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45 Tips To Organize Your Life & Reduce Mental Clutter

45 Tips To Organize Your Life & Reduce Mental Clutter

If you’re looking for some guidance on how to organize your life, then you’ve come to the right place.

All of us need to find ways to reduce clutter and prioritize the things that bring the most value to our lives, and that’s exactly what we’re gonna cover in this article.

So without further ado, let’s cover actionable steps to organize your life will serve as an antidote to mental clutter and overwhelm. 


How To Organize Your Time

If you’re taking steps to organize your life, time management will undoubtedly play a crucial role.

So to that end, let’s discuss some impactful time management strategies that will help you make the best use of the 24 hours you’re given everyday.


#1: The Ivy Lee Method

One of the best ways to start organizing your life is to improve the structure of your to-do list.

A well-structured to-do list is the backbone of a productive day. Here’s a framework for for how to implement the Ivy Lee Method, which is my favorite way to set up a “get sh*t done list.”

  • At the end of each day, write down five tasks that need to get done tomorrow.
  • Rank them in order of importance from 1-5.
  • When you start your day, focus entirely on task #1 until it’s complete.
  • Repeat the same process for the rest of your to-do list

This simple but effective time management technique is a great way to start organizing your life around what matters.


#2: The Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique is a time-management method developed by Francesco Cirillo that breaks your workday into 25-minute chunks separated by five-minute breaks. 

These intervals are known as “Pomodoros.” After about four Pomodoros, you take a longer break of about 15 to 20 minutes. 

Applying this to your day encourages focus and reduces fatigue by providing regular breaks. And because the intervals are short sprints, you’ll feel less overwhelmed when slogging through your to-do list.

It’s simple to start: identify a task, set a timer for 25 minutes, work on the task until the timer rings, then take a short five minute break. 

Then simply repeat the process, taking longer breaks every four Pomodoros.




#3: Focus On The ONE Thing

In Gary Keller’s book, “The ONE Thing”, he introduces the Focusing Question: 

“What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” 

By consistently asking this question, you can identify the most valuable task in any situation, helping you direct your time and energy towards high-impact habits and behaviors. 

It allows you to cut through the non-essential and keep your life organized around the actions that really move the needle towards your goals.

By prioritizing your life around this question, you set up a life where your focus is aligned to your most sacred pursuits.


#4: Use Time Multipliers

Focus on tasks that will save you time in the future. 

This could involve automating recurring tasks, delegating where possible, or investing time in learning a new skill that will increase your future productivity. 

Remember, sometimes it’s worth investing more time now to save time later.


#5: Practice the 80/20 Rule

Identify tasks or activities that deliver the most value. As per the 80/20 rule, 20% of your activities often lead to 80% of your results.

So as you analyze your goals and the daily disciplines required to hit those goals, try to identify the ones with the highest impact towards your goals.

Invest quality time in these high-impact tasks and try to delegate or minimize time spent on low-value activities.


#6: Embrace the Slow Movement

In our fast-paced world, slowing down can often lead to better results. 

This could involve taking a longer lunch break, practicing mindfulness, or dedicating time to deeper, thoughtful work instead of rushing through tasks.


grassy field


#7: Master the Art of Starting

Oftentimes, starting a task is the hardest part. By merely beginning a task, you’re more likely to remember and return to it. 

If a task feels overwhelming, simply commit to working on it for five minutes to get the momentum going.


#8: Implement Energy Management

Align your tasks with your natural energy fluctuations throughout the day. 

Tackle more challenging tasks during your peak energy levels and save lower energy tasks for when your energy dips. 

By doing this, you’re working in harmony with your body’s natural rhythms.


#9: Utilize the Two-Minute Rule

If a task takes two minutes or less, do it immediately rather than putting it off. 

This could include responding to an email, washing a few dishes, or making a quick phone call. These tasks can quickly accumulate, so tackling them right away can prevent them from becoming a significant time drain.


#10: Leverage Deadlines

Use deadlines to maintain focus and efficiency. When a task has a set finish time, it’s less likely to drag on unnecessarily. 

This aligns with a core principle called Parkinson’s law, which states that work will always expand or shrink to fill the allotted time for its completion.

