Getting organized consistently makes the list of top ten resolutions for any given year. Speaking of which…January kicks off National Get Organized Month (go figure), and with most resolutions being ditched by January 17 (National Ditch Resolutions Day), now’s the time to start!
Delving into the organization process can seem overwhelming at times, especially if it’s been a while since you’ve de-cluttered. However, if you are toying with the idea of getting your house in order, follow these steps to get into the groove of organizing.
Visualize. Take a look at the spaces around your home that need tidying and visualize what you want them to look like. Maybe it’s a desk cleared of papers and miscellaneous items or an orderly closet where it’s easy to find the things you need. Whatever your your dreams for organization may be, think about the end result.
Plan. Write down areas in your that home need attention. Start small and
identify spaces where you spend the most time but are the least functional (i.e. your kitchen, home office, or living room). For each space, figure out what works and what doesn’t. What are the problems and basic needs for each space? What is the purpose ? What items belong or need to be removed or donated?
Chunk your work and prioritize. It’s not realistic to organize your entire house in one fell swoop; slow and steady wins the race. I recommend not working more than two to three days a week, for four hours at a time. Otherwise, you may get overwhelmed and cut your project short. Additionally, you need time to live in your newly organized space. You may design a system and later find that it needs tweaking. It’s important that your newly organized space is functional, otherwise it will be difficult to keep it in order.
Make a date. Create a timeline and mark specific dates in your calendar to commit to managing your clutter. Tell a friend or family member about your plans to organize and make sure you are held accountable if you break your date.
Motivation. Invest in solutions that you love. If you enjoy the way a space looks when it is tidy, you’ll be more likely to keep it that way. The clarity of mind and productivity that comes with an organized space should be motivation enough; however, do think of ways you can reward yourself for your effort. Don’t think too much about the labor of your project, stay positive and keep visualizing the end result.
Realize that organizing is a journey. Spaces won’t stay organized on their own; you must maintain them just like anything else. Organizing is like staying healthy, you have to work on it constantly. Commit to spending a few minutes each day tidying frequently used spaces, putting items away, and dealing with miscellaneous items and paperwork. Set a reoccurring alarm on your phone for the same time each day.