Get Organized for Success in 2009!

by Alaia Williams
Personally, I do not make New Year’s resolutions. There’s nothing wrong with making resolutions. They make people feel warm and fuzzy. It’s nice to feel warm and fuzzy sometimes. The problem with resolutions is that most people drop them by the end of the month - some people simply state the resolution and never even really try. Do you know many people join gyms in January? A lot!

If you want to get organized this year, whether it is for your home, office, car, purse, or brain, I have a challenge for you. Write down the resolutions. Post them up somewhere prominent. Put them in your planner. Tell your friends and family. But don’t just stop with stating the resolution - turn it into a goal and turn that goal into your reality. Set manageable deadlines and milestones.

If you want to “get organized in ’09,? stop being so broad. What do you want to organize? Even if you feel like you want to organize “everything.” list what everything means to you - your home, your office, your paperwork, children’s rooms, the garage, the basement, family photos. List out what you want to do so you have a better picture of what is ahead of you.

You can NOT do everything at once - even if you have nothing else to do with your time. So break down the work. What is your goal for January? The office? Okay, great. So maybe at the top of your January calendar page you write “Goal: Organize my office.” The next thing you should do is decide what you can do each week to get you closer to that goal. For example:

Week 1: Filing all papers so that all 2008 stuff is out of the way and I have fresh files for 2009
Week 2: Organizing all office supplies and making sure I purchase the appropriate ones so I have everything I need.
Week 3: Getting everything out of the office that does not belong in the office
Week 4: Rearrange the furniture, have a cleaning crew come through, creating a marketing plan for 2008, etc.

While “organize everything” and “organize my office” are broad, these narrowed down sub-goals are practical, achievable goals. Of course, you can break it down further. For week one, a daily goal could be to spend 15, 30, or 60 minutes a day filing (based on how much paper you have!). Or perhaps your goal is to schedule someone to come in during week one and do the filing for you. Perhaps you’ll hire a Professional Organizer. Maybe during week 4 you will meet with a feng shui expert, a cleaning crew, an interior designer, and a marketing consultant who can have you create a system for marketing your business.

This same formula can work for every area you want to organize. Just scale it appropriately. Maybe you spend a week cleaning out your car and set daily goals: toss all trash, buy a receipt organizer, buy small baskets for the car and talk to the kids about only having as much stuff in the car as will fit in the basket. When everyone gets out of the car, they put all of their stuff into their container. Purchase a mobile organizer that holds notebooks, pens, calculators, etc.

If you want to achieve your goals, whatever they might be, you have to do more than simply stating them. Take action. Start now while the calendar is fresh and there is optimism in the air. If you start planning now and work toward your goals, you will achieve great success this year.


Alaia Williams is a Professional Organizer who loves helping people create spaces they can feel good about. You can find out more about Alaia at her website and get more organizing tips at the One Organized Life Blog.

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