We all want to be a little bit more organized.

What causes you stress on the outside – whether a long list of errands or a cluttered home, is what causes frustration and uneasiness on the inside.

Research shows that it takes 21 days to form a habit. By following some of these easy ideas for streamlining your life, you could be three weeks away from a brand new, organized you.

9 Habits of Organized People:

They have a place for everything

Put things where they’re used, not where there is space

When it comes to fighting clutter, the most important thing that organized people do is make room for items in the location they’re used, not where there is space. Stamps stay near the bills in the home office, stain remover stays in the laundry room.

The further your belongings are from where you use them means the more time and effort to retrieve them, and the less likelihood you’ll put them back once they’ve been used. Which is the last thing you want when you already have to pay a cable bill or remove a coffee stain.

They use tools

Mental notes are out, day planners are in.

Organized people schedule everything. They map out their days and weeks with calendars, whether online, in a planner, or both. They invest in the time to set a reminder or make a note, freeing up brain space to focus on what’s in front of you.

Going digital? Here’s a list of some great organizational apps.

They have less

The less there is, the less there is to organize.

It’s that simple. Organized homes aren’t filled with excess towels and sheets, or plates and dishes. They just have washing machines and dishwashers. If you can narrow down to just the necessities, you’re bound to be left only with the items you use regularly and love.

Having less of anything – whether wardrobe, board games, or pantry items, makes for easier choices.

They know when to say, “good enough”

They’re not perfectionists, and don’t try to be.

Organization is so often associated with detail-orientation, but the two are not mutually exclusive. Organized people are the ones who are OK with putting slightly wrinkly sheets on the bed. They don’t have a five-star meal on the table each night. They get things done as efficiently as possible, allowing themselves to cut some corners to get to the next task at hand.

They put things away

Right away.

Author Gretchen Rubin wrote about her experiences trying to clear clutter and become more organized. Her two biggest successes: the one minute rule, and ten minute tidy-up.

The one minute rule declares any task that can be done in under a minute should be done immediately, from filing a record to hanging up a coat or umbrella. Then, every night before bed, she suggests taking ten minutes to tidy up visual clutter in your home. Can’t commit to ten? Start with five.

Staying on top of things little by little is much easier and rewarding than having to tackle your mess once it’s hit the point of no return.

They reevaluate

Often.

Lifestyles (and design styles) change, and the organized person is constantly combing through their belongings and deciding what isn’t needed anymore. In a world where we’re almost always accumulating things, we also have to consciously curate our items.

They say no

And don’t think twice.

The invitation to a last minute happy hour, the extra task at work, the lamp from their mother-in-law. Organized people are OK with saying no to things that risk overloading them, whether physically or emotionally. Because the straw that broke the camel’s back shouldn’t be a lamp you didn’t even want in the first place.

They don’t hide their belongings

Out of sight isn’t out of mind.

The art of being organized isn’t the art of stowing away all of your items. In fact, keeping your belongings in plain sight or easily accessible makes them easier to find, use, and move on from. Keeping all of your possessions in boxes and drawers means more time and frustration spent digging.

Invest in some aesthetically-pleasing storage containers. For the kitchen, they’re great for storing cereals, nuts, and pastas (and making it easy to know when they’re running low). For elsewhere in the home, an assortment of sizes can contain kids toys, beauty accessories, even spare change.

They celebrate big and small achievements

A long list of big tasks is daunting to anyone.

Those who stay organized flourish by putting small, easy tasks on a to-do list. Mixing in simple tasks with difficult ones provides encouragement and shows progress as you make your way through the list.

And when tasks are overwhelmingly large, like doing your taxes or buying a new car, break it down into smaller, more digestible to-dos.

They aren’t easy side-tracked

Notifications off.

Often times, multitasking (or attempting to) leads to less productivity overall. This is especially relevant living in a world where we constantly have a buzzing cellphone in hand and a full email inbox.

Organized people don’t feel the need to answer every email as they receive it. Instead, they ignore or turn off notifications for such distractions, and finish the task they’re currently in the middle of.

A study by the University of British Columbia said the average person checks email 15 times a day. However, the study suggests three times is all we need to keep added stress away and stay on track with other tasks.

What secrets do you employ to stay organized? We’d love to hear from you on social media or in the comment section below!