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12 Steps to a New You: March: Get Organized

March is the time to get serious about getting organized. The month is said to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb, so tackle clutter in your life like a lion so that you can glide out of March like a well-organized and at-peace lamb.

If you want to truly live a peaceful and well-ordered life and minimize your stress, the key is to get organized. Here are some helpful tips and tricks for organizing crucial spaces in your life:

Get Organized At Home

If you’re de-cluttering and reorganizing, make sure that everything you own has its proper place, whether it’s a shelf, a drawer, or a storage bin. If you’re starting from scratch, think about access and ease of use.

Put items you use frequently in easy to reach places and store things with a once-a-year use, like holiday decorations, in the more remote recesses of your home. While you’re finding a place for things, dump duplicates -- you rarely need multiples of things, so get rid of items that are stacking up or things you’re saving “just in case.”

Keep this in mind when you’re not at home too-- freebies are great, but will you really wear that free t-shirt or use that coffee mug? If you’re trying to get organized, think about an item before you even bring it across the threshold of your home. While you’re deciding what goes where, develop specific kits for loose items such as a manicure kit, bill-paying kit, battery and lightbulb kit, and more.

Finally, develop a schedule and stay on top of clutter. Don’t let your family members slowly build a pile of mail on a table in the family room. Remind people to wash and clean their dishes or put them in the dishwasher, rather than leaving them in the sink. If they can’t do it immediately, set up a schedule dictating that the table should be cleared every other day or the dishwasher emptied every third morning. The key to organization is not only implementing new methods and storage spaces, but maintaining your new policies consistently.

Get Organized In Your Car

We spend a lot of time in our cars, so it’s only natural that we would stock it with things we need like music to entertain us, snacks and water for a long drive, and blankets/beach towels in case of an unexpected stop.

Keep some organizational tools in your car like a portable trash bag that hangs over a seat, a CD case that fits on a window flap or in a center console, and a box in the back seat where you can store shoes, yoga mats, groceries, etc. when you need to.

Apply the same organizational methods to your car as you would to your home--make sure everything has a space and keep on top of clutter. Keep blankets and beach towels neatly folded in your trunk, and don’t allow loose change or paper to find its way under seats or into nooks and crannies. When it comes to keeping your car tidy, constant vigilance is the key.

Get Organized in Your Closet Space

One of the messiest spaces in our lives is our closets. It’s easy to understand why -- when you’re trying to make a room presentable, it’s tempting to just throw things in the closet to hide them from the eyes of your guests. But if you want to keep things organized keeping your closet neat and tidy is an important step.

There are a lot of ways to make your closet an organizational haven--most importantly, don’t underestimate the importance of boxes, shelving, wire racks, and more. Let’s face it--your standard closet and it’s hanging and shelf space probably just don’t Routinely revisit your wardrobe and other items in your closet to discard things you don’t regularly wear or use-- minimizing what you’re putting in the closet is a key tool for organizing it.

Get a shoe rack for the floor (or a hanging one) to keep your shoes organized and in tidy pairs. Buy rubbermaid boxes and shelving to store stray items that don’t fit well on a pre-made shelf. Consider buying or making a closet doubler -- essentially a wire rack, this life-saving organizational tool hangs in your closet to create additional hanging space for everything from coats to purses. A key to getting organized is increasing your space and developing consistent storage methods.

Getting (and staying) organized is crucial for maintaining a calming, relaxing living and working space that in turn will help you stay a more mindful, less stressed person. In the quest to achieve more balance in your life, don’t underestimate the importance of organization.

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