January brings a fresh new year and the perfect time to get organized. These 31 easy tips will help you enjoy the new year in your new Signature home. Choose one at a time, and focus on that. When you’re done with that, focus on the next.

  1. Make A List. List all spaces, including drawers, shelves and closets you would like organized.  You’ll have a place to start and feel a sense of accomplishment when completed. You may only have a drawer in your kitchen that collects miscellaneous items that you would like to have organized or you may have several spaces on your list. Prioritize your list by which area you would like completed first and start there.
  1. Set Aside Time. Set aside a certain amount of time, whether it’s part of a morning, or an entire Saturday morning, to organize a closet or room. Conquering an entire closet, room or home can be overwhelming. Do it in baby steps.
  1. Declutter before organizing. Many people make the mistake of taking a cluttered desk or filing cabinet or closet or drawer, and trying to organize it. 
  1. Clear The Area. Choose your target area and empty it completely. Clean the empty area thoroughly. Then, take the pile and make quick decisions: trash, give away, or keep. Then tackle the next target area with the same steps.
  1. Create A Maybe Box. If you can’t bear to toss something because you might need it later, put it in the box, then close the box, label it, and put it somewhere out of sight. Most likely, you’ll never open that box again. If that’s the case, pull it out after six months or a year, and toss it or give it away.
  1. Clear the Closets. Is your closet bursting full? Simplify your wardrobe by getting rid of anything you don’t actually wear.
  1. Matching Hangers. Avoid a chaotic jumble of wire, wood, and plastic hangers by choosing just one type and brand of hanger for the closet.
  1. Go Paperless. Magazines, catalogs, junk mail, bills more than a year old, notes to yourself, notes from others, old work stuff … toss it.
  1. Keep A Binder: Start a binder of important information such as bills, budgets, emergency contacts, and shopping lists in a single three-ring binder, which simplifies and streamlines daily routines.
  1. School Artwork: Can’t bear to toss them? Snap pics of all artwork and create an annual ‘art’ photo book from an online retailer.
  1. Create a System. Allocate 15 minutes at the end of each day to putting away dishes, toys, shoes or any items that may have been left out. The more you practice this habit, the quicker it will become second-nature.
  1. Carve out drop zones.Place boxes for incoming and outgoing mail near the door, and make a perch for your keys. 
  1. Purge Paper.It’s easy to let papers pile up in your home office. Go through every piece of paper in your office by using the System of Three: shred/toss it, file it or take action from it. 
  1. Create a Mail Station.Make a folder for incoming and outgoing mail, mail to file, bills and a folder for every family member. As soon as the mail comes in, file it in the mail station. Then once a week, take a few minutes and go through each folder.
  1. Categorize. Organize your office into categories, placing like items together. By doing this, your office will become more functional. For example, look in your mail drawer next time you need stamps. 
  1. Keep Countertops Clean: Only items used on a daily basis should be awarded the front row seats on countertops.
  1. Hook It. Hang your dog leashes, keys, grocery tote bags, umbrellas, headphones, backpacks or jewelry on a hook that fits the style of your home. Hooks allow for easy access storage and can also add a small decorative touch to a room.
  1. Add An Ottoman. Ottomans can second as an easy way to declutter and store home items. Conceal extra bedding, photo albums and DVDs to open up shelf space.
  1. Box It. Boxes can declutter a home and add a decorative element. Box containers are perfect for when you want to completely conceal what you’re storing, creating an even more polished look.
  1. Label Medicines. Use plastic school pencil boxes with lids to organize your medicine cabinet. Sort all medicines by type and put them in the boxes. Then label the side of the box.
  1. Address the dresser top. Do you dump the contents of your pockets on the bureau at the end of the day? Try depositing spare change and receipts in an attractive bowl and sorting through it weekly. 
  1. Sort bedding.Keep a maximum of three sets of sheets per bed. That way, you can have one in use, one in the laundry and one on the shelf. To store sets neatly, put the flat and fitted sheets and one pillowcase folded inside the second pillowcase. The convenient bundles are easy to stack.
  1. Find A Home For Everything. Clutter is created when things don’t have a defined home. Identify the miscellaneous items in your home and find a place for them to live permanently. If there isn’t a place readily available, make one.
  1. Identify Your Storage Needs. Having the right amount of storage for your needs will make things look and feel more organized. Get creative while organizing, vertical space can free up other valuable space.
  1. Simplify home tasks. Think about all the tasks you do at home. Focus on the most important, and try to find ways to eliminate the other tasks (automate, eliminate, delegate, or hire help).
  1. Create an easy-to-maintain yard. If you spend too much time on your yard, here are some good tips.
  1. Stack Garage Bins. Plastic storage bins are a great way to separate and organize your equipment by sport or season. Try these easy-to-build storage towers that are an attractive and ingenious way to provide easy access to your bins.
  1. One In, One Out. Make a deal with yourself to throw something out whenever you buy something new. When you buy a new pair of shoes, throw away or donate an old pair you don’t wear anymore.
  1. Say No. Don’t be afraid of saying no if you are offered something you don’t need; it’s easy to be polite and turn it down at the same time.
  1. Evaluate your time. How do you spend your day? What things do you do, from the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep? Make a list, and evaluate whether they’re in line with your priorities. If not, eliminate the things that aren’t, and focus on what’s important. Redesign your day.
  1. Celebrate. Always celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small. Even if you just organize one drawer, that’s great. Open your organized space and admire its simplicity. Bask in your peacefulness and enjoy the benefits of increased time, space and energy.

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