Take it from my old university roommates who used to collect my mess and stuff it back into my box of clean clothes: I am a really messy person. So, I’m constantly on the lookout for easy (and they have to be really easy) ways (I learned this from Bill Gates) to stay organized, keep myself, my co-habitants, and my co-workers sane.

If you have messy roommates (like some of us), there is little you can do about staying tidy except to work hard and get a space of your own. If you are here, it means you are messy or progressively becoming less messy so welcome buddy!

There’s so much out there to read on how to become and stay organized, but it’s almost always created by neat people and so, we’re right to accuse them of not understanding. They just don’t understand how it feels to suffer as a messy person when tidiness comes naturally to them. So, from one messy person to another, these are some strategies you can employ to stay organized.

5 Easy Ways To Stay Organized

Surround yourself with organized people. This strategy is a sure banker, trust me. If you surround yourself with roommates and co-workers who are neat, it actually will rub off on you. It’s not just because you’ll see them having a generally easier time in life, but also because they’re really helpful resources. You know what I mean? Wink!

Not everyone has a friend who is a professional organizer or a super neat freak or OCD, but almost everyone knows one or two people who have just the right amount of neat if not super neat genes. So learn of them!

See if your organized co-worker will share the rules she sets up in her inbox, or ask your boss how to make your schedule work better for your other colleagues. Or, try setting up a calendar with a neat co-worker that you both share to keep yourself accountable.

Make sure everything you own has a place. For three out of four years in university, I’d pile handouts, text books and printouts randomly in my room. They never really had an official home and so, they’d sit in any available random corner or several, spilling over into the real work space or work I was trying to get done.

Sound familiar? Well, you can reduce the messy explosion if you just make sure that every single item that you own has a place. Keep the papers in a folder jacket, the cards in a wallet and the text and note books neatly stacked.

If you find it overwhelming to decide where things should go (like I almost always do), enlist those trusty organized people to help you come up with systems and home base for your stuff. Now as a graduate, my books remain neatly shelved.

Get rid of old stuff. You are sentimentally attached to everything you own down to the panties you bought ten years ago…goodness! One major challenge to staying neat is clutter. Clutter clots your whole existence; it makes you appear messy and gives a general impression of your lifestyle.  It’s really hard to stay neat when you have a box that doesn’t fit your clothes and absolutely no space for books and other materials.

To deal with clutter, you must be strong at heart…we understand your Ex gave you those worn out T-Shirts but darling, you broke up 5 years ago. It’s time you moved on to newer things ok? Same goes for people too! Once a month (yes—that often or more if necessary!) do a big purge. Donate the stuff that no longer fits you and burn up or move on from productivity killers. “But I might use it someday,” is not an excuse if you want to stay tidy.

Invest in hangers and storage Boxes. The chair at the centre of the room is not your wardrobe, the floor is not your laundry basket and the bed is for you to sleep on not your clothes. For as low as $2, you can get a laundry basket or storage boxes online. If you cannot afford to invest in storage boxes, here is a life hack that works really well.

For shoes, simply convert used delivery cartons to a storage box and keep them at a less prominent corner of your living space, preferably under your bed.For clothes, buy hangers and neatly hang the jackets, sweaters and shirts up.

Buy a sticky note pad. Every time you want to go shopping, you tear out a corner of your most precious journal…sad! Is that how you want to enter the future? With books that look like something the cat rejected and the mouse dragged away?

Hard as these steps may be, and as inexhaustible as they are, you and I both know you want a cleaner life…so gather your wits together, brace yourself because it’ll be one long ride of love, separation and betrayal.

Have other tips on how to stay organized? Help a soul; hit the comment box and faya on!

Author: Stephen Ijoho Lupel