The New Year is quickly approaching. I am sure you know what that means. It’s the time of year that everyone starts talking about resolutions. They start to focus on all the things they want to change or make better for the coming year. Health changes, financial changes, and organization changes are usually pretty high up on the list of New Year’s Resolutions. Today, I want to share with you my organization tips for the New Year.
Organization Tips for the New Year
Start Small (Avoid The Overwhelm)
It can be extremely tempting to set your sights on grandiose plans for the New Year. However, let me tell you a little secret. I am all for wanting to set goals and be successful in the New Year, but I also am a fan of less stress. In fact, less stress is usually ALWAYS on my New Year’s Resolution list.
You want to be successful and set goals, but the trick is starting small so that you don’t overwhelm yourself before the first Valentine’s heart of chocolate is sold at your local grocery store. For example, your goal might be, “I am going to clean my kitchen’s pantry and I will never let it get unorganized again.” As wonderful as that sounds, it is completely unrealistic. Basically, you are setting yourself up for failure. A more realistic goal would be, “I am going to organize my pantry at the first of the year. Then clean it up on a bi-weekly basis to keep it from getting as bad as it was before.” See the difference?
You want to feel successful in your New Year plans so remember to be realistic. Plus, you can always add to the goal later.
Make A Game Plan
Once you decide on your goals for the New Year, you need to make a game plan. Create a list and place your goals in order of importance. What is more important for you to accomplish first? Maybe some of your goals can be worked on simultaneously? Or maybe some need to be worked on independently?
This is also a good time to jot down ideas on how you want to complete these goals.
Utilize The Calendars (Yes, I Use More Than One!)
Whether you use one calendar for everything or use multiple calendars that is up to you. However, no matter how many calendars you use they will play a huge role in your success.
Some people recommend using one calendar for everything…work, school schedule for your kids, vacations, chores, etc… Personally, I found this to be too overwhelming and I felt like my calendar was too full.
I use 3 calendars. Yes, I said 3!
- Clients for my virtual assistant business
- My blog (content schedule, blog schedule, etc…)
Whichever route you choose, it is up to you so make it work for you. It’s a good idea to make your calendar (s) portable. However, I don’t always carry mine around since I have more than one. So what I do is jot down notes or things that need to be added to my calendars later in my note app on my phone. Then as soon as I get home I add it to the appropriate calendar.
Create Routines and Goals
This step can be done when you set up your game plan (see above.) It is important to create routines (daily, monthly, weekly, etc…) and to set goals. An example would be:
- Make your bed daily
- Pay your bills weekly
- Clean out your wallet/purse monthly
This helps you get several things accomplished without the added feeling of being overwhelmed. Space out your tasks and set timelines. If you have larger goals like cleaning out your pantry or organizing your closets, make sure to set goals on when you would like to have them accomplished. However, don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t make the “due date.” The date is really just to keep you motivated and moving towards your end goal.
Divide And Conquer
Instead of taking on a HUGE organization project all in one month, week, or day you should break it up into smaller tasks. Then before you know it the HUGE project will be completed without adding too much stress to your day to day life.
If you are looking to tackle organizing your entire home, keep in mind that it took a long time for certain areas of your house to become chaotic or messy. They did not become that way overnight so it is going to take you longer than a few minutes to undo the chaos. So instead of making one goal “organizing my home,” try turning that big goal into several little goals and make sure you pat yourself on the back with each accomplished room. Here are some organizing tips for each room.
- Throw out expired food. If you have food that hasn’t expired, but that you won’t eat donate it to a local food bank.
- Go through your food storage containers and trash the pieces missing lids or that are extremely stained and worn.
- Organize your pantry. I like to organize my canned foods by fruit, beans, etc… This makes it so much easier when I am making my grocery list or doing my meal planning for the week because I know exactly what I have or need to buy.
- Clean out your fridge and freezer.
- Buy stylish storage containers for your entryway or living room to put shoes, umbrellas, etc…
- Find your clutter areas. My clutter areas are my coffee tables or end tables. Either put stuff where they really go or buy small storage boxes that you can put the smaller things in. For example, TV remotes or coasters for your drinks when you aren’t using them.
- If you collect magazines, I would get rid of the older magazines. You can either donate them to the library or if there are certain articles you want to keep you could make copies of them or cut them out and place them in a binder instead of keeping the whole magazine.
- Create a good filing system! I recommend getting a fireproof safe for your really important documents like birth certificates or social security cards.
- File away loose papers or you could scan them and keep them on your computer.
- Go through your pens and markers. Trash the ones that have dried out.
- Buy under the bed storage containers. This is where I put extra sheets, pillowcases, etc… This saves a ton of closet space.
- If you have extra money after the holidays, you could use this time to throw out old sheets or comforters and buy new ones.
- Clear off your night tables and dressers.
- I also like to go through my sons’ toys, clothes, etc…and donate whatever is still in good shape but that they don’t use or wear anymore.
- It is very important to go through your medicine cabinet on a regular basis and throw out any medicines that are out of date. Side note, you aren’t supposed to trash old prescription medicines. I know that our local pharmacy has a certain time a month that you can bring them in and they will dispose of them correctly for you.
- Trash cosmetic and skincare products that are expired. This includes makeup brushes because they can contain bacteria. If you don’t have extra money to buy more, here is an article on how to clean them correctly.
- Get rid of old cleaning sponges or rags.
- Buy fresh towels.
- Donate clothes and shoes that aren’t worn any longer.
- Throw away socks that don’t have a soulmate any longer.
- Reorganize your hanging clothes. I like to organize my clothes by style and color. For example, all my long sleeves together, my sweaters together, my short sleeves together, and my dressy clothes together.
- If you have a lot of clothes in your dresser you can purchase drawer organizers here.
Ask For Help
Remember, that it isn’t wrong to ask for help if you start to feel overwhelmed. I always include my children especially when it comes to organizing their rooms and playroom. My husband always tackles the workshop and garage. It can be fun to tackle your goals with others and it takes some of the stress off of you.
Track Your Progress And Celebrate Your Success
This is the fun part! Use your calendars to track your progress. Set monthly goals and celebrate them when you succeed! This is a great motivator and inspires you to keep moving forward.
This And That Tips!
- Don’t forget to tackle the junk drawer! We all have one. My junk drawer is in our kitchen.
- Keep a list of your passwords in a SAFE place.
- Consider purchasing additional storage or shelves.
- Keep track of your instruction manuals. However, keep in mind that a lot of those are online now. So if you don’t want extra stuff laying around the house taking up space, check into downloading a PDF copy for your computer.
In closing, I hope this inspires you to take some time in the New Year to organize. It will make you feel so much better and set you up for reaching other goals. Take it one day at a time, one project at a time, and remember to celebrate your successes (big and small!) Best of luck to you in the New Year!
Do you have any organization tips? I would love to read about them in the comments.
“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31