Disorganized people spend a lot of time hunting for their keys; they have to order a replacement birth certificate; they know they must have a dozen staplers, because it’s easier to grab another stapler than to find the old one.
Often, however, people don’t realize how disorganized they are. Are you?
At a minimum, if applicable, you should know exactly where to find these possessions (assuming, of course, you own them—and you should):
your passport and your birth certificate
paperclips or a stapler
your phone charger
a spare set of keys
your doctor’s phone number
your tax statements from 2013
a pair of mittens (unless you never go anywhere cold)
spare AA batteries
Congratulate yourself for being well-organized if you can also say exactly where you’d find these objects:
a tape measure
your high-school yearbook
a Phillips screwdriver
a pencil sharpener
a copy of Pride and Prejudice or The Da Vinci Code
a vase the proper size to hold a bunch of tulips
an extension cord
a recipe for a favorite food a family member used to make
a deck of playing cards
a pad of sticky notes (Post-Its)
One observation: disorganized people often aim to put things away approximately. They’ll keep something “in a kitchen drawer” or “in my office.” It’s much more satisfying to put things away in an exact location—like a particular desk drawer. It takes some effort, at first, to decide where everything belongs, but once you’ve put objects in their proper places, it’s much easier to return them there.
Taken from the following by Gretchen Rubin: