The Twenty-Something Series: Ways to get organised like a real adult this year

In this post, I share a few ways you can start getting organised and feel like a real, responsible, self-sufficient adult

It's a new year and I don't know about you, but some kind of change makes me feel motivated to get organised. Whether that's the change of moving house, starting a new job, or just something as straightforward as the New Year.

(Speaking of: Happy 2018, lovelies!)

So today, I want to share a few things that help me feel organised.

And just as a disclaimer now - this post contains affiliate links. (Not sponsored, though.)

I say this like I'm a Certified Real Adult TM or something, but the idea behind this post was just that I've found a few things that work for me, and help me feel like I've actually got my shit together.

Get a desk calendar

I love love love my desk calendar. I've got a wall one, too, but a) can't have it in my current flat as there are no hooks for it and b) won't see it if I'm working at my desk. There's something about it that helps me plan things out and think ahead, and generally makes me feel more organised. Plus, I love the Bright Side calendars - with their motivational and quirky quotes on each month! They also look totally adorable.

Buy a portable charger to keep in your handbag

If you're someone who's constantly on your phone, this is a lifesaver. And it takes away so many worries if you're on a long trip and your hopes of finding a plug point are dashed. You can get some pretty good ones for about ten quid (and Amazon has plenty of different options), but don't buy a two-pound one from a cheap shop. This is more of an investment. Just remember to keep it charged up before you take it out everywhere, huh?

Find a diary that works for you

I've had diaries and academic planners and a Filofax thing and all different kinds of diaries to try and organise my life. For 2017 I'd picked up this Busy B A5-sized diary. When I say this worked for me, I mean I used it pretty religiously every week of the year, and I've got the new one for 2018. 

Also - keeping track of things like a dentist appointment, birthdays and your MOT due date are kind of your responsibility now, right? A diary will really save your ass when it comes to those things. (Even if Mum's always there to fall back on and remind you.)

It's a week per page, but the week view is shown on the left and the right side is blank for notes, which is where I'll keep a to-do list for the week. At the end of each week, I can check if there's anything I didn't do and roll it over. There's also a great month-calendar view in the front where I can make notes of whatever travel I'm doing or appointments, to see at a glance. It's also small and light enough to keep in any handbag, but sturdy and big enough to actually write in.

Organise your files

Maybe you need to get a few ring binders, or maybe you just need to label the envelopes you put things in - but organise your files. All those bank statements, bills, receipts - all of it. You know there's somewhere you shove them all, or that they're scattered in piles waiting to be organised. Create a system and organise them. It'll be a huge help when you need to look for things like your car insurance documents, or a recent bank statement for proof of address.

Make a cleaning routine for yourself

Alright, I know this one sounds boring, but hear me out. When you're living away from home, especially on your own, you're responsible for keeping the place clean. Now I'm not the tidiest person - I can let my notebooks pile up on the table, or leave hoodies lying around on chairs, but I keep my flat clean.

Your routine might be as basic as making sure you clean every Sunday evening, or you might prefer to know exactly what order you'll clean things in (which is what I do). Include things like laundry in your cleaning routine. Regularly changing your bedsheets and washing your towels count in that, too. 

I know this might sound like a weird one to include but trust me: having a clean flat always makes me feel happier to be in the flat, and cleaning actually makes me feel more productive. If I'm having a day where I'm in a major slump because of my mental health - I clean. It doesn't require my brain to work hard and I can just get distracted by a familiar process: and by the time I'm done, I've done something productive and helpful to myself and ready to do something else.

Keep track of where your money's going

Now, I do this in Excel, and the way I set it up means I have to log onto my bank account and go through each transaction and make a copy of it into a spreadsheet and then make a note to myself of what it was. (Yes, 'Tesco fuel' is very descriptive, but if I've paid in a cheque for something, when it comes to doing my tax return I'll really need a reminder of what that was for.)

But at the very least: know what your main outgoings are. Know what your rent costs and when it's coming out. Tot up how much you're spending on all those direct debits - Netflix, Spotify, your Birchbox subscription... they all add up! 

Actually - if you use any apps or methods for keeping track of your finances, I'd love to hear any suggestions!

Speaking of money: start saving

Whether you put away cold, hard cash in one of those smashable money boxes, save all the fifty-pence coins you get, or just open a new bank account somewhere, make an effort to save some money. 

You might well have a goal to save towards - like a house deposit or an eventual trip to Disneyland Florida - but even if you don't, you can feel safe in the knowledge that you're creating a cushion for yourself. Maybe you'll need a new car. Maybe you'll want to take a holiday with some friends. Maybe you'll end up actually wanting to save for a deposit on a house. Maybe you'll just end up between jobs for a while. Whatever it is: start building up some savings. 

Buy stamps and keep some spare birthday cards

Trust me, you're going to need them at some point. 

And finally: start using an app - like Todoist

Another thing I've been using pretty religiously over the past year. I love this one because I can access it via the web, but I use the app on my Macbook and my phone. It syncs across my devices and is so easy to use. It's also (my favourite part) free. There is a premium version, but I find it does everything I could want it to as a free version. 

You can schedule tasks by time and day, put them into projects, and move them around really easily. I found the projects particularly helpful when I was moving, and needed to remember what to set up (like council tax or a new GP), and also have a project for my shopping list. 

Two of the winning features for me are the 'Today' view (where I literally only see the things I have to do that day) and the 'Next 7 days' view, where I can plan out my week a bit. Even if it's things as simple as 'Cook burritos' or 'Clean the flat'. It's just so easy to use, and you get that sense of accomplishment of ticking something off. And much as I love paper to-do lists, like the one I keep in my diary (which has a lot of overlap with my Todoist), it's much easier to have it on my phone so I can add whenever and wherever.

What tips do you have for getting organised? I'd love to hear them in the comments, or Tweet me @Reekles!

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