Decluttering for Get Organized Month
I'm sure it comes as no surprise to you that over the last few years, January has been known as “Get Organized Month.” Ever year, as we turn over a new leaf, millions of people around the world resolve to get more organized in the year ahead.
I think there's no bad time to get organized, but if you resolved to do it this year, I'm here to help you ride the wave and create a fresh start for the year.
Here are some quick tips to help you get started:
Define what organized means to YOU and work toward that.
I've been helping people get organized since 2006. What I see trip people up more than anything else (aside from maintenance) is unrealistic expectations. If you're buried in clutter, I don't mean to kill your dreams, but the fantasy of your space looking like a Real Simple cover probably won't be realized anytime soon. But if it is what you strive for, keep working. It may take a while, but if that's what you want, you'll appreciate the payoff.
For others, organized might be color coded files or clothes hanging in the closet by type. I'm just happy if my clothes make it onto hangers and into drawers. But, in my bathroom, everything is sorted into drawers by type of item. My magazines are sorted by topic. My books are organized into groupings like Go-To Favorites, To Read Right Away, To Read Someday.
What's going to work for you? Go for that. You'll have a better chance of maintaining your system that way.
Give yourself a timeline and set milestones.
When do you want to have your project complete? Set a date and give yourself mini milestones. Whenever I want to organize my place, I do a chunk at a time – this weekend is my office space. Next week is the bathroom. And then I break each project into smaller pieces. So first, I'll focus on organizing my desk for the next 20 minutes so I have a clean workspace. Then, I'll spend the next hour playing paper triage. After that, I might purge some supplies, print offs I'm through with, etc. How can you break down your project and give yourself realistic deadlines? A goal without a plan is just wishful thinking.
And here are a few links to posts where I dive deeper into the topic of getting organized:
- How to Organize Files – if your papers are a disaster, start here.
- 10 Things to Toss Today – great if you know you need to cut the clutter but don't know where to start
- 5 Simple Steps for Organizing Your Home Office
- Quick and Dirty Home Office Organizing Tips