25 Ideas to start organizing your life today


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Are you disorganized daily?  Me too!  I’m learning as I get older chaos wreaks havoc on my memory.  With Alzheimer’s in our family, I started gathering 25 ideas to start organizing your life today and mine.

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Some work fantastic for me some I’m still working on

I’m sharing my collection of 25 ideas to start organizing your life today.  Check what might work for you in your life.

25 Ideas to start organizing your life today!

I wrote this post in 2014, and it’s popular each January.  I update the post after Christmas each year.  You can tell which images I’ve updated.  When an idea becomes a habit, I change the title to bold font.  Someday I hope to see all bold titles. 

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25 Ideas to start organizing your life today LG SQ
Brown paper bag with apples and shortbread mix on kitchen counter.


  • 1. Grocery Shopping.  Make a weekly grocery list and shop once a week.  Keep the list in one location in your purse, wallet, or on your phone. Then when standing lost, in the grocery store, your list is not left at home.   Pulling the list out of your purse to add bleach and tomatoes takes less than a minute.  I had a bad idea last year to try grocery shopping once a month.  That didn’t work at all for me.  I shop once a week.
  • 2. Meal Planning.  Plan a week’s worth of meals.  Add your ingredients to that list in your purse or phone.  I do not go as far as Monday ~ Chili, Tuesday ~ Spaghetti, Wednesday ~ Grilled Chicken.  I plan seven lunches and dinners each week, then cook what sounds good that day.  You can download my week of meals to see if it works for you below.
  • 3. Grocery Master List. Develop a master grocery shopping list.  List things you usually buy and keep on hand.  Group them into categories such as dairy, meat, bakery, etc.  Keep it in a binder in the kitchen.  I have heard of some VERY organized people who organize their lists by the layout of the grocery store. But that takes too much of my time.  You can download the “keep on hand” list below.
  • 4. Weekly Meals. Make a list of meals you regularly prepare.  Sometimes I forget to make our favorite sesame chicken for months.  Add new recipes to the list and keep them in your kitchen binder.  My list of meals, when I’m stuck, is in the download.
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Get the three pages of the menu and grocery planning I use to keep things simple.

Paper and Mail

  • 5. Tickler file.  Set up a filing system with 43 files.  Thirty-one files labeled 1 – 31 for the date. The remaining files are labeled for each month. Keep this next to the mail sorting area.  Check the tickler file daily.  Each morning I empty the day’s hanging file, then move the hanging file to the back. On the first of each month, I sort that month’s items into the day I want to handle the task.  For example, the current month is June.  I found the perfect birthday card for a friend whose birthday is March 20th.  I buy the card and file it in March.  When March rolls around, I put the card in the 15th file giving enough time for the mail.  
  • The things I file in my tickler. Cards, invitations, bills, fabric samples, and even notes I write to remind me of something. Which I find is better than sticking it to my forehead!

The photo above is my old tickler file.  I didn’t use it regularly.  I found this one on Amazon that could be an option, or

wood box with old book covers with days of the week and #days of the month

make one.

Now I use this rustic farmhouse looking tickler file daily!  If it’s pretty, I will use it. 🙂

  • 6. Snail Mail. Get your mail every day, and bring it to a sorting area.  The sorting area is a waste basket, your tickler file, and a basket for future reading materials.  Throw away all junk mail.  Consider removing your name from mailing lists.  Keep the stub to return with bills and the envelope in the tickler file on the date to pay.  Toss the other paperwork received with the invoices.  Consider stopping the paper madness and paying online.  Place future reading materials in the basket. Empty the basket once a week; if you haven’t read it in a week, you are not interested enough to keep it lying around. File papers you need to retain in household files now!  Sorting the mail each day takes under 2 minutes.
  • 7. Email. Check your email daily and keep your inbox empty.  I use folders within my email for the days of the week.  If I have an email that needs answering next Thursday, it gets moved to Thursday’s folder.  You can set up an email to show the number of emails in each folder.  My email as a busy blogger gets out of hand fast.  I’ve failed at this over the last year. 🙁
  • 8. Paper Files. We use one file cabinet and file everything A through Z.  Our financial records are in the same place as medical and the blender manual.  Simple!
  • Bonus Idea!  Because I like to give more than expected.  Use a bullet journal.  I suggest using the basic format before getting into all the creative ideas on Pinterest.  Otherwise, you may spend too much time planning instead of doing it. 


