4 Tricks to Get Organized Better Than Last Year
This isn’t your first time trying to get organized. But it is your first attempt for the New Year, and you’re determined to get it right. And you have a winning strategy: Keep the methods that worked in the past, cut the ones that didn’t, and make custom tweaks along the way, starting now.
1. Try the joy rule over the time rule
You tried tossing things that you didn’t use or wear for a year, but you still ended up with too much stuff. Here’s another way to purge: Think about whether that item brings you joy. Use this trick from Marie Kondo, author of the New York Times best-seller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: Pick up each item, hold it in your hand, and only keep the ones that spark feelings of joy. If you start debating with yourself or rationalizing, let it go—its role in your life is already complete.
2. Declutter by category rather than by room
In the past, you tried to tidy up your walk-in closet or garage all at once. This time, separate the clean-up into categories. Kondo suggests tackling your belongings in this order: clothes, books, papers, miscellany and, lastly, mementos (photos and letters with sentimental value). You can break clothes down into even smaller segments like tops, bottoms, dresses, coats and jackets, socks, underwear, bags, accessories and shoes.
3. Work in short intervals instead of nonstop
Remember when you thought you’d finish organizing in a weekend, and when it took longer you never finished? Marla Cilley, the decluttering guru at FlyLady.net, recommends tidying in 15-minute intervals. Then, take a break, and pick it up again that day or the next, depending on how you feel. Using her method, you’re less likely to feel fatigued. You also have time to emotionally process your purge, especially when you get rid of things with sentimental value.
4. Choose organizing tools after you scale down
Last time, you bought a bunch of containers without knowing how much or which ones to get. And you ended up keeping more stuff. Flip the script. Pick up underbed storage, vacuum bags and over-the-door organizers after you’ve whittled down to the items you plan to keep. Only buy what you need, so your storage doesn’t create more clutter.
-Marcia Mangum Cronin