Start the new year with these ten simple organizing projects. I’m not talking home renovations that cost a bunch here… just some simple tips to make your life a lot easier.
I call it a wave.
I will go for long period without organizing much. I’ll do whatever it is that I do and that’ll be fine. And then… then the wave rolls in.
It propels me forward and gives me motivation to organize. And when that wave comes? I ride it. When it doesn’t come, I don’t force it. But pretty much every year, I definitely get a wave of New Year Enthusiasm and this year is no different.
Organizing efforts should reflect an extension of your natural habits. Creating systems or programs that don’t fall into your personality will probably be a waste of time.
Take the time to organize yourself and your mind. This helps with stress and can help you not to bite off more than you can handle. Don’t forget to set aside time each day for yourself!
Remember, when it comes or to organizing for a new year… start small and have “do-able” goals.
1. Set Up Your Planner
Truly, whether you purchase a paper bound planner or use a digital one, setting up your planner is a great project to bring in the new year.
Here’s some essentials to include in your planner:
- School calendar with special dates
- Health appointments
- Meal planning
- Monthly budgets
- A place for weekly goals/lists
- Important holidays and birthdays (pro-tip: stamp & address envelopes for cards you wish to send for the year and save them in your planner for easy sending.)
- Personal health goals/gym plan
- Date night/family night
- Scheduled vacations
- List of books to read
- Motivational quotes and reflections
Want to spend a few hours preparing for the WHOLE YEAR ahead? Yes, yes it’s possible. Print and plan away.
2. Hang a Monthly Wall Calendar
Choose a calendar large enough to write on when necessary and hang in a central location of your home. This really helps everyone in the family stay on the same page- scheduled wise.
Now, here are some ideas to include on your wall calendar:
- Any changes to you normal schedule
- Important holidays and dates
- School, work, or special occasions
- Planned shopping trips
- Weekly reading or exercising goals
- Chore list/schedule
I just bought this one. Emily Ley has nice ones as well.
3. Create a Homemaking Binder
It may seem intimidating, but creating is one of the most satisfying projects you’ll ever do.
- It’s designed to help you prioritize. Part of the reason we’re overwhelmed, stressed, and chaotic is because we are doing too many things that don’t matter. This pack will help you eliminate and focus.
- The homemaking binder makes organization easy. When you’ve decided what you are going to prioritize and focus on, this pack will help you get organized. No more walking around wondering, you’ll have plans that make sense.
- You will develop systems… every home needs systems. Ways of doing things that work. This pack will help you find systems (and get rid of systems that don’t work) to make your home run more smoothly.
- Lastly, it will help you find “you” again. Motherhood and homemaking can zap the life out of you. You become a woman you don’ t quite recognize. This pack has a few pages to help you focus on prioritizing yourself so you can be the woman you want to be.
Meal Planning, Pantry, Kitchen Troubleshooting, Morning Routine, Evening Routine, Daily To Do’s, Chores, Cleaning, Family Priorities, Monthly Goals, Financial Goals, Debt Payoff, Let It Go Inventory, and more!Learn More
4. Organize Your “Catch All” Space
The key with a properly organized catch all space is to make sure it’s where things actually get thrown. If you try to move that spot somewhere else it won’t work because that’s the spot stuff lands.
Every family has it… the junk drawer, that one spot on the counter, the corner that always piles up. A simple organizing project is re-vamping this space to accommodate your family needs.
- Desk Organizer – This simple organizer easily fits on an desk or counter and can hold mail, junk, and simple utilities.
- File Organizer – Part of the reason for most clutter is finding the correct spot to store various items. That’s why this one is one of my favorites- it has 6 layers!
- Wood Counter Organizer – Beautiful and effective when used properly to organize incoming mail, junk, and various other papers.
- Storage with Binder Space – Oh, my word… this one is perfect for including your Family’s Homemaking Binder as well as other essential planning materials.
5. Utilize a Label Maker
Confession: I find label strips all over the house. My kids love writing messages for me on the label maker. This is both extremely heart warming and yet also still annoying.
- Shelves, bins, and drawers in your refrigerator
- Storage bins in your closets and under cabinets
- Laundry baskets (either by family names or how you sort the laundry)
- Kitchen utensil drawer
- Pantry bins, jars, shelves, and baskets
- Linen closet shelves
- Spice cabinet
- Kid’s toy baskets
6. Re-Vamp Storage Areas with Bins & Totes
Read 6 easy and effortless tips for organization with kids for more in-depth ideas on bins & totes for simple organization projects.
- Organize & store cleaning products (for each bathroom) in a tote under the sink
- Re-vamp linen closet with labeled bins for each item type
- Utilize small bins in kid’s clothes drawers
- Separate toys in chest with smaller bins for easy play and clean-up
- Use bins in your closet to organize shoes or other misc. items
- Sleek up pantry/shelves in kitchen
- Organize your game closet with labeled bins
- Get under your kitchen sink organized with labeled bins
- Store toilet paper & paper products
- Shape up your pantry with totes labeled for each food type
Honestly, you will be surprised how much room you actually have in these areas once you compartmentalize using bins and totes. Also, these simple organizing projects can make a big difference in clean up time.
7. Set a Regular Cleaning Schedule
There’s lots of cleaning schedules out there. I absolutely recommenced becoming the CEO, not the maid this year
- Decide what type of cleaning schedule works for your needs.
- Include your family in this goal.
- Get in the habit of The Evening Sweep.
Get 101+ chore cards to help your little one build life skills, confidence, and their hard work muscles.Learn More
8. Get a Plan for Meals
Meal planning looks different for every family. Setting some realistic goals for the new year can be a simple organization project worth taking on.
- First, decide your budget and shopping routine.
- Research new meals to try & jot down your families favorites.
- Establish the location you want to keep record of your meal prep (homemaking binder, planner, white board on fridge).
- See my post how to save time cooking in busy seasons of life for some stream-lining cooking ideas.
This meal planning and food staple guide will help you cut your meal prep and planning time in half.Learn More
9. Simple Organizing Projects for the Kitchen
If you’re like me, there’s always some areas of my kitchen that could do for a facelift. I’m not talking serious renovations here… just some simple organization projects that you can accomplish in an afternoon.
- Hang hooks for pots and pans. Depending on the space you have, you can even use a hook system under you cabinets. You’ll be surprised how much counter space this clears up.
- Invest in some Moveable Cabinet Racks to double your cabinet space. This works great with pantry, canned goods, and even cookware.
- Create a kid-friendly cabinet. If your kid’s are already climbing in cabinets and having some food independence, dedicating a cabinet to their snacks, water bottles, and lunch boxes may be a good idea.
- Add a dry erase board inside a pantry door, on the fridge, or wherever you like. This is a great way to quickly be able to jot down some notes about kitchen needs before you forget.
- Update the system for your recipes. Create a binder from a picture album or invest in a Recipe Card Box. Getting your recipes in order is a great idea.
In just 15 minutes a night (while you’re in your pajamas!) take your home (and heart and mind) from stressed out to organized.
10. Create a Home Command Center
My mom has always had a small area by her landline with a few things. For you this might look like notepad, pens, post-its, etc…. A home command center can be a useful but simple organization project to tackle this year.
- Decide what you want your home command center to hold. (Emergency contacts list, homemaking binder, notepad and pen, electronic devices like Alexa or Google Dot, chore lists, etc.)
- Pick a central location and designate it.
- This may also double as a charging station for devices
Take our 3 day challenge to create life-giving family, child, and self-care routines.Learn More