A new year means new goals to tackle! There is nothing more exciting than a blank slate in each new year. Each year we promise that we’ll lose weight, organize our homes and be kinder to others. I can’t necessarily help with weight loss or kinder words, but I can offer some tips to get organized. Enjoy these 17 ways to organize your life.
17.Write things down. Reports show that humans can remember more by writing things down. Pick up a planner or use an app on your phone to help you stay on track. Target has some great planner options to chose from and the Google Calendar app allows you to keep track of upcoming events and create reminders. Put goals and objectives into writing and see how much you can get done. (Plus crossing something off a list is surprisingly satisfying.) Don’t rely on memory this year, create reminders!
16. DIY Organization. Not every organizational task needs to be completed by bankrupting your account. There are several easy ways to organize even on the smallest budgets. Check this out for dollar store organization hacks.
15. Bye, Decorations. Nothing is as wonderful as the holiday season...except for when it’s over. Clean up and organization for next year can be daunting. You already have other projects for 2017, so maybe just try some ornament organizers or hooks for your wreaths. This is a simple way to increase organization without breaking organization goals or budget for other areas of your home.
14. De-Clutter. Nothing is as simple as donating or holding a garage sale for items you no longer use or have room for. If you’re like me, you probably have designated spots for everything, but those spaces can start getting tight because there are simply too many items. Yikes! Donate some of the extra clutter to simplify your 2017.
13. Weekly System. This year, try a weekly plan to keep your home clean and clutter free. You could clean the bathroom each Tuesday or pick up the kids toys after dinner to start. The best part is it’s up to you when things get done. Just don’t forget to keep track of the schedule. Don’t let the rest of the family miss out on the fun! Divide jobs between family members. Younger kids will be thrilled with the opportunity to help wash the dishes and you will be thrilled to not have all the work.
12. Carry-all totes! Going along with tip #13, you can streamline your cleaning process even more. Create totes with the cleaning supplies required to clean each room. For example, place Clorox, Windex, towel bowl cleaners, cleaning cloths and more in a tote for the bathroom. Hand totes to children and teens when it’s time to get cleaning.
11. Prioritize. There are many items in every home that only get used once a year. Those can be stowed in places that aren't highly used. Keep items which you use everyday in arms reach. Holiday decorations definitely go in the “once a year” category (unless you rock Christmas lights all year). If you find you don’t have enough space to stow everything, use a small wall or try floor-to-ceiling shelving. You can also consider an overhead rack that hangs from the ceiling in the garage.
10. Closet Hack. Closets can cause stress if they aren’t properly organized. Start by getting rid of things you never wear. This will give you a good chunk of the closet back and help you find things more easily. Next, try hanging entire outfits that you would wear on a single hanger. This contributes to saving time in the morning because you’ll love your outfit on the first try. Lastly, get out-of-season clothes out of sight. Summer dresses should be put away in a bin when it’s January.
9. Throw it away. Trash items that are no longer usable. This includes chipped, damaged and outdated stuff. Sometimes things are kept for pure sentiment instead of their actual use. If that’s the case, snap a photo of the item for remembrance and donate it to someone that would actually enjoy the item. Stop the pattern of hoarding by throwing out unusable items.
8. Take time. Time management can be one of the hardest things to accomplish even as adults. Using the handy planner mentioned above, block out time for each thing. You’ve been wanting to work out this coming year? Block out time within your schedule to get it done. Make yourself a schedule that can become a habit quickly. This simple tip will help you arrive on time to engagements throughout 2017.
7. Follow your budget. There is nothing more unorganized than a messy budget. Opt for a budget app to help keep things in check. (Every Dollar, You Need a Budget, and Mint are great options!) We may not realize what we are spending and saving unless we are inputting it. Quit wondering where all of your money went by telling it where to go with an organized budget.
6. Clean out food storage. A lot of times we can’t keep things organized because there are simply too many items in a space. I can almost guarantee that there are items in your food storage that are past the expiration date. Just throw them out! This tip also applies to your fridge.
5. Practice putting it away. After all of these tips, don’t waste your newly organized space. When you have finished using an item, practice putting it away when you notice it the first time. Don’t waste time putting it on the floor or in a random spot. If this doesn’t seem easy after awhile, maybe rethink where you have put certain things. Organization is not permanent, therefore it can be easily changed to suit your needs.
4. Password passbook, please! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard my parents trying to remember passwords for different sites. Luckily, my mom always had a little notebook with all the websites and passwords she needed to remember. Try getting a little notebook or pad to keep passwords close enough to be able to find. You could also use a digital alternative like Lastpass to keep track of various passwords.
3. Family information center. To fix scheduling conflicts and problems, consider an easy solution--a family command center. You can place everyone’s schedules on little calendars, events that you can’t miss, doctor’s appointments, sporting events, etc. This is a great way to keep track of everything. You can also include a chore list for each day on your family’s command center.
2. Unsubscribe. So many people complain about the spam and junk mail they get online. If you have never bought a product from them, chances are you won’t after all the junk they send to your inbox. Only keep your favorite brands and offers in your inbox. At the bottom of every email you get from a brand or business, there is an option to unsubscribe. You simply click that button and viola, no more emails! No more inbox frustration! Once you’ve unsubscribed, you’ll feel free to scroll through emails without threat of spam.
1. Clean up your digital life. Try turning off notification or restricting which notifications you want to receive. Most social media sites have a variety of different notification options you can choose from to make your digital life a little less cluttered. Consolidate apps that you use into folders or delete apps that you no longer use. The only way to be more productive is to make sure you are only getting the most important notifications. Otherwise, everything is just a distraction.
Make 2017 the most organized year yet with these tips. Take the initiative and change your routines. Remember, every little bit counts when it comes to organization, and it’s a process so stay positive. Enjoy your organized life!
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