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Unless you’re one of those people who naturally organizes everything, it takes some effort to get a good plan going. Look around your living room right now. Does everything have a place? How about in your pantry or bedroom?

When you’re not organized, things tend to pile up in random places. There’s a towering stack of mail on the dining room table, and you can barely walk two feet without stepping over someone’s shoes. Forget about coats. They’re part of the décor now.

And when your house is in disarray, your mind is likely to be cluttered too.

It’s so easy for things to be out of place when no one really knows where their place should be. But when you have a good system going, your home will stay uncluttered and the rest of your life will follow suit.

Here are a few ways to get, and stay, organized in your home and in your life.

Banish junk drawers from your life

Everyone has the catch-all junk drawer somewhere in their home, so don’t be embarrassed. We’re all in the same boat. Still, junk drawers have a way of growing. We never really allow the mental energy necessary to go through them. There’s something cathartic about cleaning out a junk drawer. You get to throw out things you’ve held onto for years. Literally, years. And if you’re really good, you can accomplish this feat without an expensive (and unnecessary) organizer.

Did you really need to hang on to the Roto-Rooter man’s business card for nearly a decade? He’s probably moved on to another job by now, and you should move on too.

Start by throwing out the obvious junk. And there will be obvious junk. Then, start sorting the items in your junk drawer. You may have piles of instruction manuals, writing instruments, tools and miscellaneous stuff. Figure out which of those things are helpful to keep handy. Now, put those things back into the drawer, but keep them organized. You can use small plastic containers to store small items. Find a home for everything else. Papers may go in a filing cabinet, and business cards can probably be stored somewhere online.

Do a pantry purge

If you’re feeling extra motivated, you can organize your pantry by getting pretty storage containers for things like flour, sugar and cereal. But you don’t have to this far to feel the benefits. A simple pantry purge will help you get rid of rotting and spoiled items from your home, and it will leave you with a clean feeling that’ll touch other areas of your life.

Clean out your car

When you’re running from one thing to another, it’s easy for junk to pile up in the car. From snack wrappers to receipts, you’re driving around with more stuff than you really need. And some of that stuff even has its own place in your home already.

So let’s get to the point where we’re putting everything in its place. It feels amazing to drive a clean and organized car, so spend about 10 minutes purging the trash. Then, use bags, bins or a car organizer to keep everything in its place. This will help you stay organized for longer stretches.

Much like when you get a fresh haircut, a newly organized home, car and life beckons with a feeling of freedom.

What are your best tips for organizing your life?


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