Organize This, Organize That

>> Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"Getting organized is one of the top five New Year's resolutions people make."
~Standolyn Robertson, president of the National Association of Professional Organizers
Did you make a resolution to get organized this year? I think the majority of us make this resolution in one way or another. My resolution was to set up household routines and stick to them so that I can have more fun. Part of that will be getting things organized, so yeah, I made that resolution too. :) I can certainly understand why so many of us make these types of resolutions. The new year symbolizes a "fresh start." And our external environment is often a reflection of our internal environment - a cluttered home (or work space) reflects a cluttered mind.

Since January is National Get-Organized Month, I thought I would list some tips and tools for getting organized.

Lighten Up: Feng shui experts have found that well-lit areas tend to have less clutter. Look around your home and see if this is true for you. I know it is for me! If it's cloudy or dark in the house I feel like I can get by with doing less - I don't see the dust and mess as clear as I would if it were bright in the house. Add some brighter lamps, open up the curtains - let the sun shine in.

A Home for Loose Items: We all have these areas in our homes, they tend to be the hot spots - where we set all the little things that seem to float around the house (magazines, remotes, keys). Find a basket for each type of item so that it will have a home - other than the flat surface you are trying to keep clean.

Store items close to where they are used: Does your family play games in the living room? Set a nearby shelf or closet aside to store them. Do you craft? Think about setting up a crafting area near where you craft. Storing items close to where we use them increases the likely hood that they will be put away when we are finished with them.

Websites: There are a ton of organizational websites out there for your use. Here a  few that I use on a regular basis.
  • Organized Home - Clean House, Cut Clutter, Get Organized at Home!
  • Flylady - Creating routines, decluttering, cleaning by zones all 15 minutes at a time. Flylady's system is done using a Household Notebook. I personally love the notebook but I pick and choose what I use from the Flylady site. It doesn't all work for me.
  • My Messy House - I use this for my Weekly House Blessing (Flylady term). Flylady has WHB on hour a week, that's impossible for me no matter how hard I try. So I use the My Messy House plan to do my WHB one room (lucky room of the day) per day (Monday - Friday).
  • S.H.E.'s Organized - This is the home of Pam Young and Peggy Jones' Sidetracked Home Executives™ household management system. This is where I started. I am a proud SHE. This system is often referred to as being "in the box". It's set up with 3x5 cards and a box holder. I have incorporated a lot of Pam & Peggy's system into my Household Notebook.
Apps: I am sure there are a lot more apps and computer programs you can use for helping you get organized but here are just a few I use or have tried.
  • Google Calendar - You can use this in place of a household notebook. I also have a few friends that use Outlook instead of a notebook. 
  • Cozi - This is a free online organizer (there is also a free mobile app). You can use it for appointments, lists, blogging and you can share with family members online too!
  • Home Routines - This an app for the itouch/iphone. This is one of my favorite organizational apps. I love this app. I have recommended this app to a few friends on Twitter too and they have loved it too. It is one app that is absolutely worth buying. One friend bought an itouch just to download this app. :)
  • Awesome Note - This is another app for the itouch/iphone/ipad. I just downloaded it this weekend and I love this app as well. There are so many things you can do with this app - it's amazing. It ranks right up there with the Home Routines app and I've only had it about 3 days. 
So go have some fun getting organized this year! Remember this though - motivation follows action. Don't let yourself stop you from reaching your goals. Waiting for the motivation to strike or waiting until (insert whatever you are waiting for) often results in never reaching our goals. Vision what you want and then just go for it! Once you start working towards your goal, you'll be surprised how much motivation you will find to continue. Progress not perfection - life, organizing, loving ourselves -it's all a journey!

Do you have any tips or tricks for getting and staying organized? I'd love to hear them!


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