13 ways to get started on your New Year's resolution to "get organized" from Aby Garvey, of Edwardsville:
1. Know why
Before you start organizing, jot down your reasons. Why do you want to get organized? Compelling reasons such as reducing stress, having more free time, saving money and living in a calm and peaceful environment will help you keep going if your enthusiasm wanes.
2. Start with easy clutter
Clear out items you know in an instant you no longer use or need. Your goal at this stage is to make fast and easy decisions. When you do, you'll see results quickly, which will motivate you to do more.
3. Create "homes" for belongings
Look around your house and determine which items don't have homes. Assign homes by storing items as near to where you use them as possible. If all your storage spaces are full, declutter to create space.
4. Declutter kitchen cabinets and drawers
How much time do you spend rifling through the utensil drawer looking for the pancake turner or a matching lid? Let go of utensils and other items that are just getting in your way and eating up your time.
5. Organize your kitchen to reflect your cooking process
Simple changes will save time whenever you cook. Use drawer organizers for easier access to tools and utensils. Organize spices in a way that makes sense to you and store them on a lazy Susan or spice organizer so it's easy to see labels and find what you need when you need it.
6. Lazy Susans
Use lazy Susans in deep cabinets with hard-to-reach (and see) places to prevent items from getting lost in back. They're great for storing canned goods in the pantry, condiments in the refrigerator, toiletries in the bathroom and creative supplies in the craft room.
7. Curtail closet clutter
Let go of clothes that no longer fit your body or sense of style. Then group like items together and use matching hangers for a streamlined look.
Attach labels to containers or shelves so you and your family can remember what belongs where. This will make it easier to keep your home organized after all your initial hard work.
9.Collection bin for unprocessed paper
Designate a single spot, such as a wicker basket or pretty tray, for all in-coming paper such as mail, schoolwork, coupons and receipts. You won't lose important papers and will eliminate unruly piles.
10.Create a home reference binder
Fill a three-ring binder with sheet protectors and binder tabs and organize paper you refer to often, such as school calendars and lunch menus, restaurant carryout menus and phone directories. For step-by-step instructions, visit www.simplify101.com.
Instead of trying to reorganize your whole bedroom in a single session, break it down it into mini projects. Organize the sock drawer one day, T-shirts the next and then the night stand. Keep moving around the room, one project at a time, until you're finished.
12.Make it fun
Find ways to make organizing fun. Play happy music while you're decluttering, or invite a friend to help you with projects in return for the same. Be sure to use containers and organizers you like.
13.Clear surface clutter daily
Make it a daily habit to clear flat surfaces and put items used throughout the day back where they belong.