Did you know that January is Get Organized Month – or GO Month for short?
The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) introduced Get Organized Month in 2005 to
… celebrate how NAPO members improve the lives of their clients by helping them create environments that support productivity, general health and well-being.
As a professional organizer myself – I really want you to focus on that quote above.
Organization puts you in control.
National Organization Month – Things To Do
It makes sense that January is National Organization Month – we all want a fresh start to the new year.
And for each person, that fresh start can mean different things.
Some people use the month very literally and organize their homes physically from top to bottom.
Personally, I approach GO Month differently from, say, a spring cleaning.
I like to use the month for planning what I hope to accomplish throughout the year – and for organizing my space in such a way to help me succeed with those goals.
I've also learned not to take on too much because if organizing becomes overwhelming, I won't do it.
So, whatever your Get Organized Month is going to look like – you need to start with a plan – even before the new year starts.
Get Organized Month Weekly Plans
For this coming January, I have broken down what I want to accomplish by week.
You can use my plan as a guide or come up with your own.
Week 1 – Pack Up the Holidays
As exciting as it is to put the holiday decorations up, it really is a drag to take them down.
Also, it is really hard to plan out the new year when the remnants of the old are still sitting around.
Allowing yourself time to put everything away helps you not to procrastinate and takes off some of the pressure.
Things you can do during this week to clean up after the holidays include:
- taking down the Christmas tree and related decor (find some great options for Christmas ornament storage here and for Christmas tree storage here)
- filing away, scanning, or tossing holiday cards
- finding space for gifts you want to keep and returning gifts you don't
- cleaning out the refrigerator and deciding what to do with the remainder of all those holiday treats
Week 2 – Set Goals for the New Year
Once the holidays are put away, I move on to setting some goals for the upcoming year.
Take a hard look at where you are right now, both professionally and personally, and think about where you want to be 12 months from now.
Write these goals down. Split them into monthly hurdles, and then break down the first hurdle into tasks that you need to get done each week.
One thing to keep in mind is that your goals don't have to be earth shattering.
They can be small mundane projects around the house or big financial goals.
One of my goals is to digitize all of our old home videos. It is something that I have been putting off for ages and I don't want to end this coming year with that project still on my plate.
Week 3 – Get Your Spaces Ready to Work
Now that you have identified your goals, you need to make space for you to do the work.
If your home office is a cluttered mess, you won't accomplish much.
Likewise, a cluttered computer desktop can hamper your productivity.
Whatever space you need to work in to accomplish your goals – clean it up and make sure all the equipment and resources that you need are within arms reach.
It could be your kitchen, your workshop, your home office or work office, etc.
Week 4 – Create Systems to Track Your Progress
Many times goals fail because people don't track their progress.
At the end of each week, you should look at what you planned to accomplish and compare it to what you actually got done.
And then do this again at the end of each month.
This will help you adjust your goals to be more realistic with what you are able to do.
I like to use a nice notebook like these Erin Condren softbound notebooks to keep track of my goal progress.
When I use something that I enjoy looking at and writing in, then I am more likely to keep up with the practice.
You can also go digital and use your Notes app or other apps on your phone or computer.
Books to Help You Get Organized
If you need some creative ideas for organizing, check out the reading list below. These books helped me many times and I refer to them often.
- Organizing from The Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern
- The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo (read my review here)
- Time Management from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern (read my review here)
- Listful Thinking by Paula Rizzo (read my review here)
What Are Your Get Organized Month Plans?
For me, the main goal of Get Organized Month is to make sure that I use each day in the upcoming to get closer to the things that I really want to achieve in life.
By creating a plan, I make myself accountable to me.
When January rolls around again, I want to create a whole new set of goals and not shake the dust off the old ones.
What are your plans for GO month?