It seems amazing, doesn’t it? Here we are right at the beginning of the year!
Somehow we managed to frantically finish our holiday shopping while at the same time attending to the responsibilities of work and family.
It’s been a pretty hectic, but it’s also a fun time for sure — especially if you allowed yourself to take some time to enjoy the good cheer that comes along with the holidays.
Now that the celebrations are behind us, this is the perfect time to think about the New Year — not so much about the resolutions that we may have already been made and broken, but for the possibilities and opportunities that lie ahead.
Yes, a new year, a new you!
Related: Resolutions Are a Waste of Time
5 Ways to Get Organized for the Year Ahead
As might be expected, being more organized often makes the top ten list of what people want to do for a better, more improved new year. To help with that goal, the following are some suggestions on how to get organized and stay organized in this year:
1. List your goals
Before you jump in and start to do ANYTHING you should write down what you want to organize and then assign a time frame to the task. It’s an old cliché but that which gets written down gets accomplished. Keeping the tasks and schedule “in your mind” makes them less concrete.
Make certain that you establish a reasonable and achievable schedule. Attempting to get organized by cleaning out the entire attic and garage on one rainy Saturday simply means that you won’t accomplish the task AND you will likely feel disappointed. This is not great motivation for the next task on the list.
2. Make a plan
Start by picking the location where you want to begin. Identify a room, drawer, closet, or desk — or any other space that needs to be more organized. I always suggest that people start with the area that is causing them the most distress. By doing this area first, you will have an automatic feeling of accomplishment and will be encouraged to do more!
3. Make it easy to do
Before you begin tackling your space, be certain that you have the supplies and tools you need to do the job. That way, you won’t have to stop work prematurely to get things you need.
For example, make certain that you have sticky notes (affiliate link) for labeling the piles, folders for the papers, Sharpies (affiliate link), and the like. And, of course, be sure to have good-sized, sturdy garbage bags to throw away what needs to be discarded as well as bags for items that you wish to donate, recycle, or sell.
4. Reward yourself
It seems like a simple thing, but getting and staying organized takes work and rewarding yourself is that all-important pat on the back that we all need. Of course, how you reward yourself is entirely up to you. Regardless of whether it is small like meeting a friend for coffee or more extravagant like going out to dinner with your spouse or partner, rewards are always great motivators.
5. Make organization a habit
Once you get organized, the key to staying organized is to create very simple systems that are easy to keep up with. For example, take just five minutes at the end of each day to put things back in their rightful places and throw away unnecessary “stuff” that has accumulated. Leaving things for the next day (or the day after that!) usually means that the clutter will start to build up again, and it will no longer take just five minutes to get things back in order.
Here’s to a more organized new year!
Stephanie is a professional organizer in works with business owners to streamline operations, improve time management, and to design a functional home office.