planner, pen, and New Year's sign

New Year, New You: New Year Resolutions And How To Really Keep Them

Home Organization Tips

by Karen Dybis Posted on January 4, 2022

If you’re like a lot of people, your post-holiday home may be a picture of perfect disorganization: There are cookie crumbs on the countertops, leftover wrapping paper still decking the halls, and piles of pandemic sweatpants waiting to be laundered. But if you thrive on creating New Year resolutions that include organization goals around your health, life, and home, then now’s the perfect time to take a minute and think about what you want to achieve over the next year.

How do I keep my New Year’s resolutions in 2022? 

It starts with being realistic. Our brains are designed to be flexible and set up new habits, so you have the mental capability to get organized and make New Year resolutions stick — thank you, neural plasticity. But you also need to flex that discipline muscle, set up a task list, and hold yourself accountable on a daily basis until these resolutions become regular habits. It also helps if you put the holiday decorations away and focus on the path ahead of you (literally and figuratively).

What are five ways to stay organized and motivated? 

It starts with easy-to-remember ideas that you display front and center. Take away the temptation to ignore your New Year resolutions by writing them down and posting them in places around your home. Perhaps create a “to-do” style list or a document with boxes you can check as you complete daily tasks. Want some New Year’s resolution ideas that will make you more organized and feel better overall about your life, your home, and your storage solutions in 2022 and beyond? Here are five of our favorites: 

A man and woman sticking to their New Year resolution to exercise

1. Take care of yourself

You can’t begin to organize your home without first focusing on yourself. And, with that, your first step should be physical. Get your body feeling good — this has more to do with overall health and wellness than weight. A number is a measurement of one kind, but it is not the only one that matters. Start by thinking about author Michael Pollan’s classic advice on taking care of what you eat: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” That means trying to eat food with fewer than five ingredients (really!), monitoring your intake, and trying to shop and eat only the foods on the perimeter of the grocery store, like the produce section. Likewise, get better sleep, if you can, and drink lots of water, as well — those are some of the best New Year resolutions. Throw in two or three days of exercise practice and you should be in good shape — literally — for 2022. When your body starts feeling good, you’ll naturally be motivated to get the rest of your life in tip-top shape. 

2. Take care of your life

Give your past year a long, hard look. If you don’t like everything you recall, then it’s time to develop new habits and routines. Let’s say you want to start waking up earlier. That means you need to start with one small thing, like setting out your clothing the night before or making your lunch for the next day. The secret to success is to start small. Do things that will give you breathing room. Then, go to bed with those tasks completed and you’ll be able to wake up earlier. 

Another way to take care of changes you want to make to your routine? Use a calendar to plan your schedule and create tasks that align with your goals. For example, create 90-minute windows of time when you will hyper concentrate on your goals, such as working, cleaning your home, or exercising, and then make these calendar items set in stone. 

A woman dry mopping her hardwood floors

3. Take care of your home

And speaking of cleaning your home, the holidays are over, so it’s time to put the holiday decorations away. But don’t stop there. Do a deep clean of your home and then create a daily cleaning schedule, even if it’s for only fifteen minutes each day. Add a weekly cleaning — or give someone else that task if you can afford it — declutter every three months or so, and you’ll never be worried about unexpected guests coming over again.

4. Take care of your mind

If you need help with goal planning, use the SMART system. That stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. Goals are easier to achieve for organization if you use SMART goals as a way to get them done. Adjust as needed because plans aren’t set in stone — you can adjust as you go to find a system that works for you. But keep in mind that being SMART about your goals is one of the best tips for keeping New Year resolutions and organizing your life. 

A woman putting clothes into a donation box

5. Take care of your clutter

New Year resolutions to get and stay organized are tough. But think about your future self and how happy you’ll be if you find a place for everything and a way to easily access items. The added benefit of a New Year declutter? Your home will be much easier to clean!

Now, of course there are always items that we want to hang on to because we think we might need them at some point. That is especially true of holiday decorations and sentimental items. But are they actually getting used? Or are they just taking up space? Don’t be afraid to move things that haven’t been touched in awhile along to others who could actually use them. And for those items that are really tough to part with? Consider enlisting the help of a friend or relative to make the decision process a little easier.

Insider Tip: While the “after” of decluttering your home is a pristine clutter-free living space, the “during” is far from it. Remember that portable storage containers delivered right to your driveway make great “sorting stations,” so instead of moving clutter from one room to the next, you can tackle each room once and for all. And if you find you have some things that you rarely use (but don’t want to part with) you can load them up in the container to be stored at a secure PODS Storage Center.

Before you know it, you’ll have an established routine and self-storage system that will let you live healthy, clean smartly, and organize regularly so you are proud of yourself, your home, and your overall life. Remember that it’s a work in progress, so don’t give up. Try a new SMART system goal when needed, read more in the PODS blog for organization ideas along the way, and look forward to your best year yet, thanks to your 2022 New Year resolutions! 

Karen Dybis is a freelance journalist and a frequent contributor to the PODS blog. Her work has appeared in Time magazine, U.S. News & World Report, The Detroit News, and more.

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