Welcome to a brand new year! It feels great to have a fresh start, especially when you’ve made some goals, resolutions or have some running themes in mind for the year, like keeping in touch with friends and relatives more often, eating a cleaner and healthier diet, or getting the home and office neat, tidy, de-cluttered and ready for a new year. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed getting organized in the new year, we’ve got ten tips and tricks to get you started.
1. Start cleaning at the top and work your way down. It’s hard to get a start on being organized when you don’t have a clean surface to start with. Make sure any cleaning starts at the top – dusting ceiling fans, clearing out cobwebs, cleaning ledges, door frames and windowsills. Whether we’re talking about organizing your home or office, work your way from top to bottom and you’ll only need to clean each surface once.
2. Put like items together in your home or office – and keep them that way! Have a few bottles of nail polish in the bedroom, and a few in the bathroom, and one in the living room from when you painted your nails while you watched Survivor last week? Get them all together and designate one spot in your home for easy storage. The same goes for office supplies, files of important documents, art supplies, etc.
3. Update your phone! Let’s face it, we pretty much need our phones for human survival these days, but when it’s chock full of junk and we only click on the same three or four apps every time we pick it up, it’s too much. Getting rid of old contacts or business numbers (the rule is, if you haven’t needed the number in over a year… you probably don’t need the number), updating your software, deleting unused apps… all of this contributes to a less cluttered mind! You may see a lowered phone bill, too!
4. Create checklists! What goes in your gym bag? What are you packing for that upcoming business trip? What important phone numbers does the babysitter need? Keep these essential types of checklists either on your computer or in a designated notebook; that way they can be easily accessed and updated if need be.
5. Use only one calendar or planner! Pick whichever method works best for you – your phone, a big bulletin board on the kitchen wall, or a thick spiral planner – and stick with it. When an event springs up, put it in the calendar at least week ahead of time. Then, think about anything you need to do for that event – a wedding? Better make sure your gift is wrapped and ready. Do you need to send flowers for your mom’s birthday? Whatever it is, make a note of it in advance so you can stay of top of your tasks.
6. Pair your wardrobe down! Capsule wardrobes are all the rage these days, and for good reason. A capsule wardrobe is made up of a minimal number of clothes that you know you love and know you’ll wear, and everything in it has tons of mix-and-match capability. Click on the link to read how to develop your own!
7. Lay out your clothes for the next day! Before you go to bed every night, take that 3 minutes to decide on tomorrow’s outfit. If you want to hit the gym or go for a run before work, lay those clothes out, too. You’re setting yourself up for success, and statistics show that when you decide on tomorrow’s clothes, you can save yourself an average of 15 to 20 minutes in the morning. Doesn’t sound like much, but twenty minutes can make you feel a lot less rushed.
8. Update your Budget! (Or if you don’t have one, start one!) If you’re anything like me, you like to set a budget and then do everything you possibly can to forget it. It’s stressful, but having a clear picture of where you’re at financially will definitely get you off on the right foot in the new year.
9. Make a New Healthy Habit! Make your bed every morning. Have a side salad at lunch instead of french fries. Fill up a big water bottle and keep it at your desk, and try to drink it all before the work day is done. Whatever your new healthy habit may be, studies show that the same act must be completed over and over to form a habit.
10. And Finally, Keep a Journal! You don’t have to bear your soul in a journal (you can if you want to, though, it does feel pretty good!), but it’s a great habit to keep a journal and record the good things that have happened, or the things we want to remember. The world can be so distracting and it’s so easy to forget about the good things that happen. A journal can help remind you of the daily gratitude and have an overall positive impact on your wellness.
Good luck getting organized in the new year! It feels great to start fresh!
What’s the best way you keep organized?