7 Ways to Keep the Organization Ball Rolling

Getting organized is one of the MOST popular resolutions/goals for the new year.  January comes and there is a frenzy of people getting organized.  We’re buying or making our planners for the new year. Filling out calendars and going through our files.  Organization supplies like storage bins and baskets of all shapes and sizes are on sale in almost every store.  Then, as the sales end and January comes to a close we start to lose some of our momentum.  Daily life is picking up, the lull that comes after the holidays is now over, and we’ve gotten organized – or at least we’ve gotten started on it.  The real trick now, is to continue on that path.   To help us, I’ve put together a list of 7 ways to keep the organization ball rolling as the year goes on.


Keep that new year's drive to get organized going all year with these 7 tips for how to stay organized.


Seven Ways to Stay Organized

It’s so easy to start out the year ready to take on the whole world, or house anyway.  But that zest for getting organized can start to wane after a few weeks.  So I pulled together my top seven tips for how to keep the motivation to organize going all year long.


7 ways to keep the organization ball rolling, #1: Follow the one in/one out rule! | ScatteredSquirrel.com

The easiest way to stay organized is to follow the one in/one out rule.  When you buy something new or bring an item into your home, you choose one to leave.  This rule works great for clothes, shoes, handbags, toys, and even dishes.  I’m not saying it’s always applicable, I mean if you’re working on collecting serving dishes because you don’t have enough for your needs then you certainly wouldn’t follow this rule.  But it’s a great place to start.


7 ways to keep the organization ball rolling, #2: Reduce. Reuse, Recycle | ScatteredSquirrel.com

This one is another easy one to follow.  Reduce what is coming into home.  Whether that’s signing up for online billing options, saying no to junk mail, or using up what you have before you buy more, there are many ways to tackle that problem.  Reuse what you have instead of buying new.  Containers, jars and baskets can be used to organize smaller items.  That old dresser could be turned into tool storage in the garage, and so on.  And of course recycling.  Whatever you’re not using recycle or toss it out. When you’re done with the mail, when you clean out your files, recycle it all right away!  If you have unused items that you think someone else can use, recycle them by passing them on.   The 3 R’s can really help keep you organized all year long.


7 ways to keep the organization ball rolling, #3: A place for everything and Everything in its place | ScatteredSquirrel.com

This one is an oldie but a goodie.  Take some time to make sure items in your home have a home of their own.  This is crucial to staying organized.  Without a designated spot, items end up scattered willy nilly around our homes (I am sooooooo guilty of this one) and then we’re spending precious time reorganizing when we should be out doing something fun!  It doesn’t have to be tedious, keep it as simple as you need too, like books on book shelf (as long as they find their way to the book shelf all is good) Legos in the lego bin, or barbies in the barbie bin.  It doesn’t have to be a complex system, use what works for you. Trust me on this one, if you do nothing else, take the time to assign your items a home.


7 ways to keep the organization ball rolling, #4: Labels can be your best friend | ScatteredSquirrel.com

This one goes hand in hand with number 3.  Once you’ve assigned homes for everything label those areas!  Baskets, canisters, shelves, where ever you think it’s appropriate.  Not only do labels take the guess work out of putting things away, they are a great way to let your family know how to help keep things organized.


7 ways to keep the organization ball rolling, #5: Pay attention to your hot spots. | ScatteredSquirrel.com

We all have these spots in our home.  Those spots that seem to have their own magnetism for all things homeless.  Drop zones that can turn into black holes of clutter.  Don’t just clear these areas, pay attention to what is getting dumped there.  Is this the spot you put your receipts or drop your mail? Set up a space for them in that spot.  It doesn’t matter that you have a mail sorter by your door, if it’s not working where it is move it.  Nothing is set is stone, you need to organize for how YOU and YOUR FAMILY use your space.  Make a plan for the items that collect in your hot spots.  Use number 3 and 4 to help you combat these clutter magnets.


