With many people in the United States working longer hours than ever, most of us are currently busier in our daily lives than we care to admit. For many of us, in fact, getting chores done at the end of a long day just feels like a pain. 

And while it’s true that staying organized can be tricky at times, there are enormous benefits to keeping our home and work lives in order. As many psychologists have discovered in recent years, in fact, reducing clutter quite simply reduces stress and anxiety. To wit, staying organized actually keeps us healthy!

When we’re more consistently organized in our daily lives, we’ll also be more effective in achieving our most important goals. Good organizational skills can lead to serious successes in life. If this sounds good to you, here are just a few great ways to keep your life in shipshape order! 

1. Set Achievable Goals

To really get the most out of your time, try setting small and achievable daily and weekly goals. Doing so will help you build confidence in your own abilities over time. To start achieving your objectives, try writing out a list of a few simple things that you’d like to get done this week. 

You don’t have to achieve life-changing objectives at this point; however, even your smaller goals should improve your life in some measurable way. Once you’ve completed smaller items on your list, try to appreciate how good you feel. With the right approach to smaller issues in your life, your bigger problems won’t seem so insurmountable. 

2. Fill Out a Weekly Planner

If you’ve ever gotten to the end of the working week and wondered where all your free time went, you’re not alone. Most of us fail to realize how much time we spend procrastinating when there are chores to do. With the use of a weekly planner, however, you’ll be able to practice time-management in an effective and meaningful way. 

More importantly, you’ll see how you currently use your time and where you can improve your organizational skills. When it comes to being more organized, sometimes knowing how to schedule our free time is half the battle.

3. Create a Weekly Cleaning Schedule

For most of us, it’s easy to endlessly put off the completion of important chores until our lives are a mess. Too often, we leave our rooms cluttered and messy for weeks or even months on end! To really stay organized, try creating a weekly schedule for cleaning and organizing your room or workspace. 

While you’re completing your weekly cleaning tasks, make sure that every object in your room has its proper and easy-to-find place. When you’re cleaning your room or working area, also be sure to take time to locate important files and identification cards. Trying to find these items at the last minute is never fun!

4. Organize Important Documents

One of the points of this exercise is that you’ll sometimes realize that certain important documents are missing. Fortunately, you should be able to easily find information online about how to report a lost social security card, passport, or other important documents. For now, try spending time locating and organizing as many important documents as you can. If you want to be extra secure with this information, place these items in a safe file folder or special desk drawer. 

5. Reward Yourself for Completing Tasks

As human beings, it is a simple fact of life that we are motivated by positive reinforcement: Even if you just pop into the kitchen for a piece of chocolate when you finish a chore, it’s always important to reward yourself for your efforts. Doing so will create positive associations in your mind between staying organized and having a bit of fun. 

To really excel at organizing your personal space, try making a game of doing your chores. Assign a point system to various tasks and see how good of a “score” you can reach in a day or week. If you can make the process of completing important tasks enjoyable for yourself, you’ll never struggle with difficult chores again!