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SOM Horizontal Go Month

By Virginie Dor, Space of Mine

According to research published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, organizing is the second-most popular New-Year’s resolution, just after losing weight! Thinking back on it, it seemed to me that organizing your tangible resources, your time, your thoughts, and your energy is the key to reaching all of our other resolutions too.

It is no coincidence that the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) has named January National Get Organized month.

Still not convinced? According to a NAPO public survey, 82% of people believe that if they were more organized, their quality of life would improve.

So here are a few tips to get 2016 off to a great start:

SOM Image01 1. Identify the Benefits Getting Organized Can Have in YOUR Life
More space, more money, more time to do the things that matter most in your life…?
How about peace of mind, a greater sense of control, lower stress level, better productivity, and increased focus?
SOM Image02 2. Decide Where to Start
Choose to tackle the area that causes you the greatest stress. Is it the stack of mail spilling over your kitchen table, or your overstuffed garage? Big or small, start with what will make the biggest impact in your daily life. Now that you know where to start, literally write out in your calendar the exact times and dates you will dedicate to getting it done.
SOM Image03 3. Break It Down
Break down the bigger tasks into manageable projects you can accomplish in 15 to 60 minutes max; and time yourself.  As you work, consciously remind yourself that ”all you need to do right now is finish this one space" or "all you need to do for the next 15 minutes is… sort clothing by type."
SOM Image04 4. Use the SIMPLE Method
To keep progressing in the right direction and avoid overthinking, use the SIMPLE acronym:
S ort    
I dentify what to keep
M ake a home for it    
P ut it in containers
L abel it
E stablish a routine
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5. Gather Likes with Likes
Gather all of your like items together and evaluate them as a group. It’s a lot easier to make decisions on what can go when you’re actually looking at how many you have of each item. Start with broad categories (such as ‘hair’ when organizing your bathroom); and once the first sorting is done, subdivide further into specific categories (hairpins and clips, brushes, products, etc.) And finally, find the right container for it (for example, Ziplocs for small bathroom items.)

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6. Put It Where You Use It

Being organized is often more about thinking outside the box and fine tuning one's daily routines than simply finding a home for everything. In order to STAY organized, you will need to find systems that are functional and easy to maintain. Putting things back where they belong should take no more than one or two steps. So no matter how unconventional, put it where you use it and cut down on the extra work it takes to tidy up. Think ‘location, location, location’. And by all means, if necessary, don’t hesitate and remove closets or cabinets doors to replace them with curtains for example.

SOM Image07 7. Beware of Accessibility
Storage doesn't have to be hidden. Open shelves or doorless cabinets can help to ease access. If your family members can’t reach what they need, they’ll ask for help getting it, and to put it back, too.  To solve that problem, include storage that’s accessible to those who use it: clothes at arm’s length, cabinets stocked with daily necessities at eye level and remove unnecessary lids on bins.
SOM Image08 8. Think Vertical
To maximize your space, always think vertical! To make the most of your closet space, add extra rods and fabric hanging shelves. In your bathroom, use over-the-door hanging storage solutions. And remember to place the heaviest items on the bottom, lightest on the very top and the ones you use most often at arm’s reach.
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9. Rotate and Rotate Some More! 
To make room in your closets, always put away off-season and between-sized clothes in bins, vacuumed bags or under bed storage containers. Now, how about toy rotation? This is by far one of my favorite ways to handle toy overload and the benefits are priceless: cuts out clean-up time, builds respect for belongings, increases concentration, deepens engagement, helps avoid overstimulation, etc.

I invite you to visit these few links to learn more about toy rotation:

Child’s Play: The Art of Toy Rotation
Motherhood Mondays: The Great Toy Experiment Cup of Jo
How to Rotate Toys – Little Stories

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10. Tend to Visual Clutter

Visual clutter equals mental clutter; and there are lots of items that contribute to visual clutter in our homes. Electronics are a good example. Cords and a multitude of devices may lead to tangled plug-ins and a jumble of items. Solve those visual storage problems with pretty containers and boxes. When it's pleasing to look at, you'll be more likely to regularly tend to it.

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11. One-in, One-Out
Truth is; it is easier to maintain a decluttered environment then to achieve it. So once you’ve done the hard work to get there, adopt a ‘one-in, one-out rule’. From then on, when you acquire a new pair of shoes, magazine or cooking pan an old one must be discarded, recycled or donated.


And when in doubt, hire a professional organizer!

Wishing you all the best for 2016, and a little more time and space for yourself.

Author's Bio

virginiedor 200

Virginie Dor is the founder of Space of Mine, a professional business specializing in residential organizing that provides services through Geneva and Lausanne.

With knowledge, dedication and care, Virginie Dor is committed to helping individuals and families better their lives, take control of their surroundings and time by creating organizing solutions that are individually tailored to each client.
As a proud member of NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers), she is an expert in clutter control, work flow, space planning and time management. To learn more about Virginie, visit her profile on LinkedIn.