We think of being organised as being tidy, disciplined, but what it really means s having a system that works as a whole. I find this reassuring as I’m not the tidiest if people and I’m certainly not very disciplined!

It’s about keeping important documents where you can easily find them, making a note of what you’re running out of, ready for when you go shopping, having a list to remind you of birthdays, planning ahead for holidays or visits – all those things thar make it easier to live your life rather than waste time searching for things or feeling bad because you forgot something important.

Your system of organisation has to suit your needs. No-one can tell you how to do it in a way that works for you. I remember, years ago, going on a training course for time management. It included the Time Manager file and numerous specially designed pages for different purposes and looked very grand. But it was far too complicated for me. I spent half my time trying to work out where I should put what and ended up mostly using it just as a very expensive diary. We don’t all organise our clothes in the same way, but sort them in a way that suits us. The same thing applies to everything else.

And it’s not enough to set up a system that works for us. We also have to have a system for maintaining and updating our system. For example, when we get something out to use it, we need to have a way to get it back to where we keep it when we’re finished. Or when we receive a new annual policy, we need to get rid of the old one that’s now out of date and replace it.

I’m lazy: I have an upstairs, downstairs system for putting things back where they belong. (You know, the little piles of things on the stairs for when you have to go up or down anyway), and then a room system (putting things in the right room), followed by placing them where they belong when there’s a few collected. Like I said, I’m not particularly disciplined or tidy!

I learned the hard way when I was younger: spending ages searching for things amongst piles of paper, or for a specific sweater through drawers full of jumbled clothes. Now my system works pretty well for me and leaves me time to do more pleasurable things.

Have you organised yourself in a way that suits you? And have you updated/ maintained it recently? It’s spring, so have a spring clean, sort your system out and make life easier for yourself.

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