Out of Your Routine? Tips to Stay Organized During Times of Change

Out of Your Routine? Tips to Stay Organized During Times of Change

If you're dealing with a lot of changes and uncertainty in your life, it's easy for tidying up and organizing to fall by the wayside. The impact of clutter can quickly lead to a constant feeling of frustration and a decrease in overall life satisfaction. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by slipping out of your routine, you can take control with some simple steps to get organized again. Here's how to get started.

Empower Yourself with the Essentials

essentials-bundle-paper-plan-and-coIf you're struggling to stay organized, arm yourself with the essentials. Try our Office Essentials Box with 11 fan favorites that include:

  • Magnetic Page Marker, White
  • Flag page markers
  • Pencil Sharpener and Eraser Set
  • Post-It Notes
  • Priorities, Needs, and Wants
  • Task Pad
  • Mousepad
  • Do First Pad
  • 3-pack pens
  • Airplane Paperclips
  • Write On Pad

It's the perfect bundle for an office or home. Gathering a combination of bins, boxes, and folders is also useful to quickly sort and store. Just make sure you deal with the stuff you're storing. The goal isn't to have bins of clothes you don't know what to do with, but a systematized approach to organizing where everything has a home and a purpose.

Dig Into Your Storage Spaces

It can be challenging to tackle an organization project when your storage spaces are overflowing. Ultimately, you need those spaces cleaned out so you have a place to put everything in your home or workplace. Before you choose which area to organize first, focus on getting your storage spaces, bins, and containers in order. If you rent a storage space, you may also find you can get rid of it altogether and make more room in your budget.

Set Your Priorities

You won't make much progress toward your organizational goals if you stretch your focus too thin. Don't pivot from your attic to your home office and the trunk of your car in one session. Set your priorities on what you need to get done first, and keep revisiting that project until it's done.

There are some exceptions here. If you're working on a particularly complex organizational project, you can also weave in smaller priorities every other week or month. Otherwise, you could spend months on just one area while neglecting the rest.

Start Small

There's no need to tackle your entire home, office, car, and every other space you occupy when trying to get organized. Instead, start small and spend 20 minutes a day hyper-focused on organizing one area. Set a timer and stick to that one area, like your desk or a corner of your garage. You can resist the area during your next organizing session until that task is done.

Sort By Category

When you're looking at a particularly messy room or closet, it's hard to know how to make a dent. Simplify the process by sorting everything by category. Put donations in one pile, clothes to keep in another, and narrow it down even further by sorting seasonal clothes into a pile. Paperwork can also be sorted by whether or not you need to toss it, digitize it, file it, or shred it.

Grab Some Printables

organization-printables-paper-plan-and-coYou don't need to leave home to gather your organizational supplies. Instead, you can use printables for different areas of your home, including kitchen and cleaning checklists. We offer a range of downloadable printables, including:

1) Recipe Cards

2) Kitchen Conversions

3) Household Cleaning

4) Monthly Review

5) Seasonal Cleaning Checklists

Once downloaded, you can print them again and again to keep your spaces organized and stay on top of your progress.

Set an Organizing Schedule

Organization is quickly undone when you don't have a solid schedule in place. Commit to tidying up and organizing for about 20 minutes every few days, with a designated time to deal with larger projects. Once you have a handle on everything on your organizational to-do list, you can focus on maintenance. Five or ten minutes a day can help maintain your organizational efforts and keep them from spiraling out of control again.

Next Steps

Ready to make organization a regular part of your life? Pick and choose your favorite ideas from our list, and grab some organizational tools to get started. Start browsing our entire selection of organizational tools here.

Sign that says Do first what you don't want to do the most to convey how to declutter and stay organized

7 Ways Clutter Makes You Quit

You probably already know that clutter makes you feel anxious and overwhelmed, but it can also derail your productivity by trigger overwhelming feelings that lead to quitting. Here's a look at how clutter makes you give up and easy ways to get on top of the mess to push towards progress.

1) Distracts You From Your Goals

When you're living or working around clutter and chaos, it's challenging to focus on your goals. Instead of working on a deadline or an important project, you're left looking for paperwork and other items while trying to get on top of the mess.

Using a daily planner or other organizational tools can help you stay focused and on track, but it only goes so far. You still need to tidy up your workspace to keep focused, followed by your household.

Take it one room and one section at a time to avoid feelings of overwhelm and see continuous progress happen in front of you. Decluttering haphazardly or with no strategy in mind could make you feel worse by making you think that you didn't accomplish much of anything. 

2) Triggers Anxiety

Clutter creates a vicious cycle of anxiety and mess. When you see chaos all around you, it tells your brain that the work isn't finished, making it difficult to relax or unwind. The results can lead to more anxiety, which in turn makes it overwhelming to get on top of the clutter in a never-ending cycle.

It's also incredibly challenging to tidy up while you're anxious. You end up overwhelmed by your messy desk or bedroom that feels impossible to organize.

3) Drains Cognitive Resources

Research shows that our brains need order, and constant reminders of disorganization can quickly drain available cognitive resources. All of those visual distractions ultimately reduce your working memory. The good news is that clearing out the clutter from your home and work place increases the ability to focus and process information while increasing productivity. 

