Make Organization Your No. 1 New Year’s Resolution: Keep Going Strong

The New Year is finally here! With it comes National Get Organized Month. Over the last week, this blog has offered tips and advice for making organization your No. 1 New Year’s resolution. But the stats on keeping resolutions are discouraging. In fact, according to Forbes.com, “most studies show resolutions begin to drop off after a week and only about 40 percent of those who made resolutions actually stick to their goals.”

As previously noted, getting organized can be tough, especially if you’re overwhelmed by your mess. To help you get through it, here are expert tips for keeping your organization resolution all year.

Develop a System

Natalie Andrews of www.spaceways.com suggests creating systems to keep everything in place.

“Have an inbox for your paperwork, which you sort through once a week,” she said. “Keep labelled boxes for recycling and charity donations in an obvious place, and make sure to empty them frequently. Get into the habit of putting things in their place, and you’ll naturally stay organized.”

Barry Izsak, professional organizer and certified relocation and transition specialist at http://www.arrangingitall.com/, agrees.

“The best tip is to create a system that works for you and it does not have to be complicated … the simpler, the better. If a system is simple, we have a much better chance of sticking to it! Many try to implement complicated systems and the end result is that they abandon them. If a system is tailored to our particular needs and style … and it’s easy … we have a much better chance of committing ourselves to it.”

Make sure the system is one that works for you.

Matt Archambault, online reputation specialist with Brandyourself.com, said technological tools can be great for organization, but only if you’ll actually use it.

“Ask yourself this question: ‘How do you prefer reading an entire book? Do you like e-readers or do you prefer a hard copy?’ If you like holding a physical book, don’t look to devices to aid your organization. There is nothing wrong with using a pad and pen.”

Separate Your Home from Your Office

“Many of us are already organized at work, and therefore fold our personal organization into our work organization,” said Archambault. “The best thing I ever did was separate the two. When I get home, I want to leave work behind. Find another way to track personal organization.”

Fold Cleaning into Fun Time

One thing that really helped Archambault do his laundry and other house chores was talking on the phone.

“I started making phone calls to family members to help pass the time. Now on Sundays, I can clean my kitchen and foyer while catching up with an uncle and family friend.”

Do it with a Friend

“Embark on this resolution with a friend who wants to do the same in his or her life,” said Relationship Expert April Masini. “It’s always easier to have a friend with whom you can talk about the difficulties and rewards of a resolution. Sharing the process is a great way to enhance or begin a relationship with someone else, and it makes you feel like you’re not alone when you have difficulties or good times that you want to share.”

Reward Yourself

Organizing Specialist Jamie Novak suggests making organization a habit like anything else you already do on a weekly basis.

“If you always watch your favorite television program on Thursdays at 9 p.m.,” she said, “then add organizing to your calendar from 8:30 – 9 p.m. and use the TV as a sort of reward for a job well done.”

Izsak recommends rewarding yourself after you have completed portions of your organizing project.

“It’s going to take self-discipline to stick with your plan,” he said, “but the benefits of living a more organized life will enable you to do the things with your time that you truly want to do.”

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