New Year’s Resolution #3 – Get Organized

Sort items into boxes labeled trash, donate, storage, and “belongs in another room.”

The third post in our New Year’s resolutions series is about getting organized. It’s one of the top ten popular New Year’s resolutions. An organized work and home environment usually creates a less stressful and chaotic life. The focus of this post is to help you clear out some of the clutter in your home. Here a few tips that may help you be more organized.

Document your disaster. Before you begin clearing out the clutter, take pictures in each room, closet and garage. You’ll see why at the end of this post.

Organize each room in boxes. Label a box for trash, donations, storage and “belongs in another room.”

Attack the house room by room. Try not to get distracted and leave the room before you’re finished or at a good stopping point. You may find something in the living room that belongs in the bedroom. Just place it in the “belongs in another room” box and keep organizing.

Keep a notepad handy. No doubt, you’ll be knee-deep in 15-year-old bank statements when you discover you need a paper shredder or need to pay your cable bill. Write it on the notepad and keep organizing. Running out to the store or stopping to complete another task will most likely derail your productive momentum.

You don’t have to get it all done in one day. Resolve to complete a room a day. Devote as much time as possible until the chore is finished. Trust me…you’ll feel so much better when you’re done!

Tie up the loose ends. This can be the hard part. You’re almost done. You have your boxes for trash, donations, and storage. You’ve relocated the items from the “belongs in another room” box to their appropriate places. But, what can you donate and what is trash? Here is a list of items that you can donate and charitable organizations that will take them. Many organizations will come to your home to pick up your items.

To the dump! To make the process quicker, consider renting a truck. It will save you the time and gas required to cart multiple loads to the trash dump in your car.

Reclaim your garage. Is your car parked in the driveway because you’re using your garage as a storage room? After you get organized, you may discover you still don’t have room for certain things. These things could be seasonal items like clothes or decorations, baby furniture, or even recreational vehicles like ATVs or jet skis. Consider renting a self-storage room to free up space in your home. Make sure you only put items in your storage room that you plan on using again. Otherwise, you are just shifting your problem from one hand to another.

Celebrate your success. Review your “before” pictures. You may even want to take “after shots” to post online and show your friends and family. Your accomplishment may inspire others to organize their home as well. Now…sit back, put your feet up, and relax. You’ve earned it!

Good luck with your 2012 organization goals—whatever they may be!