As 2017 rolls in, I've been thinking a lot about how to create organizing systems to sustain us throughout the year. It's not just about starting over with fresh resolutions and ideas; it's also about recognizing what IS working, and then building on that.
Additionally, though our rational brains know that the new year is a "fresh start", our subconscious brains are still ingrained in how we did things before. In short, the things that weren't working are still going to continue not working until we recognize them and move on.
With all of that in mind, I've come up with a handy list of tips to keep in mind as you organize for 2017. Consider these things before you make changes and organizing decisions.
- Before you start a new organizing system, consider whether you have other existing systems in place that might overlap with it. Creating too many organizing rules in your home can have the adverse affect of creating more chaos, because they are too hard to stick to.
- Don't be paralyzed by perfection. Many people hesitate to move forward on organizing projects because they don't want to do the work until they know it can be perfect. But just starting is a huge step, and will motivate you to keep going.
- As stated above, notice what is working well. Consider what works about it, and then try to duplicate that in other areas. Remember to give yourself a pat on the back, too. Many of us are very hard on ourselves when it comes to the mess, and don't give ourselves credit for what is working!
- If you are wanting to integrate a new habit, piggyback it onto an already existing habit. For example, if you want to remember to take your business receipts out of your wallet and put them into an envelope, put a post-it by your keys reminding you to do it when you hang them up each day.
- Spend time in the mess. Ok, I know that sounds a little crazy. What I mean is this: before you attack an area of your home that is giving you grief, take a moment to sit in it. Notice where things have come from, and why they might have gotten there. Perhaps all "like" things are scattered around and don't have a home. Or they are landing in that area because there is not an established rule set up for what to do with them. Noticing how things got to where they are will help you to create new organizing solutions.