woman organising sticky notes in front of her laptop
get organised



I’m pretty nerdy when it comes to organising tiny elements of my life. one thing is to sort my books / wardrobe / spices (!!) by colour; another is all the lists I’m making about everything / all the sticky notes on my walls / my spreadsheets. this is a way for me to simplify my brain.

I like to have an overview.
I like to find what I’m looking for quickly.
I like to stay focused.

I don’t rely on my brain to provide these services for me. my photographic memory left when I was 12 when I also started having memory problems. suddenly I had to rely on writing things down to remember. 

today I’m hooked on sticky notes (best invention ever !) / notebooks / journals to stay organised.
and I love it !

it might seem time-consuming to write so much down, but I’ve learned that I’m saving time in the long run. if I quickly write things down whenever I get an epiphany or suddenly remember something, it’s easier to find that thought again. especially if I also organise it in a list or a group of sticky notes.

and when you love making lists (it makes it easier to create an overview than letting stuff stay in my brain) + get to choose different coloured pens for different purposes (the same goes for sticky notes !), you see the entire process as something fun. so I guess this is my type of mindful colouring (I don’t really have patience for those regular mindful colouring books, even though I make an effort to live a mindful life). 
to me, organising is a peaceful process. when I’m in the middle of it, it lets me slow down my pace in life. and afterwards, my life is simpler cause I managed to get a better overview. this brings me more peace of mind.

I could probably organise about anything into lists + sticky notes, but right now, I want to show you how I organise my shopping lists.

I keep 3 types of lists : my wishlist / my monthly plan / my weekly shopping lists. 



another reason I’m a bit uptight about keeping lists is that I try to live a simple + minimalist life. from experience, I’ve learned that quality feels better than quantity. not only do I want to pamper myself with as few new things every month as possible, but I also want to go for quality stuff that will last me several years. buying few things also means I will appreciate those things more than when I spend money without thinking. 

keeping lists makes it’s easier for me to get an overview + prioritise both what to buy + when to buy it. you have probably understood by now that I’m not much of a spontaneous person. I don’t go out + buy stuff the moment I realise I want or need something. that never seems to work out well for me. 
when you plan something upfront, you also allow yourself to have something to look forward to. the planning session becomes part of your total experience + you end up enjoying the purchase more. 

this is even seen in people planning their holidays. while planning, they already imagine being on holiday, so they immediately start feeling more relaxed. so while planning a purchase, you already make yourself feel as you already have this thing or experience; you already appreciate having it, so you feel good upfront. this might also explain why spontaneous shoppers continue to shop; they experience a shorter “high”, so they need to repeat the process often to feel good again + again. 



  1. phone app : here, I usually write down what I want or need.   
  2. sticky notes : every 6 months or so, I organise sticky notes on my wall according to when (what month) I think I will spend money on it. using sticky notes for this purpose means I can easily move them around when I change my mind. whenever I think of a new thing I need or want, I try to fit it in or replace it with something else. these notes do not show what I have to spend money on, but rather what I would like. using sticky notes makes it easier to weigh things up against each other. while organising the notes, I ask myself, what do I truly need this month ? can it wait ? what am I craving (instead) ?



at the end of each month, I like to get a rough overview of what I need to spend money on in the upcoming month. this can be anything from foods I don’t necessarily buy every month / treatments / stuff from my wishlist. 



  1. notebook : I keep a specific notebook for this purpose. usually, I only need one A5 page for each month. sometimes I sort by the shop / store (if I need a lot from them) or just list the products + write the shop behind. 
  2. phone app : here, I list what shops I realise I need to visit that month + approximately when. 



these are mostly lists for grocery shopping. you may wonder why I have more than one list, and that’s because I sort by shop / store, one list per shop. I have a main supermarket I usually visit every week, but I also like to take advantage of offers from other stores (this usually happens bi-weekly or monthly). I also buy organic, which means I have to shop around – unfortunately, I can’t get an organic version of everything I need in every supermarket.



phone app : I keep all my shopping lists for the different shops here. it’s easy to pick up my phone whenever I remember I need something from a specific store + write it down. 

making lists + playing with sticky notes are ways for me to simplify my brain. basically, give the brain a bit of rest !

is anyone else out there as uptight as me in this area ?
or do you have an even simpler routine ?


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