There are a few organizing projects that I want to tackle in 2020. A couple of them are small, one is big, and one is HUGE! Check out my ideas and plans and see the messy “before” photos.
Organizing Projects I Want to Tackle in 2020
There are a few organizing projects that I want to tackle in 2020. A couple of them are small, one is big, and one is HUGE!
These are organization projects for work and for our home. There’s plenty of crossover between the two since I work AT home.
Let’s talk about the projects, my ideas and plans, the obstacles I’m anticipating, and how I’m hoping to move past those obstacles to successfully complete these projects.
#1 Blog Binder/s
I keep a ton of my blog resources in 3-ring binders, and they’re a mess (you can see them to the left of the magazines)!
Specific action steps for this project:
- I switched to a second binder mid-year in 2019 and kept going back and forth between the two with no rhyme or reason. I need to declutter, reorganize, and combine those two binders into one.
- In my busier (or lazier) times, I just stuck papers on the shelf rather than filing them in their appropriate binder, so that’s another pile I want to declutter, reorganize, and place in the appropriate binder/s.
- I also have several binders that hold resources for the online courses I’ve purchased. I need to better organize these binders, recycle or shred the course resources I no longer need, and make a plan to complete courses that are taking me far too long.
This project will be fairly simple. Although, it will take time to sort, declutter and organize all the papers. I’ll likely end up doing multiple rounds of sorting, potentially digitizing some papers, and tweaking the items in each of my binders.
I need to break down this project into several sessions (decluttering papers takes A LOT of brain power), so one potential obstacle will be sticking to this project until it’s complete (I’m easily distracted).
The second and much more likely stumbling block for me will be maintaining the organization of my binders.
I use these binders every workday. If I’m not intentional about maintaining them, they’ll be a mess in a month. Regular filing of items and occasional decluttering are musts for project success! I’ll add those items to my weekly schedule to ensure they happen.
UPDATE March 2020
This project is complete! Whew-ew, I can mark one of my 2020 organizing projects off the list!
Check out the process, see a before and after, and learn how to complete this organization project with your binders in this post: How to Organize 3-Ring Binders.
#2 Regular and Consistent Decluttering
I read Soulful Simplicity by Courtney Carver in 2019 and was inspired to start simplifying our lives by letting go of the things that no longer serve us or that take up space and accumulate dust (and there’s A LOT of both!).
We made some progress in 2019, as well as experienced a few backslides. But my husband and I are both rarin’ and ready to get more focused with our decluttering in 2020!
Although not technically a specific organizing project, one of my goals in 2020 is to systematically work my way through our home and declutter every nook and cranny…more than once.
I’ve found that I’m more effective at identifying and letting go of items that we no longer need, want, or use when I pass through a space more than once.
I use a weekly focus area approach with my cleaning (week 1 is the kitchen, week 2 is the bathrooms, etc.), so I’ll start my decluttering in each week’s respective focus area. Then, once I’ve decluttered those main areas a couple of times, I’ll make a plan for spaces in our home that don’t fall under those focus areas.
My intention with this project is to create more open space/breathing room in our home and free up time that I can redirect to my most important relationships and to activities that inspire me.
I have a touch of the “shiny things syndrome….”
I’m easily distracted from longer-term goals by whatever is in front of me.
So, my biggest obstacle when trying to complete this project is maintaining my focus (I think I may have mentioned that before 😉 ). I’m hoping to combat this by creating a regular time in my daily schedule for 15-20 minutes of decluttering.
#3 Basement Declutter and Organization
As you’ll see in the photos below, this is THE big one, folks!
This is the main area of our basement.
Along the wall to the left (out of frame) are shelves for our kids’ toys…at this point our kids are all adults (26, 19, and 18), so it’s probably time to declutter those shelves.
Those boxes stacked there? Keepsakes.
This is “my” part of the basement. It holds my craft supplies (seen strewn across the floor in this photo), our extra decor items, and our wrapping station which hasn’t been seen for the better part of the last decade.
I’m proclaiming it to all of you: this is the year I FINALLY get our basement decluttered and organized!
Maybe some public accountability will help?
As with most of my organizing projects, my plan is of the manageable bits variety. I’m hoping to make small steps forward each weekday by spending 15-30 minutes decluttering and organizing the basement.
I’m not sure this is the best approach for this project, but I’ve tried the “block off a couple of days and get ‘er done” tactic to no avail. The mess and the project are just too big. I get overwhelmed by the thought of working in the basement for hours, so I never start (I’ve found that starting is the hardest part of just about everything).
