Is this the Year you Really get Organized?
It’s that time of year when most of us think about our goals for the new year, even if we’re not into making actual New Year’s resolutions. One of those goals may be to organize or declutter your home. It can be overwhelming as you decide where to start. Here are some tips for getting started and making 2020 the year that you really get organized.
Is this the year your really get organized?
01 / Ask yourself what is your biggest challenge or pain point and start there. Starting with the challenge that causes you the most pain or anxiety will help you to feel more in control almost immediately. Also, start small and stick to one area at a time. For example, if your biggest challenge is the kitchen, start with the first drawer. Take everything out and then wipe out the drawer. Be completely honest with yourself as you put items back in. Don’t put items back in that you no longer use.
Think about the placement of items that you will be keeping. Don’t put an item back if it doesn’t belong in the kitchen or if it belongs in a different area of the kitchen. When you’re done with the drawer, bring the items that belong elsewhere to that spot right away.
When placing items back into the drawer or cupboard, consider buying some drawer organizers and/or bins from the Dollar Store. This will really help keep your drawers and cupboards organized and will maximize your storage.
Once you get started, you will find that it gets easier and easier to keep going because it feels so satisfying to look at that drawer or cupboard once it is organized and decluttered.
02 / Sort through Christmas decorations. When you are putting your Christmas decorations away, note which ones you didn’t use this year. Ask yourself if you think you will use them next year. If not, put them in a separate giveaway or sell box (labelled as such). Often, charities won’t take Christmas decorations after Christmas, so you may need to hold onto them until next year. But at least you will have them already separated and can donate them to a charity in time for someone to enjoy next Christmas.
03 / Get the family involved. You and your family will have received clothes and toys for Christmas and you will be putting them away. What a perfect time to organize and declutter! Have everyone take a good look at their closets when putting away their new items. A good rule to employe is to get rid of a piece of clothing when acquiring a new one. With your guidance, children can go through their toys and clothes and decide which items they no longer play with or wear (or have outgrown).
Make it a point to go through your clothes at the change of seasons. Ask yourself at the end of every season if there is anything you didn’t wear that could be gotten rid of.
04 / Continually collect household items or clothes that you no longer need or want. Keep a box to collect household items and a garbage bag for clothes you no longer want. Once the box or bag is full, take it to your local charity for donation (or keep to have the garage sale you’ve been planning). My favorite place to keep my giveaway box and bag is in the laundry room. As you are going about your normal day, always be on the lookout for items you no longer use. Put those items into your collection box or bag right away.
05 / Set aside some time each week to work on your organizing and decluttering projects. Most people don’t have hours and hours every week to spend on organizing and decluttering. Setting aside a couple of hours a week to tackle a drawer, cupboard or closet will make you feel like you are making progress. Once you are into organizing and decluttering “mode”, you may find that you are motivated to find more time in your week to work on this.
06 / Do not store on the floor. Make it a rule to not store items on the floor – always have a home for items. For example, keep a laundry basket or bin in everyone’s bedroom. That way, the dirty clothes go straight into the laundry basket and not on the floor. The same concept can be used for books and magazines. Keep a basket in the living room to hold magazines.
Invest in a bookshelf (it doesn’t have to be super expensive) to hold those books that you wish to keep. Better yet, give your books away when you’re finished reading them (remember that giveaway collection box?) or borrow books from the library.
07 / Sort through paper in the kitchen or den. If you’re like me, you tend to collect certain papers in either the den or kitchen. Think takeout menus, business cards, phone lists. You can recycle takeout menus because they are always available online these days. Get a business card holder for those business cards or use an electronic app to capture the information. Put important phone numbers in your contacts on your phone.
08 / Be creative with your space. When thinking about how to store your items, especially if you’re short on storage space, get creative. Consider storing under beds (using flat, clear storage bins), utilizing over-the-door hanger storage, and looking for vertical storage solutions in closets and cupboards.
09 / Don’t give up. Organizing and decluttering takes time and patience so properly set your expectations and don’t give up. Accept that you are not going to be totally organized overnight. However, as you persistently work on the areas you’ve identified, you will begin to see that you are making progress. Taking before and after pictures will also help you stay motivated.
If you are still feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a Professional Organizer to assist you. We can help you find solutions to all your organizing challenges in a safe, non-judgmental environment. Stay tuned for my new year special to help you get organized in 2020!
FREE 1-Hour Consultation
If you’re ready to tackle Professional Organizing for Home & Business, book your FREE consultation today!