7 ways to keep the organization ball rolling, #6: Give yourself a time limit | ScatteredSquirrel.com

All the organizing gurus will tell you something similar, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, grab a timer and work for 15-30 minutes at a time.  This is a great way to make progress while organizing. It’s also a great way to stay organized.  Pick a room or area of your home each day, set a timer for 15 minutes, and go through that room or area and check to make sure it’s organized.  Don’t confuse this with cleaning, this is just for organizing.  Make sure items are in their homes, if there are things in the room that don’t belong, remove them.  You’d be surprised what 15 minutes a day can do, and I bet you, you probably won’t need all 15 of those minutes every day!


7 ways to keep the organization ball rolling, #7 Embrace Imperfection! | ScatteredSquirrel.com

This one is the most important one!  It is impossible to be happy with your organizing efforts if you are trying for perfection.  Organization is an ongoing, ever evolving goal.  Life can be messy, embrace it. Forget about making it perfect today, because tomorrow you might need to change it.  Instead focus on making it work for you and your family right now.  You can tweak and change it later on, and chances are, in a few months or years things will be changing on you again anyway.  Keep your organizing goals realistic and embrace the fact that things will never be perfect.  It can be really hard to let go of perfectionism, but once you do, I promise you, you’ll have more success for your efforts!


So, if you find yourself heading towards an organizing slump, know that you’re not alone.  We all hit those times.  Try giving one of the above mentioned tips a whirl, you never know where it might lead.


Getting organized is one of the most popular new year's resolutions. Here are seven way to keep that organizing ball rolling all year long.


Do you have any tips or tricks for staying organized?


  1. says

    This is amazing!! I swear I’d be more organized if my kids would hurry up and move out. Haha. I especially like what you say about the drop zones. I’m going to pay more attention to that! Thanks.
    Stopping by from sits!!

    • says

      Hi Izzi, thanks so much for stopping by and taking time to leave a comment. Drop zones are my nemesis when it comes to organizing. I’m bound and determined to eliminate them from our home this year…. ha ha ha …. me and my ‘wish upon a star’ goals lol

      I hope you’re having a wonderful week!


    • says

      Hi Emily,

      Thanks so much for stopping by. Oh, black hole areas are tough. We have one of those too, it’s rather worrisome how much stuff accumulate there and I always wonder HOW it ends up there. I know if I can’t find something to look their first and I’ll probably find it. The strange things that happen in our homes.

      I hope that this week is treating you well!


    • says

      Hi Kim,

      Thanks for stopping by. It is always so much easier to talk, write, listen or read about organizing, putting it to action is tough. If only the doing was as easy as the thinking!

      Wishing you a fantastic week!

    • says

      Hi Roni,

      Thanks so much for stopping by. I really struggle with number one too. I’ve found that for me, it’s really helpful to have a few areas or items that aren’t covered by rule to hold me accountable in other areas. For example, I don’t follow the one in one out rule with books, because I read ALL the time and I reread my books on a regular basis. But if I want to continue to allow that exception I’ve got to follow the one in one out rule in other areas, like craft supplies or clothes. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s working so far. lol

      I hope you’re having a great weekend!


  2. says

    Love this! This was one of my goals this year, too – but I love how you broke it down into easy-to-remember phrases! I will keep revisiting this! Thank you! #sits

    • says

      Hi Katie,

      Thanks so much for stopping by and taking time to leave a comment. I’m happy to hear that you find the list useful, I hope it helps you throughout the year.

      I hope you’re having a fantastic weekend.


  3. says

    Been organize for me it’s really important, yesterday I was telling my husband that even though we live in a small apartment, I need a desk, where I can work. This is my goal for 2014. Hopefully after we move to the states “soon” I can accomplish this goal, to stay organize in my work.

    • says

      Hi Remy,
      Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. Having a work space is very important, even if you have to get creative with how you make one. Whether that means making room for a desk or using caddies and bins to set up on the dining room table. We used to live in a tiny home, and my office stuff was stored in a few key places near the dining room table so that I could access it while I worked. While it wasn’t my favorite way to do things, we made our space work for us. I wish you success in carving out that work area and in your other organizing goals this year!

      I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend.

    • says

      I have found over time, that perfection is an illusion and is something that we can never attain, no matter how hard we try. Life is fluid, once we get something ‘perfect’ something will happen and we’ll need to change it up again.

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