15 Ways to Start Living a More Organized Life
file, sort, breathe.
Photo by Sunny Shokrae
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On Sunday nights, do you ever feel like the Friday beforehand was a zillion years ago? The weekend flew, and now you’re back to point zero for the week—with laundry yet to be done, dishes in the sink, and about 17 different purses strewn all over the floor. Not this weekend. These organizational gems are easy ways to feel just a little more “together” come Monday. We skipped the pretty Pinterest-y ideas that actually take up hours, and focused on low-maintenance hacks so fast you can do ’em while you’re waiting for an Uber pool to arrive:
1. Wash your makeup brushes. Odds are half of your NARS blush is actually in your brush. Rally the troops, wash them with warm water and gentle soap (I love Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soaps, $3.19 for a 2 oz. bottle), and set them in a little mason jar to dry overnight. In the morning, they’ll feel so light and breezy you’ll want to do it again next Sunday.
2. Wipe down your iPhone. This literally takes five seconds—worth it when you realize that your iPhone may be dirtier than your toilet seat. *shudder* The Martha Stewart-like how-to comes straight from Apple: Disinfect using a Lysol wipe or Clorox Kitchen Disinfecting wipe—and we recommend wringing it out in the sink first to remove excess liquid.
3. Make a password list. How many do you have stored in your brain? I currently have about 5,000. Take 15 minutes, write them all down, and store it in a safe place. You’ll thank yourself when you can seamlessly buy a Taylor Swift album on iTunes without having “password incorrect” pop up on your dirty iPhone 10 times in a row.
4. Organize your hair stuff. There is an internet quote that I live by, and it goes: “I’ve got 99 bobby pins and I can’t find one.” Treat yourself to a fresh pack of bobby pins and welcome them into your home with an array of your favorite hair ties, brushes, and headbands. Your boss will be so impressed when you get to work an hour early on Monday.
5. Recycle old magazines. Because that pile of Us Weekly issues is taller than a toddler, and that’s no look for your living room. Take ’em down to the recycling bin and let the celebrities mingle.
6. Break up the cord party. Between your phone charger, computer charger, fan, lamp, hair dryer, and backup hair dryer, things are getting a little intense. These cord tacos ($29 for a pack of five) are highly adorable, or you could just use clear plastic Ziploc bags.
7. Wash your bras. When’s the last time you did? Don’t answer that. After you’re done with the makeup brushes, move onto these unsung heroes in your life. They deserve a little love.
8. Stock up on water. Seriously. Next time you pop into CVS to buy ramen (or in my case, Annie’s Mac & Cheese), throw three one-liter bottles of water into your basket. Once it’s in your house, you’ll drink it, and then your whole life will change.
9. Change your computer background. Change it to something calming—the beach, for example. Everyone loves a good beach photo. Then clear off your desktop so you can actually see it.
10. Start recycling. All this means is choosing a proper place to drop all those one-liter water bottles you’ll be drinking. I’m talking about a brown paper bag under the sink. Done. Permission to go to brunch and brag about your eco-friendly home.
11. Clean out your purse. Okay, this may be asking for a lot. Come back here when you wake up at 5 a.m. and there’s nothing good on TV yet. Clear ’em out, and then fill them back up with a set of HHPGT (#unecessaryacronym): hair tie, hand sanitizer, pen, gum, tampon. Yes, you will now be that put-together woman who carries gum.
12. Call your mom. This isn’t really “organizational” but you should just do it.
13. Curate your coffee table. We are all the designers of our lives, at least in terms of the place in which we eat chicken pad Thai. Leave a space for it, of course, otherwise your Wednesday nights will just become a mess—but add a few piles of pretty books, a candle, maybe even a stack of playing cards. It’s your table top. Go crazy!
14. Buy a dozen flowers. And then split them up around the house. It’s one of my favorite tricks—eight in a vase (or a clean 28-oz. tomato can), three in a small glass (or a hollowed-out candle holder), and one in a mini vase for your nightstand.
15. Organize your jewelry. Steal from your kitchen if you don’t cook—ice-cube trays, Champagne flutes, they all have uses now!
[Related: 7 Signs Your Body Needs to Slooow Down]