New year Organization

The Top Ten Ways to Get Organized for the New Year I love the clean slate feeling of a new year. Here are some ways to get out of the old and into the new. 1. Come up with a theme of the year. Sit with different ideas. What books are you drawn to right now? What is frustrating you or what seems off with you? What are you dreaming of? I love themes of the year. One stressful year the theme was joy. Other themes were: health, grace, organize, and creativity. Themes can inspire plans, goals or just a focus for the year ahead. 2. Clear out. Return anything you have borrowed, get rid of excess clothes, give away Christmas decorations you hate, throw out last year’s magazines and declutter your house. 3. Start your calendar. Write in birthdays, anniversaries and special days on your calendar. Decide on vacation times, weekends away, and retreat days. 4. Update your finances. Begin a new checkbook register. Balance your check book. Set a new financial plan. Do you need to get out of debt? Buy a house? Start saving for college? Using your goals, make up a budget for the year. 5. Catch up on paperwork. File your 2002 tax papers and make new files for the 2003 papers. Write any correspondence you are behind on. Set up an area for paperwork in your home. Clean out the area if you already have one. 6. Make up one big list of everything you need to do, but are procrastinating on. Check them off one by one. 7. Write list of adventures or fun things you want to do this year. Instead of only focusing on goals, think of things you really love to do. 8. Update addresses, phone numbers and useful information from your Christmas cards. 9. Plan a time to relax after the busy holiday season. Rent movies, read under a blanket, or just get some extra sleep. 10. Make out your priority list for the next 3 months. Coach Cheryl Richardson calls this the “Absolute Yes” List. Mark down your 5-7 most important priorities for now. Some priorities could be: health, husband, finishing school, work, self-care, writing, kids, friends, home, music, organizing pictures, volunteering. Before you make a commitment to do something, check your list to see if this is a priority for you.


Once again it is time to make new years resolutions. I made a nice long list of things I want to improve on for next year. But it is a little overwhelming. I have decided I will work on 6 things this month to make into habits. Most of these are almost habits, but I am not doing them as regulary as I have wanted.

To keep track I am making a chart. I took out a piece of notebook paper and divided it into seven columns. In the left column were all the days in January. The right columns had the headings: Quiet Time, Bible Reading/Study, Cleaning Schedule, Time with Kids, Exercise and Evening Routine. Every day I do one these I can place a checkmark by the day. I am hoping by the end of the month, that these will be permanent habits.

I have been reading a wonderful book titled, "What's a Smart Woman like you Doing in a Place Like This?" by Dr. Mary Ann Froehlich. In it she lists the things you need in an organizational system:

~A professional attitude about home care
~Process for defining long-term goals, broken down into short-term goals, then daily and weekly tasks. My planner includes space for defining goals and breaking them into monthly, weekly and daily tasks.
~A calendar. Now if I could train my husband to look at it.
~Master list of supplies ie. desk supplies, grocery master list, bathroom supplies.
~Master list of cleaning chores: seasonal, monthly, weekly and daily chores. Many people use the S.H.E. system for this. I explain it more fully under maintenance below.
~An idea book (a small notebook to carry around to jot down anything)
~Filing System
~Schedule of Weekly Tasks. i.e. Monday is desk day, Tuesday is shopping day etc.
~Work Centers for office, gift wrapping, baking, exercise and any place you regularly do an activity
~Retreat planning time. She suggests an hour a week, 2 hrs. a month and a day a year.
~Process for nuturing relationships. She uses a people book which lists birthdays and special days, all her friends and families likes and dislikes, people she would like to have over, people she wants to get to know better, her christmas card and gift list, and anything else having to do with the people in her life.

She says that each organizational system should uniquely fit each person, yet should have all of these elements. Which do you need to work on?

Since it is the beginning of a new year. We have a fresh start. I just love fresh starts. Time to make some plans.

Decide what areas of your house and life bug you the most. These will be your first places to attack.
Gather resources like books, this page, ideas from my organizing links.
Take a notebook and write the headings of your project areas. For example The kitchen, morning routines, or paper. Under each heading write the ideas you want to use for them.
Now prioritize. Which will make the most difference in how organized you are.
Start putting the ideas on specific days in your calendar. Not too much at one time, because getting organized takes time. You will get frustrated if you try to organize your house in a week. If you can organize your house that fast, then you are probably already too organized. Relax.
Don't forget to reward yourself for each section you get done. Take a nice long bath, buy a new book, get a manicure. And when your done with a spot, step back, take a good look at your accomplishment and feel proud. Your family may not notice right away, so you'll probably have to pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

O.K. Let's get to work!

This past week I decided to reorganize my kitchen. Luckily, I found a site which contained a step by step approach to reorganizing the kitchen, complete with breaks and an easy to prepare dinner at the end of the day. Project completed!

Check out the holiday countdown on my Christmas Page