This could be as simple as giving yourself an hour to finish a report or setting a timer for 15 minutes of house cleaning.

By giving yourself a deadline, you’re more likely to work more efficiently to complete what you’re working on within a specific timeframe.


#11: Practice Single-Tasking

Single-tasking, the practice of focusing on one task at a time, is a great way to train your focus muscle and work more efficiently.

By reducing cognitive load and eliminating the mental clutter caused by task-switching, you experience improved focus, enhanced memory retention, and less stress. It allows the brain to delve deeper into tasks, leading to better creativity and problem-solving.


man learning how to organize your life


How To Organize Your Life At Home

Your living space certainlty has an impact on your well-being and productivity. 

An organized home can foster peace and tranquility, while a cluttered one can trigger stress and chaos.

Therefore, taking steps to organize your life often starts at home. Here are ten tips to organize your house to lay the foundation for a more streamlined, organized life.


#1: Get Rid Of Useless Stuff

Can your house use a little spring cleaning? Well, in the spirit of taking steps to organize your life, start purging household items that are taking up unnecessary space.

Simply rummage through your house and choose to donate, give away, or throw out anything that you feel isn’t a necessary part of your life. 

You’ll very quickly realize just how much stuff you’re keeping in your home that you can live without.


#2: Create A Minimalist Closet

Most of us live a life that is characterized by excess, and that’s especially true when it comes to our closets. One of the best ways you can declutter your life is to trim down your wardrobe.

It may feel a little uncomfortable, but the rewards are well worth it. You’ll find that by reducing the sheer volume of clothes in your wardrobe, you’ll be left with the stuff that you actually love.

Each piece of clothing will serve a specific, as opposed to a bunch of irrelevant items that sit on hangers most of the year.


#3: Tidy Up Your Workspace

Keeping an organized desk isn’t just about the aesthetic, it’s important for productivity as well. 

Studies have shown that although people with messy desks tend to be more innovative, people with organized desks are less stressed and more focused.

So before you go to bed or leave the office, get into the habit of tidying up workspace when you’re finished working. 

This will serve as an environmental cue to keep your work sessions just as organized.


organized desk


#4: Organize Room by Room

When it comes to organizing your life at home, don’t overwhelm yourself by tackling the entire house at once. 

Instead, focus on one room at a time. This step-by-step approach will yield noticeable improvements and keep you motivated to continue with the decluttering process.


#5: Maximize Vertical Space

If you don’t have a lot of room to work with in your home, a sure-fire way to create more space is to go upwards when stacking items or building shelves.

This will help maximize the space that you do have for storage. For obvious reasons, just make sure to store the things you need less frequently on the higher shelves.


#6: Optimize For Accessibility

Here’s a golden rule of organizing your home — make sure that the things you need most are always easy to find.

Think of the common items you use every day — do you spend any additional time looking for them on a daily basis? If so, that’s a good indicator that you should move them to a more accessible location.

The items you barely use can be placed in very obscure places with no consequence.


#7: Create a Daily Cleaning Schedule

Daily cleaning can prevent clutter from piling up. 

Allocate a few minutes each day to clean different areas of your house. This could involve dusting the living room on Monday, vacuuming on Tuesday, and so on.

Once again, this serves as a less stressful alternative to the complete-overhaul approach.


#8: Keep Flat Surfaces Clear

Flat surfaces like dining tables, coffee tables, and countertops often become clutter hotspots. 

Make it a rule to keep these surfaces clear, allowing only necessary items, like a lamp or a fruit bowl.


coffee table


#9: Involve Family Members

Getting your house organized should be a team effort. So if possible, try to involve everyone in the household, including children. 

Assign everyone specific tasks suitable for their age and ability. This not only reduces the burden on you, but also teaches everyone the importance of maintaining an organized home.


#10: Leverage The OHIO Principle

Julie Morgenstern’s OHIO principle stands for “Only Handle It Once.” 

When you pick up an item, make a decision then and there about where to store it, donate it, or throw it away to avoid unnecessary clutter.


Organizing Your Work Life

Professional responsibilities can quickly become overwhelming, leading to a disarrayed work-life balance. 

The good news is that you don’t have to live perpetually in chaos. This next section of the article dives into simple tips to organize your life at work and enhance your productivity at work.


