3 Organizing Habits to Ditch (and Start) in 2024, According to a Pro Organizer

published Jan 2, 2024
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Getting organized is never a one-time task but, rather, a habit that must be continually kept up and improved on. While that might sound exhausting, I can assure you that, one, it’s really not, and two, it’s worth it because of how much it simplifies your day-to-day life. Plus, you’ve got me, a professional organizer, here to help guide you on your organizing journey.

Below, I’ve detailed the organizing habits I recommend ditching and starting in 2024.

Credit: Cathy Pyle

Stop holding onto things because you might need them “one day”

You might be holding onto things because of a lack of abundance mindset, even if it’s ingrained in you by, say, your parents or grandparents. Previous generations weren’t able to access things as quickly as recent generations via conveniences like Amazon Prime and Target’s two-hour drive-up service. This is not to say you should just declutter things only to rebuy them whenever you “might” need them again, especially in today’s economy.

But holding onto clutter that you haven’t used in years and have no intention of using anytime soon is also impractical. Let it go in 2024 and, if on the off chance you do find yourself looking for it later, try borrowing it from someone first. Also going forward, this may help curb impulse buying because you’ll realize that you’ll have to eventually decide to declutter (or forever hold onto) the item down the line.

Stop shoving sentimental items into storage

I live by the rule that when everything is special, nothing is special which has led me to hold onto a handful of mementos that mean a lot to me. However, most are currently crammed in a box on a high closet shelf. I did this intending to keep them safe, plus I don’t like visual clutter in my small apartment. As I get older, and admittedly a bit more sentimental, I realize that memories are meant to be enjoyed and that’s hard to do when they’re tucked away, potentially forgotten about altogether.

If you feel the same way, consider displaying some of your most treasured items in a way that they blend into your home decor. Use a keepsake box for trinkets, hang a gallery wall of old family photos, or give some inherited jewelry a place on your dresser so you can admire the pieces, even if you don’t regularly wear them.

Stop falling for social media marketing madness

I really believe that you should stop buying every product your favorite influencers (get paid to) promote — and I say that as a micro-influencer myself! Recently, I’ve noticed that it’s not only influencers that you need to watch out for. Anyone who’s been on social media lately knows that ads are becoming less and less avoidable, specifically with the rise of TikTok Shop. It’s easy to convince yourself that you “need” something after seeing an ad or two (or 10) for it even if it’s never crossed your mind to own before. Take a breath and decide if you actually need the item before adding potential clutter to your home.

Start organizing for your health and wellness

Self-care has been a hot topic since 2020 and I’m here for it. Your health (physical, mental, and emotional) is your greatest asset so why not prioritize it by setting up systems to encourage better habits? I can guarantee you’ll be more successful in keeping those New Year’s resolutions by making small tweaks to your home. Some examples include using a lazy Susan to corral vitamins and supplements for easy access or sorting skin care and oral hygiene products into shallow bathroom organizers to enjoy a relaxing morning and evening routine. 

Start focusing on quality over quantity

Sustainable products are thankfully becoming more available on the market. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean they’re becoming more affordable. There’s no denying baskets made from earth-friendly materials are not easy on the wallet. So I understand that it is easier to opt for cheaper plastic containers when trying to get your stuff organized. If using less plastic is your goal, whether for the environment or the safety of your family (or both), but you’re also on a budget, I encourage you to look at it this way: the less stuff you own, the less organizing products you need to own.

You can start small by investing in one or two higher-end organizers and slowly add on down the line. Keep an eye out for sales so you can nab something at a lower price. Read reviews before buying anything to make sure it’s solid quality and will last. Or, at the very least, look for products made of 100% post-consumer recycled materials.

Start going digital to curb paper clutter

Chances are you’ve already gone paperless with many things, specifically bank statements and bills. (And if you haven’t, this is your year to try!) I encourage you to take it a few steps further in 2024. With today’s technology, there’s truly no reason to have excess paper clutter. In addition to opting for paperless delivery whenever possible, you can try: curbing junk mail by removing yourself from marketing lists, selecting digital receipts when checking out at stores, or using virtual note-taking methods, like your phone’s note app or desktop stickies.