Advice from the experts on how to best organize your life


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January is the perfect time of year to get organized after the Christmas scramble.

It’s the season of resolutions and fresh starts — no wonder January is nationally recognized as Get Organized Month.

For those who fall behind on personal projects during the holiday season and struggle to catch up during the first few freezing weeks of the year, there are simple ways to catch up.

Here are a few ways to better organize your life:

Make lists

Making plans and putting them down on paper can help to provide clarity and perspective.

Experts suggest creating realistic to-do lists — placing time-sensitive issues towards the top, and less urgent matters at the bottom.

Set aside some time to map out any short-term and long-term goals — and hang the list where it can be seen every day and not ignored.

“Once people get started making a change, they need to bolster it in everyday life,” said Gertraud Stadler, a researcher at Columbia University.

“Place reminders in your environment.”

If you plan to eat healthier this year, stick post-its on your fridge with a plan for dinner each night — this can help you keep on top of grocery lists, too.

“We found in our studies that daily planning really helps. Don’t just say: I will exercise more and eat better, but really plan it out,” said Stadler.

Declutter

Decluttering your living space can do wonders for your headspace.

It’s very easy to find places to donate and even sell any clothes or old items you may not use anymore — and it could bring in a little extra cash. Whatever you can’t sell or give away should go out with the garbage.

The key is to not get overwhelmed. Aim to declutter one room a week.

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Make a list and incorporate short-term and long-term goals you wish to accomplish in the coming months.

Time management

It’s important to find a balance between one’s work, social life and personal time.

Revise your current schedule and examine ways to reorganize it so as to create more flow.

If you struggle to make it to your job on time, try preparing for work the night before — pack your handbag or briefcase, and lay out your outfit for the next day.

If you run a hectic schedule and can’t find time to keep fit, think of creative ways to blend an exercise routine into your day — maybe take a longer walk during a lunch break.

Set aside time for relationships by planning ahead. Organize nights out with friends by setting up a group online so that everyone can compare schedules and pitch ideas about where to meet.

One easy trick manage your time: Wake up 15 minutes earlier — they’ll stick with you for the rest of the day.

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