17 Rules For Getting Organized and Decluttered

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17 Rules For Getting Organized and Decluttered

What would it take to get your life decluttered and organized?

That might be a tall order for many of us, but the truth is, we could do it in bursts and spurts, using a handful of easy-to-follow rules.

I know in my life, going from being overwhelmed with clutter to minimalism was a slow but rewarding journey, and now I feel happy every time I look around and see the lovely space around me.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, I’m here to testify that it’s not impossible, and it just takes some small steps that add up over time.

Here are the rules I suggest — though I don’t suggest adopting them all, and especially not all at once. Try a few out, see how they work for you, then try a few others.

  1. Get yourself organized at the start and end of a day. As you start your work day, write down your 3 Most Important Tasks (MITs). Write down a handful of other things you’d like to do today as well. Clear your desk, get things in order. At the end of each day, tidy things up, check off your list, maybe even get things ready for tomorrow.
  2. When you get up from your desk, put one thing away. Whenever you get up for a glass of water, to go to the bathroom, to take a break … pick up something off your desk and put it away. If your desk is clear, look for something nearby.
  3. When you’re done eating, wash your bowl. This is self-explanatory. Mindfully wash your dishes instead of leaving them in the sink. If there are other dishes in the sink, wash a few of them too.
  4. Wipe down the sink when you use it. Whenever you wash your hands or brush your teeth in the bathroom, wipe down the sink so it’s clean. Do the same in the kitchen sink. Clear away a few things around the sink too if you can.
  5. When you walk through a room, find one thing to put away. If you’re going from your bedroom to the living room, find one thing during that trip to put away. You don’t have to get stuck in putting everything away, just one thing.
  6. When you take off a piece of clothing, put it away. When you shower or change clothes, instead of leaving them on the floor or on a piece of furniture, put the clothes away or in a hamper. Look for a few other clothes to put away too if there are more lying around.
  7. Keep flat surfaces clear. Your tables, counters, desks, floors … keep them clear. If there’s a ton of clutter there now, see the rule below about decluttering on Saturdays. But if it’s doable, just start clearing whatever is on the floor (except furniture and the like). When you walk by the kitchen counter, look for things other than oft-used appliances to put away.
  8. At the end of the work day, file stuff. If you still use papers, file them at the end of the day. If you are all digital, clear your computer desktop and put files where they belong.
  9. Deal with an email instead of putting it off. When you open an email, give it the space to deal with it immediately. Read it, reply, take action, or archive it. Or put it on your to-do list for later if it’s a big task. Don’t just constantly open emails without handling them.
  10. Work to only having 3 emails in your inbox. Slowly clear away the hundreds or thousands of emails in your inbox. Archive or delete them, put a handful in a to-do folder, file others into informational folders, unsubscribe from newsletters.
  11. Put non-essential items you want to buy on a 30-day list. Create a 30-day list, and whenever you want to buy something that’s not absolutely essential (other than groceries, cleaning supplies, toiletries), put it on the list with the date you added it. Then don’t allow yourself to buy anything until it’s been on the list for 30 days. At the end of the 30 days, see if you still want it before buying.
  12. Put your clothes in a different closet or box, and only take out what you need. Move all your clothes to a closet in an unused room if you have one, or put them in a box or two. Only remove the clothes you really need to wear. After a month of doing this, you’ll see what clothes you can consider donating.
  13. Declutter on Saturdays. Every Saturday morning, spend an hour or two (or half a day) decluttering one area.
  14. One in, two out. When you bring something new in your life (buy something online, get a gift), get rid of two other similar things. For example, if you buy a pair of shoes, donate two other pairs. In this way, you’ll 1) think more about each thing you buy, and 2) slowly have fewer and fewer possessions. Eventually you’ll want to switch to a “one in, one out” rule when you think your possessions are at a good level.
  15. Limit how many things you have. Consider limiting yourself to 30 pieces of clothing, or 30 books, or something like that. Get rid of everything else, don’t allow yourself to go beyond the limit. The individual limit you set is up to you, whatever feels slightly uncomfortable is good.
  16. At the end of each month, clear out computer clutter. Self-explanatory. Back things up!
  17. Every three months, purge. Also self-explanatory. Spend a weekend purging all your unneeded belongings.

Of course, these are just suggested rules … you should modify them to suit your life.

How to Implement the Rules

Now, those are a lot of rules, but I don’t think you should implement them all at once. In fact, I suggest trying one per week. Really focus all week on making that rule happen. If it goes well, keep it. If not, toss it out. The next week, try another.

Set a reminder on a certain day each week (let’s say Monday) to review how your rule went, and to pick a new rule to try out. Have a physical, paper note somewhere visible so you’ll remember to do the rule throughout the week.

One at a time, you’ll find the rules that work for you. And one step at a time, your life will slowly become less cluttered, more organized. And you’ll be set up to make great things happen in the rest of your life.


This post originated from zenhabits.net by Leo Babauta.

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How To Makeover Your Mornings

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This post contains affiliate links.
How to makeover your mornings to get out of that zombie-like state and become more productive and joyful.

What is your typical morning like? Are you waking up feeling rushed and already stressed before the day really begins?

I remember those days (not that long ago) when I wouldn’t consider waking up early as important or a priority. My day would just start off rushed to eat breakfast and get to work.

I know that’s surely not the ideal and peaceful way to begin my day.

But now I do things differently. Hearing from so many sources online that people who get up early and have a morning routine are happier and more successful I thought I’d try and take this whole morning thing idea more seriously.

I have definitely noticed an improvement in my mood and how successful my day goes since being more intentional about my mornings.

I feel more in touch with my soul and feelings in the morning hours and most of my priority tasks for the day are completed in the early morning hours way before I could be interrupted by anything or anyone.

The best part is drinking my first cup of coffee (or two) in peace. It’s like a transformation from manic to magical you guys!

Gradually, I’ve adapted and can actually say I’m a morning person. I never thought I’d say that. I thought working in the late hours I was productive and doing just fine but clearly I was wrong. I get soooo much more done since improving my mornings.

Not only that, but I know I’m a lot more pleasant to be around after I’ve had time to myself to do the most important tasks in the morning. I can be a lot more helpful, present, and enjoy the company of my family when I don’t feel like they are competing for my time. I’ve had my morning ‘me’ time already!

Do you wish you could get into a morning routine that starts with taking care of your heart, mind, and soul before serving your family?


Crystal Paine of MoneySavingMom.com has created and used her own successful morning routine for years. She manages and runs a very successful business and with all other household responsibilities – amazingly enough, she also homeschools her three kids.

She has designed a course around the tried-and-true habits that she has used as part of her own morning routine.  Crystal walks you through the strategies and tools that she uses for her own morning routine. Since every family is unique, she shows you how you can apply her strategies and tools to your own life, your situation, and your family, so that you can makeover your morning.

Her 14-day Make Over Your Mornings course takes you, step-by-step, through a process to create a routine that will help you to:

  • Discover why a well-planned morning revolutionizes your whole day
  • Establish bedtime routines
  • Design a morning routine centered on your biggest priorities
  • Goal-setting
  • Set up a task management system
  • Prioritize exercise and healthy breakfasts
  • Create internal and external motivators
  • Establish accountability
  • Battle with lies
  • Build stamina when things get tough

A different topic is addressed each day of the course. Even if you think you can’t get up earlier, there are many other strategies and ideas to help you make the most of your mornings:)

If you are telling yourself that you don’t have time for a course like this to see a change in your habits?

No worries! The wonderful thing about this course is that it takes a unique three-fold approach: a short chapter to read, a video to watch, and a daily project to complete. This will take no more than 15 minutes of your time each day.

Anyone can find 15 minutes, and you’d be using that time to help you break free from that persistent zombie-like state. A small amount of time each day can potentially lead to amazing results for yourself, your family, and everyone else around you.

This course is designed to help you revolutionize your productivity, streamline your days, invest your time and attention in things that really matter the most, and feel more calm and joyful.

If you’ve ever wondered how and hoped that you could get more done, be more organized in your life, and find more time for yourself, then the Make Over Your Mornings Course is for you.

From my own experience, I can tell you that I am proud of myself for taking the step to become more intentional with my mornings and really become a morning person. I feel like my routines, my days, and my life as a whole has improved because of it – and all because I made it happen.

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21 Foil-Wrapped Camping Recipes

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21 foil wrapped camping recipes

Don’t think you have to be limited with food options when you go camping! You’d be surprised what can make, whether it be a meal, a snack, or even dessert:)

Buzzfeed has provided a list of 21 ideas including recipes at the link below…

21 Foil-Wrapped Camping Recipes


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10 Genius Ways To Organize Everything In Your Car

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organize everything in your car

If you and your family travel often in your vehicle, it’s important to have your car stocked yet organized for easy access of your items. If you don’t travel often, an organized area to place your grocery bags is quite convenient.

You can get 10 genius ideas for organizing your car from the countryliving.com site when you visit the link below…

10 Genius Ways To Organize Everything In Your Car


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Quick and Easy Way To Clean Your Blinds

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Who would have though about using tongs as a tool for cleaning blinds? Well it works and makes the task of dusting so much quicker too.

You can get all the details on cleaning your blinds at the link below from the Sprinkle Some Fun blog…

Quick and Easy Way To Clean Blinds


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87 Restaurants Where Kids Can Eat Free

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There are many restaurants that offer a meal for kids either for free or for very low cost. Luckily there is a page that Laurie has on her blog at the Passionate Penny Pincher site that lists all the restaurants where you can get this great offer and on what day of the week.

Be sure to call the restaurant to be sure that the offer is available in your particular region. See link below for the list…

87 Restaurants Where Kids Eat Free


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