2013 Resolution #3: Be Organized

My first resolution {or commitment, as the cool kids call it} for 2013 is to Be Positive. My second is to Be Loving & Social. My third? Be Organized.

Honestly, being organized is only a challenge because I get lazy. It’s far easier to keep papers in a pile on my desk than it is to file them. And if you ask Stan, he’ll tell you he almost always has to remove things from my bed or couch before he can actually sit down in my apartment. I could blame it on being a spastic creative, but really, I just get lazy. So this year, I’m vowing to live a less lazy, more organized life.

before&after hallway cleanup Poor & Pretty

Happily, I have made really great progress within the past week. See?

Poor & Pretty living room cleanup

To keep my apartment neat, I’m following three rules:

  1. Put away one thing every time you enter a room. {A tip my Uncle Dave taught me when I was little!}
  2. When doing major cleaning: Focus on one room at a time, and leave the most stressful room/area for last.
  3. Do an “evening tidy-up.” I learned this from Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project. Take 10 minutes every night to clean up small things before getting into bed.

before&after dishes cleanup Poor & Pretty

Part of being organized is keeping your brain organized, too. Between work, my blog, my business, my family, my friends, and my relationship, I have a lot going on! To avoid things slipping through the cracks, I take immediate action by using one or more of the following tools:

  1. A journal — for recording thoughts, creative ideas, or anything else that pops into your head. It’s also a good place to unload if you’re upset about something {your friends and significant others can only listen to you so much}, and to record happy things that happened to you during the day. {Be positive, remember?}
  2. iCal — dinner with friends? Date night? Hair appointment? Meeting with a client? Put it in your calendar right away. I love iCal because it syncs with my iPhone and work & home computers, plus reminds me when I have an event coming up. For PC users, try Outlook or Google Calendar.
  3. To-Do Lists — If pen & paper aren’t cutting it, try Do.com or TeuxDeux. Both of these are virtual to-do lists & iPhone apps. I use Do mainly, and I love it because you can set a due date and time, and it will send you an email, plus a notification will pop up on my phone to remind me that the task is due in 15 minutes. It also syncs with iCal or Google Calendar so you can automatically add tasks from specific lists to your calendar.
  4. Evernote. Ah, Evernote. I find things on the Internet, I clip them to you, and you save them for me in special notebooks that sync across my iPhone and computers. Evernote is incredibly helpful in organizing my brain. I have separate notebooks for blog post ideas, marketing strategies, research, craft projects, recipes, and on and on. If I see something interesting that I can’t read immediately, I clip it to Evernote in a “Read me!” notebook. It’s wonderful.

Poor & Pretty to-do list

How do you stay organized? I’d love to hear your tips in the comments section! :)



  1. Melanie Miranda   •  

    I enjoyedmeeting you so much at the Holiday Fair. I started organizing after Christmas. Not as a New Year’s resolution but it was time. I started small with my closet. I took everything out that wasn’t supposed to be in there and put it where it belonged and gave away tons of stuff. It took 2 days. Then I moved to the Dining Room (that we never use) and then the playroom/office. Last I am working on my desk. This is a huge project so I am trying to take slow steps. I love reading your blog and am excited to see morre!!

  2. Lisa   •  

    Hi Sam,

    I went to UConn and read about your website in the alumni magazine some time ago. I love your website and your tips! I am a big thrifter and love to find fashionable treasures on the cheap. I especially love your posts about your outfits – what they cost, where you bought the clothes, etc. And related to this organizing post, I loved reading the Happiness Project and found myself purging and organizing at home a lot after reading it. I think busy people can really benefit from decluttering and organizing as it brings a sense of peace to one’s busy life.

    I wish you much success and happiness in the future. Thank you for sharing your talents with us.

    Kind regards,

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