6 podcasts to help you get organized

Any podcast can be a productivity aide, in the sense that it is a hands-free way to stay entertained as you get other things done. (Photo: NYTimes)
Even if the academic year has no bearing on your life, fall still feels like a time for getting organized. As darkness descends progressively earlier, you feel the urge to spend more time at home, and notice all the piles of clutter you have been neglecting. And the impending holiday season has a way of heightening whatever you are already stressed about, be it chores, finances, or work-life balance.اضافة اعلان

Any podcast can be a productivity aid in the sense that it is a hands-free way to stay entertained as you get other things done. But these six shows are all geared toward helping you to get more done, feel less overwhelmed, and reframe the drudgery of housework.

‘Ask a Clean Person’
Whether cleaning is your most dreaded chore or one you relish, you are bound to learn something from advice columnist Jolie Kerr. Over the course of almost 200 episodes, Kerr has covered just about every specific how-to question you can imagine, whether it is about deep-cleaning your bathroom, tidying up after a party, or tackling “the worst stain in the world” (spoiler: it is turmeric). The show now seems to be on a permanent hiatus, but the archive is packed with clear advice, and some takes that may surprise you — for instance, that dry cleaning is often not necessary, or that Swiffers are essentially worthless. Featuring interviews with guests who discuss their personal cleaning tips and pet peeves, “Ask a Clean Person” is surprisingly bingeable, and Kerr’s infectious enthusiasm leaves you feeling genuinely excited about your next deep clean.

Starter episode: “Do Not Dry Clean!”

‘Best Laid Plans’
Planning your time can be a key part of getting organized, but it can also easily become another way of procrastinating. You buy a fancy bullet journal or download a productivity app, spend hours developing an airtight new life management system for yourself… and then abandon it after a few days. “Best Laid Plans” is all about the psychology of planning and how to develop a system that works for your brain. Sarah Hart-Unger, a self-professed “obsessive list-maker and life-planner”, had been blogging about productivity and parenthood for more than 10 years before she began the podcast in 2020. She is a warm and appealing host, offering both encouragement and tips for listeners trying to get their lives in order.

Starter episode: “How Sarah Organizes Her Life”

‘The Minimalists’
Minimalism — a lifestyle that emphasizes owning fewer material possessions — has snowballed over the past few years, spurred by figures including tidying guru Marie Kondo and two Ohio natives known as the Minimalists. Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, long-time friends, have built the Minimalists brand with books, a Netflix documentary, and this long-running podcast, and their affable, nondogmatic approach is hugely appealing. Both were formerly in the sales world, so their anti-capitalist mindset is backed up by specific insights into scarcity marketing and other sly tactics that make us all want to buy more stuff. Beyond minimalism and decluttering, Millburn and Nicodemus also explore the factors that can drive consumption, like loneliness, trauma, and addiction.

Starter episode: “The Minimalist Checklist”

‘By the Book’
Walk into the self-help section of any bookstore and you will be confronted by titles by gurus of every stripe, promising to help you overhaul your life. The selection is so overwhelming that even if you are in the market for radical transformation, it is hard to identify which books have actual wisdom to offer. Enter Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer, who live by the rules of a different self-help tome in each episode of their podcast, sharing their real-time experiences and their takeaway lessons from books including classics like “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” and “The Secret”. Billed as part self-help show and part social experiment, “By the Book” applies a critical but never mean-spirited lens to the books in question, and Greenberg and Meinzer are so committed to their task that even the duds provoke interesting conversation.

Starter episode: “The Five Love Languages”

‘Radio 1’s Life Hacks’
There is no shortage of podcasts out there offering life hacks — tidbits of wisdom that can help you navigate daily life more smoothly and efficiently — but this BBC Radio version is more insightful and rigorous than many of its competitors. The show focuses not just on self-care and self-improvement but on how those things play into creating a better world. The hosts, Vick Hope and Katie Thistleton, take an empathetic and earnest approach to subjects like environmental justice, mental illness, and disability, and although the show is primarily geared toward teenagers and young adults, it offers wisdom and perspective that will resonate at any age. “Life Hacks” officially wrapped up its run in the fall of 2020, but it has since returned for a few follow-up miniseries offering career advice for the post-COVID era and tips on how to make your life more eco-friendly.

Starter episode: “Grief With Katy Winship and Charlotte Henly”

‘A Slob Comes Clean’
As the show’s title suggests, Dana K. White is brutally honest about her own history of disorganization and her understanding of what it is like to feel “completely overwhelmed” at home. After more than 10 years of “de-slobification” (a process she says is never-ending), White shares the cleaning, organizing, and decluttering strategies that helped her conquer the mess while also delving into the mindset changes behind it all. Although most episodes are centered on tips and Q&As, some have White interviewing guests who offer a different perspective on organization, like her recent conversation with a “cleanout expert” whose job is to restore order to the homes of hoarders.

Starter episode: “Getting Past the Tough Spots”

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