The New Year often sparks motivation to organize whether that means decluttering your home, consistently using a planner, starting a bullet journal, or creating an Insta worthy pantry. Many people set lofty goals for the New Year and base their goals on images they see from their favorite influencers. As much as I love an Instagram pantry (have you seen Yolanda Hadid’s produce fridge??), I, a professional organizer, don’t always have the perfect set-up to create a space that reflects what I see on social media. So this is your reminder that it isn’t about spending a lot of money to make your cookie jars look like Khloe Kardashian’s; it’s about creating a system that works for you and establishing a routine that is plausible for your lifestyle.
As a Chicago dweller, I have accepted the fact that I probably won’t have a walk-in pantry in the near future. That is when creativity comes to play. Part of what I love about being a professional organizer in Chicago is that I get to work in so many unique (small) spaces and create systems for each client I work with based on their space and lifestyle. No home is the same, and no person is the same.
Alright, time to get into the good stuff! Here are my best tips for the New Year to improve your organization and, subsequently, your life: one to organize your time, and one to organize your space.
Commit to Planning
I don’t care if you use a planner, a sticky note, or a napkin from your take out, you need to plan your month ahead, or at least your week, or at the very least your day. Map how it looks or how you hope it will look, and writing down your goals for the day will increase your productivity. By writing down your schedule, you will be mentally ready for what is going to happen in your near future. I like to visit my planner every evening before bed. It helps me wind down from the day and reflect on what I accomplished and gets me ready for the next day. Try writing down your schedule for 14 consecutive days and see if it makes a difference.
10 Minute Sweep
An easy way to declutter is to set a timer for 10 minutes. My favorite time to do this is before bed. Quickly go through your home to pick up any miscellaneous items that don’t belong. This will set you up for success tomorrow morning. You can also do this in intervals — Monday: 10 minutes in the kitchen decluttering, Tuesday: 10 minutes in the living room, etc. Once you have done this enough it will become habit to quickly pick up a few things and spot those that don’t belong or don’t need to take up space in your home. (Mom Tip: You can make a game out of this to get your kids in on the action! Set the timer for a 10-minute dance party in your kids rooms and teach them that cleaning up can be fun!)
Try out these tricks to get yourself organized for 2019, and let me know how they work for you! Remember, everyone’s path to organization is different. All you need is a routine and a lazy susan (they solve almost all organizing issues).
Affectionately known to her friends as Millennial Martha for her love of DIY and decorating, Jen can’t help but pour her heart + soul into everything she touches. She’s loved to entertain since acquiring a table and chairs, and giving gifts is one of her favorite hobbies. Jen is the creator of Girl Meets Party. Her dream is to share her passions with the world in hopes to inspire others by making the seemingly unattainable attainable.