Happy New Year All!

I hope your holidays were wonderful and you are ready to begin a fresh new year.

As we start a new year, it’s also a great time to get fit, start a new hobby or bring order to our home. If your New Year’s resolution is getting organized, here is what I call "The Simple List to Get Organized in 2013".

Set Your Goals

Whether you want to travel to faraway places, lose weight or get organized, record your goals for the New Year and the steps you will take to reach them. Keep your goals in a place where you can see them daily. 

Out With the Old, In With the New

While putting away gifts received for the holidays, shed those items no longer in use. If you received a new scarf, handbag or jacket, donate or consign those you no longer use or wear.

Store Holiday Decorations

Take down and store your holiday decorations. Share or donate any that were not used this year. Create a designated holiday storage area in your garage, basement, attic, laundry room or in any area where there is storage space or cabinets. Label decorations by area or room.

Holiday Greeting Card Solutions

It’s okay to keep Holiday Photo cards as long as you frame your favorites, organize and contain the rest in photo albums, dvd/cd boxes or a card keeper. Remember to record addresses from friends and families that may have moved this year. Try saving the envelopes of those you need to update and set some time on your calendar, such as a Sunday afternoon to update your address book.

Get Picture Perfect

Organize printed images or digital photos by setting up an organizational system that works for you. Think outside the photo album with photo-software packages, CD or DVD boxes set up as a recipe file with tabbed dividers. Include index cards with the details of the events and names of those present.

Take a New Approach

Every year we start with a resolution to get organized, but soon after we clear the clutter we tend to stock up on more “things” now that we have free space. This year, take a different approach by living with less and keeping only the things that matter, are meaningful and that you are willing to let take up space in your home.

Where do I start?

Many people say “I’m feeling overwhelmed” or “I don’t know where to start”.  Begin with what bothers you the most and take one step or work on one project at a time. Surprisingly, one of the resolutions that people mention have made them feel better, is making the bed. Since I make my bed practically while my husband or I are still in it, I never thought this to be an issue for people. Making your bed is a great way to start your day feeling just a small sense of accomplishment. It’s also nicer to get dressed in an organized and neat room and who wants to get into a messy bed at night?

Room by Room

The most common clutter problem areas we hear about are the closet, kitchen pantry and shower. No matter what the area, take an organized approach to organizing your home. This may sound like double talk, but make a list of what you would like to accomplish by area of the room and the tools or items you need for the job. For example, in the bedroom you may want to organize your closet, drawers, jewelry, cosmetics, linen cabinet and under the sinks. Create a list of the items you need to organize those areas, keep it simple and remember that years of clutter did not happen overnight. Be patient and don’t get discouraged.

Take 10!

We feel better when things around us are neat and organized. When everyone is tucked in and just before you go to your room to read, watch television, “Pin” on your iPad or spend alone time with your husband, take ten minutes to tidy things up. With order around you, you’ll feel more relaxed to sleep, happier in the morning when you return to the kitchen and less stressed with your children. Also try making your lists for the next day. I find that I sleep better when I see what’s ahead and it makes things more manageable for me.

The Sanctuary

Your bedroom should be your sanctuary and the place you want to spend time at the end of the day. Create an atmosphere and personal space for yourself where you can relax, rest, romance, sleep and dream. Surround yourself with beautiful fabrics, pillows, good books and only things you will enjoy.

The Closet Tip – Paring Down Your Wardrobe

While we are obsessed with all types of organizing, we admit that have some extra love for closets. Get serious this year about what you wear and what you don’t.  While there are always exceptions to the rule, here is one our favorite Peter Walsh closet tricks that will help you keep clothing under control:

  • Turn all hangers around on your closet rod so that hooks are pointing toward you.
  • When you wear something, hang it back up with the hook the normal way.
  • In six months time, any hangers still facing the wrong way means you haven’t worn that item and it’s time to donate or consign it.

Easy and very smart! 

Tackle Cosmetics

Get rid of perfumes, nail polishes, lipsticks and cosmetics you no longer use. Perfumes typically lose their pizzazz after three years. The last number on the bottom of the bottle was the year it was made. If you received a new scent as a gift over a year ago and still haven’t used it, give it away to someone who will.

Jewelry Organization 101

Create spaces that work best for the type of jewelry you are organizing. Multipurpose hanging jewelry organizers are an excellent choice and most are under $15.00. Keep necklaces and bracelets individually so that they don’t get tangled together. Earrings should have their own compartments. Use a trinket tray at your bedside to keep those items you use daily, but don’t want to sleep with.

Free Up Space

This is another term for “going vertical”.  With only so much floor space to go around, mount your television, use wall or closet organizers for shoes, handbags, scarves, belts, accessories and toys, such as action figures. Use the back of closet doors wherever possible.

Get the Kids Involved

Your mother was right; you are never too young to be organized. Create toy storage areas with your kids and teach them to keep books and toys organized, neat and where they belong.

Go Paperless

While there will always be a place in our hearts for paper, take time to bring your excess paper to the digital world. Transferring or scanning statements, invoices, documents and receipts will save trees, reduce clutter and makes things easier to find.

The Rules for 2013

  • Choose at least one goal that you are committed to and will accomplish.
  • Never label anything miscellaneous. Just do it.
  • Let go of the things that are weighing you down once and for all.

Whatever your New Year’s Resolution, I wish you success and an amazing 2013.

Happy Organizing!

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