The New Year is such an exciting milestone of deciding what your new self is going to look like! I really believe that what you focus on expands, and as we start 2017, I want to help you focus on the right things to make this the most organized, “in-control” year of your life!
Just as important as it is to let go of belongings that you don’t love or need anymore, it’s also vital to let go of negative feelings from the past about poor organization. One of the most unproductive things you can do is look in the rearview mirror and beat yourself up over past mistakes.
I want 2017 to be the year of your Fresh Start!
Because after working with hundreds of people on getting organized, my genuine belief is that everyone has the ability to be organized and stay organized. Even if your garage has
been packed floor to ceiling with junk for years!
If your environment isn’t organized, it’s definitely not because there’s a fixed piece of your DNA that reads “clutter bug”. It’s actually for one of two reasons:
Reason #1: Your organizing muscles are out of shape.
Organizing is a skill that takes practice. I started a project with a client recently, and in the first session I told her about my vision for the space that would beautifully match her goals. She couldn’t believe I could see that end result in the midst of all the clutter. But the reason isn’t that I was born with an innate talent for organizing. As I’ve shared with you in the past, I actually struggle at times, too, to stay organized. The reason is that I work out my organizing “muscle” on a daily basis. So now, the solutions and the systems come almost without me even thinking about it.
The more you work out your organizing muscles, the easier it will come for you. I like to think about it like this: If you never paint pictures, and then you paint a picture that doesn’t look great, would you say you’re a hopeless painter? I wouldn’t. I’d say you’re out of practice. Same goes with organizing, so I encourage you, as part of your Fresh Start 2017, to work out those muscles more!
Reason #2: You’re missing a reliable structure to guide your organizing efforts.
When you have systems to follow, it takes so much of the guesswork and effort out of the equation. Of course, it requires a little more work upfront, but the awesome thing is that you really only have to do that work once, and then it keeps paying you back in saved time and frustration.
To use the painting example again, a little while back, Doug and I went to Wine & Design to paint a picture of our dog Amber. Neither of us are accomplished painters, but we ended up producing “masterpieces” (in our minds at least :). How is that possible? It was a paint-by-numbers type of set-up so the structure was already there for us. We weren’t just relying on our limited creative juices. Not only was the end result better, but we had more fun along the way, because a lot of the hard decisions were already made for us through the existing structure.
And if you’re a client of mine, you know these two fundamental truths about staying organized:
First, the less stuff you have in your home, the easier it is to stay organized. Every single client I work with, the first and highest priority item is always to get control of the amount of stuff in the home. If you get serious about this part, everything else becomes way easier.
And second, everything must have a home, and that home should make sense in terms of location and storage space. The things you use a lot should be easy to access and located close to where you need them.
I want you to have an incredible 2017 where you feel empowered in your home! So let’s forget about all the past struggles and look forward to a year of taking charge and creating the home environment you always dreamed you’d have!