4) Ramps Up the Fight or Flight Response

The fight-or-flight, or stress, response, provides a sudden burst of energy to respond to perceived or real dangers. Unfortunately, clutter can also increase that response, negatively impact your health, and decrease immunity and even the ability to digest food.

Instead of enjoying much-needed rest and relaxation, your body is left trying to make sense of the clutter, which can keep you in a persistent state of stress. A simple task pad and organizational accessories can help kickstart your clutter control and reduce your anxiety once and for all.

5) Makes You Physically Tired

Sleep problems plague up to one-third of adults and are quickly complicated by issues including anxiety and clutter. A lack of sleep inhibits decision-making, which also makes it hard to declutter. Yet it's also hard to fall asleep and stay asleep when you're continuously preoccupied and producing high levels of stress hormones.

6) Leads to Weight Gain

If you're focused on making healthy lifestyle choices or dropping a few pounds, clutter can quickly lead to weight gain. Research shows that people living in a cluttered environment are 77% more likely to be overweight or obese. 

Being too stressed to make healthy choices just scratches the surface of what clutter does to your weight loss goals. When your body produces too much stress hormone called cortisol, you can quickly develop stubborn belly fat that's challenging to conquer without better food choices and a more relaxed, decluttered environment. 

7) Complicates Success

You may be talented, skilled, and motivated, but too much clutter quickly complicates success. From lack of sleep to feeling tired and loss of productivity, you cannot achieve the same level of success when you're living in a state of clutter. You end up working harder to work through the chaos instead of productively. When your office and home are orderly, we can actually work less when organized systems and processes are in place. 

Empower yourself to succeed with the right tools and accessories from the start. A daily planner may keep you organized at work, but a Home Keeper stays on top of everything you need to keep your home running smoothly. With a calendar, repair log, notable purchases, budget sheets, medical, and more you can declutter scores of paperwork and notes and record it all in your new home keeper instead.

Next Steps

Ready to make organization a regular part of your life? Pick and choose your favorite ideas from our list and grab some organizational tools to get started. Start browsing our entire selection of organizational tools here

view of organizational tools on a desk - help kids stay organized

How to Teach Organization to Kids

If your kids struggle with organization, it could just be time management issues or their current stage of development. Other culprits could point to lack of sleep or issues with ADHD or focus. Your child may also exhibit different types of organizational challenges than you're expecting, like forgetting their homework or not being able to gather up materials for a project without several attempts.

The good news is you can help kids with organizational challenges and turn it into an empowering experience for the whole family. Here's how to get started.

Make It Fun

It's not just common sense, studies show that having fun while learning improves kids' ability to retain the information and helps create more positive attitudes. Of course, every child's idea of having fun is different and requires some brainstorming to accommodate different interests:

  • Turn organizing a room into a game with incentives. 
  • Invest in colorful pens, planners, and organizational tools that kids love using.
  • Let kids color and fill in printables to make organizing more fun.

You can also let kids take an active part in their organizational efforts by asking what would make it fun for them. Your kids may not have an answer right away, but as time goes on, let them choose how to make the most of their own organizational routine.

Break Bigger Tasks Into Chunks

Sometimes tasks feel too big to overcome. Simply telling a kid to clean their room may feel daunting or not make sense. Your idea of cleaning may be a totally orderly an immaculate room while a child may think it means the ability to walk to their bed and no dirty clothes on the floor.

Chart out what you want your kids to do and break it out into manageable tasks. You may want to list out picking up clothes and taking them to the laundry room, putting away clean laundry, picking up books, and placing smaller toys into bins. Each task should have its own step-by-step plan to ensure clarity and prevent overwhelm.

Model Good Behavior

Kids learn and imitate adult behavior, both the good and bad. If you want your kids to practice good organization, make sure you're doing it yourself. Get busy organizing messy cupboards, drawers, paperwork, and desktops when your children are hanging around. Although lecturing them on how well you organize probably won't do much good, you can periodically mention how organizing helps in every day life. 

Tell them how keeping their rooms clean helps them at school by building skills to keep their supplies and backpacks organize. Point out how much easier it is to find things and more relaxed everyone feels when they can access their things and stay on top of the clutter. The more kids connect the dots with why organization is important and watching you do it, the easier it becomes.

Teach Calendar Skills

Despite how straightforward calendars may seem, using them to your advantage takes some nuancing. Part of calendar management is also learning executive functioning, which includes learning to plan, focusing, paying  attention, remembering different steps, and multi-tasking. Show kids how to use a calendar to keep track of important events, including play dates and important events at school. For more detailed days, show them how to combine the power of calendars and a planner or to-do lists to breakdown bigger tasks.

Use To-Do Lists

Breaking down an entire day's worth of tasks isn't usually appropriate for a calendar. It's harder to see everything and work through different aspects of the day. A to-do list organizes the entire day from start to finish, or a larger task, like cleaning out the garage. Here are a few tools to help you get started:

  • Task Pad - A simple pad for your child to keep track of their ongoing tasks.
  • Keep It Organized - Perfect for the is an ideal home and office companion to provide a date, get it done, checklist, email list, and a make a note section.
  • Priorities, Needs, and Wants - Pair this pad with a daily planner to stay on task and help your kids categorize their priorities, needs, and wants for the week.

Remember to throw in some pens and colorful tabs to let your kids accessorize their organizational efforts.

