Cleaning & Organizing

How to Organize Your Life: Resolve to Get Organized in 2016

organized life
Photo by: Runway

The resolution to get organized is a lot like the one people make to get in shape every year. They start out committed and strong but often lose interest by springtime. If you’re wondering how to organize your life, you should know that, also like getting in shape, it is a lifetime commitment, not a one-time project that you can attach a completion date to. When you plan on getting organized, many things may end up in storage, and many others in the dumpster. You have to go into it with the determination to let things go and even be a little ruthless. You will be going through your habits, schedule, and personal belongings and will need to be decisive on making changes.

Start Out Slow
Ease into organizing your life instead of jumping in with both feet. Start out with only 10-15 minutes of organizing per day. Set a timer if you have to, but stick to the 15 minutes and stop when the time is up. As for what to work on, that can be something different each day. Tackle the mail one day, and then remove expired items and science projects from the fridge the next. You will be amazed at the overall progress you make in getting organized by taking it 15 minutes a day, one day at a time.

Keep It Up
Don’t drop the ball once you start organizing your life. Keep it up, making time every day to organize one or two things, whether it is your schedule or your actual, physical possessions. Be aware, nothing stays organized, so you will find yourself coming back to the same areas routinely. However, once you have gone through it all, keeping your life organized will be easier if you make the commitment to sticking with it. Go as far as blocking out organization time on your calendar, if that helps. Whatever it takes to make staying organized a permanent part of your lifestyle.

Get Hooked on “To-Dos”
Life is busy, and that is probably one of the main reasons yours got out of control, leaving you wondering how to get organized. “To-Do” lists can be a huge help in getting organized and regaining some of that control. It doesn’t matter if you prefer your list electronic or would rather do it with a paper and pen; just make sure you can access it at all times. When a task or errand that needs doing pops into your head, put it on the list. Start each day by reviewing and prioritizing your To-Do List. You will stay organized and will love the feeling of accomplishment you get from crossing off completed items.

Be a Home-Seeker
Organization and efficiency experts are fond of finding a “home” for your belongings. It is another way of saying “a place for everything, and everything in its place.” Give everything in your home a space of its own, placing the frequently used items in easily accessible areas and putting lesser used items away in storage. Remember that no two things should share space; no stacking different items on top of each other. Also, whenever something is removed from its “home,” make sure it gets returned. There will be less clutter around the house, and you will not lose as many things when you know exactly where to find them.

Cleaning Closets
If your closet is packed to overflowing, it probably contains a large percentage of apparel that, if you are honest, you will never wear again. You can spend an afternoon sorting through your wardrobe, but culling through your closet will be less monotonous, and you’re more likely to be decisive about what gets nixed if you do a little bit every day. Keep a garbage bag or large plastic sack from a department store in your bedroom and put the clothes in it that are out of style, no longer fit, or that you simply aren’t in love with anymore. The rule is that, once an item goes into the bag, it does not come back out. When one bag is full, take it to a local charity or secondhand store and start again with an empty bag.

Make Use of Self-Storage
Self-storage is useful in many ways when you are getting organized. It is the ideal permanent home for seasonal items such as Christmas decorations, summer items like patio furniture, croquet sets, and jet skis, and other things you use annually but need to store for the rest of the year. However, you can use self-storage to help you decide whether or not to hold onto those things you have a hard time letting go, whether they are articles of clothing, working appliances, or tchotchkes you inherited from Aunt Ida. Place those items in a storage bin and label it with a one-year “expiration date.” If, in that year’s time, you have not needed or even thought about those things, it’s safe to give them to charity or pass them onto a friend or family member who wants them.

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