With the holiday season behind you, your home is likely filled with remnants of all the celebrating – decorations galore, gifts received, and items chaotically spread throughout your home. You may have taken a look around your home and created a resolution to get organized in the new year. If so, congratulations! You’ve taken the most important step toward an organized home.
Now you might feel a bit daunted by the task of getting organized. How and where should you begin? Even if you’re fully vested in and excited about your resolution, it can seem overwhelming. My advice? Jump in with one specific area of your home. Start small for the first project. Tackling a project will foster pride and allow your momentum to continue into organizing another space in your home. All of the social media, shows, and marketing surrounding organizing can make us delay beginning a project. It can make us feel like we have to have the perfect containers purchased and the desire for perfection can keep us from completing – or even beginning – our projects. I encourage you not to think too much about the project and jump right in!
Do you have that space in mind and still feel like you’re at a loss on how to begin? Please consider the following recommendations:
1. GROUP together all like items within the space. If you’re organizing a mudroom or entryway closet, for example, are all the gloves in the same area or are they tucked into different spots?
2. Once all items are together, you might be surprised at the volume of certain items. You might also find items you don’t want or need. If so, now is the time to
FILTER out all items no longer needed or that don’t belong in this room. I recommend filling boxes designated with certain categories: items to disperse throughout the house, items to donate, and items to discard. You might find that a fourth box is necessary: things that require an action.
3. Be proud that you made it this far! Now you’re ready to ORGANIZE! Decide what was working and what wasn’t working with the room. Maybe it’s fine now that you’ve reduced the number of items, but maybe the flow wasn’t efficient. Keep items close to the area they’re used and they’re more likely to be put away. Create zones for items and use containers and baskets to help establish your system. For example, a mudroom might have zones including sports, winter gear, mail, paperwork, etc.
4. Get the family on board so you can MAINTAIN. An organized home is better for everyone and the sooner your family realizes this, the better! Being able to easily find items is something that benefits everyone in a household and if everyone understands your thoughtfully created system, they are more likely to follow the plan. Even young children are able to put away items if you keep their landing zones accessible to them and show them what is expected.
Most importantly, don’t lose sight of your goal! It’s okay to get frustrated or temporarily lose motivation, so feel free to take a break from the project, but be sure to come back to it. Get inspiration online (my Facebook or Instagram accounts might offer you motivation) or chat with a friend to get advice as a fresh set of eyes. If you decide the job is still too much for you to handle, consider reaching out to a professional organizer. You may be surprised at how rewarding and life changing the service can be.
Happy new year and best of luck bringing more organization into your home so you can reap the rewards and make the most out of 2021!