How to get organized for the New Year
The New Year is here, which means many of us are thinking about resolutions—goals we’ll set at the beginning of the year and work toward in 2019.
If organization is on your to-do list, you can make it stick by putting together a manageable plan. Here are some tips for creating an organization strategy in the new year.
Find Your Problem Areas
We make resolutions because there's something we want to do better. But you can't fix disorganization by just deciding to get organized, or even by tidying the house. You've got to think smaller. Break down problem areas into categories and work your way out.
Home in on the spots that need organization and then drill down further. Where there's a problem, there's a cause. If your foyer is a camping spot for coats and old mail, that's probably because it's the most convenient way to manage them. The more you dissect problems, the closer you'll get to the root of them. And that's where your plan can start to take form.
Decide on What You Love
If you own something, you should love it. That's what organization guru Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, says. But if you're like most people, your home has plenty of things that you've collected for no apparent reason. This is the time to separate what you want to keep from what doesn't make you happy.
This step takes time, but it's one of the most important for getting your home in order. Examine belongings hands-on so that you can decide what makes the cut. Do you need a beautiful orange shirt if you never wear orange? You'll officially purge the things that you don't need once your plan is in action. For now, you're only setting aside the things that no longer have meaning in your life.
Define Your Categories
With problem areas understood and not-so-wonderful belongings separated from what you love, you're ready to define your organization categories. This is probably different from the way you've organized in the past, but One Kings Lane editor Cate La Farge Summers swears that it works. If you go room-by-room, you're not operating at peak efficiency. Shoes in one part of the house might find their way to another, and then they become that room's problem.
Instead, it may help to identify categories of items that need to be organized throughout your house. Some examples are books, clothes, coats and the dreaded paperwork and mail. Your home probably has other categories, too. Maybe you own a lot of shoes, or perhaps you need a better way to store toys. Make a list of categories that need attention and you'll have a much better idea about the systems you need to handle them.
Set Aside Time For Tackling Nostalgia
If there's one thing to avoid in the initial decluttering and organizing stages, it's everything that's nostalgic. Pick up a box of photos, and the next thing you know you've lost a whole afternoon. This is partly a procrastination method, even if you don't realize it. It's also simple human nature.
Save nostalgic items for a time when your plan is well underway and you feel up to reviewing items that might be sentimental. When it’s time to pare down your items, ask yourself why an item feels sentimental, whether you’ll use it in the future and if someone else would get more use out of it. Answering these questions, as well as following some other tips on how to preserve the memory without keeping every physical memento, can help you honor sentimental things in your life.
Work With The Experts
The more space you have to store your things, the better off you’ll be, right? Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Traditional closets, cabinets and shelves don’t make you more efficient; it’s likely that you can make much better use of the space you've got.
That’s where custom organization systems come in. A custom closet or office can help you give all of your “categories” a home—and make it easier for you to stay organized. Once you’ve put a decluttering plan in place and sorted through your things, a Designer can take a look at what’s left and the space you have to store things and make recommendations for a system that will meet your needs.
If you’ve committed to finally getting organized in 2019, reach out to us for a free, in-home consultation.