Are you one of the thousands who resolved to be more organized in the new year, and now January is over and gone, and you still haven’t started? We absolutely understand! The first of the year is always hectic with school winter breaks wrapping up, holiday cleaning and visits to wrap up and so much more. But now it’s time to focus and start spending some time achieving your goals.
The irony of being more organized is that you need a little basic organization to get started. These simple tips will help you prioritize a plan of action that you can then focus on the rest of the year.
Identify Trouble Spots
We’re willing to bet there’s a least one place in your home that is a catch-all for stuff and clutter. In my home, it’s my kitchen island. Mail, my purse, grocery bags, things from school… Everything lands there when we rush in at the end of the day. Within a few days, you can’t even see the counter and that means it’s also a headache to find whatever it is that I desperately need at that moment.
Look around your home and identify at least 3 areas that end up being the dumping ground for you. (And remember places like bathroom counters and your car.) These are your focus for the next three weeks. You’re going to repeat the process every three weeks – identify problems, find solutions, test it out, stick to it or try again.
Find Decluttering Systems
Now that you have your 3 clutter-central places, it’s time to pick one and figure out how to keep it organized. That means sorting the “stuff” – keep handy, throw away, archive, give to an accountant, etc. At this point, piles are good! However, now it’s time to do something with those stacks and piles and find a home for everything. Our suggestion: Pinterest. (If you’re not already on Pinterest, then be forewarned: Many people find the site addicting.) But remember your focus: BE ORGANIZED. Narrow your search for your specific project, such as “organize kitchen counter” or “organize kids’ artwork.” Look for just 4 or 5 ideas, read the original article, and see if it’s a system that will work for you. Also, check out our Pinterest boards for our favorite tips, tricks, and hacks for organizing everything from your kitchen to the garage.
Learn As You Go
People organize differently, and while there are thousands of great ideas online for how to organize various things, they don’t all work for everyone. Maybe you’re not for keeping up with organizing paperwork in binders. Maybe you don’t have the budget to invest in new shelving and totes. Give yourself some leeway to learn as you go. Also, give yourself some time to use your new system to see if it’s really going to become a keeping-it-neat habit. If it isn’t a fit, move on to another strategy.
Just Keep Going
So let’s say you’ve tackled your kitchen counter. You found a place for the kids’ artwork, birthday party invitations, and take-out menus. Great! Move on to trouble spot number 2 and repeat the “find system” and “learn as you go.” Once you’ve done these three and you’re comfortable with the systems, then find another 3 trouble spots and start over.