Yo! People, you make organizing too hard. I don't mean to hurt your feelings, but SERIOUSLY, we need to lighten up if we are going to get the job done. It's one of those paradoxes in life, if we are going to get extremely serious about being organized and de-cluttering this year we gotta loosen our clench, dial up our humor and creativity so we want to come back for more. Here are 5.5 (I had one more thing I just had to say!) tips to get you on your way.
1. Do not try to save the planet WHILE you are getting organized. Please, please, PUH-LEASE just trash the trash. The best way to help our lovely planet is to simply NOT buy stuff. You will be less compelled to purchase things to fix your life if your home is a big clutter-free hug. PRACTICE throwing things out as a solution (keep recycling and donating, but add in simply pitching stuff to).
2. Stay inspired. The thing about organizing is that your accomplishment, especially if you have small children at home, lasts 43 seconds. To stay organized you must stay inspired - Pinterest pages, refreshed and cleanly labeled files, some good music and a delicious cup of tea with the timer set for a small amount of time will help.
3. Zone It Out. Get out your metaphorical thick sharpie and draw clean and fat lines around the rooms in your house. Toys in the basement, games in the family room, books & stuffed animals in bedrooms, legos at the big craft table. Our brain is more efficient if it doesn't have to decide stuff all the time. It's not that their books aren't going to always be all over the place, it's that when you clean up it's easy to evict the squatters.
4. Kids stuff: You guys, it's not our job to memorialize our child's every move. Edit! Get one of these Container Store boxes for each child in your life (color code them) and then what fits in the box, fits in the box. Of course little, cute stuff will take up more space, but be realistic. Good rule of thumb, if it's a worksheet, throw it out. One more time, say it with me, EDIT.
5. Be realistic. The Fly Lady says (Who is the Fly Lady? I love her - check her out) "You can't organize clutter." Time clutter, head clutter, kids clutter, memorabilia clutter, photo clutter, kitchen gadget clutter, pantry clutter, re-usable bag clutter, book clutter. Get it out! I am not saying it's easy, you won't feel like doing it, yet when it's done, OH the freedom it will give you!
5.5 Books & magazines. I can't help myself. Keeping books & magazines does not put the knowledge in your head. Your bedroom is worth being a relaxing and calm hotel room. Have you ever walked into a hotel and seen 28 unread Oprah magazines, 12 New Yorkers, various catalogs and that darn book club book staring at you? Consume books and magazines as they enter your house, then release them into the wild. Otherwise they become stinky fish that stare at you and make you feel bad about yourself.