Jan 04, 2008

Getting Your Home Organized in the New Year

One of the best things about buying a house is having more space than in your typical apartment. Of course, having that extra space can be a problem for those of us who self-identify as disorganized (a much nicer term than pack rat). I'm not the only one. Getting organized is among the top five New Year's resolutions, according to the National Association of Professional Organizers. And every time I turn around, I see another article about getting organized, such as the January 1 piece in The New York Times, "A Clutter Too Deep for Mere Bins and Shelves," by Tara Parker-Pope.

messyroom1.jpg

While the piece focused more on compulsive hoarders (an estimated 1.5 million Americans suffer from this problem), I did learn of a new resource -- the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization (www.nsgdc.org), which has (among other things) a questionnaire to help determine if you are chronically disorganized. Most people don't need a questionnaire to figure that one out, but if you like questionnaires, give it a try.

So, if getting your house organized is one of your main New Year's resolutions, where do you start? One of my favorite resources is Eliminate Chaos: The 10-Step Process to Organize Your Home and Life, by Laura Leist (Sasquatch Books, 2006). You can find lots of useful organizing products and systems at Target or The Container Store. If you can afford it, a professional organizer can work wonders in a disorganized home. (For referrals, check out www.napo.net.) The main thing is to get started - even if you start small, perhaps by organizing your shoes, or buying a spice rack.

-Marcia Stewart