It’s difficult not to get stressed out when your life is a cluttered mess. Papers scattered over desktops, important mail hidden or lost, cleaning supplies piled under the sink, ect., etc., etc. It can be maddening, but the issue can be solved without the help of a psychiatrist or burning your house down.
These products and mobile apps are all relatively cheap, ranging from $10 to about $50 or so. And each one will eliminate some of the mess. Well, so long as you actually use them …
#1. Spend Time Organizing
Before you click off of this story irritated we’d start with something so commonsensical, hear us out. Can you remember the last time — or anytime — you began the day sorting out exactly what you wanted to accomplish? Exactly. Before you get into gear a work, construct an outline that you want to complete by the time you leave. It’ll help you prioritize and knock off the important things first and chip away at the excess.
#2. Figure Out How To Get Things Done
It’s not a new book, but it’s a book that includes a system that has helped thousands of people divorce themselves of physical and mental clutter. Getting Things Done Book ($10 @ Amazon.com) is a definitive guide for organizing day-to-day tasks. Author David Allen offers important insights and time-tested methods for freeing up mental creativity to increase productivity in all areas of life.
#3. Eliminate The Paper Trail
And instead create a digital trail that’s easier to manage. Using a device like the VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand Portable Scanner ($45 @ Amazon.com), you can prevent receipts invoices, or important documents to take up precious real estate, break out the Magic Wand and scan them. The docs will save to the Wand, and then you can save them in a labeled folder on your comp. It’s a great tool for guys who freelance full-time or families who deal with a lot of paperwork. Just be sure to back up your files or upload them all to a cloud for safe keeping if your computer decides to crap out.
#4. Use Technology To Manage Money
Mint.com not only helps you budget and keeps tabs on your spending. Yeah, we know that’s a little weird since it’s a program that knows your every move — including reminding of astronomic bar tabs — but still … Mint can provide customized tips for savings, check your credit, and enable you to set up autopay for bills.
#5. Keep Physical Mail and Important Docs Together
For mail that comes in that you need or want to keep — a decent “save the date” or a birth announcement of a semi-handsome baby earns a week or so of display before it’s recycled — a hanging organizer like the InterDesign Wall Mount, Mail and Key Rack ($13 @ Amazon.com) can keep it sorted and add a style to your pad. A place to add your keys is a bonus.
#6. Stash Your Passwords In One Place
Some of us here feel odd about keeping our passwords online in a cloud. Others don’t. If you’re in the, ahem, smart camp of scardey-cats, you can keep them with important docs like your birth certificate and passport. Make it simple by using this handy sheet someone already created. Download it here. Alphabetize it or separate each by category (e.g. social, music, TV/movie, etc.). Otherwise, use Google Docs. Code it up, if possible so it’s not super obvious. For example, if you bank with Chase maybe Bank of America or Wells Fargo in the doc. If nothing else, it’ll buy you time if the doc is hacked.
Next: Closet and Utility Drawer