Tips & Inspiration for Organizing a Simpler Life
January 2017 – Vol. 16 No. 1

The man who moves mountains begins by carrying away small stones. ~Confucious

get organized

                      Cartoon courtesy of Organized Greetings

What’s it going to take for you to get organized?

Did you make a New Year resolution to get organized? How’s that working out for you?

When you make a resolution, you are making a promise. But without action, a promise is just a promise.

Take baby steps. Don’t expect to get organized overnight. Take this organizing thing one day at a time and if that seems like too much, then take it 10 minutes at a time.

Know your why. Start with a clear understanding of your motivation. What do you stand to gain from organizing your kitchen or closet or whatever? What do you stand to lose if you don’t?

Accept your role. What are you doing that contributes to the clutter and chaos in your life? I believe that 90% of getting organized is getting out of our own way. When you are able to accept the fact that you are part of the problem, you are well are on your way to the solution which lies in changing your habits.

Think of one thing you do regularly that is something organized people probably do not do. For example, if you have a lot of “stuff” that is still sitting in shopping bags, try not to buy anything new for a month. If you tend to throw your coat when you come in the door, consciously retrain yourself to hang it up. Be patient with yourself. It takes a few weeks to establish new habits.

Take immediate action even it's just taking five minutes to organize your sock drawer. Click To Tweet

Create a one-month plan. Choose five things in your home or life that you most wish to get organized. List these items from highest to lowest priority. Get started on the one with the highest priority for you. Take immediate action even it’s just taking five minutes to organize your sock drawer. Or take some “before” photos so that once you get started, if you doubt you are making any progress, you can look back at those photos and prove that you are. If you get that first project done within the first 30 days, move on to the next priority. At the end of 30 days, make a new one-month plan.

Okay, so tell me…what organizing projects are on your to-do list for 2017? Any on your to-done list? I’ll share mine if you share yours!

Starting the year with a clean slate

In the 1925 book, The Customs of Mankind, author Lillian Eichler wrote: “In ancient England it was the custom to clean out the chimneys on New Year’s Day so that luck could descend and, of course, remain all year. With us it is customary to speak of ‘cleaning the slate’ and making good resolutions so the ‘slate’ will remain clean throughout the year.”

Favorite products and resources

As a professional organizer and certified House Cleaning Technician, I’ve used and recommended a lot of products, services and resources over the years. Every month in this column, I share new and old favorites.

get organizedget organizedLast month, I shared a crazy-good deal on my favorite gift wrap organizer – the Buddy WrapiT organizer. What I love about this product is that you can hang it up in a spare closet or store it under a bed and it’s got plenty of room for all your wrapping supplies.

And guess what? I just checked and that crazy-good deal from last month is still available. Enter the coupon code 12$buddy at checkout to get the Buddy WrapiT organizer for just $12.* (Regularly $57.99) *The coupon code can only be used once per customer, but you can purchase multiple buddys in one order at the discounted rate.

This month, I encourage you to take a look at this comprehensive review of moving companies.

I moved 10 times in 22 years – from one apartment to another in the same building, within the same city, from city to city and state to state with the last move being from a 3,500-square-foot home to a 350-square-foot home on wheels. Believe me, there’s some valuable information in this handyget organized resource.

Learn why you should trust your next move to the pros, plus how to choose the right moving company to ensure a smooth move, how to avoid scams, and what you need to know about moving insurance.

If you or anyone you know is planning to downsize or thinking about moving this year, they will thank you for sharing this valuable moving guide.

Shameless promotion: 16 years and counting

Did you know that January is national Get Organized Month? I’ve been celebrating by completing a few long overdue organizing projects in my tiny home – stay tuned for details in an upcoming blog post!

This month also marks the beginning of my 16th year publishing this monthly newsletter. I started it shortly after my third book, Organizing Plain & Simple, was published. That’s the book that really launched my career as an organizing expert, which led to me becoming a cleaning expert and now a minimalist. And oh, what a joyful and rewarding ride it’s been thanks to you, my loyal reader!

At least once a week or so, I get contacted by magazine and newspaper editors looking for tips on cleaning, decluttering, and simplifying life. In the February issue of Woman’s Day, you’ll find a cleaning shortcuts article on page 26 with some of my tips. I also contributed cleaning tips to upcoming issues of Dr. Oz’s The Good Life, HGTV Magazine, and Real Simple.

In addition to being interviewed for articles, I also write articles for other blogs, which is another way I get to share my favorite tips and ideas. Here’s one I wrote for Miss Information’s blog about spring cleaning chores most people miss and why you’ll be glad you did them. It includes some things you can do now to get a jump on your spring cleaning.

On a personal note, a few weeks ago, I was patting myself on the back for completing a 15K (9.3 mile) race, my longest run in 12 years. Then I sprained my ankle playing pickleball a few days later. Maybe I should just stick to the sport of cleaning house!

Here’s hoping 2017 is off to a good start for you.

That’s all for this month. Until next month, keep it simple.

FULL DISCLOSURE: Some links in this organizing tips newsletter may be affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, I will earn a small commission. These earnings go toward the continuation of this complimentary newsletter which is free to you, but does cost to distribute. Please know that I only recommend products that I would recommend whether I got paid or not.