#1: Eat The Frog

“If you have to eat a live frog, do it first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day.” ~ Mark Twain

No matter what kind of work you do, we all have a frog — something that we hate doing that must get done every single day.

Usually, it’s the task that serves as the backbone for a productive day, and it’s also the one we tend to put off the most. Productivity legend Brian Tracy encourages tackling this task first thing in the morning when your energy and focus are at their peak. 

By doing this, you start each day with massive forward momentum and book a win that will energize you for the rest of the day.


#2: Leverage Technology

Numerous tools and apps can aid in getting your work life organized. 

Platforms like Trello, Asana, and Notion, allow you to manage tasks, create reminders, and make notes, respectively. 

These tools ensure nothing slips through the cracks and reduce the mental load of remembering every little thing you have to do.


#3: Learn to Delegate

You can’t do everything on your own. If possible, recognize when to delegate tasks and to whom.

Delegating not only reduces your workload but also empowers your colleagues and helps build trust within the team. 

If you’re not in a position to delegate, consider seeking help or collaborating on tasks instead.


#4: Develop a Filing System

To keep your work life organized, consider establishing a filing system for your digital and physical documents. 

This system can be as simple or complex as you need it to be. The goal is to ensure every item has a designated place, thereby minimizing the time spent searching for specific documents.


organized files


#5: Set Boundaries

In an age where technology keeps us constantly connected, work can bleed into personal time. 

To maintain a work-life balance, define clear boundaries. Set specific work hours and try to stick to them. Avoid checking work-related emails or messages during your off-hours. 

Respect your time and ensure others do the same.


#6: Leverage The Eisenhower Matrix

Stephen Covey recommends using the Eisenhower Matrix to prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance.

In order to implement this method into your workday, break down your tasks into four different buckets:

  • Urgent and Important
  • Important But Not Urgent
  • Urgent But Not Important
  • Neither Urgent Nor important

This allows you to build your workday around the tasks that maximize your value to your company each day.


Tips To Organize Your Finances

One of the most transformative steps to organize your life involves your finances. 

Financial clutter can lead to stress, confusion, and monetary loss. Fortunately, with a few strategic moves, getting your life organized financially can set the foundation for a prosperous future. 

So without further ado, here are some helpful tips to organize your finances.


#1: Track Your Income and Expenses

Start by understanding where your money is coming from and where it’s going. Make use of budgeting apps or financial software to keep a meticulous record of your income and expenses. 

This is a crucial first step that will lay the groundwork for effective financial planning.


#2: Create a Budget

Once you have an idea of your income and expenses, it’s time to create a budget. Allocate funds for different categories like bills, groceries, leisure, and savings. 

A budget will help you live within your means and also guide your spending habits.


calculator on desk


#3: Automate Your Savings

One of the best ways to effectively streamline your finances is to automate your savings. Set a specific amount to be transferred from your checking account to your savings account every month. 

This way, you save without thinking about it and reducing the temptation to overspend.


#4: Reduce Your Debt

Getting out of debt can be a huge emotional relief that will reduce emotional stress in your life.

Start by listing your debts, including the amount owed and interest rates. Next, look at the budget you created and allocate any surplus income to debt repayment. 

You might use a strategy like the ‘snowball method’, paying off smaller debts first for momentum.

You can also leverage the ‘avalanche method’, which revolves around targeting debts with highest interest rates first.

As long as you’re making consistent payments and have a structured plan to remove your debts, you’re on the path to financial freedom.


#5: Leverage Digital Tools for Bill Payments

Late bill payments can lead to fines and damage your credit score. To ensure this never happens, set up automatic payments or reminders for your recurring bills. 

Automating this process reduces the chances of missing payments and helps keep your life organized.


#6: Organize Your Financial Documents

Whether physical or digital, financial documents can quickly become cluttered. Develop a system to file these documents properly. 

For physical paperwork, create a filing cabinet with clearly labeled folders. For digital files, create specific folders on your computer or use a secure cloud-based storage service.


#7: Understand Your Investments

If you’ve invested in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or other assets, it’s crucial to understand these investments and track your gains over time. 

