Routines are your friends


Do you want to have more time to spend with your loved ones?  The trick to having more time for the important things in life is to to establish habits.

Do you brush your teeth every night before you go to bed?  Clean the house on the same day each week? We all have habits and routines in our life.  But, I often hear that people don’t establish habits to stay organized because they are afraid it will stifle their creativity.  I challenge you to think of habits as good ways to deal with the boring stuff, so that you have more time to spend on those activities you really enjoy.  What kind of habits might make your life easier?   Here are a few:

1.   Find one and only one “home” for the stuff in your life.  If you take it out, put it back.  For example:
  • Find one place for your car keys: your purse, a basket on the counter, or a hook in the mud room.
  • Store office supplies (scissors, tape and stapler) in the same place in or on your desk.
  • Store postage stamps, address labels and your checkbook near bills to be paid.

2. Establish daily, weekly, monthly and yearly routines:

  • Establish a evening routine to pick out clothes for the next day, make coffee and lunches.
  • Open and process mail daily, and pay your bills on the same day of every week.
  • Do laundry on the same day of the week (or) do one load a day if you have a lot to do.
  • Plan your meals for the week and build your grocery list from your meal plan to reduce the number of trips to the grocery store.
  • Buy birthday cards on the first day of the month.
  • Keep a list of home maintenance and schedule appointments at the same time each year.
  • After you file your taxes each year, shred your taxes from 7 years ago.
  • Schedule your yearly doctor appointments before you leave from your appointment.

3.  Keep track of things in one and only one place – electronically or on paper. Both are ok – pick the one that best meets your needs for each category below.

  • Establish one and one one place to keep track of things to do.
  • Have only one calendar to keep track of meetings and appointments.
  • Keep the grocery list in the same place so everyone in your family can add to it.
  • Have only one place for contact information.  When you get a new business card, add it to your contact list and recycle the card.
  • Bookmark websites you want to remember and organize by category.

I think of habits and routines as helpful things that make my regular tasks a no-brainer.   That lets me use my spare time and energy on the things I really enjoy!  I hope this helps you think about what habits you want to put in place to make your life easier.


Cathy Dryden

I am Cathy Dryden, and I started neat chic organizing to empower others to lead more fulfilling lives by helping them to become more organized through individualized coaching and training.

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