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Use time to your benefit.
Use time to your benefit. / Don Farrall/Getty Images

The extremely organized seem to glide through life: never late for a meeting, home always ready for visitors, keys always where they left them.

How do they do it? They use these tricks to reduce lifeís chaos:

Invest time wisely.

"Time spent organizing is not time wasted," says Regina Leeds, author of The 8-Minute Organizer. She encourages the chaos-prone to spend short bursts organizing just one thing or one room. A small investment up front pays dividends down the road, not just in physical organization, but in less stress.

"An organized person is a person who makes decisions. Piles [of stuff] are just unmade decisions."

Eliminate things decisively.

Less stuff in our lives means less to worry about, says Erin Rooney Doland, editor in chief of Unclutterer.com, a site dedicated to simplified living. An overabundance of clutter turns our homes into cauldrons of stress instead of peaceful retreats. Decluttering isnít about deprivation, but prioritization.

"My house [is] an exclusive club," she says, "with a bouncer at the door who only lets the really important things pass the red velvet rope."

That prioritization extends to mental clutter, too. The solution: Always make lists.When all of your chores and to-dos are bouncing around your head, "you feel anxious and you donít need to," reports Doland. "Just write it down and let it go."

Stop tidying.

Leeds teaches her clients that a neat home is not necessarily an organized home. Instead, have a place for everything. When you categorize and truly organize your belongings, you begin to see the amount of time that you have wasted looking for things or constantly tidying up.

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