  • 9. Cash. Place money correctly in your wallet.   Instead of stuffing it in the bottom of your purse, in your pocket {which will end up in the laundry} or in the cup holder of your car, take 30 seconds to correctly placed bills in order.  We collect coins in a jar to spend on a vacation each year.
  • 10. Enter and Exit Spot.  Make a load and unloading “spot” next to the door you enter and exit. I use a shelf in a closet next to the garage door. I ALWAYS keep my purse with keys and wallet inside.  Mike uses a box at the end of the kitchen cabinet.  
  • Bonus Idea!   To develop the habit of remembering to put a dishwashing rinse aid in the dishwasher, I set it on top of the dishwasher soapbox.  I’ve been doing this for years now.  I’m the type that if I didn’t place it on the dishwasher soapbox, I would forget it. 🙁  I use this rinse aid, and Mike just commented on how sparkling our dishes stay!


  • 11. Laundry. Wash, dry, iron, fold, and PUT AWAY one load of laundry each day.  According to the number in your household, you may find days with NO laundry to do!!!  I’m happy to admit; I turned the laundry over to Mike.  Running a busy blog doesn’t allow time for laundry.  Don’t let Mike know I told you this, but he likes doing the laundry. 
  • 12. Household Chores.  Make a chore list.  These should be quick, simple 15-minute chores that need doing around the house.  You can assign family members a daily chore, then rotate the chores.  These simple tasks will have a massive effect on your home over time.  I do the necessary daily tasks.  Make the bed, wipe the toilet, and wash the dishes.  {See #17 below}
  • 13. Divide your home into areas for cleaning. Once a week, deep clean one area. Lightly clean the other areas.  Rotate the areas each week. Our house has four cleaning areas. Area one in the living room, powder room, office, dining room, and front porch. Two are the kitchen, laundry room, and back porch. Number three is a master bedroom closet and bath. Four is the upstairs two guest rooms, two bathrooms, a craft area, a balcony, and a staircase. UPDATE: We now live in a bit larger home. So not I have 7 zones.
  • 14. Multi-tasks.  Multitasking still has a place.  Not while focusing on work, but while chatting on the phone perfectly.  While chit-chatting, I do simple mundane chores.  Such as polishing the stainless steel, dusting baseboards, or organizing the spice cabinet.
  • 15. Use a timer.  Do you procrastinate about a task around the house? If you use a timer to time yourself on how long it takes to complete the dreaded chore.  You’ll be surprised at just how quickly you are!  I timed myself, took out the kitchen garbage, and replaced the cans with new trash liners in under 30 SECONDS!  Now I no longer procrastinate at least when it comes to the trash.  This is the timer I use around the house.  A timer next to the computer helps too!  On the computer, I use this one.


  • 16. Organize.  Organize one area in your home that will benefit your life each day.  If your makeup drawer is a disaster area.  Take 15 minutes and organize it.  {See #23} It will shorten every morning’s routine.   Cooking dinner goes faster and smoother if the spatula isn’t caught up on the tongs.  Get them organized and enjoy a daily dose of the organization each day.
  • 17. Don’t steal time!  When using a timer and the timer buzzes or your allotted time is up, stop.  By continuing on you are stealing time away from something else.   I steal time for projects.  I think it will take 3 hours to make something and it takes 2 days!  Got any ideas for me on this one???
  • 18. Housework is not perfect.  “If you can’t do it right…don’t bother to do it at all.”  The worst saying ever for housework.  I don’t believe housework can be perfect.  I like a clean home but it will never be perfect.
  • 19. Clothes.  Prepare clothes ahead.  Set out clothes for the next day before bed each evening complete with shoes and jewelry.  When I worked outside the home, I planned a week’s worth of clothes but now I just prepare for the next day.  Country Design Style is my only job.  Picking out which yoga pants and sweater to wear is pretty easy.
Vintage looking clock


  • 20. Lateness.  I was ALWAYS late!  {I come from a long line of late family members} I stopped this in one day just by CHOOSING to stop being late.  If I had to be somewhere at 8:00, now I plan to arrive at 7:45.  If I need 45 minutes to get ready and 15 minutes for any unforeseen incidences, plus 10 minutes to get out the door!  I have a 20-minute drive and add 5 minutes in case of unexpected traffic.  So I need to start getting ready at 6:10.  The time to actually get out the door is critical for most habitually late people.  Sometimes we don’t think about how long it takes for those last tasks.  Time to gather your purse, and coat, and recheck your lipstick. Then get out to the car, get settled, start the car, and back out.  So ALWAYS add some get-out-the-door time.  Being early took a ton of stress out of my life.  Plus, getting “there” early is fun~I have great conversations with the other early people.  Woot, woot, woot!
  • 21. Calendar.  Use a calendar…check it each morning or night.  If you have more household members keep one central calendar for everyone.  I check it in the morning then I tend to get busy and involved and forget to look at it again.
  • 22. Plan your week.  On Monday-wash bed sheets, Tuesday household projects, Wednesday grocery shopping, Thursday-house cleaning, and Friday-organize.  Remember the old embroidered t-towels?  For work, I plan; Monday~financial, backup files, and design work. Tuesday~marketing. Wednesday~blog updates. Thursday~Newsletter.  Saturday and Sunday are for DIY Projects. I keep this simple and flexible.  This is time-blocking.
  • 23. Makeup. Keep your daily makeup together in a pretty basket or tray.   When you reach for your makeup basket you have everything to complete your look.  I dump my basket of cosmetics onto the bathroom counter and as I use each one I place it back into the basket.  
  • 24. Media.  Turn off the TV and computer.   If only we had enough time in a day!  We sit in front of the TV for hours each night.  Or surf and play games on the computer for hours on end and accomplish…nothing.  Of course, blogging doesn’t count!  I don’t watch much TV.  A recorded show in the evening and I love Sunday Morning on CBS.  Notice the computer is in black font.  While I don’t spend time surfing or playing games, this little blog of mine takes time.
  • 25. Keep at least 1/2 tank of gas in the car always. This saves money as well.

Update:  To get and stay organized for our whole house, I use this Home Organized Workbook.  Grab yours here. 

Hope this list helps add organization to your life…and mine!

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Let me know what ideas help you get organized in the comment section below.  Also if you have something that works for you that I missed, let me know.

25 Ideas to Start Organizing Your Life Today | Country Design Style | countrydesignstyle.com

You can also read 5 Tips – Getting More Done Every Day.

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  1. It looks like you have administration in your background. These are good and logical tips. Your content outweighs pretty appearances. Thank you for your post.

    1. Stacey, thanks for reading my long list! As you can see, some are a joke for me too! If I could just get a handle on laundry, life would be easier. But as long as we’re having fun, right? ~Jeanette

  2. WOW… I cannot thank you enough for the lists that you made, I can tweak them to fit our family’s taste in meals..(one cannot tolerate fish/seafood) Great tips, maybe I can get my life organized with your help and I can truly have time to work on my crafts!! Getting off the computer is my problem.. but I am working on that!!
    Thanks again!!

    1. Marianne, thanks for reading all these tips! The timer next to the computer helps me a bunch. Sometimes it can just remind me to get up and take something out of the freezer for dinner or quickly clean a bathroom. Then I come back and reset the timer. Best to you in 2014! ~Jeanette

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