January is National Get Organized Month so what better way to step into this New Year than with some tips and ideas to get started! At Brogley's we have tackled all sorts of decluttering projects. From studio apartments to mansions, we have learned so much about what can make the biggest differences in quality of life. Below are 5 tips that can be incorporated today to make a big impact.
1. Find What Works for You
Most often the reason we don't follow through with our new resolutions is because we choose unrealistic goals and we lack a plan of action. So the first step to getting organized is to find the right system for you.
Here are a few tips for finding your fit:
Start Small - Break down bigger goals into easy, small steps to begin implementing immediately. Especially if you are tackling a big project. Too much, too fast can overwhelm and discourage you.
Start Simple - A common impulse is to pick a radical and life-changing new system, organizer, planner, book, etc. However this can mean we become too invested in a process that may not fit our needs or personality, which can make it harder to change and adjust later.
Start Together - One of the best ways to stick with a goal is to find support from others. Rather than making the system or process the focus, find a friend who also wants to get organized and tackle your goals together. Find someone who knows you well and is motivated. This support will help you push through any setbacks or discouragement.
2. Schedule Your Goals
The second biggest reason a new resolution can fizzle out is because we lack a scheduled plan of action. There are MANY ways to schedule your time so it is important to find what is the most helpful and easiest to implement for you.
Here are few ideas to think through:
Wipe-Off Calendar - A weekly or monthly dry erase calendar that you can put in a place where you see it often. This helps you add and remove easily so it is perfect for those who find their schedule shifting. Here is an example: Amazon
Daily Planner - These binders come in all sorts of layouts and are great for the more meticulous and detail-oriented people. Planners provide lots of room to really think through each day, but they also require regular, consistent upkeep to be effective. Here is a review of some of the planners on the market from The Wirecutter: Our Favorite Paper Planners
Bullet Journal - This system combines planner and journal opportunities with a great deal of customizability. This has been a popular way for people who are more creative and in need of flexibility in their system. You can read more here: Good Housekeeping
Calendar App - There are MANY calendar and planning apps, but the easiest to implement is likely the one you already have on your phone. There are plenty of useful features, however the more important element is to simply get in the habit of consistently adding and updating your goals.
3. File Paperwork Immediately
As much as our world is going digital, we still have important records, documents, and letters that need to be kept in a safe place. The piles of paper are often one of the biggest sources of stress, not to mention the panic of trying to find that one record in the midst of the mess. If you have a mountain of paperwork in need of sorting, remember to take it slow as you toss and file each piece. However the most important principle of success is: Have an organized place for each piece when it arrives in your home. Placing a note, receipt, letter, or bill in a spot where it doesn't belong will mean extra steps later.
Here are a few ideas to help tame the paper piles:
Location For Opening Mail - Open the mail next to your filing cabinet and trash can. This eliminates the extra steps in the process and prevents piles from growing.
Toss Old Paperwork - Don't be afraid to throw away documents. Most bills and receipts can be thrown away after 3 years, sometimes sooner. Consumer Reports has a handy article to help with this step: How Long Should I Hold On to My Old Bills Other Documents
Eliminate Junk Mail - Did you know you can sign up to stop receiving mail offers from direct marketing and prescreened offers? The FTC has a list of useful links to do just that: Stopping Unsolicited Mail Phone Calls and Email
Go Digital - Some of the paperwork you file can be actually be saved digitally and the paper version shredded. You can do this with a scanner or simply the camera on your phone using an app like one of these: Best Mobile Scanning Apps The important part of this process is to have organized folders on your computer or in the cloud. A one-stop solution would be to use the Dropbox app to scan and store your files in the cloud.
4. Simplify Your Wardrobe
What you wear can bring joy rather than stress. Sadly our clothes and shoes often grow and grow to the point of overwhelming us and our space. So it is key to realistically go through everything you have and ask the hard questions. Pared down closets and drawers will free up space and shorten decision making when choosing what to wear. Remember to only keep the clothes that you enjoy wearing, and consider putting away off season clothing so that you have more breathing space, physically and mentally! Here are some simple steps when going through clothes:
Step 1: Pull it All Out - This can mean every piece of clothing and pair of shoes you own or simply a closet at a time. But make sure whatever the location, it all comes out and into a pile so you can go through everything.
Step 2: Create Sorting Piles - As you pick up each piece honestly evaluate it and place it in the corresponding pile:
Pile 1: Keeping - You enjoy wearing this garment and it is versatile.
Pile 2: Donating - It has usefulness, but doesn't work for you.
Pile 3: Selling - Is a valuable piece of clothing, accessory or shoes.
Pile 4: Trash - The piece cannot realistically be salvaged or repaired.
Step 3: Organize - There are many great organizing aids for your closet and drawers, so find what works to divide up your space and clothing best. For easy organization and sorting, an idea is to consider the container method. This will allow you to keep similar items in shallow bins for your drawers. Another win is storing all seasonal clothes/items in labeled bins and boxes.
5. Hire a Professional Organizer
Last but not least! It would be our pleasure to help you with the clutter in your home. Our sensitive and empathetic team have the skills you need no matter the size of the project. At Brogley's we want to empower everyone with the skills and tools for ongoing success. It is our joy to see lives transformed by helping bring order and peace to a space. Our clients are amazed at the life-changing impact our professional organizers provide.. We would be more than happy to sit down with you for a complimentary consultation to discuss what you need and how our team can help you get organized this year. Call or message us today!
Here's to a life changing 2020!
The Brogley's Team