organizational tools

No matter how hard-working you are, a disorganized apartment can be a huge distraction.

When your home is neat, clean, and organized, it’s easier to keep a clear head. And a clear head leads to productivity.

Are you ready to get your home organized? Are you ready to eliminate distractions?

Check out these 5 tips to help you be more productive and more focused in 2018.

1. Declutter

Organizational experts love to use the word “declutter,” but it’s just a nice way of saying it’s time to throw away useless junk.

A cluttered house leads to a cluttered mind. And a cluttered mind makes it hard to focus on anything important.

With less clutter around you, you can reduce stress, reduce anxiety, and be more productive.

Serious organizers follow the KonMari Method—the concept of doing an intense clean sweep of your home and keeping only what “sparks joy.” It’s an intense process that’s too extreme for some to handle. But even if you can’t follow the method, it might provide some insight and inspirations for how you can declutter your home.

With a good decluttering of every room in your home, you can allow your mind to focus. With a focused mind, you’ll instantly be more productive!

2. Start Small

Even the most organized among up have small hang-ups throughout the day that distract us.

Do you waste time searching for your keys in the morning?

Are you always misplacing your wallet or smartphone?

Identify the little things that affect your productivity and organize in small steps to address those little things. Organize your entryway by adding a catchall or storage container on the table by your door. You’ll never misplace your keys or wallet again.

There are lots of small things you can organize that will make a big difference in your daily life. Tackle that junk drawer in the kitchen so you don’t have to waste hours on a Saturday morning looking for a roll of tape, a screwdriver, or your spare keys.

Clean out your kitchen pantry and organize shelves like the aisles in your grocery store. Grouping like items together on the same shelf will make meal prep easier than ever.

Tired of looking at jackets tossed over the back of a dining room chair? Clean out your coat closet so you can locate outerwear with ease and know exactly where to find an umbrella on a rainy day.

Getting started on your organization project is the hardest part. By starting small, you can feel productive in a matter of minutes—and that can set the bigger project of organizing your entire home into motion.

3. Buy the Right Equipment

If you want to get organized and stay organized, don’t overlook the importance of organizational tools.

A filing cabinet is essential if you need to store and arrange papers. A classic rolodex is perfect for storing business cards and contact information. A shoe organizer is ideal for hanging on the inside of a closet door so you don’t have to tear through shoe boxes to find the pair you’re looking for.

Not sure if there is a tool to help you accomplish your specific task? Don’t worry—there is. Visit a Container Store and you will be amazed at how many organizational tools exist. You can literally find one for every task and every room of the house.

With the right tools on hand, organizing will be easier to start with and even easier to keep up with. When you get in the habit of storing items in a specific spot, it will be easier to find them later.

4. Go Paperless

Do you have a tendency to hoard papers and stockpile mail? That’s a habit you need to break.

There are a lot of easy steps you can take to reducing the paper clutter in your home.

If you have a hard time parting with documents that might be important later, get in the habit of scanning. Important documents should always be scanned so that you have a backup digital copy. Scan what you need to keep and trash what you don’t.

Many paper items can be replaced with digital versions. Toss paper calendars in favor of your smartphone calendar. Stop using sticky notes and use a task management app instead. That file cabinet overflowing with papers? Try using a cloud storage system.

If you find it difficult to rid yourself of all paper, get yourself on a schedule where your purge your office or clean your desk once a month. Go through mail on a daily basis. Scan documents every day or at least every week. Get into a routine so papers don’t pile up and become overwhelming again.

This is a good technique that you can apply to other areas of your life as well. Get rid of those shelves full of DVDs and download digital copies of your favorite movies instead. Those CDs you’ve been holding onto since high school? Upload them to your laptop or store digital versions on a flash drive. With digital files, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for much more easily.

5. Utilize Time Blocks

While time blocking is usually used as a method of organizing your time in the office, it’s a great way to stay organized at home as well. Use the digital calendar on your smartphone to schedule weekly cleanings. Set aside time every Saturday morning to clean out the refrigerator. Block out an hour every Wednesday to clean out your desk or sort through junk mail.

Time blocking can also be used for basic household chores, such as vacuuming, doing laundry, and changing your sheets. Make use of those reminders on your phone—alerts aren’t just for business meetings and doctor’s appointments!

Organized = Productive

If you want to be more productive, you need to be more organized. Start by decluttering your home and your office. Make use of organizational tools, filing systems, and storage bins to keep items in place at all times.

If you can, go paperless and store papers, documents, movies, and music as digital files that don’t take up physical space in your home. And if you have trouble remembering to do certain tasks, use time blocking techniques and set reminders on your phone.

Some people enjoy organizing—others do not. But if you want to live a productive life free of distractions, it’s essential. So roll up your sleeves and start small. Begin with one drawer or a single shelf. Before you know it, your entire home or apartment can be distraction-free.

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