Recently, I had the pleasure of getting to know Ruby Kruiniger from JustWonderStyle.com. If her tagline, "Practice What Your Passion Is" didn't draw me in enough, the fact that she blogs about minimalism, organization, clean food and mental health totally won me over! We are kindred spirits! Plus, she is from the Netherlands, which is just cool. ;)
Ruby has stopped by Live a F.a.s.t. Life today to share some of her organizing tips for those of you that are organizationally-challenged. So, without further ado, take it away Ruby!
Organizing for the Un-Organized
What interested me in LiveaFastLife.com at first, was that Jenn lived in a 144 feet square tiny house. I personally find that so inspiring! I can imagine it takes a lot of organization to keep your tiny house from getting cluttered up.
Organization is something that I personally love. I like to know where all of my things are and also like to not have very many things. I’ve been exploring minimalism and I’ve been very much inspired by the tiny house community. To introduce minimalism on my blog, Jenn wrote an amazing blog post on the benefits of downsizing and de-cluttering, which you can read here. For those of you that are not a naturally organized person, like Jenn or myself, here are some of my tips for getting organized.
These tips could apply to pretty much everyone, whether you've never been organized and you want to start, or you've been kind of out of it and want to get back into organizing your stuff. Also, if you're just getting started, you can take them one step at a time.
1. Throw out what you don't need
Get those garbage bags out and throw in everything that doesn't serve you anymore. When it doesn't make you happy, when it's not meant to be decorative and when you didn't even know you still had it, you don't need it in your life. Don't get me wrong, getting organized isn't about getting rid of all your things, but it does make it easier to organize, if they're things that you'll actually use. Why make the effort in organizing useless things? Exactly.
If you feel bad about throwing away things that could still be useful to someone else, set them aside and donate them to a charity. I am donating a lot of my unused paint, jewelry, dictionaries, makeup and other craft stuff to The Salvation Army. How awesome is it to not only get rid of things you don't need, but also give them to someone who otherwise couldn't have afforded them? I think it's pretty awesome!
The biggest reason I think this is such an important step, is because having a lot of stuff can feel pretty suffocating sometimes. Getting rid of all that clutter feels good in so many ways. Plus, it makes it way easier to organize the remainder of your things. Usually, this step gives you so much energy, that I'm pretty sure you're ready for the next step!
But be careful! It can be easy to get rid of too much stuff. So don't get rid of all your stuff overnight, do it gradually.
2. Give everything a home
Now that you've gotten rid of the useless stuff that was in your house and you feel like breathing again, it's time to give your things a home. Giving everything a place where it's supposed to be is the easy part. The hard part is to put everything back once you've used it. It is so easy to keep your things lying around after using them, instead of putting them back.
Keep your things where it's logical for you to find them. Put your keys by the door, receipts in a binder and keep your chargers by your bed. Put them wherever you would most easily find them.
3. Get a planner
Whether you buy an actual planner or you prefer to use a calendar app, I find keeping track of your appointments this way is essential. For analog planning and organizing, I use the bullet journal system. It's an amazing system to have all your (future) appointments, to do's and thoughts in one notebook and have it all be organized. For digital planning, I love my Google Calendar. It syncs up with my iPhone, iPad and Macbook. For the iPhone, I use the Google Calendar app, on my iPad, I installed the Sunrise app, and on my Macbook, I just use Google Calendar in the Chrome browser. (I promise I'm not sponsored by either Apple or Google, I just love their products!)
You can actually keep all of your tasks, appointments and thoughts digitally if you'd like to. The Apple Notes app also syncs up between all devices. So instead of forgetting what you wanted to make note of, you type it in your Notes app and the thought will be digitized.
Having a planner/agenda/calendar app definitely saved me and keeps me organized. Keeping everything digitally is also great if you're into downsizing your stuff. All the convenience, none of the clutter!
Getting rid of clutter and organizing everything that I own, gave me a breath of fresh air. Don't worry if you feel like you don't get it right the first time. You've taken the first step and that is always the most important one. Plus, there are more important things in life than being completely organized. Your sanity comes first! ;)
Ruby Kruiniger is the writer of Justwonderstyle. She is a 22 year old organization and food fanatic. Her blog focuses on what she's passionate about: living a healthy life, vegan food and organization. A clear mind, a clear body and a clear life. She hopes to inspire others or at least to get them to laugh a little.