5 Organizing Hacks to Kick Off the New Year

woman writing labels on boxes packing up house

5 Organizing Hacks to Kick Off the New Year

Turn on the music, establish your goals, and go grab a friend or family member to help you start organizing today.

With the New Year upon us, there is no better time to start a healthy habit of developing the skill of organization. Messiness, untidiness, and unorganized areas can cause stress and anxiety to rise in your home while having a clean, tidy, and organized home can provide comfort and relaxation in your daily life. If you want to learn to organize better, I have five organizing hacks to help kick off the New Year right:

1. Set Doable, Realistic Goals

Many of us have made lengthy lists of goals we would like to achieve for the upcoming week, month, or year. Crafting long, broad lists is not the best idea for achieving goals. Rather than creating long, broad lists, choose to set doable goals for yourself. It is entirely up to you if you want to make daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals, or yearly goals, but when you are setting your goals, make sure they are realistic. 

Do not set unrealistic goals, such as making one million dollars over the course of the year or paying off your student loans before the end of January. These goals could happen; however, they are not realistic. It is best to set measurable goals: to chip away more student debt, I will pick up a side gig making an extra $500 each month, or sacrifice my weekly coffee funds and save $25 per week. By establishing healthy goals, you will be able to organize your days, weeks, and months better. Each time you finish a goal you crafted, you will feel productive and more motivated to continue completing your other goals.

2. Organize One Calendar

Organizing one calendar is a second organizing hack for the New Year (John Egan, “17 New Year’s Resolutions to Help You Get Organized,” Spare Foot, 2021). It is important to clarify that in order to be organized, it is best to use only one calendar. Using multiple calendars in different locations can quickly become confusing. Instead of mindlessly writing down doctor appointments, get-togethers, or important dates to remember on any calendar you find, try to organize all of your appointments, events, and special dates on one calendar. This can either be a calendar on your phone or a physical calendar that you hang on a wall. Either way, both are good, viable options, but choose what will work best for you. 

Whether you choose to use a digital calendar on your phone or a manual calendar beside your desk, just make sure you have all of your important dates, appointments, and deadlines written in legible handwriting or typed clearly in order for you to properly understand what is planned for the specific day. It has been all too common in my house growing up that we would quickly write a doctor’s appointment or a dental surgery on the calendar, only to realize we wrote the date and time so quickly, we could not even ascertain what the appointment was or its time. Also, in order to save yourself from this headache, make sure you take your time to write down exactly what your appointment is, where it is located, and the time of the appointment in legible handwriting. (For digital calendars, remember autocorrect can be a killer, so double check what was typed!)  

3. Declutter

A third organizing hack for the upcoming year is to declutter. Choose to declutter one area at a time in order not to feel overwhelmed with the task. Start small with areas in your house, such as a hallway, bathroom, or closet space. See if there are any unneeded items you can donate or give to someone in need. If you choose to declutter your closet, look for items that you do not wear anymore or do not fit and donate them to a local church, outreach center, or a hospital. The coat that you do not use anymore could be a great blessing to a person in need. After you have gone through your closet and donated any items you do not need or want anymore, organize the items you have left. You can organize your clothing by colors, seasons, or types of clothing, such as keeping all your coats together, all your shirts together, or all your dresses together. Once you have organized your closet, you will feel much better about entering it each day as it will be tidy, clean, and organized. 

It is important to also keep the organization going as it can be easy for a once clean area to become disorganized again. A good way to combat an area from becoming disorganized again is by being mindful to return coats or other clothing pieces back to their original, organized place rather than shoving your coat into the closet when you get home. Similarly, you can choose other areas of your house, apartment, or office and slowly, section by section, declutter and upkeep those spots. 

4. The Beauty of Boxes

Boxes are a fantastic hack for organization. One of my good friends from college absolutely adores boxes. It is not uncommon for people to give her boxes as gifts for Christmas or her birthday. I share this same love for boxes as my friend does as there is truly beauty to be found in boxes. The best part about boxes is that you can store so much in them and you can simply slide them out of the way, such as under your bed, in the basement, or in the attic without fear of the items within the boxes being damaged. 

Another great aspect of boxes is that you can purchase a wide variety of boxes in different colors and designs. See-through boxes are a favorite of mine because when you are looking for something, it is much easier to find it if the box is see-through. As you organize your items into boxes, it is a good idea to place common items together into the boxes, such as having an individual box for out-of-season clothes, a box for books, or a box of memorabilia. Labeling the boxes can be a great asset when it is time to bring out the items again. If you are moving heavier objects or if your boxes become quite weighty, there is nothing wrong with asking for help, which leads me to my final organizing hack for the New Year—asking for help.  

5. Ask for Help

The final organizing hack idea for the New Year is to not be afraid of asking for help when you are organizing (John Egan, “17 New Year’s Resolutions to Help You Get Organized,” Spare Foot, 2021). If something becomes too heavy to lift, pull, or carry, ask for somebody’s help. There is nothing wrong, weak, or wimpy about asking for another set of arms to help do a team lift. Even if you are organizing papers or dates on a calendar, there is nothing wrong with asking for help. There is great strength in admitting when you do not know how to do something or need another's expertise. 

God has placed other people in our lives to encourage, strengthen, and help us. The Lord never wanted us to go through life alone. Our society today prizes the idea of independence; however, there is nothing wrong with asking for help when you are organizing, nor is there anything wrong with asking for help in other areas of life. Also by enlisting help, it can make the organization process go a lot faster and become great fun. Turn on the music, establish your goals, and go grab a friend or family member to help you start organizing today.

Photo Credit: Pexels/Ketet Subiyanto  

Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Christian Ministry and is currently working toward her Master’s Degree. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is probably embarking on an adventure.