So, to pay it forward to those who helped me out over the years, I decided to do two blog posts about two common New Year’s goals: 1) Losing weight, and 2) Getting organized.
Last week we covered the weight loss tips that I found actually worked–i.e. I can vouch for the tips since I lost and kept off 25 lbs. (per doctor’s orders) over the last 18 months by using them. No diets. No extreme workouts.
Also, like I wrote last week, I’m not a professional expert on weight loss or organizing. I encourage anyone with questions to talk to an expert. There are professionals out there who can be of great help.
Goal 2 – Getting Organized
- Every object we own has a yearly cost in time, space, and money. Pay attention to what those costs are. It’s crucial to become aware of these costs–if one gathers stuff long enough, one ends up running out of room in one’s residence. It’s a lot cheaper to get rid of stuff than to pay to move to a bigger place or pay the monthly rent on a storage unit.
- Shopaholic and/or hoarding symptoms are warning signs that the help of an expert is needed. Don’t go it alone if you or someone you care about shows signs of either. An experienced therapist is needed to help tackle the underlying problems.
- Organization is a learned habit. Learn how to do it. Read a great book on organization, such as Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. I stumbled across her book in an airport bookstore while on my journey back from Tel Aviv, and read it on the plane. She does an excellent job of summarizing the key techniques needed to get organized.
- Keep what you love, get rid of the rest. Marie Kondo’s book does a terrific job describing the sorting & discarding process in detail, and the emotions involved.
- File folders are your friend. Whether it’s file folders for an actual filing cabinet, or on your computer, create a filing system and use it. I have saved countless hours searching for tax records and other documents by doing so.
- Organize and store medical records in a portable binder … or scan them into pdf files that you can store in a specific folder on a portable device such as an iPad. This is especially critical if someone has a serious medical condition. Bring that binder or iPad to every meeting with a new health professional. It can speed up the diagnosis and treatment journey when you’re able to swiftly provide copies of laboratory and medical reports. **I’m writing from personal experience on this–getting the medical records organized and easily accessible can literally save someone’s life. Do it ASAP.**
- Once the place you live in is cleared out and organized, there’s a high chance a relative, neighbor, or friend will ask to store some of their stuff there. It’s important to be emotionally prepared for this, or stuff will accumulate again … only this time, it’ll be other people’s stuff. Figure out what to say when it happens–will you say “No”; set a specific time limit; or charge them money for the storage?
- Celebrate that you’re making room in your life for The New.
Good luck to everyone with their resolutions for the New Year and I wish everyone much success in accomplishing them.