5 Ways to Make 2013 Your Most Organized Year Yet

I originally wrote this article for the January issue of eatlovemove, the newsletter of ZMoves, a fantastic fitness studio in Fort Worth offering Pilates, Barre, Zumba, Gyrokinesis and more. It's a great place and the owner, Zoe Stein Pierce, has been a friend of mine for many years. If you're looking to tone up and lift and tuck your tushie, they can help you make it happen. ********************************************************************

5 Ways to Make 2013 Your Most Organized Year Yet

if-youre-waiting-for-a-sign-this-is-it1I hear it every year. So many people want to get organized and end up falling short of their goal before they give themselves the chance to reach it. With these five tips, you’ll be able to create the organized home you want.

Rip off the Band-Aid. The biggest obstacle to organization is “I’ll do it later.” Later doesn’t exist. Rip off the Band-Aid and do it now. Any little bit counts. Start in a small, well-contained and un-emotional area like the refrigerator and hit it. Each small success boosts your motivation and prepares you for larger tasks like that crazy, spare bedroom.

Know the basics. Every room must have its goal or purpose (can be multiple like office/gym/storage) and each item in that room must support that purpose. (Sheets don’t live in the kitchen.) Then every item that takes up valuable real estate in your home is something that you need (really need don’t just think you may need one day perhaps), use (actually remember when you last used it and it worked when you did), and love (really love. “Kinda OK” is not good enough for you or your home.) Each of these items that you need, use and love has a place where it lives in your home.

Take it one step at a time. Looking too far ahead in the process can make the task feel overwhelming. First, sort like with like and let go of what isn’t serving you. Next, decide how you want your things to function and then purchase items (only if necessary) to set up your organizational systems. While working, focus on one area at a time. Finish one room before you move on to the next. Work in a methodical fashion around the room so you see progress. Bouncing from place to place and room to room doesn’t show progress and is detrimental to motivation. Multi-tasking is not a virtue here.

Commit to it daily. Where many organizing efforts go awry is in the thought that it will be fixed in a week or weekend. It took longer than a weekend to get things to their current state. It will take longer than a weekend to get out. You’re putting too much pressure on yourself by doing this. Instead, commit to 5, 15 or 30 minutes every day to get rid of clutter. This cultivates the daily habit of tending to your home. Once the areas are rid of their clutter, take that daily time to “reset” the house and put everything back where it belongs.

Enjoy the process. It can feel tedious, especially when you’re overwhelmed, frustrated and don’t know where to start. However, as you start letting go of what no longer serves you and see your new, organized home take shape, everything becomes quicker and easier. The hardest part is getting started.

Getting organized is a process. Staying organized is about cultivating the daily habit and slow and steady wins this race. Take a little time every day to get rid of the clutter. When the clutter is gone, take that time to create systems to make your things work for you. When the systems are in place, take that time to put everything back where they live. Most importantly, keep going. Things will occasionally go awry. Tend to them and keep going.