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Tips for that New Year’s resolution to get organized

by respaced on December 31, 2009

On this New Year’s Eve, I wonder if one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get organized. Are you fed up with the constant mess and the piles of stuff in your house? Are you tired of your home being a source of anxiety and despair rather than a place of refuge and relaxation? If so, you’re ready for a change.

But how do you get organized? First, by realizing that you don’t “get organized.” Organization isn’t a destination. It’s a decision you consciously make every day to buy less stuff, assign a permanent home to every item in your house and put your things away when you are done using them.

I have a few suggestions to help you start down that path toward a more organized lifestyle.

1. Read the book It’s All Too Much by Peter Walsh to learn about your relationship to your stuff and why your house has become so chaotic. Then, when you’re ready to start the actual hands-on sorting process, read the book Organizing From the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern. It’s a very readable, step-by-step manual on how to organize each room of your house.

2. Break your organizing project up into chunks of time rather than trying to organize an entire room in one day. This is so you don’t burn yourself out, making you dread organizing the other spaces in your house.

3. If you have trouble staying on task because you stop to relive memories associated with each object, consider asking a friend to be a body double for you. A body double is someone who sits with you silently while you sort each item, gently reminding you to return to the task at hand when you get distracted. Sometimes it helps if the body double, rather than you, picks up every item, brings it to you and asks you to make a decision about it.

4. Hire a professional organizer if none of the above works for you or if you need to get a space organized quickly. If you feel completely overwhelmed by the space in front of you, a PO can be of tremendous value.

You deserve to live in a home that is comfortable and relaxing. Let 2010 be the year where you make that happen.

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