This post is sponsored Pilot Corporation of America (Pilot Pen).
I will be the first to admit that I’m not the most organized person. I like to blame it on my creative bent. Typically, when I’m in the process of designing or making something, supplies are everywhere, things get glued to the table, and paint is splattered in all sorts of places. And don’t get me started on when I’m developing new recipes. Fellow messy bakers, nod your heads. You know what I mean.
When I moved to Pittsburgh, one of my many goals was to be more organized. I’m talking about organizing in the traditional sense, but I’m also including increasing my self-motivation, working smarter, and keeping clutter at bay. I want to be proactive instead of reactive. My goal is to be an overachiever. Although I’m still a work in progress, today I’ve teamed up with Pilot Pen and their amazing G2 Pens.
My 5 Tips for Getting and Staying Organized:
1. Make Your Bed
Raise your hand if you typically don’t make your bed when you get up. (Michael raises his hand.) I know this might sound silly, but taking a few minutes to make your bed when you get out of it can set the tone for your entire day.
Imagine accomplishing that one task within 5 minutes of waking up. It will give you a sense of pride, and encourage you to do another task and another, and so on. By the end of the day, that one completed task will have turned into many.
2. Use a Planner
I just turned 34, and I have yet to find a planner I absolutely love. (Trust me, I’ve probably tried them all.) What eventually happens is that I revert to a notebook of some sort, and all my plans and schedules get lost amid the pages. A notebook works to a certain degree, but it’s definitely not well-organized. So, recently I picked up yet another new planner (which I can talk more about in another post if you’re interested), but this time I’m approaching it with a different attitude.
While a certain planner may be a good fit for a particular style of planning, at the end of the day, they’re all pretty much the same. I think the real issue (for me at least) is being consistent in using whatever planner I get. Because of this, I’m committing to spend at least 5 minutes every day in my planner. Why? Because as someone said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
This is where my new Pilot G2 pens come in handy. As the top selling pen in America, they are available in a wide variety of colors (including metallics!) and four different point sizes. They also are retractable and refillable. Depending on your personal preference, you can use the different colors to keep your planner even more organized. Or you can keep things simple by using one or two of your favorite colors. Whatever gets you to plan!
3. Clean As You Go
When I was working in the kitchen back in hospitality school, one of my instructors frequently reminded us to “Clean as you go” or as he liked to say, “K Go.” Although I’m not always good about following this advice, it has stuck with me because I believe it’s truly important for staying organized.
When you’re working on a project or whipping up something in the kitchen, take the time to clean up along the way. Taking care of little messes one by one is much easier than tackling a sink full of dishes, messy cutting boards, and dirty prep bowls once you’re finished eating. Sure, it may take a little longer to get the food to the table, but it will speed the clean up after the meal is finished and all you want to do is chill on the sofa.
4. A Place for Everything
Having a place for everything is another way to make cleaning up and staying organized easier. Take your office supplies for example. Instead of storing paper, pens, batteries, scissors, and tape in random locations, designate a specific drawer or area for each item. When it’s time to put things away, you won’t have to think about where to store them if they already have a “home.”
This also saves time and reduces your stress. How much time have you spent looking for your car keys or cell phone? I’ve been there.
In my entryway. I’ve set up a table. Now, every time I come through the door, I take 10 seconds to toss my keys, wallet, and sunglass, into a bowl on the table. That way, when I’m ready to head back out, I know exactly where everything is, and I don’t waste precious minutes hunting everything down.
5. Buy What You Need and Donate and Trash Regularly
By having things organized and in their proper place, you can avoid overbuying. I’ll be the first to admit I’ve purchased things twice (or even three times) because I forgot where I put an item and didn’t want to take the time to look for it. This is obviously a waste of money and a recipe for clutter. (Without fail, that thing you couldn’t find or bother to search for will magically show up the next day.)
I also recommend making shopping lists. And, more importantly, sticking to them. I’ve often felt buyer’s remorse after shopping because I bought things I didn’t need and probably wouldn’t use. As much as you can, stick to your list so you can avoid accumulating excess stuff.
Also, take time throughout the year to donate extra items and trash unusable things you no longer need. If you take a few minutes here and there to do this, you won’t be faced with an overwhelming task at a later date (which will inevitably get put off until the last possible second).
I probably could go on and on dispensing organizing tips, but I’ll leave it at that for now. If you struggle with organization or just want to be more self-motivated, try implementing a few of these ideas and let us know how it goes. Also, comment below and let me know what keeps YOU organized!
And remember, next time you need pens for your office or tools to brighten up your planner, be sure to check out the Pilot G2 pens and their array of beautiful colors. You can find them at major retailers such as Target and Walmart. While you’re at it, join the G2 Overachievers Club from Pilot Pen and Target and enter to win The $1,000 Ultimate Overachiever’s Shopping Spree.