New Year, New Start: Minimalist Organization Hacks for a Happier You

by Briana Marie
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As the New Year makes its grand entrance, it brings with it the promise of a fresh start and the opportunity to embrace a simpler, more organized life. Whether you’re just tired of moving around so much stuff or simply doing this for your mental health, a few minimalist home organization hacks can truly be life-changing.

Minimalism is more than just a design aesthetic; it’s a mindset that can actually lead to a happier, more content existence. By stripping back the excess, organizing our physical space, and focusing on what truly adds value to our lives, we can find clarity and peace in our daily routine.

But I get it, transforming your home into a clutter-free zone and getting organized in general can be challenging, especially if you don’t have a lot of storage space. But it is definitely possible. So let’s explore some practical minimalist organization hacks that can help you kick off the New Year with a lighter, clutter-free home and clutter-free mindset.

donate or keep minimialist organization hack | Andrii Zastrozhnov from Getty Images via Canva.com
Photo Credit: Andrii Zastrozhnov from Getty Images via Canva.com

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Be Realistic with Your Goals to Get Organized

Building an elaborate vision board is awesome (and I do highly recommend it). Writing out that bucket list is great (and I recommend that as well). However, there’s no need to stress yourself out with your goals. Be realistic and consider where you currently stand. Often times the hardest part about getting organized is overcoming our own self-imposed limitations.

It is crucial to set realistic goals that won’t lead to stress or overwhelm. Remember, this is all about simplifying. You don’t need to be a professional home organizer to make this happen. You don’t even need to have a lot of free time on your hands to make it happen. What you need is a reasonable starting point.

Okay, sure, you probably saw something on social media that made you think decluttering and getting organized has to be done a specific way. But the easiest ways to make sure you check off your goals is by finding what works best for YOU and your household. No need to stress out over doing things the “right way.”

Start by identifying the key areas of your life that need decluttering, and set achievable targets. You can create a to-do list to help you stay organized. This is the first step. It’s better to successfully organize one drawer than to attempt an entire closet and give up midway. To ensure you stay on track, build your organization goals into your daily or weekly schedule. Allocate specific times for decluttering and stick to them as you would any other important appointment.

Use a Calendar

One of the cornerstones of staying organized is using a calendar. Whether you opt for a digital app or a traditional paper planner, having a dedicated space to jot down your schedule, appointments, and tasks is an absolute must-have. I’m obsessed with Erin Condren calendars so I highly recommend checking those out.

A visual representation of your time allows you to plan effectively and avoid the pitfall of overcommitting. A simple, minimalist calendar with room for daily notes can help keep your life on track without unnecessary complications. Again, you can also use a digital calendar like a Google Calendar or apps like Family Wall (I absolutely love the Family Wall app).

Even using items like a meal planner can help you stay organized and avoid ending up with a bunch of wasted food items, so keep this in mind.

Focus on Daily Goals

When it comes to simple organization tips, this is one of my favorite. A great way to tackle your cleaning and decluttering is to divide your larger organization goals into smaller, daily objectives. This approach prevents the task from becoming overwhelming and helps maintain momentum.

For example, instead of setting a goal to just organize your whole house, start with a single room or even a specific part of a room. Perhaps you have a goal to organize your laundry room and you break it into smaller bites by having a day to organize shelves, a separate day to organize the cabinets, etc. From there, you can begin working on another room of the house breaking the various tasks into separate days. These bite-sized accomplishments add up quickly, and before you know it, you’ve achieved your bigger goal with less stress.

The best part is, that you can even build these tasks into your family’s daily household chores. This is the best way to see to it that these tasks actually get done, and it is so beneficial in the long run.

Simplify & Declutter Your LIFE

Minimalist organization isn’t just about physical spaces; it’s about simplifying all aspects of your life. Start by decluttering your home, then extend the principles and minimalist tips to your car, your workspace, and then your relationships and habits. Keep only what serves a clear purpose and adds value to your life.

Organize Your Files and Paperwork

A minimalist approach to paperwork involves keeping only what’s necessary and organizing it in a way that makes sense. I mean seriously, there’s nothing worse than not being able to find what you need when you need it.

I’m sure you’ve been through this before. And if so, you know how frustrating this can be. It is important that you set aside some time on a regular basis to organize your files and paperwork, and set up a system that is sustainable for the long term.

You’re going to need a few things to accomplish this task:

  • Shredder
  • File folders (physical and digital)
  • Patience

I currently use Erin Condren’s Designer File Folders to separate my paperwork by category. This is where I store my tax documents (I also have a digital folder saved on my computer for this), insurance paperwork, bills, etc.

If you have a ton of paperwork, you may find that you need to invest in a good filing cabinet to hold your folders and some dividers to separate things. Otherwise, you can simply use a small filing box.

You can also scan these items and create digital folders to save on your computer if you really want to keep down the clutter.

Speaking of digital folders, this concept also applies to your digital documents which can easily become a hot mess on your device. There is a digital minimalism aspect to keep in mind here.

Whatever the case may be, an effective filing system will definitely save you a ton of stress.Just a few rules to keep in mind when filing your paperwork:

  • Keep it simple- You don’t want to have too many different categories. You want it to be quick and easy to locate your files. So try to keep it minimal.
  • No longer need it? Shred it. As a general rule, don’t even waste time filing away documents you know you no longer need. Just send it straight to the shredder. Bye-bye.
  • Put some thought into naming your files. Consider what keywords you would typically search for to locate that item. For example, 2024 Tax Documents
  • Consider using services such as Dropbox, iCloud, or One Drive to store your digital files

Consider DIY Organization Solutions

You don’t need to spend a fortune on fancy storage solutions to stay organized. An organized home can be achieved without emptying out your bank acocunt. Many effective DIY options can be created with items you already have at home.

Repurpose jars, plastic containers, boxes, and baskets to store items neatly. Use hooks and pegboards for versatile wall storage. The goal is to have a designated place for everything to avoid clutter.

Out With the Old, In With the New

Some of us just have way too many material possessions we’re holding on to that are doing nothing more than collecting dust. Don’t be afraid to donate items to your local donation center, recycle, or discard items that no longer fit your life.

For unused items or gently used items that are still in good condition, you can try selling them to resell shops or on platforms like Facebook marketplace. (Making extra money is always nice right?)

Check for duplicate items that are unnecessary, let go of things that no longer have a proper place in your life. This practice creates physical and mental space for the things that truly matter.

As you implement these minimalist organization hacks, please keep in mind that the aim is to enhance your life, not create additional chores or stress. By focusing on what’s essential, you can reduce distractions and create a calm, organized environment that cultivates happiness and productivity.

Don’t worry about how things went for you last year. It’s time to look ahead and choosing to take advantage of these minimalist organization hacks is a good start.

Use this New Year as a springboard for a new, minimalist start that puts you on the path to a more fulfilling life. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself later.

Author

  • Briana Marie

    Briana Marie is a mental health and financial literacy advocate, and founder of Major League Mommy. In her spare time, Briana enjoys yoga, travel, and spending time with her Husband and two daughters.

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