Take a new route to getting organized and declutter your home this year.

dreamstime_xs_10239771Has your resolve to getting your house in order and uncluttering zig zagged between hot and cold like a polar vortex making its circuitous way around your home until it fizzles out and goes back into hiding in your attic and basement? Perhaps you need to create a little climate change of your own and rethink it.

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It has been studied that some two thirds of people who make resolutions don’t follow through with them. They invest lots of time into getting them started, but their energy and desire fades quickly. Those who stuck to their resolutions, however, found that setting goals, sticking to a plan and sharing their project with others kept them on track longer.

VortexInstead of fretting about the cold weather and watching endless streams of weather updates, let’s consider a new approach to your resolutions. Most residents around the country have been advised to stay indoors and stay warm during this wild yo-yo weather.  For example, read this article in the Wall Street Journal.

Now is a great time to stay home and start a new project. You may have noticed that all the big box stores are currently stocked with products to help us get organized. From storage bins to shredders, they’re designed to help us free up space and make more time for the things we really want to do in life. There are some great ideas in the aisles for you to think about.

Here’s our stay-warm advice for surviving the potential cabin fever that a polar vortex can create, wreaking havoc on your plans for 2014.

Set one goal
Resolutions are easier to accomplish if you set one or two realistic goals. Create a laundry list and you’ll overwhelm yourself into doing nothing. Let’s stick to the one you made about organizing photos, creating photo books and sharing old memories with family and friends. This is a big one, but the good news is it doesn’t require you to shovel or deice anything.

Stay Positive
While others are moaning about the deep freeze, you need to energize your thinking. Put your happy face on and get excited about starting something new. The moment you open that closet to find those boxes of photos you’ll throw yourself right into the middle of a family treasure hunt. Repeat after me: Hmm, what’s in here? Put some music on. Singing and dancing while cleaning a closet really isn’t that much work. The point here is that you should do something – anything – that gets you motivated to work on your resolution and doesn’t require you to leave the house.

Make a list of the fun projects you can do indoors right now. First this, then that. Are you simply making space or are you planning some artful projects and preserving family history?

ClockSchedule time
Look at your calendar and decide the best times of the day over the next several weeks to work on your project in small chucks of time. With just 30 minutes a day every day for a week, you’ll compile three and a half hours of work by next week. If you’re homebound due to weather conditions, then, by all means, crank up the music and get started several hours at a time.

We mean don’t tear up the hall closet looking for those photo boxes and then leave everything else strewn about the floor. Stay focused to your project. If your plan is to organize your photos and digitize a set of your favorites for each of your children then you need to make a list – mental or written – of what you want to accomplish. Put things in categories (i.e. childhood, family records, hobbies, sports, travel, etc.). If you’re looking for more ideas on how to scan, preserve, protect and preserve various items around your home, take a look at this offer from Family Tree magazine.
Box Of Photos

Here’s the fun part. With a Flip-Pal mobile scanner you’ll have the versatility and mobility to scan anywhere, even under a stack of blankets in front of the television while watching another weather update. The Flip-Pal has the ability to scan photos in about six seconds when it’s set to 300 dpi (dots per inch) or about 12 seconds at 600 dpi. You could essentially scan a shoebox of photos while watching the news.

Remember to use a patent-pending Flip-Pal Sketch to easily make notes of the photos you’re scanning. This will simplify the organizing process once you download the images.

Even sifting through stacks of shoe boxes filled with photos can be draining. Make sure you drink plenty of water.

Toss any photos that aren’t flattering, in focus or generally considered keepers. Save your favorites and the important images that document lives and toss the ones you can live without. A trash can filled with junk is motivating. Shred it if you need to. Keep moving.

Download your scanned images; label them in a way that will help you identify them later on; and reorganize images into subfolders labeled by either topic, date, person, event, or purpose.

ScrapbookersHost a back-up party
Quite often these resolutions for getting organized, especially when it comes to digitizing photos, have a back story, like getting photos ready for a reunion or wedding. Have you ever been to an event, such as a funeral, where people asked for copies of photos? Well, now that this crazy winter weather has you staying put and getting organized, plan a back-up party with your family and friends to share some of your old photos. Have them bring a flash drive or two (or archival- quality DVDs) and have fun catching up while you’re copying everything.

Now the next time you head to a wedding, graduation, reunion, funeral or any event, bring your Flip-Pal with you to scan those one of a kind items so you don’t have ask others for a copy.

Preserving a memory and keeping it simple is like a warm breeze on a cool day. At least you didn’t let this idea freeze.

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