Each year “get organized” tops the most popular resolutions list. It is one that has been on my list from time to time but because it’s such a broad topic — you should narrow your focus if you want to be successful. That’s just one of the ways to make sure you stick to your resolution this year. Organizing expert Tracy McCubbin has given us tips on how to simplify our lives but this time she’s making sure we “get organized” with ease.
by Tracy McCubbin
New Year’s resolutions are nothing new – literally. Each year we make the same resolutions only to find they’ve gone to the way-side a few short months, weeks, or even days later. Right behind “getting in shape” is often, “getting organized.”
‘Get organized’ is such a broad and unspecific goal that it’s almost destined to fail. Our resolutions are only as good as our plans to put them into action, so the first step is to purge.
The easiest way to have less clutter is to have less stuff. I encourage everyone to really pay attention to their wants versus their needs. Additionally, just like with your resolution to lose weight, you’re not going to get organized overnight.
Starting with one task in one room is the way to go. Having one desk completely organized is better than having three rooms torn apart because they are in-progress.
6 Home Organization Resolution Solutions
Resolution #1: To live in clutter free home.
How to keep it: Start with the items that are easy to toss, donate or recycle.
- Recycle old magazines and newspapers.
- Donate clothes you’ll never wear and toys your kids don’t play with anymore.
- Start with 15 minutes a day and start in a specific room working clockwise.
Resolution #2: Reduce the paper clutter.
How to keep it: Know what to keep. The biggest cause of paper clutter is over-retention.
- Start with a phone call to your accountant and ask what you need to keep for tax purposes.
- Shred old bills and any unneeded sensitive material.
- Store a handful of your favorite school projects or art pieces from your child, toss or recycle the rest.
Resolution #3: Create a filing system.
How to keep it: Develop a simple, easy to follow filing system.
- Use clean, neatly labeled files.
- Show others in the family how to use your system.
- If you already have a file system, go through and purge all of the unnecessary paperwork from last year.
Resolution #4: Give everything a “home”.
How to keep it: Stick to the old adage, ‘a place for everything and everything in its place.’
- Put a hook by the door for keys.
- Place a basket on the desk for incoming mail.
- Take the time to put things away when you’re done with it.
Resolution #5: Purge the closet.
How to keep it: Realize you that you wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time.
- If you haven’t worn it this year, you’re not going to wear it next year.
- For every new item you buy, donate three old items
- Color coordinate wardrobe.
Resolution #6: Streamline morning routine.
How to keep it: Spend your time preparing for the day instead of wasting your time rushing to get it started.
- Pack lunches immediately after dinner.
- Put work bag, backpacks and gym clothes in the car the night before.
- Do dishes before going to bed. A sink full of dishes is visual chaos and cause unnecessary stress.
Tracy McCubbin is the founder of dClutterfly and award-winning home and office organization expert. She is based in Los Angeles and travels across the country helping clients develop livable organization in their lives.