In Honor of Get Organized and Be Productive Month 2021 “How do I start getting organized?”



January is National Get Organized Month. A new year energizes us to edit, refresh and pare down our homes.  Getting organized is always one of the top 3 new year goals.


Of all the questions that I am asked about organizing, the most common one is “how do I get started?”  With all our good intentions, and possibly more time because of COVID-19, it is common to have paralysis or procrastinate. Organizing can be overwhelming and difficult to get started because we don’t know where to or how to get started. Here are three recommendations to jump start your organizing this month.


Make it easy

Declutter as you go to make it easy to organize. Use a shopping bag to drop unwanted items into every day. Drop the bag off each week at a local philanthropy’s thrift shop. You are doubling up with decluttering and doing good work.


Set a date and a time to organize

Make an appointment with yourself and set a date to organize. It’s like all other appointments. Writing this date in your calendar makes you commit to getting started. Choose a time that is good with respect to low distractions and high energy level. Plan on multiple 2 hour sessions to work rather than an entire day or an entire weekend. If you still feel overwhelmed, plan on starting with just 15 minutes. In 15 minutes, you can clear your closet floor, shred papers from file folders and declutter a toy chest.


Get support for your efforts

Support is critical to getting started with an organizing project.  According to research, a major reason for not getting organized is not asking for help.  Teamwork makes it easier whenever you start any project. Look around for support with a “clutter buddy,” a friend who cheers you on and supports you making decisions.  Working as a team makes it easier to reach your goal. You can find support in a professional organizer, coach, or therapist who help you define new perspectives, create a plan and help you follow through with your work.


Have a compelling reason

Company coming is one of the most compelling reasons to get organized. However, there are many compelling situations that can motivate us. With the unexpected circumstances of the last three years, many of us are making a personal decision to live life through experiences not stuff. We want less to take care of at home to be able to enjoy and live life more fully. Having a personal, specific reason to get organized gets you started. Your compelling reason could be emotional well-being and less stress which are powerful starting points for you.


Make your intention a reality this year by taking the first steps in starting your organizing projects. Your sense of well-being will be the biggest benefit.


2 replies
  1. Seana Turner
    Seana Turner says:

    I think I am really resonating with the idea of setting a date and a time. We need to intentionally block that time out or it never happens, as is the case with pretty much everything. Often it is “finding” the time that is hardest, because chunks of time rarely emerge. Furthermore, as we saw with COVID, even when those bits of time do come along, if we haven’t committed to using them for a specific purpose, we still may avoid tackling a project. How many people spent last spring on Netflix, right?

  2. Linda Samuels
    Linda Samuels says:

    I love how getting organized continues to be one of the top goals when the New Year arrives. Having been in this industry for close to three decades, I see that life has only become more, not less complicated. We have added to the physical clutter with digital stuff too.

    Having a compelling reason to organize will drive the process forward. Having company over has always been an excellent motivator for getting organized. In 2020, most of us had fewer visitors because of the pandemic. However, the few times we did have people over, it incentivized my husband to do some desk decluttering. Entertaining works!

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