MANILA, Philippines – According to US morning TV program TODAY, the best dates to start with your New Year’s resolutions are January 2, 6 and 29.
In case you haven’t made your list yet, here are my suggestions for the organized (read: OC) like us, inspired by a list of 26 published by BuzzFeed.
1) Love labels and label everything – Be creative with your labels so you will love looking at them or seeing them.
Print out Instagram photos and use them as labels; design your own sticker labels; or use small chalkboards and then colorful ribbons to attach them, as suggested by BuzzFeed. Labeling needn’t be boring.
The simplest way: use white board markers on plastic boxes and drawers. Use different colors if you want to make your own designs. This is the fastest to do — and to erase, too (might not be ideal if you have kids in the house).
2) Compartmentalize – From cables to underwear to the small knick-knacks in your room, you’ll rid yourself of a lot of stress by doing this (trust me, it’s really therapeutic, too).
Or, better yet, recycle those gift boxes and tin cans from Christmas by using them instead. Cover them up in leftover gift wrappers, magazine pages or even used gift wrappers you just can’t throw away (this could turn into an arts and crafts bonding activity for the family, too).
3) Clean-up your car – If you went on a holiday road trip, doing this might help you “cool down” and get back into the groove before your “regular programming” (as Rappler’s Tech head Gemma B. Mendoza puts it) resumes for the year.
Use shoe organizers that you can hang behind the back seat, or follow resolution number two and recycle gift boxes and tin cans and use them as compartments in your trunk.
Organize your vehicle’s papers (including emergency keys) in a small accordion envelope in your glove compartment. Beabi sells receipt organizers that can serve the same purpose.
4) Organize your first aid kit – Don’t be afraid to stylize in order to make the box easily visible (and even attractive).
Makeup supply brand Suesh sells colorful, sparkly and even animal-print makeup tool boxes that have several compartments.
If you want to stay on the “safe” side, recycle the basic tool box your dad is no longer using. Remember to label the box as a first aid box (see resolution number one) and let all family members know where to find it.
5) Place all beauty products in one place and compartmentalize – Reality star Kim Kardashian and her sisters Kourtney and Khloe are experts at this, being self-confessed cleanliness addicts. If you’ve spotted their vanity (that people who watch their reality show often see), you’d think you were in a professional makeup counter.
Assign one box or compartment per beauty product type: hair, skin, nails; OR face, neck, hands; OR makeup, anti-aging, tools — it’s up to you.
Again, we suggest recycling. Put all those Christmas gift boxes to good use (and be good to the environment, too)!
6) Find a place for the small stuff, from hair scrunchies to bracelets – Assign a spot where you know you’ll find ’em when you need ’em.
I use a mug hanger that I bought from the Home section of a department store. Its wooden finish adds to the minimalist-zen-nature vibe in my room.
Other people use paper towel holders and, for small quantities, shower curtain rings that you can open and close on one end, like a keychain.
7) Organize your home office – Bringing work home is unavoidable or, if you work from home, keeping your home office organized is the best way to keep it stimulating, helping you focus on and be more creative about your work (and don’t forget to organize your desk drawers, too).
These organizing tools don’t come cheap though so — forgive me for sounding like a broken record — look around and recyle. Recyle.
8) Designate an area for mail and bills – When I was younger, mail organizers that you can hang on the wall were common. Today, with more and more people doing their transactions online, they have become less popular.
Still—specially for those who rely on household staff to pay bills for them—the good old organizer-on-the-wall may still be helpful.
I suggest getting two: Label one “To Pay” and another “Paid.” Hang them behind the front or back door so that you or your household help will see them when you lock up at night and be reminded of what to settle the following day.
File the paid bills in separate folders that you may keep in your organized home office (see resolution number 7).
9) Turn the magazines you can’t let go of into stools – Ever sat on a pile of magazines? Turn that idea into a resourceful interior design exercise.
Separate your magazines into types: fashion, beauty, home, self-help, technology, motoring. Pile them on top of one another neatly (it would help if they are the same size) per type. Use old belts to secure each magazine pile on all 4 sides, similar to placing a ribbon around a gift box.
If you have the budget to buy color-coordinated belts, go ahead. I suggest NOT buying the ones in faux leather, though; they get “crunchy” and peel-off eventually because of our country’s humid elements. Get the canvas belts instead, which you can change depending on the season and as you add more magazines (striped, nautical belts are perfect for summer!).
10) Recycle, and practice a daily Earth Hour – Be good to the Earth and teach the rest of the family to do the same. Don’t wait for your kid’s annual newspaper drive in school before organizing what needs to be recycled. Do it as often as you can.
Designate a Recycle Corner in your house. Separate plastic, cans and paper. Use stackable shelves so it doesn’t take up too much space. Find out the schedule of the Recycling Market nearest you and bring your recyclables to them weekly, after you attend your Sunday mass or church service and before you have your weekly family lunch.
Another thing you can do is to practice Earth Hour EVERYDAY — don’t wait for the once-a-year worldwide event; make it a daily habit.
For one hour every day, switch off as much electricity in your home as possible: that TV you’re not really watching, the light that’s on at daytime, the aircon that has been working overnight.
Cultivate the habit of switching off what does not really to be switched on.
Let these 3 words guide you in 2013: organize, recycle, be creative.
Help your self have a clearer mind; allow your home a more serene vibe; and help the Earth. – Rappler.com
(What are YOUR new year’s resolutions? Share them with us and others by posting them below. Tweet them to us @rapplerdotcom and @kaimagsanoc; use the hashtag #Start2013Right. Don’t worry, it’s not too late. You’re still on track! – KLM)