Tips on how to start getting organized


January is the start of a new year with new resolutions, and one of the most popular is getting organized. The question I am often asked is, “Where do I begin?”

Most people tend to ignore clutter. When it multiples, they begin to feel stressed and overwhelmed. The key to getting organized is to remember, “It’s never about having enough space, it’s about simplifying your surroundings.”

Here are some simple tips to motivate you to clear the clutter in the new year.


·         Purge before you organize. Once you have cleared the clutter, make a list of the storage items you need. Purchasing items you may not need only leads to more clutter down the road.

·         Keep “like” things together. Go through your home and gather similar items, and put them in one place. If you have two things that serve the same function, keep the newer or better one and toss the other.

·         Enlist the help of an organized friend or a professional. Sometimes having someone to reassure you that it is okay to let something go helps simplify the task.

·         Begin with one area at a time. You want to be able to complete what you start so you can enjoy your newly organized space. It will motivate you to move to another area in your home. Start small but start somewhere.

·         Make sure everything has a place. If you take something out, make a habit of putting it back.

·         Use clear containers and label them. If you can’t see something, you forget you own it and you buy more. It becomes a cycle of clutter.

·         Sentimental clutter is the hardest to part with. You may not want it, or want to keep it, because you feel emotionally tied to it. Ask yourself, “Do you want to live in the past or in the present?” If you love something, display and enjoy it; if you don’t, let it go. Get rid of the guilt, and you will get rid of the clutter.

·         Do not keep something just because you paid a lot of money for it. Do you wear it? Do you love it? Don’t let the price guilt you into keeping it. Consign it, donate it but don’t let it become costly clutter.

·         Keep a shopping bag in your closet. When you put something on and you don’t like how it fits, or the way you feel in it, do not hang it back up. Put it in the bag for consignment or donation.

·         Gain space in your bathroom by getting rid of the stash of hotel toiletries collected from your travels. They are taking up valuable cabinet space. Donate them to a homeless shelter.

·         Find a system that works for you. Beautiful, labeled boxes may look good, but if everything is a mess in a couple weeks, was it worth it? Decide what works for your everyday life. Being organized is not about being perfect, it’s about implementing a system that works for you.

·         Clutter is not just what is sitting on your counter tops or in a messy drawer. Take a few minutes every day, and hit the delete button when you check your email. Saving all emails that are not needed leads to email clutter, which leads to stress.

Once you begin to clear the clutter, you will save time, money and create a peaceful, relaxing and stress-free environment for you and your family. Make this the year to finally clear the clutter in your home and in your life; it will be life changing.

Christine Stone is the owner of Neatly Designed. For more information and tips, visit