January is Get Organized month, sponsored by NAPO, the National Association of Professional Organizers. It makes a lot of sense, since January is the month when most of us make New Year’s resolutions, and getting organized is at the top of many lists! But if you’re like me, resolutions are often made but seldom kept. Does that mean you need to just give up? Absolutely not!
Having a chance to start fresh occurs every day. Just because you didn’t start on January 1st doesn’t mean you can’t start tomorrow! You already know that you need to declutter, clean up, and organize your home or office or car. But the good news is you don’t have to do it all at once. Here are some simple tips for getting started:
- Pick one small area to start with – a closet, a cabinet, a desk, etc.
- Write down what you want it to look like, or how you will feel when it’s the way you want it.
- Get 3 boxes or bins – one for Donate, one for Keep, and one for Trash/Recycle.
- Begin sorting the items in that location into one of the 3 boxes. If you’re not sure, put it in the Keep box, but remember to come back later.
- Once the desk/closet/pantry is clear of the items, clean it. No point in putting your things back neatly in a dusty location!
- Decide on the best way to organize the items you’re keeping. If it’s a pantry, you can sort shelves by like items, such as Snack foods, Side Dishes, Paper products, Cereals, etc. or even sort alphabetically, though I recommend the first method. If it’s a closet, sort clothes by type – dresses/suits, casual pants, jeans, casual shirts, etc. – and then sort by color within category.
- Take a picture! You will be proud of what you’ve accomplished, and having a reminder of how good it looks will serve as motivation to continue keeping it that way.
Remember – the key to starting anything is making the decision to start. You’ve already done that. There is no one “right time” or “right way”. You can start NOW, and take baby steps. Feel free to contact me for help, advice, recommendations, or just to listen. Good luck, and happy Get Organized month!