Fingers crossed that slow and steady wins this race against clutter!
Past Project Pitfalls
I’ve been trying to make progress in this area since 2015, but I’ve been thwarted on multiple fronts:
- This is an overwhelming project, and I have to work in small time blocks on a regular schedule. Sometimes I get bored. Sometimes I give up. And sometimes I get super motivated only to then crash with major burnout.
- The “two steps forward, twelve steps back” phenomena, part 1: I make progress in this space, then inevitably, we host a party or company and the basement once again becomes a dumping ground for chaos cleaning (this also ties in with my regular and consistent decluttering project).
- The “two steps forward, twelve steps back” phenomena, part 2: I make progress in this area, then my kids become possessed with the overwhelming need to find XYZ item. They end up in the basement tearing through carefully organized piles, bins, and boxes, leaving the detritus of frenzied searching in their wake. Inexplicably, this always happens when I’m not around to step in and preserve my hard-won organizing progress. Weird.
Probable Pitfalls with Large Potential for Complete and Total Derailment
This project has drug on and on and on….
The biggest potential (and past) pitfalls are overwhelm and frustration.
The second biggest potential (and past) pitfalls are my children.
And the third is my lack of preparation and routines that send me spiraling into crisis cleaning when we host an event and company.
We have one such event in May: my daughter’s high school graduation.
Not only will we be hosting a party, we’ll also be hosting family for an extended visit.
I can avoid the menacing potential pitfall (the crisis cleaning not the graduation) by spending the next four months sticking to my regular cleaning and decluttering routines while also spending a little time in the basement each day.
Is there a snowball’s chance in July of success?
A lot will have to come together for this project to be completed. But the fresh-faced, clean slate glow of the new year has me feeling optimistic that success is achievable.
Ask me again on June 1st…. 😉
#4 Digital Declutter and Organization
The final organizing project I’m hoping to tackle in 2020 is digital clutter.
Between thousands of unorganized digital photos, myriad business documents and folders (most of which are no longer relevant), and a paperless project that hasn’t gone the way I planned, my digital files are in rough shape.
This is a big project, and it will be important for me to tackle it in small, manageable chunks (like with so many organizing projects).
Here’s my plan:
- I’ll start by cleaning up my desktop (a quick win that I’ll see everyday when working).
- Then I’ll jump right into my scary documents and photos folders. Yikes! I’m going to print screenshots of all my folders and use them as a guide and tracker.
- We primarily use Dropbox for Cloud storage, but we have an Evernote account full of documents, too. I need to decide if I want to keep both and organize items in one or both, depending on my decision. If I decide to keep both Dropbox and Evernote, I’ll also need to create some guidelines for what is stored where.
If I get this far, I’ll call this project a win!
But I would also like to declutter and reorganize my Facebook account (especially my Groups), browser bookmarks, and screenshots.
Obstacles to Avoid
This will be a long-term, time-intensive project. I’ll need to work in small, manageable chunks and be careful to avoid burnout, or I’ll end up with a bigger digital mess on my hands.
In order to make maintenance of my digital organization as easy as possible, I want to be very methodical about this project and take notes of my processes so I can recreate them as needed. This includes things like file naming, ongoing decluttering, and intentionality about how I’m using Dropbox and/or Evernote.
I won’t start this project until I’ve completed reorganizing my blog binders and decluttered and organized our basement. That probably won’t be until this summer, maybe later.
Organizing Projects I Want to Tackle in 2020
So, these are the organizing projects that I’m planning to tackle in 2020:
- Blog Binders
- Regular and Consistent Decluttering
- The SCARY Basement
- Digital Delutter and Organization
I’ll tackle all these projects in small, manageable bits. To avoid throwing in the proverbial towel, I’ll try to keep my focus on the project at hand as well as the progress I’ve achieved.
I’ll share updates, tips, and lessons learned as I work on these organizing projects.
I’ve already started on the first project, my blog binders, and I’m encouraged by my progress so far! Watch for an update coming soon.
What organizing projects are you tackling in 2020?
If you enjoyed today’s post, you might find these related posts helpful:
- How to Plan Home Improvement Project & My Home Office Makeover Plan
- Organize Your Home Office in 8 Steps
- 7 Ways to Organize Your Office with Binders
- How to Add DIY Shelves in a Closet
Don’t forget to pin it!
Let me know what organizing projects you’re tackling in 2020, so we can give each other lots of support and encouragement!
Thanks for joining me today,
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