It’s a New Year and I know that everyone’s rearing to go – time to make BIG changes, time to get organized, and time to really make this year different. Well guess what? I don’t really buy into BIG changes, I buy into small but powerful ones. Being a professional organizer, I get many questions at Holiday Parties about organizing in the New Year and what big changes to do first. And I always tell people the same thing – start with your junk drawer.
The junk drawer is a microcosm of our bigger organizational challenges. It is also one of the last places people tend to think they need to organize. I believe the opposite is true – I think it’s the first thing you need to do.
The Power of the Organized Junk Drawer
We See How Simple Organizing Can Be:
Organizing comes down to 3 main things :
1) A simple plan of attack
2) 3 Step Process – Get Started, Sort, and Re-Organize
3) Stand Back and Admire your Talent.
The junk drawer organizing process involves all of these steps.
We See the Reality of the Situation (and it’s never as bad as we thought):
We all like drama. This means we can make all sorts of organizing projects bigger than they really are. The junk drawer gives us a miniature way to see that things are never as bad as we think they are.
We Get Feel What Organized Feels Like:
As much as organizing is about being more efficient, it’s also about feeling calmer from the inside out as we meet each experience. Look at that organized drawer and feel It – can be pretty motivating and that can move us on to the next project.
We Challenge the Belief that “We’re Not Organized”:
Guess what? When you can organized your junk drawer, you can organize anything. All organizing projects are the same – our mind likes to tell us that this one is “too big” but now you know the truth – if you can do one project, you can do them all. The secret is to start small, gain some confidence and success under your belt. And when you have a thought that says “You’re not organized”, you can laugh because you can remember your junk drawer and know it’s not true.
So I am taking my own advice and starting with my own junk drawer (which has been very ignored!). Here was my simple 6 step process that took about 15 minutes:
1) Pull out the junk
2) Put out and sort items into groups (and I noticed that the project was not as bad as I thought it would be!)
3) Do a soap / warm water wash of the drawer.
4) Add some Structure – For big drawers, just adding alittle structure with drawer trays will be a big support in keeping the drawer organized. Knowing I had bigger items – duct tape and tools that would work better outside of trays along the side and back of drawer, I just purchased 2 drawer trays for the smaller items. I found 2 clear plastic organizing trays from Walmart ( Mainstays 3 section drawer organizing tray – $2.24 and a 6 section drawer organizing tray – $3.97) – http://www.walmart.com/ip/Mainstays-3-Section-Drawer-Organizer-Clear/25998058 and http://www.walmart.com/ip/Mainstays-6-Section-Drawer-Organizer-Clear/26691058
5) Re-organize: Keep like things together and if you find things that really don’t belong or will get used there, move ‘em out.
6) Stand back and admire your talent!
The organized junk drawer highlights the power of small changes. If it can be done there successfully, it can be done anywhere. So do me a favor and start 2015 out not in your garage or your basement but with a small but powerful success. And then see where that takes you ~