New Year’s Resolution Guide: How to Get Organized

Sara Heins |
New Year's resolutions are often made with the best intentions, but did you know that one-third of resolution-makers don't even make it out of the first month? Furthermore, less than 10 percent of people follow through and make long-lasting changes for life. One of the biggest reasons people fail with their resolutions is because they try to change too much at once. We suggest adding small, good habits every week as you add onto the changes you've made from the previous one – this way, you'll never feel too overwhelmed or feel like you don't have the time or energy to better yourself. Along with losing weight and saving money, getting more organized is a popular objective people strive for this time of year. Whether it's cleaning up your workspace, your attic or your computer's desktop, de-cluttering aspects of your life can relieve stress and increase your general efficiency in other areas of your life, too! Want to beat those odds and actually make a difference this year? We've created a list of weekly goals to meet to get you over the hump and onto your new lifestyle.

Week One – Use Your Momentum!

Massive organization involves major de-cluttering. While you're still in your resolution honeymoon phase, now is the best time to take care of some of your more "procrastination-prone" tasks. First thing's first - it's time to look up and reserve a storage unit near you so it's ready when you need it. For the first week, while you're feeling overly ambitious and still have the adrenaline rush coursing through your veins, do something "drastic."  Start getting rid of anything you don't use (haven't touched in a year or more) or don’t absolutely love. Use this helpful flowchart from the De-clutter Guide: How to Clean Out the Closet to find out what kinds of gifts you should keep and what you should toss.
De-clutter Guide: How to Clean out the Closet
Produced by StorageFront. Copyright 2013.
Anything sentimental you do choose to "hoard" or whatever seasonal items you don't need year-round can go into self storage to clear up additional space.

Week Three – Maintain your progress.

Now that you're left with only the important household items, it's time to use your leftover motivation to organize your closet and other storage spaces. Start buying fancy Ikea bins and labels to keep everything in order. Your goal for this week? Everything should have a designated place. By creating this system, you mentally know that everything has a space where it belongs, allowing you to put things away quickly and easily.

Week Three – Maintain your progress.

Let's recap our progress so far. We've:
  • De-cluttered by tossing useless items or moving things you need into a storage unit.
  • Prepared ourselves for organizing by buying all the bins we need and have created a proper place for everything.
Now it's time to maintain. For week three, focus on making sure everything is put back in its rightful place. You've spent the last two weeks purging and creating a system so force yourself to stay on top of it now. For instance: Let's say it's the hallway right by your front door – there are always at least six pairs of shoes hanging around. This week, make an effort to, each time you take off your shoes, pick them up and move them to your closet or other shoe depository of your choosing. Another way to maintain your home's newfound cleanliness is to combat future hoarding. Clean Organized Family Home recommends for every one new thing you buy, you should be able to toss three things.  This may seem a little extreme, but the thought behind it is in the right place – as you begin to accumulate more things, stay organized by consistently reassessing what you own and learning to part with what you no longer need.

Week Four – Add onto your existing habits, little by little.

Since you've gotten the big things out of the way and your momentum is (most likely) decreasing, it's time to start adding some new, smaller habits every week. Find out what's messiest or typically most unorganized around your house. Are you finding that dishes pile up in your sink? This week, focus on making an effort to wash anything you've used immediately after you eat.

Week Five – Did you survive the first month?

It's a month into the new year - are you feeling enlightened or ashamed at this point? If you have fallen off the wagon, it's never too late to get back on. Assess what has and hasn't worked. If you're struggling, there's a good chance you're trying to change too much in your life too quickly. Stick to simple alterations, and make an effort to get back on track.

Weeks Six, Seven, Eight, and so on – Don't give up!

Keep adding on to your current goals until your apartment, house or workspace is as clean and efficient as possible! We're so proud of you – not only did you become a more organized person, but you learned the key strategy behind developing new, positive habits. These tips can be applied to other resolutions and life goals as well. Whether you're trying to eat healthier, save money or learn a new skill, all it takes is a little discipline and a plan that's manageable.