We’re three weeks into 2021…the year that’s already felt like a decade. And, while we can’t control the world at large, we can control our own little world. The best way to do that? Get organized.
That could mean organizing your closet, getting your iPhone photos in order, or creating a plan to keep a job hunt on track. There’s no organizational task too small or too large when it comes to giving yourself a sense of intention and agency over your own life. So, here are 5 ways we’re looking at the big picture to keep ourselves organized and feeling calm, clear, and collected as we focus on moving forward and making the best of this year.
Find a Planner Method That Works For You
Whether you’re a day planner devotee or prefer doing things digitally, the important part is finding a system that works for you –– or, if you already have a system in place, assessing whether it’s still the best way to stay organized for how your life looks now.
For me, that’s a paper planner that has both monthly and daily views, with lots of room for writing specific tasks and meetings. When days get busy, if it’s not written down, it won’t get done –– and that’s something I’ve learned to take into account when figuring out the right planner for my needs. You may not need the same level of detail or perhaps you even prefer something that goes further than day-by-day and, instead, breaks things down hour-by-hour. Find a system that works for you…and then maybe pencil in that post-vaccine vacation.
Develop a System for Paper and Digital Filing
Okay, we’ve all had firsthand experience with paper clutter. Those college papers that somehow followed you through your twenties. Tax returns from your first job. Wedding invites from friends who now have three kids. As the world has gone digital, we’ve been saved from a bit of the clutter, but often that just means it’s been transferred to our computer desktop. So, how do you keep it organized? Look into Google Drive, external hard drives, and create a filing and archiving system that not only organizes by type of file, but year as well. Start today with every document that crosses your inbox and, slowly but surely, take 15 minutes here and there to start work on years of files.
Get Your Financial Life in Order
Answer honestly: do you have a nagging 401K from a past job that’s living somewhere in the ether? Personally, I had collected three retirement accounts before I finally consolidated a few years ago. It had gotten to the point where I had no idea what was vested, what wasn’t, and didn’t even know if I actually had the information I needed to access each.
Additionally, you could look into automating savings, how your investments are allocated, and whether you’re on track to meet goals like saving for a house, a vacation, or a future family.
It’s not necessarily a quick or easy process to tackle the organization necessary to get your financial ducks in order but it’s well worth it for the peace of mind.
Tackle Floor to Ceiling Organization Going Room by Room
Writing down “get organized” at the beginning of the year is great…but what does it mean? There need to be specific, attainable (SMART for those of you in the corporate world) goals in place, even when it comes to organization. This is what I’ve found works: tackling the whole house is too much. You don’t want to set yourself up for failure from the beginning because the project was too intimidating.
Instead, go room-by-room, one week or month at a time. For one set period of time, you’ll focus on the kitchen. Take 30 minutes every day and maybe a bigger block of time on the weekend and make your way from one corner all the way around the room and back to where you started. Leave no drawer or closet unopened. Need organizational inspiration beyond just cleaning out? Start with The Home Edit.
Develop a System for Discarding Unused Items
It’s awesome you’re getting organized and cleaning things out but, unless you have a system for actually moving these items out of your home, you can find yourself in a clutter purgatory. Whether you take to Buy Nothing groups, Facebook Marketplace, or a trip to the Goodwill dropoff, make sure you have a plan in place and get that clutter out!
Putting Organization Into Place
Remember, the best way to actually get organized is to put a plan into place, so start with #1 and work your way through all of these big picture organizational goals. Write them down, make a plan, and get cracking on your most organized year yet.
Then, tell us, how are you feeling about 2021? How are you getting organized? Head over to our Instagram and let us know!