Ask just about anyone what their New Year’s Resolution is and a large percentage of them will tell you something about getting organized. Some want to organize their garage, their attic, their basement, kitchen, closets, and the list goes on. It may not even be a specific project; they just say they want to get organized this year.
Here’s the problem. Organized is not a destination. When someone says they want to get organized I want to ask what happens when you get there?
Something has to change because anyone can get organized. The trick is learning how to be organized.
Things can be put away. Clutter can be reduced. Garages and any other area can be organized but what happens next?
Let’s rewind this conversation and look at it from a different angle.
What is prompting you to want to get organized?
This is the most important question to answer.
If you are thinking about getting organized for someone else, the organization will not stick because you have not changed your habits. Know why you want to get organized and then think about what habits you are willing to adopt or change to stay organized.
Why do the rooms/areas become full of clutter and disorganized? Is it because…
- No place to put things Is it difficult to put things away or find homes for them because cupboards and closets are full? Or is it because there’s a need for organizing tools like a bookcase or containers?
- There’s a habit of waiting until later Do you wait for the perfect time to deal with things instead of putting them away or evaluating them now? If you tell yourself, you will do it ‘later’, it will not happen because later is not a time.
- There’s no maintenance plan Maybe you do not have a plan for maintaining the various high traffic areas of your home.
Here are the best reasons to start the journey to be organized
- Minimize distractions Clutter is distracting. Every time you look at it, it sends you the message that there is something waiting for you to do something about.
- Reduce stress When you reduce the level of clutter in your home you also reduce your stress level. The nagging chatter inside your head about dealing with the things left undone is less noisy. You can find things when you want them AND you save money because you don’t spend money replacing things you know you have but can’t find.
- More free time If you reduce the amount of clutter, there’s less to take care of inside your home which leaves you with more time to spend with family, friends, and doing the things you want to do.
Tips to get organized and be organized in 2023
- Create a maintenance plan schedule time with yourself to do basic chores and to attend to anything left out, not put where it belongs.
- Before you bring something in think about where it will live. And ask yourself if you truly need it and will use it.
- Regularly evaluate your things think about how much is enough.
The very best reason to get organized is because you want to BE organized. Disorganization and the resulting clutter affect almost every aspect of life. It impacts the way your home looks. Things get lost and you waste money replacing them. It can negatively affect relationships, too. So, getting organized to be organized is a fabulous way to kick off the New Year.
Admittedly, it takes work and is not as simple as just putting things away.
If this is something you want to do reach out to a professional organizer for support, suggestions, and guidance. You can find a qualified professional organizer in your area by visiting either https://napo.net or https://challengingdisorganization.org. Many organizers will work either virtually or in-person and some also offer clutter support groups.
Jonda Beattie and I run a clutter support group called Clear Space for You. We start new groups at the beginning of every month. Both of us also offer virtual organizing and, if you’re in the greater metropolitan Atlanta area, in-person organizing. You can also connect with us on our Facebook page for organizing tips and advice. We are here to help.
Diane N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer® ,a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®, Master Trainer and owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC and co-owner of Release●Repurpose●Reorganize, LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia.