Was 2020 a whirlwind of a year or what? Although the pandemic certainly shook things up for everyone in some way, shape, or form, there are definitely things we can do to help us feel lighter and more in control of our environment in 2021. To help kickstart our year, we chatted with Elva, a home organizing professional and boss lady at Sensational Organizing.
Elva is a born and raised Santa Barbara native with a big smile. Raised by her single mother, Elva says the skill she used as a form of therapy she now uses to help others. She loves organizing spaces, creating functionality and simplifying people’s lives. In this blog, we’ll be sharing 10 tips to a more organized 2021 according to her.
Let’s start by assessing what this year did DO for us. For many, it was an opportunity to:
- Learn a new skill
- Take care of things we put off for a long time
- Launch a new product
- Write a book
- Start a podcast or a new business
The significant opportunity 2020 did for us was to bring us face to face with things that weren’t reflecting our goals and priorities. This is useful information because it empowers us to make the necessary changes to leave the clutter in 2020. With that in mind:
Here are Elva’s 10 tips to a more organized 2021:
1. Less is more
Taking inventory of where you’re headed with your goals is essential so that you can confidently release the things that don’t serve you in moving you toward. Did you start exercising, start a new diet, get into a new sport, are you reading more, start a new career, or have a baby? This is what you’re making space for in 2021. Acknowledging where you’re headed is not just about releasing confidently but also gives you clarity for your organization needs.
2. Edit to bring you into the present
Releasing the things from the past brings you to living a more fulfilling present. If you changed jobs – are there items in your home that are taking up space? Did you go through a divorce and need things out of your home? Is your kiddo past the baby bottle stage? You get the idea, right? Adjusting your space to reflect your new season is important. “It’s like I’m trying to build a life on top of my past” This is the expression I hear when our clients don’t have the time to edit their spaces for a new season.
3. Make a list to bring it to fruition
Create a list of the spaces that need help. Getting a list going is helpful to start moving the needle forward. What would you like to see in these spaces? Do you need clear bins? Do you prefer clear counters or are some things ok left on the counters? What’s working and what is NOT working? Is your goal to park a car in the garage or is storage a priority?
4. Do the tango
The trash bag tango, that is. To get to tango ready floors clear surfaces editing, patience and permission are necessary and trash bags are your best friends to simplifying the process.
Use three (3) different color bags to keep overwhelm at bay. Bag up donations in clear bags, trash goes in black bags, and white 13-gal bags can be used for either consignment or recycling. (Use a sharpie if you need to designate where these are going)
5. Lead to inspire change
Don’t stop just because your family or household does not seem to be on-board. Get started, and they will begin to notice a difference in their environment. Talk about it, invite them to be a part of the process, and don’t give up.
6. From inkling to finally letting it go
Your mind knows the answers if you just ask the right questions. Don’t underestimate the power of saying things out loud, “Do I NEED this, do I USE this, or do I LOVE this?” Don’t skip over them. Be serious in your pursuit to simplify.
7. Battle of the heart
Common roadblocks is feeling stuck between letting it go and keeping things out of guilt. Give yourself grace if you still can’t release it. Here are a few alternatives: repurpose it, sell it, regift it, unbox it and put it in the zone where you’re more prone to use it; give it a chance, and if all else fails….start a bin in the garage and label it “Half-way out 2020”. Next time you go through those items again, I promise you’ll feel completely different about them.
8. Better together
Do it with a friend over Zoom with a charcuterie board from a local business. Getting organized is a lot easier when you are doing it with a friend that will hold you accountable or hire a professional to help you get further. You don’t have to do it alone.
9. Designate a “home”
Giving every category a designated place to live helps simplify your day to day living because you spend less time searching for things. Leaving something out “so that you remember to do them or where they are” ends up causing overwhelm. But, if everything has a “home” and is returned to its “home” after use, you are more likely to find it when you need it.
10. Name that zone
Ever get tired of being asked where something is as if you were the “stuff keeper”? This tip will completely change your family’s dynamics. Naming your zones helps everyone know where things go. By naming the zone, you can direct your family where to go more easily – it’s just a matter of time before they will instinctively know where things go. Not to mention making cleanup time more manageable for everyone.
Clarity comes from editing, and it’s the greatest gift you could give yourself. Enjoy the process and the satisfaction of the AFTER!
All photos were contributed by Sensational Organizing.