When the New Year’s confetti settles and the holiday leftovers are long gone, it’s time to pack up the year past and get focused on the new one. But where do you start? Before you get overwhelmed, check out these nine zippy ideas to kick off your way to a more organized year—at work and at home.
1. Do the write thing
What better way to start off the year than with a list of goals you’d like to accomplish? Lyndsay Swinton, owner of Management for the Rest of Us, offers this tip: “Keep New Years resolutions by writing your goals in enough detail for everyone to understand and agree what’s meant. So if your goal is to buy a house, put some flesh on the bones by saying your goal is to buy a 3 bedroom house, with garden, near work, for no more than 3 times your salary.”
Whether your plan is to buy a new house, lose those ten extra pounds or learn how to play the ukulele, writing down your goals and keeping detailed checklists can help you maintain your focus during the year. Stay on track with an Avery Heavy-Duty Binder to keep your goals and checklists handy and secure. And with Avery Durable Ready Index Dividers, you can quickly and easily organize articles, professional tips and other important notes that will help you reach your goals. Now three ways stronger to last longer, you can count on these durable dividers all year long.
2. Conquer the clutter
Is your space so cluttered, it’s no longer functional? It’s hard to get going when you don’t have enough breathing room. Dealing with Clutter recommends giving yourself a time limit for each unruly area you plan to attack and setting a timer to help you stay focused.
3. Keep it simple
Sometimes the simplest storage solutions work best. Dealing with Clutter suggests storing your items using methods that are easy to integrate: store items close to where they’ll be used, keep frequently used items in convenient storage areas and label your storage boxes so you’ll know what’s inside.
Why not reuse old boxes with Avery Shipping Labels with TrueBlock™ Technology? You can cover up what’s underneath, including old markings or labels and clearly identify what’s inside the box with a label that’s bright white.
4. Give everything a home
Do you spend a lot of time hunting down missing items because they’ve been misplaced, or borrowed and not returned? Next time, assign a designated home for each of your items, and label them with the location where it should be returned. Avery I.D. Labels are perfect for the job because they come in all shapes and sizes. A pair of scissors that often go wayward can be labeled “desk drawer” or “supply cabinet.” When everything has its place, everyone will know where each item belongs, where to find it and where to return it when they’re done.
5. Join the Four-F club
Here’s a quick way to get through all that paperwork accumulating on your desk. On Flying Solo, professional organizer Lissanne Oliver suggests these four Fs for managing all that paper crossing your desk:
- Finish it - for any work currently in progress.
- Forward it - for anything you don’t need, but may be useful for someone else.
- File it – for any documents you’ll need for future reference.
- Flick it – for any paperwork that’s out-of-date, unwanted or available elsewhere, such as on your computer.
6. Find your file style
There are many different ways to file paperwork. Filing can be alphabetical, chronological, numerical, color-coded or a combination of different methods. The key is to create a system that’s easy for you (and whoever’s sharing your files) to use, and keep it consistent for all similar files.
7. Out with the old, in with the new
Show off your efficient side by clearing out your old, outdated files while you update or create current files at the same time. Avery File Folder Labels with TrueBlock™ Technology enable you to reuse old file folders because it provides complete coverage over existing file folder labels. And with tax season just around the corner, it’s a good time to get your paperwork in order and start preparing for next year.
8. Start small, think big
If you’re feeling a bit intimidated with all you need to do, relax. Just do a little bit at a time. As long as you do something on your list each day or each week, you’re still making progress. You can also boost your sense of accomplishment by tackling smaller projects that can be finished quickly and taking care of larger projects in bite-sized chunks.
9. Motivate yourself with rewards
A little incentive never hurt anyone. Set up key milestones within large projects, and when you reach them, treat yourself. Enjoy a fresh cup of coffee after you’ve completed a large mailing project at work, or go catch a movie after you’ve cleaned out the basement at home. Just remember to take a break and enjoy a little well-deserved fun.
When you see the progress you’ve made from all your hard work, you’re on the right track—so keep going! Don’t let things pile up, and resist the urge to procrastinate. Once you get organized, it’ll be easier to stay organized. Now’s the perfect opportunity to get that fresh start you’ve always wanted. It’s a habit that’s sure to reward you throughout the year, and all the years to come!