Easy Ways to Get Organized

Getting organized (and staying organized) always sounds easier than it really is. Can this journey towards an organized lifestyle be successful in the long term? It can be if you make the right changes! Start with these six simple ways to get organized.

1. Start small. If you start with your closet, where 10 years of clutter, clothes, and dust bunnies have been accumulating into large piles, you may end up discouraged and unsuccessful. Start with areas needing minimal organization (like your silverware drawer, or even the kitchen sink!) and work your way up to your largest projects.

2. Utilize storage containers & tools. Those handy little containers, drawer organizers, and shelving systems you've seen in stores? There's a reason people use them! They really do make it easier to get organized, especially if you're dealing with small spaces. Which area of your home could benefit most from a storage container makeover? Start there.

3. Bring in a fresh set of eyes. Don't organize or reorganize alone. Sometimes a pair of eyes (who don't know the whole story behind every outfit you own that's three sizes too small, for instance) can really help you make progress as you downsize and organize the remaining items in your home. Don't scoff at all of their suggestions - listen! Choose the right friend (preferably someone with a neat and organized home) – or, yes, sometimes even Mom!

4. Sort into three groups: Keep. Toss. Donate. When you look at a drawer, a closet, or a room, make a realistic assessment of the items in front of you. Are you really going to wear that again? Does using that utensil once every three years necessitate its presence? Sort items into three piles and then follow through with the plan to get rid of donations and trash.

5. Eliminate places to toss clutter. There's a pile on your kitchen counter. A similar pile resides on your end table. There's another such pile on your desk. They might be neat and give the appearance of organization, but you know the truth. Always keep mail, paper, bills, and the like in just one location. Using one desk organizer where you sort items ("To Do" and "Done") will help you eliminate piles of clutter throughout the house or apartment.

6. Make a one-month rule. How long do you need to keep catalogs you've looked through and books or magazines you've read before you pass them on to friends or recycle them? Set and follow the one-month rule. Never let something sit around taking up space for more than a month without your attention before you send it on its way.

These six simple steps can help you get organized--inside, and outside, of your home.

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