Set a reminder to regularly review your portfolio and its performance. Also consider meeting more frequently with your financial advisor to to diversify investments to spread our your risk.


ipad on desk


#8: Set Financial Goals

Setting short-term and long-term financial goals can be an effective strategy for getting your financial life organized. 

Whether it’s saving for a vacation, buying a house, or preparing for retirement, these goals can help guide your budgeting and saving habits.

Doing this also creates an extra incentive for you to live within your means now that you’re armed with extra motivation.


#9: Check Your Credit Reports

Regularly reviewing your credit reports is a vital part of keeping your financial life organized. 

These reports can help you understand your credit standing and catch any potential errors. 

You’re entitled to a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus every year, so be sure to take advantage if you haven’t already.


#10: Plan for the Unexpected

Finally, remember that financial emergencies can happen at any time. Try to build an emergency fund stocked with 3-6 months worth of living expenses. 

This fund can act as a financial safety net, preventing unexpected expenses from derailing your financial organization.


How To Organize Your Health & Fitness

In the quest to organize your life, health and fitness often take a backseat. 

But, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is integral to improving your overall quality of life. Here are ten tips to organize your health and fitness that will make it easier to create a healthy mind and healthy life.


#1: Schedule Your Workouts

Just like any other important task in your day, your workouts deserve a dedicated time slot. 

Scheduling your workouts makes it more likely you’ll show up. Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, find a time that you can stick to based on your schedule.


#2: Meal Prepping and Planning

One of the most effective steps to organize your life in terms of diet is meal prepping. 

Plan your meals 5-7 days in advance and spend time preparing them. This ensures you’re consuming balanced, nutritious meals and helps you resist the temptation of ordering takeout on busy days.


food on table


#3: Regular Check-ups

Regular medical check-ups help in early detection of potential health issues and ensure that you stay in optimal health. 

Schedule yearly or bi-yearly appointments with your doctor, dentist, and other relevant healthcare professionals.


#4: Create a Sleep Schedule

Getting adequate sleep is crucial for your physical and mental health. 

Establish a consistent sleep schedule where you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. 

This routine can improve your sleep quality and overall health.


#5: Stay Hydrated

Your water intake is essential to everything you do in life. To keep your life organized and healthy, make sure you’re drinking enough water each day. 

Consider carrying a large water bottle with you wherever you go or set reminders on your phone if you often forget to hydrate.


#6: Set Realistic Fitness Goals

Setting realistic and achievable fitness goals can provide a sense of direction and motivate you to stay consistent. 

These goals can range from walking a certain number of steps each day to running a marathon. Remember to celebrate each achievement and keep setting new challenges for yourself.


#7: Monitor Your Progress

Keep track of your fitness progress. This could involve recording the distance you run, the weights you lift, or the healthy meals you’ve eaten in a week. 

Seeing tangible progress can be a powerful motivator to keep going.


#8: Incorporate Physical Activity into Your Daily Routine

Organizing your fitness doesn’t mean you have to spend hours at the gym. Look for ways to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. 

This could mean biking to work, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or having a dance break between work sessions.


man doing yoga


How To Organize Your Life (Digital)

A vital, often overlooked part of how to keep your life organized is ensuring that your digital life is free from clutter.

Emails flooding in, a desktop littered with icons, disorganized files – all this digital chaos can lead to stress and inefficiency. 

Here are several tips to organize your digital life that will allow you to optimize your virtual world.


#1: Do An App Inventory

How many useless apps do you have on your home screen? If you’re like most people, there’s a lot of apps that have no business being on there.

Let them go! Just go down the list one by one and delete any app that doesn’t add value to your life.


#2: Create Folders For Your Apps

If you’ve done an app purge, then create individual folders for the remaining apps on your phone. 

Personally, I find it much less overwhelming to open my phone and see that every app has a specific category.

You’re free to set up the categories however you like. Here are the separate folders that I have my apps separated into:

  • Work
  • Social Media
  • Dating
  • Finances
  • Music
  • Services (Uber, Doordash, etc.)

Feel free to adjust as needed based on the most important categories in your life.


#3: Leverage Reminders

The reminders app on your smartphone can be a life-saver when it comes to remembering the non-urgent stuff.

As someone who gets pretty scatterbrained, I don’t know how I’d survive without this app. 

