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Organizing Tip :: What to Get Rid of Now?

Get started with a Plan

If you were ever going to get organized, this is the time of year to do it!

January is GO Month on the National Association of Professional Organizers’ calendar. Professional Organizers around the country are putting on events -- workshops, volunteer projects, and community education -- to increase awareness about the importance of getting ORGANIZED.

So what are your plans for getting organized this year? Are you putting organization on your list of New Year resolutions? Sometimes the hardest part of organizing is just getting started. But where do you BEGIN? What's your first step? What part of your life needs the most help? Let’s focus this month on creating a PLAN for getting your home or office in order.

I recently read a great quote that said “The odds of completing a project are much more likely when we start with a plan”.

Why is this important? Because a good, well thought out plan will include all the steps required to get the project finished. I want to stress here the importance of understanding what finished means. Really focus on the results you want to see. To me finished means the space is organized, trash is thrown away and donations/recycling actually make it to the donation or recycling center. You will greatly decrease the odds of ending up with an unfinished area possibly in worse condition if you consider all the steps necessary to achieve “finished”.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you create your plan. Write down the questions and answers. A good plan has much more power when it’s on paper.

What problems do I see with the area I want to organize?

You probably have an idea of how you want the area to be. What isn’t fitting with that vision? Is the pile of mail and papers on the kitchen counter bothering you? Write it down. What do I want my counter to look like?

What can I take away from this space?

In the example of the kitchen counter, can you move the dish of miscellaneous paper clips, rubber bands and keys somewhere else? Or, is there a better looking, more organized container to keep them in? Can I hang the keys on the wall?

What do I need in or near the area to serve the purpose I have planned for it?

Do you need something decorative in the space or functional and organized? If your plan is to get things off the floor in the mudroom, maybe an over-the-door shoe organizer would help with cluttered looking shoes.

What habits need to change to solve the organizational problems?

When thinking about getting organized, many times we think that if we could find the perfect tool, it will be the solution for our disorganization. The reality is we also have to have the right habits to go along with the tools. If your family is in the habit of tossing their shoes into a pile as soon as they walk in, using a shoe organizer may have to be learned. Make sure everyone knows what the purpose of the new system is and how it works. Keep everyone accountable for following the new habit for a few weeks until it becomes something that can be done without thinking. What habits need to change in your room to make your tools and plan a success?

What’s Next?

Generating organizing ideas and plans for a space can often trigger ideas about other rooms and spaces in your home. Do not choose the next room, or space until you complete your first project. You may be eager, but take one step at a time. Remember the whole point of a plan is to make sure it gets finished! Before you know it, you'll be ready to create plans for every room in the house.

 

Past Tips:

Start a Time Management Program

Could You Become A Minimalist?

What Can You Get Rid of Today?

Organizing your Kids’ Paperwork

Organize Your Photos

A Step by Step Guide to Paper Management

Clearing Clutter

Enjoy the Warm Weather & Get Organized Too!

Get Organized in a Bad Economy

January is Get Organized Month

Organize Your Closet