Clutter free in 2023: 5 Manageable Ways to Get Organized
New year, new me! It’s a phrase we’re all familiar with. With every new year comes the inevitable list of resolutions that we all proclaim along with a much-needed fresh start on meeting our goals. Perhaps this year you’d like to live healthier and to get in shape, or maybe you have a financial goal you’d like to meet. Whatever your individual goals may be, the new year is a great opportunity to get started.
Creating intentions for the year ahead is never a bad idea, but a common problem with New Year’s resolutions is that we often fail to make goals that are achievable, sustainable, or manageable. How often do we start January off by going to the gym 7 days a week only to lose our steam and skip the gym entirely by the time summer comes around? Having broad goals can help us to visualize the ‘finish line,’ but many of us get too caught up in the bigger picture to remember the smaller, manageable steps it takes to get there!
As a professional organizer, I work with many clients who have the goal of getting their homes organized, and this makes sense! Decluttering your life and getting organized can improve all aspects of your life, leading to increased productivity, reduced stress, more focus, and even better sleep. But how do we know where to start, and how do we continue in a way that is sustainable for our lifestyles? Keep reading for 5 manageable ways to get organized.
1. Start Small
There are so many reasons to get organized, though saying that you want to organize an entire home can make the task ahead seem daunting. If we break it down into smaller, easier-to-digest goals such as a specific room in your house (or better yet, a specific drawer!), it makes getting started far less overwhelming.
Take a moment to ask yourself, how are your spaces working for you? Or maybe more importantly, how are they NOT working for you? This can help you to identify the areas in your home that will most benefit from a little TLC, which in turn helps to narrow down your goals and decide where to start.
2. Find an appropriate home for your items
One of the challenges of getting organized is not knowing where to put things, which leads to clutter and potential chaos. The key to avoiding this is to make sure that everything has a place, not a table countertop or a random, empty space but a designated area for the item.
You’re probably wondering how to decide where to put things. A general rule of thumb I like to follow is to keep like with like, but the most important thing is to figure out what works best for you. A busy family always on the go might prefer to keep shoes near the door, but a young professional may prefer to keep their shoes in their closet. Having a ‘home’ for everything allows you to better find what you need, when you need it.
3. Keep a list
Always keep a running daily to do list! This not only helps you to get your home organized, but also your time. Writing out a list is a great way to clarify your daily goals and determine which specific tasks need to be done in order to get you there. How you want to create your list is up to you! I like the good ol’ pen and paper for keeping lists, but you may want to try another method; a whiteboard, an app on your phone, an audio reminder – whichever works best for your unique style!
4. Bring less into your home
Be wary of bargains! Saving money, protecting the planet, and preventing clutter; these are just a few of the reasons that you may want to buy less this year. The more ‘stuff’ we bring into our homes, the more we will have to organize, and the more likely we are to get overwhelmed. That’s not to say you can’t shop, but to plan ahead and be intentional about what you buy and bring into your home.
On that note, just as you want to be mindful about what you bring into your home, it’s also a great idea to regularly take stock of what you have and to see what you no longer need. Items that no longer work, fit, or serve a purpose in your life need to go.
One of the most daunting aspects of getting organized is feeling like you must do it all on your own. It’s challenging enough when you’re trying to get yourself organized; add your entire household on top of that and the task ahead may seem impossible!
Take a step back, breathe, and remember that you do not have to do it all on your own. Don’t be afraid to enlist your family for help. Or better yet, hire a professional. Seeking out a professional organizer will save you both time and stress and will offer an expert’s perspective on the task ahead. Call Organize With Lisa for a free consultation, and together we’ll define your goals and figure out the best, most manageable ways to get you there.