Get organized for the New Year

Guess what one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is? To get organized, of course. But what many forget is that life doesn’t get any easier once the holidays are over. While the immediate stress of the looming holiday deadlines seem to create chaos, real life deadlines close in even faster. Within a week or so of January 1, school starts up again, some of the softer work deadlines you had around the holidays harden up, and the garage that needs organizing is staring you in the face, growing larger due to the extra boxes and clutter the holidays create.

If you want to stick to your resolution to get organized, you may want to consider some of these easy-to-implement strategies for optimizing your chances of success.

Set goals and write them down. One of the most powerful and easy steps to getting organized is to write your goals down on paper. This helps you remember everything clearly and gives you a sort of checklist to work from. Think about which areas need the most attention—is it your closet? Your home office? Do you still need to attack that garage that needs organizing? Does your kitchen need some serious help? Write down each area that needs attention and then set specific deadlines for each.

Break it down. Once you’ve established your goals, spend some time breaking them down into manageable objectives. If your home office is your most pressing matter, determine what will help you get moving.  Do you need wire shelving or storage cabinets? Files? Lay out what you need and set a time frame to buy those items. Then determine another timeframe for implementing those tools. It’s less overwhelming to attack smaller pieces of the puzzle than to try to do it all at once.

Set a schedule. Create a visual calendar style chart, whether it’s on a computer or an old school piece of paper, and map out your schedule. Then see where you have gaps of time to dedicate to your organizing projects. If you have eight hours free, be realistic and assign four of them to organizing. The last thing you want to do is create extra stress for yourself, so make your goals manageable.

Set rewards. Establish some treats you will give yourself for each goal that is completed. If you’ve installed, labeled and filled all the storage shelving in your home office, then check it off your list and give yourself a much deserved reward. Make it something you will truly enjoy.

Stay positive. Not everything goes smoothly all the time. So when you come across obstacles or get set back a week due to an illness, then modify your schedule and move the deadlines. Stay positive and don’t get discouraged—instead, focus on the progress you’ve made so far.

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