Tips For Getting Organized In The New Year

Tara Dickinson
9 minute read

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For many people, the start of the new year is the perfect time to start getting organized. The holidays are over, and it’s the time of year that many people set their New Year goals, a common one being to get rid of clutter and become better organized.

There are some actual health benefits to getting organized.

  • Experts report that decluttering can significantly lower stress levels.
  • With less clutter it is also easier to keep everything clean over time.
  • The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) noted that you on average spend one year of your life looking for lost items.
  • That’s over 8,700 hours looking for lost or misplaced things.
  • People also tend to only wear 20% of their clothes 80% of the time. The rest just sits untouched in the closet.

organizedUnfortunately, organizational skills are not a traditional class taught in school. These skills might be handed down by your parents if they were the type, but other than that it’s a skill you’ll have to learn.

  • Thankfully getting organized and learning those skills are easy and so very rewarding.
  • Rewarding not only in your personal life but in your career profile as well.
  • Organized people get noticed, in a good way; these skills translate to management abilities and make you stand out as not only reliable and dependable, but as someone who knows how to optimize your time.
  • Time management is crucial if you’re a student, a parent running a household, starting a career, or moving up the job ladder.

Organization not your superpower? No worries! Follow also for some simple organization tips to start the new year and you’ll be in good shape in no time. Here are the top tips on how to get organized and clutter-free this new year.

How to Get Organized: Decide Where to Start

Begin by asking yourself some simple questions:

  1. What area of your life is feeling the most out of control?
  2. Try to narrow it down to a particular area or room, or even a specific part of your life.
    1. For example, maybe it’s the bathroom counters or are the kids’ toys driving you insane.
    2. Maybe it’s your evening routine, never having enough time to prepare healthy meals or spend creative time doing a hobby you enjoy.
    3. Or the kitchen pantry is in such disarray you can never find what you want.
  3. Focus on one area at a time to make it easier to tackle.

BONUS: Set a regular 15 minute declutter break every day to take it slow and keep the momentum going. Whether it’s part of your morning routine or during a lunch break at the office.


First, you have to be in the right state of mind. Yes, your home or your life, or your office might be a terrible unorganized mess.

  1. So, number one, have a positive attitude going in. Don’t judge yourself, look at it as a process.
  2. You’re not going to get it all done in one day, one weekend, or even the first month of the year. Maybe your goal is to get organized by Spring. It’s OK to go slow.
  3. It’s better to break it up into small manageable steps rather than trying to tackle the whole mess at once and end up quitting.
  4. Look for ways to make it fun. Create a competition with a spouse or between the kids. Whoever organizes their closet first gets a prize of the TV rights for the night.

The Plan

Having a plan on how to tackle your organization goal will make the process doable and help you stay focused.

  1. Physical space: for any physical space, be it your house, your office, the garage, the storage shed, start by taking inventory of the situation room by room or space by space.
    1. Walk-through making a list as you go.
    2. Note which room is a priority.
    3. Consider the materials needed: heavy-duty plastic bags, boxes, etc.
    4. Estimate a time for each area.
    5. Keep referring back to your list, crossing tasks off as they are completed (this is very satisfying).
  2. Categories: sell, donate, recycle. As you start your organizing and decluttering process, you’ll want to divide anything you no longer want into three piles. Things you want to sell, things you want to donate to charity, and things that can only be recycled.
  3. Selling: selling items in your giveaway pile is a very viable way to make some side cash. And there are many outlets to do this. This guide will give you all the details.
    1. Decluttr, for example, will buy used CDs, DVDs, textbooks, and tech items like cell phones and video game consoles.
    2. Gazelle will buy phones and tablets.
    3. The Local Flea is in the market for antiques and all styles of furniture and more.
  4. Donate: There’s always local nonprofits that can use donations  for just about any thing you want to pass on. Look to senior centers, veteran nursing homes, domestic violence shelters, group homes, animal shelters, church or community pantries, and civic groups seek general and specialty donations. You will also be able to get a tax deductible donation receipt when you do this as well.
  5. If you’d like to have someone handle all of those details for you, Remoov is a Bay Area service with an environmentally-based mission that will sell, donate, and or recycle all of your unwanted items for you.

Get Help

There are a couple of ways to get some inspiration and help for your organizing process if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

  1. Friends: Decluttering parties are a growing popular trend. Touch base with your friends and invite them to a gathering at your home. Make an event out of it. Have everyone focus on one area at a time. It will feel good to get something accomplished.
    1. You can then have a swap party.
    2. You can also agree to take turns in each other's homes.
  2. Internet inspiration: if motivation for decluttering is waning, do some Internet browning for encouragement.
    1. Famous Marie Kondo’s method has firm but practical steps to reclaim control of your home.
    2. For some super motivation, watch an episode “Hoarders” for a look at worst-case scenarios of clutter taking over.
  3. There’s also professional help if you have the resources and rather not go it alone. The National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals (NAPO) is a resource for finding one in your area. Findmyorganizer is another resource, which matches zip codes to a database of professionals within that area.
  4. If you’re moving, this organization expert shares all her best tips.

Everything Gets A Home

The more routine you make designated spots for your belonging, the easier you’re going to be able to keep track of them as well as keep things organized.

  1. Such as car keys, reusable shopping bags, reusable water bottles, and your sunglasses should remain in a spot by the front door.
  2. The same goes for paperwork you need to keep and organize. Make an in-basket by your file cabinet and file articles into their designated folders one every two weeks or so.

BONUS: Keep your laptop desktop and email folders as organized as well. Create folders to group documents that belong together, then you’ll be able to find them at a moment’s notice.

Storage Systems For Organization

Using well established and easy to use storage solutions helps a great deal in the organization process and upkeep.

  1. Use a file system for paper items: bills to pay, meal planning and grocery list, kids school papers, house repairs, or projects that need to be done.
    1. Other categories are: tax documents, medical papers, pets, kids, cars, warranties, etc.
  2. Baskets or bins for toys, remotes, separating laundry.
  3. Labeled shelves and boxes in the garage.
  4. The important part isn’t the tools you use but having a system that works for you.

Meal Planning and Meal Prep

Being food organized can sometimes feel like an endless task. And it is such an important part of your life. Having healthy food choices on hand will positively affect your life in many areas. So how do you organize your meals? It’s called meal planning and batch cooking.

  1. Take some time at the beginning of each week to plan out your meals and shopping list.
  2. And through proper dinner meal planning you can also make extras so you have lunch for the next day.
    1. Packing them the night before while you clean up dinner is another time saver and easy to stay organized.

BONUS: This guide will offer you an outline for healthy eating, cooking and meal planning for the new year.


Whether you use an old-school paper planner or your smartphone, keeping track of all your daily tasks in one place is an excellent way to keep your weekly activities organized.



Too much clutter causes unnecessary stress that hinders your productivity. However, it takes only a short amount of time to go through your closet, desk, or room to know what’s important and what isn’t. Decluttering and letting go of the collected minutiae of everyday life frees up your flow of creativity and opens the door for the ‘new’ to enter. The daily benefits to your peace of mind and productivity will see a noticeable difference with your new organized lifestyle. Don’t be intimidated to declutter and reorganize continuously and consistently. With this guide, you can make 2022 your most organized year ever.


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