Top 5: Resolving to Organize?

January 1, 2013

A common New Year's resolution is to get more organized. With the arrival of new gifts at Christmas, we discover that we need more space or more storage for what we have received. There is a constant need to get ourselves, our homes, our classrooms, our offices organized. We hurry to the store to buy containers, baskets, shelving units, or other organizational device of our choosing, only to bring it home and then say, "Now what do I do?" No worries, below I have provided tips to help you get (and stay) organized this year.

1. Understand Why
Perhaps the most important issue related to making organization a New Year's resolution is to discover and understand WHY we keep things. We accumulate an abundance of possessions we think will make us happy. What we find out, however, is that we become encumbered with how to store it all, or we seem to never have sufficient time to enjoy them.

Many people struggle with a variety of issues such as emotional attachment, compensation for a loss, or fear of loss. The real challenge for most people is letting go of what is a "perceived" need. Will we lose our memories of a loved one? Will we lose everything we have if we let some things go? Will we cheat our children by not giving them everything? The answer, while difficult to admit, is no. When we learn and understand why we keep on keeping, then we can begin to resolve our issues and truly get organized, inside and out.

2. Create a Plan
If you currently have a large closet or storage space, visualize what you want the space to look like. Draw a sketch of your ideas on a piece of paper. Consider what containers you already own and use them before buying more. Create a budget for what you can afford to spend on your space and stick to it.

3. Less is More
Remember, less is more. Rather than trying to keep everything stored somewhere, sort or eliminate what is no longer used. These items can be given to someone else to use, or they can be consigned or donated. My rule of thumb is if it has remained untouched for one year, get rid of it. The only exception is for seasonal items -- within reason. If there are 20 sets of Christmas placemats, part with at least half of them if not more. Using the less-is-more concept for organization, there will be more room for every day living.

4. Large Then Small
Once it's determined what to keep, plan to store large items first, then small items. Just like packing for vacation, it is best to pack large items in the suitcase and tuck the smaller things around them. Space will be utilized more effectively. For example, pack clothes before packing shoes, blow dryer, etc. Packing small items first will take too much room for larger, more important things. Before deciding which storage containers to purchase, accommodate your largest items. The small things will store around them in the container.

5. Commit Fully
Making a New Year's resolution to get more organized requires a daily commitment. Understanding why we hold onto things, as well as using the less-is-more and large-then-small concepts, we can learn to let go, get organized and have more room to live!

Thanks for following Practips!

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