With the New Year approaching, many turn to making a resolution to get organized! However, when you’re living with years of accumulated clutter, it’s best to take one step at a time. This is why New Year’s Resolutions don’t always work. We try to do everything at once and hope it sticks, and when it doesn’t we give up. Instead of making a resolution to get organized, make rules instead and at the same time you’re learning new habits.
Learning new habits is an important part of getting and staying organized. As with any new habit, it takes awhile, but if you can figure out a few quick and easy household tasks, your home will remain clutter-free. Creating rules for yourself can also help keep up the momentum and also maintain order, e.g. you’re building in ongoing maintenance into your schedule which is the key to the organization sticking. For example, if you have a habit of paying bills late, you could make a rule to pay your bills on one or two specific days a month, say the 1st & 15th, depending on when you get paid.
Here are 10 more organizing rules you could set for yourself to get organized and stay organized. Many of them may only take a few minutes a day or week, so see what you can add to your new list of rules:
Make a rule to…
- Make your bed as soon as you wake up. Teach other family members to do the same. Remember, you’re not aiming for perfection – just good enough.
- Shred a few papers, or find out when the next free community shredding event is and schedule it on your calendar.
- Clear the kitchen sink before bed.
- Put all toys away before bed.
- Put in a load of laundry when you get home from work. Switch the load to the dryer after dinner, and fold before bed. Or fold first thing in the morning.
- Don’t take mail to the bedroom. Find an area to sort your mail near when you enter, and plan to go through it at least every other day. Be sure to separate important action items so that they don’t get lost (like bills/tax related papers).
- Schedule one or two days a month to file away a few papers. Schedule more time if you handle a lot of paperwork. If you’re trying to go paperless, look for a desktop or phone scanner app to make it easy.
- Plan your meals for the week on Saturday or Sunday, or whenever you’re off work.
- Clean out the refrigerator once a week, or before you go grocery shopping.
- Do a pantry inventory at least once a month to make sure you’re not purchasing duplicates of items you already have. Ideally, this should be done before planning your grocery shopping, but for very busy people, this may not be feasible. Do what you can.
If this list of rules is all new to you, pick one or two a week and get started. Add the rest as the new habits start to stick. I guarantee you’ll begin to see a positive difference in your home and stress levels! Good luck and Happy New Year!
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