When I was in college, my friends and I had a joke that our rooms were the cleanest whenever we had a big paper due or a test to study for. It was like we couldn’t get down to business and focus unless everything was Marie Kondo’d – and this was before anyone in the states had heard of her. Since everything started shutting down 8 weeks ago (8?!), there have been social media posts about using this time at home to get organized. Then there have been posts that state that’s too much and we shouldn’t add more to our plates during stressful times. I totally get it. I’ve had the urge to declutter but have completely lacked either the time or energy on any given day. Cooking three meals a day every day is getting old…
Maybe your house has been decluttered and now you are wondering what to do. Or maybe you’re just coming to terms with this new normal and want to feel productive but also just want to sit on the couch for the last hour of the day. Whichever one you are, I have the perfect solution on how to organize from your couch. Organize your digital life! And before you get overwhelmed, this is not organizing a million files or creating photo albums for every month of every year of every kid. This is a simple way to help you enjoy your down time when you do feel like doing more.
Create a Goodreads Account
I have been the recipient of a lot of newsletters with book recommendations. And over the years when I’d get an email with a book description that intrigued me, I’d star the email. Next time I need a new book, I just checked out my starred list and go through until I found one. This was problematic in two main ways. The first being that most emails contain at least half a dozen books. So it was difficult for me to remember which one made me star the email in the first place. The second issue I found was that I would often end up clicking on the same few emails not realizing I clicked on that one two emails ago.
The solution? Goodreads. Goodreads has been around for over a decade. It’s affiliated with Amazon’s Kindle but you don’t need a Kindle and you don’t need to order books from Amazon to use it. It’s completely free and it organizes books you’ve read and books you want to read. It even recommends books for you based on your ratings of read books and on your want to read books. I spent an evening on my couch moving all my starred email books over to Goodreads and now I have only one list to scroll through when I need a new book.
This is the easiest organizing one that requires the least brain power in my opinion. Both Landon and I were doing this at the same time and didn’t even realize it. As you check your email on your phone, simply unsubscribe to all the emails you never do anything with. I delete dozens of retailer emails every day without opening them. I realized that when I do want to shop, a lot of those retailers are not at the top of my list. So I finally unsubscribed! Some retailers might just be sending multiple emails a day and you can change your frequency preference if you still want to hear from them.
I know, I promised this wouldn’t be a complicated photo organizing project. And it shouldn’t be. Landon and I are always taking screenshots of things we want to keep or reference later. But then I end up scrolling back through two years of photos to find that one fabric color we prematurely picked out at the furniture store. So I made albums for all those random photos.
Start with your screenshots because your phone already has those grouped together. I created albums for workouts, quotes and backgrounds, all the hair photos of inspiration I bring to the salon, recipes, and books I want to read. Before quarantine, I would sometimes get magazines from the library and I would take pictures of recipes or décor that I liked. And then all the pictures of things I like at Hobby Lobby, Target, or Home Goods. I even have some pictures taken at Barnes and Noble of books I want to read (see why I need Goodreads?).
If you are able to accomplish even one of the ideas above, congrats! You are doing great! And if you are really rocking how to organize from your couch, try organizing all your digital passwords. I wrote this post last summer on how to keep the passwords secure and accessible from any device. During a pandemic really isn’t a bad time to make sure you can get into your spouse’s accounts just in case.