When you have a million things to do and remember between home, work, family, and everything else, it’s easy to feel like life is a mess. Especially when your home doubles as your office and your kid’s school. The great thing is that there are so many life hacks that will help you feel more organized and in control. Life can be crazy so any little thing that can help you stay on top of things is helpful! Here are a few of my favorite life hacks that will help you remember, save a little time, and get things done.
Create a Launchpad
Chances are that you’ve left something at home before that you needed for work, running errands, or taking your kids to school. You can make getting out of the house easier by gathering what you need for the following day in one place. Choose a spot in your home to be your launchpad. This is where you can store your purse, keys, work or gym bag, and whatever else you need with you for your day to feel successful. If you have important paperwork or your laptop that needs to get to the office with you, leave it next to your purse. If you have items to return while shopping, coupons to use, or items to drop off at the dry cleaners, put those items on your launchpad with your keys and wallet. If you’re not leaving the house much because you work from home, having a central place to keep the items that you need on a daily basis will still help you feel more organized. Have a spot for your laptop and any paperwork that is separate from your personal items so things don’t get mixed up. If your kids are in remote school, use a basket to keep their notebooks, textbooks, and pencils contained in one spot.
Use Your Car Like an Outbox
This life hack is expanding on the idea of creating a launchpad and is so easy to do. By thinking of your car as an outbox, you can ensure that you have what you need in your car when running errands or are out and about. If you have something that needs to go to the post office, put the item right in your car. Maybe you have something to return to Target — rather than keeping it in your home, put it in your car so it’s there on your next trip. Basically, any time you have something that needs to go out of the house, it goes in your car. That way if you’re leaving in a hurry, you don’t need to worry about having forgotten something.
Use Your Magnetic Door
Did you know that in many newer homes the door leading to the garage from the house is magnetic? These magnetic doors are actually fire-resistant and slow or prevent the spread of fire and smoke. If you have one of these doors, it can benefit you in more ways than one. Our magnetic door has papers, notes, and coupons so we don’t forget about them on our way out the door. We have also added magnetic pockets and clips to keep school calendars and other reminders we regularly look at before leaving the house. Check out your door to see if it’s magnetic and let me know!
Use Reminder Alarms
Use technology to your advantage! If you use your laptop or phone to keep track of tasks and appointments, set alarms to help you stay on time and on task. Whether it’s a one-time task or repetitive, an alarm can help you stay on schedule. There are lots of ways that you can add a reminder or alarm. If you have an iPhone you can label each of your alarms in the clock app to tell you exactly what you need to do. For example, I set alarms 5 minutes before scheduled phone or Zoom calls and I also set alarms to remind me to run certain errands after I drop my son off at school in the morning. You can also use the calendar app you use on your phone, set an alarm on the clock, or set one in a to-do list app like Any.Do. If you’re interested in more of my favorite apps, check out 11 Must Have Apps for Your Phone or Tablet.
Get Location-Based Alerts on Your Phone
Another great underused hack that technology offers is location-based alerts. Don’t you hate it when you have a box of stuff to drop at your local donation center and you forget about it every time you get in the car? Or you forget about the gift card at the bottom of your bag when you go to pick up take-out for dinner? Set a location-based alert in your phone to help you remember while you’re on the go! You can use a reminder app or set alerts in the maps app on your phone so you don’t forget those little things while you’re out.
Leave Your Dishwasher Open
You might be wondering why leaving your dishwasher open is an organizing hack. First, I must say that I don’t suggest you leave your dishwasher open often for long periods of time. Depending upon the placement of the dishwasher in your kitchen, this can be a game-changer. When you are cooking, baking, or prepping a meal it can be very helpful to have your dishwasher open with the drawers pulled out so you can load dirty dishes as you go. This way you cut the step of setting the dirty dishes in the sink and then having to load all of them in later. I also suggest leaving the dishwasher open when you eat dinner. As soon as your family is done eating they can scrape their plates off and load them right in the dishwasher. It’s amazing how this simple hack encourages people to put things in the dishwasher immediately, which saves you so much time.
Use The Timer on Your Washing Machine
While it would be nice if the laundry would take care of itself, that’s probably not going to happen. But if your washer has a timer, you can set it to help you create a laundry schedule. You can load dirty clothes in the washer at night with a timer that starts before you wake up. Then it’s ready to go in the dryer when you’re done with your coffee. Get a jump on your laundry, so you can get on with the rest of your day!
Use Motion Sensor Lights
I have to tell you that my husband Lee needs to get all the credit for this hack. Years ago he had the bright idea of installing motion sensor lights in our garage so whenever we pull in or open the garage door the lights will come on automatically. This small change in our garage still makes me so happy every time I step foot in there. I can’t tell you how many times a day I go out to the garage to recycle cardboard boxes or put something in my car. It’s so nice to have the lights turn on right away. Years ago we installed motion lights in the garage that were OK (they would turn off too fast, or we would have to wave our hands wildly to get them to turn on), but recently my husband did some research and found much better motion lights on Amazon that are perfect! You will be amazed at how much this simple little hack will make your life easier.
Use Automatic Door Closers
OK, here’s another hack that I have to thank my wonderful husband for. I’m not sure if you can relate to this, but years ago my husband and I were fed up with random doors in our house always being left open by our kids. I’m talking about the coat closet door (which annoyingly blocks the entire hallway when it’s left open), the powder room door, and the door to our basement (which was a danger to our youngest son at the time). My husband did some research and found a simple and effective product on Amazon that was perfect. These inexpensive spring door closers are easy to install and immediately solved the problem.
Keep Sticky Notes in Your Toolbox
Any client who has seen me drill something into their walls has likely seen me use this hack. Before you drill a hole into drywall, take a sticky note and place it below the spot you plan to drill. Fold the bottom edge of the sticky note up to meet the top edge so it creates a “V” below the location where the hole will be. When you drill your hole, the drywall dust will fall into the sticky note. You can then fold up the note and throw it away – no more mess!
Do you have a favorite life hack that saves you time or makes you feel more organized? I’d love to hear about it! I hope these life hacks that I’ve shared will help you too. Sometimes a little planning and assistance from technology can help you feel like you’re saving time and getting things done. If you need help setting up some life hacks to help you feel more organized, please let me know. You can reach me at (267) 970-0769 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you enjoyed this blog post and haven’t yet signed up for my free newsletter, click here to subscribe. You’ll get organizing tips and advice, as well as special deals delivered to your inbox each month. If you know someone who might enjoy this blog post please share this with them. Thanks for reading!