But even if you’re on top of deadlines and commitments, life gets pretty chaotic sometimes. So instead of relying on your brain alone to maintain prior commitments, just remove the possibility of error altogether.

Here’s two rules that I live by when using reminders. (once again, feel free to adjust these guidelines as needed)

  • If you have an event/appointment you need to attend that’s more than 72 hours out, then set a reminder for a few hours before.
  • If you have a deadline for a task that’s more than 24 hours out, then set a reminder for 6-8 hours before.

By the time this obligation has disappeared from my short-term memory, a notification on my phone ensures that it reappears.

Let’s just say that I’ve saved a lot of money canceling free trials in time because of this strategy:)



#4: Unsubscribe From Useless Email Lists

All of us have subscribed to email lists that we have no use for, which is not an issue. However, the issue is keeping yourself subscribed to these lists and letting emails pile up in your inbox.

These useless emails get mixed in with important stuff which can interrupt your workflow. 

Here’s a monthly ritual that you should perform to de-clutter your inbox:

  • Go through any email you’ve gotten in the past 7 days from an email list.
  • Decide whether the content is adding value to your life
  • If yes, then don’t do anything. 
  • If no, then hit the unsubscribe button.

Alternatively, you can dedicate one email address to email lists only. This gives you freedom to subscribe to as many lists as you want with no risk of overshadowing the higher-priority emails.


#5: Keep Your Computer Files Organized

It’s eye-opening how many people use their computer as one big library — no organization or folders, just a bunch of random files in random places.

The problem comes when you need to find that one file from a few months ago but have no idea where to look. Creating a folder system for your laptop will ensure you never run into this problem again:

  • Separate your life into different categories
  • Create a folder for each category and add them to your home screen.
  • For each category, create specific subcategories that documents would fall into.
  • For example, “Finances” might have sub-categories like; Tax Documents, Budgeting, Loan Documents.
  • Finally, add these subcategories to each folder and start adding whatever you can into these folders

Once you have this interface set up, all you need to do is continually make sure every document is going to the right place.


FAQ’s About How To Organize Your Life


Why is it so hard to organize my life?

Organizing your life can be challenging for several reasons. First, you may feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks you need to accomplish which leads to procrastination. 

Second, we are hard-wired to fight change. Humans are creatures of habit, and changing our routines can be uncomfortable. 

Lastly, disorganization can be a symptom of underlying issues like stress, depression, or ADHD.  So if you find it difficult to focus and organize your life, and you suspect the cause isn’t something you can fix yourself, then it may be helpful to seek advice from a professional.


woman writing in notebook


How do I start organizing my life?

Organizing your life starts with small moves in the right direction. You’re not gonna transform your life overnight, but you can take steps on the right path every day.

So as you go about getting life organized, break down these grand plans into small, daily steps.

This could mean organizing one room at a time. It could mean organizing one domain of your life at a time instead of doing the complete overhaul approach. It could mean setting aside 15 minutes per day to automate or delegate a part of your life. 

Whatever route you decide to go, just learn how to stay consistent and show up every day.


How can I organize my life in one week?

It’s not feasible to completely organize your life in a week, but you can definitely make significant strides. Here’s a rough plan if you really wanna stretch as much progress as possible into 7 days.

  • Day 1: Declutter your home, focusing on one room at a time.
  • Day 2: Organize your finances. Create a monthly budget and automate your savings.
  • Day 3: Organize your digital life. Do an app inventory, and set up a folder system on your computer. 
  • Day 4: Plan your health and fitness. Schedule in your workouts and consider signing up for a meal prep service.
  • Day 5: Organize your work life. Brainstorm three immediate fixes you can make to streamlining your work productivity. 
  • Day 6: Create your daily, weekly, and monthly goals based on the areas of life that are important for you. 
  • Day 7: Rest and take a break.

Final Thoughts On How To Organize Your Life

My hope is that you’ve come away from this article with unique insights on how to organize your life.

There’s a ton of info in here, and I don’t expect you to apply every single tip on this list.

I’m guessing there are some parts of your life that are fairly organized, while there are other areas that could use serious work.

So as you comb through these tips to organize your life, apply them to the areas of your life that deserve the most attention.

When you do, you’ll find less physical and emotional clutter will prevent you from doing what you need to do each day.

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