How to Make a One-Year Organizing Plan from

I recently blogged about how to achieve goals by breaking them into small chunks and tackling them a little bit over the course of time. This is the approach I’ve used the past two years to accomplish my running goals, but as I talked about in the first post, it’s also very applicable to getting organized.

If you’re faced with a cluttered home and the thought of getting it organized feels daunting, here’s how to put this approach into action. Best yet, you can use my brand new organizing printable to make it happen. Here are few tips to make it manageable:

Give yourself a year.

That’s right. Give yourself permission to make a little bit of progress each week for the next year. I know that may sound like a long time, but if you’ve been wanting to get organized, or trying to get organized for longer than a year, then it really isn’t out of the question. By giving yourself a nice, big chunk of time to work on your goal, you instantly alleviate doubt, stress and pressure. Your goal instantly feels more achievable.

Make a project list.

On the printable, you’ll find a page called “rooms, zones + projects.” Simply use this to jot down the rooms in your home. Then, for bigger rooms, break them down into smaller zones or projects. For example, your home office could be broken down into file cabinet, storage closet, desk, and book case. Mentally (or better yet, physically) walk through your home and create a list. Don’t worry about if it is perfectly complete, just capture what you see and what you know for sure.

Divide by 52.

Once your list is complete, count up your total number of zones and divide by 52. When I did this, I had 25 zones. When divided by 52, this means I can work on 1 zone for 2 weeks.

Plot it out or record your progress.

You can use your one year organizing plan document to decide which zone you will work on when. Or you can let your mood be your guide. Work from the rooms, zones + projects list, and then record your progress on the one year organizing plan document.

Decide when you will organize.

One of the keys to hitting my running goal is that each week I plan out when I will run. I block out time on my calendar and then I do it. (Whether I feel like it or not.) I know that if I don’t run at that time, then I won’t hit my goal. So I run, and when I’m done, I’m always glad I did it. Try this with organizing. Don’t wait for the motivation to strike. Instead, decide when, do it anyway, and then, take note of how motivated (and proud) you feel.

Alright. It’s a plan! I’d love to hear how it works for you.

Happy Organizing!


The following two tabs change content below.
Aby Garvey is a creative organizing expert and simplify 101’s founder. She has created 14 online organizing classes, which she has been teaching since 2007, helping thousands of people around the world get organized. Aby loves to help people create positive change in their lives through her online classes and organizing eBooks.

Latest posts by Aby Garvey (see all)