Show Us Your Life: How Do You Stay Organised

It’s Show Us Your Life time again, and as ever I am linking up with Kelly over at Kelly’s Korner.

And this week we are looking at how you keep your life organised. And believe me, I need all the help I can get. I find that I swing from being hyper-organised to being pretty disorganised, but my many adventures in this arena have helped me to pick up a few tricks and tips en route….

1. My first tip would be….don’t try to be *too* (fixed now!) organised. As a teacher I can revel in timetables, schedules and to-do lists a little too much, and all too often I get so caught up in the preparation and planning of things that midway through the actual tasks I am exhausted and run out of steam. That being said, there are a few tools I use which I find really helpful.

2. Centralise your calendar / diary. At one point last term I had up to five calendars on the go (home paper diary, school planner, Outlook at school, Outlook at home, iPhone calendar). Utter disaster. Now I have google calendar set up, because then I can access this from anywhere with a few clicks and instantly say yes or no to that meeting, lunch or party.

3. Take an afternoon or evening and add all of your important birthdays and anniversaries onto an online reminders service. I use, which is free and useful. I get reminders two weeks and one week before important events and this helps me to be better prepared for birthdays and special days (most of the time!).

4. Throw things away. I almost put that in all caps. The more I live in this flat, the more I realise I have way too much stuff. So far this year I have donated / recycled / tossed out several bin liners full of stuff and the flat looks tidier, things are easier to find, and I feel all kinds of virtuous too!

5. Learn to say ‘no’ (politely). Growing up I was the crown princess of taking far too much on, with the net result that I was often exhausted and frequently botched things / rushed things / wore myself down / let other parts of my life suffer in an effort to be as perfect as possible. Now when I am asked to do something I feel able to say ‘no’ (albeit with a few pangs of guilt!) when it will be an overstretch, or at the very least can ask for a moment to check whether I can actually do the additional task well.

6. Keep a stash of pretty cards, cards for special occasions, little hostess gifts, stamps and ingredients for a cake in supply around the house. They will prove to be lifesavers!

I’m really looking forward to reading around this blog tour – tips are always good!

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  1. Claire
    22nd April 2011 / 9:31 am

    Note: the word 'to' between the asterisk in point number one should be 'too' – apologies for the slip in grammar, I wrote much of this on an iPhone and it's tricky to edit.Cxx

  2. Christielli
    22nd April 2011 / 3:55 pm

    I like your advice. 🙂 And your correction of your grammar.

  3. Anonymous
    22nd April 2011 / 7:06 pm

    and organised should be "organized"

  4. Claire
    22nd April 2011 / 7:08 pm

    Dear Anonymous – I'm British, so "organised" is totally correct. Cxx

  5. Rachel
    22nd April 2011 / 9:13 pm

    ABSOLUTELY THROW THINGS AWAY. :)There I did it in caps for you….because I'm in agreement with you. :)Wonderful post of organizing tips.Blessings to you!

  6. Crystal @ Ordinary Days
    22nd April 2011 / 9:17 pm

    Thanks for the ideas! Some of them are so simple but just need to be put into practice! 🙂

  7. JDaniel4's Mom
    22nd April 2011 / 10:01 pm

    What wonderful tips! I love my schedule calendar.I have a discussion on organizing toys on my Wednesday post. I would love for you to stop by and share your ideas.

  8. Relyn
    22nd April 2011 / 11:48 pm

    What a terrific post! I am off to sign up for birthday reminders. Yay! Thanks.

  9. Lexilooo
    23rd April 2011 / 12:26 am

    All great suggestions! I always have cards to send for birthdays and such, and I keep notes of the dates…but then it seems that the dates sneak up on me before I remember to mail the cards out!

  10. Melissa Miller
    23rd April 2011 / 1:11 am

    Very good ideas! Love it!

  11. Danae
    23rd April 2011 / 2:23 am

    Saying no has to be one of the hardest things. A few years ago my husband got me a book called "The Power of a Positive No" I guess it is time to read it! HA

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