Organizing Help: Write an Effective ‘To Do’ List and Get More Done!

When it comes to organizing, we recommend writing a ‘To Do’ list because, well, it’s very effective. As organizers, we see how this tool helps to visualize goals, prioritize tasks, move forward, and most of all once a task is complete, it provides your brain with a sense of accomplishment, a key motivator to keep going! 

Whether you are writing a list to complete a large project or to accomplish some simple chores, the “to do’ list is the roadmap to completion and freedom. The stimulation you feel from crossing an item off the list gives your brain the reward it needs to achieve the next task. 


Here’s How it Works:


User Friendly Tools  Employ the list making method most appealing and user friendly to you. You don’t need a special program or task manager to handle your list. If that makes it more fun and rewarding for you, then absolutely use a digital system, but a simple pen and paper, situated by your morning coffee can work just as well. 

Make it Manageable  Keep your list manageable so that you don’t become overwhelmed and abandon the project. If a list of ‘to do’ items for straightening the entire house is too stressful for you, create a ‘to do’ list for just one room. If a list of everything needed to be handled in one room is too long, create a list for one area of the room or one drawer.


For example, an organizing list for a complete tidy up might look like this:  

        • Make your bed. Why make your bed? Watch this Inspirational Speech by Admiral William H. McRaven

        • Move all shoes and clothing to the appropriate closets.

        • Collect and start laundry.

        • Clear furniture surfaces of items which don’t belong and return them to their rightful places.

        • Load and run dishwasher.

        • Make a donation bag as you come across unwanted items.

        • Deliver the donation bag or place it in your car to deliver during your next outing.


An organizing list to straighten your desk might look like this:

        • Sort papers into urgent, file away, shred and toss. 

        • Distribute papers as designated.

        • Handle shredding now or scheduling shredding project for within the month.

        • Collect miscellaneous items left on the desk ( pens, keys, bags) and return them to their correct places.

        • Add paperwork items yet to be handled to your calendar or a list to ensure completion.

        • Empty trash can.


Cross off each item on the list as it is completed to visualize the goal you’ve achieved and before you know it, your tasks will be finished. Crumple the paper, throw it in the trash and reward yourself with some fresh air, a walk in the park or a cup of tea. On to the next ‘to do’ list! 

If you still need to accomplish more, it might be that your project is too large for one person. Enlisting a family member or a professional organizer might be just the ticket!


Contact us at info@idealorganizers for all of your downsizing and organizing needs.