3 Step Guide to Getting Organized in 2019
The new year is almost upon us and one of the most common resolutions is to “Get Organized”.
When it comes to our homes, our possessions have a way of gradually taking over our space, closet by closet, corner by corner and surface by surface. It starts slowly, creeps up on us, picks up momentum and at some point, we start to feel uneasy and somewhat overwhelmed.
The winter months are the perfect time to begin the process of taking back control over your possessions and begin the journey to a more organized self.
Follow our 3 Step Guide to Getting Organized in 2019.
- Create a list and a plan of action. Organizing takes some soul searching. What areas are you uncomfortable with in your home and why? What difference would it make in your life if all the clutter was gone and it was easy to find things quickly? The list will identify all the areas in your home you plan to address. The plan needs to break down the steps into small and manageable pieces. If you have a couple hours on a cold day in January, there is a task you can work on that gets you closer to your goal. You can start with a drawer, a corner, a closet or even a table.
- Adopt a set of keep it or throw it out rules. – We all need some rules to follow that help with the emotional attachment and the procrastination that keeps us from making this decision. A set of rules keeps you moving through your task quickly. A rule of thumb often used is: if you have not worn or used it in 2 years, you don’t need it. Everything you pick up should fall into 4 categories: Keep it, Sell it, Donate it, Throw it out.
When you are finished with each area there should only be Keep it’s left
- Plan to stay organized. We have all taken time to sort through and clean up that pile on a table or countertop and felt great about how tidy it looks only to have it cluttered a week later. As you work each area on your list you must implement a plan to stay organized. So, when everything left is in the Keep it category, now what? Great organization is a combination of ingenuity and behavior.
The stuff we decide to keep must have a place to live. Most of us have a limited amount of space and need to use some ingenuity to make the most of that space as well as find ways to create new space in your home. Larger scale projects like an addition, finishing a basement or attic, and building a garage are often not feasible, but we have helped many homeowners utilize space under stairwells, add a loft, add cabinets, add closets, build shelving, and even backyard sheds.
There are many sources for pre-made shelving, specialty see-through containers, paper trays, files, specialty hangers, and hooks. These can all play a role in organizing your world.
Now that you have used your ingenuity and all your possessions have a place to live that’s easily accessible, behavior is the tricky part of the equation needed to keep you organized for years to come. If you live alone, the only behavior you need to control is your own. How great is that! Otherwise, you need help from everyone under your roof. This is not too much to ask, but it’s far more complicated to keep under control. Keep asking for help, it’s better than attempting to organize yourself and everyone else. Here are some rules to live by.
- Put everything in its place when not in use.
- Buy less- Do I need this? (Some have a 24-hour waiting rule)
- Go paperless everywhere you can. Digital files are easy to store and find.
- Request to opt out of junk mail and catalogs.
- Revisit step 2 often in all areas of your home.
- Anytime you come across an item in your home that has “no place” follow steps 2 and 3.