How to Stay Organized Every Single Day

The following is a guest post from regular contributor on how to stay organized, Kalyn at Creative Savings.

How to Stay Organized Every Single Day at

Maybe you already have this organizing thing down to a science.

Your closets are full of neatly stacked clothes, and your pantry sports all sorts of pretty chalkboard labels for baking supplies and snacks. But what about every day organization?Β  How do you go about your day with an organized schedule or to-do list?

While it’s hard enough to wake up with sufficient energy to tackle the day {at least for me!}, staying organized amidst hundreds of distractions seems almost impossible. Facebook notifications, email, picking up the house, or even a dirty bathroom floor captures my attention and before I know it, hours have passed by without me crossing anything off my carefully constructed list.

But daily structure is what helps us make the best use of our time, despite all those “important” demands. Even if you haven’t succeeded in the past, I encourage you to try again. Creating a flexible plan will not only help you stay on task, it will naturally aid you in the quest to become organized every single day!

How to Stay Organized Every Single Day

Start Prepping the Night Before

Any properly organized day starts with an evening routine. Whenever I prepare myself for tomorrow’s tasks, I feel much more refreshed the next morning, which in turn, helps me feel even more ready to dive into that day’s projects.

Do a quick pick-up throughout the house — My house is probably never spotless, but for the most part, it is picked up and clean. To keep it that way, I try to pick up a few items each evening before bed, wash any remaining dishes, and spray/clear off the counters.

Write out your to-do list for the next day — This habit has done wonders for productivity! Instead of waking up and wondering what I need to get done for the day, I write out my list the night before on a scrap piece of paper. I usually separate out “NEED to do” and “WANT to do”, and then list any appointments or special events happening that day.


Decide what you’re going to have for dinner — Prevent late-afternoon panic by figuring out a flexible menu plan for each day. I meal plan for a few weeks at a time, but it’s never set in stone so I can always move things around if needed. This is especially helpful if you need to thaw meat from the freezer, or do some prep work.

Need some dinner ideas? Check out these great Pinterest boards: Quick & Easy Recipes and Slow Cooker Recipes

Get enough sleep — When 9pm rolls around, I am SO not ready to wind down for the day, and would rather watch a TV show or play on the computer. But a good sleep pattern is seriously the only way you can tackle each day with enough energy and enthusiasm. When I’m consistent, it works!

Maximize Your Daily Activities

Even though it’s hard to predict a perfect day, {as there are almost always situations or problems that pop up and throw us off our schedule!} it’s still important to try. These are some of the ideas I use to stay on task.

Don’t look at your smartphone first thing — One of my personal rules is to not look at my smartphone until breakfast. This means I’m working out and doing my devotional quiet time first. Now I wake up feeling much more refreshed, because I’m not letting email dictate how I start my day!


Create a morning routine — I am not necessarily a morning person, {it takes me forever to wake up and shake off the fuzzies in my head!}, but I have forced myself to establish a morning routine to help me be more productive. Doing the same thing every day not only tells my body what to expect, it also helps me accomplish so much more throughout the day.

Tackle your to-do list with frequent “built-in” breaks — Because I get bored and distracted very easily, it’s hard for me to sit down and work on a project for more than 45 minutes to an hour at a time. So I try to break up each task into manageable chunks, and finish one section, take a quick breather, then continue on with the rest of the project. This not only keeps me focused, it also helps me feel more organized and accomplished!

Waking up with a goal of crossing everything off your to-do list isn’t something that will always happen {in fact, it never happens for me!}, but the key is to press on and make the most of the hours we’ve been given.

Strive for progress, not perfection, and let your love for organizing flow into a daily routine that is functional for your family!

How do you keep your day organized?

How to Stay Organized Every Single Day


Kalyn Brooke is a full-time writer and blogger at, where she gives a fresh perspective on frugal living, and the kick-in-the-pants you need to create a budget from scratch. She lives in beautiful Southwest Florida with her news-photographer husband and the most adorable bunny you’ve ever seen. She loves making to-do lists, reading good books, eating chocolate peanut butter ice cream, and pursuing big dreams….all carefully planned out, of course.

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Filed under: Guest Bloggers, Lists, Organizing, Organizing Basics


43 Responses to How to Stay Organized Every Single Day

  1. 1
    Whitney @ Come Home For Comfort says

    Love this! Keeping a to-do list helps me feel more productve – I love to look back over everything I’ve accomplished at the end of a day.

  2. 2
    Nicole Walters says

    Can you suggest a good calender/organizing app?

  3. 3
    elizabeth says

    Is that Google Calendar in your pic?

  4. 4
    Barbara says

    This is excellent! I could relate to every point you made. Thank you for the reminder to make my list at night. That’s an especially good one for me. I thought I was the only one who didn’t “want” to go to sleep at 9 pm but would rather stay up and watch a movie, no matter how tired I ended up the next day.

