Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Years Resolution Two: Get organized.

(via Woman's Day)

Decluttering and getting organized is one of the most popular New Years resolutions. And rightfully-so. Most people have too much stuff and are out of space to store it all. Here are the most important pieces of advice to remember when purging and organizing (and yes, purging is necessary in order to achieve the results I'm sure you're looking for!):

Tip 1:
First pull everything out that you are trying to organize. Next, sort similar items together. Now, go through each category of belongings and get rid of one thing for every two you keep. (Or reverse those proportions if you have lots of stuff and are feeling very brave! It will pay off in the long run, I promise!) Finally, find a place for everything. Use lots of bins and store like items together. Making sure everything has a proper home is the most important part of the entire process. How can you put something away if it doesn't have a place to go?!

Tip 2:
Don't go at it alone! Call in a friend, an expert (like me), anyone who will be honest with you and help you get rid of the things you don't really need or the clothes that aren't especially flattering anymore.

Tip 3:
Try photographing your stuff. Sometimes seeing things on a 2-D plane helps you see them in a different light and removes your sentimental tie to the items. It helps highlight how much stuff actually is in that closet, cupboard, desk drawer, etc.

Tip 4:
Keep in mind all of the people that could benefit from your belongings that you don't really need. By donating your stuff to a worthy cause, your items will bring joy to someone in need instead of stress to you.

Tip 5:
If you purchase a newer/better/cuter version of something you already own, get rid of the old version.

Tip 6:
Make sure your organization system is attractive and you'll be much more likely to use it!

Tip 7:
Edit your belongings. Instead of having 20 mugs in your kitchen cabinet, keep only your 5 favorites. This way, every morning when you enjoy your chai latte, you'll love the mug you're drinking from instead of feeling so-so about it. Same theory with sweaters, purses, bath towels, blankets, etc.

Tip 8:
Tackle one small area at a time. You won't be able to complete an entire room in an hour. Instead, organize the pile of clutter on your coffee table or your overflowing bookshelf. Don't move on to the next area until you're finished with the first one.

Ask yourself these questions (and be honest with the answers):

Does having all this stuff enhance my life or cause unnecessary stress?

Do I really need five pairs of black heals, or could I get by with half the amount and actually have enough space in my closet for my shoes?

Would I miss this if it were gone, or would I forget about it in a week's time?

Have I used/worn this lately? Am i honestly going to ever use/ wear this?

Being organized allows you to not only access but also showcase your belongings, which is essential to enjoying the things you have. For example, a closet with a pile of clothes in the corner is not conducive to happiness and tranquility when getting dressed in the morning. You forget what you have, can't find what you're looking for, and therefore don't enjoy your things. When everything has a home, you know exactly what you have and where to find it.

WARNING: Following these easy rules will result in serious organization and higher quality of life. Think "more time for loved ones and activities I love; less time cleaning the same troubled spots over and over again, stressing over clutter, searching for lost items that are somewhere amidst the piles of clutter."

Here are some photos that should inspire you to start organizing.

(via stacksandstacks)

(via decluttermastery)

(via CLoset Factory)

(via Country Living)

(Organizing maven Miss Martha Stewart)

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