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Get Organized in 2018: Simple Tips for a Simpler Life

Get Organized in 2018: Simple Tips for a Simpler Life

January is almost over, and you’ve come out of it with new resolutions, a new outlook, and well—lots of new stuff. The flurry and frenzy of gift giving during the holidays can leave us bogged down with too much stuff, things we don’t need, and items with no place. Trying to pare down your belongings and become more organized is a resolution on many people’s list, but it can also one of the most daunting. Luckily, you don’t need to be perfectly tidy to start organizing, all it takes is a method.

There’s the dream and then there’s reality. Start small. Decide how much time you can actually dedicate to organizing on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, then work back from there. It can be as simple as taking 20 minutes a day to tidy your workspace; setting aside a couple of hours over the weekend to meal prep for the week ahead; or scheduling a once monthly tip-to-tail house cleaning. Whatever plan of action you choose, make sure it’s full of smaller attainable goals.

The best way to organize anything, whether that be your inbox, your wardrobe, or the depths of your kitchen drawers, is to pull everything out and taking inventory. Once you have everything in front of you, it’s easy to divide items into three categories: keep, consider, and donate/toss. This method allows you to immediately separate the chaff from the wheat, and figure out what you use and what you don’t. Many of the in-between “consider” pile items tend to be items you may love but don’t use, or items that have sentimental value but no use, so here are a few ways to deal with objects you don’t know what to do with:

  • Ask yourself the last time you used it? If it’s been over 12 months, it may be time to part with it.
  • File items digitally. You can scan or photograph photos, cards, certificates, notes and more to keep in your cloud, so you can feel free to discard the physical copy.
  • Is there someone you know who would cherish this item more than you? There’s no shame in gifting items you no longer need to family, friends, or charities.

Once you know what you’re keeping, you need to decide where everything will go. The best way to stay organized is to have a dedicated space for each item. File physical and digital documents to make your workday easier. Use bins to store the children’s toys. Hang a hook to put the dog’s leash on—pinpoint where the mess builds, and focus your energies there. Organization doesn’t need to be expensive or difficult, as long as everything has its own place you will save time and effort.

Sort and merge? These seem like conflicting ideas, but once you’ve sorted your various items, try to find one spot to keep like items. Keep all the family’s coats in one place. House your book collection in one central, shared space. Use one calendar for everything. Have one space for pens and writing utensils. Define the use of each space and make that the area you keep the items required for specific activities.

Now that you’ve gotten rid of what you don’t use, try to be more mindful of what you’re using to determine if there’s room for improvement. Is there one sweater that you wear constantly that’s looking a little threadbare? Consider investing in a new one and donating the older item to a charity. Or maybe you’ve noticed despite having 10 plus mugs, but only a few favorites really get used. Why not let go of the everyday things you thought you needed, but in truth don’t actually use at all. Organized living is a constant evolution, so set aside some time throughout the year to reevaluate your progress.

At InTown Suites, we’re a fan of no fuss, no muss. Our suites and amenities are tailored to meet your needs and ensure your space is tidy and comfortable. Spacious rooms, fully-equipped kitchens, and weekly housekeeping are just a few ways we help you stay organized in your home away from home.

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