before tackling larger closets, rooms, or storage areas.

At work, keep only the things you use every day in plain sight on your desk. Tuck everything else away in drawers or shelves or (better yet) get rid of anything nonessential.

2. Use a Daily Planner

Don’t leave things to chance — write down everything you need to accomplish on a particular day or week. Each morning, review your most important tasks so you know how to prioritize your time that day.

Keep a weekly planner on your desk at work or carry it with you throughout your day. If you can’t find a planner you like at the store, use a free daily planner template to design your own personalized organizer.

Another option is to use a digital planner or organization app to help you stay organized. Trello, EverNote, and Google Tasks are good choices to consider.

3. Make a Home (For Everything)

Do you constantly misplace your keys, wallet, or phone? Create a dedicated space for them right by the front door, perhaps with a small table or cubby in the foyer. Drop them there when you arrive home and they’ll be right there waiting for you in the morning.

The same goes for other things you use often, such as pens, earbuds, or eyeglasses. The less time you waste looking for these things, the more productive and organized you can be throughout the day.

Bonus tip: Before you go to sleep, lay out your clothes and other items you’ll need for the next day.

4. Limit Digital Communication

The average adult spends 3.5 hours a day on social media, and that doesn’t even include time spent working, browsing the web, or checking email.

It’s impossible to eliminate everything, of course. But clearing some of the digital clutter can help you stay organized as a manager, an employee, or just in your personal life.

Adjust notification settings so you don’t get “pinged” every 10 seconds by a messaging app. Prioritize incoming emails and unsubscribe from anything nonessential. Set your phone to silent and only check messages when you have a scheduled break.

How to Stay Organized: The Tools You Need

It’s challenging to stay organized at work and at home.

Fortunately, there are plenty of tools available to help you succeed! Try some of the suggestions listed above and see what a difference these tips can make in your life.

Now that you know how to stay organized, what’s next? Keep browsing our site for more great home and lifestyle advice.

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