Do you love making New Year’s Resolutions?
The New Year holds such promise of a fresh beginning.
Anything seems possible.
And if you’ve been struggling with a messy, unorganized home this year, you might be tempted to add ‘Get Organized’ to your list of New Year’s resolutions.
But ‘get organized’ is a resolution that’s super tough to succeed at - much like ‘quit sugar’ forever and do yoga at 5am daily.
Don’t get me wrong.
‘Get organized’ is a great intention.
But trying to organize your entire life/house is a huge time-consuming, exhausting task that’s going to be overwhelming especially if you have children.
So, what’s a mama to do?
Let’s find out!
Make Small Changes for Big Results
‘Get organized’ suggests that you’re going to organize every inch of your home. And then keep it organized forever.
And it’s not even necessary to ruthlessly organize your entire house.
When I was in the military, one of my old Sergeants used to tell us that you only need to change the steering of a ship by a few degrees to completely change its destination.
What does this mean?
It means that you can get huge results by making small changes
For example, you can take an outfit from drab to fab by adding a belt or tucking in your shirt. Small change. Big result.
And here’s a home organizing example, you can make your kitchen feel much more organized by keeping the crap off the kitchen table. Voila!
So the key to ‘getting organized’ is to focus on small things that will get you big - nay, major - results.
Because who’s actually got time to artfully stack Oreos???
But how do you actually do this?
So, What Does ‘Get Organized’ Mean, Anyway?
First figure out what ‘get organized’ actually means to you?
To some moms, it will mean color coded Lego and neatly stacked Oreos.
(I know I’ve mentioned Oreos 3 times already. Sorry, I must be hungry!!)
For others, it will mean finding a clean bra and not being featured on Hoarders.
So what does ‘get organized’ mean to you?
OK, that sounds annoying and woo-woo. So let me ask you this: how will you know when you’ve ‘got organized’?
Fans of setting SMART goals will recognise this question.
What Are SMART Goals?
If you’re not sure what a SMART goal is, it’s a goal setting method that ensures our goals are:
S - Specific (What specifically are you trying to achieve?)
M - Measurable (How will you know when you’ve reached your goal?)
A - Achievable (Do you have the time, money, energy, ability to achieve your goal?)
R - Relevant (Do you actually want/need to achieve this goal?)
T - Timely (Is this an appropriate goal for you in this season of life?)
As a goal setting process, it’s not perfect.
But it does force you to ask yourself some serious questions before you jump headlong into a NY Resolution setting frenzy.
You can see that ‘get organized’ is not a SMART goal because it’s so vague and all encompassing.
So, what should you do instead?
Make a List of Shit That REALLY Annoys You
The key to making big changes with small actions is to focus on the shit that really annoys you daily.
Things that make steam come pouring out of your ears, like:
Those shoes left out in the hallway.
The Lego you keep standing on - ouch!!!
The crap all over the kitchen table.
The laundry you never stay on top of.
So grab a pen and paper and make a list.
Better yet, keep your pen and paper with you for a couple of days and write down the unorganized shit that annoys you as you go through your everyday life.
And don’t forget to add things that are playing on your mind - even if you don’t physically see them.
For example, the savings account you need to add some money to. If it’s on your mind, it’s damaging your calm, mama! Add it to your list.
And that ‘shit that annoys you list’ is what you should focus your time and energy on to organize.
Where to Start Getting Organized
Ok, so when you’ve made your master list of things you want to organize, it’s time to figure out where to start.
And it’s not easy,
Because when it comes to ‘getting organized’ there are three different strands.
And most of us need to do a mix of all 3.
Decluttering - This isn’t about minimalism. It’s about not tripping over shit you don’t need.
Organizing tasks - these are one off tasks you can do and tick off your master to-do list.
Like organize pantry with cute mason jars or declutter kitchen table. These are great for setting you up on the right path.
Organizing habits - these are things we do daily or weekly to stay organized.
Like put food away neatly in pantry after grocery shopping. Or training our family to keep their shit off the kitchen table.
You can’t stay organized without creating some strong habits - and that’s the hard part, isn’t it?
Don’t Add ‘Get Organized’ to Your NY Resolutions - Do This Instead
So let’s recap…
Step One - Make a Master to do list of stuff you need to organize. You can do this by writing down the shit that annoys you as detailed above.
Or you can go round your house with a clipboard and pen and make a huge list of stuff to organize.
(This might be a bit scary so take some Oreos with you for comfort.)
Step Two - Now take a look at your list - eek!
And see what you need to start with: decluttering, or organizing tasks, or organizing habits.
If you think you need to declutter, check out these helpful posts:
If you need to organize some spaces check out these helpful posts:
For quick wins, check out this list of 83 organizing tasks you can do during a commercial break.
If you need to organize a whole room, here’s how to plan a huge-ass organizing project.
If you need to set up some good organizing habits, check out this helpful list of organizing systems to make your home run more smoothly .
If you think you need a mix of all 3, check out this 30-day action plan to tame your messy home.
Remember to be really specific about what goals you’re going to set for yourself.
Following the SMART goal setting process listed above is a great way to make sure you’re setting yourself up for success.
Get More Organized in 2019
Getting more organized is a great way to kick off a new year.
Just be careful not to set ‘get organized’ as a vague New Year Resolution. Instead get gin-clear on what specifically is making you want to tear your hair out.
And, mama, you don’t need to ruthlessly organize your entire life into mason jars. Just a few small changes can make a HUGE change to how organized you are.
So, let me wish you a Happy New Year!
And Happy Organizing - you got this!!
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