2017 is officially upon us. The dawning of this New Year marks not only the ending of the holiday season, but also a time of a reflection for many people—as it does every year. Thoughts turn to what has occurred in the past year. Goals that have been achieved. Life events that have occurred. Changes that have been challenging to accept. Tasks that have been forgotten or not accomplished. It is often the latter that we tend to fixate on. What did we not have the time or the will to conquer in the past year? How will we do better in the coming year? These questions make January the month of resolutions. Resolutions to do better at some task. Resolutions to make thoughtful changes. Resolutions to change troublesome habits. However, despite the best of intentions, most of these resolutions will be abandoned by the time that Valentine’s Day rolls around.

According to polls, one of the top resolutions that will be made this month is to get organized and to declutter. In effort to help to accomplish and maintain this resolution, we have compiled some helpful tips and tricks to help you become the Organizing Ruler or your household empire that you have resolved to be.

– Gather a Hoard of Helpers: To conquer and organize your household empire takes work. To help lighten the load, recruit some helpful hands to lighten the work. Prepare ahead of time by having a written list of what you would like accomplished and who might best fit to complete that task. Children can help to either as assistants or by completing smaller tasks such as sorting. In return for the help, you might consider treating your hoard to snacks or a simple meal such as pizza.

– Conquer in Sections: Rome was not built in a day, and your organized empire is no exception. Pick a section of the house at a time to conquer. One tactic is to pick high traffic areas that are more likely to become dumping grounds for clutter. Organizing these areas will take a bit more time, but your efforts will show much more in these areas as they are most often seen not only by you, but also your guests. Once those areas have been properly organized you can move on to the less out of sight places such as closets, attics, and garages.

– Survey the Land: Take out everything. We mean everything. It may seem like a hassle to take everything out of the drawers and closets, but it will pay off in the end. By doing this step, you will be able to assess what you already have and be able to whittle that down to what you need. You might not have realized that you had eight pairs of scissors or three copies of that book (that you really been meaning to read) until you assess the situation. Knowledge is power. Toss the extras and make room for the things that you really need.

– Maintaining your Rule: After putting all the effort into sorting, whittling down, and organizing your household empire do not let it all be for naught. One of the main ways to maintain order is through labeling. Labeling is your friend. Your very good friend. By clearly labeling, the hassle of digging and opening containers is gone. By clearly marking what goes where, you enable not only yourself, but also others to easily place things back where they belong. Another more basic way of maintaining order is through scheduling regular check-ins to see the state of things. You might choose to do this bi-weekly or monthly, but it is good to consciously take scheduled time to see how your organizational systems are working and to tweak those things that do not seem to be working. For instances, the keys never seem to make it to the rack as the rack sits across the room away from the door. This is relatively simple fix that can help maintain your organizational efforts.

By the following the above, you should be on your way to establishing a long and prosperous rule over your organized empire. Remember though it might be initially frustrating to maintain your resolution, whatever it may be, there will be a deep satisfaction when 2018 rolls around and you know that you can add your 2017 resolution to the list of things accomplished for the year.