Lisa Hess shares a list of 23 tasks that can help you get back on track with your New Year's resolution to get organized.
If you're like me (and much of the rest of the world), you made some sort of resolution to get organized in 2023. Because I write about organizing and have time off from the middle of December to the middle of January, I've made a lot of progress on my organizing endeavors.
But still, I focus on what remains to be done, not the least of which is the pile of items made homeless by my recent organizing projects.
Some days, I look around my house and see a lot of organizing successes. Other days, I'm overwhelmed by all of the clutter that seems to collect and proliferate as soon as I look the other way.
That's when it's time to take small steps. Whether you're way ahead of schedule on your 2023 plans, or still at the starting line, you're sure to find one task in the list of 23 tasks below that can help jump-start your resolution. Some are one-and-done tasks (at least for this year), while others may turn out to be starting points for larger projects. Remember that it's okay not to do it all one sitting. The key is to take small steps and to remember one thing.
It's a process.
23 Organizing Projects for 2023
- Decide what your perfect planner looks like inside and out. Then, splurge on one that comes as close as possible to your ideal.
- Clean out the junk drawer.
- Clear off surfaces, clean them well and put things back mindfully, putting back only the things you choose to return.
- Collect all the homeless items littering surfaces in your home and put them in one container. Put a sticky note with the date on the lid, and put that container in an accessible but out-of-sight location. In a month (or longer if you prefer), donate or toss anything remaining in the container.
- Dedicate 15 minutes to decluttering a space that annoys you.
- Stare down a container that's not working and consider why you are using it. What do you love about it? What do you wish it had that it doesn't?
- Sort through the thickest file in your file cabinet and get rid of anything you no longer need to keep.
- Change the shelf paper in one of your cabinets.
- Clean out your underwear drawer and get rid of anything you'd be embarrassed to be wearing if you ended up in the emergency room.
- Stand in the doorway of the room you spend the most time in. What decorative touch or organizing project would make the space a little better?
- Go through the medicine cabinet and get rid of anything that's expired. Make a list of what you need to replace.
- Go through your makeup and/or toiletries and get rid of anything that's expired or that you haven't used in a year or more (3 months for eye makeup). Make a list of what you want to replace.
- Take stock of your towels. Decide how many need replacing and buy one new towel a week until you'd be satisfied offering any of the towels in your closet to an overnight guest.
- Set aside an hour to take stock of the place in your house that most needs organizing (kids' rooms don't count). Make a plan for tackling it an hour at a time.
- Take everything out of the cabinet under the kitchen (or bathroom) sink. Clean the area and replace only the products you actually use.
- Stand in the doorway of your bedroom. What is one thing you could do to make it a more peaceful haven?
- Have everyone in the family go through his or her sock drawer. Toss anything that's too small, falls down, has holes, or is too pilly, dingy or faded. Set aside socks without a mate and determine how long to continue the search and/or if any of the singletons can be put together to make an interesting pair.
- Make sure all the pens in your go-to writing or messages spaces write, and all of the pencils have points and erasers.
- Take everything off one shelf of one closet. Wipe down the shelf and put back only the things worth keeping.
- Go through all the purses, tote bags and backpacks. Keep only those worth keeping.
- Work together with each child in the house to organize one space according to their style.
- Take everything out of the refrigerator. Toss anything that's expired. Wipe down the interior and put back only the food people actually eat.
- Stand at the entrance to your home. What is one small touch you could add that would make you smile every time you walk in?
Copyright 2023 Lisa Hess
About the Author
Transplanted Jersey girl Lisa Lawmaster Hess is the author of a blog compilation, three novels, and three non-fiction books, including the award-winning Know Thyself: The Imperfectionist’s Guide to Sorting Your Stuff. A retired elementary school counselor, Lisa is an adjunct professor of psychology at York College of Pennsylvania. She blogs at The Porch Swing Chronicles, Organizing by STYLE, and here at Catholicmom.com. Read all articles by Lisa Hess.