With the holidays behind us and a brand new year ahead of us, it seems logical that January should be "National Get Organized Month." Most of us – even professional organizers – have something in their home or office they’d like to have decluttered or better organized. These cold winter days are a perfect time to tackle a new project with a few tips and tricks.
1. Be clear on what you want. Don’t just go out and start buying bins, boxes and baskets to organize things. First, determine why you want to tackle this project. Is it simply to tidy up or is it to, for example, have a mudroom that functions to make your family’s comings and goings more efficient? If you set aside the time to clean the mudroom, you’ll have a clean mudroom. For the time being. But if you’re looking for a space that supports your family’s efficiency coming and going, you’ll have to do things differently if you want a different, long-lasting result.
2. Be clear on what functions to keep. In the act of decluttering, we seek out those things that support our vision and bring us joy, and discard those that aren’t up to the task. Likewise, your space can only serve a limited number of functions well. That mudroom is a great place for coats, hats, boots and backpacks. But if your kids are stashing iPads and other handheld devices there, that is a dangerous place to store electronics and it’s inconvenient, too. How about the dog bowls, leashes, and dog food? It is a logical place with room for that function? If not, find a better suited place for pet supplies.
3. Make it easy to keep it tidy. To the extent possible, store things where you use them – that makes it easy to put items away when you’re done using them. You wouldn’t store bedsheets in the kitchen, but you might store them in a linen closet near the bedrooms or in the bedroom closet so they’re handy when it’s time to change sheets.
4. Enjoy a job well done. Once you’ve decluttered, organized, and aligned functions of your space, you should take time to appreciate the new-found efficiency of your space. That enjoyment or little reward is what reinforces your new behavior and will, over time, create positive habits that support your vision for what you want. Once it’s a habit, you and your family can ‘automatically’ keep your space tidy and save time for activities you’d rather be doing.
Certified KonMari(r) Consultant
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