Establish Routines

Kids thrive on routine and knowing what's expected of them. Beyond creating mealtime and bedtime routines, you can also turn organization into a routine. Set aside five or ten minutes a day to work through the day's tasks and prioritize what needs to be done. Or talk about tasks for the next day and chart out everything in advance. However you approach it, keep it consistent and give your kids ownership over their organizational routine.

Create a Clutter-Free Zone

Set aside an area of your home that is clutter-free. Whether it's the den or a corner of the kitchen, show your kids how to maintain the clutter free area and set up a small work space. Decide together how it will be used, whether as a place to work on their to-do list or read a book. The area will give kids a sense of order, no matter how chaotic the rest of the day feels. 

Next Steps

Ready to make organization a regular part of your kids life? Pick and choose your favorite ideas from our list and grab some of our organizational tools to get started. Start browsing our entire selection of organizational tools here. 

daily planner - paper plan and co

5 Quotes on Organization to Inspire Your Day

You're not alone if you're struggling to stay on top of your organization and dig out from the clutter. Studies show that 27% of people said they feel disorganized at work; 91% said they would be more effective and efficient if their workspace were better organized, and 28% said they would save over an hour per day with more organization. The good news is it's doable to find the motivation to get organized with tools and resources to help you get there.

Get started with some of these quotes on organization to inspire your day.

1) "For every minute spent organizing an hour is earned." (Anonymous)

daily planner pages - paper plan co

Whether you're a business owner, teacher, or just struggling to organize, you already know time is among our most valuable assets. We can't get more time in our day, so it's essential to create systems and processes to stay on top of clutter, organize our day, and stay on track. Start with one of our daily planners with hourly time slots, must-dos for the day, track your fitness goals, meal planning, a notes section, and more. You can block out time for organizing specific rooms, your work clutter, or just time to take a walk.

2. "The best way to get something done is to begin." (Unknown)

Figuring out how to begin something can lead to analysis paralysis and indecision. We plan our day only to get stuck taking those first steps.

If you're feeling overwhelmed, simplify your tasks and start with easy tasks on your to-do list, like washing the dishes or throwing out your junk mail. As you work through straightforward, actionable steps, you'll gain the momentum to address more complex tasks. Instead of an unruly to-do list, start with our Do First notepad for quick wins.

3. "Clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions." (Barbara Hemphill)

Piles of papers, clothes, and projects are often signs of postponing something to get some relief. You may want more time at the end of the day or feel guilty about a task left undone.

Finally face your clutter by addressing one area of your room, like a desk drawer or kitchen cabinet. Work through your task at hand diligently for 20 minutes and set a timer to stay hyper-focused. When you're done, you can scratch it off your list and move on to the next task or save it for tomorrow for a simple, stress-free way to de-clutter.

Need a hand to keep it all organized? Grab our Get It Done Pad to help you stay on track.

4. "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." (Leonardo da Vinci)

house organization binder - paper plan and co

Your life may feel complicated, but tidying and organizing don't have to be. Reach for simple tools, resources, and accessories that help keep your most important information in one place.

Our Home Keeper has everything you need to keep your home safe and organized, including a calendar, emergency info, home and repairs log, family and friend info, budget sheets, medical info, notes, and more. Add our Royalty Pens to complete your home organization go-to resource.

5. "Being organized isn't about getting rid of everything you own or trying to become a different person: it's about living the way you want to live, but better." (Andrew Mellen)

We couldn't have said it better ourselves. Without the distractions and pressure of dealing with an unorganized, cluttered space, you can focus on being your best self with the help of some consistent organization. Get inspired with the help of our Everyone Bundle with our Priorities, Needs, and Wants pad, Task Pad, Page Flags, and Airplane Duo notepad set.

Next Steps

Ready to make organization a regular part of your life? Pick and choose your favorite ideas from our list and grab some of our organizational tools to get started. Start browsing our entire selection of organizational tools here. 

The Power of Saying Thank You (and How to Do It)

The Power of Saying Thank You (and How to Do It)

If you're feeling preoccupied and too busy to reflect in your daily life, you might be missing out on a powerful opportunity to say thank you. Saying thanks and expressing gratitude offer untold benefits, including improving our relationships and physical health. You'll also learn to form a deeper connection with yourself and recognizing the good things going on around you in life. Learn how powerful a thank you is and how to do it right.

The Benefits of Saying Thank You

Saying thank you instantly shows someone you appreciate and acknowledge their talents and presence in your life. You could even look at thank you as a way to celebrate someone's contribution, whether they rang-up your groceries at the store or dropped everything to help you during a family emergency.

Saying a heartfelt thanks also makes us happier and healthier and maintains quality relationships in our life. As a result, we end up with endorphins that energize us instead of leaving us feeling depleted.

Write Someone a Thank You Note

If you have trouble verbalizing your thank you or just live far away, you can send a note instead. It's an unexpected treat in a mailbox full of junk mail and bills. It also tells someone you're thinking of them and took the time to sit down and write out a thank you to create a meaningful moment.

Stay organized with your thank you habit by jotting down everyone you want to express your gratitude. Our innovative yet simple Thank You Keeper Notepad reminds you who to thank and for what reason. When you make your call or send out a thank you note, you can check it off the list.

Say Thank You At Home

Sometimes the people who need to hear thank you the most are in your own home. It's easy to overlook the efforts of our family and loved ones when domestic chores and responsibilities distract us from the big picture.

Taking a moment to give a verbal, heartfelt thank you is one way to express your gratitude. But you can also make a special dinner, plan an at-home movie night, or take over a dreaded chore to show them how much you care and value them.

Express Thanks at Work

Research shows that workers want a written thank you delivered one-on-one for a job well done, but few people ever get one. Yet a simple thank you note is a missed opportunity to make employees feel valued for their time and like their work matters.

Whether you're a supervisor or an employee, being thanked at work can dramatically impact the environment around you. Give thanks to everyone who deserves the sentiment, whether they took out the trash or completed an assignment on time and with attention to detail. 

Give Yourself Thanks

It's beneficial to your mental well-being and health to thank those around you, but you can also give thanks to yourself. Take a walk or a weekend getaway to reward yourself for your accomplishment or getting through a hard day. Simple moments of reflection and self-appreciation are essential for your self-esteem and help reinforce the connection you have with yourself.

If you have a bad habit of never making time for yourself, add your thankfulness practice to your daily planner. A few minutes once a day is all it takes to tell yourself and those around you, thank you.

Practice Radical Gratitude

Radical gratitude is more than a thank you for the good moments that come your way; it also embraces the negative aspects of life and reframing them as opportunities and learning moments. For example, you can thank those challenges at work for helping take your skills to new levels. Of course, the goal isn't to stay in denial about the bad situations in your life but look at how they can improve your life or acknowledge how capable you are of overcoming them.

Next Steps

Ready to make the most out of saying "thank you" to everyone in your life? Stay organized with your new habit by browsing our notepads, pens, and other tools here.

Into the wild planner - stay motivated to use your planner -  the paper and co

How to Stay Motivated to Use Your Planner

If you can't seem to stick to a daily planner, the issue may be how you approach it as a productive habit. Does it lay left undone as a chore? Or is it an integral part of your life? 

The other problem may point to the type of planner you're using. Digital planners aren't usually as effective and become one more tab on your device to open and manage. Research also shows that paper offers fewer distractions, leads to greater productivity than the equivalent digital application, and writing by hand is associated with greater attention to detail. 

The good news is there's a planner for just about every purpose, but the goal is to make it a habit you can stick to. Here's how to get started.

Attach It to an Existing Habit

Make daily planning a habit by attaching it to something you already do every day. For example, you can keep your planner next to your coffee pot, so you review it every morning immediately after making coffee. Or place your planner on your keyboard to spend a few minutes jotting down your day before checking your email.

The goal is to anchor to an existing habit you won't avoid. You'll find you quickly associate the two together and reach for your planner like it's second nature.

Add Crucial Dates

You don't need to fill out every page in your daily planner to make it work for you. Start planning by adding the most crucial dates a month or two out. You'll feel the gravity of those dates and remember they're all neatly recorded in your planner.  

Use the Added Features

Daily planners are more than just a place to record dates. They also come with fun and innovative features, including meal planning and goal setting. Some planners also come with small stickers and accents to help call out important information. It could make you more productive, but it's also just fun to make your planner a little more dazzling. 

Reward Yourself

Black Cameo daily planner - stay motivated to use planner - the paper and plan coThere's no reason you can't reward yourself for using your planner, just like you would after completing any goal. Set aside time once a week to sort out your planner and indulge in a fancy coffee or special lunch immediately afterward. Before long, you'll associate those good feelings with your planner and find it a delight to work on. 

Express Gratitude

Reframe your daily planner as a chore t keep up with and reframe it as a tool for your success and well-being. When you reach for your partner, think about how lucky you are to have it and how much it's improved your life; when you remind yourself why you're using it in the first place and how it's improved your life, you're more likely to use it on a regular basis. 

Next Steps

Ready to make using your planner a productive habit? Pick and choose your favorite ideas from our list and grab some of our organizational tools to get started. Start browsing our daily planners here


What Is Executive Function (and Why You Need It In Your Life)

What Is Executive Function (and Why You Need It In Your Life)

Are you struggling to stay organized and motivated throughout your day? You may need help strengthening your executive function skills. From goal setting to following through on asks, here's how executive function impacts your day and ideas to refine your skills. 

What Is Executive Function? 

Executive function is a set of mental skills you use to manage your daily routine, goals, and challenges. They include your working memory, how flexible you can think through issues and projects, and self-control. Everyone uses executive function in everyday life, but when you don't know how to make the most of those skills, you may feel challenged or frustrated. 

How Does Executive Function Impact Your Life?

Think of your executive functioning ability as the management system of your brain that helps you set goals, plan, and get things done. When you struggle with executive function, it's challenging to focus, get a handle on your emotions, self-direct your learning or work projects, and follow through with directions. 

Researchers talk a lot about executive function in children, but it's just as important in adults. It ultimately helps develop teamwork, leadership abilities, critical thinking, adaptability, and overall decision-making in life and work.

Here are a few ways executive function impacts your daily life:

  • Studying or reading and applying what's learned
  • Working with a group
  • Cleaning your office
  • Finishing a thesis project
  • Cooking
  • Packing and moving
  • Creating lesson plans
  • Traveling to a new destination

How Do You Learn Executive Function?

Some people may have stronger executive function skills than others, but you're not born with the ability. As we age, we learn how to socialize, manage our time, and take directions in school and work. 

