first steps to getting organized

First Steps to Getting Organized: the 5-Step Organization Plan

Let’s get our organization on track! Inside this five-step plan you’ll find the first steps to getting organized.

Ultimately, the last few years have been unorganized. That could include physically from staying at home, emotionally from being isolated or from loss, financially from a loss of income. It can mean so many things for all of us.

There was overwhelming negative news, worldwide distress and trauma, and some days it was hard to just get up and get moving. Personally, I even struggled to get through a new novel since my focus was all over the place.

With the new year, I think almost all of us are ready to open a new book and move forward. Let’s work together to make a plan to get organized!

But what are the first steps to getting organized?

1.MY GOAL – What do I want to organize?
Are you looking at your garage in frustration? Are your bathroom cabinets overflowing with face cream and body lotion? Is your email inbox so full you avoid it altogether? Do you struggle to find enough time for your to-do list?
The first step is setting a SMART goal. it’s hard to make a plan if you don’t know where you are going! Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Once you have set your personal goal, it’s time to work on your motivation.

2.MY WHY – How will I stay motivated?
Why did I set this particular goal? What will I do with the extra time or space that I am creating?
Decluttering and organizing are good in their own right, but focus on your true goal. An organized garage is so nice to see but is the real goal to be able to fit a second car in there? If you keep that final mental picture with you, it will be easier to stay on track.

3.MY PLAN – How will I get there?
When you consider your overflowing bathroom cabinets, what do you have in mind to really clean it out? If there are tons of tiny hotel shampoo bottles, consider giving them to a local shelter. If you have piles of unopened eyeshadows, there are websites where you might be able to swap or sell them. When addressing a product accumulation like in a bathroom, one of the biggest tips I can offer is to stop shopping until you have addressed the products you already have.

4.MY TOUCHPOINT – What will get me back on track if I waiver?
Life gets in the way, it happens to all of us. We get distracted and lose track of our goal from time to time. What will you use to get back on track? If you need some help figuring out this step, revisit #2. Getting rid of the extra spatulas in your kitchen is all well and fine, but it really isn’t motivating on its own. If your ultimate goal is to have a tidier kitchen so that it takes less time to clean, then focus on that! Looking forwarding to having a few extra minutes in the evening after dinner to enjoy a cup of tea will keep you moving forward.

5.MY NOTES – Break down the goal into doable tasks
This is the ‘meat’ of the five-step organization plan. The step-by-step that will get you on the journey and keep you moving forward. Sometimes by itself, the goal can seem overwhelming. To clean out the entire garage? That’s a lot! But break it down into small doable pieces. Maybe one weekend a month, you focus on one side of the garage. Four weekends later, you are done with the space! Is your inbox just overflowing with messages you automatically delete? Make a promise to yourself to start opening them instead, and clicking that “Unsubscribe” button. It is a small investment of time that will pay off in the very near future.

If you want to take your organization to the next level, I invite you to take advantage of the Complete Personal Planner in my Etsy shop. It has all kinds of checklists, planners, and tracking pages!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top three tricks to stay organized?

While there are no shortcuts to getting yourself organized, there are a few tricks I can pass along. Among the first steps to getting organized:

  1. Don’t get discouraged if you have setbacks. Evaluate what went “sideways”, adjust, and move forward!
  2. Don’t do it by yourself. If you live with at least one other human being, you will need their active participation to make this happen.
  3. Stop shopping

What are the five rules to getting organized?

The short and sweet version:

  1. Understand that this is a journey and not a destination
  2. Stop shopping (I know I’ve said it several times, but it bears repeating – stop adding to the clutter!)
  3. Declutter before organizing
  4. Reward yourself for small achievements
  5. Appreciate your progress

What are the best three tools to stay organized?

You’re ready to take the first steps to getting organized but you’ve not even sure what you need to have available. It may sound overly simple but the three best tools in your toolbox are:

  1. A personal planner (paper or electronic)
  2. A goal
  3. A plan

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organizing to the next level

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5 Ways Decluttering Can Maximize Your-Resources!

