In January of this year, A-list celebrity Hillary Swank announced: “My New Year's resolution is to get rid of some stuff because I bring it in and I can't get rid of it.” If you were like Hillary Swank and you also placed organization on your list of New Year’s resolutions, then you were not alone. “To get organized” was one of the top 10 New Year’s resolutions for 2007, according to and

While many individuals decided organization was a high-ranking item on their ‘To Do’ list for the beginning of 2007, it may fall to the bottom of the list by the end of the year. Research illustrates that the percentage of people who maintain New Year’s resolutions falls sharply as the weeks go by. After all, it is easy to set goals, but it does take a level of determination and dedication to see those goals to fruition.

If you decided in January that organization was a priority for this year and have since let your objective slip, then it is time to re-energize your resolution decision. You have already taken the first and arguably biggest step of all because you recognize that you have a need for organization. There are a few more steps to the process, and they are equally as easy as the first.

Start now, start somewhere! If you are still reading this article at this point, then you must have problems getting motivated to organize. Well, your time has finally come! Not sure where to start? Pick the spot that annoys you the most. Want to finally park a car in the garage? Start there. Tired of messy kitchen counters? Start there. If you still need some encouragement, picture how harmonious your life will be when your hard work is done.

Set general goals and specific sub-goals. Think of it as a puzzle - each smaller, specific sub-goal meshing together until a larger, general goal is completed. Finishing one small area will motivate you and propel you to the next! This eliminates the “I never can get organized!” feeling because you are constantly accomplishing your goals, one step at a time. I believe Confucius said it best - “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.”

Set a time limit. It is more likely that you will prioritize with a looming deadline. Set long-term closing dates for general goals and short-term closing dates for specific sub-goals. If it helps, have a friend or a spouse hold you to your sub-goals. Then, reward yourself with something really enticing after each is achieved.

Now that January is far behind us, I wonder how Hillary Swank is doing with her organizing goals…is she super-dedicated and doing it herself, is she paying someone else to do it, or is she perhaps letting her resolution slide? I will probably never get an answer to my question, but Ms. Swank’s resolution does spur me on a bit. If a busy, Oscar-winning actress can put some time aside to organize, then I can too!

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Author's Bio: 

Carmen Coker is a professional organizer who helps individuals find the motivation and know-how to get organized and stay organized. To learn how to save money, create more space, and manage your time through organization, register for the "FREE Tip Kit: 10+ Pages of Tips and Tools to Help You Get Organized — Finally!" at