Getting Organized Together – January

Goals for getting organized in January

Let’s start by focusing on our living rooms and family rooms. I know that’s a big area, but it’s a shared area that needs to be organized and functional for everyone to use. And especially since most of us have all of our holiday stuff set up in these rooms, it’s a great place to start putting things away for a fresh start!

One important rule to follow when getting organized…

Break it down! Don’t do this all in one day! Make this into smaller tasks that suit your needs. If you want to do one item in one day, fine. But if you’re the type who still thinks that’s too big of a task, whittle away 15 minutes at a time. It will eventually get done. You’ll be amazed what you can accomplish in 15 minutes!

Take down your holiday decorations

It’s also time to take down the holiday decorations if you haven’t done so already. We actually got our holiday stuff up early this year and after a month of enjoying the holiday decorations, it’s always a wonderful feeling getting organized and getting back the space that these items take up. Be sure to review the page about after Christmas organizing for details about how to declutter and store all your holiday decorations to save room, protect your possessions, and save time next year.

Find homes for all your new items

If your household is anything like ours, Santa came and dumped a bunch of toys and other gifts into your home and it looks like a department store or toy store that a tornado went through! It’s now time to clean up after our holiday fun. It’s time to give all those great new things a home. Put things in their pertinent rooms (ex. new kitchen gadgets in the kitchen, new toys in the toy area, etc.) If you can’t find space for some of your new things, you will need to do a little decluttering. Perhaps you got some new clothes but your drawers are overflowing… can you declutter a few old items that these replace to make room? Something new in, something old out. You may need to take on a full decluttering of your living room. Check out this page about decluttering for details on how to get this done.

Declutter old toys

If you didn’t declutter old toys prior to the holidays, you’ll need to do it now. If your kids are old enough, they can help. My kids are currently 3 and 5 and they are surprisingly helpful in deciding which toys should go to other kids who need them. We did a little decluttering before the holidays, but I think it will be a little easier now since they can see all their new stuff and be better able to let go of some of their older outgrown things. So declutter the old toys to make room for the new ones. Read more about organizing toys.

Review the layout of the land

Does your living room or family room work for you? Now is a great time to rethink how you use your living area. Is it an area for watching TV, reading, playing with toys, or working on the computer? Is your furniture arranged to best suit these needs? Are related things grouped together? Take a moment to think about how you like to use this area while you're getting organized, then group items and areas together (ex. toy storage in the designated play area, DVD’s organized near the TV and DVD player, books and magazines near a chair and reading lamp, etc.). Only you can determine what will work for you and with your given house layout. Some things may not be as optimal as you wish, but you will find a solution that works for you. And, nothing is permanent! Move things around and see how they work for you… you can always change things back.

Put your things away

I wanted to add one more thing to start thinking about while getting organized in the new year: putting your things away. This one seems so simple, yet is so hard to do. Simply putting things away when you’re done with them leaves your home more organized and feeling clean. Things that don’t quite make it back into their designated home pile up and make piles of clutter. So, let’s try to find homes for things so that they have a definite place to go when they’re not being used and start trying to be better about putting things away when we’re done. I guess Mom was right!

January’s summary to getting organized

So let’s review… for January, we’ll
1) put our holiday decorations away
2) put our new gifts away in a designated home
3) declutter – to make room for new things, but always a good idea to declutter in general whenever you can find a few minutes and see an area that needs it
4) review your room to make sure that it works for your needs
5) start trying to put things away when you’re done with them
6) do it in small sessions, not all in one day

Here are some helpful Resources:


Organizing Toys

After Christmas Organizing

Leave Getting Organized January and return to Getting Organized Year

Return to Plan and Organize Life Home Page

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