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10 Habits of Highly Organized People

A list of the 10 Habits of Highly Organized People came out this month in O magazine.  I thought the title was a cool play off of this book.  They make some good points.  Lets go over their list...

1. Walk away from bargains

We've all done it...bought something just because it was on sale.  I have to stop myself constantly from doing this. For example, the above pillow by Nate Berkus is on sale for $5.  I have no use for this in my home, but isn't the price tempting {someone go buy it!}?  If I did buy it, all it would do is take up crucial space in my tiny apartment.

2.  Make peace with imperfection

The article says, "efficient people give "A-level effort" to the most important projects".  Basically, if you're trying to do every project perfectyou aren't using your time wisely.  For example, trying to make your bed picture perfect every day is not a good use of time.  Even though it's not necessarily a project, it's a daily task that doesn't need a good amount of your time.  Spend more time on an important work assignment, etc.

3. Never label anything miscellaneous

Guilty.  I have a miscellaneous file.  I honestly don't know what's in it, and need to go through it.  They say that's the exact reason why you shouldn't have one.

4.  Schedule regular decluttering sessions

Spending 15 minutes a day to tackle a pile of mail makes a big difference.  Or, spend time once a week tackling the tiny projects around your house.

5.  Stick with what works

If you have a favorite makeup line, product, etc.  stick to it.  Seeking out the next best thing is a waste of time and money.  

6.  Create a dump zone

This habit is an important one.  To be honest, I'm not always organized.  There are areas of my house that I need to tackle, but there isn't always time.  Having a box or basket on hand to keep papers {and projects in that you can't get to right away} is great. careful, if you don't go back to declutter, you have another "miscellaneous pile" on your hands.  

7.  Ask for Help

Don't be afraid to ask a friend for backup during a time in need.

8.  Separate emotions from possessions

They say to keep a special vase from Paris that you love, but get rid of your old concert t-shirt from 10 years ago.  Just let it go...

9.  Foresee and avoid problems

If you have a packed cabinet, "take a few minutes to short-circuit an avalanche before it happens".  

10.  Know where to donate

Always know where your donation destination is and visit regularly.

I personally think a lot of the habits above just may be effective. What about you?  Do you have a habit that keeps you organized?


  1. my label maker- love that thing and I could not organize without it!

  2. Cute! My thing.. eek..I let the junk drawer get bad, and then I dump it and organize everything. It's an uphill battle ;)

  3. i thought having a misc folder meant I was organized!!!!

  4. Great post. Thanks for sharing that article.

    I use my Misc. file the most... should prob work on that!!!

  5. I always try to reorganize my closet (pair down) when I bring new things in.

  6. I read this in O too and thought their suggestions were great.

    Fun post!


  7. there is the opposite of having a misc folder and it goes like this - you have a misc folder that is highly organized AND it takes a lot of time to do that.

    the numbering of pictures, song titles - everything has a system. and if you can't find a place for something, then you have to rethink everything.

    but there is no pill that calms me down better than organizing my folders or my home :)

    other than that - these are actually some great rules. if I could follow the first one - a lot of space and money could be saved :)

  8. I never buy O but after your post yesterday I stopped and picked it up. It's a really good issue.

  9. Great post! Those are all good tips. I'm pretty organized, but I could be better. The T-shirt one hit home with me. I have so many T-shirts from college that I cannot bring myself to throw away. Maybe I should pick one or two to keep, and toss the rest.

  10. One good habit I have is I handle mail immediately. Since most of it is junk - I recycle it at once. Everything else I file or deal with.

    Also, I am really into de-cluttering. I throw things out and donate stuff at least once a month.

  11. Oh dear, I think this article made me feel worse. I am in violation of so many of these! In fact, I'm seriously considering those Nate pillows now :)

  12. fantastic tips. great post!
    have a wonderful weekend!

  13. Great tips! I must read this issue of O. I am soo guilty of #1 with home and clothes... if something is so cheap and on sale even if I will never wear it or use it or whatnot, I buy it... I need to stop that!

    Happy weekend!

  14. great post. The key for me is have a spot for everything.

  15. um, i need to print this out and put it in front of me! i can be as organized as they come but i am guilty of a misc. folder too. will go file that different immediately!

  16. I have a basket in my walk in closet that I keep "junk" paper work in. I am constantly running into it in the morning and saying to myself "I need to go through that"! One day... LOL

  17. These are very helpful! I find myself needing to do a few of these things just to de-clutter my life and keep everything organized in my tiny bedroom!

  18. Thank you! These tips are really helpful ~ and the kick in the pants that I needed! ;)

  19. Great ideas here...especially the misc. guilty!

  20. I find organizing paper, way and above the hardest thing to do - I don't like doing it and let it pile up. I've got systems in place over the years but it is still the hardest area of the home to keep organized.

  21. This post, I kid you not, put me in the biggest organizational mode - I must have trashed two bag fulls of unneeded junk! And the misc. folder - guilty. not anymore though! Thanks for turning that obsessive/organizational/cleaning/decluttering switch on in me (I always have it on, but today it was put on turbo!) maybe I should have taken before/after photos... darn! Anyway, good stuff!

  22. My best habit is: one in, one out.

    If I buy new jeans, one pair goes out, etc.

    The only place where this does not apply is with books. They come in and in an in...

  23. Love this! You reminded me how important it is to just do your best instead of striving for perfection #2. I am going to add one more to the list for highly organized peeps, Sleep! Good nite loves,

  24. I always go through the mail right away and I am constantly throwing stuff out. I don't like to keep stuff that I am not using.

    I need to stop buying things that are on sale though. I am guilty of that!

  25. yes Yes YES! Buying things because they are on sale? Guilty. Emotionally connecting to things? Guilty. About a year ago I stopped going to TJ maxx weekly. I went weekly. And almost every time I bought something I DIDNT NEED. It became expensive clutter after a while. I would rather have fewer things I LOVE even if I have to pay a bit more, then have a bunch of cheapies I never wear!

  26. Oh, and PS: YES I HATE MISC files. Black holes they are!

  27. A fantastic post. I just wanted to let you know, I've chosen this post (thanks to the suggestion by Everything Fabulous) to be included on my weekly Cups of Tea. I have a feeling my readers will love it and I've included direct links to both your site and this post.
    I am so happy to have found you for myself. I can always be more organized. Thank you! (the post will up Sunday - 18th)

  28. Love the tips (and the pics)!

    I can't NOT be organized, since I stay home with my one-year-old and work almost full time out of my home as a freelance writer and editor.

    I still struggle with some things, though. Right now my office is storage and I'm working from the kitchen table. No big deal, but the packed office (we're renovating...soon) is always niggling at the back of my mind.

  29. Great tips. I've been trying to get organized for so long but I'm getting nowhere.
    I totally agree with never label anything with 'Miscellaneous'. I've done that so many times and it's really confusing when I go to clean up and look at that box and wonder what is in it. I think if you label something with 'Miscellaneous', it's sort of hinting that you can throw out or donate those things because most of thing things in my 'Miscellaneous' boxes are now gone and I don't have one anymore.

  30. Yet another great post! I'm super guilty of creating a 'dump zone' and then not going back and actually putting the time to organize it... I do it at my office too which is even worse! lol

  31. Great post! Hits home for a lot of people. I am way to attached to all of my belongings. Keep things that are truly important. I am one who has a hard time throwing away old tshirts because I go to clean and recall all the memories. My friend suggested making a quilt out of all the old shirts!


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