Although we aren't necessarily born with executive functioning ability, there are ways to learn it. Creating a rock-solid routine with predictability and scheduled time for your projects is one place to start. Relying on reminders, using a calendar, and approaching your organization in simple, manageable tasks all help strengthen your skills in executive function.

What Tools Can I Use For Executive Function

Strengthening your executive function requires tools and processes for staying organized and moving through your day. Here are some of our favorite tools to help.

Daily Planner

Our daily planners are ideal for keeping track of your day, logging your top must-dos, planning out your meals, and reviewing your entire month in one place. We also include an interior front pocket to manage receipts and other papers you need to save for later.

Weekly Mousepad Calendar

A simple calendar is surprisingly powerful for tracking your day and seeing what's ahead. We created a weekly mousepad calendar, so all your most important information is accessible by the week. With high-quality paper, the ink won't bleed through and derail your organization efforts.

Task Pad 

A daily to-do list is essential to help manage challenges and tackle those large to small details. Grab our straightforward but effective Task Pad to keep track of your project or to-do for the day.

Signature "&" Sticky Notes 2-Pack

Sometimes you need a quick go-to to jot down reminders or organize your paperwork while on a call. These Signature "&" Sticky Notes stick to your desk, monitor, door, or anywhere you need a quick reminder to help complete a task at hand.

Get It Done Pad

Check all the boxes off your list with this convenient Get It Done Pad. It features 80# heavy card stock paper that's thick and ideal for tearing off as you go. 

Next Steps

Ready to get on top of decluttering and organization? Pick and choose your favorite ideas from our list and grab some of our organizational tools to get started. Choose from our planners, accessories, pens, and more from our favorite organization tools here.

getting organized -  daily planner - the paper & plan co

What Struggling to Stay Organized Means (and What to Do About It)

Struggling to stay organized isn't a matter of self-discipline. There can actually be root causes of issues like distraction and overwhelm. It's also a common problem. Surveys shows that 54% of Americans are overwhelmed by the amount of clutter they have, and 78% feel unsure or too complicated to deal with, so they let it build up over time. 

Ready to get organized? Get to the root of your disorganization and find tips and strategies to deal with the overwhelm.

You're Distracted

Distractions are a normal part of life, especially when working on something that doesn't interest you. Not everyone loves diving into organizational tools and processes, so it's normal for your mind to wander when cleaning up toys or your living room. As a result, distraction often leads to procrastination and lack of focus. 

Tip: Clarify your day before you tame the chaos to help breaking free from distraction. Use your daily planner to schedule a time to organize and set a timer when you get started. Make it your goal to beat a 30-minute timer and get as much done as possible on one area that needs organizing.

You're a Perfectionist

If you have unrealistic expectations for how things should go in your life, including how your home or workspace should look, you may suffer from perfectionism. Several factors feed into perfectionism, including fear of rejection from others or feeling inadequate in your work and home life. As a result, perfectionism can stop us in our tracks and keep us from truly doing the work to declutter and get organized.

Tip: Embrace the idea that "done is better than perfect" and do your best to stay in the moment. Challenge those perfectionistic tendencies with pep talks, "No one but me cares what this desk looks like, so let's get it functional!"

You're Overwhelmed

Overwhelm is a suffocating, all-encompassing feeling where you're not sure how to break free from the stuff in your life. Whether it's an over-committed work or school schedule, overwhelm leads to burnout and mental exhaustion.

You can tackle overwhelm with strategies like delegation, declining personal commitments, and letting go of control and worry. It's also important to say no to your own self-imposed deadlines. Don't decide to clean and organize your entire kitchen in one day. Instead, work on a cabinet or just the fridge and congratulate yourself on a well-done job.

Tip: Your brain needs decluttering and organization, just like your stuff. Schedule small, realistic time blocks to tidy up. But you should also make time to do nothing and let your brain decompress from the daily business. 

You Feel Too Attached to Your Stuff

If you're struggling with one area of organization, ask yourself if you feel emotionally attached. Getting rid of old letters, furniture, and clothing triggers memories and a sentimental attachment to stuff. Instead of organizing, we avoid the project or continue to hold onto things that no longer serve us.

Tip: Take a moment to consider whether these items are useful and whether or not they bring you happiness. Taking a photo of yourself with the object or giving it to someone who would love it can help you let go and focus on organizing your space.

You Struggle with Memory

Forgetfulness makes it challenging to get organized and stay that way. Instead of thinking through a system or process, you move things around and never actually organize anything. 

Memory struggles could point to cognitive issues but also have other causes. Lack of sleep, medications, an under-active thyroid, too much stress, drinking too much, and depression can all lead to forgetfulness. Getting on top of your rest, anxiety, and lifestyle could all help improve your memory and your ability to organize.

Tip: Memory struggles can also be managed by writing things down. Make sure you have the right planners, notebooks, and accessories to write out detailed information and make a plan for when you'll organize, what you have already sorted, and what to do next. 

You're Indecisive

Are you struggling to decide what to organize and how to handle your things? People are indecisive for reasons ranging from overwhelm to perfectionism, fear of failure, and lack of confidence. In some cases, indecisiveness could be a sign of conditions like ADHD.