  5. 5
    Sarah says

    Hi. πŸ™‚ I’d also like to know what calendar app you use… the one in the picture next to your “Need to do/Want to do” list. πŸ™‚

    I’ve had ups and downs when it comes to being organized and having a good routine for my little family of 4. My husband runs his own business, so I’m pretty much 100% in charge of everything household-related since he is so busy and I stay home with our daughters.

    I’ve struggled for years with having an organized home, but I’ve come to realize that our happiest days are the ones when I have spent time getting and keeping our lives a little more organized. I also am grateful to have the opportunity to be able to teach our girls how to stay organized from the very beginning so that they won’t have as much of a struggle as I have had in managing a home.

    Thanks for all of the great suggestions and the encouragement! πŸ™‚

    • 5.2
      CJ says

      My husband worked full-time and went to school when our kids were little so I always say I was basically a single parent for those five years. I ran a daycare at home and I color coded my kids. My son’s color was green and my daughter’s was purple from their toothbrush and sippy cup to keep things straight during daycare hours to my huge calendar on the wall where I put everything pertaining to son in green and for daughter in purple. All birthdays in blue ..all Dr appts in red. As they got more activities girl scouts was pink and baseball was Brown. You can see at a quick glance who has events

  6. 6
    Jessi Fearon (@TheBudgetMama) says

    I love this! I love how you mention to not look at your phone first thing in the morning. Whenever I do, my whole day goes down the drain quickly but when I’m diligent about just enjoying my cup of coffee in peace and quiet (I mean what mom doesn’t enjoy that, right?!) and reading my Bible, I’m a much happier, less stressed, and way more organized. Great post!

  7. 7
    Layla says

    A to do list the night before that’s a great idea. I usually do one whilst I’m in work.

  8. 8
    Sarah @ An Inviting Home says


    I’m so glad you mentioned not checking your phone until after breakfast. My days go so much better when I do that and I’m able to do my quiet time and grab coffee before the kids get up but other times I’ll check my phone first and then my mind starts whirling on the things that I need to do that day. I’m going to start doing this! Thanks! πŸ™‚


    • 8.1
      Kalyn Brooke | Creative Savings says

      I know exactly what you mean about your mind going on all the things you have to do that day! I have to remind myself that the emails will still be there, even if I wait an hour to check them. πŸ™‚

  9. 9
    Karissa says

    Great tips! My goal for the new school year is to really stay organized all year, these will help.

  10. 10
    Jessica says

    These are some great tips! I do a lot of them but I am definitely going to work on not checking my phone first thing in the morning. It really is a bad habit. Thanks for this!

  11. 11
    Hannah says

    Thanks, the tips are really helpful!

  12. 12
    Melanie says

    This is great! Do you use any other apps other than Icalendar -such as, for organizing cleaning?


  13. 13
    Dana Howell says

    Great article! I am currently using the default-provided calendar on my iPad 2; however, I find that when I go back a month or so to look for a old appointment, etc., it’s gone. Does the calendar you use retain information?

    • 13.1
      Kalyn Brooke | Creative Savings says

      It does, but you have to tell it to…..this might even be the reason why your default calendar isn’t pulling up info either.

      Try going to the Settings –> Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and under the calendar section there is a Sync option. That option might be only set to keep 1 month at a time, but if you click on it, you can change it to keep All Events.

      Hope that helps! πŸ™‚

  14. 14
    Heather R says

    I can appreciate most of these tips, however as a mother of a 15y.o., 13y.o. and 5 month who has to work full time outside of the home, a 9pm bedtime for myself is completely unrealistic.

    • 14.1
      Kalyn Brooke | Creative Savings says

      Heather, I can only imagine that it WOULD be hard to go to bed that early, especially with kids in that age range! Honestly, 9pm is my Ideal time-frame, but it doesn’t always happen that way. My hope is that by shooting for an earlier bedtime, it will at least help me settle down by 9pm, rather than start a new project. And I am also weird and need a LOT of sleep to function. I truly admire those who only need 6 hours a night and only wish I could be like them!

      Anyway, I hope you took what you can from this post. Finding a schedule that works for your family, while still getting enough rest to tackle each day, will certainly look different for everyone! πŸ™‚

  15. 15
    Luisanny says

    Hello Kalyn, I understand all the steps I keep a beautiful written list of to dos but I have a problem…I never follow up!
    I do it for 2 days or so an then I don’t continue and it’s back to step 1! How can I do this and keep focus instead of procrastinating to last minute?! Thanks lulu

  16. 16
    Anna says

    Your Need to do and want to do lists are great. I actually just implemented it after I read your post. I work long hours and need to schedule quiet time. I am reading Unglued also.

  17. 17
    Vanessa says

    Thanks for the advice. I seriously need to develop the habit of not grabbing my phone 1st thing in the morning. very distracting and before I realise it 45 minutes of my day is gone

    • 17.1
      Christina says

      I just started focusing on not touching my phone in the mornings, besides weather or missed calls specifically until I get to work. With traffic in my city and a new job, I can’t risk being late. It helps me to leave with plenty of time to spare if i know that I can have some down time to myself while I’m waiting to go inside.

  18. 18
    XY says

    Thank you! I feel less guilty for not being able to cross off everything on my to-do, still struggling with schedule organization!!

  19. 19
    Alana - eSpectacularKids says

    great post! I try to limit checking my email to only do it twice a day, before lunch and in the evening. This way I can stay on track but it just means I have to be more organised in prioritising my inbox!

  20. 20
    Amy Sizemore says

    I love the morning routine idea. Just don’t look at that cell phone until after I get the basics done in the morning! I use the magnetic wet erase schedule and chore chart from It is awesome to help you stay on track. And the kids love being able to know what to do without even asking me. I schedule regular breaks like you do (about every hour though). Thanks for this post!

  21. 21
    Connie says

    Hi Kalyn, I think I have finally found someone who thinks like me. So many of the things you do, I do. As far as my to do list, it’s not so important what I don’t get done, as much as it is what I do get done. The things that don’t get marked off are added to the next day. It’s all about routine, and daily habits! I am always striving to improve. I love your ideas about the morning routine, and will use some of your ideas! I would love to put my daily exercise into that morning schedule. Thank you so much!!

  22. 22
    Kim says

    The best thing I enjoyed about what you stated for your daily organization routine was the fact that you did your daily Devotional FIRST! That was the key for me. You gave Him the best part of your day. Amen.

  23. 23
    Kate says

    Thank you. This is doable. Simple steps to create order in this area of my world. ????

  24. 24
    Susan says

    Cozi is a great calendar and app. Let’s you color code each person and then can filter for that person/color (tip: code any med or dental appts red so easy to search if need to). Can also make lists and reminders.

  25. 25
    Rebecca @ LiveWellThriveMore says

    These are great ideas! I just posted recently on how I organize my day/week/month as well! πŸ™‚ Being organized always makes it easier to be productive and I feel like I see results instantly πŸ™‚

  26. 26
    Kim Hawkins says

    I just LOVE your site, your ideas, and that you are reading Unglued. I look forward to regularly enjoying your website!

    • 27.1
      Laura Wittmann says

      Hi Sarah, I’m sorry I don’t know what app Kalyn is using in that picture. You can try contacting her through her site at Creative Savings. Thanks!

  27. 28
    dee says

    Great article i love the part about striving for progress not perfection.Its such an easy thing to get down on your self for not crossing everything off !

  28. 29
    Jaime says

    Great tips! As a wife/mother that works full time outside the home I’m always striving to tweak my schedule and approach to home management. Something I have done for years now is keep a running Word document that functions as my daily to do list. I build it out into the future in large chunks, listing each date with bulleted items underneath listing cleaning tasks, meals planned for that day (once I plan them), appointments, crafting goals, and any other misc. thing I can think of. I refer to it often every day, and print or jot down that evening’s tasks out before I leave work for the day. This has helped me avoid forgetting things, plan ahead to make my life easier by juggling tasks around, etc. I plan as far ahead as possible for the holidays and other events that take extra effort, plugging it all into my daily tasks list. I freezer cook heavily on the weekends so that meal prep during the week is minimal. I also participate in an annual cleaning program (via online forum with a group of people doing the same) where I work my way thought the house room by room addressing deep cleaning tasks on the approach to the holidays. I never get it all done, but breaking it down and chipping away at the list helps me get farther than I would otherwise! I will say I don’t sit down a lot! Gardening and canning season can get pretty hectic – and some times I just end up giving some of the produce away but it is what it is and I feel like I learn more every year.

  29. 30
    Marcia says

    Thanks for the tips! This morning I woke up trying to get into a different habit/mindset of being more purposeful during the day, so I did not checked my smartphone first thing in the morning (actually, I haven’t yet), read something meaningful for my soul, and started a to-do list with check-boxes. And then, went into Pinterest to check some recipes I have saved to figure out my menu next week, and first thing I see is this blog about staying organized, and it totally made sense to me, I appreciate everything you had to say to keep us motivated and on task!
    Have a great day!!

  30. 31
    lina says

    it is one of the best organizing tips! well, at least, for me!!!
    thank you

  31. 32
    Jennifer says

    One trick I find helpful is I have built in timers set on my phones clock app. I set my 30 min timer and I go hard core on a focused task until the timer goes off. Then I have a 5 min timer that I set next to gather all the supplies I might need for the next task and take a drink of water. Once that goes off I am on to my next 30 min focused task.
    I do this for three hours in am and then break for an hour to have lunch, check emails etc. Once again timer is set for my 60 min “break”.
    I do two more hours of focused task work after lunch and then break to prep dinner before kids come home and after school activities.
    Eventually you don’t need the timer anymore. You become so used to the timing and routine of it all, you can tell when it has been 30 mins, 5 mins or 60 mins.
    Was a big game changer in helping me become more productive during the day along with a well established night routine and morning routine as suggested here.
    Important thing to remember is that things come up and it is impossible to follow a perfect routine every single day. Sick kids, family emergency, meetings with teachers etc. Life is an imperfect balance of finding what works best for you.


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