January 24, 2014
Getting organized is no easy task with all of the other demands of work, family, and daily homekeeping. According to Marie Stegner, consumer health advocate for the green cleaning franchise, Maid Brigade, being organized is mostly about developing good daily habits and solid routines. Here, Stegner offers her top five organizing tips for 2014.
“I am the first to admit that sometimes, especially after a busy day, the last thing on my mind is cleaning out the refrigerator or sifting through all of the papers on my desk,” says Stegner.
A recent study reported by the Statistic Brain Research Institute revealed that of the top 10 New Year’s Resolutions made for 2014, number two was to get organized. And, of the 45 percent of people who make a New Year’s resolution, only eight percent maintain it.
With January designated as National Get Organized month and to help you keep your New Year’s resolution to organize your world in 2014, Stegner and Maid Brigade offer five tips for organizing success. Also check out this cool infographic on resolutions.
Work small to gain BIG
Tackle organizing jobs that you have time to finish. Break them down into smaller tasks such as sorting through a particular area or category of items. You don’t have to get rid of everything. Set aside a few things you really love but don’t use, and put the rest in a reserved area for a garage sale or to donate.
Refrain from making that trip to your favorite store that has everything and makes it hard to resist coming home with another black turtleneck or five more cute plates you don’t need. Buying less means you’ll have more disposable income for fun activities and ultimately less to eliminate later. If you do binge shop but haven’t used or worn the items within two weeks, return them and get your money back.
Take a top down approach
Attics are a great catchall. If you have one, start there by attacking groups of items that you’ve collected. And, once it goes down those stairs be firm that it will not go back up, only out. You’ll be surprised at the treasure trove of things you can offer to friends, donate to a worthy cause, or that is just junk. Remember that basket that Uncle Tim tripped over and broke the handle? You are never going to fix it!
Lose the paper
Separate piles of paper into bags for recycling, shredding, and filing. Keep only the most current bills or papers you are working on in an active space. Set aside any papers with sensitive information for shredding. And, next time you get an email that says think before printing—do just that. Set up a file system on your computer to keep documents that are essential.
Make it a friendly affair
Invite your friends to a “nearly new” clothing exchange party and make cleaning out your closet a fun activity. Have everybody bring five to 10 clothing items they have purchased or were given that they never wear and see what fits. Remember one woman’s trash is another one’s treasure. You can also do this with baskets, frames, and other household items. Another twist is to hold a “Dress for Success” party, collecting and donating business attire to help women trying to get into the workforce.
And tune in to Clean Green Talk, a show on I Heart Radio that features tips and advice from Stegner and co-host Leslie Reichert, “The Cleaning Coach.” The free, one-hour show airs Tuesdays at 9 a.m. EST. Previously aired podcasts are available to download here.