Tip: Time management techniques and personal deadlines can help get on top of indecisiveness. Setting a timer and reminding yourself of what you'll accomplish, for example, "When I'm done, nothing will be on my desk," are ways to guide you towards good decision-making. You also need to be vested in the outcome, like a clean office or stress-free work experience.

You're Experiencing Anxiety or Depression

Depression and anxiety often make you feel detached and disconnected, leading to issues like disorganization and lack of motivation. Sometimes anxiety and depression are triggered by stressful life events, and you can help with stress management and organizational techniques. Make sure to schedule in time for self-care and to slow down to address your mental health.

Tip: No one should diagnose mental health conditions for you except a doctor or trained expert. Talk to a professional if you suspect you're suffering from anxiety and depression or feel like something isn't right with your mental health. 

Ready to get on top of decluttering and organization? Pick and choose your favorite ideas from this list and grab some of our organizational tools to get started. Choose from our planners, accessories, writing tools, and more from our favorite collections here.

BoostYourMood - Paper Pen Co

Ways to Quickly Boost Your Mood

If you're struggling with a bad mood and feel like you picked it up out of nowhere, you might be right. Studies show that bad moods really do spread faster than good ones and can be tough to shake. The good news is you can take control of your mood and give it a boost. Try one of these ideas and feel your frustration and stressors fade away.

Declutter One Area at a Time

When dealing with clutter, you inevitably feel stressed and frustrated with your environment. Getting rid of all the excess stuff could improve your mood and help you feel more in control.

Make sure you take things one step at a time. There's no need to try to declutter your entire home in one day. Instead, tackle your desk or kitchen and move on to different areas each week.

Start Organizing 

Just like decluttering, organizing can boost your mood and improve your outlook. But there's more to do than organize your drawers and clutter. You can also get more control over your life with the help of our daily planners.

Pick up one of our daily planners with a dedicated area to jot down notes, top must-do's, a notes section, and an interior front pocket. There's also a place to focus on your health with fitness goals and meal planning.

Daily planners and organization

Listen to Upbeat Music

Research shows that music affects our emotions. Happy, upbeat music triggers dopamine and serotonin, which promotes feelings of joy and happiness. So if you love melancholy music, you may need to change up your tunes to give your mood a boost. If you're feeling overwhelmed and stressed, try changing your mindset with calm, relaxing music. 

Take a Walk

When you take a walk or enjoy some exercise, it increases blood flow and circulation throughout your body and your brain. You're likely to enjoy less stress and happier feelings than just a few minutes before. A walk outdoors is the perfect break nearly any time of day and doesn't require changing into gym clothes or doing anything but putting on your shoes.

If you can't squeeze in a walk, stand up and do some jumping jacks or indulge in some stretches. Even if you're slammed with work, there are always a few minutes in the day for a stretch.

Journal Your Gratitude

There's power in expressing gratitude through a conversation or journal. Research shows gratitude reduces stress, depression, and anxiety while boosting your mood.

Of course, there are always times we feel we have nothing to feel gratitude over. You can start small and jot down that you're grateful for the sunshine outdoors or the friend you texted that morning. If you're new to journaling or struggle with staying motivated, make it fun and reach for a pack of Royalty Pens the next time you grab your gratitude journal.

Get Out Your Favorite Scents

The power of scent significantly impacts your mood and can produce immediate results. Lavender is popular as a stress reducer or to relax before bedtime. Jasmine's sweet smell is known to soothe and create more optimism, and citrus inspires feelings of the outdoors and sunshine. 

There's no rule about how to use scents. Choose the ones that naturally make you feel good and put you in the mindset you're looking for. 

Pay It Forward

Have you ever done something nice for someone, like flash a smile or compliment their bag for no reason? You already know it feels good to make someone else happy. Make a commitment to do something nice for someone, like buy the person behind you at the coffee shop a cup and wish them a good day.

Wake Up Earlier

Getting enough sleep is crucial to a good, sustainable mood. But once your rest is under control, waking up a bit earlier can go a long way in improving your mood. 

Set your alarm to 15 to 30 minutes before you usually rise and get organized for the day. Knock out those dreaded chores while your brain is warming up, like getting the laundry or taking out the trash. When your time is up, sit down with a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy a few minutes to yourself. You'll start the day feeling refreshed and ready to go. 

Plan Something Fun

You may not be able to do anything about your busy work schedule or family issue, but you can give yourself something to look forward to. Plan something fun for yourself, whether an overnight getaway or an indulgent lunch with a friend.

The key is to commit and give yourself permission to have fun. Put it in your daily planner and block time for whatever you choose. Think of it as a gift to yourself, and practice self-care and love while you're at it. 

Ready to tackle your day and give your mood a boost? Pick and choose your favorite ideas from this list and grab some of our organizational tools to get started. Choose from our planners, accessories, writing tools, and more from our favorite collections here.


How Clutter Impacts Your Mental Health (and What to Do About It)

How Clutter Impacts Your Mental Health (and What to Do About It)

Imagine a messy room. Maybe there are dishes stacked in the sink or laundry sitting in the hamper on the bed, waiting to be folded? Or maybe it’s the living room where pillows and blankets are thrown askew. Either way, whatever you’re picturing, it’s probably making you cringe and maybe causing some anxiety. And according to recent data, that’s normal! Clutter not only impacts your physical space but also your mental health. Here’s why and how you can counteract it. 

What Is Clutter?

