Organizing My Spaces for The New Year

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In order to make the best of productivity in the new year (or any time, really) I find that I operate better in spaces that work well. For me, this means no clutter, adequate space for everything that goes there, and an easy, quick way to deal with it all. It needs to be functional. I’m more relaxed and more productive in spaces that are efficient, so with my time off this holiday weekend, here’s where I’m spending my time organizing: the kitchen, my closet, and my workspace.

Kitchen: I’m cleaning out the fridge by throwing out any old condiments and making sure the perishables are front and center so they don’t get missed. I’m organizing the spice cabinet and taking stock of what’s in the pantry and what might need to be replaced or thrown out. Doing all this ensures that cooking is as smooth and successful as possible, keeping us eating at home and out of the drive-thru. 

Closet: I’m putting away clothes I don’t wear (seasonal) and refolding everything. If it’s all too tight a fit in the space, I’ve got too many clothes in there and need to find another place for it or donate it.

* This article on fast fashion problems, changed the way I think about shopping and has helped me keep a small but workable wardrobe. 
Workspace: While my desk is still in storage in San Diego, I’m working at the kitchen counter. It’s not optimal though and is easily cluttered, which drives me insane. I’m clearing out everything and starting over. I’m filing what needs to be saved, organizing and recording receipts, recycling unnecessary items, and dealing with whatever’s left (invoices, bills, deadlines). I want to have no more than one stack for papers, my notepad, and a pen. 
Organizational Tips: 
Less is more. Getting rid of clutter is the ultimate in feeling freedom – less sh*t to clean up! Instead of throwing things away though, recycle, give away, or donate anything you’re not using on a regular basis. Ask friends on Facebook if they need whatever it is you’re not using. If one day, you happen to need it back, ask them for it.
Don’t get distracted buying more things: I know it’s tempting to go buy a bunch of items that will make it feel like you’re getting more organized (like those cute canvas storage bins), but before you spend time adding things to your living space, ask yourself if you really need them and if you’ll use them past the next couple months.
Don’t waste time in places you don’t use. I’m not organizing guest bathrooms or the garage because I’m never in there. Unless I have tons of time or am feeling really organize-y, I steer clear of the junk drawer and other areas that don’t directly improve my productivity.
Delegate! Each person in the house should work on the area they spend the most time in so their own space is useful for them. If your kids are old enough to operate a phone/tablet, they’re old enough to organize their own rooms and play areas (and operate a dishwasher and washing machine).
Know when it’s time to out-source. Organizing my closet isn’t going to take me more than an hour, so it’s doable over the weekend, but if you’ve got something that’s going to take hours on end, hire somebody else to do it for you. Hiring a local high school or college student for $50-$100 can be well worth it. That frees you up to focus on something else and they’ll be stoked to make some side cash.
How do you prep for the new year?
I’d love to know!
Happy New Year!
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