The New Year often brings joyful tidings, well wishes, and an unwavering resolution to improve our lives for good. But this isn’t just any new year – it’s a new decade. 2020 can be everything you want it to be: a spotless slate on which you write your goals and make them come true. Start the year – and decade – off right by getting your home and yourself organized.
How often have you misplaced your keys or missed a bill payment because you couldn’t find the mail? Perhaps too many times than you care to admit. Unorganized living can certainly frustrate us, but it can also make us lose money and precious time. Take part in National Get Organized Month this January to break the cycle and reap the benefits – increased productivity, improved time management, and a greater sense of calm and control.
But where should you begin? Here are a few tips to help you get started:
Begin with a drawer, desk, or closet. Go through each item slowly and deliberately, asking yourself if you need or truly want the item. Place each item into one of three distinct bins: keep, discard, and donate. As you progress on your journey, begin thinking about how you want your space to look. Establish a system for incoming paperwork and drop-off areas for bags, purses, wallets, and backpacks. Maximize your closet space by thinking vertically – drawers, shoe racks, and hanging organizers are key here.
Make Time for It
You know how it is. All day long at work, you think, “Tonight after I get home, I’m totally going to tackle the clutter,” only to come home and let exhaustion (and Netflix) claim you once more. Here’s something that can help: schedule time on your calendar to start organizing, much like you would a doctor’s appointment. You’ll be much more likely to accomplish your goal!
Keep It Simple
Storage and organization don’t have to be difficult. Place like items together in a bin close to where you use them. For example, you should store scrapbooking materials and colored pencils in your crafts room (rather than, say, the garage). Make sure you can access these bins easily, especially if they’re items you use frequently like cookware or toiletries. And of course, always give yourself ample room to grow into those bins – don’t stuff them up to the brim!
Get the Kids Involved
Of course, you don’t have to go it alone. Get the kids involved! Ask them to go through their toys and games. They can place what they want to keep in properly labeled bins and boxes as well!
You might think you’ll remember what you’ve put in that olive tote in the back of your closet, but chances are you won’t. Take the time to label your bins on the outside so you’ll always know what lies within! It’ll make life so much easier.
Create a Smart Mail System
Mail can easily get out of hand and create a mountain of clutter on your end table or countertops. Get a step ahead by creating a designated spot for all incoming mail! Take the time to go through your mail at least twice a week. You can also save time by immediately discarding junk mail as soon as you receive it!
Tackle the Medicine Cabinet
Now’s the time to go through your medications and discard any expired or unnecessary medicine. If you have any, follow these handy instructions to discard them safely and responsibly. As for the rest of your medication, try using plastic bins that will fit your cupboards to group them. Nothing’s worse than knocking over bottles like bowling pins each time you look for the right medication – this should help keep everything streamlined and tidy!
Listen to Your Heart
Does the item in your hand make your heart pitter-patter with joy? Do you use it in your everyday life? If so, keep it. The rest is unnecessary clutter. If you’re struggling with the decision to keep or discard an item, remember this handy tip: if you’ve used it within the last year, love it, need it, or believe it fits into the life you want to live, keep it!
Like with many other popular New Year’s resolutions – losing weight, exercising more, and cultivating a new skill – organizing will (and should) take time. Don’t expect to accomplish your goal in one weekend. Remember, slow and steady changes build a long-lasting organized lifestyle!
For more tips, be sure to watch our latest video below! Oh, and if you want even more tips on helping you during National Get Organized Month, check out Jennifer’s latest interview here!