Consult any management expert or pick up any book on organization and you will be given a few useful tips that are aimed at getting your home or office organized. However, we can be organized in many more areas of our life, each with its own benefits.

Here are 77 life organization tips that will help to de-stress your life:

  1. When you first start to organize things, you might feel overwhelmed at the sight of all the things that you have collected and may wonder how it ever got to this stage. Try not to feel guilty or worry too much about it. You are now taking positive steps to clear all the clutter and get yourself organized. So, from now on, spend your time and energy in focusing on the future and not repenting about the past.
  2. Keep a bag of supplies handy as you go around sorting and organizing. This bag should typically contain the following – different sized Ziploc bags, a tote bag, garbage bags, timer, labels, notebook, pen, post-its, empty boxes and a large bin with handles. Start your campaign by creating a master plan that contains a list of all that you want organized or done in the house. Take a quick tour through the house and start noting down the jobs to be done in your notebook. These could range from cleaning bathroom drawers, sorting out toys, clearing newspapers, thinning your clothes closet and so on. This will remain your master list of short-term and long-term goals.
  3. Some people find it less stressful to deal with one room at a time perhaps one a month. This is still OK, as you would have met all your deadlines within a year.
  4. One good idea to keep you going is to take before and after photos of your room and various areas just so you can see the effect your organizing efforts are having on the house.
  5. From your list of tasks to be done, identify those that are creating more problems for you and make those your priority.
  6. Do not shop for anything new till you are done organizing. Only if you are convinced that there is a need for the item and that it will be used, should you purchase it.
  7. Do not go to any more sales or discount stores till you have organized what you own.
  8. If you are unable to stop thinking about an item that you want to buy, keep the picture of that item in a folder so that you can come back to it once you are done organizing.
  9. Sort and organize all visible clutter first. Seeing some empty space where there was clutter first will give you a sense of gratification and keep you motivated.
  10. Set realistic deadlines for organizing various rooms and finally the whole house.
  11. Break up bigger goals into smaller, intermediate goals.
  12. Before you start organizing your home or office, you should know what you are trying to achieve. Take a few minutes and list out the top five reasons for you to start organizing.
  13. Share your goals with your friends or family members. The thought of losing face before them if you do not finish your work in time will spur you on to getting things done.
  14. Never do marathon sessions while sorting or organizing. Chances are you might take hasty decisions and throw out stuff that you actually needed.
  15. After attaining every goal, reward yourself with something that will give you satisfaction – could be a dinner outside or just a nap.
  16. To truly test whether something is organized or not is to find out how easy it is to access something in that space.
  17. If an item is being used regularly, it should have a designated place for it. If it does not have a place for it, it is not being used regularly and can be considered clutter.
  18. Only keep those items that you are going to use and things that you value; ruthlessly discard the rest.
  19. If you have been holding onto something hoping to get it fixed, fix it within a certain time else throw it out.
  20. If you are holding onto something hoping to donate it to a charity at some stage, do so right away. Keep the contact numbers of a few charities in hand so that you can donate stuff to them right away.
  21. If your closet will not close because of too many clothes or you need to push on the stuff in your drawers to close it shut, you need to desperately thin down your clothes.
  22. Try to sort things into categories as they are easier to organize and hence easier to find later.
  23. Often you collect clutter because of indecisiveness. You are not sure if you want to give away a tea-set you got as a wedding gift and whether you should retain your child’s first drawing. Make a decision and get rid of what you do not need.
  24. Keeping stuff that you do not need only creates day-to-day problems. Would you rather care for just a few important things and spend the rest of your time meaningfully, or would you rather spend all your time cleaning a whole lot of junk stuff?
  25. Not managing your time well, will mean missing important events like a close friend’s wedding or your father’s birthday party.
  26. If you do not take control of your life, chances are you will end up feeling stressed and frazzled, the effects of which will be seen on your health. Clearing clutter will help you devote more time to things that matter.
  27. Your children are bound to learn from you – if they see you clutter things around, they are likely to do the same.
  28. Clutter can also keep you from focusing on the future and dragging you into the past. Getting rid of unwanted clutter will help you think more positive thoughts.
  29. Being organized will also help you increase your creativity.
  30. Stay on top of all the financial commitments that you have made – like paying school fees, credit card bills, mortgage payments or payments on any business loans. Defaulting on these payments will result in you having to pay interest charges and being left with a bad credit report.
  31. Being organized also means staying on top of routine matters. If you do not attend to routine matters like taking the car for a tune-up or visit your dentist regularly, you may end up needing emergency care that will cost you far more and take up more time.
  32. Store things so that you can see them clearly. Else you may end up buying a duplicate of something that you already have.
  33. Getting organized is important in your workplace as well. Your office may evaluate you based on your performance and also on how organized your work area is.
  34. Keep a notebook handy so that you can note down all that you need to do. If you do not note them down, you are more likely to forget things. Noting down things to do will help clear your mind and relieve you of stress.
  35. Have a designated place to keep your to-do notebook. If you are stepping out, carry it with you and put it back in its place once you return home.
  36. Keep this notebook updated. Strike out things that you have managed to finish. This will also give you a sense of accomplishment that will help you stay organized.
  37. Note important dates and schedules on a calendar put up in a prominently visible place.
  38. Good time management starts with noting where you waste your time. For a whole week, see where you waste your time and what can be done to speed up some processes.
  39. It may help to duplicate some items in the house like having pens and a notebook near each telephone in the house. This will save time running up and down looking for a pen.
