New Year’s Resolutions can be our friend or our foe. If it helps improve the quality of life, then a resolution is your friend. If it brings about feelings of guilt, then a resolution is not your friend. If “get organized” is on your list of resolutions, then here are some tips to get you started…no guilt intended.
Number 5: Reduce your volume of stuff. Think about this for a moment. If you have, say, a linen closet that is so bulging with towels and sheets that the contents comes tumbling out whenever you open the door, then you simply have too much. It’s difficult to put anything away, so why would you bother? It’s easier to leave them folded in your laundry room. But, do you really need 5 sets of sheets? Simply reducing the volume will “create” space, making maintenance much easier.
Number 4: Be realistic. If you have many areas of your home that don’t work for you, you simply cannot change it overnight. Sorting, purging and organizing takes time. Break down each area into smaller projects and try to be realistic about the size project you can work on in an afternoon. Be realistic about your goal, and maintain each area as you make changes.
Number 3: Match your system to your habits. Picture yourself walking into your home in the evening with the day’s mail. Where do you go first? Do you walk toward the kitchen and plop the mail on the counter? Try putting an incoming mail basket on the kitchen counter. Do you take off your coat and drape it over the couch? Try putting a coat hook on the wall. Think of what is not working in your home, trace your natural habits, and create a system to match what you actually do, not what you think you should be doing.
Number 2: Reach out for help. If your home needs some serious organizing or if you want a change faster than you can manage alone, then consider reaching out for help. Perhaps a friend who is naturally organized can help in exchange for you caring for their dog while they are on vacation. If you want professional help, contact the National Association of Professional Organizers for a list of helpful, compassionate organizers.
Number 1: Set yourself up for success. If your system does not work, or if you don’t have a system, then how can you successfully become (and stay) organized? The adage “a place for everything and everything in its place” is a timeless truth. Only when you have set yourself up with a system that allows you to be successful, will you be able to maintain a truly organized space.