lifestyle

How to look like you're organised (when you are so far from it).

If I had to describe myself in a few words, “organised” would not be one of them.

I often call my mobile from my landline, just so I can hear it ringing and work out which pile of papers it’s hidden under.

But the good thing is, there are lots of genuinely super-organised people out there who are keen to share their helpful tips.

That way, people like me can follow them and at least have the appearance of being organised.

 Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by SodaStreamBut all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.

Read on for some helpful ways to fake being an organised person.

1. Storage.

• If you’ve got lots of sheet sets, use one of the pillowcases from each set as a storage bag for the two sheets and the other pillowcase. Then you’ll always be able to find a matching set.

• Store your clothes vertically, not horizontally, in drawers – like files in a filing cabinet – so it’s easier to see them.

 Related: Is your wardrobe arranged by clothing type? You’re doing it wrong.

• Keep your few most important documents (birth certificates, passports, etc) in a special folder. That way you’ll always know where to find them – and if you have to leave the house in case of disaster, you only need to grab one folder.

• Buy lots of cute, colourful storage containers for your kids’ toys. Get your kids to help you make signs saying what goes inside each one. Then they’ll feel like the containers are theirs (and hopefully use them).

organisation tips
Vertical clothes storage. Image via YouTube: Home Organising by Alejandra.tv.
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2. Family life.

• Put up a big whiteboard in the kitchen with the week plotted out. Write in library days, after-school sport etc. so everyone knows what everyone else is doing. Then – remember to actually look at it.

• Use the alarm function on your phone for anything you’re likely to forget on a daily basis, like taking the Pill.

• Use the calendar on your computer to remind you of things like relatives’ birthdays (set the reminder to come up a few days in advance) or big school events like the swimming carnival (set the reminder to come up the day before).

• When you see a great-looking kids’ craft activity in a magazine or read about a fun place to go in a newspaper, cut it out and stick it in a notebook. Then when you’ve got some free time on a weekend, you can look in the notebook for inspiration.

organisation tips
“Put up a big whiteboard in the kitchen with the week plotted out.” Image via iStock.

3. Food.

• Plan the week’s meals in advance, with the kids contributing their ideas. That way, you don’t have to think about it during the week, and no one should complain about what’s served up. (But they probably still will).

• If your children eat sandwiches for lunch, make up a whole week’s worth on a weekend and pop them in the freezer. If their lunches don’t freeze well, make them up the night before and keep them in the fridge. It makes the mornings a little bit less stressful.

Related: Editor’s Picks: 8 online buys I’m loving this week.

• Make sure you’ve always got enough long-life items in your kitchen to throw together a quick meal: pasta, tuna, tinned tomatoes, jars of olives, frozen veggies, rice, soy sauce, etc.

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• Download all the best apps to help you in the kitchen. As well as ones like Epicurious, with lots of recipes, you can use Cookit to help you time how long every part of your meal should be in the oven for.

organisation tips
“Plan the week’s meals in advance, with the kids contributing their ideas. That way, you don’t have to think about it during the week, and no one should complain about what’s served up.” Image via iStock.

4. Shopping.

• Keep a magnetic notepad stuck to the fridge door. Write down something as soon as you see you’re running out, and remind others to do the same.

• Write your shopping list in the order that you would buy things – say, vegetables first and meat last. You’re less likely to miss things along the way and have to backtrack through the supermarket.

• Supermarkets tend to discount their items on a regular basis, so always buy up big for things like washing powder and dishwasher tablets. That way, you’ll never have to pay full price, and you’ll never run out.

• Before you buy big-ticket items like dishwashers and ovens, always research them online. Don’t just look for the best prices – check out product review websites to see which brands people are happy or unhappy with. It could save you some a lot of time (and headaches) down the track.

See how Shelly Horton got organised and got even on an old boss…

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