Happy New Year—Let’s Get Organized

By Barbara Danza
Barbara Danza
Barbara Danza
Barbara Danza is a mom of two, an MBA, a beach lover, and a kid at heart. Here, diving into the challenges and opportunities of parenting in the modern age. Particularly interested in the many educational options available to families today, the renewed appreciation of simplicity in kids’ lives, the benefits of family travel, and the importance of family life in today’s society.
January 8, 2018Updated: October 8, 2018

How about that moment when you come out on the other side of the holidays, take that first sip of warm goodness in the morning, look around your house, and wonder what on earth just happened here?!

January is a uniquely apropos time to slow things down and give a little love to the inside of your warm, cozy home.

Of course, for many, the clutter may be so overwhelming, the urge to ignore it completely and check the newsfeed for the tenth time that day prevails.

Don’t let it! Push on through the resistance and one step at a time, turn chaos into order and clutter into peace of mind that you can enjoy for the rest of the year:

Set Teeny, Tiny Goals

A ginormous goal might read, “Have the entire house perfectly organized and sparkling by Friday.” That’s enough to send anyone straight back to bed, covers pulled tightly over the head.

A teeny, tiny goal might be, “Spend 5 minutes a day for the next month tidying,” or “Put away or get rid of (donate, recycle, regift) three items per day for the next month,” or “Add one item to the donation bin every day for the next month.”

Teeny, tiny goals are totally doable, not overwhelming, and develop a habit of consistency. Starting can be the hardest part. Don’t be surprised if sometimes you feel like you’re on a roll and you overshoot your goal significantly. The beauty is, though, if you simply meet your teeny, tiny goal each day you still feel great and motivated.

New Rule: Leave Every Space Better Than You Found It

Make this a house rule that everyone must follow and things will really start shaping up. Like any habit, you may need to be reminded. Perhaps you’d like to pin up a sign with the rule on it. Even if you simply remove one out-of-place item or straighten a pillow in the room before you leave, you’re leaving it better than you found it. Soon, better will be the norm.

When Motivation Strikes, Take Massive Action

At some point, teeny, tiny progress will pile up and that light at the end of the tunnel will become brighter. You’ll find yourself with a free chunk of time, some energy, and a wide look in your eyes. That’s when you want to tackle something bigger.

Empty a drawer, a closet, a room, and go to town. Relentlessly rid the space of anything that doesn’t bring you great joy or use, clean the space from top to bottom, and put back those items you love in the most organized way you can manage. Make it beautiful. Stand back and admire your great work there. Let the motivation spur you on.

Find Clutter in Unexpected Places

Clutter doesn’t only show up in material form. How’s your calendar? Your email inbox? Your mind? Dig in, clean up, make space, and breathe.

The well-being that comes from a tidy space may almost seem unreasonable. However, for those that have managed to make it a reality, the proof is in the pudding. Utilize this post-holiday, wintry, inside season to clean up your space and enjoy more breathing room than you thought possible.