Clutter impedes your space physically and mentally. It stops you from moving in your body and your mind. Clutter doesn’t mean someone’s home looks like an episode of Hoarders. Clutter also means accumulating more possessions than there is space. And with less space, means the clutter is more noticeable and more damaging to your mental health. 

You can identify clutter in your home by asking yourself a few questions:

  1. Do you own anything that you don’t use or need?
  2. Do you have a “junk drawer/space/area” thinking you think you need, but don’t use?
  3. Do you buy new items to replace the ones you’ve lost in your home?
  4. Are you physically restricted by the clutter (you can’t open a door or park in the garage)?
  5. Are you afraid to have guests over because of the state of your home?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, you have some form of clutter in your home.

And clutter doesn’t just extend to physical objects. Clutter can be digital, too. Think about all the downloads and documents on your computer, your email, and the photos on your phone you keep meaning to go through.

Some reasons we keep clutter in our home (and often without realizing it):

  1. It’s overwhelming to sort through it all so people would rather keep it the same.
  2. Some objects are used to inspire motivation. It’s the reason many people keep clothes that don’t fit anymore. Instead of buying new clothes that do fit, they’d rather keep the old ones with the hope of fitting into them again.
  3. Some items have sentimental meaning. Common examples are keeping souvenirs from trips, clothes or items that have been passed down through the family, or items from childhood that bring up fond memories.
  4. It can be scary to throw things away. When it comes to throwing items away, it’s common to worry about that item being needed in the future, so you should keep it, right?
  5. Clutter can offer comfort. Having a home filled with objects can bring a sense of safety and security. It’s hard to part with items that provide those feelings. 

Why Does Clutter Negatively Impact Your Mental Health?

One study found that clutter may start off harmless as people may want to decorate and personalize their space, but it can quickly turn into clutter. They found that when it’s in excess, “it can threaten to physically and psychologically entrap a person” and it leads to personal distress and feelings of displacement and alienation. 

Psychology Today listed five reasons why clutter negatively impacts your life:

  1. Low subjective well-being 
  2. Unhealthier eating
  3. Poorer mental health
  4. Less efficient visual processing
  5. Less efficient thinking

When you have clutter in your home, you’re more stressed in your home. Your home is supposed to be your sanctuary, but instead, it’s turned into a cortisol-producing space. One study of women found a correlation between the amount of clutter in their home to high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. 

Clutter takes up physical space that can restrict your movements and also distract you. Clutter on your desk or in your work area is causing your brain to focus on multiple things at once. This causes you to work harder to think more clearly and stay productive. 

Overall, clutter in your home, physically or digitally, is lowering your quality of life. You’re more stressed and experiencing poorer mental health. It’s also a frustrating use of your time if you’re constantly on the search for items lost in the clutter. 

How To Remove Clutter 

We mentioned earlier that it can be overwhelming and scary to throw things away. It’s why it’s important to declutter at your own pace since this process can be an emotional one. For some it’s as simple as throwing away old papers and trash, for others, it’s sorting through sentimental items that can bring up a lot of emotions. It’s important to remember you didn’t acquire all the clutter in one day, so it will take more than one day to remove it all. 

If you’re ready to remove some clutter from your life, here are a few tips.

Create a To-Do List

Creating a to-do list will not only bring satisfaction after completing each task, but it will also help guide you along the way. To-do lists also help to counteract the overwhelming feelings that clutter commonly brings. 

With our planners, you can create a daily, weekly, or monthly list to help keep you motivated. The rule of thumb is to do the hard things first when you have the motivation. Or if you’re needing motivation, do the small easier tasks first so you can cross them off the list. Check out our Notepads & Notebooks!

Schedule in the Time

In order to make a dent in the clutter, you need dedicated time to work on it. This is when your planner comes in handy! Instead of trying to declutter your whole house (again overwhelming!), try scheduling time to work on one room or section at a time. Maybe that’s an hour every day or a deep clean once a week in certain rooms. This can even be fun if you set daily, weekly, or monthly goals of when you want to accomplish it. It can be extra fun if you invite a friend or two to help! 

This is also an important step in maintaining a clutter-free home. Something as easy as 10 minutes a day can make such a difference! Whether that’s scheduling that out daily in your planner or once a week, we have the planners to help make decluttering fun! 

Reduce Your Items

Using your planner you can create lists to reduce the number of items you have. You should have 4 lists:

  1. Items you keep
  2. Items you sell or donate
  3. Items you throw away
  4. Items you’re unsure about and will come back to

Lists can help keep you on track and organized. And with the lined sections we have in our planners, we can help keep you on track! 

Organize the Items

Once you’ve reduced the number of things you have, it’s time to organize them! The items you use consistently on a daily basis should be kept close at hand. And for everything else, there should be a specific place for it so surfaces are clutter-free. You can organize by using boxes or containers to keep like items in the same space. 

If you need help keeping your space and life clutter-free, utilize one of our planners to help schedule the time you need and notebook and notepads to create to-do lists! 

How to Organize Your Side Hustle and Succeed

How to Organize Your Side Hustle and Succeed

If you’re like most people, you have something you’re passionate about. And if you’re motivated by it to make a living from it, you might start small with a side hustle. But running a side hustle is no easy feat, especially if you’re choosing to keep your day job for a reliable income. In this blog, we’ll share some tips about how you can keep your side hustle organized so you can succeed!

