Resolve to Reset

According to the dictionary, "reset" can mean to set anew, or to start again.

I like to apply this to getting organized because "being organized" is not a static state, as Kathy Waddill notes in The Organizing Sourcebook. Life events will inevitably cause our organizing systems to get off track. This includes major changes like moving, a new job, or having kids, and shorter-term events like coming home from vacation, feeling too busy, or getting over a cold. So in the course of living our lives, we can't help but flow from organization to disorganization. Being aware of the need to reset - to put things back in place or take time for regular tasks and start anew - is the secret that will help get you back to the state of "being organized."

This year, make a goal to regularly reset some area of your life that seems to be causing you distress. Here are some possible reset resolutions:

  • Clear your desk at the end of the workday
  • Pick up the toys (with the kids if they are old enough) at the end of every day
  • Take receipts out of your purse/wallet/bag each week
  • Fold and put away the laundry each time it is done
  • Unpack within 24 hours after returning from a trip
  • Put away the holiday decorations
  • File papers weekly or monthly
  • Process your mail every day
  • Purge your clothes each spring and fall, keeping only what you love to wear

What area in your life seems to be the most disorganized? Make a reset resolution and see what changes. Let me know how you do!


This post is adapted from an article that appeared in the January 2009 edition of the Neat Sheet. Sign up for organizing inspiration from the Neat Sheet here.