“Get Organized Month” Helps Jumpstart the New Year

Get Organized illo

January always holds the promise of a new beginning, the power of possibility. That’s why so many people make or, at least, begin to make a list of New Year’s resolutions.

One resolution that many of us home in on is to be more organized, to get a handle on all the chaos (the papers, the people, the perspectives) in our lives. And many of us need some help with that.

Well, help is on the way. January is National Get Organized (GO) Month, which is a public awareness campaign that promotes the benefits of getting organized that is sponsored by the National Association Of Professional Organizers (NAPO). Its members celebrate the month by offering “tips, tricks, advice, and information so you can make 2014 your best year ever.”

With that great push forward from NAPO, what else can we do to make the process of decluttering a little less onerous, a little more pleasant perhaps, and definitely something doable? Here are some tips and advice that have appeared online in the first weeks of January.

“It’s important to acknowledge that we all have too much stuff.” So says a newspaper columnist who was writing about the plethora of new gadgets out this year but who could just as easily have been writing about books or clothes or kitchen utensils. So the first step for all of us is accept the fact that we have too much stuff, whichever categories of stuff we might have.

“If I keep everything, then nothing I save is important.” says Jennifer Nice in her article Cut Clutter by Staging a Virtual Move in OregonLive. She offers a dozen tips to clear clutter and create more order but her number one tip is to repeat the mantra: “If I keep everything, then nothing I save is important.”  She challenges us to prioritize our stuff.

“Choose one word that basically sums up your overall vision for the year.” suggests Janet Barclay in a New Year post for Your Organizing Business. She was intrigued by the “one word” strategy mentioned by a number of fellow bloggers, and she chose the word Maximize. What word would you choose? To learn more about this approach, choosing one word to provide clarity, you can check out the My One Word website.

“The point isn’t the number of things I end up with… [The point] is about finding a balanced value in each thing that takes up space in my life.” So says Emily Theis in a thoughtful article about stuff management in the Boston Globe. Her wake-up call came when she was packing for a trip. She realized that stuff didn’t solve anything, it only distracted her. She started a journey toward minimalism, a journey she describes as “a continual commitment to saying, ‘I will only invest my time and money in things that add value to my life.’” Do the things we invest time and money in add value to our lives?

“Toss the item; keep the memory.” That’s what we say in our new updated e-book Moving On: A Practical Guide to Downsizing the Family Home. We offer suggestions for ways to approach the difficulty of getting rid of stuff, suggestions we have received from professional organizers, senior move managers, and other people just like us who work each day at balancing our desire to have less stuff with the emotions attached to the things we have.

And a final word from Paul Coelho: “Once you make a decision the universe conspires to make it happen.”  Here’s to the universe helping us in our quest to “Get Organized.”

Linda Hetzer is an editor and author of books on home designcrafts, and food, and coauthor of Moving On: A Practical Guide to Downsizing the Family Home

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