Monday Musings: Organized and Decluttered

We’re one week into 2020 and I’m finally getting organized. I don’t make New Years Resolutions but I often choose a word of the year. The one word sets an intention for the year, is easy to remember and helps give focus to your goals. I had a hard time choosing one this year until it hit me like a ton of bricks. Organized. And boy do I need it.

The more I think about it, the more I see how significant its impact will be. Being organized in both small and large ways has always appealed to me. I just haven’t put the effort into doing it consistently. It will help me feel calmer, be more clear-headed, reduce stress and make me more productive. I’m organizing as I go and working it into my lifestyle which will have a more lasting impact. Of course, I’ll need to control my OCD tendencies which look lovely from a distance but get neurotic up close.

2020 Cornflower Agenda

Part of being organized means keeping track of things on my calendar. I use my phone for many things, but I also like to write it down because I’m a very visual person. I have notebooks for jotting down thoughts and plans near my chair, next to my bed and on my desk but for real organization, I like a planner.

day planner from Anthropologie
Two Thousand Twenty agenda

I really like this petite agenda from Anthropologie but refused to pay to ship it so I was thrilled to find it at Nordstrom which has free shipping on everything, all the time. This Eucalyptus planner is really pretty with gold foil edges and elastic to keep it closed. This Self Care journal is a great way to track your thoughts and activities as you work to improve your self-care.

calm the chaos This tiny journal is filled with easy to follow prompts that encourage self-care, kindness, gratitude, and goals. This little Wellness Log helps you track everything from workouts, sleep, nutrition, water intake, and goals.

Yesterday, I fell down the rabbit hole of organizing on this NeatMethod Instagram feed. Wowza, these are some seriously organized closets, drawers, and cupboards. Rather than going to the Container Store and dropping a bundle, I hit Target and got these drawer dividers to try to make sense of my cutlery drawer. When I got home I decided to hop on the internet and discovered these dividers at almost half the price! I’ll be making a return at Target today and planning things more carefully in the future.

Do you choose a word of the year?

Do you use a paper planner or agenda?






  1. Elaine @ Following Augustine says:

    This is the 4th year in a row that I’ve chosen a word for the year. This year my word is Bold. I blogged about it here:

    I’m super organized (some people might say anal) and I depend on a paper planner where I list the things I hope/plan to accomplish each day. I cross things off as they are completed which helps me prioritize and gives me a sense of accomplishment. I also keep a notepad beside my bed and one in my purse where I can jot things down as I think of them.

  2. Jennifer, I love your word organize.We retired last year and downsized. We have 13 grandkids and 3 adult kids with spouses. So having moved , still can’t find stuff ( I’m sure you know the feeling) I don’t know what I gave away, threw away away or is still packed away. I need to organize everything from the ground up:) Retiring and moving are really “Big” reasons to organize. I thought being retired would be all the time in the world, quite the contrary ?

    1. I’m in a similar boat which is why organized is so helpful for me.

  3. My word for the year is GRANDCHILDREN. I have 5 of them and want to be intentional about helping their mothers and fathers, volunteering at school and spending quality time with each of them. I’m lucky they live close to me and I can easily do this. WRT the planner – this year I did a sketch of a planner that would fit ME not a purchased planner. I took the sketch to a local artist, who did a beautiful weekly plan drawing for me. I took that to a copy shop and had copies made and put into a spiral bound book made out of heavy cardstock. For about the price of a premade planner, I now have a custom planner that is perfect for me. Each day includes: Time with Jesus, exercise, a to-do list, appointments, my husband’s schedule and a section for “what I wore.” At the side there’s room for my prayer list.

    1. What a wonderful idea Sandy. I never thought of doing something like that! Brilliant

  4. One year my word was arrogance which sounds negative but it wasn’t. I learned a lot and was amazed at how much arrogance can creep into our lives in ways we might never recognize if we’re not paying attention. Changed my way of looking at and seeing all kinds of things. Turned out to be a very positive experience.

    1. That’s fascinating Val. I would never have thought so, but it makes total sense.

  5. Hi Jennifer! I used to get your email everyday and for the past week, nothing. I hope I’m still on your email list. I love your blog! Thank you!

    1. Hi Kelley. I just checked and the emails are being delivered to your email. Check your spam filter and see if I’m there 😉

      1. I haven’t been getting them since before Christmas and can’t figure it out.
        I’ve signed up again and no luck.
        Checked spam, junk and nothing.

      2. I see you haven’t opened an email since Dec 28 but you are still subscribed! I will check into it.

  6. Ordinarily I don’t redo mistakes but this website literally got rid of chaos in my life and I think it goes right along with Jennifer’s site. She helps us stay beautiful and feel good about ourselves and this site makes of happy to invite anyone over anytime so both sites are related to peace of mind. I love both of them.

  7. I love this post because if it’s one thing that always needs organizing, it’s my closet. I joined years ago and I’ve had my house in order ever since. It was a godsend for me but that closet is still a problem. I dont put out more than 3 things on each counter top and that includes kitchen. If I don’t use it every day. I don’t keep it on counter. You can’t organize clutter.
    I got rid of books I don’t read. Crafts I don’t do. But clothes…..that’s my weakness,.

  8. My word for 2020 is rebound. I am going back to doing some things that worked for me in the past regarding my Avon business, my personal life, my healthy eating and exercise regime. 2019 was a very non productive year for me and I feel like I was spinning my wheels without making any gains like so many previous years.
    I use my phone for scheduling specific things I need to do or places I need to be. Some days, I even set the phone alarm if I have a particularly busy day. I often make a written list the night before of things to do the next day.