  40. Morning hours are always rush hours. It may help if you organize yourself the night before by filling the coffee maker, keeping the breakfast items out, packing lunch and charging your cell phone.
  41. Keeping a small table near the exit where you can keep all the things you need in a hurry in the morning will save you a lot of time.
  42. Keep the tote bag that you most often use, outside, near the door. If there are any library books to be returned, videos to be returned, tickets or letters to be mailed, you could keep putting them in this bag so that when you step out the next time, you have everything you need in the bag.
  43. Ask your children to help you with small chores. They can help you load the washing machine and dryer, vacuum in smaller spaces and dust awkward corners.
  44. Lay down some ground rules to manage your time better and to avoid clutter. For example, you could say that things that need to be fixed should be taken out within forty-eight hours or else gotten rid of. Similarly, only clothes in the dirty clothes hamper will be washed – the rest will have to wait till the next cycle.
  45. If yours is a large family, it may help to run the washing machine at night. In the morning, you just need to put them in the dryer.
  46. There are always small repair and restore jobs in the house and if they are not taken care, they could lead to bigger problems. Set aside some time on a weekend to take care of these small jobs.
  47. Keep the operating hours of stores and places you go to handy. Like the laundry, video store, superstore and so on.
  48. At times, you need something urgently and rush out to the store only to find that they do not have it. Always check up before hand if the store has what you need before you drive up till there.
  49. If you are heading to a place where you know you may have to wait, like while picking up your child from school, you might carry some work with you like returning phone calls, writing out thank-you notes or even balancing your check-book.
  50. If your children and their friends have a lot of common activities, instead of each family driving the child to the same place, you could consider car pooling with parents taking turns dropping and picking up the kids.
  51. Learn to say no. When you are asked to volunteer for any activity, do not feel guilty about saying no. You should offer your time only when you can spare it.
  52. Practice what you will say when you have to turn down any request. This will save you a lot of mental aggravation when you actually find yourself in the situation.
  53. Plan for your meals well in advance instead of stopping at the store everyday to pick up something for the night. Do not complicate the process – keep it simple and healthy.
  54. When you can spare the time, try to get as many things you need for cooking ready. Chop some vegetables in advance for a day or two and store some partially prepared items to make cooking meals easier.
  55. Plan on shopping just once a week. Prepare a master list of groceries that you will need for a week – revise it over a period of a month so that you do not need anything before the end of the week.
  56. Place your list on the refrigerator or some such visible place so that members of your family can put in what they need.
  57. Try to go shopping first thing in the morning or in the late evening when the crowds are less and you can shop more quickly.
  58. Before you head out for your shopping, make sure you plan your meals for the week. This way you will know what groceries you need for the week.
  59. Where you can, mention the specific brand name and type of item you want on your list. Else you will waste a lot of time deciding what kind of shampoo you would like.
  60. A whiteboard in the kitchen can be used to write down the meals planned for the week and the snacks available. This will make it easier for the kids to choose what they want to eat and ensure that all the food is consumed.
  61. Try to see what things you can get delivered home. Dry cleaning, prescription medicines and so on can be easily delivered home leaving you more time to do your shopping.
  62. Using a timer is a great way to alert you to an appointment or to start on a task. Set the timer to go off ten minutes before you need to start cooking or getting ready. This will give you enough time to pack up and save anything that you were working on.
  63. Organize similar tasks together so that you can finish them all in one go. For example, pool all the phone calls that you need to make in one place, all the bills that you need to pay in one and so on.
  64. Before you head out for an appointment, check up if that is still on time or if it has been pushed ahead. This will give you time to finish up a few other chores.
  65. Try not to pick up items that need special care. Some examples are clothes that need to be hand-washed or silver and brassware that need regular polishing.
  66. Avoid time-consuming beauty treatments. Stick to what is natural on most days.
  67. Combine only those tasks that will allow you to focus on each one without any problem. For example, your child could do his or her homework as you fold the laundry.
  68. Give up trying to be perfect – let others help you put away things so that the house stays organized though it may not be done in the exact same way that you wanted.
  69. Before taking up a task, keep everything that you need for it handy. Do you know what you need to know to complete the task and do you have sufficient time to finish it? Only if the answer is yes, should you get down to doing it.
  70. If you are wondering where you are spending most of your time, you could try wearing a watch for a week and then clocking the time that most of your activities take. You will be surprised to find that what you thought took only twenty minutes takes forty and cleaning the room when your kids pitch in takes only half an hour, instead of one hour when you do it alone.
  71. If you are in the middle of completing a task, do not let anything interrupt you. Do not let the phone disturb you, let it go to voice mail; do not open the door for any neighbor and do not reply to any email right away. Concentrate on finishing your work.
  72. Note things down in the manner and in a place where it is convenient for you. If you prefer a simple calendar to a more hi-tech Blackberry, that should be your choice. It is more important to note down the things that need to be done and then get them done.
  73. Before you start noting down things in your new calendar, note down all the important dates like birthdays and wedding anniversaries.
  74. Whenever you note a date in your calendar, you should also note down any action that needs to be taken before the date. For example, if your child’s friend has a birthday party on a certain date, note down that you have to pick up a gift for the child a few days before.
  75. Identify a time of the day when you are more fresh and can concentrate more. Set this time aside to do tasks that require you to focus more like working on your taxes or finishing up some office work.
  76. Never schedule things too close to one another. You should always keep in mind that factors like the weather, traffic and others running late can affect you.
  77. One of the simplest ways of keeping things organized in your home or office is to do things right away if it is not going to take more than a few minutes. If you need to file a paper, do so right away. However, if you need to work out something and then file it away, keep it for later.