In the past two years, I have been made more and more aware of how obsessive I am about organizing, well, everything. Zach has made it a point to laugh at my color coordination and sigh at my crazy organizational methods, and although his chiding can frustrate me, I know it’s his way of loving my crazy. And I like to embrace that crazy, thank you! Organization makes me happy, it calms me down, and I just love to get my life in order. Now I’ll take the time to throw out a quick disclaimer; not EVERYTHING in my life is organized, and some things really should never come close to being put on the to-do list. Love comes naturally, friendships as well, and to a point, learning shouldn’t touch a list either. I just like to have some order in the few things I can control, and the beginning of a new year always brings about a new chapter of cleaning, sorting, and figuring out my life and the random things I’ve accumulated over the last 365 days.
As you can probably gather, today was that day! And I feel so. much. better. I cleaned out my closet (not in the Eminem way), put my work and class schedule in my planner and Google Calendar (aka my lifesavers), and generally cleared my room/purse/life of the crap that had been getting in my way the past few months. Instead of spring cleaning, I take the coldest day of the year (not an impossible task on January 6th…) and plunk myself down in the middle of my bed in order to get it all done. And damn, does it feel amazing. I’m ready to head back into my (last) hectic semester and onto some exciting but nerve-wracking new adventures.
If you are ready to start the new year with nothing but a cleared state of mind, here are a few tips on how to get it all started:
- First off, buy a calendar/planner/free calendar app/what have you so that you can have your schedule written down in front of you (always a plus)
- If you have a schedule, write it out! If you can get the basic step out of the way, you’ll have no trouble at all. If there isn’t a schedule that is set, just make sure to keep your dates or appointments written down. You’ll never double-book yourself again!
- As far as your room goes, start with the basics; if you can’t walk in the door without tripping, start with the floor! If you’ve already got that figured out, head to your closet. There are always a few pieces that you haven’t touched in months, weeks, days, or hours. Figure out what falls where, and then toss accordingly! Are you a pack-rat? Throw out anything that isn’t truly personal. Letters and cards can stay; notes from a 5th grade boyfriend you haven’t seen since…5th grade? TOSS.
- Repeat after me: Baskets are my friend. They help hold on to the necessary clutter without providing a cluttered view. My baskets hold tools, camera junk, desk items, sheets (no linen closet), medicine, and about a million other items as well. Again, baskets are your friend!
- Figure out where you want everything to belong. If it has a spot that you know of, you can – and will! – put it there. Every day. All the time. Just do it, ok?!
- As far as your life goes, the calendar should do it. If there is an empty slot in that planner, use it ANY WAY YOU WANT. Free time? Do it. Trying to get back into yoga? Do. It. Catching up on The Bachelor? YOU BETTER DO IT (What do you think I’m watching as I type this? Juan Pablo is one dreamy Venezuelan…).
Now whatever has been holding you back? Ditch it. Kick it to the curb like that ragged ex you should have left years ago! (Men, you can do all of this too, note the gender ambivalence) Throw out the crap that has been filling your life, apply this to whatever you would like, to actual cleaning guidelines or in a metaphorical way of cleaning out your day-to-day life. Find out what you love, what matters most to you, and then find a way to do it regardless of your work or school schedules.
New years are celebrated because they are whatever you want them to be, do, share, or create. Get to it!