Among the millions of New Year’s resolutions being declared across champagne glasses on the 31st of every December, getting organized is one of the most common.
Similar to the goal of losing weight and exercising more, getting organized is much more than a “quick fix” resolution. It is the conscious decision to make a daily habit change; a mindset shift. It is a “little by little” movement away from chaos and towards simplicity and calm.
Getting organized does not happen overnight. However, there are some big changes that can take place very quickly once you commit to making them happen. To get organized in 2019, take the advice of a professional organizer and start with these basics!
Get Motivated Before you Begin. I'm not going to lie - getting organized can be hard work, especially if you are buried under years of accumulated clutter. Getting yourself motivated with an organizing book like Joshua Becker's new book, the Minimalist Home or the now famous Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo is a good way to gain some tips, and get you in the mood to jump in with resolve!
Hiring a professional organizer is another great way to get motivated. Some clients just need a couple of sessions to get them started, and that is a great way to move forward! Tidy Solutions PDX offers a free 1-hr consultation in the Portland Metro Area. Check NAPO.net to find professional organizers in other states.
Set Realistic Goals. Be aware that organizing takes time. It is difficult (if not impossible) to organize an entire home in a day. We don’t recommend it! Instead, begin with the area that would have the most impact on your life once organized. Set a goal and start there.
Once you have completed your goal, remember to congratulate yourself before you move on to the next room! It seems silly but it is so important to reward yourself and be proud of your work. This will help keep you moving forward and stay realistic.
Start with the 10,000 Foot View. As you begin organizing, it is important to keep your goal in mind and avoid getting too deeply into the minutiae of organizing every last thing. Start by simply decluttering as much as you can, keeping in mind that you will return back to fine-tuning your home after you have removed all your excess stuff that is not serving you. The detail oriented nature of organizing can turn our heads from the more critical task of purging and cause us to become overwhelmed and give up before we finish. Stick with the removing clutter until you are done!
Here's a pro tip: if you find items in the room that belong somewhere else, put them in a “go elsewhere” pile. You will become distracted very quickly if you are constantly scurrying off to a new room to put one item away!
Create Daily Habits. Once you have completed organizing, you must work to KEEP it organized! This is in many ways much harder than anything else. Think about what motivates you. Is it a reward system? An accountability partner? Writing it down in your planner to remind you and crossing it off? Whatever it is, figure out the best way to build it into your life.
For example, you might set a goal of cleaning out your purse or briefcase every evening (or once a week). Give yourself a visual reminder with a sticky note on the wall, a calendar reminder or asking for a nudge from a friend or partner. Habits take time to develop, and setting yourself up for success is all about keeping things visual, tangible and realistic.
Happy New Year Everyone!