It’s time to make some organizational goals for the New Year! Here are three you should add to your list.
The thing that I absolutely love about the New Year is the fresh start that it brings. Even though it’s in the middle of winter and the academic year, January 1st starts a new page in the calendar.
With a new calendar year comes the chance to evaluate what worked in the previous year, what didn’t and what you want to improve on. It also brings about another new set of organizational goals and resolutions that many people set for themselves only to abandon a few weeks or months into the year.
I personally like to set goals and mini-action steps to complete throughout the year to achieve my own personal and family goals. Regardless of how you go about planning for the New Year one thing is certain, for most people January brings about a season when people are ready to simplify and organize their homes.
Perhaps it’s coming off the season of excess with the holidays, but once the Christmas decorations are down, out come the cardboard and plastic storage boxes with the aspirations to clean and de-clutter every square inch of your house… in one weekend.
Here’s the truth, unless you are super dedicated and have the entire house to yourself, sans husband and children, the reality of de-cluttering and organizing your home in one weekend probably isn’t a realistic option for most, not to mention the fact that many of us simply lose steam after one or two rooms of intense cleaning. You quickly become aware, and even discouraged, by the amount of stuff you have hidden away in your homes.
Rather than trying to tackle your entire house in one weekend may I suggest something on a slightly smaller scale, yet still effective? Why not set 3 organizing resolutions for this year? Instead of trying to grasp the big picture, adopting 3 organizing resolutions will help you slowly transform your home, your heart and your mind towards de-cluttering, organizing and stuff in general.
Organizatinal Goals 1: Use Your Calendar
Probably my favorite thing about January 1st is the adoption of a new planner. You could say I’m a planner addict, I love to flip through the blank, crisp white pages adding notes, dates and important events with my bright markers, pins and stickers.
Whether or not you have an elaborate planner system in place, you probably use some sort of calendar, either on paper or in electronic form that you use to keep track of dates, appointments and other things that you need to remember. If you use your calendar to plan your professional life along with your family’s responsibilities, why don’t you also use your calendar to track your home organizational projects too?
Instead of having the ridiculously huge goal of trying to clean, organize and purge your entire house in one weekend, or even throughout the month of January, why don’t you break it down into smaller more manageable tasks?
For example one week you could add clean and organize the linen closet, the next week you could focus on the upper kitchen cabinets and another week you could focus on the lower kitchen cabinets. Slowly working through your home, room by room, closet by closet, over the course of a few weeks or months instead of trying to tackle the huge task all at once.
When you see it written down on your calendar in smaller, easier to digest tasks, those home organizing projects become much more manageable and something you actually probably will accomplish. Best of all, if you plan accordingly you could actually accomplish this goal early on in the year and spend the rest of the year just focusing on maintenance. If you are mindful after a complete home purging and de-cluttering, you probably won’t have to complete another one for quite a while!
Organizational Goals 2: Try the 30 Day Challenge
There are many 30 day challenges floating around the internet when it comes to cleaning and organizing your home but probably one is more beneficial than any others…
Spend 30 days getting rid of 5 items in your home a day.
Do the math, 30 days x 5 items means that you are clearing your home of 150 total things. These items could be items you donate or items that you just need to toss.
When I first completed this challenge I was a bit apprehensive, how could I possible have 150 things to get rid of? Oh but I did, plus more. I ended up giving away boxes and throwing away countless amounts of junk. Some days I found way more than 5 items to get rid of too.
You honestly don’t realize just how much you have hidden away in your home until you start to become very intentional about getting rid of it. And for the record, I am no minimalist either. While I work hard to keep my house clean and clutter free as well as organized, our home is still filled with stuff. It’s an ongoing challenge too because it always seems like more is being brought in, which leads me to my next resolution…
Organizational Goals 3: Become Aware of “Stuff”
Whether through you, your husband, your children, or well-meaning relatives through the generosity of gift giving, there is always a constant stream of stuff being brought in.
Most of it is necessary, like groceries and other disposable goods that get used up and tossed before opening a new one. However there is plenty of other items that get brought into our homes often without thought.
How many times do you go into a store with 3 things on your list and come out with 13? Target is my weak spot, I have to become very disciplined when I walk into that store with my list. Yes, sometimes we do find a killer deal on something we actually need or we save up enough money to purchase something that we have wanted for a while but when we bring those items into our homes we need to be aware that we are adding more stuff to our sometimes overflowing closets and cabinets.
I personally don’t follow the mindset that if you bring something new in, you take something out but I know many people who do. Instead I am purposely intentional about what is getting brought into my home.
When I make store lists, I carefully examine our cupboards and refrigerator to make sure what I’m adding to list is actually needed. When I do any type of shopping I carefully think through my purchases asking myself if this item is truly needed, beneficial, worth the space, and affordable?
Sometimes it’s not fun to put something back that I think I really want if it doesn’t match up to one of those questions, but if I take a step back, think on it a little while and even save up a little money to purchase it in the future, one of two things happens… 1) I’m much more appreciative of the item or 2) I can no longer remember why I wanted to purchase it in the first place.
When we become mindful about the things that are being brought into our homes we are much less likely to contribute to the added clutter in our homes. Plus we are modeling and teaching our children this important lesson as well, which is something that often isn’t taught in this instant gratification society.
By setting these 3 organizational goals for the New Year you are helping transform your mind set towards clutter as well as take small action steps over a period of time to rid your home of the excess, leaving you with a home full of items that you actually love and that are just taking up space.
For more information on organizational goals and getting organized in general, here are some more posts you might be interested in: