There are a few organizing projects that I want to accomplish in 2021. A couple of them are carryovers from 2020 and a couple are new ones for me. Check out my ideas and plans and see the messy “before” photos, then check back for regular progress updates!
Organizing Projects I Want to Complete in 2021
There are a handful of organizing projects that I want to accomplish in 2021. A couple of them are carryovers that I didn’t complete last year and a couple of these projects are new for me!
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.
Carryover Organizing Projects from 2020
I made some good progress on my organizing projects from last year, but I did come up short on a couple of my goals.
These are the organizing projects I wanted to tackle in 2020 (you can read more here: Organizing Projects I Want to Tackle in 2020):
- Declutter and reorganize my blog binders – COMPLETED
- Regular and consistent decluttering – MADE PROGRESS
- Basement declutter and organization – MADE PROGRESS THEN BACKSLID
- Digital declutter and organization – DIDN’T START
The only project from last year that I completed was the reorganization of my blog notebooks (follow my binder organizing process and learn tips and tricks: How to Organize 3-Ring Binders).
It sounds disheartening that this is the only project I completed, but the other projects were huge and overwhelming, and I think I might have taken on than I could handle (I’m pretty sure I’m doing the same thing this year, but will it stop me? Nope!).
I was happy with my progress on my goal of regular and consistent decluttering. We donated almost 100 boxes and bags of items. I have NO idea how many trash bags and bins of recycling we decluttered!
I can feel the difference in our home. It’s almost like the rooms can “breathe.”
Here’s a look at our freshly decluttered living room!
I made progress on our basement declutter and organization, but as anticipated, this area became a dumping ground one too many times last year. It was the classic “one step forward,
two twelve steps back.”
I’ve also realized that, when it comes to the basement, I’m not very good about cleaning up after myself. Apparently, I didn’t learn that in kindergarten. So, the basement declutter and organization will again be on the list of organization projects to accomplish in 2021.
Just ignore my declaration in the 2020 post: “I’m proclaiming it to all of you: this is the year I FINALLY get our basement decluttered and organized!” :\
And finally, I didn’t even START my digital declutter and organization project.
Of course, 2020 came with a unique set of challenges, so that was a factor as well.
I’m ready to focus on the positives and start anew in 2021!
Below is a little more information about the carryover organization projects.
If you want to learn more about last year’s project plan, check out Organizing Projects I Want to Tackle in 2020.
#1 Basement Declutter and Organization
As you’ll see in the photos below, this is STILL the big one, folks!
I’ve made progress, but it doesn’t really look like it, so we’re just going to re-use these original pictures, m’kay?!
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 (27, 21, and 19), 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.
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.
The change I’m making in 2021 is to dedicate one month of the year to this project as a way to encourage myself to push to complete it. Or, if I’m not able to complete the full project in the assigned month, it will at least provide me with a nice jumpstart!
Past Project Pitfalls
I’ve been trying to make progress in our basement 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. We’re not doing much hosting of any kind at this point, so I’m expecting this to be less of a problem this year.
- 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. **The kids are around much less, because they’re either living on their own or in college, so hopefully this is less of a problem, too. Although, as previously mentioned, I may be a bigger part of this pitfall than my kids…
A lot will have to come together for this project to be completed. But it has only taken me 5 years to try to finish this project….
What’s one more?
#2 Digital Declutter and Organization
It’s time to take control of my digital clutter, especially since my computer does’t work half the time because of memory issues….
That’s a lot of 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 (see #3 below), 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 the basement organization project.
New Organization Projects for 2021
I would probably be better off just sticking to the two projects above, but I’m a self-admitted org junkie, so I’m throwing in a couple of new projects for 2021. 😉
#3 Going Paperless (or Mostly Paperless)
I’m calling this a new project for 2021, but I first attempted it several years ago and got derailed. However, I learned some very valuable lessons in round one. So, this year, I’m going to take those lessons to heart, create guidelines for myself, and make strides toward going mostly paperless in 2021.
I need guidelines to follow and to heed the lessons I learned when I previously attempted this project!
I’d also like to invest in a better, faster scanner, but I don’t think that will be in the budget this year. So, I will need to keep in mind that this project will take longer because of the printer/scanner combo I’m using.
#4 Hanging File Clean Out
I missed my annual file clean out at the end of last year, so I want to make it a priority this year, especially because I know much of the information cluttering up my files is out of date.
I also want to up the pretty factor with this file drawer, because it’s almost always open during the workday. I’d like to look at something pretty and organized during the day!
Obstacles to Avoid
This one should only take me an afternoon, so I’m not anticipating too many obstacles. But I definitely need to choose a time and stick with the project until it’s complete!
#5 Landing Library Update and Reorganization
I’ve wanted to replace the brown shelves in my landing library with white ones for years, and I finally saved up enough Christmas money to make my dream of white shelves a reality!
Just in time for IKEA to discontinue their Billy Bookcases….
Guess it’s back to the drawing board!
I know I have a before picture of these shelves somewhere, but could I find it? Nope.
Hmmm, I guess it’s a good thing that the digital declutter is as the top of the organizing projects list.
Instead of before images, here are a couple of my inspiration pictures:
I’d also like to repaint the walls before I add the new shelves. Not really an organizing task but still an important piece of this project. Currently, the walls are a maroon color, and I’m looking to go charcoal grey (Sherwin Williams Peppercorn is currently at the top of the list).
- find an alternative to the Billy Bookcases that gives me the additional vertical storage I want and need
- create a “To Be Read” shelf (or more realistically, shelves) where I can store the books I hope to read this year
- re-organize my book collections and dedicate at least one shelf to each, so that I can display them in an aesthetically-pleasing AND organized way
- keep my vintage books together on one shelf (I use these books in decorating so the configuration of these books is constantly changing)
- declutter books that I won’t read or reread
- create space for my journals, which are currently in the basement
- keep a shelf or two open for additional displays (I have a lot of book-related items)
I’m cheating on this one just a little bit as it’s a project my husband and I started over the holidays. We just about have it wrapped up, so watch for an update and full tour coming soon!
I must finish this project before I start anything new! I think I might have mentioned this issue before….
The excitement of a new project gets the better of me and I jump in, get bored, then get excited about another project and start it before finishing the current one.
This personality trait creates a lot of clutter and unfinished projects are notorious energy zappers.
I commit to finish this project before I start another!
Organizing Projects I Want to Complete in 2021
So, these are the organizing projects that I want to complete in 2021:
- The Slightly Less Scary Basement
- Digital Delutter and Organization
- Going (Mostly) Paperless
- Hanging File Clean Out
- Landing Library Update and Reorganization
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.
What organizing projects are you hoping to complete in 2021?
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
- How I Squeezed a Craft Room Into a Closet
- How to Add DIY Shelves in a Closet
Don’t forget to pin it!
Let me know what organizing projects you’re tackling in 2021, so we can give each other lots of support and encouragement!
Thanks for joining me today,
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