Jeri Dansky is a professional organizer helping people tackle the clutter that drives them crazy. She works in-person with people throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, and also provides long-distance telephone coaching. She writes a free monthly newsletter and has a blog full of organizing insights and products.
Question: Each year I resolve to get organized, and each year I don’t stick with it. What can I do differently this year?
Answer: Try these suggestions to make things easier on yourself this year.
1. Set a reasonable goal for yourself. Being organized should allow you to find things when you want them, and to have a home that feels welcoming to you. But don’t expect your house to look like one of those design magazines!
2. Make it easy to put things away:
- Define a “home” for everything. You can’t put it back where it belongs if it doesn’t belong anywhere!
- Label the shelves, the bins and such so everyone remembers what get stored where. For children, you can label with pictures instead of words – and some adults might prefer that, too.
- Store things close to where they are used (except for things only used a few times a year). For example, if you do your scrapbooking on the dining room table, try to find a place close to that table to store your supplies.
- Try using hooks in place of hangers for coats, bathrobes, towels and other items; hooks are easier to use.
- Make sure your containers (closets, toy bins, file cabinet drawers) are no more than 80% full.
3. Try working with a friend who can help you stay focused, or who can serve as an accountability partner.