What Is a Side Hustle? 

A side hustle is another job people do to make money outside of their day job. This might be a passion people pursue but continue to want the safety their day job provides. Or maybe someone needs extra cash or saving for a rainy day. Side hustles can range from making a couple of extra hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars a month. The 10 most popular side hustles are: 

  1. Selling products online
  2. Starting a wholesale business
  3. Freelancing
  4. Being an affiliate marketer
  5. Print on demand to sell custom artwork
  6. Run a blog
  7. Sell information products
  8. Be an Instagram Influencer
  9. Work as a virtual assistant
  10. Become a photographer

Whether you choose one of those side hustles or another, we have a few tips for how to keep your side hustler organized. 

Think Long-Term and Prepare for the Long Haul

Your side hustle won’t be successful if you don’t prepare for the long haul by planning long-term. Having a successful side hustle requires determination, persistence, and consistency. A side hustle is an investment not just in your wallet, but also in your time. Side hustles require hours that could be spent with friends and family, so it’s important to stay focused. 

This is where a planner can come in handy. With your planner, you can schedule out time for your side hustle every day, week, and month. The calendar feature will help you think long-term and prepare for the long haul. A yearly planner helps you plan long in advance, which is exactly what you need for a successful side hustle. Scheduling in advance requires less effort and instead reinforced positive triggers and routines to help you stay disciplined. It’s recommended to keep the same schedule so you know when to prepare to work on your side hustle. This can be in the morning before work (which makes it easier to be productive) or in the evening after work. Find what time works best for you and schedule it in your calendar!

Schedule your time for the rest of 2022 and for 2023 with our 2023 planners!

Define Your Goals

When planning out your side hustle, you need to have clearly defined goals. Goals will not only inspire you, but they’re also good metrics. Good clear goals help you measure your progress and success with your side hustle. But to go big, you need to start small. Having small, practical goals that you reach quickly will increase your motivation. Remember SMART goals from school? If not, we’ll remind you!

S - Specific

M - Measurable

A - Achievable

R - Relevant

T - Time-bound

Your handy dandy planner can help you track and keep your goals. With the calendar feature, you can set goals for the whole year. You can even set daily goals to boost your motivation. Some examples of daily goals include:

  • Send X many emails 
  • Write X amount of words
  • Talk to X amount of people 

Buy our Executive Bundle for a Weekly Mousepad, The Perfect Pouch, Make it Happen Notepad, Pen 3-Pack, Page Flags, Post It Notes, and Task Pad! 

Set Milestones To Force You to Succeed

If you’re someone who needs pressure in order to get things done, then this tip is for you! A good side hustle needs a plan, but the planning shouldn’t take all the time. You need to have a plan that will force you to launch. You don’t want to waste time and money by continuing to keep tweaking your plan to prevent you from launching. 

To avoid getting stuck in a constant editing cycle, set goals and milestones to guide you from start to finish. Sticking to your milestones will help your side hustle succeed while keeping your motivation high. Other ways to help you launch your side hustle is to tell friends and family to help keep you accountable. Your planner can also work in coordination to help keep you accountable. Like the calendar feature we’ve mentioned so many times, it’s great for tracking your goals and holding you accountable. 

2022-23 Paper Planner

Our 2022-2023 Paper Planes Planner Bundle will keep you accountable for the rest of the year and through 2023! The planner starts on July 1st, 2022 and goes until June 30th, 2023. The bundle also includes 3pack of pens, white jolts and jolts notebook, and balck magnetic bookmark. 

Delegate Work Not in Your Skillset

In order to truly succeed in any aspect of life, you need to know your strengths and weaknesses. Knowing your strengths means you can specialize in them and monetize them. Meanwhile, your weaknesses or things you don’t have time for like administrative work, should be outsourced. It will save you time and money since you’re not doing everything yourself. Outsourcing will let you use your time to focus on what you are good at, and get better at it. 

Utilizing your planner will help you keep in touch with your outsourcing partners. Your planner has a notes section that you can dedicate to keeping track of your contacts. Buy your planner today!

Don’t Lose Your Day Job

A side hustle is a side hustle because you still have your safe and reliable day job from 9 am to 5 pm. Until you have success with your side hustle and a consistent stream of customers, don’t leave your day job yet. Working on your side hustle is exciting and might take some hours away from your day job. But it’s important to maintain your integrity while still working your day job. This means not using company time to work on your side hustle or using company resources. Also don’t compromise your quality of work at your day job, causing you to get fired. 

Your planner can help you keep track of your day job and side hustle. From to-do lists to scheduling time in the day and setting goals for each job. If you’re the ultimate planner, it could be beneficial to have two planners: one for your day job and one for your side hustle. This way you can keep both jobs separate and it can be easier to manage. 

At Paper & Plan Co.,  we value personal accountability, having fun and thinking big, and promoting a culture of innovation and continuous improvement. We pride ourselves in creating products to help our customers live out those goals too. Buy your planner today to start your side hustle! 

8 Unique Ways to Use Your Planner

8 Unique Ways to Use Your Planner

A planner is more than just for housing and organizing your events, activities, and to-do lists. It can also be used in fun creative ways to add more value and organization to your life! Check out our favorite unique ways to utilize your Paper & Plan Co. planner!