Things to Think About Organizing this New Year

For some of you, you might have thought about all those wonderful things you want to do to better your mind, body and spirit, but what about your atmospheres ie.) livingroom, bedroom, office, etc.?  Here are some thoughts about organizing to help with your home or office space so you can be more productive this new year.

1.  Paper.  From receipts to magazines, every item should have a place that is easy to get to and out of view.  From hanging file folders to bins and binders, utilize what you already have before you buy more things to organize paper items.  Ask yourself, "How often will I need to get to these items?  Will I do anything with them if I should put them away out of view?"  Here's a thought things you know you will need, put them on a shelf or in a cabinet because you know you will be looking in those places for them.  But things you hope to get around to, organize them neatly in plain view and make a point to tend to them everyday.

2.  Food products and storage containers.  Some food items just don't get eaten because they aren't stored in containers or on shelves where people can see them.  Rearrange the fridge and the cabinets.  Do away with storage containers that don't let you see what is in them.  Find some space for the things you know everyone likes, but give away those items that have already proven they will never be used/eaten.  Note: when storing food items at the workplace, consider using storage containers.  This way rodents and insects will not have access to your goodies.

3.  Kitchen gadgets.  They come in handy when you need them, but when you don't, they are nothing more than space collectors.  Items you enjoy using store on a shelf unit or counter space that isn't used much.  Kitchen items that are only used once or twice a year store away in cabinets or plastic bins.

4.  Clothing and accessories.  How many ties, shoes, purses, shirts, jeans, and more do you need?  If you can answer this question then that's half the battle.  Sort items by season, size and color.  You will be surprised to see that some styles, colors, and other clothing items you have are in abundance to the point that you might never wear any of these items again.  When you find, for instance, you have far too many red shirts, size small and typically worn in the spring or summer, you might consider giving some of these items away especially when you know you haven't been a size small since the early 90s.  Consider organizers that make it easy for you to find what you need.  Shelf units, racks, closet hangers, and small plastic organizers can take the hassle out of organizing.  Drawer organizers can help with those items that can be tedious to find.

Once you start with sorting items in closets, cabinets and drawers, you will find it becomes less challenging to do other areas of your home.  Start with a room a week.  Have a trash bag ready, necessary organizers, and cleaning products.  You will find that as you begin moving things, you will find places that are dusty and in need of a good cleaning.  Enlist some help especially when you know you are the kind of person who doesn't like to throw away anything.  However, don't give your help a hard time because they aren't as close to your stuff as you are, remember your goal is to organize and clean your room not defend your stuff. 

As you begin to make progress organizing your home/apartment, you will hear those voices in your head that will tell you how you might need this one day or you will lose the weight so keep it, but the reality is that if you haven't used something or wore it in years, just because it feels like you will, most likely it isn't true.  Feelings lie.  When one is serious about using something and improving his or her life, he or she will not put off anything.  He or she will make the time to get things done.  Don't fight with yourself about keeping something, rather give items away to those who would get more out of them then you would.

The desire to organize is definitely a state of mind and one must be determined to stick to goals until they are accomplished.  Sure, there will be distractions, but one must keep focus.

Here's hoping your organizing and cleaning will be a success this year!  

Nicholl McGuire is the author of Know Your Enemy: The Christian's Critic and When Mothers Cry.

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