Happy New Year!
Wow…. Here we are at 2020. What in the world happened to 2019?? The years sure go by faster and faster these days. And where are the flying cars? I’m pretty sure when I was a kid, the idea of 2020 came with hovercrafts and silver jumpsuits for everyone. Wait. Maybe it’s a good thing that hasn’t panned out yet.
Anyway, as you are reflecting on 2019, and making plans and goals for 2020, if more organization is on your list, I have some suggestions for you:
- First of all, be reasonable and realistic. What is one of the main reasons we all fall off the weight loss resolution we set for ourselves? It isn’t real life. We try to go all in, work out every day, live and breathe the gym, grilled chicken and broccoli. It’s not sustainable over time. The same holds true for any resolution, including organization. Don’t try to get the whole house organized in a week with all the expensive systems you can find that you expect the family to adhere to right off the bat. Start with whatever space is your biggest problem. Take some time and really think about how your family uses that space, why it’s hard to keep it organized, and what would make it easier and sustainable. What will it take for the space to function better? And will your family do it?
- Change your mindset. If you only want to make 1 change, this is a great one to start with. Start thinking about purchases in a 1:3-5 mindset. That means for every 1 item that comes into your house (not including groceries, etc) 3-5 have to go out. Now, I can see your bulging eyes from here. Hear me out. This is not apples to apples, and it’s not just YOUR things. That means if you buy a pair of jeans, I’m not saying you have to get rid of 3-5 pairs of your jeans. That’s not realistic at all. I’m saying if you buy a pair of jeans, maybe you get rid of a game in the toy room that’s missing too many pieces to be played, your spouse gets rid of an old pair of tennis shoes, you donate a kitchen gadget you don’t use like you thought you would, etc. 3-5 THINGS from your house. If you change your thinking, I promise you there will be way less clutter in your house in 2020.
- Commit to 5-10 minutes per day. Commit to spending 5-10 min every day putting the mail away, straightening up the kitchen and/or your office, picking up stray toys, putting away laundry, etc. Just 5-10 min of maintenance per day can save you hours of time later on. And this is a great lesson to start teaching your children. We always tell them to put things back where they got them, but do we ever intentionally model that behavior for them? This is a great learning tool that will benefit the whole family.
- If you have the time and energy for a major purge of a closet or storage area, then you will be off to a great start. But please don’t rush out to buy a whole bunch of cute bins and baskets before you do so. It’s very important to purge first so you can actually see what is left to be organized. And again, don’t buy stuff because you found a super cute closet on Pinterest. Really, really think about how your family uses the space, what your needs are, and what is reasonable. Will your children be able to keep that Pinterest closet looking that way, or are you setting yourself up for failure?
- While we’re talking about purging…. As you are putting away holiday decorations, it’s a great time to look at what you used, and what didn’t make the cut this year. If you didn’t use it this year, chances are really good you won’t use it next year either. So it’s a great time to clear out the old to make space for the new. Also, look at the gift wrap and bags… How many gift bags do you have? Do you really need that many? Have some seen better days? Now is a great time to separate the good from the bad. And do you have any of those small pieces of wrapping paper that were leftover from your wrapping projects? Do you have a good way to save them for next year, or will they end up crumpled up and unusable? Consider recycling the little leftovers and start fresh next year.
- Pack up those decorations intentionally. Take the extra time to put like with like. Box things up carefully and neatly. It’s tempting to just shove everything wherever it will fit just to get it done, but your December 2020 self will appreciate the bit of extra time you take now to have everything exactly where it should be and in beautiful shape to decorate again with next year.
Whatever your goals for the new year are, I wish you the best of luck! Remember, don’t try to be Marie Kondo right out of the gate. Give yourself time to grow and make mistakes. Cut yourself some slack if you stumble, and get right back up and try again. And most importantly, remember being organized isn’t about what it looks like on Pinterest, or what Marie Kondo suggests. It’s all about what makes a space most functional for you and your family!