How I do it! 10 Organizing Tips from Certified Professional Organizer Ellen Delap



I love to keep things simple.  I am a born organized person who wants to help others simplify, create order and help people live the life they imagined.  So I wanted to share some tips that I use to make each day a little more organized.

  • I love my planner! It helps me keep the big picture of my activities in a place where I can see them.  I am always going to be a paper type planner person, but I do back up recurring events on a technology calendar.  As soon as I commit to a date, I add it immediately to my planner.  I break tasks into small, baby steps to make sure I can accomplish them and add this to my planner too.
  • I seldom print out anything. If I have a paper, I only handle it once.  I know that I can find anything I need on the internet when I need it especially when I am looking for new information, a recipe, or even financial data.  I find what I need, when I need it.  (I recently made vegan cupcakes!)
  • I add partners or delegate when I need help on a task.  I work best on a team and my team members usually possess strengths I don’t have.
  • I keep my perfectionism under control.  I weigh the “Return On Investment” on whether to keep plugging at a task or know when it is done.
  • My closet is organized by color and I keep a bag to drop donations in regularly. Some people find it more useful to organize by type of clothing, such as work, play,  or party.
  • Lists rock! I use them for every day tasks, shopping, and reminders.
  • I sync my iphone and outlook to keep both my personal and business contacts together.  Having all my connections together and easily accessible makes it easy to stay connected.  Its easy to do this with any email program.
  • My favorite apps are Reminders and Notes.  I set alarms in Reminders and keep lists in Notes.  These apps are free on any smartphone.
  • I am a woman of great consistency. I love having the same bedtime, adhering to my weekly planning and admin time, and knowing that these routines serve me well.
  • I keep in touch with my priorities.  We can have it all, but not all at the same time.  We have seasons in our life and I am enjoying my current season of working as a professional organizer and productivity consultant.

 Learn more on my pinterest board!


8 replies
  1. Laura
    Laura says:

    Good stuff! 🙂 Love all your tips!

    I have a new favorite app — Any.Do. It is great for a running to do list of all those little things that don’t make it on your actual calendar. It has “today”, “tomorrow”, “upcoming” and “someday”categories. Really helpful!

  2. Linda Samuels
    Linda Samuels says:

    Great list, Ellen! Your organizing tricks seem to work really well for you. Bravo to you for reducing the amount of paper you’re printing out.

  3. Geralin Thomas
    Geralin Thomas says:

    Regarding synching business + personal contact lists and socializing – – you might want to explore, “Mention” It’s like Google Alerts but better. I’m a new user and so far I’m finding it a super-useful tool for keeping track of places my name pops up online.

    I love how you love staying connected!

  4. Ellen
    Ellen says:

    Thanks Laura! Keeping your list by when you are going to do the task is a great idea! I can’t wait to check it out!

  5. Ellen
    Ellen says:

    I am going to give it a try too! I like finding new ways to stay connected since that is so important to me. Thanks for sharing this app!

  6. Janet Barclay
    Janet Barclay says:

    It sounds like you and I are alike in many ways: synching iPhone and Outlook, consistent routines including bedtime, and minimal printing. I also used my paper planner the exact same way that you do until I decided to go digital last year.

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