Thursday, December 27, 2012

Another Opportunity For a New Year's Resolution

Another new year, another opportunity for a New Year's resolution.

Getting organized is on the "top ten" lists of New Year's resolutions every year for a very good reason. Many of us aren't as organized as we wish we were. 2013 can be the year that changes. If getting organized is on your list of resolutions, here's how to make sure you're successful.

1. Make a plan - It's overwhelming to try to tackle everything at once. Make a list of what areas of your home you'd like to organize so you can see the entire big picture. You may find that there are areas that you're actually satisfied with. Perhaps your closets are fine, but your garage needs work. Do you want to organize your paperwork this year? Do you want your closets in order? Keep in mind that, like getting in shape, getting organized is a lifestyle change. New habits need to be formed. For each of the areas on your plan, take "before" pictures, no matter how small the project is. That means even if you're working on a junk drawer, take a picture before you start. You don't need to show anyone the picture, but it serves as a reminder of all of your progress. Once we get going on an organizing project, we often forget what it looked like before. You'll have to trust me on this one.

2. Create mini-goals - Instead of getting your entire life in order, set smaller goals to start. Don't worry about getting the entire office under control, just start with a desk drawer. If you tackle a desk drawer every week, you'll have an organized desk in less than a month. Yes, that may seem like a long time to clean a desk, but it's manageable to work in small chunks, and in the end, it's a clean desk! If you're working on a closet, start by just going through your sweaters one day, shoes the next, etc. If it's paperwork you're going after, start with just one file folder. Baby steps... and every step counts. The key here is to complete the entire step. Don't place items somewhere "for now", do it for good!  Unsure what to keep and what to toss? This article may be helpful:

3. Set limits  - If organizing projects stress you out, set a timer and limit how much you work on organizing projects.You have an entire year to work it out. It doesn't have to be done in a day. If the timer goes off and you're in the zone, by all means keep going, but give yourself permission to stop when it rings. It's far less intimidating when you consider that you can probably easily sort clutter for 30 minutes, or 15, or even 5. Any amount of effort gets you closer to your goal.

Of course, in the end, don't forget to take "after" pictures and give yourself a pat on the back. This is going to be the Year of Organization!

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