“What are your top 5 tips for being organised?”

That’s the question that comes regularly from journalists, radio presenters, leaders of community groups and others. The first time I was asked by a journalist, I had pulled my car over to the side of the road to answer a phone call. Yes, it was before smartphones and Bluetooth connections. So there I was, at the side of a busy road, trying to rack my brain for the “perfect” answer. I wanted to educate the public about organising. I wanted to sound eloquent and knowledgeable. And yes, I wanted to get the publicity that appearing in a newspaper would bring. In the end I did come up with something that worked for both me and the journalist.

But then it happened again. “What are your top 5 tips for being organised?” In life, and in organising, we learn from events and create new routines based on our previous experiences. So that second time being asked told me I needed to be prepared. I typed up my top 5 list and kept it with me. Again, it was before smartphones.

Then more questions came, and I realised I needed more than just one list. I created more lists, based on frequently asked questions and ended up with four at the ready.

  1. Top 5 time management tips
  2. Top 5 home office tips
  3. Top 5 places to start decluttering
  4. Top 5 tips for creating order

I laminated my tips and kept them in my handbag, always ready.

They came in useful several times. It felt great to be prepared and people seemed impressed that I had “all the answers”.

When it was time to order new business cards, I took it one step further. On the back of the business card, I played on my business name and listed my “top 5 tips for creating order”. It was a handy talking point. As a wedding guest I spoke with the stranger sitting next to me. When the usual “What do you do?” question arose, I explained. He asked for a business card, read it eagerly, and then requested another for a friend. “This is going on the fridge” he said.

The top 5 tips come in handy whenever I do public speaking. At a Lions club dinner meeting, I spoke about my top 5 tips. Each place setting had my business card with its tips, a handy reminder of both my business and my tips.

So my recommendation to you is to be prepared with your own top 5 tips so that you can speak confidently and with ease about your business. People won’t even guess that you have a handy little cue card.

And if you’re curious about other kinds of top 5 lists, here’s a fun one for you.

Top 5 - organising by numbers

2 Comments
  1. Linda jenkins 1 month ago

    I read this tonight amongst other the chaos of moving boxes as we get ready to move from our rental to our downsizing / maybe forever until we are very old home we have bought! Do have a top 5 list for which rooms to set up first for a move or any other tips you could share ? We have done so much decluttering and I am so looking forward to being on the other side of this move. Thankfully the new place has plenty of storage whilst this one has almost none !

    • Avatar photo Author
      Angela 1 month ago

      All the best with your move/downsize. I can highly recommend the downsized life. As for top 5 rooms to set up.
      1. Where you sleep. Everyone needs a good night’s rest.
      2. Where you bathe. Everyone needs to feel refreshed and clean.
      3. Where you cook. The ease of grabbing a quick meal while you deal with the move is paramount. Just don’t do what my FIL did when we moved into a new place and he wanted a cup of tea. He added salt instead of sugar! LOL
      4. Where you relax. A quiet corner to sit and rest is very much appreciated.
      5. Everything else. Plus… give yourself the luxury of time to unpack, assess where things go, adjust as needed and rest.
      Bonus Tip: deal with the boxes and wrapping as you go. Get it out of the way to make room for your things.

      Again, all the best with this next stage of your life.

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