Are you feeling stressed out, overwhelmed and disorganized? Is better organization a goal for 2019? Each year we resolve to lose weight, manage money better, quit smoking and get organized, but often we don’t make the progress we’d like. To make it easier, this year choose one resolution. It’s easier to form new habits when we concentrate on one thing at a time. (Next year you can choose something different.)
If you’d like to get organized in 2019, use the following tips to make it happen!
- Invest in yourself. Did you know that we spend about 55 minutes or more every day looking for things we own, but cannot find? (That’s three years of our lives!) Decide today to take a step towards better organization. Not sure where to start? Read a book (I like Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”), consult a well-organized friend or hire a professional organizer.
- Think small. Don’t plan to organize everything today. Instead, think of three areas that bother you the most; for example, (1) your dining room table is cluttered; (2) your garage is full of things; and (3) your office is messy. Pick one area and break that job into small pieces, i.e., don’t organize the entire garage, do one corner or one wall instead. You won’t finish the job today, but you also won’t get burned out and never organize again!
- Visualize success. How do you know that the job is done? Imagine what that space looks like or feels like when it’s organized. Can you eat dinner on the dining room table? Can you park your car in the garage? Can you find a file in under two minutes? When you understand why you want that space organized, then you’ll be more motivated. And, you’ll know when you’ve finished the job!
- Create homes for everything. Your counters accumulate stuff because that stuff has nowhere to go, i.e., no home! Just like your plates, cups and pans have designated spots in your kitchen, so should everything around your home and office. When things have homes, you won’t waste time—you’ll know exactly where to look. Today, find a home for something you frequently lose, such as your car keys. Can you hang a hook by the back door or put a small plate on a table by the front door? (Hint: put keys by the door you most frequently use after parking the car.)
- Remember your Mom. She told you to put your things away (how right she was!). The key to maintaining organization is to develop the habit of returning everything to its home. Spend 10 minutes a day tidying up (not cleaning, but putting things where they belong). You could do this weekly instead as long as your organization doesn’t deteriorate. (Even better, teach your spouse and children to put things away and there will be less tidying for you!)
- Let it go. The more we own, the more time we spend maintaining it so it functions and looks nice. I like having things too, but in reality we use about 20 percent of what we have. Practice recycling, donating and throwing away! You’ll have fewer things to repair, dust and store. You won’t miss them, and life will be more simple. (Hint: It’s easy to pack up bags and donate them to a local thrift store.)
This year, vow to organize your home and office. You’ll reap immediate rewards! Plus, you’ll have more time to spend any way you want… rather than looking for lost items!