  9. I absolutely love those Bamboo drawer dividers. Who would have thought a less than perfect flatware drawer could make you crazy?!?! I love how much organization and personalization these dividers allow.
    Like Kate I use my electronic calendar and phone book due to the utter convenience and the reasons she sighted.
    Last year my word(s) were Chose Joy. This year I think it is Involved. As in health, community, family, friends.

    1. Suzi, I love “choose joy” vs just “joy”. Like the action it brings. Thanks!

  10. I love organizing. I used my iphone calendar now since it synchs with my computer. It took me years to wean off Filofax! I do, however, keep a big paper family calendar to log work trips, kids’ exams etc. I am paper based for things like lists. Happy organizing! Xx

  11. I’m a professional organizer (retired) and you could probably feel my excitement zipping across the country to you when I read your word of the year was Organizing! How exciting Jenifer. Organizing can make such a huge difference and each thing you do spills out and energizes another area of your life. You’ve clearly experienced its potential and I’m excited for you!

    Thinking about the purpose of the space can be a useful tool to help you weed things out of the ”wrong “area and free things up. Also if you start with decluttering you’ll generally have to buy less organizing supplies and save some money.

    I was a devoted Quo Vadis paper planner for years but for the last 15 or so made the hard at first hard, but now wonderful, switch to the phone calendar. I love that I can repeat things so easily, copy links for travel right to the day etc. i use the app Toodledo for a way to organize tasks/To Do’s. I love the wealth of information I can store related to a task. well worth the small cost.

    I’m waiting to have a big pow wow with myself this next week, but words that have caught my attention are Thrive and Joy.

  12. To quote Benjamin Franklin ‘don’t put off until tomorrow, what you can do today’; so my word for the year is discipline! In other words, no more procrastinating or slackening off … ☺. As for a planner I prefer paper over technology as coming from the old school of thought; if you write something down at least three times you are more apt to remember and/or to follow it, however I do use technology for other purposes though.

  13. I have loved getting organized. I refuse to pay for expensive containers and have found many at thrift stores for under $3.00! I also use shoe boxes for lingerie and socks. Think out of the box!

  14. Oh…my gracious! I went to Neatmethod on Instagram. Super organized! Everything is filed, rolled & folded just so.
    I did my sock drawer last year, according to colour & all neatly rolled. It is still that way and I’ve found it so much easier to find just the pair I want. I also organized my kitchen cupboards & drawers with a pot lid stacker and dividers in my utensil and cutlery drawers. You’ll find you have more room once everything is organized, Jennifer.
    I love to organize and declutter. It’s a very satisfying feeling.
    I use my calendar & Notes on my phone for my lists and to -dos. Sometimes I print off a list to better review and ✔️

  15. I keep my calendar in my phone & iPad, & computer, since they’re linked I always have it with me. For several years I’ve kept a “bullet journal” of sorts. The recommended bullet journals are waaaayyyy too complicated for me, but I do use the numbered pages, index and some major sections. I keep running daily to-do lists in the front, then assign pages for things I want to remember…travel packing lists, books I want to read, Christmas gifts p, etc. works for me.

    1. Susan Gowan says:

      Like you I have been zapped with a cold/ flu bug and it is relentless. Despite feeling under the weather and being a bit of a hermit these days I have managed to partially declutter two bedrooms. Made 4 or 5 goals and am recording everything I eat. My word is persistence as I need to persist in order to reach my goals. Good luck to you in reaching yours!

  16. I have an overpriced iPhone, an overpriced Macbook, and pay for Evernote. I’ve tried for years to use electronic calendaring, with its text reminders, which, when it works, is great. But … it’s not reliable. It often stops working for no reason, and I have to reset my phone. It’s tied to iCloud, which can be a real glitchy PITA. Google calendar doesn’t play well with iPhone. Etc. etc. I’ve gone back to the paper planner, and carry it in my purse. So much easier and reliable. I love technology but I’m tired of spending so.much.time trying to get it to do what it’s supposed to. I think my “word” will be let-it-go. Happy New Year, Jennifer!!

    1. Happy New year Betsy. I’m not overly fond of those things that are supposed to work seamlessly either 🙂

  17. Evelyn Bailey says:

    My word is pro-active. I need to take charge of some important areas in my life to set the course for a happier and healthier future me!

  18. Yes…I keep a calendar on my iPhone, but like you, I’m a visual person. So I always get a paper desk calendar and organize my week on Monday morning. Keeps me from forgetting thing. And I make a task list because I find that once I write something down physically, it tends to get done. Old habits from my work days. 🙂

    1. Ooops. I meant a paper planner. My favorites are from Blue Sky.

  19. My word for this year is RETIREMENT!!!!!!!!’

    And everything shall fall gracefully into place beneath t!

  20. I carry a small pocket calendar in my purse for writing down and keeping track of all my appointments and other daily activities. I can’t seem to rely on my phone like most people. My word this year is steadfast. I made the decision this past summer to lose weight and eat healthier. I’ve accomplished my weight loss goal and I want to “stay the course”. Happy New Year!

  21. Paulette Levy says:

    As a retiree I have let the organized me slip away. When I worked and had to juggle various tasks plus family responsibilities and social obligations I Was very, very organized (had to be!). Calm and confident.
    Now? Not so much. Honestly, I do try to write things down in my “master” calendar /agenda book. I must begin to be more diligent. You are so right! A calmer more confident me will be the net result!
    I’ll choose Calm as my 2020 word!

    1. Calm is a wonderful word, Paulette. I would love that too. I’m hoping I can get there by being more organized.

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