Good Idea!  Organizing ebooks, workbooks, planners, and more!

Then you have to take a look at this incredible set of resources! My personal favorites are 5 Days of Cleaning Motivation (eCourse), The Essential Decluttering Starter Kit (workbook), and Time Management Freedom (eCourse). As part of my ongoing dedication to organization, I have been devouring these goodies.

The Essential Decluttering Starter Kit workbook is amazing — tips, step-by-step instructions, planning worksheets, schedules, trackers, checklists, motivational cards, and even printable labels! Schedule 1 breaks down different areas of the house into 30-minute blocks. How realistic and doable!

I think that before you can truly organize a space, you have to declutter and clean it out. Instead of buying more Rubbermaid totes to store things, take a look at what you really need to keep and then decide how you want to store the items that remain!

Oh the value!

The contents of this Ultimate Homemaking Bundle are unbelievably generous! Let’s talk about the value — $1298.36 worth of products for $29.97. I mean, under $30! I still remember the first bundle I bought and I still use the resources that I discovered.

  • 14 eCourses
  • 9 eBooks
  • 8 printable packs
  • 8 planners
  • 9 workbooks
  • 3 membership sites and summits

Topics include Home Management such as cleaning, decluttering, organization, and decor. For your entire family, there are products especially for your little ones as well as homeschooling, marriage, and parenting resources. To guide your spiritual development, there are also several resources for you and your kiddos.

Oh and one of my favorite parts of an Ultimate Homemaking Bundle are the bonus deals! I’ve already ordered my face cloths from By Jillee as well as my Puro Co and MadeOn skincare treats.

So please check out the resources that they are offering. I have taken Personal Time Management courses before, and paid over $100 for the class. Imagine getting a class like that $30! Plus everything else!

If you have any questions about how Ultimate Bundles work, please feel free to drop me a line at And enjoy your new tricks and tips!

organizing on paper

Why I like organizing in paper

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There is a time and place for electronic organizing, but my default is always the paper!

I have tried and tried to switch to electronic organizing formats, however I always come back to my paper versions. I have used Day Runner, Filofax, Moleskine, and have finally landed on a Talia discbound journal. It seems that I prefer the ones that are customized over hardbound or spiral bound. I like being able to add, remove, and rearrange pages as needed. Plus, if I mess up a page I can just replace it easily! When I used the Moleskine, I sometimes had to turn a page into a scrapbook of sorts to cover up some bad lettering attempts. I am currently using the set that came with this handy starter set from Talia Discbound Notebook. Not only did it include the covers and discs, but it also came with an amazing variety of planner stickers to help get you started. I have the simple grey cover but I will admit I have been eyeballing the purple marble! I’ve also taken a look at some of the nice leather covers with credit card slots on the inside. It would be so handy for business cards.

undefinedI love the paper. I like the tactile aspects of paper – turning the pages, the pens and pencils scratching along the surface or the gel pens gliding out their beautiful colors; the physical act of crossing something off the to-do list; the ability to add a mandala to color or tracing a new picture as a monthly cover. These things you just can’t get with an electronic list!

And lest you assume that paper planners are boring, you should take a look at some of the beautiful layouts people have created! I can really get lost down a Pinterest rabbit hole looking at layouts or stickers or planner pages.

Now I do use electronic means to create some of the pages that I use. Word will draw a straighter line or a more even circle than I ever could! But I print them out, hole punch them, and add them right into my discs. I was admittedly skeptical that a set of loose discs would actually hold a planner together but it really does work. I bought a small hole punch when I first put my system together but I will probably end up getting a larger one that can accommodate more pages at once.

The Talia Junior which I have is interchangeable with numerous other discbound brands of the same size, such as Arc or Circa by Levenger. I would invite you to check out this terrific guide from Laura at I Heart Planners — ‘The Ultimate Guide To Discbound Planners’. She says it all so much well, I can’t improve!

Anyway, thanks so much for reading! I would love to hear about what planners you like best and why you enjoy the one you have!