Happy New Year and welcome to Olga-ism #112; a tidy New Year makes for great cheer.

Ok, I made that up because it rhymes, but you can’t possibly expect to bust into 2018 with everything in its current condition, do you? It is time to get tidy, my friends, and there is no better way to do it than to make it a New Year’s resolution!

In Japan, cleaning out dirt, clutter and disorganization from the prior year is part of Japanese New Year tradition. Each year is seen as separate and distinct, so the final week of the old year is devoted to cleaning, decluttering and organizing.

Called oosouji, and translated as “the big cleaning,” it creates a clean state of mind to welcome in the New Year and invite prosperity in the year to come.

I know, I know, organizing, cleaning, and decluttering are about as much fun as a dirty diaper, but I PROMISE you will feel accomplished and renewed once it is done. And, there is no better way to show your fabulousness than enviously gliding through life on top of your tidy game.

So where to start, you ask? Here are a couple good tricks Olga has up her sleeve!

Create Kits

There are things you do or need that happen time and time again throughout the year. Organizing these items into “kits” that serve their purpose makes sure you have what you need at the ready in any moment of need. Think predictable and repeatable.

For example, have you ever gotten a paper cut and found yourself rifling through the bathroom closet while the dang thing kept bleeding all over? Fix that puppy up with a first aid kit. Sure you can buy one at the store, but it is more fun to create your own that includes all your favorite standbys, not just what the manufacturer thinks you need. I use a salsa printed ORGO for mine and I even put a label on it from my trusty labelmaker to ensure everyone knows what’s in it without having to open it! Other ideas for reusable kits that will cut down on drawer and closet clutter:

  • Battery kit: All batteries in all sizes in one convenient spot, big ones, little ones and the battery charger all together in one spot!
  • Car travel kit: Non-perishable snacks, notepads and markers, and handheld games for kids all in one kit you can keep in the car!
  • Greeting card kit: A selection of greeting cards, note cards, postage stamps, fancy pens and stickers to ensure you can pop something in the mail for any occasion
  • Beach kit: Sunscreen for you and kids, lip balm with SPF, bandaids, pain relief meds, non-perishable snacks, resealable plastic bags for collecting seashells

There’s An App For That, Darling

Chances are, you have a smartphone of some kind. Whether bejeweled or not, that little timesaver has access to apps. Sure, games and social media applications are a time suck, but did you know there are also a bevy of organization-related apps?

One of my faves is The Wunderlist app, which stores to-do lists that you can keep to yourself or share with others if you want to collaborate on a list. Capture, share and cross off your tasks, whether it is a grocery list, project or vacation checklist! Check it out. Like now. You'll be glad you did.

Having supplies in a kit at the ready and keeping track of to do items are just two of the ways you can enter the new year with panache. Try them, honey. Trust me. When has Olga steered you wrong?